What I Wore: Express Yourself

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Toronto summers are so fleeting. All of June, I’ve been waiting for proper summer weather, and now that it’s getting “hot in here” and we are already halfway through July, I am scrambling to take advantage of every single sunny day. Weekends pass by in a blink of an eye, and by the time Mondays roll around, I can’t even remember what I did on my days off, like I suffer from some kind of weekend amnesia. Thank goodness for outfit photos, or I would never remember anything.

Speaking of…le bf and I have a few trusty backdrops for my photos, but it was a nice surprise to discover this wall of flowers on one of our walks. Of course, a wall of flowers calls for a photo op…and here we are. I’ve been wearing this EXPRESS dress a lot this summer…it’s so breezy, colourful, and simply perfect for those sticky hot days. The hat is another staple – straw boaters are having their fashion moment right now, and I really don’t mind, since this one helps shield my face and hair from the sun.

So tell me, what do you reach for in the summer? Do you have a few trusty summer staples that you can’t live without? Share in the comments!

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What I Wore: Belong Anywhere

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Last week, I had the pleasure of attending one of the funnest events in a long while! Airbnb hosted a little lawn bowling tournament and we had a blast learning all about this fun sport, while hanging out with blogger friends and Airbnb Canada team.

Dress code for the event was all-white-errythang, so I wore one of my fave LWDs, and my new “catlady essential” Charlotte Olympia kitty purse. It was an easy-breezy outfit for a fun day outside. Our team ended up winning at lawn bowling, and we all slowly but surely improved our game, in between taking silly photos with the Airbnb bus, of course.

If you’re not familiar with Airbnb, it’s truly groundbreaking! I’ve used their services several times in different cities – each a huge success. This past March, le bf and I stayed in a stunning Parisian flat owned by a bridal designer. We were located steps away from the Eiffel Tower and had the entire 2 bedroom apartment to ourselves for around CAD $300 for 3 nights…total! In Paris! If you were to book a similarly situated hotel room, it would be a lot smaller and A LOT more expensive. Thanks to Airbnb, it’s never been easier and more affordable to travel the world, and feel like a local at the same time!

If you’ve never travelled with Airbnb before, you can sign up using this link and get $32 off your first booking. And trust me, once you try Airbnb, you won’t look at travel the same way again.

So tell me, have you ever used Airbnb? Share you experiences in the comments.

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What I Wore: Off To The Races

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Last Sunday was my first time at the Queen’s Plate, but it certainly won’t be my last. I loved everything about my experience at the racetrack – from dressing up, to bidding on horses, to people-watching, to enjoying everything the Hats and Horseshoes party had to offer – it was truly a blast!

I did have a moment of panic about 30 minutes before leaving the house…and ended up completely changing my outfit, and also MacGyvering a fascinator from a large flower purchased at Homesense, old headband, discarded ribbon, and 2 hair elastics. Though le bf looked at me as if I was insane, I did end up getting a ton of compliments on my DIY headpiece, and it was even featured in Toronto Star’s Queen’s Plate hat line-up. Take that, le bf!

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Once we got to Woodbine Racetrack, we were a bit overwhelmed by all the action happening all around us – food trucks selling yummy bites, various party tents with things to do and people to see, wine and beer tastings, fancy hats for sale, and that’s before we even stepped foot inside the main building! We found our way to the Rethink Breast Cancer tent, where we spent most of our day. It had everything – DIY fascinator station, manis courtesy of The Ten Spot, fashion illustrators drawing partygoers’ outfits (mine was done by the talented Danielle Meder!), sweet and savoury treats, silent auctions, Be Good gelato cart…it was THE PLACE TO BE!

But of course, the track provided even more entertainment! Knowing close to nothing about horse races, I decided that my strategy would be to bid on contenders with fun names and/or my lucky number 8, which is how I ended up picking Aldous Snow and Conquest Boogaloo, and actually winning!

Overall, we had a wonderful time at the races. Queen’s Plate is quickly becoming one of the top summer events, and now I know why. I was told that each year it gets bigger and better, and I can’t wait to see what next year’s Queen’s Plate will have in store.

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Styled by Nelia: Wear Canada for Canada Day


Canada Day is around the corner and this year we wanted to showcase some of the wonderful Canadian brands available at Yorkdale. Some, like HBC Collection are iconic and can be found in many Canadian homes, while others like Erin Kleinberg and ela handbags are less mainstream, but nevertheless deserve your attention.

If you did a quick glance inside your wardrobe, how many Canadian brands would you find there? Adding just a few more Canadian pieces to your wardrobe every now and then would help support local brands and designers, while promoting Canadian fashion industry in general. So many designers have to leave the country in order to find popularity, and it’s really sad, because the talent is all here, we just need to help nourish it.

