Shopping

♡ C R O P T O P S & D I A M O N D S ♡

I have long been both excited and hesitant about the crop top trend that has been huge this summer. This trend is forecast to continue into fall and we will see it in the form of both crop tops and cropped sweaters.

On a recent shopping trip I picked up a crop top on sale. I was on the way out of the mall (you’ve heard this story before), excited to wear my new top out and about, when I decided that I should just have a quick look in Topshop. Just a look.

♡ T O P S H O P ♡

I quickly stumbled upon this adorable crop top that I could not avoid trying on. But I needed something to try it on with since I was wearing a dress. In a fit of passion, I grabbed this skirt — strange for me since I don’t usually pick up orange. Just to try the top on with. Well, I don’t know what to tell you readers, but I could not take this outfit off without figuring out a way to fit it into my budgeting. Oh, and the crop top I first purchased had to go back.

I feel an explanation is owed to you. I am recently infatuated with Marina and the Diamonds and I felt this outfit was very Marina and the Diamonds. Check out the video below and tell me if you agree!

Why do I love Marina?

Marina and the Diamonds is a feminist, but in a feminine way. She sets herself apart from all the common pop culture celebrities who pretend to be feminist and don’t seem to live by feminist values or even respectable ones. I feel really connected to her through her music because it is something you can identify with as a self-respecting modern female. I don’t have to compromise my values or feel uneasy like I would for a singer that I used to like that did a duet with some guy who gave her a black eye, or another one who wore a dress that was supposed to make her look nude.

If you haven’t discovered Marina and the Diamonds yet, I strongly recommend that you check her out.

crop top

Tip: A very flared skirt will make your waist look much smaller, which is a real benefit at the best of times, let alone when you’re wearing a crop top.

To show this outfit to you, I decided to go very retro. As some of you may know, Lana Del Rey is a big fashion inspiration for me. And I also love some of Cindy Crawford’s retro looks.

So for this outfit, I back-combed my hair and pinned the top back and I put on a nice big cat eye with eyeliner (worn with a subtle lip color of course). My gold geometric cuff was almost an exact match for the goldy-yellow part of the pattern in the shirt, and to keep it on the casual side, I wore my new leather sandals.

lana del rey

marina and the diamonds

Shirt: Topshop

Skirt: Topshop

Cuff: Forever 21

Sandals: Aldo

cindy crawford

Nothing is provocative anymore
Even for kids
No room for imagining
‘Cause everyone’s seen everything
Question what the TV tells you
Question what a pop star sells you
Question mom and question dad
Question good and question bad

If history could set you free (from who you were supposed to be)
If sex in our society (didn’t tell a girl who she would be)
‘Cause all my life I’ve tried to fight what history has given me

♡ M A R I N A  A N D  T H E  D I A M O N D S ♡

To my future posts emailed to you follow me by clicking the follow button in the bottom right corner of the screen and on Instagram @something_cliche

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Flowers in July

How did everyone in the Northeast survive this heat wave that’s just ending? In this staggering humid heat it is a challenge to dress in any way that feels breezy enough and doesn’t stick to your body.

I solved this problem by visiting Anthropologie, one of the stores that doesn’t just mark down all their summer stuff and bring in fall at this point in the summer. I love stores that remember we are still trying to stay cool and stay in season and that we just want to see something new in the middle of the season.

IMG_20130713_132756 (1)

For staying cool in my summer travels, I picked up this breezy, loose, chiffon floral top. I am just loving the trend for tiny, old-fashioned florals — so feminine! It is a real contrast to most of my fashion experience to date.

For a modern twist, I added this white, cream and gold oversized necklace, also from Anthropologie.

IMG_20130713_130559

Shirt: Anthropologie

Shorts: Wal-Mart

Necklace: Anthropologie

Shoes: Aldo

Bag: Aldo

Does anyone recognize from these pictures where I was on the weekend?

Lovers of style, how are you staying cool this summer?

Stay cool, and click on the follow button in the right-hand corner of the screen to follow me by email, and on Instagram @something_cliche

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Cat on Queen

Anyone who has spent any time in Toronto knows that there is nothing more typically fun for a fashionista to do on a sunny day than to walk along Queen Street West taking in the sights and unique shopping. I was out and about in the beautiful city and that is just what I did.

And when I discover something truly fantastic, it is my implicit promise to share it with my readers, so here it is:  Elle Hardware.

