Thursday, January 24, 2008

buttons: the overlooked accessory

I just lost a beautiful knotted leather button off a sweater that has 17 of those same buttons on it - well, now 16.
I am not usually one to replace lost buttons. I usually just safety pin it in a rush on my way out the door. A 1-inch diameter knotted brown leather button, however, can not simply be replaced by a safety pin; I don't even need the button to be functional down there on the bottom of my sweater, I just need it to be pretty. An accessory.

I do often use buttons: but only in my line of one-of-a-kind earrings and necklaces. Buttons make great beads. And in the years I've spent rummaging through sewing store button bins, I don't recall coming across many brown leather knotted ones. Maybe cause those are the ones on the full price shelf.

If you have any leads, let me know!

Monday, January 21, 2008

And the accessory-of-the-year award goes to...

For those of you who already own a really nice set, this will be like "duh!" but I have only just encountered this new item in my life in the last 48 hours, and I am already a new person.

So, I award "accessory of the year" to Nice Bed Sheets.

I'm talking 300/400/500/600 thread count, satiny smooth, not from Ikea or Sears, BEDSHEETS. I had no idea what I was missing! It was the most amazing feeling. I didn't sleep particularly well, but it was not for the sheets! I can't wait to get tired again tonight and jump back in between my new 360 count mocha brown sheets and matching pillowcases. Mmmm... maybe a quick nap is in order?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Winter Flowers

When done right, I love floral, especially at this time of year when it gets so depressingly grey and everyone is in black and brown and blue.
Floral can be devastating, but if it’s simple, oversized and in large blocks of colour, it can be just about the best. Cause who doesn’t love flowers?

Friday, January 11, 2008

Furry Shoes?

Well, no not really.

Here’s an addendum to my blog from yesterday, that my friend Sarah sent my way back when there was still snow on the ground.

What would optimize the winter outfit?

Annie Deschêsnes Recycled Fur Belt Bag, available at: Delano Design, 70 St-Paul Street West, Montreal. $220

Also, if you are in Montreal this weekend, check out “I HAVE A LOT OF SHOES”.

Some friends of mine are having their “first shoe installation and sale” at their gallery/studio.
Details below.


vernissage Friday the 11th January 2007
7 pm - don't know when
also open on Saturday the 12th and Sunday the 13th from noon till 5pm

3634 St. Laurent Blvd

And speaking of shoes... I want these so bad. Ok, wait, maybe I should take that back. I want a beautiful pair of above the knee, patent leather boots. But flat. So if these were flat, I would want them. Here's hoping this trend doesn't disappear too soon, or that if it does, there are enough leftovers on the sales racks. I still have fantasies about the brown leather, wedge-heel thigh-highs that BCBC came out with in Fall 2006. I would have put a photo of those up, but no where to be found... and I am too lazy to scan them from my catalogue.

(I will leave that catalogue for another post, for I could go on and on about how that BCBG Fall 2006 epitomizes class and style and if Max Azria only made them in sizes that fit real women's bodies and wallets, I would never need to purchase another piece of clothing EVER.)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Winter Outfitting

I don’t know about you guys, but I find winter so hard. Maybe it’s my East Indian Blood, but sweating and humidity make me happy. Snow is pretty, but couldn’t I jump around in it wearing shorts? Please?

Being a Torontonian by birth, I made my way through my first three Montreal winters wearing only my vintage motorcycle jacket and a variety of flats/sneakers/PayLess boots.
I have finally become a real Montrealer in Winter: giant heavy sorels on my feet keep me warm and dry, my fur-trimmed hooded down coat makes me look twice as big as I am and no one recognizes me cause all you can see are my frosted-over glasses.

But it’s January 10 and it has been misting and 10 degrees for a week. I know it is freaky and scary and global warming and all that, but to be honest, my skin is loving the mild moisture. Also, it means I can pull out my Toronto Winter Look: a waist-length bell-sleeved red peacoat with giant black double-breasted buttons, and my knee-high, flat, Italian brown leather boots. To top it off, my friend gave me a gorgeous chunky knit scarf from Kate Spade, whose red matches my coat perfectly. (And it’s acrylic so no itchy).

Only six months left til summer!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


I have always reviled turtlenecks. The combination of sensitive skin (i.e. itchy fabric on my neck BAD) and having a short neck has made me avoid them like cropped baby-ts. But on a recent shopping expedition in New York City, I not only bought a turtleneck, I spent three days looking for one.

