Posts Tagged With: a matter of instinct

♡ 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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Categories: Fashion, Get the Look, Shopping, Stuff that matters, What I Bought | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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

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

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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Amp it up!

Waaay back in February I was in an event for Redken. I haven’t had a chance to post about it but, since the look is quite different from my usual, I thought I would share these pictures with you.

glamorous hair

Makeup was done by renowned Canadian makeup artist and hair stylist Taca Ozawa.

makeup artist

models backstage

Models waiting backstage

RAC models
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The look was a bit more embellished for me and I think it gives me a completely different attitude. For the show, I had to wear it with a simple, black dress, but it would have gone with more of a glammed-up outfit, for sure!Redken hair

What do you think? Do you like this look better, or prefer the “au naturel” version?

For all of my opinions on shopping, dressing and–hey, even world issues–as they are published, follow me by email by clicking follow in the top right corner of the page, or on Instagram @something_cliche

Categories: Beauty, Events | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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

Categories: Events, Shopping | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Confessions of a Wanna-Be Ginger

I’ve always wanted to be ginger. Not full out ginger, since I really do like being blonde, but maybe strawberry-blonde.  Still, I wasn’t ready for a full-time commitment.

About a month ago, I participated in a hair show modelling a product for a large company. They highlighted my hair with  a product that lifts out colour, then put a honey-toned glaze over all my hair that was supposed to make the highlights look natural and sun-kissed.  The immediate results were stunning.  What I found though, was that the honey glaze washed out pretty quickly and left the highlights looking too vivid and dramatic for the soft, sun-kissed look that I like.

I knew there had to be something out there for people with the same problem, so after asking every salon in town, I found this wonderful product.

Capture

It’s a shampoo which adds a color to your hair to adjust the tone, called “Watercolors Color Maintenance & Enhancement Shampoo” by Tressa.

This one, Warm Spice, “spices up the warm, red-golden tones in strawberry blonde and butterscotch shades”.

I wasn’t sure that was what I needed at first, but why not try it? Maybe it would add some red to my hair, but oh well. I’ve always wanted to be more ginger.

Here is the result.

I’m so pleased!

I know it doesn’t seem very red, so I was surprised when people started asking why my hair looked more strawberry.  This product softened the highlights and made them look natural again, and it added just the softest, loveliest hint of ginger tones to my locks!

I would definitely recommend this shampoo to anyone with the same problem OR if you want a temporary glaze of colour but are “not ready for a serious commitment”.  One shampoo lasts about a week and then you can re-assess your relationship status.

Pluses of this product:  *   temporary colour

                                        *  no chemical damage

                                        *   no permanent changes

                                        *   subtle colour enhancement

                                        *   hair feels great and healthy

There are a wide range of colours available in this shampoo, including a lavender shade designed to get rid of those dreaded brassy tones that some people get from colouring.

Where I got it:  For local shoppers, I got this product at the Beauty Supply Outlet on Wellington Street West in Aurora (Ontario) where, I must add, the staff and service were tops!

My mom and I might get a few more colours.  With such freedom to change it up and experiment, why ever not?!

For more hair, beauty and fashion tips, shopping adventures and style experiments, follow me by clicking follow in the bottom right corner or on Instagram @something_cliche

 

 

Categories: Beauty, Get the Look | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

The Weather is Laughing at Me

Today is the first day of spring. It is not spring outside. I, however, have spring clothes. Since I can’t wear them, I’m going to share them with you.

If you couldn’t tell from my post “Top Ten: Spring 2013’s Best Fashion Trends“, I’m a huge fan of black and white graphic for spring.

This is my homage to black and white graphic.

Whatever I spend on this look will be a good investment because black and white pieces always look chic.

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But in truth, I did not spend that much. ♥ Forever 21!

“If you can’t find a partner use a wooden chair . . .”

My Calvin Klein black heels were perfect with this look because the upper is formed of many black lines which repeat the black lines in the shirt and pants.

In case of drafts, my trusty black leather jacket is in keeping with the slightly edgy attitude of the other pieces.

This vintage Mexican bracelet with black onyx was borrowed from my mother. Ladies, always remember that your mom probably has some good things tucked away that are a better quality than you might be able to pick up at the local mall.

Beauty-wise, black cat-eye liner continues the graphic theme. Of course with a really styled eye, you should use a really neutral lip.

Lipstick: Lise Walter “Plumpissimo”   |   Lip liner: Inspire Cosmetics “Pretty”   |   Lip gloss: Quo Lip Temptation   |   Eye liner: MAC “Photogravure”

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. . .use a wooden chair . . . or a cat!

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A sleek, flat-ironed ponytail is also in theme.

What I’m wearing:

Shirt: Forever 21 (here)

Pants: Forever 21 (here)

Jacket: Joe Fresh

Bracelet: Mom’s closet

Heels: Calvin Klein Shoes

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Categories: Beauty, Fashion, fashion, winter dressing, clothing, style, Get the Look | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Bojana Sentaler: The Designer’s Road to Success

Bojana Sentaler

To be a designer – a dream for many including Bojana Sentaler, who decided to make that dream come true no matter what it took.

Bojana was uncertain as to what she what profession she wanted to go into when she chose Schulich School of Business, but says fashion had always been part of the unofficial plan.

“I always wanted to be in the fashion industry. Getting a business education at Schulich helped me get there.”

She takes a different attitude towards a career in design than some would expect, explaining that it takes more than just art and design skills to make a successful line. “Fashion seems to be glamorous and only about design, but there is a whole business behind it. I always wanted to have my own fashion line, it was a matter of finding the right opportunity to start”, she reflects.

