Of Bell Sleeves And Bucket Bags

Bell Sleeve Top from Banana Republic; Furla Stacy Bucket Bag

Summer is passing by so fast and, before it’s over, I want to share a few of my favorite fashion trends. In this post, I’m combining bell sleeves and bucket bags, because, well, time.

Bell sleeves are making a comeback. I remember bell sleeves being big more than ten years ago. I had a super stylish blazer that I hope I haven’t given away – you may see it in an upcoming post! And, I’m seeing more bell sleeve jackets on websites for the fall.

This top works for me because it’s petite. It’s hard to get the right length on the bell sleeves if you’re short and I find that the sleeve length is key in getting an outfit to look proportional. I love the light blue color and the oxford fabric, which gives the top some weight and shape. I’ve paired it with white jeans because that’s mainly all I wear in the summer.

Bell Sleeve Top from Banana RepublicThe bucket bag is a classic style. I love bucket bags because they tend to be roomy and easy to reach into. This one, from Furla, is always in their lineup in various color combinations. I like this bucket bag because it’s a good size for my frame, and it’s easy to wear as a cross-body or can be carried with just the short strap. It’s also a lightweight leather. I love how this neutral colored bucket bag goes with white, blue, and navy colors.

Stacy Bucket Bag from FurlaBell Sleeve Top from Banana Republic and Stacy Bucket Bag from FurlaI’ve linked a few bell sleeve items below, if you’d like to try this look:

What about you? Have you tried the bell sleeve trend?Bell Sleeve Top from Banana Republic

Bell Sleeve Top from Banana Republic

(Photos by Lauren R; Bell Sleeve top: Banana Republic; Bucket Bag: Furla; Jeans: Gap; Sandals: AGL; Bracelet: Thomas Sabo)

 

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Fun With OTS (Off The Shoulder) Tops!

Rayon Top From Reitmans

The ‘Off The Shoulder’, or OTS, trend has been around for some time now and it’s nearly impossible to go into any store without seeing some variation on this theme! Simply put, an OTS top exposes your shoulders. I love this trend.

There are also ‘cold shoulder’ tops where just the top of your shoulder is exposed in an otherwise regular style top. I think that’s an even sexier look than the straight across OTS look because it’s just an ‘exposure’ of the shoulders and not the whole décolleté!

There are also ‘OTS’ tops that expose one shoulder, keeping the other arm totally covered or somewhat covered with a long or cap or short sleeve.

And, there are lots of other design styles around the basic OTS, like ruffled shoulder lines, spaghetti strap additions, bows, and material density (from rayon, to cotton poplin, to wool)! The trend includes tops as well as dresses.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see me in a few different Off The Shoulder styles, including the one shown in this post. Here I’m wearing a rayon, navy and white, long-sleeved-with-bows-at-the-cuffs OTS top. I liked this one because of the flowy fabric and the bow detail on the sleeve. I also liked that it was navy, because I already have a white and light blue striped one that I had purchased in the fall. I like how it stands out against white jeans.

Rayon Off The Shoulder Top From ReitmansRayon Off The Shoulder Top From ReitmansRayon Off The Shoulder Top From ReitmansThere are two main challenges of wearing OTS tops. One is finding the right undergarment, or strapless bra. There are many options and you’ll have to find the right one for you. Some people prefer underwire ones, but I’m more comfortable with a tube-top type strapless because I find it shows fewer seam lines and gives me more support. The second challenge is that the tops can ride up the arm. You have to simply give them a tug or ‘set’ them a bit lower on your arms.

Rayon Off The Shoulder Top From ReitmansI’ve linked a few options for you to consider as well:

Have fun with this trend and let me know how you like to wear your OTS top or dress!

Rayon Off The Shoulder Top From Reitmans(Top: Reitmans; Jeans: Jessica Simpson Collection at Hudson’s Bay; Straw Purse : Talbots – similar; Photos by Lauren R.)

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Monochromatic Linen Scarves In The Summer

Kala Scarves
Handpainted Linen Kala Scarf

In my last post on scarves, I showed how a contrasting scarf adds interest to an outfit. Well, a monochromatic scarf can also enhance an outfit!

The scarves here are by the Canadian-based Kala Scarves. The Spring/Summer 2017 collection includes a wide range of fabrics, from lightweight wool/silk, modal/silk, to linen. There are many colors and designs, some abstract and some with summer themes like boats. In the warm weather, I love wearing linen for its lightweight texture.

Kala Scarves
Handpainted Linen Kala Scarf

In these photos, I’m wearing two different rectangular linen scarves with the same jacket. Because the scarves are handpainted, each one is unique and a piece of wearable art. No two scarves are exactly the same! I love the pink/red patches of color on the neutral cream and beige backgrounds. The tweed jacket has pink and red threads in it and I think the linen scarves dress up the jacket even more. On its own, the jacket is smart casual and can make any jean outfit look put together. By adding the linen scarf in the same tones, there’s that extra layer of color and richness. Plus, if you tend to run on the cold side like I do, you can use the scarf as a wrap in the air-conditioned indoors! Continue reading

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Current Fave: Floral Embroidered Jeans

Floral Embroidered Jeans
Floral Embroidered Jeans

I first started blogging about two years ago, as part of a Digital Strategy Certificate I was getting at the University of Toronto. I had a lot of support from family and friends and a lot of input. One of the comments I got was that blog posts can be short and sweet. That’s what this one is!

There’s not much to say about these floral embroidered jeans, other than that I love them and that I get lots of compliments on them, from friends and family. Unsolicited compliments, too!

