READY FOR SUMMER: DIOR MULES EDITION

By now, I’m sure you’re well aware of my love for shoes – designer shoes. This season, the designs have reached another level for me. There are so many amazing pairs of shoes out there right now that it was really quite a difficult decision to make as to which ones to talk about first. But, here we are: DIOR MULES you have caught my heart.

Honestly, I think every celebrity and influencer owns a pair of these at this point, and the fashion house continues to make more; different designs and colours! The more reason to add to the collection.

When I shared a poll of my favourites on Instagram I got an interesting response – you loved all of them! There was a pretty equal split between each of the pairs I chose, which goes to show that there is really something for everyone when it comes to these slides! Good job DIOR!

So, let’s talk price point – are these affordable or more of a splurge purchase?

Well, that of course depends on how much you are wanting and willing to spend on a pair of summer shoes. If you live in a warmer climate and can wear these all year round, it might be a great investment for you, but if you live in Canada where we only get about a few months of hot summer days, maybe the price point isn’t so much on your side.

If you are travelling this summer, here’s my breakdown of the different price points of these mules in various locations (and the benefits you can take advantage of, for shopping in other countries):

CountryPrice PointCAD ExchangeKeep in mind…
United States$650 – $690$870 – $925*Taxes not included; as they vary per state.
Don’t forget potential import fees!
United Kingdom£490 – £540$822 – $906Shop at the airport! Remember to claim your
VAT return which may be up to 20%!
Italy €550 – €580$822 – $870Counts for any country using EURO. Remember to
claim your VAT return which may be up to 20%

The next question: are they even comfortable?

That’s a good question, and again, completely personal preference. You’d hope that for that type of price point a shoe would be comfortable, but if you think about it, many of these high end designer shoes are really not that comfortable, and really just a fashion statement more than anything.

If you’re comfortable in flats, these will work for you. There is a tiny “heel” on these shoes, but basically barely enough to make you feel it at all. So, let’s just call them flats. The single strap made of soft cotton and is a decent width size to keep the slide on your foot; basically like any other slide out there in that style. The cotton material definitely makes the shoe more comfortable, especially in the hot summer, in comparison to, for example leather.

So, in conclusion, there are a lot of pros and cons with these depending on what you’re looking for. The question remains; are these a seasonal piece or will these become a classic?

*Photo Credits: Damsel in Dior & Dior.com

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ZIMMERMAN FOREVER

If there was one designer I would have to wear forever, it would definitely be ZIMMERMAN. Each season, I browse through the collections, staring at each piece thinking “I’d wear that”. Is that even possible? To fall in love with every single piece? In my relationship with Zimmerman the answer is ABSOLUTELY YES.

Honestly, I don’t have a single Zimmerman piece, because well, who are we kidding, the prices are a bit higher than what I would like to spend on a piece of clothing like a dress or blouse… BUT one day, I will find that perfect piece and make the investment to buy my first Zimmerman piece. I promise you that.

Okay, let’s have a look at some of my favourite pieces:

// Verity Gathered Yoke Dress, $950 // Goldie Scallop Short Dress, $750 //

// Goldie Spliced Frill Top, $480 // Goldie Spliced Frill Short, $375 // Goldie Spliced Short Dress, $850 //

// Honour Pintuck Panelled Dress, $1150 // Zippy Frill Dress, $795 (now $565) //

COLD, COLDER, FREEZING!

I’m not going to lie; Ottawa has been VERY COLD! We’ve been dealing with negative temperatures every day (and night) and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. I’m not complaining though so don’t get me wrong, I’m just stating the obvious and preparing anyone who plans on visiting the area. It really is COLD. But hey, I’ve been warned.

As long as you’re dressed right, it’s really not that bad though. The trick is though, to truly be dressed right. A simple warm jacket and warmer pants really don’t do the trick anymore; especially if you’re planning on being outdoors.

I can’t say that I’m a pro at dressing for this weather, but I now do know a thing or two about actually staying warm during these freeeeeezing Ottawa days.

