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

Advertisements

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!

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

SWEATER WEATHER: FIND YOUR PERFECT KNIT SWEATER!

Sweater Weather (which has become an international term now) is upon us! Knitwear is worn basically all year round in varying styles and thicknesses, but it seems that the crowd favourite is the one that is worn during the Autumn and Winter seasons. Which is NOW! How exciting!?

Choosing a knit sweater really doesn’t seem like a challenge; but think of how much more satisfaction you will have when you buy that PERFECT knit sweater that you simply can’t part with! So, with the thousands of options available to us these days; how are we supposed to know which one is right for our own personal style but that is still on trend?

Challenge Accepted.

Before opening up your browser or favourite social media platform to start searching for your knitwear inspiration; ask yourself these questions:

|  Top Row: Zara Cable Knit Sweater $70  |    Bottom Row: Zara Soft Feel Sweater $40  |  

What colour are you looking for? Base this decision on color palettes you wear most often. What color are your favourite tops {shirts + blouses}? What color bottoms {pants + skirts} do you wear? Think of a colour that you are always drawn to wearing but also, one that makes you feel comfortable. Just because mustard yellow is all the hype, doesn’t mean you look/feel good in it!

|  H&M Ribbed Turtleneck Sweater $50  |  H&M Fine Knit Sweater $35  |

Aritzia - The Group by Babaton Plutarch Sweater

|  Aritzia – The Group by Babaton Plutarch Sweater $138  | 

|  Massimo Dutti Cable Knit Sweater $130|  Marc Cain Chunky Knit Sweater in new Wool Blend  |

What kind of sweater do you want? Classic turtleneck; cowl neck; or mock neck? Do you want a round or v-neck? Keep in mind the functions of each one of these styles – for example, a classic turtleneck can be layered underneath a scoop or round neck sweater to make it cozier; or it can be layered under your favourite dress or jumpsuit for a smooth summer to autumn transition.

+ finally the most important question:

knitwear, stella mccartney

|  Stella McCartney Oversized Patchwork Cotton-Blen and Faux Fur Cardigan $ 1278  |

|  Balenciaga Intarsia Knitted Sweater $1090  |  Balenciaga Satin Twill-Trimmed Ribbed Wool Sweater $1790  |

What is your budget? How much you want to spend on a sweater will depend where your search takes you. If you are looking for a LONG-term investment piece, your price may be higher than that of a sweater you want just for the season – something that caught your eye, and isn’t necessarily your staple style but something you want to try out. It is important to take into account the fact that knitwear in general will be more expensive than a t-shirt; simply for the fact that it’s KNIT and takes much longer to make.

A few of my favourite locations to find great knitwear are:

  • Zara
  • H&M
  • All Saints
  • Club Monaco
  • J. Crew
  • Aritzia
  • Massimo Dutti
  • Vero Moda
  • Bershka
  • Orsay
  • Reserved

Happy Shopping and good luck!

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.

EA161CC8-85DD-4837-9E9D-942DCFD6B921

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!

908DD77A-482A-4C4D-B07E-69B13B5D2ECC

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.

 

AUTUMN SCENTS; SHOPPING GUIDE TO FALL CANDLES

It’s a natural fact for humans; once the weather starts to cool down and that summer breeze turns into an Autumn rustling of leaves, this need of a cozy sweater and scented candle overtakes us. How EXCITING!?

Although candles can be (and are) lit all year round, there’s just something that must be stronger within us that makes us want to light pretty scented candles in the Fall and Winter months. The advertisements have started to target us; candle obsessed people, and have begun pushing the Fall scents out. So, now that it’s out there, let’s talk about it!

There are many stores which sell beautiful Autumn candles and I literally fall in love with them all, but there is one location which I have shopped at for many years and have never been disappointed; both quality and price wise. BATH AND BODY WORKS!

The 3-wick candles have been a standard in my home (and all my relative’s homes now – you’re welcome) for many years now. Not only are the candles a great price (you can basically always find some type of coupon or deal for them), but the packaging is SO PRETTY. They are ideal for decorating your own home, and are great as gifts as well.

I recently realized my candle stock was running low, and of course, took myself right to Bath and Body Works without hesitation. The moment I stepped into the store, I was literally overtaken by the delicious smell of all things A U T U M N: which include of course; Pumpkin Spice, Cinnamon, Apple Pie, Pecan PieCranberry, Caramel, and many other mixtures. The store associate asked me politely “what brings me in today and if there is anything she can help me with”. I answered both as calmly as I could (I was experiencing massive amounts of excitement and just wanted to start my browsing adventure).

Of course, being the Type-A personality that I am, I was already aware of the deals in store and already knew what I would be walking out with. I’m pretty sure I actually let her know about this at the beginning of our conversation as well. After what felt like forever, I was alone and in my own Autumn world; finally browsing the store and touching basically everything; like a kid in a candy store.

Although I ADORE all things Autumn and could sniff those Pumpkin and Cinnamon candles all day, I actually don’t ever end up buying any; okay, maybe just one or two. The ones that draw my attention the most are always the most delicate and floral scented ones – yes, even for the Fall and Winter months. Even though I have Bath and Body Works at my fingertips, I always manage to pick up enough candles as if I were stocking up for a blizzard.

My most beloved scent from Bath and Body Works is: ROSE WATER & IVY

candle, autumn, bath and body works

I absolutely can’t get enough of this one; it’s so delicate and subtle, yet after being lit for only a few minutes I can already smell the scent moving through my home. I love it because it’s not a specific scent, but rather something I can use all year.

So, if I haven’t convinced you enough yet why this store is just amazing, here are a few extra tips for shopping which may convince you more.

TIPS FOR SHOPPING AT BATH AND BODY WORKS CANADA

SIGN UP FOR THE EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION

You will never miss a deal – even though the company sends A LOT of emails, it’s good to be in the know, especially if you are looking waiting for a deal on something.

NEVER BUY FULL PRICE IF YOU DONT HAVE TO

This might be difficult because there basically is no such thing as there never being a coupon or deal for this store. So, by this I mean, always be on the lookout for coupon and deals.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF COUPONS

Couponing has only recently become a hit in the world of shoppers; but coupons have ALWAYS been a hit for this Company. Once you’re signed up for emails you should start receiving coupon codes and discounts which you can use online or in store.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE LARGE SALES

The Buy Three Get Three deal is a revelation for most of us. I mean, not only do you get three free products, but you can also stack promotions. Recently, on the B3G3 deal, I also used a 20% off coupon! SCORE!

PS: if you aren’t up for buying three products (and receiving three free) you can also buy two and get one free.

KEEP IN MIND THE 14-DAY PRICE GUARANTEE POLICY

Let’s say you purchase something today and go back to the store in a week to find the price reduced. As long as you keep the receipt, the store will honor this and adjust the price you paid to the current lower price.

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?