Month: August 2013

Manicure of the Week: Chanel Fracas

Chanel Fracas was one of the trio of polishes released for Spring 2013. For me, it wasn’t a mind-blowing collection, but at least Fracas seemed to be the most unique. A hot coral pink, it’s a perfect summer pedicure colour in my books; it feels a little loud on my nails, though it would work great if I were heading to the Caribbean for a vacay. [Oh, yes please!]

chanel fracas
Chanel Fracas (natural lighting)

Fracas is a classic Chanel crème, with a smooth formula that flows on really easily. If you’re careful, you can probably get enough coverage in one shot; seeing as I usually rush my manicures, two coats is a safer bet.

chanel fracas
Chanel Fracas (camera flash)

For the inspired outfit, I felt a little stuck; I blame it on the fact that Fracas is one of my least favourite Chanel polishes. Ultimately, I decided to play up its candy-like colour by pairing it with a minty pastel for a sweet & girly vibe (complete with gold bow sandals). [If you’re wondering how I managed to suddenly become the incredible shrinking woman, this photo was taken about 3 months ago.]

chanel fracas
Dress, Isaac Mizrahi for Target (thrifted); belt, J. Crew Factory Store; necklace, J. Crew; shoes, Enzo Angiolini

Am I being unfair? Is Fracas nicer than I give it credit? Stay tuned for the next MotW when I’ll be showing you a coral polish I actually love…

Remix Challenge: week 47

Don’t forget to enter the Birthday Celebration Giveaway (click here for details)!
Saturday, August 3, 2013: brunch
remix challenge
Dress, Winners; shirt, J. Crew; necklace, Tiffany; shoes, Tory Burch (consignment); sunglasses, Ray-Ban; bag, Mulberry (second hand)
Since my birthday fell mid-week this year, all the celebrating got relegated to the weekend – a long weekend at that. Bonus for me! We started the “party” with a Saturday morning stroll down Whyte Ave, which is becoming something of a tradition for us, followed by brunch at the High Level Diner, where we were joined by Luka’s godparents. Initially, we wanted to check out Fort Edmonton Park in the afternoon, but decided to take it easy instead. Even in comfy flats, these feet can’t do as much walking as before. We did manage to squeeze in a visit to Whimsical Cupcakes – yum!
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The extra passenger on board
For the occasion, I topped off my weekend uniform (aka comfiest maxi dress) with a colourful top, which not only added some visual interest but also a bit of extra sun protection. I like the resulting look, and it gets me some extra wear out of this dress – which, admittedly, has already proven more versatile than most.
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Brunch at the High Level Diner – a must try!
Here’s a bit of novelty: I wore the same nail polish two days in a row!
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Manicure: Chanel Nouvelle Vague
Sunday, August 4, 2013: pedicure & dim sum
remix challenge
Dress, J. Crew (consignment); jacket, Joe Fresh (consignment); scarf, Winners; shoes, Old Navy; bag, Coach (vintage)
Girl time! On Sunday, my best girlfriend and I treated ourselves to a pedicure and delicious dim sum – my definition of a  perfect “lazy” day. I managed to squeeze into my J. Crew cotton sun dress one more time, and added a leopard-print scarf to cover up the cleavage and balance out the short hemline ((it looks like I’m about to flash the world, but it was just the wind – honestly!).
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Pedicures: OPI DS Exclusive (left); OPI Nothing Mousy About It (right)
Monday, August 5, 2013: West Edmonton Mall
remix challenge
Jeans, maternity; top, maternity; necklace, Banana Republic; shoes, Old Navy; bag, Mulberry (second hand)
Monday was a holiday, so we had big plans to take advantage of the still-decent weather and visit the Devonian gardens. Luka had a lot of fun out there last summer, and we thought he would enjoy exploring even more this time around. Naturally, he had other ideas; an extra long nap in the afternoon put an end to our plans. So we went to West Edmonton Mall instead – which, judging by the massive crowds roaming the mall, was everybody’s fallback plan on this occasion.
I wore a “sensible mommy” outfit – with a little extra bling. It’s me we’re talking about, after all.
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Manicure: Chanel Nouvelle Vague – still going strong on day #4!
Thursday, August 8, 2013: work
remix challenge
Pants, maternity; sweater, J. Crew Factory; blouse, American Apparel (consignment); necklace, Tiffany; shoes, Kenneth Cole (thrifted); bag, YSL (second-hand)
I was at home on Tuesday and Wednesday with Luka, so this was a very short week, work-wise, for me. Or, I should say, office work-wise. Looking after a very active toddler full-time by yourself is a lot of work, and these couple of days made me realize (again) how lucky we are to have my mom take care of Luka – and what mad props she deserves for the amazing job she does. Anyway, by Thursday, I was back in the normal swing of things – and out of sweat pants.
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Manicure: Chanel Lilac Sky
Friday, August 9, 2013: work
remix challenge
Dress, Max Studio; blazer, Theory (consignment); necklace, Tiffany; shoes, Ferragamo (vintage); bag, J. Crew
I had to dress up for a work function, which meant no jeans. It was a nice change of pace for a Friday, although having to wear a blazer was not ideal; I tend to find them constricting at the best of times, and right now they might as well be straight-jackets. Luckily, I had another awesome Chanel polish to cheer me up:
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Manicure: Chanel Riva
Have a stylish week!

