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Monday, August 20, 2012

Lululemon Dirt Renew Dress/Beat the Heat Dresses...Love!

I was just clearing room in my closet and stumbled upon a collection.  A collection of dresses.  All the same.  Who buys the same dress over and over in different colors?  One who appreciates the fact that a good design doesn't come along every day.

During summer months I live in the Lululemon Dirt Renew Dresses and Lululemon Beat the Heat Dresses.  I wish I could get away with wearing them to work.  But I do wear them to brunch, shopping, to casual dinners, family get togethers, sporting events and around the house.  They are lovely.

Design-wise, the Beat the Heat and Dirt Renew are almost the same...both have similar, gorgeous features. Lululemon claims the difference between the two styles is the waistband, but I can't tell when worn.  Both fit the same (vanity sizing, you can safely size down) and they are sublimely uplifting to the bust and shape in general.  Bra not required (I'm a C/D cup) and the A-line shape is a universally flattering to every body shape.  They hit right at the knee and depending on the color, can be dressed up (belted, with espadrilles and the right jewellery) or dressed down (flip flops).  Apparently these dresses can be worn multiple ways, but the only way I have worn them is one side of color or the other as all are double sided with different colors.  At retail, they were all $88.

I know they were sold from 2010 - 2011 but you can still score a brand new one on eBay if you're lucky.  Excuse my poor knowledge of Lululemon color codes, but as far as I know, the colors it came in were:
  • Alarming/Coal (Orange/Grey)
  • Chirp/Lagoon (Yellow/Green)
  • Pig Pink/Coal
  • Lavender/Mud
  • Black/White
  • Senorita Pink/Wren
  • Wish Blue/Citron (Bright Blue/Yellow)
  • Blue/Blue Chained Print
  • Ivory/Ombre
  • Heathered Grey/Navy
Stock photos of the Lululemon Dress from their site

Here's my collection.  Don't judge...

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Neon Pink

Had brunch with the beau and my dad and stepmom last weekend at Glow Restaurant at the Shops at Don Mills, so of course we had to stop by Anthropologie to see the new spring collection.  I found this beauty that I was skeptical of (and now seeing some of the recent reviews I know why!); the Garden Party Shift is stunning...bright pink empire summer dress with large pockets it fits the bill for almost any occasion on a weekend in the summer but it made me feel so cutesy!  I hauled in the beau for a critical eye and he said he loved it!  Very unusual for him to love pink.  My breasts were spilling out the top so that could have been the deal-closer, but I loved how I felt in it!  This one definitely makes you feel 10 years younger and oh so pretty.  The opening in the back is pretty sexy too.

Garden Party Shift Dress from Anthropologie
(much brighter than it appears in the pictures)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fantastic shopping experience at Brooks Brothers!

I was wandering through the Toronto PATH system (underground shopping in downtown Toronto which links most of the financial district) and happened upon the new Brooks Brothers store.  I was drawn in by some cute sundresses in the window and it was only when I walked in I realized how large the store is!  I wandered around looking at a few dresses and summer suits but ended up gravitating towards the navy and black - surprise, surprise!

The sales woman, Ingrid, was really helpful and I was really happy with her help and recommendations.  I find that retail service in Canada is sub par to the US almost across the board (upscale luxury shops excluded).  I know that Brooks Brothers has an older, conservative demographic, but I think my taste is probably a lot more conservative than most women my age.

Anyway, I bought a basic black dress with a subtle but beautiful pinstripe and the jacket to match.  When I put them on they made me feel powerful and beautiful at the same time!  I will refer to it as my Promotion Suit, because obviously when I wear it, my boss will remember how successful and smart I am that she'll promote me.  I know it's a very simple dress but it's the perfect black dress I've been looking for.  The lines, the shoulders (so important) and the darts were all divine.   It must have made me look like a lawyer because Ingrid asked me if I was one (I'm not). 

Brookscool Wool Check Dress, Brooks Brothers

Brookscool Wool Check Jacket, Brooks Brothers

Cotton Ruffle Blouse, Brooks Brothers

I love that they are wardrobe staples.  The blouse has a good weight for summer...not too light that it wrinkles and not too heavy that it will get hot.  Mother of pearl buttons + a beautiful collar that accentuates the neck = perfect.

Later that day I received a thank you email and two weeks later (today) I received a lovely handwritten card from Ingrid saying she enjoyed meeting me and asked me to contact her again if I need anything.  How sweet!  My own friends don't send me hand written cards anymore!

I'm a Brooks Brothers fan!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Another Canadian: Smythe!

I love items made in North America, but even more love clothing made in Canada.  That's why I was delighted to found the homegrown Smythe brand and have tried on various occasions to get at their products, which are usually sold out.  They aren't sold in many stores, making them even more difficult to shop (but I guess that's half the fun).

I stumbled upon a Smythe gold mine in Holt Renfrew in the Yorkdale Mall.  As much as I hate malls, I am pretty impressed with the collections that particular Holt Renfrew has.   Today I was returning a blouse from DVF which was gorgeous, just not gorgeous on me.  When I found another picture of this model (below) wearing it I felt a pang of regret in not trying it on with a few different options. 

