What I Wore: Blue Plaid Coat

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If you live in Toronto, or anywhere else in the world where winters and cold days in general last forever, you really can’t own too many coats. Outerwear is the one thing that people will see on you day after day, and it helps having more than one to spice things up. Which is why I was overjoyed when The Bay generously sent me this blue plaid stunner from Planet to wear and to love this fall.

Obviously, I wore it to dinner the same night, feeling like this new coat injected new life into my simple outfit. And while it looks like it wouldn’t be warm enough for our blistery days, with a little creative layering (a wool sweater over a shirt dress), it does the job splendidly. I will definitely enjoy throwing this coat on, to change things up from my usual wintery parka and to add some colour to my outfits.

So tell me, how do you handle cold weather? Do you reach for your trusty puffer, or do you like to layer and wear a lightweight coat instead? Share in the comments.

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I Wore: Coat – c/o PLANET (The Bay); Shirt Dress – Gap; Hat, Tights – H&M; Boots – Saint Laurent (WINNERS); Bag – CHANEL

What I Wore: Grey on Grey

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Ever since I went grey, I’ve had to make some adjustments in the way that I dress. Out went my fave poppy hues like yellow and red, replaced by grey, taupe, white, and black instead. And though once in a while, I am still tempted to pick up something bright, I am really enjoying this subdued palette for now. It makes me feel more grown up and sophisticated.

I thought I’d get bored of this “no colour” phase, but if anything, it just makes getting dressed in the morning a breeze. A few staples like grey cashmere sweaters, slim-cut black pants, and classic black and white dresses, mixed with kitty flats for a bit of whimsy are all I really need lately, and I don’t mind one bit.

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What I Wore: Solange, Coco, and Minnie…Oh My!

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Another WMCFW season has come and gone, and this time I found myself at the tents every single day, and saw more shows than I normally would have. As such, my full fashion week recap is going to be up sometime next week, with my fave new designers, outstanding pieces, and fave collections, as well as the beauty recap from our contributor Aleyda. But for now, here’s a post about all of the fun outfits I wore to the tents last month.

Thanks to a slew of wonderful photographers like Ania Boniecka, Aleyah Solomon, Jenna Marie Wakani, Ryan Emberley and Stefania Yarhi, among others, I was able to document every look from a variety of angles and lenses…candid and not. It’s a bit of an exercise in narcissism, but hey, this is a style blog, what did you expect?! Let’s get to it, shall we?

On day 1, I ran into the lovely Talia Brown, and we were snapped together for FLARE Magazine. I didn’t bother with my outfit on day 1 – mainly because I had a very intense day at the office, so I simply swapped my ankle booties for a pair of ALDO heels, and my work bag for an ela clutch, and that was it.

After the shows, we were treated to a VIP party courtesy of Joe Fresh, with Solange Knowles on turntables. We were literally inches away from this stylish beauty, but I’m still not sure if waiting nearly 3 hours for the privilege was worth it. My feet were crying by the time I got home.

xx, attends the Joe Fresh Cocktail event on Monday, October 20th, 2014.solange-toronto-joe-fresh-style-blog-nelia-belkova

On Day 2, I actually managed to change out of my office clothes, and into a fun faux leather overalls from H&M. Knowing that a Minnie Mouse party was in the cards, I made sure to grab my trusty sequinned Minnie ears, which completed my look that day. To add a bit of Canadian flare to my outfit, I wore one of my fave falconwright clutches to the tents.

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What I Wore: Operanation in a Pinch

Operanation - Light Up The Night. Toronto, ON, Canada. October 17, 2014. (Image: Ryan Emberley)

I know I’ve already waxed poetic about how much I loved Operanation, but I wanted to dedicate a second post to my outfit…this is a personal style blog after all. As mentioned in the previous post, I had a bit of anxiety while trying to figure out what to wear and still stay true to the theme of the night – Light Up the Night. With my newly grey hair, certain colours just don’t work for me anymore, and recently I have been sticking to a muted palette of black, grey, and white – none of which would be ideal for the night’s theme.

So in a bit of a panic, I stopped by H&M a couple of hours before the party and saw this sparkly maxi dress. It didn’t look like much on a hanger, but I could feel its potential, whispering to me…”puuutt meee onnnnnnn”, and so I did. And not to sound full of myself, but in a sea of very expensive gowns, I didn’t feel even a little out of place. It really isn’t about how expensive (or inexpensive) something is, but how that something makes you feel. And obviously, this dress made me feel like a bombshell. A definite keeper.

