Tag Archives: Fashion Tips

How to Declutter your Closet and Simplify Your Life

The leaves are turning and the balancing act of work, commuting, and after-school programs have returned. Autumn weather can be beautiful, but the reality of juggling schedules is often a chaotic backdrop to nature.

Declutter your closet Pilgrim's laundry

One way that you can reduce your stress levels is to declutter your closet, get your wardrobe working with you by covering the essentials. Then pair your choices with the right accessories to refine your look. Call it a minimalist approach, a closet detox or time to cleanse, the goal is to give your cupboard (and you) a chance to breathe. Here are some helpful tips from fashion bloggers:

Olivia Youngs of Simply Liv & Co had these tips for a spring clean-up, but the same rules apply any time of the year:

  1. Put away your out of season pieces
  2. Donate clothes you haven’t worn all year or don’t see yourself wearing this season
  3. Choose a colour scheme
  4. Ditch the doubles
  5. Rely on a few key statement pieces and keep the rest basic

Vicki Archer spends enough time in France to believe that French women have perfected minimalist style with three (3) effortless pieces – black pants, white shirt and sunglasses. Call it French style; you can read her full post here.

Jill and Luke at Sutton & Grove talk about “Less is More” in this article on minimalism. They ask, “Why do we Try and Keep up with the Joneses?”

Italian Style Declutter Your Closet

Tips on How to Declutter your Closet:

I am not going to pretend it is easy to give your closet a once-over. Sometimes clothes, like photos, can evoke memories. Perhaps you bought that sundress on a beach holiday that you dream of repeating. Maybe that black dress is the one that caught his eye. You paid a lot of money for that pencil skirt, and so on.

Confession: It took six years, a renovation and a house move for me to finally give up my corporate “power suits.”

Artwork California Declutter Your Closet

My tips for wrestling the closet demons are as follows (in no particular order).

  1. Practice closet accounting FIFO – first in first out. If you have had an item for a long time, the chances are high that it either no longer fits or is out of style.
  2. Pretend you are moving or renovating. If you were doing either, you would need to empty your closet and dresser drawers. Now, that you have everything in a pile take a hard look at each item before you put them away.
  3.  One in One out. Just bought something new? That’s great! Now remove at least one item from your closet. I still try to follow this one.
  4. Enlist a friend or friends. Maybe you are not objective enough so invite some girlfriends over for a private fashion show along with some wine (I am sure that will be enough incentive). Let them be your fashion police.
  5. Hire a professional. Sounds crazy? Not at all, you go to a hairdresser, nail salon, dentist, gym and so on. Why not bring in someone who does closet organising for a living?

Now that you have cleaned up your unwieldy closet, simply add a few simple accessories to give your look some punch. Sign-up for our newsletter and download our e-guide to picking accessories.

Staying Cool Fashion Ideas for those Hot August Nights

Neil Diamond was not kidding; August can be hot!

However, for those of us who love summer August can also be bittersweet as we know the end is approaching. Hot August nights are a bit of a tease, the days are getting shorter just when the lake water is warm, the corn and beefsteak tomatoes are in their prime, and the mosquitoes are almost gone.

August is for summer living. Bathing suits and tank tops are all you need for those lazy days on the dock or at the beach. However, as the sundowner hour approaches, and you have scraped off the sand and sunscreen it’s time to slip on something carefree. We call it “Staying Cool Fashion.”

Cashmere Vest Artigiani Milanesi Staying Cool Fashion IdeasA cashmere vest by Artigiani Milanesi is a basic that is certain to beat any of your t-shirts for that spot as a “go-to” favourite. This sleeveless top made with 100% cashmere, is breathable and ultra-soft. Available in three (3) sizes and eight (8) different colours this vest will take you from summer into autumn as a great base layer.

Gracie Lacey Cashmere Sweater

The Gracie Lacy Cashmere Cardigan is a delicate sweater intended to turn your casual look into sexy. This sweater works just as well with jeans as it does with a skirt. The intricate lace-inspired pattern gives this cardigan a translucent feel. Throw this dress into your weekend bag and your “what do I wear in the evening?” dilemma is resolved. Available in eight (8) colours.

Silk Shibori Scarves Indigo Lavender Staying Cool Fashion Ideas

Sometimes all you need is a little colour. Morija Reeb a weaver by trade loves to work with silk. For this ultra-light scarf, she used a traditional Japanese technique called Shibori to create textural patterns on cloth. Available in indigo-lavender or burgundy-grey-rust, this silk scarf is easy to pack and provides that layer you might need once the sun has set.