Mostly jewellery with a few other accessories and a few pieces of unique clothing, the style vibe of the store just captured me. Completely different from other jewellery and accessory stores, it as not too run of the mill but also not a cliché punk-rock look with your typical same old studs-everywhere look that’s been so trendy.

elle hardware store

inside elle harware

elle hardware necklaces

necklaces elle hardware

elle hardware jewellery elle hardware store

I spent a lot of time in this store, falling in and out of love with many things as I tend to do with jewellery, but then one item took my breath away. I had to have it.

cat and ring from elle hardware

Can you see its beautiful green eyes? Everyone knows I’m a bit of a cat lady ♡

Best of all, this ring allows me to nurture that inner cat lady even when I’m not with my cats.

When it comes to unique shopping, there’s no place like Queen Street.

You can find Elle Hardware:

Website: www.ellehardware.com

Facebook: Elle Hardware

Twitter and Instagram: @ElleHardware

Don’t forget to follow me by clicking follow in thetop right corner of this page, or on Instagram @something_cliche

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Scarlet: Glamour for Less at Vaughan Mills

Update: I’m sad to note that since this post, this store has closed, so there’s definitely room in the Vaughan area for a store providing less expensive party dresses.

If you haven’t got your prom dress yet, I don’t know why! But I am here to help.  Also, if you need to knock anyone’s socks off at a summer wedding or simply need to dress up and look your best without breaking the bank, then I HAVE NEWS FOR YOU!

scarlet vaughan mills

I went into Scarlet in the Vaughan Mills mall on a lark in the midst of shopping for a formal dress for an event.  Wowed by the first few dresses, I grabbed the tags on one, read them, blinked, read again…. My next words were:

“Mom, am I reading this right?  How much is this dress?”

dress from scarlet vaughan mills

Dearest readers:  this dress was ONE FIFTH of the price I was expecting it to be based on my prior shopping!

Scarlet is a new store at Vaughan Mills mall, and just one more reason that Vaughan Mills is better than ever before.  If you are on a budget or simply like to get a great deal, run on in there and check it out.  Dresses run from long and grand to short, and while some are in the Kardashian-esque look generally stocked in your typical prom dress specialty store, they also carry a variety of less cliched styles.

I left that store too early in my shopping expedition to make my purchase decision, with no less than three styles set aside as exciting possibilities!

I can’t stop shopping!  And why should I?  Why should you?  For more store reviews, fashion events and the ocassional “stuff that really matters” follow me by email by clicking follow in the top right corner of the page, or on Instagram @something_cliche

For more about Scarlet, visit their Facebook page.

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Retail Alert: hr2!

I wanted to skip school on Friday. Coincidentally, Friday was the opening of hr2 in the Toronto area, the lower-priced line of Holt Renfrew stores. Hr2 now has two stores open: one at Quartier DIX30 in Montreal, Quebec and the other in Vaughan Mills Mall near Toronto.  Also–near ME!

hr2 vaughan mills

Hr2 is more price-conscious than the original Holt Renfrew, with flashing signs telling you the prices. It is the same sort of fantastic, well-chosen collection of clothing but at a price appropriate for the consumer without unlimited spending money yet.

pink tartan at hr2

The new store carries some familiar labels and also some fresh, new ones that you don’t see everywhere else.  How refreshing in our chain-store brand-saturated world!  There is a men’s department as well and a great selection of accessories.

djs at hr2 vaughan mills

DJs at the entrance to hr2

Definitely worth checking out for those looking for something new, lots of selection in one place and a cost-conscious approach to all of the latest!

For more store reviews, fashion events and the ocassional “stuff that really matters” post, follow me by email by clicking follow in the top right corner of the page, or on Instagram @something_cliche

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Vintage, Classic and Christmas Shopping

I went to the mall (again, sorry) last night to start working on my Christmas List!  Yes, to get ideas for others and tell Santa all about what I see.  Santa, are you reading this?

For my most recent malling, this is what I wore:

Vintage suede pigskin jacket from my mom’s closet

Leopard print top from Dynamite layered over my red tank top

Black jeans are from a store near where I live called Flipside

Combat boots are Bear Traps

Looking through the mall and trying things on for hours, I fell in love with this Classic British-style houndstooth jacket with elbow patches at Zara.

I really could use a blazer, and this one is just casual enough for my lifestyle, but I could also use a warm, casual coat for winter because mine isn’t so . . . “fashionista” anymore and I just have my dressier one.  I am looking at this gorgeous one from Zara, but I can’t find it in my local Zara store.  So help me:  which one?!!  What’s your advice–tell me below in the comments.

This is the only winter coat I currently have.

Which do I need more: a casual winter jacket or the houndstooth jacket above?

And as always, follow me on Instagram @something_cliche

44 days until Christmas!!