1. THE COAT!

I remember as a teenager the priority for my winter jacket was how it looked, and how I looked in it. There was no way I was going to look “fat” in a coat! Fast forward a few years and my mentality changed drastically. The priority in the jacket was that it was long, puffy, and thick! My coat now HAS to be either to my knees or longer. With a few hits and misses I’ve finally nailed it down to TWO of my favorite most reliable winter coats; the Bancroft Park from TNA at Aritzia, or generally any winter coat from Canada Goose! The difference with choice being the price point. The Canada Goose coats are a bit expensive but if you think of the cost per wear; especially in colder climates, it really makes it worth it. I would definitely both of these options fairly equally.

2. THE ACCESSORIES!

I’ve always loved hats and mitts but again, they mostly always were just for “looks”. Now it’s about practicality, comfort, warmth, AND still the look. Last year I found a nice pair of mitts at Chapters – Indigo which I loved! This year, right before the cold weather started I went straight for the source and picked up an entire set – mitts, hat, and scarf. Unfortunately the scarf was a tad bit too short for my liking so I returned that, but I kept the mitts and hat (and actually went back and bought them in another color. There are so many different brands and places you can find accessories, so it really just matters how they’re made and if they’re lined! As long as they have some sort of lining you should be okay. The important part here is to always remember to wear them! If you remember to put your hat and mitts on before you go outside your body will retain its warm temperature for longer; therefore not letting you get too cold too fast.

3. THE BOOTS!

UGGs have always been a big part of my winter wardrobe but once it gets slushy and wet… and the temperature drops to negative 10 (without windchill) something much warmer is needed. A few years ago I came across this realization and went on the hunt for an even warmer pair of boots. Finally, I found the Sorel brand and a pair which I actually thought would work for me (see the post HERE )! So, here we are now, living in Ottawa, with these freezing temperatures, and these boots are PERFECTION! The Sorel Joan of Arctic boots now come in so many different colors and are available in many stores. I HIGHLY recommend these boots for winter!!

4. THE CLOTHES!

This is self explanatory – when it’s below zero and you plan on being outside for a longer period of time, a pair of jeans will most likely not do the trick. Layers are my trick – thermal leggings for starters, and thermal turtlenecks to keep your neck and chest warm. OR you can go a different route and just put in a pair of “snow pants” and those will keep you warm definitely!

5. THE MENTALITY!

This is a new tactic I’ve taken in recently – if you think happy warm thoughts you will be warmer. I once went outside thinking “omg it’s freezing and I’m frozen already this will be horrible”… and of course I was! Next time, I though, it won’t be that bad, I’m dressed in warm clothes, I won’t feel a thing”. Surely enough, it wasn’t THAT bad! Obviously, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t dress warm and think warm thoughts and assume that will work, because it won’t. The happy warm thoughts only help in the process of stepping into the cold and adjusting your body.

Stay warm friends!

L O N D O N IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA

I think it’s safe to say that the United Kingdom is one of my favorite places to travel to four main reasons:

  • Family!
  • Shopping! SHOPPING! Shopping!
  • Direct flight from Ottawa to London! + MANY direct and inexpensive flights from the UK to many major cities in Europe!
  • It’s a BEAUTIFUL country; from the heart of London to the flowing countryside; I can never get enough of the views!

Our most recent visit to this wonderful country was back in November. At this point, I think we’ve visited the UK during every season. I’d say there’s something I love about each season so I can’t say I like one more than the other.

During each trip, we visit our traditional list of attractions such as the heart of London, Primark, Wagamama, etc., but also try to see at least one new place we have never been to before!

This time, my husband made the call, and we visited Stonehenge and the nearby Town of Windsor. Both locations were definitely worth the trip! It actually felt important to visit Stonehenge because of its historical background; I definitely feel we checked something off our bucket list with this one. Next, the Town of Windsor; like many of these English Towns, was absolutely adorable! Filled with so many little shops, cafes, and restaurants, and of course, the Windsor Castle right in the middle of the Town. Check + Check!

