Month: October 2013

The Weekend Shortlist

Happy Friday, everyone! This weekend shortlist is all about some fall/winter wardrobe staples for which I’m currently hunting. The items I picked below are not necessarily the specific iteration I must have, just examples. If you have suggestions for alternatives I should be checking out, please share in the comments.

Black straight-cut cropped pants

weekend shortlist
Gap Slim Cropped Pants

Basically, I am looking for the kind of pants that Audrey Hepburn used to wear (“cigarette pants”) – slim and straight-cut (but not quite skinny), and cropped at the ankle. I used to have a pair that I loved (as well as a back-up), but – alas! – they don’t fit anymore and aren’t likely to do so again. Initially, I was planning to wait a few more months before investing in any new pants, to give my body a bit of time to adjust post-baby. However, I’ve gotten tired of having nothing but jeans (and not my favourite pair either) and dresses to wear; especially with winter on its way, I need pants. This particular style is great because I can tuck it into boots, or wear with flats or booties.

Since my current size may still change, I don’t want to spend a lot of money on this pair. Shopping for pants second-hand is very hit-and-miss, so I’ve resigned myself to looking at mall brands and hoping for a good sale. I’ve checked out the Gap, where I got my last pair of black cropped pants, but the ultra slim fit (above) didn’t look great on me. It was rather baggy around the back of the knees, which made me look dumpier than necessary. I don’t recall this being a problem before; have they changed their pant styles? If that wasn’t bad enough, the price ($70) was definitely a deal-breaker. The search continues!

Booties

weekend shortlist
Tory Burch Britta Bootie

I’m not a huge fan of booties, but I also want an alternative to my regular boots and this seems to be it. Finding a style I like has proven next to impossible. I want something that is practical (i.e. no huge heels or platforms, good grips on the sole) yet still stylish. Preferably warm, too. Oh, and under $100. Basically, mission impossible. But hope springs eternal. The Tory Burch pair above falls more on the stylish than practical side, but I like the plain design. I think it would look nice with pants and skirts, and wouldn’t be too hard on the ankles come snow.

Infinity scarf

weekend shortlist
DVF Infinity Scarf

I always struggle with tying my scarves to look even remotely stylish; infinity scarves take that hassle out of the equation. Considering how ubiquitous they are these days, you would think that finding one to buy would be relatively easy, no? Chalk it up to being super picky (about fabric and print), but I haven’t had any luck yet. I do love the contrasting patterns of this DVF version (minus the little pom-poms), and would love to find something similar for a fraction of the price.

Ann Taylor Topper

weekend shortlist
Ann Taylor Floral Leopard Print Topper

So, here’s the thing: other than my trench, I don’t really have any fall/early winter coats. It’s a bit early in the season to bring out my puffy parka, but on windier days, I’m definitely left feeling the chill. Bottom line: I need a new fall coat. This Ann Taylor topper is not it. For one thing, it doesn’t look nearly warm enough, and it’s more of a statement piece than a wardrobe staple. I just really like it, so I thought I would include it in this week’s shortlist. It’s a piece I’ve actually debated buying, though ultimately I’ve decided (I think) to pass. My reasons are twofold. One, I’m not sure where and how often I would end up wearing it. I think it’s better suited to a warmer climate, where fall is more temperate than here.  Two, this print is very distinctive, and the coat has already turned up on many, many fashion blogs; it’s one of those pieces that will be very much of its time (i.e. “that coat is so fall 2013”), and I don’t like that about it. When it comes to clothes, especially, I tend to prefer my stuff to be a little more … anonymous, shall we say.

As for my (future) fall coat, I don’t really know what I want. Not exactly. I do know I want something with clean, simple lines and a classic style, and in a neutral colour. As always, I’m mindful of the price and the quality, so I will be looking at my options on the second-hand market. Because I’m not looking for a specific brand or style, it may be easier to find something I like.

What’s on your fall/winter must-have list?

Have a great weekend!

Manicure of the Week: Chanel Rouge Moire

Chanel Rouge Moire was released in September as part of the R0uge Allure Moire collection, along with Rose Moire (post to come). To be honest, it wasn’t Chanel’s most exciting polish offering but both colours are pretty enough. I’ve seen others describe Rouge Moire as a metallic red, and while I agree about the finish (it is slightly metallic), I would characterize it more as a fuchsia, or at best a strongly pink-leaning red.

