What I Bought

♡ 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 ♡

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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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Here Comes the Sun. Kicking and Screaming and Not at all Willing.

Readers, I think you know that I get very attached to some fashion items when I see them in store. Shoes, for example. Let’s just say one was looking for black stilettos  and came across a pair that worked and was at a good price point. Let us imagine that shortly after, another pair of stilettos was spotted, and that this second pair just had something that nice, cute, affordable pair did not have. And also were way, way out of a reasonable price range. That, of course, is the pair I would deem the perfect pair of black stilettos.

And so.

My romance with this vest was sort of like an arranged marriage.  I was not present for the initial meeting with it.  When my mom described the perfect suitor  to me after her visit to the mall in March, I knew it was true love.  The forever kind.  Handsome.  Sleek.  Avante-garde. But like any romance, there were obstacles:  I was broke.  I couldn’t get to the mall.  I knew another girl would snap up this dreamboat in a flash! I cried. Desperately, I enlisted the help of all of my family to seal the deal.

At last, I brought my true love home.

It’s a love story, baby just say yes

It is cold where I am. Cold! I’ve been just waiting for a chance to start wearing spring clothing.

Okay, I’ve been wearing it anyway.

If Spring won’t come to me, then I will come to it. Dressed for it. Insistent. Whether Spring likes it or not.

Yes, this is what fashion does to me. I blame Vogue— I’m seeing all these spring trends and spring clothing and I can’t wait to wear it.

Today I went for All You Can Eat Sushi with a friend at a place called Sushi Kui in the St. Andrew’s Plaza in Aurora, north of Toronto. Since I’ve been waiting for a day appropriate to wear this vest, I took the opportunity today. Sushi Kui was rumoured among area sushi lovers to be the best sushi in the area, so we had to find out for ourselves. It was so good, we both gorged ourselves!

Just a fraction of the amount of sushi we ate, but I was so focused on eating that I forgot to get a picture of the whole meal!

White leather vests and jackets are a huge trend for spring–preferably biker style.

What I wore to go for lunch:

    • White leatherette vest – H&M
    • Red and white striped shirt – Forever XXI
    • Red jeans – Hollister
    • Combat boots – Bare traps
    • Shark tooth necklace – Forever XXI
    • Leatherette bag – Aldo

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Vintage Inspiration for Semi-Formal

 

It has been a long time since I posted, as I look at the date of my last post.  The holiday season is over and we are well into the activities of the New Year–and most importantly (just kidding, world literacy is way more important!) the dressing that goes along with those current activities!

I have been busy these few weeks, readers, and you know I would never galavant around town without sharing it all with you, so I am pleased to tell you that I have topics and clothing to share for a few posts to come!

My school has its Semi-Formal earlier than most, and that stellar event was January 25.  For Semi, we are still deeply into winter dressing, although we are looking at magazines filled with flower prints and bright, summer colours.  I picked up this black and gold dress from Zara as the basis for my Semi look.


Things that made me buy this dress:

*     hip detail reminiscent of a peplum that is not an actual peplum (my deep, dark secret, readers:  although peplums are very much “in” and people should wear them, I personally am not a fan of them for my own wardrobe and do not wear them.   Sorry folks, I can’t love every fashion trend!)  This allows me to allude to the trend without actually wearing the dreaded peplum.

*     slim, flattering cut, different from some of my recent outfits

*     black:  most people seemed to be planning to wear white, so I wanted to be different

*     small chain detail on either hip above half-peplum:  I loved this because it was that little “something extra” you want for Semi, and it also gave me direction for accessories and an overall “look”

After pondering my options, I decided on an overall look that would be all sleek and urban.  To that end, I went to my black stilettos and had my hair completely straightened.  I also decided to keep colours to a classic and always winter-perfect black and gold combination.

The peplum mimics an hourglass shape popular in the late 50s, and the “little black dress” effect, I thought, was very Audrey Hepburn / Holly Golightly  in overall mood, if not detail.  Notice the eyeliner in the video!  Regular readers will know of my love of this era of vintage inspiration, especially through Lana Del Rey, who brings these influences to the attention of my generation.  So, I went for a matte, pinky-flesh-toned lip and a black, dramatic, cat-eye liner!   And a generous dusting of gold powder here, there and everywhere!

For jewelry, I wanted to repeat two themes:  the black and gold, and the chain detail.  I nixed a larger gold chain my mom picked up from Forever XXI and chose this subtle and ladylike tri-colour gold necklace from her closet instead.  But I did not feel like the outfit had enough pizzaz yet.   Perhaps it was too ladylike and tame.   It needed something to give it a bit more flair, and my arms were still too bare.  One more furtive trip into that treasure trove, the Mom’s Closet, and I scored this vintage 80s bracelet.

Bracelet

I know, Mom, you tried to keep me out of your stuff, but I promise to wear the Forever XXI necklace some other time.  As in: some other time when there isn’t something better in your closet 🙂

I have mentioned before that it is de rigeur in my North-of-Toronto fashion zone to wear bare legs, even in the dead of winter, and believe me, it was cold!

Semiformal

What time of year is your semi-formal?  What’s your favourite way to accessorize your “LBD”?  Share below, and follow your style instincts by email,  by clicking “follow” at right, and 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

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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

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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 🙂

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Graphic Skirt

Even though I don’t wear skirts all that often, I knew when I saw this graphic, bright and bold skirt with zipper front at H&M that I would wear it.  It was love at first sight and because of all the colours, it goes with many things I already have.

I’m wearing it here with my T Party t-shirt which I love because it makes anything that could be too dressy seem suitably casual in spite of its rhinestones. I have my favorite Aldo messenger bag which I have mentioned before and doubtless will mention many times yet– I love it! I have multicolored bangles to pick up all the colors in the skirt. And holding it all up, these are my Calvin Klein cage shoes.

And look!

I’ve worn it already and love it 🙂

How would you wear this skirt?

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