Month: February 2012

Things we love: Valentino!

Today, I am pleased to inaugurate a new feature on the blog – an on-going series of posts on, simple, things we love. A few of my regular guest writers will be joining in, and I hereby extend the same invitation to all of you, dear readers: tell us what you love, and why.

For the very first post, I knew I had to go back to my closet. [Technically, my “closet” as such is non-existent at the moment. As a result of last month’s flooding fiasco, which put my actual closet out of commission, my clothes are lying in a very sad-looking heap on top of the bed in our spare bedroom. This makes getting dressed even harder than normal; I am now down to about two tops and a pair of leggings that are still accessible and in commission. But I digress.] I love – or deeply like – all of my clothes; what doesn’t make the cut, ends up being sold or, better yet, swapped. [Yep, shameless plug for my annual clothing swap. Mark March 24th on your calendars and RSVP now!] But a post about everything in my closet would put you all to sleep. The focus of this feature are things we not only love, but couldn’t – or wouldn’t want to – live without. With that in mind, my choice was made infinitely easier.

If I had to pick only one piece of clothing in my wardrobe to save in the (hopefully extremely unlikely) event of a fire or some such disaster – for fear of never being able to replace or duplicate its awesomeness – it would definitely be my Valentino R.E.D. label skirt. I cannot explain how much I love this piece, or how unlikely that love is. I am a die-hard pencil skirt fan, because it is the most flattering to my figure. The Valentino skirt is an odd shape, anything but pencil-like. I can best describe it as being something like an inverted paper bag; baggier around the hips, then drawn-in at the bottom. I’ve never seen a skirt of quite this type before, and it was one of the reasons I actually debated buying it in the first place. I ended up getting because of the impeccable workmanship and quality (it’s lined, a small miracle nowadays), its neutral colour and, frankly, the good deal. I bought it a few years ago, before I got seriously into fashion, and it was one of my first higher-end pieces – a relative bargain at about $40. 
From that somewhat inauspicious beginning, it has become one of my go-to pieces. Apart from the fact that it is incredibly comfortable, it is endlessly versatile. The style actually works great precisely because it is roomier than most, while the length and the bottom hem detail keep it from looking dowdy. It is so comfortable, in fact, that I wore it for a good portion of my pregnancy; it sits on the hip (without riding up, as so many skirt that do so are inclined to do), and it is therefore quite forgiving of big lunches and extra passengers on board.  
The best part? It goes with absolutely – and I do mean that – everything in my closet. To prove it, I decided to show you not the usual three outfits, but six. And, frankly, I could probably easily triple that number if I didn’t think your patience would be wearing mighty thin. I’m not going to pretend that I would wear this skirt while grocery-shopping, or night-clubbing for that matter; but so what? It’s perfect for any occasion that calls for me to look polished and stylish … and who can ask for more?

Here is what my Valentino skirt has taught me. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone occasionally. Invest in good quality. A skirt that is kind to your hips is a treasure.

And here are a few more lessons. A neutral colour is a great background for bright (and contrasting) colours, like yellow and blue.

Or purple and green.

An above-the-knee skirt can balance out a more voluminous top. [Don’t worry, no hands were harmed in the making of this post.]

If you’re worried about the sexiness-quota of your skirt’s length, pair it with flats.
You can never go wrong with black and camel. And it doesn’t have to be boring.

See what I mean?

Got something you love and can’t live without? Share it here!

Manicure of the week: Waterlily

This week, I decided to take a brief departure from Chanel to showcase – what else – one of Dior’s spring 2012 colours. From its Garden Party collection, the appropriately named Waterlily is a soft, spring-like green swirling with ribbons of micro-shimmer.

For an extra twist, the polish is rose-scented; I cannot say I am a fan of that, although luckily I am not allergic to fragrances. The scent reminded me of Anna Sui polishes (all of which are rose-scented, and more heavily so), but thankfully did not last more than a day. The application was smooth and the polish was easily opaque in two coats. I may have been spoilt by my previous experience of Chanel’s April, but I didn’t find Waterlily to dry as glossy as I would have liked. I would probably add a top coat next time for a bit of extra shine.

Outfit-wise, I decided to go with a bit of contrast – purple! I love purple/green combos; they’re so unexpected. And it gave me a reason to pull out one of my favourite tops, this silk MICHAEL Michael Kors halter. Because of the embellishment on the collar, I normally keep my accessories to a minimum, but I couldn’t resist adding some flash this time.
For an extra pop of colour: yellow!
Happy Friday!

Paging Coco

Hold on to your hats, you’re in for a surprise. In the last 2.5 months, I have bought exactly one (ONE) piece of clothing. Anyone who has perused this blog even infrequently will know that is most certainly not business as usual. What can I say? The reasons are manifold. I don’t have a lot of time to hit up all my usual haunts on a regular basis, nor do I have a lot of occasions to wear clothes of the non-sweats variety. Worst of all, I just haven’t been too inspired lately. I already have a ton of clothes – which I love – so I haven’t seen the need to expand further, and needlessly, without really loving the piece in question.

So, you’re probably curious about the one item that made the cut. It’s a White House, Black Market jacket that reminds me a lot of one of my favourite fashion icons, the one and only Coco Chanel. Her boucle wool suits are considered, justifiably so, timeless classics; my budget sadly doesn’t stretch far enough to enable me to acquire one, but this is a good compromise. I found it brand new, with tags (originally over $90), at My Favourite Aunt’s for only $39. And it fit like a dream!

I love the little details:
This type of jacket is infinitely versatile. Here are just a few of the ways I might wear it. [I was going to post my suggestions for complementary manicures – featuring Chanel polishes, natch – but I decided that you’re probably sick of seeing my mangy digits all the time. So, you get a break … till Friday.]

Fancy
I had to fight the temptation to add pearls (too easy) to this outfit, so I went with a flower pin instead.
Office
For an extra dose of lady-like style, nothing beats a bow blouse; a bright coloured pencil skirt adds a modern edge.
Casual
And you know I love to dress things down … all the way down with distressed jeans.