Also, in a bit of a gross disclosure, my hair in this photo has not been washed in 6 days. It looks nice and wavy, but only because I wore it in a looped ponytail all day, which gave my hair a lovely kink. To spruce up my do, I sprayed some glitter hair spray onto my silvery locks, and while you can’t really see the full effect, I really loved how sparkly my hair was. I think I’ll do it again. And yes, I am a 30-year old that loves to spray glitter in her hair…what’s wrong with that? Absolutely nothing.

So tell me, have you ever worn something really fun but inexpensive to a major event? Share your stories in the comments!

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I Wore: Dress, Belt, Earrings – H&M; Shoes – Zara; Clutch – DVF

Photo Credits: 1 – Ryan Emberley; 2 – Becca Lemire

What They Wore: Operanation 2014

COC Operanation October 16th 2014- Tara Noelle-34

I’ll be honest with you, I am not a fan of galas. Don’t get me wrong, I do love to get dressed up once in a while, but when I have to go to a big gala event, where how you dress actually matters, I get anxious. Plus, I like to be in bed by 11pm (don’t judge!), and most galas just get going around that time. This is precisely why I’ve never gone to Operanation until this year. But after finding out that Yelle was going to perform, I pulled up my big girl pants and decided to go. And boy, was I a fool to have avoided it all these years!

First of all, Operanation was an amazing place to people-watch and witness some great fashion go down. I won’t go so far as to call it the Met Gala of Toronto fashion, but it’s pretty damn close. Most people stuck to the theme of the night, and lit up the room in neon gowns and accessories, sparkly beading, and pops of colour.

And then there was Yelle…Their performance was everything I hoped it would be and more – energetic, engaging, and SO MUCH FUN! I danced, tried to sing along (my French is very limited), and just watched Julie Budet (Lady Mary lookalike) do her thang. Oh, and members of the COC’s Ensemble Circle joined her for a few songs too. Best ever!

On top of the cool performance, and great people-watching, there were also limited-edition designer slap bracelets – coolest raffle entries possibly ever. One lucky girl walked away with a $10,000 shopping spree from The Room (!!!), while a few others snagged COC-sponsored prizes. There was also a churro bar, a photobooth, half-naked Calvin Klein models, hourly drag queen flash mob…in the immortal words of SNL’s Stefon Zelesky – Toronto’s hottest party of the year is Operanation and it has EVERYTHING!

Operanation 2014 (Tyler Rumi) 60Operanation - Light Up The Night. Toronto, ON, Canada. October 17, 2014. (Image: Ryan Emberley)Operanation - Light Up The Night. Toronto, ON, Canada. October 17, 2014. (Image: Ryan Emberley)Operanation - Light Up The Night. Toronto, ON, Canada. October 17, 2014. (Image: Ryan Emberley)Operanation - Light Up The Night. Toronto, ON, Canada. October 17, 2014. (Image: Ryan Emberley)Operanation - Light Up The Night. Toronto, ON, Canada. October 17, 2014. (Image: Ryan Emberley)Operanation - Light Up The Night. Toronto, ON, Canada. October 17, 2014. (Image: Ryan Emberley)

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What I Wore: It’s a Cape, It’s a Coat!

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I am conflicted about fall. There’s a number of things I dislike about it (waking up in the dark, cold weather, rainy days), but sometimes the stars align and you get such a perfect autumn day that it makes you forget all about the negatives (and the inevitable winter).

On one of those perfect fall days (cool, but sunny) I finally got to wear my beloved H&M Studio Fall 2014 cape jacket, and it was lovely. The coat kept me warm, while those cape sleeves let my body breathe without feeling like I’m being roasted alive. It’s a keeper, I tells you! I also got to wear my knee-high boots for the first time this season…I didn’t wear them nearly enough last year. And there you have it…just a couple of weeks ago, I was all about summery dresses, and now I am fully into fuzzy, furry, warm outerwear. Isn’t Canadian weather fun? And by fun, I mean unpredictable and completely nuts.

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Hermès Masculine Spirit Party in Toronto

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As I learned a couple of years ago, the folks at Hermès sure do know how to throw a party. Last week, despite the torrential downpour, over 600 stylish Torontonians showed up to the brand’s Masculine Spirit party at the Distillery District to celebrate Hermès Men’s Universe Autumn/Winter 2014. Guests were invited to view a leather jacket retrospective, walk through a Leandro Erlich-designed mazelike fitting room installation, watch a curious performance by two twins, check out the exquisite pieces from the new collection, and pose for a photo gif booth.