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National Women’s Show, Toronto

This is a shortie of a post just to let anyone in the area know that the National Women’s Show is this weekend at the Metro Convention Centre, Toronto.  The Convention Centre is probably one of the easiest locations in all of Toronto to get to, since it’s just a skip away from Union Station at the southernmost point on the subway line–you don’t have to pay outrageous parking costs if you don’t want to.

This show is an exhibition of all things “woman”, so if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, definitely grab your friends and check it out. Their slogan is “Fashion. Food. Fun.

On my way home from the casting and rehearsal.

And wave to me!  I’ll be walking in the fashion show, put on by internationally successful Canadian fashion designer and former architect, Rachel Sin and her designer friend, Bojana Sentaler.

Click the “follow” button at right to make sure you don’t miss my future posts about what to do and where to shop in Toronto and area, and follow me on Instagram @something_cliche

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Black Stilettos, Destiny, and God’s Plan

I was looking for serious walking shoes yesterday, but don’t expect to see Adidas or Nike mentioned here.  The shoes I looked for yesterday were indeed for walking, and if you’re looking for a basic pair of walking shoes, then hear my amazing tale of Destiny and Revelation.

I had to buy a new pair of basic runway shoes.  If you do any modelling at all, or just want to look great dressed up, you need two basic pairs of heels.  One is a pair of nude pumps, and the other, black.  These shoes should have the highest of heels to add as much length as possible to your legs, yet be very, very simple so as to be compatible with as many outfits as possible.  It was the black pair that I needed to update yesterday.  Patent is what models like to have in their “model bags” these days, BTW, so this will be a patent shoe.   As in my search for red jeans, I had to hit one great mall, Yorkdale in Toronto, and check out as many shoes as possible to find the ideal pair.

I didn’t want to break the bank on these shoes, as they aren’t worn every day, but I had to have them.  Knowing my retailers, I had already called Aldo Shoes and put two pairs on hold:  the “Shambley” and the “Stever“, both reasonable at $80 .  So, I went to Aldo first (a crazy busy store due to its reliable mix of style and price) and was assisted by unflappable, attentive, and fast-moving sales guy Martin.

The Stever, from Aldo

The Aldo shoes fit large and were not joyously comfortable, but I’ve been down this road before and I know that stilettos aren’t always a joy to wear.  I was able to walk well in the Stever, and preferred its less-pointy, more classic-shaped toe, so I put it back on hold–a half size smaller than my usual nine, in case you are interested.  The Stever is a great-looking shoe!   Then I hurried off to make sure it was the best shoe in the mall for my price and requirements.

I wanted to check Zara and Spring at the opposite end of the mall, so on my way I breezed through B2, a sister of Brown’s Shoes.  I quickly rejected a nice Michael Kors pump and some other possibilities that looked good but were more than I wanted to pay at close to $200.  Nothing at B2 fit the bill, but here is their best shoe, below.

The shoe at B2

 Zara  My Mom and I were nearly in tears by the time we got out of Zara.  Not because they didn’t have plain enough black patent stiletto pumps, which they didn’t.  But because this European chain has the most breathtaking array of knock-offs of the highest of high fashion, at the most stunningly good prices going.  It is a joy to shop there, and many potential Christmas shopping possibilities distracted us from our mission.

After wrenching ourselves away from Zara, we made a beeline for Spring, the thrifty little sister of Aldo.  Sadly, although always the thriftiest combination of style and price, no plain black stilettos were in-store.

Icon Shoes: It’s located on the corner if you are making the loop around the south end of the mall, and is the specialist in dizzyingly high heels; however, their shoes are embellished and edgy.  Plain black patent was not in their repertoire yesterday.

Coach: We checked out Coach, as though it were Mount Everest:  because it was there.  It is too practical to have the shoes I was looking for, but can I say that the quality for the prices of their merchandise was a pleasant surprise?  I don’t usually shop there, but their reputation for being over-priced is not deserved and both my Mom and I are likely to be back.  You get what you pay for, and I’d say the quality for price looked great in this store.  We decided to head back to Aldo, get the Stever and go home. . . .

Pump at Ron White Shoes

But since we were looking at shoes, why not stop in at Ron White Shoes?   This arguably is one of the nicest shoe stores in the mall, ladies and gentlemen.  However, these high-quality shoes are for wearing, fashionable gardening, etc.  They did have one tall black patent stiletto at one awesome bargain.  This shoe was regularly $645 and on sale for a relative STEAL at $179, so run, don’t walk, to Ron White Shoes to check it out if this is in your snack bracket.

