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!