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So next time you’re looking for a work outfit, skip your fave fast-fashion retailer and consider picking up a few well-made items from Judith & Charles or Pink Tartan (avail at Holt Renfrew). Instead of buying a “designer” purse, invest in a timeless bag by ela or Mackage (avail at Holt Renfrew and Mendocino). Buy a stunning Dean Davidson (avail at Holt Renfrew) or Jackson Rowe (avail at Mendocino) jewelry piece that you’ll keep forever, or a trendy Brave leather belt (available at Mendocino) that will go with all of your outfits.

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Once you take a look around, it’s really easy to find cool Canadian brands, and Yorkdale carries so many – ALDO, Aritzia, Brave, Cougar, Danier, Dean Davidson, Dsquared2, Dynamite, ela handbags, Erin Kleinberg, HBC Collection, Honey, Jackson Rowe, Judith & Charles, Mackage, Pink Tartan, RW&Co, RUDSAK, Tristan, Wilfred, and so many more!

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I’m not saying that you should avoid all non-Canadian brands, but with so many amazing local designers, adding a few more Canadian pieces to your wardrobe should be a breeze. And what better time to start than Canada Day?

Share your fave Canadian designers in the comments, and HAPPY CANADA DAY!

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Photos and Video by Max Kopanygin

What I Wore: Appetite for Excess

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I’ve been in love with Hayley Elsaesser’s designs ever since her first WMCFW fashion show. The “Heavenly Bodies” collection was my gateway into the crazy-fun world of Canadian/Aussie designer Hayley Elsaesser, and it’s still one of my fave Canadian collections ever. I really connect to the playfulness of her prints, her choice of modern cuts, and the overall over-the-top aesthetic of the brand.

So when I learned that the theme of this year’s Power Ball was Appetite for Excess, I knew exactly what I wanted to wear – the Mouthy maxi in neoprene. Luckily, I had an amazing CHANEL Dubai clutch to complete my look of excess, and with a touch of glitter in my hair by Kelly from Medulla and Co, I was ready for the art party of the year.

But what I realized that day as I was riding the streetcar on my way to the hair salon, is that not everyone is as comfortable as I am with crazy prints, because a lot of people stared at me in befuddlement. But to me, this look is as normal as anything else in my wardrobe, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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What I Wore: In Living Colour

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Springtime is the best time to bust our your most colourful, most eclectic, most funtabulous pieces, and I think this lovely CHANEL Multicolor Jersey Flap bag totally qualifies. It elevates the most basic of outfits, adding a touch of whimsy and excitement.

I wore this outfit to work the other day and someone literally exclaimed “YOUR EARRINGS ARE GREEN!” with her eyes wide as saucers…I mean, yes, they are green…and yes, I work in an industry where green earrings raise eyebrows. Le sigh.

In case you didn’t know, CHANEL is currently having a summer sale, so for those of you who’d like to snag a little of that CC goodness, make your way to your nearest store and enjoy the deals. There are some really cool shoes available up to 50% off…jewelry and clothes too! It’s a dangerous place to be right now, but oh-so-good too! Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Happy Friday, lovelies!

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What I Wore: Jardin Majorelle

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After months of dreaming about visiting the Majorelle Garden in Marrakech, le bf and I have finally made it! With shocks of saturated blue, yellow, and orange all around us, fountains, birds, and all kinds of cacti on display, the botanical garden was even more beautiful in real life than I’d imagined. Owned by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé since 1980 (memorial erected in his memory can be found at the garden), Jardin Majorelle was teeming with tourists, but even with a line-up to get inside, we still had a lovely time exploring the grounds.

For fans of Yves Saint Laurent, the Love Gallery is a must-visit. The designer created the colourful “LOVE” posters, which he sent every year as New Year’s greetings to his friends and clients of his fashion house. At the gift shop, I was trying not to go crazy, but the “LOVE” postcards were so beautiful…I probably got way too many, intending to one day frame my faves.

After an hour or so at the garden, we jumped into a cab to go back to our riad…we chose a freezing day to visit the garden, and were definitely not dressed appropriately for the chilly weather. But even with my teeth chattering…I had a tough time leaving this enchanting and peaceful place behind. I’ll always have these photos to remind me of its beauty…and hopefully will have a chance to visit again.

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What I Wore: Beautiful Marrakech

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Last month, after the whirlwind Discover CHANEL program in Paris, le bf and I took some time off to travel to Morocco. I’ve always been intrigued by this North African country, hearing stories of delicious food, beautiful crafts, and breathtaking locales, so the excitement factor was high. Since our schedules were pretty tight, we decided to spend our time in Marrakech, Fez, Chefchaouen, and Casablanca. And while I’ll be sure to share my faves from each city later on, today, I wanted to focus on what I ended up wearing.