No one said you had to change out of your shorts, after all, it’s still summer. Add a simple necklace or dangling earrings, and you have already updated your look. Browse the selection of beautiful jewellery options here.

Enjoy the hot August nights while they last.

Oh…and why not pack in this bison leather tote bag?

Travel size Tote Bag Staying Cool Fashion Ideas

 

5 Rules for Calgary Stampede Rodeo Fashion Style and Accessories

Rodeo fashion style did not exist in 1886, for Calgary’s first organised agricultural event – the Calgary and District Agricultural Society. It was 1912 when American Guy Weadick organised a livestock performance, a Wild West rodeo that morphed into today’s Calgary Stampede. This annual 10-day rodeo and festival is a magnet for international cowboys and cowgirls. For many, the Calgary Stampede embodies its tagline the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.”

Calgary Stampede Style Cowboy Denim

Outside of the rodeo arena, there are few rules during the Calgary Stampede (July 7-16, 2017). Work takes a backseat to pancake breakfasts, boozy lunches and line dancing. If you want to look the part, western attire is de rigour.

What are the rules for Calgary Stampede rodeo fashion style?

If you want to mimic authentic cowboy and cowgirl’s effortless fashion style, here are the five (5) wardrobe musts.

  1. Denim – Anyone who is riding a horse, bull or participating in a Stampede event will be in jeans. Clearly, this clothing selection is a practical choice when attempting to stay atop high-spirited livestock. However, these men and women typically establish their style with form fitting dark denim blues and blacks. For the spectators’ denim choices are not as prescribed. You can expect jeans of every colour, denim shorts, sundresses dresses of every length and a more than a few miniskirts. Fashion tip: white jeans are acceptable, but watch where you sit…just saying.

Calgary Stampede Style Cowboy Denim2. Boots – In the same vein as denim footwear choices around big animals and dusty arenas should never include open toed shoes or high-heals. Leather cowboy boots and lace-up ropers are the standard footwear options. Often these boots have been custom built for the owner and worn so many times that they fit better than slippers. Not planning to ride any livestock? Cowboy boots are still a practical footwear option in the event of rain (sadly that does happen), and in the beer tents where the dance floor can turn into a sticky mess. Read about Alberta Boot Company here and how you can order your pair of boots.

3. Cowboy Hat – The brimmed western hat serves a clear purpose for keeping the sun off the face and rain out of the wearer’s eyes. The bonus is almost everyone looks better in a cowboy hat. Your hat choices range from breathable straw to warm felt material. Read about the Smithbilt hat makers here.

Calgary Stampede Style Cowboy Hats4. Shirts and Tops – Western shirts are far from prescribed. Theses tops cover a broad gulf of styles including fringes, leather touches, beaded designs and much more.

Calgary Stampede Style Cowboy Shirts5. Belt Buckles – These are a status symbol of sorts. Any cowboy or cowgirl who has won a notable rodeo event proudly sports a large metal belt buckle commemorating the occasion. Bigger is considered better in the buckle department.

Western accessories for this year’s Calgary Stampede.

Designer Nancy Newman works with vintage fabrics, handwoven pieces of cotton and soft leathers to create gorgeous one-of-a-kind bucket bags. It is her finishing touches, the accents of nickel conchos and rivets that give these handbags an authentic western flavour. Giddy up cowgirl!

Black Leather Bucket Bag Nancy Newman

Step into your favourite jeans and finish the look with a hand cut leather belt (available in a range of colours) and a shiny belt buckle of your own. Designer Robert Aucoin at Iron Art makes these belts and buckles in Ontario.

Gold Heart Metal Belt Buckle Iron Art Pink Heart Metal Belt Buckle Iron Art

French Fashion Style How to Wear a Scarf like a Parisian

French women have a reputation for their understated fashion flair. Runway models and Paris Fashion Week aside, the image of a well-dressed Parisian woman is a combination of effortless make-up and that striking accessory.

French scarf fashion know how

 

Buying a new suit or coat is an investment in your wardrobe. Cost and practicality should determine that you want these pieces to last more than a single season. Sure, you expect styles to change after a few years, but given the expense of these items, you certainly hope to stretch their use longer than a few short months. A scarf is a wardrobe lifesaver that does not break the bank.