What I Bought: July

This month, I continued splitting my shopping primarily between local second-hand stores and eBay. As September draws near, I find myself buying less for now and more for later. Of course, some guessing is involved in that regard, but I am hoping that my body will find its happy equilibrium again sooner or later. My big regret this month was that I somehow ended up buying a lot of so-called “disposable fashion” – I write “so-called” because I am hoping that these pieces will actually be a part of my wardrobe for years to come. On the plus side, everything almost everything was second-hand.

J. Crew cotton sun-dress ($13, consignment)

what i bought
J. Crew dress (made in China) – originally $148

I actually bought this at the very tail end of June, but forgot to include it in last month’s wrap-up. I first came across it a few months back, when it was priced at $39; it was cute (I especially like the faded cornflower blue colour) and perfect for summer (lightweight cotton), but it didn’t fit quite right in the bust – all in all, not worth the money. Fast forward weeks later, and I came across it again … this time on the clearance rack. This time, it fit much better (hey, pregnancy has its upsides), although it’s on the short side because of my bump. Better yet, it was $25 plus an extra 50% off. At that price, I could justify buying – even if I just wear the heck out of it this summer. For now, I’m considering it part of my weekend maternity wardrobe, but it may not be a total write-off afterwards. Time will tell.

Isaac Mizrahi for Target LBD ($45 including shipping, eBay)

what i bought
Mizrahi for Target dress (made in Vietnam) – originally $90+

One of my favourite recent thrift store finds was a Mizrahi for Target dress – I love its tailoring and slightly retro vibe. I was browsing eBay when I came across this style, and immediately fell for its neckline and back. Very Audrey Hepburn, no? Like my other dress, this one is also 100% polyester, but it has a good weight to it and is lined, so I think it will wear well. It may be too early to call, but this is a definite Christmas party contender this year.

J. Crew ruffle cardigans (eBay & consignment)

what i bought
J. Crew cardigan, $55 (made in China) – originally $88

Yep, same cardigan two months running. I just couldn’t resist the light aqua colour, which will work really well with the colours in my closet. As I wrote before, I love the cut of this cardigan; since it’s a closet staple, rather than a statement piece, I don’t mind having doubles … or quadruples.

I’m not a huge fan of yellow on me (too many shades clash with my complexion), but I do love me some mustard yellow. I know, it doesn’t sound like the most stylish colour, but it’s a great accent for some of my favourite wardrobe pieces. Like this one:

what i bought
Joe Fresh sweater

My Joe Fresh yellow sweater (which kick-started my love for the colour) is almost kaput – not the greatest quality, sadly – so I’ve been looking for a replacement for some time. A cardigan can work double-duty as a sweater in a pinch, so I figured this J. Crew version would be a good bet.