My skin is very sensitive, and it flares up in the winter, which means that I am constantly trying to find ways of not furthering the sensitivity and hiding the red blotchy skin from the public eye. People are constantly suggesting turtlenecks, and for the reasons mentioned above, I always bulge my eyes and refuse.

However, out of desperation, I began to look for a really nice turtleneck to hide in. I was looking for something white or creamy, not made in China, with 100% soft cotton. I found just that at Olive and Bette’s, a cute chain shop of high quality designers in NYC. It is creamy, one-size-fits-most, soft as a baby’s bum and best of all, it is super long (the hem, not the neck) which means I can wear it in many ways: as a dress, over leggings or skinny jeans or just the usual way. I wore it over skinny jeans the other night, and dressed it up with a lot of jewellery and a big belt. The bonus: I can wear necklaces with it, which is something I can’t do when my skin is flared up.

So I eat my words. I love turtlenecks.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Shopping in NYC.

I went to New York City for New Year’s Eve - my friends’ appartment in Brooklyn was empty for the holidays, and I had heard about this fantastic happening that occurs on Pratt University’s campus on New Year’s Eve.
[ Check out for a taste of what happens there. If you can, go - it was amazing. ]

Because 2007 was a major spending year ( I started my business and upgraded lots of clothes and home things), my resolution for 2008 is to not shop at all for a year, so of course I went nuts in the days leading up to the end of 2007. Well, I shouldn’t say nuts - normally I go crazy for the dirt cheap couture knock offs, well priced shoes and Chinatown handbags. This time, however, my shopping companion and I were much more refined and stuck to the SoHo boutiques. I purchased only four items but they were all super high quality, unique and impossible to say no to.

1. Sweater of a life-time from Nicholas K: Oatmeal Merino Wool, long, cable knit, zipper and double-breasted leather buttons, satin lining, bunchy neck, can be worn as dress.

2. Limited Edition Suede Boots from Te Casan: This store in SoHo works with 7 shoe designers to create limited edition lines of incredible shoes - I went ga-ga. I couldn’t afford most of them, but lucky for me, a pair of made-in-Spain, knee-high, wine-red, suede boots with a 2 inch wooden heel were down from $650 to $250. The clincher: they came with a detachable 2 foot long suede fringe. With the fringe: ridiculous, Cher-inspired, once a year wear. Without: incredible high quality and comfortable heeled boot that goes with both fancy dresses and jeans.

3. Soft Cotton Turtleneck, made in the U.S. Can be worn as a dress.

4. Marc Jacob Toque: sauntered into a Marc Jacob Blowout Sale in Greenwhich village and found a grey cashmere men’s toque for $40 that holds all my hair (and I have a lot of that). I haven’t taken it off since. Ew, maybe it is time for a wash!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Happy New Year

So, in the debaucherous chaos of having three weeks off work, travelling, catching up on sleep, etc, I took a major break from Things that go Bling. But now I’m back! Welcome to 2008. I have a good feeling about this year. My resolution is to watch my finances, so I will have lots of frugal-minded accessorizing tips!

Accessorizing Tip of the Year: One Chunky Bracelet.

Something everyone needs in their accessory bowl (well, yours probably isn’t a bowl but mine is so let’s go with my frame of reference) is a big bracelet. I’m talking about a wide chunky bangle made of ceramic or wood or plastic, that slips easily over your wrist. Let me tell you why it’s the ultimate versatily accessory:

1. It can be worn year round and looks just as good over a long sleeved knit as it does on a bare wrist.

2. It can be worn around your wrist bone, just barely held on your arm by the width of your hand, or pushed up close to the elbow.

3. It dresses up any outfit. If you dislike wearing jewellery, a chunky bracelet is easy to wear and eye catching enough to allow you to bypass the traditional earrings/necklace/ring sets.

4. They can also be your most affordable and conscientious accessory purchase: second hand stores are practically littered with them, and usually in the 0.99$ bowl at that.

Recommendations: I think the classiest way to go is wood. it’s a harder thing to find, but the treasure hunt will be well worth it. For added drama, offset the large chunky bracelet on one hand with smaller similar colored ones on the other.

Downfall: Annoying if you work at a computer all day and the bracelet hits the edge over and over, driving you closer and closer to the edge of sanity. And in regards to wood = I have hypersensitive skin so maybe this is just me but I seem to be allergic to the dark waxy woods that wooden jewellery tends to be made from. I have to wear my wooden bangles over the sleeves of my shirts, which is totally fine in this season but not very summer-conducive.