Diane von Furstenberg Cahil Blouse, $270

In any case, when I returned this, I saw the Smythe collection and tried on the Smythe Tuxedo Single Button Blazer in Cobalt/Black.  As much as I am a bit concerned this is a big investment (for me) for a fad, I thought it was just gorgeous.  I'm still on the fence about it.  In fact, my boyfriend said I looked like a German burlesque hostess, to which I poured myself a glass of wine and decided to sulk for awhile.

Smythe Single Button Blazer in Cobalt/Black

I'm a very conservative dresser and I can't think of many ways to dress this down...the lapel is satin. 

I also ordered the Smythe Serpentine Print Single Button Blazer from Nordstrom based only on pictures about a week ago.   I was so happy when I got to see it on the rack in Holt Renfrew and find it looked every bit as beautiful as the pictures, so I can't wait to get it!

 Smythe's model wearing the Serpentine Single Button Blazer

Nordstrom's Model wearing the Serpentine Single Button Blazer

I love how edgy the Smythe model looks...I just know I would never be able to pull it off the same way.  I'd definitely wear it more like the Nordstrom model...I'd also wear it with a simple skirt to work. 

I also saw the Tuxedo Stripe Single Button Blazer, and tried it on...but the combination of the linen and the strong contrast in colors made it much too bright for me. 

Smythe Tuxedo Stripe Single Button Blazer

Asos Color Block Blazer (Contrast Lapel)

I have a good collection of suits and basics, and am now trying to update my wardrobe by adding in fun different pieces.  With trendy clothing I don't usually spend a lot because I'm not good at (and don't have room for) maintaining clothes that I don't wear.  I like to think that I'll have a nice collection to pass on to another generation the way I wish my Mum kept her clothes, but I'm terrible with keeping clothes in great shape.

So, that brings me to Asos' house brand!  A wonderful way to stay on trend without spending a fortune.  For pieces I doubt I'll wear in years to come, or if I want to try and see if I can work it into my wardrobe, Asos, Zara, etc. are perfect.

I decided to try the color-blocking tuxedo jacket look...Asos had a beautiful little jacket I bought online.

Asos Color Block Blazer with Contrast Lapel, $72

It's beautiful!  I'd say the quality is definitely not the best (and I'll need a professional pressing before wearing) but for the money, I'm very happy with this purchase.  And for what it was intended to be: a trial to see if I liked it, it served just the purpose!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Discovery Stripe!

Well folks, I'm back on the LuLuLeming train, as my boyfriend calls it, with the new Discovery Stripe print and the aquamarine palette.  Is this not the most gorgeous print?  Some have said it looks too preppy, but I absolutely adore it.  For those who work out (or kinda work out, if that is defined as wearing it on weekends) their Luxtreme fabric is divine.  Smooth and silky, luxtreme feels glorious on the skin, as if you're wearing nothing at all, and when I actually do work out, it doesn't feel sweaty.  Lululemon just happened to have come out with a bunch of the Discovery Print luxtreme tops.  Pictures of the haul in aquamarine and discovery stripe are below!

I also adore their new Daily Gym Bag, which I got in every colour (cue the flushed cheeks).  The thing about a great gym bag is it inspires you to go to the gym and when you find handles that fit well to carry around usually two changes of clothes, you should buy it - in every color!  I got quite the haul in aquamarine and the discovery stripe!  I just got my bonus cheque, so I felt that with 90% going towards savings, I could splurge a little.

Daily Gym Bag in Black, $108

Daily Gym Bag in Aquamarine/Indigo, $108

Daily Gym Bag in Dune/Fossil

I also got the Push Ur Limits in the Discovery Stripe, Shape Jacket in Aquamarine, Stride Jacket in Discovery Stripe and the Retro Rainbow Crops for bottoms.  I feel I can probably pair the tops with black Inspire Crops or other shorts/crops I wear.  I love pastels, these are definitely right up a blonde's alley!

 Lululemon Push Ur Limits Tank in Discovery Stripe

Lululemon Stride Jacket in Discovery Stripe

 Retro Rainbow Crops in Discovery Stripe

Shape Jacket in Aquamarine

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Judith and Charles Sonya Dress

I have not been shopping much as of late as Christmas and a trip to St. Anne's were expensive this year...but I did manage to fall in love with Judith & Charles' new spring line items!  I popped by the store this week after seeing Charles' appearance on CTV Ottawa and showcasing a couple of dresses from the Spring line.  The Sonya Dress is stunning!  One of my colleagues mentioned that color blocking is on the way out but I think these clean lines and classic colors make this dress a great investment. 

Judith & Charles Sonya Dress, $365

I also tried on the Wanda Dress, which is gorgeous as well; it has navy lace and overlay and an interesting semi cap sleeve which is very flattering. 

Judith & Charles Wanda Dress

Others I love and can't wait to try on as they trickle in the stores...

 Rhea Dress (this is a MUST have for me)

 Gloria Top, Alessia Skirt

Neva Dress

Monday, January 2, 2012

My boyfriend reads my blog...!?!

Under the lit-up three-foot-high star we had this year in lieu of a tree, was the most beautiful colored box my boyfriend could have bought me: the fuchsia Holt Renfrew box every gal loves to see.  Inside lay the Elie Tahari coat in Stone that I had written about in a previous heart sang.  It looks just as beautiful as I had hoped. 

And although the belt is a different size than the coat, which will require an inconvenient and most likely irritable customer service experience, I can't wait to wear it!