Silk Chiffon Scarf Accessories

According to silk fashion designer Léa Petitjean of Petitjean Paris

“Around your neck, your head, or even your bag handle, there are plenty of ways to wear it: there can be no limit to your creativity.”

A bright silk scarf adds softness and a flash of colour to any outfit. Versatile and easy to carry the lightweight scarf packs a fashion punch.

How do you tie those knots?

 

Check out the Petitjean Paris website to view images of the more common ways of tying a carré (square) scarf.

Fashion powerhouse Hermes developed a smartphone App to help guide you through options for tying silk knots. All you need is your phone and a scarf.

Designer scarves and shawls

 

Canadian artist Cindy Goble’s rectangular (20″ X 70″) silk scarf is available in six (6) colour options. Lightweight and elegant the chiffon fabric does not wrinkle or fade. The multi-hued tones in these Goble scarves allow you to mix and match with several outfits.

Silk Chiffon Scarf Cindy Goble Design

Also from the Goble collection is a large square scarf in 100% wool. These bright scarves will dress up a neutral outfit with a strong punch of colour. The oversized square scarf (53″ X 53″) is meant to be worn as a top layer – the statement piece.

Oversized Wool Scarf in Red Hot Colour

Handwoven Freedom Fringe Shawl is the knock-out wardrobe accessory that you can throw on as the sun sets. Cindy Goble designed these shawls with a rich combination of merino, alpaca, silk and mohair wools. Go ahead make some heads turn!

 

Freedom Fringe Hand Woven Shawl Wine Stain Colour

 

Weaver Morija Reeb loves working with silk. She tells us that there are always a few pieces on her loom at various stages of progression. Methodically woven by hand, her silk scarf is a timeless piece that is sure to be your favourite for years to come. Silk is like wool, warm in the winter and cool in the summer yet always soft against your skin. Explore Morija’s natural wild silk scarves here.

Morija Reeb wild silk scarf

Cashmere is luxurious. The ARTIGIANI MILANESI Maxi scarf is 220cm long 60cm wide. This wrap is a beautiful and luxurious scarf and shawl all-in-one. Weaved by hand on Bowen Island this Italian designed scarf will become a wardrobe essential. Although, the scarf is quite a good size the lightweight cashmere ensures it is not bulky. Order yours today.

Cashmere Maxi Shawl Artigani Milanesi

Fashion Know-How: Key Tips to Picking the Perfect Accessories

Early into my high school days, I discovered that there is a real talent in picking the perfect accessories.

In my view, I was unceremoniously moved from the local co-ed public school (read: where there were boys) and sent to an all-girls high school. Few people are truly confident entering Grade 9, and even fewer can pull-off a self-assured look wearing a blue tunic, grey knee socks and navy loafers

Certainly, not me!

Picking Perfect Accessories Cindy Goble Scarves

The theory behind a standard school uniform is that it takes the “what am I going to wear” decision making out of early mornings. The standard puts everyone on a level fashion playing field. However, even in those days, the trendy girls could assert their fashion style with accessories (as long they did not push the boundaries too far).

Picking Perfect Accessories Cindy Goble Scarves

Do you have a foundation wardrobe?

Fast forward to the working world realities of the morning rush, business travel and a limited shopping budget. This often translates into a wardrobe that gravitates towards the fundamentals. Weekday essentials might include a white blouse, a stylish black suit (or pants and a blazer) and a sensible pair of black heals. Evenings and weekends might mean dressing-up in that perfect little black dress or chilling out over a latte wearing your favourite pair of jeans.

Picking Perfect Accessories Morija Reeb earrings frost leaves

Fashion tips for picking perfect accessories:

Once you have built the foundation of your wardrobe, it’s time to project your style with the right accessories. Add a flash of colour over a neutral top with a scarf. Catch someone’s eye with the bling of a contemporary designer jewellery piece. Choose a bright handbag to carry the essentials or as a statement piece.

Picking Perfect Accessories Leather handbags Sophie Christine Vonbun

We have created a downloadable e-guide to help you pick the perfect accessories. This booklet will dispel some of the challenges behind selecting the perfect handbag and the “must have” jewellery.

Picking perfect accessories Black-Gold Memory Necklace Anastassia Sel

Is it time for a closet make-over?

Are you starting a new job?

Are you trying to cull an unwieldy wardrobe?

Sign-up for our newsletter here and we will send you the free e-guide for picking the perfect fashion accessories.

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