We feasted on delicious nibbles and cocktails, admired the very attractive male models circling the room, and simply had a blast…as one does at an Hermès bash. And while there were no unicorn tattoos this time around, the amount of fun we had planning our poses for the gif booth more than made up for it. How do you spell fun? H-E-R-M-E-S!

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What I Wore: On The Street

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One day during NYFW, I was walking down the street, giddy from my delicious Shake Shack lunch date, when a man stopped me on the street and asked me whether I was a blogger. Since we were quite a ways away from Lincoln Centre, I was a bit taken aback when he asked me for a photo, but nevertheless obliged. I think you can actually see the apprehension in my eyes…but I’m really glad I stopped to chat with this man.

His name is Mangue Banzima and he’s a street style photographer. By now, I’ve spent a ton of time going through his site and Instagram, looking at the beautiful photos of people on the street. He has a very warm and approachable personality, and it’s reflected on his subjects’ faces…well, except mine that is. Hopefully, we can have a re-do another time, Mangue. Sorry for the bitchface in some pics.

This post is also the very first time I’m posting a photo of myself with my newly-ish silver/grey/platinum hair. It’s actually been nearly a month since I dyed my locks, and it’s decidedly less grey and more blonde now. But thanks to Mangue, I have it captured in all its silver fox glory. Stay tuned for my hair story about entering the Khaleesi/Gandalf hair territory. Happy Friday!

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I Wore: Dress – Finders Keepers (eLUXE); Leather Vest – Urban Outfitters; Boots – Saint Laurent (Winners); Bag – CHANEL; Earrings, Cuff – H&M


Photo Credit: Mangue Banzima

What I Wore: Summertime Sadness

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This is my last outfit post from my birthday trip to France…I know I’ve milked it for months now, but I guess I just didn’t want to let it go. And now that it’s October, it feels pretty appropriate to say good-bye to summer, and hello to fall. Those of you that follow me on Instagram, already know that I dyed my hair, so the next outfit post will definitely show off that new side of me…but in the meantime, here’s the last bit of summer in October. 

I’ve always thought of Monaco as a very glamorous place. Before visiting, the word brought on visions of Grace Kelly, fancy hats, fast cars, and gleaming sailboats. But reality wasn’t quite as fabulous. Perhaps rainy weather had something to do with it, or maybe the fact that we visited on a Sunday, when all the shops and restaurants were closed, but I just didn’t love it.

Sure, there are a few pretty buildings to look at, and the views of the sea are pretty breathtaking, but underneath it all, it felt more than a little gauche – the casino that charges an entrance fee, show-offs in their tricked-out cars, horrible food at the only restaurant open for business, over-the-top yachts…none of it felt glamorous. Perhaps I would have a different view of the place, had we stayed overnight…apparently the parties and the clubs are a must-do in Monaco, but something tells me I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed those either. Do I sound like a crusty old lady yet?

Either way, we made the best of our little day-trip, enjoying the views and the public art, but to be quite honest, we couldn’t wait to run back to the train station to catch the next train back to Nice and our cozy, yet decidedly not-so-glam apartment.

Have you ever been to Monaco? Did you have a different experience? Share in the comments.

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What I Wore: Saint-Paul de Vence

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I am so hopelessly behind on posts, that even though I don’t even look like the photo above, I still have a few of these to go. And while it’s currently 13 degrees in Toronto, this post is all about summer heat and vacation glow. Seeing these pics makes me want to pack up my bags and hightail it out of Canada for a destination much warmer than Toronto. Alas, I just got back from New York, and as a 9-5er, vacation days are a precious, precious commodity not to be trifled with…so, I suppose fall is inevitable.

These photos were taken while on a day trip to Saint-Paul de Vence, one of the oldest medieval towns in the French Riviera. There were beautiful art shops on every corner, delicious honeys and jams sold at charming little shops…The sun was scalding that day, so we made a pit stop at a small gelato shop, watching a local wedding at the nearby church. Happy faces, delicious ice-cream, honking limo, and lots of bougainvillea bushes is what I remember the most from that day. We walked up and down the winding cobblestone streets, completely charmed by this tiny town, and all of a sudden, the lengthy bus ride from Nice seemed really worth the hassle. If you’re ever in the area, try to stop by Saint-Paul de Vence. It won’t take very long to see, but you’ll be glad you did.

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