Chanel Rouge Moire
Chanel Rouge Moire

The formula is good; Rouge Moire is an easy two-coater. Despite the metallic, even slightly frosty, finish, I didn’t have any issues with brush strokes. I found the colour quite flattering to my skin tone/complexion (cool but with pink undertones). It did remind me of another polish in my collection, namely OPI Rosy Mistletoesis. I didn’t do a side-by-side swatch comparison of the two, but they do look very, very similar in the bottle. I smell a possible dupe.

Chanel Rouge Moire
Chanel Rouge Moire vs. OPI Rosy Mistletoesies

Rouge Moire is a rich jewel tone, so I decided to pick something equally colour-saturated for my inspired outfit. Hang on to your hats:

Chanel Rouge Moire
Dress, Simons (thrifted); shoes, J.Crew (consignment); bag, Z Spoke (consignment)

Whoa! Holy short hem, Batman! OK, so this thrifted Simons tunic may have turned out to be a liiiiittle bit shorter than I had envisioned it in my head. A little leg exposure is not a bad thing, but I don’t think I would have the mojo to wear this outfit anywhere but a tropical resort destination.

Chanel Rouge Moire
Bracelets, J. Crew

I am very excited that I finally get to wear this tunic, but I think that next time I will be adding leggings (or at the very least a pair of opaque tights). A little more age-appropriate, I think … not to mention weather-appropriate. But I definitely had fun pretending I was 25 again!

Chanel Rouge Moire
The accidental mini-skirt?

What do you think of Chanel Rouge Moire?

What I Wore

If you’ve missed the weekly Remix Challenge updates, then this new blog feature is for you.

Although I had a lot of fun working on the Remix Challenge for the better part of a year, it’s no longer a feasible prospect. My current life as a stay-at-home mom doesn’t require as much “dressing up” as my work life used to demand. If I were to continue with the Remix Challenge, at this point, 4 out of 5 weekly outfits would involve some ungodly combination of leggings, nursing T-shirts, and my big ol’ sweater-coat, with a puffy parka on top for extra “appeal”. Shuttling between play-dates and baby-related errands is just not that glam, and the weather doesn’t help – bundling up for warmth usually leaves me looking less than fashion blog-ready.

So, instead, I’ve decided to do a bi-monthly post featuring the pick of the best outfits – the one that actually reflect some iota of style.

These are some of my first post-partum attempts, as worn in the first few weeks after Teodora’s birth. Bear in mind that, at that point, I still didn’t fit into most of my non-maternity clothes (pants especially), so my outfit options were fairly limited. Still, to regain a semblance of my former self, I wanted to make the occasional effort in dressing for outings.

what i wore
Sweater, Old Navy; trench, Gap; flats, Old Navy … artwork by Luka

This was one of my first trips out of the house, a couple of days after we came home from the hospital. We took Teodora out for a short walk in the neighbourhood, and this was my attempt to dress up my at-home “uniform” – leggings and nursing tank. A cute sweater and trench seemed like an easy option … although, in retrospect, I realize it meant that I actually wore leggings as pants, contrary to my frequent screeds. Oh dear! I would like to say that this was the only time it ever happened but … it wasn’t.

what i wore
Jeans, iT (thrifted); top J. Crew; flats, Tory Burch (consignment); bag, Coach (vintage)

This was our first family outing to the mall, fresh from surviving that nerve-wracking first week with baby. If I don’t look too thrilled, the sleep deprivation wasn’t the only thing to blame; after trying on every pair of non-maternity jeans in my closet, I quickly realized that the only ones to fit were my “scrubby” pair – the one my husband calls “mom jeans”. Perhaps appropriate in the circumstances, but somewhat depressing nonetheless.

what i wore
Dress, Mexx (thrifted); jacket, Esprit (swap); scarf, Winners; shoes, Old Navy; bag, 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target

For Teodora’s first check-up, I decided to avoid unnecessary heartache and stick with something tried-and-true: one of my maternity maxi dresses.

what i wore
Skirt, vintage (thrifted); tank, Thyme Maternity; jacket, Tommy Hilfiger Factory; scarf, gift; shoes, Ferragamo (vintage); bag, Coach (vintage)

Taking another cue from my pregnancy wardrobe, I also decided to pick skirts over pants. This high-waisted version not only fit, but also seemed fitting for the season given its autumnal colours.

what i wore
Jeans, Abercrombie & Fitch (consignment); blouse, Ann Taylor LOFT (eBay); jacket, Danier; shoes, Old Navy; bag, 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target

A few weeks later, progress: I was finally able to fit into my stretchiest pair of jeans. Not comfortably, mind you, but enough for a quick visit to one of my fave consignment stores – to look for some new pants.