Luckily for us, the weather cooperated better than expected as well. We were greeted with sunshine from the moment we landed, to the moment we took off at the end of our trip. Not only was it sunny, but it wasn’t at all as cold as it was in Canada, so – bonus! Walking around comfortable in a leather jacket in November is a win in my eyes.

Anyways, we will probably be back sooner than later because we just can’t seem to get enough of Europe recently!!

BLACK + WHITE #OOTD

Don’t you just LOVE when all of your blacks match? I mean; I know black is black but, do you ever find that your favorite pair of black denim {which you’ve probably washed 50 times or more} no longer matches your favorite leather jacket? And, what about your shoes – why do they look so dark compared to the denim!?

I have this “issue” quite too often and that’s why I usually never later on full black on black; I always have to have something in between; usually my top because it’s literally, right in the middle.

This weeks #OOTD follows this simple theory of mine; minimalistic + comfortable. I could honestly use the statement “{INSERT ITEM} is always a good idea” for each of the items I’m wearing in this post.

✔️ Classic black leather biker jacket – All Saints

✔️ Classic black purse – Chanel

✔️ Crisp white turtleneck sweater – Zara

✔️ Black ankle cropped denim – Zara

✔️ Minimalistic black ankle booties – L.K. Bennett

CÉLINE OR CELINE: MY VIEW ON THE RECENT CHANGES

If you’ve been following the PFW stories recently then I’m sure you’ve heard all about the crisis unfolding in regards to CÉLINE {or should I say Celine}.

First off, my opinion is definitely not as strong as many others on this subject matter {as I really haven’t invested in the brands products yet..} – but I’d definitely say that I was a Céline follower and I love(d) the brand; the ready to wear collections were right up my alley, and I felt I could always find inspiration in the styles.

First, let’s recap what happened.

In a nutshell; Phoebe Philo left the brand and Hedi Slimane {coming from Saint Laurent} became the Creative Director for the brand. Small changes started occurring; such as the removal of the accent in the E in CÉLINE, which threw the fashion world into alarm mode. THEN, the runway show occurred, and the fashion world went into crisis mode.

So here we are now; hours after the SS19 show at Paris Fashion Week… and there are SO many opinions floating around; but to be honest, I’m mostly hearing and reading negative opinions. People are disappointed at the major change in the style of the collection; going from an empowering modern feminine style to mini skirts + sequins confused and angered long time Céline fans – no kidding!  Let’s compare:

SPRING 2018 READY TO WEAR COLLECTION

https://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/spring-2018-ready-to-wear/celine/slideshow/collection

SPRING 2019 READY TO WEAR COLLECTION

https://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/spring-2019-ready-to-wear/celine/slideshow/collection

The major change from one collection to the other is the basic fact of vibe that has been created. Philo worked hard to promote a minimalistic; modern; “all and any woman can wear” style, which didn’t involve the pressures of showing off legs or tight silhouettes. This sense of style guided and empowered everyday females to build their wardrobes based on comfort and class. Enter Slimane. Looking at the SS19 show I no longer feel modern and classy; but rather “Saturday night luxy club scene” + “mandated trend follower”. All of the modern comfort has disappeared and been replaced with the street style curse and pressure to be on trend.

Now, these changes could be as a result of a few factors; the fact that we are looking at trends and styles from a year apart and the fact that the Director is now different.  BUT; a fashion houses signature style and tone of collection should not change THAT drastically from season to season no matter what the trends are calling for that year.

Either way, I think my final call on this is that I’m sad and disappointed. I’m sad that the fashion house now has an entirely different sense and feel. I had such respect for the brand because it kept to clean lines and simpler modern styles – and now that this has changed, I’m not so sure I’m happy about it either. After analyzing and comparing I think I’m starting to understand and agree with the term of “Celine Funeral” that has been floating around…

The question now is; are we supposed to go out and start buying all things Céline pre SS19? Will these pre SS19 pieces become vintage + highly wanted items in a few years? Will this affect the pricing of the pre SS19 pieces? I don’t know if I have the answers to these questions but I’m definitely searching for them!

