Friday, December 14, 2007

Things I will unnecessarily dress up for.

Not to impress, just for the fun of it.

Meetings. Most people would consider this something worth dressing up for, but at my meetings, I’m usually surrounded by people wearing tshirts and sneakers. But when else can I pull out my silver wide-legged dress pants and matching vest?

Your birthday party. It’s my way of saying I love you.

Date Night. Nothing keeps the heat like a special outfit for a special person.

Ladies Lunch. Isn’t that the point?


Museums and galleries.

Coffee dates.

House Parties.

The zoo.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Things I won’t dress up for.

Don’t get me wrong: I won’t leave the house wearing my PJs (okay, maybe a FEW times, but no more than that!), but I certainly wouldn’t put high heels, eyeliner, earrings or accessorize in any way for the following things.

The movies.

The mall.

The gym.

An errand run (grocery shopping, drugstore, post office, taking out the recycling).

Travelling (road trip, airplane/train ride unless I’m getting picked up at my destination by a special someone).

Camping (but please don’t make me go camping).

Nude beach.

Add your own!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Holiday Party Gear

No need to go buy a new outfit for the office holiday party: simply pull out that packed away bag of summer clothes, grab a sundress (something sleeveless, preferably satiny) and slip it on over a pair of slim pants or stockings. Cover up with a cardigan or shawl, and put on some high boots.
For accessorizing, combine a half dozen pairs of necklaces (of similar type; fake pearls, long with charms - not different kinds), a pair of big gold or silver hoops or dangly earrings, and a big belt. If you’re feeling brazen, stack bangles on both of your wrists and sport a chunky stone ring or two.
Need a present for the host? Fashion some simple wineglass charms with wire and beads (each charm should be different so you can tell wine glasses apart) and voila!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Upturned Collars

I have this compulsion to ALWAYS turn up EVERY COLLAR i wear. When distracted, I will even unconsciously turn up the collar of the person with whom I am talking which makes for awkward situations every once in a while. I don’t know what it is - perhaps my love for fashion icon Marlena Dietrich - but I just find an upturned collar to be, well, SEXY. Especially on women. Add a loose tie around it and I go weak in the knees.
I am all for upturning any collar on any piece of clothing: especially coats, jackets and blazers. Except for Tuxedo jackets. Don’t do it. Show off those satin lapels. Try it. Go on. Just do it. Before you know it, you’ll be wearing suspenders and seductively peering over the top of your glasses.

Monday, December 10, 2007


I have always been a big Big Belt fan, since way back. My love for them earned me the nickname “Champion” due to the similarities my belts shared with those of the Wrestling Championship variety.

I have these fabulously oversized vintage belts from the eighties - in the beginning of the millenium, I would pierce extra holes in them and wear them low-slung on my hips. Now that the cinched high waist is back, I can wear them as they were meant to be worn: at the waist over a sweater, long shirt or dress.

As much as I love my vintage belts, I have indulged in a couple of the new ones:

1) A long green leather sash-like one that goes twice around the waist and can be tied in a bow and
2) a rigid purple leather one that just barely overlaps and does up with two miniature belt buckles.

There are a couple of things I have found while experimenting with them.

1) Wear them now, while it’s cold. In the summer, I would end up with a wide sweaty unbreathable band around my mid-section. I do not subscribe to the pain = beauty philosophy, so No, it’s not worth the all-day under-boob moisture overload. Maybe if you had a light fabric one, such as silk, though I have found that if this type isn’t fortified and backed with a stronger fabric, they end up scrunching up and looking like a dinky sized belt anyway.

2) Don’t wear them on top of your high-waisted pants. It’s overkill. I felt like I was wearing a corset all night. And really - it’s redundant. If you want to wear a belt over your high-waisted pants or skirt, make it a dramatic skinny one.

3)I have noticed a new trend in wide belts: using them to cinch a pouffy down-filled winter coat. Aesthetically, I approve of this look but will not be sporting it for the impracticality feature - zippers are plenty good enough and you have to keep your jacket unzipped to achieve the full effect, letting in the cold winter air.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Fashion Conscious

I don’t celebrate xmas (i’m referring to the consumer holiday here, not the actual one). My family is hindu but is also generally just lazy about holidays that aren’t birthdays so even as kids who were being raised as ‘good north americans’, our gift-giving and plastic-tree decorating were kept to a minimum. So I am always surprised by the cash-spending-shopping-frenzy that happens throughout December. I am especially aware of it now, as people are ordering my jewellery and the products I have in stores are actually moving.

I figured it was an appropriate time to rant about how/why people spend their money at this time of year and offer my rather strong opinions.

FIrst of all, I really hate how people are forced to purchase items that someone may or may not even like/use/want/need. I am of the school of thought that gift giving should happen when you are inspired to buy or make something for someone that you know they will love. so if it happens three days after valentine’s or in the middle of the work week in a month with no long weekend, why the hell not? surprise/random gifts are so much more fun to receive too!

so, if you have no choice but to do what you always do, PLEASE at least seek out local artisan/craft/gift fairs and spend your money on HAND MADE, LOCALLY MADE, QUALITY items that can, at the very least, be admired for its beauty and craftsmanship if not re-gifted guilt-free.