Costa Blanca was on the way to Aldo, so we breezed through.  Report: no black patent stiletto pumps at the time of shopping.

Next we went to Nine West – no shoe shopper would miss it – they had  nice shoes, including the Rocha, a nice-looking shoe, priced reasonably at $120. I didn’t try anything on in Nine West because the comparable value at Aldo was still working for me.

The Rocha from Nine West

Browns:  So as not to have missed a thing, I then detoured via Browns.  Similar to B2 I saw nothing in my intended price range.

Sirens:  What the heck?!  This low-priced chain store (beside Sears)  had tables upon tables of soaring heels in the back of the store on sale for TEN DOLLARS!!!  I had a faint flash of hope–too good to be true?  My size in their black patent was battered and ruined, so I tried to squish my hesitant foot into a smaller size.  Too bad.  Ten dollars would have been a tale to tell.  After this valiant effort, you are going to laugh at the punch line of this post.

$10 shoe from Sirens

Topshop I love British style.  Another delay in leaving the mall occurred.  Although no suitable shoes were available here, I could have come out with a lot of bags were it not for my Mom’s ridiculous commitment to good sense.  More on Topshop in a future post.

Le Chateau: They had a sale on.  I was excited to try on a great-looking shoe, regular $69 for 25% off.  My heart soared at the fit!  I stood up to walk and then my hopes of this fantastic deal came crashing down.  This shoe had a hard lump under the ball of the foot, and was utterly painful to walk in.  So long, sweet shoe; it was not meant to be.  (Manufacturers, don’t you get anybody to test these shoes before you sell them?)

Town Shoes:  I have had a lot of success with shoes here before, so another stop. They had one pair, reasonably priced at around $150 but more than I wanted to spend.  I remained loyal to my $80 Stevers and moved                                                      .                                           along.

Cute pumps at Town Shoes

I picked up my Stevers from Aldo and headed toward the exit.

Are you tired yet, reader?  I was, so I stopped for re-fuelling at the Pickle Barrel and relaxed in the cushy seats outside the kiosk.  However, never tired of malling (either that, or this next event was a mysterious part of God’s Plan), I decided to stroll pleasantly to the opposite end of the lovely mall one last time just to enjoy it.  Yorkdale really is and always has been one of the country’s most fabulous shopping experiences.

Fatal words: “Let’s just look in Marciano“.  No expectation of finding shoes, no plan.  We were leaving the mall.  Several items were tried on and lo:  there was a breathtaking black stiletto, a veritable work of art, 5 inches high with a thick, hidden platform and priced at a completely unnecessary $208.  It wasn’t all plain patent, with a subtly-sexy black snakeskin heel not noticeable from a significant distance.

The perfect shoes from Guess by Marciano

Why did I consider trying this shoe on?  I do not know, but when I did, there was magic.  Angels sang and trumpets played.  I walked to the mirror in a wild state of comfort and budding euphoria.  “But what about your budget?” you ask. “What about all those shoes you rejected for being over $100?”  “What about it?” I say.  “Well what about true love, huh, what do you say about that, gentle reader?”  Shoeaholics, you know what I mean.  Luckily, but not luckily enough, they were actually on sale for $188.  My mother talked sense to me and my wallet cried a couple of bloody tears in my pocket, but the angels and trumpets continued to play.

I just love the detail on the heels.

True love won the day.  But there is logic in this:  because of the platform and great comfort of this shoe, I can and will actually wear it to shop and go places in, believe it or not.  I truly do need heels that are a crazy comfort to wear, that I can love daily and be comfortable in, and for this reason this extra expenditure and my indebted situation with Mother can be justified.

Closing down the mall, as usual…

It was God’s Plan.

CAT by Marciano

Hit the “follow button” at right to accompany me on future shopping marathons, and follow me on Instagram @something_cliche.

Categories: Shopping, What I Bought | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Trend Update: Bejewelled Cross

In my last post, I mentioned that I did not come out of Forever XXI empty-handed.  Well, who does?

Inspiration. There’s always an inspiration.

The find!

Actually, in pursuit of my Top Ten Fall Fashion Trends for 2012, I snagged the jewels to make Trend No. 9 a reality.  Again, my inspiration, left.  My find, right!

This piece can be worn with any dress or top in any of the colours in the cross, but most stunningly over black.

My version of the look

Tree hugger…?

And look what else I found!

A small kiosk on the lower floor at Upper Canada Mall was selling these cute iPhone cases. Giftable?

Have you bought into the trend of overscale crosses this year?  What do you think about this look?  Comment below and if you like this post, please follow me by clicking the “follow” button in the right-hand margin.

