How to DIY a scarf without even trying.

Sunnies: F21; Earrings, Aldo; Scarf, Fabricland; Jeans Jacket, Buffalo by David Bitton (thrifted from the Ruby Slipper Vintage); Cream button-front shirt, Sirens; Mini skirt, Mango; Oatmeal tights, the Gap; Platform loafers, Schutz.

This is a post about the time I decided to get my craft on. I said to myself: Self, you are a creative woman. Let’s make something! Anything!

Having planned on making on of Natasha’s mullet skirts, I’d already purchased some fabric from the über discount section of Fabricland. A black with white polkadots fabric, and this sheer taupe fabric. I started playing with the polkadot fabric, and threw the taupe over my shoulder. As I was folding, draping and wrinkling the polkadot fabric, I happened to glance into the mirror.

And, lo! Without even trying, I made a gorgeous sheer taupe scarf. I took the fabric, folded it into a triangle, and wrapped my new scarf around my neck. Perfection, is it not?

Photos by Aarron.

RSPAC: Walking on Water (Now with more yoga!)

lululemon athletica items:

Run: Jet Pullover in Alarming (no longer available, current model here)
Black Cool Racerback (available here)
Grey Pique Wunder Under Pants (same style and fabric, different colour here)

non-lululemon items

NYC Street vendor hot pink faux-Wayfarers
Hippie fair artisan feather earring
Sarong, worn as a scarf, from a beach vendor in Bahia
Buffalo, by David Bitton Jeans Jacks from The Ruby Slipper Vintage
Town Shoes boots

For this week’s Recovering Sweat Pants Addict Challenge photoshoot, Aarron and I took to the frozen river. I was really craving colour, colour, COLOUR with this outfit, especially to contrast with the bright white snow. I started building this outfit with the brightest item of lululemon I own, my Run: Jet Pullover in Alarming Orange, a super soft pullover designed for running. I love it for its softness and its brightness. When I wear it running, you can see me coming from miles away.

I was originally going to wear my yellow Renner scarf with this outfit, but stumbled across this sarong from the Praia do Forte in Bahia, Brasil. Designed to look like Bahian lembrança ribbons, this sarong is such a riotous collection of colour, I’ve never considered it as a scarf before. Sometimes, really bright, busy prints work as the lodestone for a bright, busy outfit. This particular scarf looks best surrounded by a variety of incredibly bright colours, so I added the sunglasses and feather earring, just to pull everything together.

Yoga on a frozen river is a treacherous and fun experience. My inner thighs hurt like crazy, because I had to engage my thighs to keep from slipping into the splits. Worth it for the nearly unbroken expanse of white snow, though. My city is pretty (awesome).

Photos by Aarron!

Digital? I’m all about the analogue, suckers.

Earrings, Out of the Blue; Military inspired jacket, Shoulder; Tie-waist cardigan and bag, lululemon athletica; Purplish rose blouse, Banana Republic; Velvet skinnies, Suzy Shier; Boots, Locale.

This outfit was created using a combination of train of thought and sartorial Indiana Jones style relic hunting. It went something like this:

“I really want to wear my velvet skinnies today. I wish I had a coloured blouse to wear with them. Maybe something in pink… Oh, wait, I stole a Banana Republic blouse from my mom this summer. Sweet! I wish I had a a blazer that wasn’t black. Why are my blazers black or black with stripes? I wish I’d done laundry, I’m sure I have some kind of a cardigan that would work with this shirt and these pants. Why didn’t I figure out my whole outfit before putting on the shirt and pants? I’m too lazy to take them off now, so I’d better find something that works.”

I proceeded to crawl around my room, harrowing though it was, and found a pile of clothing laundered pre-Ottawa. I dug through the neatly folded, but soon-to-be strewn about the room, pile of clothing, finally coming across this dark purple bamboo knit cardigan from lululemon athletica.

“… This could work …”

I put on the cardigan and its addition made the outfit sing. Adding it created an analogous colour combination (man, I miss the ‘chics) of navy, dark purple and purplish rose. The texture of the cardi, a knit bamboo waffle weave, added a subtle touch of luxe funk to the silk and velvet already present. Top it all off with my trusty cognac boots (now with less mud and grime!), and I had the most subtly luxurious daytime outfit I have ever pulled together.

Outfit pics taken by Aarron.

Back Alleys (My Fav Photo Spots)

Large wooden bead necklace, Suzy Shier; White button-front; Gregory; Navy sweater, H&M; Scarf (worn as a belt); stolen from my mother’s closet; Skirt, Renner; Tights, Joe Fresh; High heeled loafers, Schutz.

Some of my most favorite outfit shots have been taken in Winnipeg back alleys and parking lots. There’s something about them: spare, desolate and 100% Winnipeg.

My love of back alleys go beyond how much I like them for photoshoot locations. I have many fond memories of my brother teaching me how to throw a snowball, pushing my mom’s Camero Z28 when it would get stuck (every other day), using the alley as a shortcut to Stephen & Andrew’s, a local gourmet grocery store that used to be the only place in the city where you could find Haagen Dazs Caramel Cone Explosion. But mostly, I like them for photoshoots.