That’s all for now, I have to get back to mass-producing christmas gifts that I really hope don't get re-gifted.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Winter Shorts?

I’ve decided I’m okay with the whole shorts-over-leggings-in-the-winter look. On 3 conditions:

1. The shorts can either be short-shorts or boy-shorts (to the knees) BUT they have to made of some kind of winter-appropriate fabric, i.e. twill, knit, tweed. NOT cotton or spandex or jeans. Same goes for the leggings. Knit stockings = good, spandex or nylons = bad.

2. The shoes make a big difference. My shoe of choice to top (bottom?) off the outfit? Tall-as-possible leather boots. Over the knee? Hell yeah. Heel? Take it or leave it.

3. Colour. Please, stick to the tried-and-true winter colours. Natural twills and tweeds, and grey, brown, black leggings. No stripes! I saw a striped short, striped legging combo and I had to turn away.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


I have had my eyeglasses for FOUR and a half years. That is a long time. Before that, my glasse would last a year or two. I think I would get sick of them and subconsciously break them so I could get a new pair. But these ones - I hadn’t even dreamt of replacing them when one of the arms just broke off with a chunk of the hinge mid-morning-email-check.

I was devastated.

Don’t get me wrong - I usually jump at any opportunity to update my look. But these glasses - they were perfect. They were me. Four years ago, I walked into a store and they picked me. I didn’t even look at any other frames.

Let’s admire them for a second, shall we? Well, now they are my safety glasses in my jewellery studio (and they do double-duty as “aquafit goggles” when I go to the gym) and those beautiful rhinestoned arms are replaced with a non-descript transparent pair.

It took me a week, but I finally replaced the hole they had left in my heart. How did I get over them?

I bought TWO pairs.

I have always been the first to say “one can never have too many pairs of” followed by three things: earrings, shoes and eyeglasses. I mean, for someone like me who would walk into my own bedroom wall without my glasses, eyewear becomes part of who you are. And if you can’t use it to accessorize your look the way you do with belts, jewellery and shoes....well, what’s the point?
I couldn’t really afford it, but it would have been impossible to replace them otherwise. No one single pair said “I am the one” like my Hand Made in Paris, Rhinestoned, Bedazzled and Bestudded BeauSoleil frames...
I am actually embarassed to say that BOTH of the frames I found are Diesel. I normally boycott Diesel like nobody’s business - all their shoes and clothes are made in China, fall apart and are way over-priced. However, Diesel eyewear is made in Italy and distributed by the same company as Armani.

The first pair are yummy chunky, with giant white arms, and a clear front that actually shows more of my face than more glasses. (my apologies for the crappy webcam photo - the one available online just doesn't look like 'em)

The second are more compact, with a sharp and angular black front, and WOODEN arms. Not real wood, but it looks and feels just like it. The other colour variations in this style were hideous: transparent brown or grey front, and very un-natural coloured “wooden” arms. My partner says he can only describe these frames one way: New York, specifically Brooklyn. Hey, Brooklyn is my favourite part of New York which is my favourite city next to Paris, so that suits me just fine.

Through this cool eco blog , I found this company IWood that eco-designs beautiful wooden glasses: mostly sunglasses but they can be fitted with prescription lenses. So great! Except I am allergic to a lot of wood, which I have discovered due to my love of it (especially jewellery). I break out in hives, which would be bad if my eyewear did that to me. I also would complain about the arms on their glasses: they are all metal, and thin. What about big chunky wooden arms? Though I’m sure they’d customize if you were willing to shell out the money.

The High-Waisted Pant Trend: take advantage!

The high waisted pant is back after a very long hiatus. It won't last forever, and I suggest you go out and get yourself a pair while you can. Go high quality and Made in Canada if you can (Guido and Mary, anyone?) with a sailor pant front.

Whether wide-legged or skinny all the way down, the high waist is a classic fit that compliments so many body types. Although I personally love the low-waist pants of today, there is no denying that the high waist is more comfortable, classy and winter-friendly.

Don't go cheap - I can't tell you how many $40 pairs I have tried on that haven't made it an inch past my thighs, let alone my hips (what is up with sizing these days?), and DO go vintage if you can - I have a pair of vintage wool sailor pants in navy blue that I have had since high school and I wouldn't trade them for anything.

(i grabbed this image from

An old friend of mine showed up the other day wearing a pair of high-waisted skinny jeans from Bedo - just gorgeous. I walked by a Bedo the very next day and looked for a pair, but they were ALL GONE. However, I recall getting an e-flyer last week from the Montreal Designer Market (Pins and St Dominique, Montreal) advertising their newly arrived High Waisted Skinny Jean. Guess what I'm doing on my lunch break tomorrow?