As always, follow me on Instagram @something_cliche

Categories: Purely Fashion, Shopping, What I Bought | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Where to Buy: Foxy Red Jeans

My mission: to find the best pair of jeans in one evening, in one mall. In my post, Top Ten Fall Fashion Trends, I mentioned red. Also, Terry Fox Day is this Friday at my school. My house color happens to be… red. So, in furtherance of both top fashion trends and cancer prevention, I set about to get myself the perfect pants for this event. And so, I have done the legwork for you. If anyone is looking for red jeans, read up.

My inspiration

My Inspiration

Since I had to be fast, I went to the Upper Canada Mall, in the heart of scenic Newmarket, Ontario. (Chuckle) Actually, it’s a pretty good mall because it serves a large surrounding area and has a good selection of popular retail chains. Store names in boldface type below are the ones that have red jeans.

Dynamite: Usually I find all sorts of great stuff that’s really on trend at this favorite Canadian chain, but no red jeans for me today. Loads of other stuff for me to come back for, though, when I have more time/money.

H&M: Nice fit, well-priced

H&M. I tried these pinkish-red jeans on there and they were my top choice for a long time. They had lots of stretch for a snug fit. They weren’t the dark red I was looking for but I will say that H&M has a decent selection of different types of red jeans, and all priced right of course. Slight gaping at the top of the zipper bothered me a little, but they were still nice pants.

American Eagle, Banana Republic, Guess and Costa Blanca: I tried these stores and they seem to have ignored the red trend – at least, at this mall they did.

Down we went to the lower floor to the little sister of Dynamite, Garage. Garage had a nice pair of red jeans for under $40. The red was not as orangey as some, but still not quite the color I was looking for. I tried on this one:

Garage–red jeans, good value. (Yes, okay, I did try this sweater on too.)

I put it on hold because it was a fairly nice pant and I knew that I would have been happy with it.

Next stop, GAP. At GAP we are up into the $70-$80 price range. I tried on three styles, one of which was a dark red fine-wale corduroy. It was so soft! Another interesting red pant at GAP featured a 6-inch zipper up the inside of the ankle. I put pants on hold at GAP as well. Their pants were very nice and fit well. If you’re looking for red pants, check them out.

Gap Zippered Jean. Very nice.

Forever XXI: Normally, I love Forever 21. And believe me, I didn’t leave empty-handed, but the cut of their red jeans was awkward in that they were very narrow from the knee down, yet loose in the hips. My knees and calves aren’t exactly chunky in comparison with my hips, so I don’t know who these pants would fit. Unfortunately, this was a recurring problem with pants at many stores.

Forever XXI. Red Jeans only for those with unnaturally tiny calves!

Old Navy wins the prize for best selection of colours of jeans in any store. The skinny leg “Sweetheart” jean was a great dark red and had serious potential but would this chain please get it together on sizing? You can be one

Old Navy Rockstar Jean, under $20 in any colour!

size of jean in one pair and then be three entire sizes different in another so that you can’t even buy a pant in their store. Too bad. Anyway, I did put a really nice quality fine-wale cord on hold in this store as well.

Old Navy dark red corduroys fit well

*

After I stopped staring at the poster on the way into Hollister (girls – don’t deny it–you know what I mean.) and passed the (tall dark and handsome) greeter, my eyes were finally able to focus on red jeans. Wait, first I have to mention, that store smells so good! Hollister had two pairs that looked promising:
1. A nice dark, rich red skinny jean
2. A similar jean with a small navy blue polka-dots
The second wasn’t exactly what I was looking for but they were so sweet I had to try them.

These jeans are so flattering!

The instant I put them on, I knew. As if it were instinct! Hollister’s dark red skinny jeans were a cut above all of the other jeans I tried on. The fit was perfect and flattering with a narrow rolled-up ankle that can be rolled down for a longer jean later in the season. It was one of those “omg this is actually perfect how did I miss this before?!” moments. It wasn’t just my body shape fitting these jeans, they were actually better designed than any of the other jeans I tried on. A pleasant surprise awaited me at the cash register (no, not another of their choice male cashiers): although marked at $70, they were actually on sale so I snagged them for $50, which I consider decent given how nice these were.

Red Hollister Jeans from back

So, I did not have to stop at Canuck favorite Joe Fresh, where I might have found them for a very good price. If anybody has seen red jeans at Joe Fresh this fall, let me know in the comments below.

I love these jeans!

Terry Fox, no one does this much research before running your marathon. I call it dedication.

Like always, follow me on Instagram @something_cliche 🙂

Categories: Purely Fashion, Shopping, What I Bought | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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