Transitional Dressing: Summer to Fall 2015


Fall officially arrived this week and, although we are still enjoying some summer-like weather, the cooler mornings and evenings make us think a little harder about what to wear!

Transitional, or trans-seasonal, dressing is a way to bridge both the summer and fall styles.  It’s a way to hang on to warm weather thoughts while being excited about the next season.

Here are some tips on transitional dressing:
1. Base outfits around a blazer, jean jacket, leather jacket, wrap, or sweater and around pants or a longer skirt
2. Layer, layer, layer: cotton with wool; cotton with fleece; light wool with heavier wool, etc.
3. Incorporate upcoming trends, textures, and colors into your outfit
4. Wear closed shoes, open-toed shoes/boots, or unlined boots that won’t be too warm; include textured or colored tights
5. Add a scarf that can be used as a wrap in the morning or evening

In these photos, I am wearing Velvet jeans – my go-to outfit base – along with a navy J Crew Schoolboy Blazer, which I admittedly wear year-round.  The blazer is one of my favorites because it is an all-season light wool and comes in petites, so no alterations are required!  Under the blazer, I am wearing a cream, long-sleeved, cotton, waffle-knit sweater, from Velvet.  The scarf is a rectangular wool/cashmere/silk blend, from Tilo, in a color that is in for fall. The smooth texture of the scarf is enhanced by the suede fringe, another fall trend.  Because the boots, a staple from Browns Shoes, are unlined, they are more of a transitional shoe than a winter boot.  Finally, the statement necklace in blues and forest greens works well as a transitional piece.

Do you have a transitional go-to outfit?

(Jeans and sweater: Velvet; Blazer and necklace: J Crew; Belt: Marc Cain; Boots: Browns Shoes; Bag: Massimo Dutti.  Photos: Lauren R)

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Monochromatic Dressing: A Very ‘Late Summer’ Edition

Photo: Lauren R
Photo: Lauren R

Monochromatic dressing, or dressing in colors and hues that are very similar, keeps cropping up on the runways.  Both InStyle magazine and The Globe and Mail have covered this trend for fall.

It’s pretty easy to pull off this trend by choosing a color that you like and that looks good on you, then finding items in the same hue or tone.  Of course, you can break up the look with a color very close to the one you have chosen, or a neutral, like I did in the feature image.

I like monochromatic dressing for a few reasons.  It’s relatively easy to find items that are the same color, especially if you purchase them from the same store or designer or go through your closet looking for that one color.  Also, wearing one color palette gives an outfit a look of elegance and style.  The outfit feels simple because the color flows from one part of the outfit to the other.  It is also sophisticated because it can indicate a certain effort has gone into putting together the outfit to make a statement.  People notice when you are wearing one color!

In the photos below, I am wearing a khaki blazer, with a tank top in the same color.  When you choose pieces from the same designer, monochromatic dressing is that much easier.  The blazer has two textures, a smooth twill in the body of the jacket, and a ribbed t-shirt fabric in the sleeves.  The tank top is made of the same fine ribbed cotton as the jacket sleeves.  You give interest to your look when you mix textures within the same color.  The statement necklace, another way to add interest to mono-color dressing, is brushed nickel and is in the same tone as the rest of the outfit.  To tie it all together, even though there are white pants featured, the shoes are khaki/taupe toned and the bag is in the same color family.

So, I thought I would sneak in this one last summer-styled post, even though Fall officially arrived early this morning. When you live in Toronto and the weather is still summer-like in late September, you just go with it!

Let me know if you have a favorite monochromatic look, and…stay tuned for a fall/winter post as well.

(Blazer and tank: Marc Cain; necklace: H&M; jeans: Jessica Simpson; bag: Massimo Dutti; shoes: AGL)

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Brooklyn: A TIFF Movie Review

Brooklyn Movie Poster from
Brooklyn Movie Poster from

Living in Toronto, the fourth most populous city in North America, means that a lot of the world comes to us!  This is the case with TIFF (the Toronto International Film Festival). Now in its 40th year, TIFF is recognized as one of the world’s most important film festivals along with the Venice, Cannes, Sundance, and Berlin film festivals.

IMG_2063This week I was lucky enough to get rush tickets to see Brooklyn, based on Colm Toibin’s 2009 best-selling novel, with screenplay by Nick Hornby (An Education, Wild) and direction by John Crowley (Intermission).  John Crowley was at the screening for a couple of minutes to introduce the movie, already screened at Sundance, as one about ‘family, memory, and making a new life’.

Brooklyn is my favorite movie this year.  It is beautifully filmed and emotionally portrayed, with innocently funny moments.   Brooklyn closely mirrors the book as the story of the immigrant experience; mid-20th century life; and love, family, and choices.


Without giving away too much, Brooklyn follows its heroine Eilis (pronounced ay-lish and played by Saoirse Ronan) from small-town Ireland, and the home she shares with her mother and sister, to Brooklyn where Father Flood (Jim Broadbent) has arranged work and an Irish boarding house for her.  Eilis is lucky to have Father Flood taking care of her, guiding and comforting her. When tragedy strikes and Eilis goes back to Ireland, she must make a decision about where home is. Continue reading


Navy IS My Black!


I’ve worn the color navy for as long as I can remember.  It’s my ‘black’, the basic color that my wardrobe is built around.  If I tell my family or friends that I just bought a new shirt or dress, they’ll ask ‘don’t tell me, it’s navy, right?’ The answer is invariably yes!

Navy just looks better on my coloring (I’m a Fall) – and, there must be something appealing about the color from my childhood obsession with all things blue.  In any case, I am attracted to navy clothing like fire is to air.  My Little Black Dress is really a Little Navy Dress!  So, I recently sat down with Toronto stylist Penny Blais to talk about navy and fashion. Continue reading


A Summer Staycation in Toronto

CN Tower, Harbour Front Centre, Rogers Centre
CN Tower, Harbour Front Centre, Rogers Centre

In August 2015, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranked Toronto the 4th most liveable city in the world – a position Toronto has held for several years now.

The EIU ranking is based on 30 factors in five areas and includes stability, healthcare, environment, and education.  Living in Toronto, we know how blessed we are.  So, when my husband took one week off of work, we knew that a staycation would be perfect!

A staycation is a vacation that is spent sleeping at one’s home while enjoying activities that are within driving distance.  Having spent the better part of two weeks in June traveling to four different cities, we were grateful to sleep in our own beds by night while going out by day.

We had three simple goals: sleep in, eat out, and do some tourist-y things!

Although this post is Toronto-based, I am sure that you can find similar activities to fill a day, a weekend or a week long staycation in your home town.  Do a search on local festivals and happenings ( is my favorite for Toronto).

Continue reading