what i bought
J. Crew cardigan, $39 (made in China), originally $88

Last but not least, I couldn’t resist getting yet another (J. Crew) cardigan I found at consignment. In for a penny, in for a pound, right? This one was only $18, and I figured the peach colour would be an interesting addition to my closet – I don’t have anything like it.

what i bought
J. Crew cardigan (made in China) – originally $70+

Lela Rose for Target dress ($48 including shipping, eBay)

what i bought
Lela Rose for Target dress – originally $100

I’ve been craving florals lately, and this dress was the impulse-buy result. On the plus side, it’s made out of silk (not including the lining), and still had its tags on. The colour is actually more vibrant in real life:

what i bought
Lela Rose/Neiman Marcus for Target

Liz Claiborne tortoise-shell pumps ($14, Value Village)

what i bought
Liz Claiborne “Martini” pumps (made in China?) – originally $80+

It’s been a while since I found a good pair of shoes – in MY size – at VV, but these ones I had to snap up. Not only are they almost brand new, but the patent tortoise-shell leather was right up my alley. It reminds me of my much-beloved (and worn) Taryn Rose flats.

I’ve been looking for a pair of leopard print pumps to replace the Steve Maddens I recently sold; I haven’t had much luck, though I came close with this pair of Sam Edelman d’orsay pumps.

what i bought
Sam Edelman leopard print pumps

The downside was the price; at $90 on sale (at Townshoes), they were too pricey for me. I’m thinking that the tortoise-shell pair will serve me as a substitute in the meantime.

what i bought
Liz Clairborne “Martini” pumps

Gossip rhinestone studded ballet flats ($25, Townshoes)

what i bought
Gossip flats (made in China), originally $40

True story:  a couple of months ago, I spotted a pair of adorable embellished ballet flats during my work commute. [Obviously, a girl was wearing them, but I only had eyes for these shoes.] They looked almost ethereal, sparkling under the LRT station lights. I was in love. I wanted to ask their wearer where she bought them, but lacked the courage. I started keeping an eye out for them in all the places I thought this girl would be likely to shop (total style profiling, I know), but never saw them. A few weeks ago, I did see them again – on the LRT. Again, I chickened out of asking about them. And then, totally randomly, I walked into a Townshoes store (for the second time in a month, and probably ever) – and there they were! On sale for $25, no less. If that’s not serendipity, I don’t know what is.

The quality looks to be terrible; I’m sure the satin fabric will get dirty as soon as I step foot out of the house, and the rhinestones will come unglued sooner or later. Not to mention, they are hardly appropriate footwear for someone who left pre-adolescence behind 20 years ago. But … I don’t care! I’m going to enjoy the heck out of my “Tinkerbell” flats while they last.

Fossil Georgia watch (Fossil, $134)

what i bought
Fossil “Georgia” watch

Truthfully, I didn’t need a new watch. I don’t even wear a watch every day. But I am obsessed with bracelets right now, and this particular watch struck me as being a good match for layering with some of my pieces. I am also a sucker for tortoiseshell (obviously). I had to dip into my personal slush fund for this purchase, and justified it as an early birthday present to myself. Was it worth it? I’m a little bit apprehensive about the quality (I’ve heard mixed reviews on Fossil), but so far … loving it.

Fossil rose gold bracelet and charm ($28 each)

what i bought
Fossil bracelet + charm (made in China)

See above re my current bracelet obsession. Also loving rose gold right now (it reminds me of my grandmother’s old, Russian gold jewelry which has a rose tint to it), which basically explains this particular impulse buy.

Ann Taylor Loft camisole ($25 including shipping, eBay)

what i bought
Ann Taylor LOFT camisole (made in China), originally $40+

This print was like catnip to my florals-loving self, so I stalked it until I could get a decent deal. It’s always the shipping that makes otherwise great eBay deals only so-so. The thing that really bugs is how arbitrary the costs set by sellers seem to be; I’ve paid anywhere from $5 to $25+ for shipping one clothing item, and there was generally little difference in transit time. Anyway, this is another addition to my 2014 office wardrobe – I can’t wait to accessorize it!

And there you have it – my ginormous July shopping bag (11 items, $444). Were you naughty or nice this month?