Like Kasmira from What I Wore 2day, my preference is a gritty, (sub)urban landscape for photoshoots (Kasmira just likes the “urban,” back alleys in Winnipeg, even if they are in the city center, always look suburban, somehow… suburban and trashy). Back alleys always fit the bill for gritty. I also appreciate that it is really easy to frame yourself in a back alley. Standing in the middle of a road or walkway is the best way to frame your outfit and make yourself the obvious focus of the shot.

Photos by Aarron.

The most versatile Barbie Doll ball gown ever.

Scarf, stolen from my mother’s closet; Necklace, Wunderkrämmer; Jeans jacket, Buffalo by David Bitton (thrifted from the Ruby Slipper); Sweater, Joe Fresh; Sweater dress, Suzy Shier; Boots, Locale.

Please excuse the mud on my boots. So embarrassing!

I’ve been pairing grey with tans and cognacs of late. This floral scarf really provides the perfect colour palette to use to create an outfit of tan, cognac and grey.

But this scarf works with so many outfits. I’ve worn it with burgundy, orange, black, grey, patterns, navy, stripes, other florals, in my hair, as a belt, around my neck, on my purse, as a bracelet. It is the most versatile scarf in the world. The funny part is that I had no idea it would wind up being such a wardrobe staple when I liberated it from mom’s closet…

I have a fondness for flimsy, delicate scarves. When I was a little girl, I used to sneak into my mother’s closet and I would steal her pretty, floaty, feminine silk scarves and use them to create beautiful ball gowns for my Barbie Dolls. I never realized how little has changed. I still steal my mother’s pretty, floaty, feminine silk scarves, except now I use them to dress myself instead of my Barbie Dolls.

I guess that’s what happens when kids who play with Barbie Dolls grow up. They start daily style blogs, and treat their outfits with the same level of gravity as the Barbie doll outfits of yore…

Photos by Aarron.

Spunk and Bite: Keepin’ it toothy and letting the real you through.

Sweater sleeve scarf, Milk (gift); Necklace, Something Unusual (gift); Sweater, H&M; White tee shirt, lululemon athletica; Jeans, Ardene; Boots, Rocketdog.

If you are a style blogger, do you ever have those days where none of your pictures look right, no matter how many you take? Maybe you look great, but the outfit isn’t particularly well showcased, or your shirt looks really unflattering on camera in a way it just doesn’t in person. Or, you look like you: a) have been struck in the face with a 2×4, b) want to make everyone’s head implode with the POWER of your MIND, or c) seem to have something stuck in your teeth the entire time.

Sally recently linked to this awesome post on The Beheld about how trying to look perfect in pictures can backfire. In my case, when I try to look “perfect” in pictures, I usually wind up masking who I am, and look like I’m trying to portray someone else. I don’t look authentic in those pictures, usually. In real life, I am a high energy, cheerful, goof ball. When I try to capture the “Real Me” in pictures (for a great example of someone who always lets their spirit come through, check out Illy‘s blog) I wind up with lots of pictures like these:

If you write a daily personal style blog, is showing who you are through the pictures something that is important to you? If so, how do you let yourself shine through? Does perceived authenticity matter to you when you’re reading other people’s blogs?

Photos taken by Aarron!

Like outtakes? Here are my two favorite “outtakes” posts:                     “Drunk-face Horan.” 
“Fashion Flirting with Handcuffs and Outtakes.” 

RSPAC: How to dress for volunteering.

lululemon items:

Remix lulu hoodie*light (no longer available, similar)
Scoop Neck L/S Top (no longer available, similar)
Black 5 year Tee (no longer available, similar)
Wunder Under Pants

non-lulu items:

Necklace: Desart
Boots: Town Shoes

It’s back! The first Recovering Sweat Pants Addict Challenge of 2012!

I wore this outfit to volunteer at the hospital. I never know what I’m going to be doing that day until I arrive, so I always try to dress for anything. Could be cleaning, could be hanging out with patients, could be running errands, could be doing handy work… When I’m getting dressed for volunteering, I always make sure that I could kick ass in a game of wheelchair basketball and still look pulled together.

Choosing what to wear to volunteer can be challenging. Some volunteer positions call for short shorts and flip flops (holla, water stations at races!), others professional or business casual attire, and many a “use your best judgement” dress code. When I am deciding what to wear for volunteering, I imagine the “fanciest” and “dirtiest” activities I could be getting up to, and try to dress somewhere in the middle.

Really, though? The most important thing to remember when dressing for volunteering is that your clothing should take a backseat to the work. You can still look awesome and create an amazing outfit, as long as while you volunteer you think about the work and not the clothes. Remember, volunteering isn’t permission to dress poorly, but neither should it be a fashion show.