What are your thoughts on the changes?

DESIGNER DIARY SERIES: ALEXANDER MCQUEEN OVERSIZED SNEAKERS

It’s been a while since I’ve written a “Designer Diary Series” post. It’s been quite the busy month and I haven’t really had a moment to sit down and really pour some thought into a post, so I thought it was a good time to post this one; that a wrote a while back. It’s all fully relevant, as it’s a continuation of my designer purchase journey!

*****

It all started like any other designer item. I see a specific piece, fall in love with it, do extensive research on it, and then make my purchase. Although this one started off like any other, it developed into something much bigger.

I first laid eyes on the Alexander McQueen Oversized Sneakers, like many other things, on Instagram. I follow many different accounts of individuals all over the country, as I like to gather my style inspiration from the global perspective – I find this to be most impactful and influential. I believe they caught my eye at first, simply because they looked much different than your average white sneaker – and I was on a mission to find the perfect white sneaker, without falling in line with everyone else. What can I say, I don’t like to follow trends, I like to fall in love with trends which I can relate to and wear over and over again.

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After doing my research on these shoes on social media; I wanted to get a true and natural view of what they looked like in real life first, not just on the brands website, I ventured off to the brand itself. This is where I was able to get a better look into the make, design, quality, and of course, the brand’s story behind them. Obviously, I fell more and more in love with them with every page I opened and browsed. Next, the time came to actually go into a store and physically try them on and analyze them – clearly the most important step. I usually like to save this one for last, because I think I’m scared I’ll try it on first and convince myself I need the item, when in fact, background research will prove that I in fact don’t, and it’s not that great or worth it.

Anyways, I walked in to the store, asked for a 38.5 and 39 of the lace up white with light blue suede model. Both pairs were brought out, I started with the 38.5, and as soon as I had slipped on the first shoe, I knew we were meant to be. I followed with the second, and walked over to the mirror – SOLD, I NEED THEM. I WILL NEVER TAKE THEM OFF. I was stunned at how comfortable and cute they were, clearly all the research was worth it and I had not wasted my time! I put them back in the box, thanked the sales associate, and walked out of the store with a smile. JACKPOT. Now, it was time to find them for the best price possible – it just feels better when you can buy an item with some sort of sale or discount. I searched far and wide, and made up my mind that I would purchase them in England, where I would save 20% on VAT on my departure. This trip was planned for  May 2018, it was at this point, June 2017. I’ll wait it out, it’ll feel great, I convinced myself.

In September 2017, my husband and I travelled to California for a family reunion on the west coast. One lovely sunny Californian afternoon in Los Angeles, my husband decided we should go for a drive…so here we are, driving down the enticing Melrose Ave, we drive by the Alexander McQueen store, my heart starts beating faster, he turn the corner and into a private parking lot, and parks the car. My mind is racing, “have we just parked in the Alexander McQueen parking lot? What are we doing here?” What a silly question that was. I have the best husband in the world of course! We walked into the store, and naturally walked over to the footwear section right away. I died for a second and went to heaven; I can’t recall my exact emotions because I was literally on cloud nine the entire time; champagne included. Needless to say, I walked out of the store with my FIRST PAIR OF ALEXANDER MCQUEEN OVERSIZED SNEAKERS! Since the store carried every single colour possible, my colour options were unlimited (unlike department stores I visited before), and I chose the white with grey suede! I still get butterflies with I think back to this moment! Unfortunately to my theories, I didn’t get them on sale or with any other discount, but I think this makes them even more special – plus, they will always remind me of that California trip!

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It might not be a big deal; it’s just a pair of sneakers really, why all the excitement, but to me, it’s HUGE. It’s something I have been researching and thinking about for months. I don’t take my designer splurges lightly, and I want to be conscious of my purchases on various levels.