While planning our trip, I was googling anything and everything I could find about Morocco and the appropriate way to dress there. As a predominantly Muslim country, yet time and time again described as “not so conservative”, Morocco was a mystery to me…as was the “dress code”. I knew that local women mostly covered up head-to-wrist-to-ankle, but that tourists were technically allowed to wear whatever…though wearing things that expose too much could lead to potential harassment.

My goal on this trip was to be respectful of local customs, while looking cute, and staying comfortable. There’s no way I was going to cover up wrist to ankle in 30-degree weather, but shorts and strappy dresses were out too…or were they? To stay true to my style, I ended up packing my fave slip dresses, but brought a few printed caftans to throw on top, creating somewhat modest-looking outfits. I also packed a few midi and maxi dresses, ones I could wear with a leather jacket on cooler days, or with a scarf draped around my shoulders and cleavage. For train rides, I made sure to bring a few pairs of comfy, loose-fitting pants and tees. I also brought my wool fedora, both to cover up my hair, and to shield my face from the sun.

Another thing I was grateful to have read about before my trip is footwear. Word of advice – don’t bring open-toe sandals to Morocco, unless you plan on spending time poolside or on the beach. Don’t bring your fancy shoes either, because if you plan on wearing those in the medina, you may end up ruining both your shoes and your feet. Most streets in old towns of Marrakech and Fez are paved with slippery cobblestones, and with streams of people everywhere, there’s a good chance your feet will be stepped on, and if that’s not reason enough, I have two words for you – donkey droppings. I brought an old pair of comfy ALDO shoes that were pretty worn out, and on our last day in Fez, after they’ve served their purpose, I threw them out. Highly recommended.

In the end, our trip was lovely. I avoided the harassment that I’ve read so much about, and felt comfortable and confident throughout. I did see tourists in short-shorts, strappy camisoles, and skimpy dresses, but was happy that I chose the more modest route. At the end of the day, I think Morocco is progressive enough for you to wear whatever you like, so it really is up to you and what you’re comfortable with. I’ll be posting more looks from my Moroccan adventures throughout the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned!

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What I Wore: Design Lab

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It’s officially spring, and with any luck, pretty soon we’ll be able to put away our winter coats and boots, shed those opaque tights, and finally wear pretty clothes and shoes. I can’t wait! Recently, I got to preview Hudson’s Bay’s new Design Lab collection, chock-full of boho caftans, eyelet two-pieces in pretty pastel shades, faux suede, crochet, fringe, and lace…oh my! Checking out the collection made me feel even antsier about warmer temps – so many cute pieces to add to my closet!

I was lucky enough to pick my faves and take them out for a spin at Toronto’s Allan Gardens Conservatory – a place where it’s summer all year long. I chose this sassy floral twopiece, so stretchy and comfy, that it works even on a curvier girl like me. With an athletic-inspired lace bomber jacket, this is the perfect outfit for those warm spring days…brunch, date, whatever. And those blue flowers –instant pick-me-up!

Check out Hudson’s Bay’s Design Lab collection here and let me know which pieces you love!

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What I Wore: Top, Skirt, Jacket – Design Lab (Hudson’s Bay); Bag – CHANEL; Shoes – Alexander Wang

This post was sponsored by Hudson’s Bay, all opinions are my own.

Photo Credits: Max Kopanygin

What I Wore: Something Borrowed, Something CHANEL

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When CHANEL offered to dress me for their Fall 2015 runway show, I couldn’t believe my luck. Feeling like Cinderella for the day, I picked out this stunning tweed and lace blazer, paired with a patent red cross-body bag, matching pearl cuffs, and of course, my recent fave CHANEL ankle booties. There were lots more options at our fitting, but sadly, as someone who’s no longer a size 2, fitting into samples presented a bit of a challenge. Where is the fairy godmother to shrink one a size or three, when you really need her?!

But no matter, I still loved the outfit I ended up choosing, and happily wore it to the show, to visit Coco Chanel’s apartment, at Cafe Marly, and back at the rue Cambon boutique, giddily running around Paris in CHANEL. I paired the blazer with my fave top from the Canadian brand Pink Tartan, because even during Paris Fashion Week, it felt right to #WearCanada.

At the end of the three-day Discover CHANEL program, I had to hand over the borrowed things, feeling a little sad to say good-bye to the beautiful pieces I had a chance to wear. Regardless, I was still so happy that I got to have a bit of a celeb experience…on a much smaller scale, of course, but still…borrowed clothes or not, the memories are forever.

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I Wore: Jacket, Bag, Shoes, Cuffs, Earrings – CHANEL; Top – Pink Tartan; Pants – Zara; Sunglasses – Dior