In other (exciting!) news, Roomie Aarron has acquired a new camera! I’m super excited, and can’t wait to see what kinds of shots we can get with something a bit better than two Android cellphones (all pictures on the blog are taken with either a Samsung Galaxy or Nexus). Depth of field, what?

Photos by Aarron!

How to have that “PJ Feel” without having that “PJ Look.”

Scarf, Etam; Tee shirt, lululemon athletica; Blazer, Luigi Bertoli; Skirt, Winners; Heels, Arezzo.

To wear an outfit that feels like you are wearing a pair of PJs, you must choose clothing that inspires that same feelings as PJs do. You just have to investigate what it is that you love about your pajamas, and then find those same things in items you already have in your wardrobe. My outfit felt JUST like I was wearing pajamas all day long, but I certainly didn’t look like I was wearing them all day long.

All my PJs have elastic waist-bands, making them comfortable and stretchy no matter which position I am in (I am a sleep contortionist). This maxi skirt is jersey knit and the waist is elastic. No matter which position I am contorted in, I am comfortable and covered in this skirt. And even though the skirt is made from very casual fabrics, the length, drape and movement of the skirt elevate the look of the garment, allowing me to dress it up and down, and increasing the versatility of the skirt to the max.

This tee shirt from lululemon is soft. Super soft. And a major part of the “PJ Feel” is extreme softness. Flannel and fleece and soft cottons all feel amazing against your skin. Choose a top that is made from an extremely luxurious or super soft fabric – think cashmere, pima cotton, silks, merino wool. Ensure the top isn’t tight, rather choose something that skims over your body, providing maximum comfort with minimum schlepp.

Warmth is also a huge part of the “PJ Feel.” The best thing about my favorite jammies is how warm they are, how putting them on feels like I am wrapping myself in a thick blanket. To capture that feeling of enveloping warmth, I decided to wear a boyfriend blazer and a soft cashmere scarf. The boyfriend blazer, being slightly oversized, is enveloping, and the cashmere scarf felt like a soft blanket, pulled up right to my chin.

Finally, all PJs need a touch of ridiculous. Some of my favorites have reindeer on them, are bright green, or are bright pink flannel polkadot sleep shirts. They’re a little bit ridiculous, and that makes them even more awesome. My ridiculous item with this outfit wound up being the shoes – who wears stilettos with PJs, after all?

Awesome people, that’s who.

How to wear dayglo orange without tapping into hunter-chic.

Earrings, Ten Thousand Villages; Scarf and Navy sweater, H&M; Dayglo orange tank top, lululemon athletica; Navy velvet pants, Suzy Shier; Boots, Locale; Rose Ring, Out of the Blue.

I don’t put too much preplanning into my outfits. Normally my haphazard approach to dressing works out well, and I leave the house not looking like a fool. Sometimes, I make an outfit that looks terrible, but sometimes… I stumble upon an amazing outfit surprise! I had no idea how bright a near-neon colours can look when compared against darker colours.

Check out the blinding dayglo orange safety stripe! While dressing, my instincts were to go for a red layer, maybe cognac or tan, to best compliment the stripes in the scarf, but I don’t own much in the way or red. All I knew was that I wanted to wear at least one bright colour and my velvet pants (or, as I’ve started calling them: my leg sweaters… OK, I’ve not been calling them that, but I think I’m going to start). In my section of clean clothing, I could only find this tank from lululemon (I call it Dayglo Orange, but the ACTUAL, TECHNICAL lululemon colour name was Electric Orange). It certainly fit the bill for “bright colour,” and happily, it worked with the scarf and complimented the navy.

Granted, this was in the darkness of my bedroom. Once I stepped outside into the daylight, the tank top jolted to life, and it became impossible to ignore, even when I was walking around town in my caterpillar jacket.

Photos by Aarron!

The skirt that made me feel like a “real” Style Blogger.

Scarf, Renner; Sweater, Joe Fresh; Skirt, Anthropologie; Boots, Locale.

This skirt (along with a ruffled sweater vest and a lace tank) was my very first Anthropologie  purchase. If you read even a handful of style blogs, you’ll find that Anthropologie is one of those stores. Style bloggers love Anthropologie. Adorable prints, bright colours, tongue-in-cheek pieces… It’s the style blogger’s apparel mecca/source of inspiration to many.

When I brought this skirt home, and wore it for the very first time, I remember thinking to myself: “Now you are a real style blogger, Becca.” Not just because I owned a skirt from Anthropologie, but because it is a Style Blogger Skirt. And recognizably so! Full skirt, pockets, bright in your face print? Yeah, that’s a style blogger skirt alright.

The most exciting moment for me was realizing, a few months after I brought my skirt home with me, that Style Blogging veteran Miss Vinyl Ahoy owned this exact skirt. And then? She swapped it with another blogger. Holy crap. Skirt? Meet style blogging klout.

Self? Meet style blogging smugness.

If you’re a style blogger, did you have a “NOW I feel like a style blogger!” moment? What was it? If you’re a reader, not a blogger, is there anything that is super “style blogger” to you? Poses, pieces, places?