So, why am I sharing this story, well simply because HAPPINESS should be shared; it motivates and inspires. I love designer items, like many others, but the manner in which I go about purchasing them has become a sort of practice or theory – I’m not spoiled and I work for my designer items, so when spending my hard earned funds, I need to be 100% certain that I will LOVE my items and be fully satisfied with my purchase. It’s an art, as my husband calls it. I fully agree.

It’s the best feeling in the world.

 

HELLO SEPTEMBER!

Welcome SEPTEMBER!

I always get so excited for this month, basically because this is the  start of the Fall season for me. Every September, for as long as I can remember, I would review my clothes, shoes, accessories, etc, and start thinking about Fall and Winter wear and outfits.  AUTUMN is my absolute favourite time of the year – everything from the golden leaves on trees, to the fashion, and of course the food!

Of course Autumn officially begins on September 22, which is basically the end of the month, I still love to make my Summer to Fall transition at the beginning of the month. The more opportunity to wear and shop sweaters and booties, the better.

This month on The Prettier Life you’ll be able to find posts on Style and Shopping Guides, Autumn City Guide Activities, a Book Review, and of course, some motivational words straight from my honest heart.

Here’s a sneak peek of some topics I’ll be sharing with you this month:

  • Autumn Scents – Shopping Guide to Fall Candles
  • Booties and Boots – My favourite’s for the upcoming Season
  • My Beloved Wool Fedora Collection
  • Apple Picking – Where to go and what to do with the apples afterwards.
  • International Coffee Day!  

 

Blogger, Model, Ottawa, Rideau Hall

CLASSIC SUMMER #OOTD

Could this be part two of my Shades of Blue post? Or, does this just mean that I’m following my THEORY? I think it’s a little bit of both.

Ever since I’ve come to terms with my style; colours I enjoy wearing, etc., it seems as though all of my outfits have become grouped into a similar category. Well, that is what I was going for though, wasn’t it. It definitely was. I want to be able to wear ALL of my clothes regularly, and to be able to mix and match all of the items. I used to have a randomly coloured of printed top that I could only wear with one other item, and it literally made me crazy – so I gave that top away; along with a few hefty bags of other items which I felt the same way about.

There’s no better feeling than looking into your closet and knowing that [mostly] all of your clothes can be worn together – and I’m talking about the regulars, not the evening gowns etc… Everyday clothes that you pick out for your daily outfits – those ones. ootd, outfit inspiration, the prettier life, ottawaI’m sure you’ve seen this skirt plenty of times on me, and that’s because its one of those classic pieces I can’t get enough of and wear constantly.  I’m thinking that the ripped denim trend is not stopping so I should be good with it for the next little while. The top was a gift from my sister-in-law, and the sweater is my mothers. Personally, I would have never purchased anything in his shade of neon anymore, but these two ladies made it work.

Also, I was able to take my darling Michael Kors Mercer out for a stroll, and I’m still as in love with it as I was the day I saw it sitting on the shelf in the store waiting for me. Some things are just meant to be!

Altogether, the outfit is pretty simple, a little bit outside of my comfort zone [ the top + colour choice especially ] but it felt right for this scorching hot Sunday afternoon in Ottawa – so I made it work.

gucci bag, ootd, wordpress blogger, michael kors

SHADES OF BLUE: WHY THE DENIM JACKET IS IRREPLACABLE

If there was to be only one staple item I could recommend that you could wear all summer it would be the D E N I M  J A C K E T. I literally cannot live without mine. I think that denim jackets are the perfect addition to any summer outfit; either to a flowy dress, or a skirt/shorts and a top. I love how versatile denim is and how it can actually be used to complement basically any outfit (of course I’m not talking about your evening gowns, cocktail dresses, etc…).

On this beautiful summer evening I opted for a shades of blue outfit; a pale blue chiffon pleated midi/maxi skirt, a simple crew neck t-shirt, and my favourite washed denim jacket. I did have a pair of navy blue tie up flats picked out, but since it’s still summer and the evenings are still fairly warm, I decided against them and went with the sandals.

What do you think? Would you wear this?