Floral Embroidered Jeans
Floral Embroidered Jeans

I got these at a local boutique in Toronto. I tried them on and then walked out of the store because I’m not an impulse buyer. But, I walked right back in because I didn’t think they’d last and because they hit a few summer trends: light wash, skinny, ripped, embroidered, and floral embroidered jeans. They’re so easy to style, too: with a plain white t-shirt, scarf, and sneakers; with a navy classic blazer and flats/mocassins; with a long-sleeved shirt in navy or white; and, with tanks and flip-flops. Continue reading

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The Adidas Stan Smith Cutout Sneakers

Adidas Stan Smith Cutout SneakersI’m sure you’ve noticed that fashion clothing and shoes these past few years have been made of mesh, see-through fabrics, and cutouts. I’m not sure what to make of this trend. I think it says something about the need to share even more of ourselves in an effort to be unique. Any deeper discussion on this topic goes beyond the scope of this blog, so I’ll stop right there! Let’s just say that when I saw these Adidas Stan Smith Cutouts, I decided to give them a try.

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Kala Scarves: Wearable Art To Change The Look Of An Outfit

Kala Scarves
Kala Scarves

I consider myself to be a conservative dresser: classic, simple, easy style. One of the best ways to dress up a plain outfit is to reach for a scarf. I have quite a collection of fashion scarves that I tend to wear with plain t-shirts, sweaters, and blazers. And, yes, they’re mainly in blues and browns!

Recently, I had the chance to sit down with the designer and owner of Kala Scarves, a Canadian-based company that makes beautiful, hand-crafted scarves using premium quality natural fibers. After seeing the extensive collection of Kala scarves, it didn’t take me long to consider stepping outside of my comfort zone in terms of color and design.

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The Structured Spring Cardigan

Structured Cardigan by Autumn CashmereIt’s that time of year when you don’t know what to wear: spring. We get bits and pieces of spring in between cold and rainy days, when the weather doesn’t know what to do. But, in Toronto, when spring actually comes, it typically lasts all of 3-4 weeks in a row.

If you’re like me, your closet is set up for one season or another. In the Fall, I put away my warm weather clothing in the basement. Because I’m always cold, my winter clothing consists of lightweight, long-sleeved t-shirts and a sweater or blazer. For six months of the year, I have to wear two long-sleeved layers of clothing, including some kind of wool top. So, when it’s those in-between temps like we’re having now, I find myself turning to thin wool sweaters or thick cotton sweaters.

Structured Cardigan by Autumn CashmereThat’s where the cardigan in this post comes in. It’s a thick-knit cotton cardigan so it has some structure and weight and acts as a blazer-like top, giving the outfit a smart casual look. It’s perfect for wearing now. It might be hard to tell in the photos, but it’s all navy, except for the black 2-inch detailing around the neck, sleeves, and placket. The two-toned knit makes it easy to pair the cardigan with jeans, navy, or black pants. Continue reading

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Wax Coated Pants Perfect For Spring

Wax coated pantsIt’s technically spring in North America, but the temperatures outside tell me we’ve got a few more weeks to go before we can wear short-sleeved clothing without a jacket. In the interim, a blazer and wax coated pants are the perfect pairing for this weather.

This navy blazer is a classic. It’s from J. Crew and it’s their ‘Schoolboy’ blazer, now available as their ‘Rhodes‘ blazer. It’s wool, lined, has gold buttons, and can be dressed up or down. I love that it’s wool because it keeps me warm on cool spring days – yet it’s not bulky. I also love that it’s a petite size, so no alterations were necessary. The sleeve and jacket length were just right.

These wax coated pants, though, are one of my go-to wardrobe items, especially in changing weather. They’re Canadian-made by a Montreal-based, socially conscious company called I Love Tyler Madison. I think the best part about these pants is that they’re pull-on, with no zippers or buttons. The founders of this company love that these pants work for many body types and I agree with them. I’ve seen them on others and they look great. Continue reading

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A Winter For Chelsea Boots

It’s been a relatively mild winter in Toronto this year, which means it’s been an interesting season for wearing winter boots.

If you don’t live in a very cold and snowy climate, then you might not understand that one usually has an assortment of winter boots. For example, you have your ‘snow’ boots, which are higher, warmer, waterproof, and come with a tread sole. You need snow boots for when it’s snowing, when you’re shovelling snow, and when you have to walk on the snow-covered sidewalks, streets, or ravine paths.

But, when it’s cold and dry and the sidewalks aren’t snow-covered, your boot options are practically endless. Translation: you can wear fashion boots! This means the boot can have a smooth sole, be made out of suede or leather, and be as impractical as you want. This is where my obsession for Chelsea boots comes in.

The Chelsea boot is an ankle high boot with elastic side panels, as well as a tab on the back of the boot for easy wear. According to Wikipedia, Chelsea boots were patented by Queen Victoria’s shoemaker in 1851, and meant to be a practical shoe. The boots became known as Chelsea boots in the 1950s and 60s when they were popular in the Chelsea part of London. The Beatles and many rock stars have worn them. Continue reading

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Floral Dressing In The Middle Of Winter

It’s the middle of winter in the northern hemisphere, and, in Toronto, it’s been an interesting one. One week, it’s below zero, and the next two weeks it’s mild, rainy, and cloudy. I’m not one to complain about warmer temps in the winter, so I’m good. One of the ways to enjoy the winter months is to surround yourself with beautiful things, like flowers!

The pants in this post are so much fun because they’re winter pants with sedate flower patterns, giving one a little pick-me-up this time of year. Every time I’ve worn these pants, I get unsolicited compliments. That’s my favorite kind of compliment! Continue reading

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