Shortly after she graduated with a business degree, an opportunity arose for Bojana to travel the world, which inspired the birth of her own line of coats.

“I was greatly inspired by fashion, art and architecture that I saw in different countries. I had a vision of creating something unique and different that did not exist in Canada. The focus was on quality, elegance and timelessness.”

She learned about the fashions and cultures of places like Europe, Asia and South America. In South America she fell in love with the texture of alpaca fur, and began to see herself designing a high-quality line of outerwear from the rare fur, and when the time came to move back to Canada, this idea was what motivated her.

It was not easy for Bojana to get to where she is now but by planning each move she made carefully, she has overcome and avoided many difficulties.

“Like in every business, you face ups and downs. This is normal. However, I have always been very confident that Sentaler will make it and I have never given up.”

Extensive background learning in everything business and marketing, along with having a fashion and design-oriented mind has helped Bojana become successful in her field. “It is the combination of my business acumen, my sales and marketing experience on a national and international level, my pattern drafting education, my personality and love for fashion and keen sense of aesthetics that helped me to create Sentaler.”

As an entrepreneur, it is important for a designer to get into many diverse marketing events. Many young would-be entrepreneurs find it difficult to get themselves involved and begin contacting organizations to market themselves, but those who will make it most importantly have to like working with people, as Bojana does.

“I love being involved in different events and organizations,” she says. “This is what I’m good at.”

Because of this and because her line is so phenomenally well-designed, Bojana has not found it too difficult to have her line carried in stores of her choice, though for now it is sold mostly in the Sentaler Studio and online.

4 Sentaler Alpaca White Fitted Coat with Large Collar 2_0

“The Sentaler flagship store is Sentaler Studio in downtown Toronto, where the entire collection is available for purchase. Sentaler is also carried in selected boutiques.” Understandably, the designer places great value in keeping in contact with her clients, which is something she will not be able to do as her business expands and is carried in more stores. “However,” she says, “with Sentaler growing, it will be necessary to give Sentaler to more retailers.” When her line does get to the point where it is sold more in retail stores than by the designer herself, she will have to give up that personal connection with the clients. After all, she says, “the next step will be to expand in other stores across Canada and US.”

Thanks to online sales, the line of coats can be purchased from anywhere in the world, which means that Sentaler is an international brand. “However, for now, the biggest market is still in Canada,” she says, never getting excessively carried away by her own successes. “I am excited to see what the future will bring.”

Bojana is, as any good salesperson would be, concerning herself with details such as her target market, “women who have a love for elegance and an appreciation for high quality.” Right now she’s finding that that market is reached best through word of mouth, as one client will tell her friends about the amazing alpaca coat she just bought.

She keeps track of how her growth goals compared to her actual sales, which helps keep her business on course for success and lets her know what she can do to improve her sales for next year.

“Like with every business, it is very important to set sales targets and measure them regularly,” she explains. “This allows you to see whether you are on track and if not, what action plan you need to put into place in order to catch up.”

Overall, Sentaler is doing very well but as Bojana shows us, a salesperson’s work is never done, especially if that salesperson is also the designer. Bojana’s line is currently only for fall, winter and spring, but she’s working on giving clients something to covet in the summer. “I am currently researching lighter fabrics that are of equal high-end quality [to the alpaca winter line] for a summer line.”

Many reviews and websites call Bojana Sentaler “one of the top up-coming Canadian designers, which must feel good after all the work Bojana has put into her work. “I have worked very hard since the beginning so it is great to get recognition.”

Overall, Bojana has every right to be pleased with how far she has come, but she doesn’t let it get to her head. She wouldn’t go back and change anything she did, even if she could. Wouldn’t everyone like to be able to say that? Well, here’s how she got to that point: “Every decision I made and every step I took had a strategy behind it.” And that is how you can live with no regrets.

The hard-working designer has a few words of advice from her personal experience for would-be fashion designers.

She has learned that being different is not all there is, and that the best is not always the far from the norm. The trick is designing clothes that anyone would love to wear, at a better quality than anyone else.

“Don’t get so caught up in trying to be different. You have to understand that at the end of the day, people want to wear good quality clothes that complement their figure and make them feel beautiful, so stick to the basics.”

“Also, don’t start a fashion line without having a well-round business understanding or a business-minded partner.”

And in closing, “follow your dream and don’t be afraid to just go for it!

Keep up with Sentaler via twitter @Sentaler and on Instagram @Sentaler and like the brand on Facebook! Also, check out her WordPress blog here.

Follow me to get future posts in your inbox by clicking “follow” at the right, and on Instagram @something_cliche

Click here and here for past posts about Sentaler

Categories: Fashion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Spring Classics for Transitional Weather

Every spring, the red, white and navy of nautical style reappears in the world of fashion just as surely as daffodils reappear in the garden.  This year, another trend amps up the look: bold stripes.  The stripey trend is all over the fashion bibles, in bold black and white including vertical stripes on both loose-flowing pants and skinny jeans.  At the same time, navy and white or off-white vertical striped pants are a casual version of the trend that blends perfectly with nautical style.

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I combined my new navy-striped jeans with this navy nautical shirt from Joe Fresh for this look to wear to the mall with my friend.

A well-known advantage of vertical stripes is that they give the illusion of being slimmer, so wearing them on your bottom half is good for almost everybody!

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Photo from my recent photoshoot with Michael Ho. Kindly do not reproduce this photo without consent of the photographer.

On this warm, late winter day, with snow melting and sun shining, this outfit made me feel like spring is really coming!

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So where is my red?

red

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All classic and no glitz would make for a dull outfit.

All classic and no glitz would make for a dull outfit.

In keeping with the idea of lines and shapes, I added this geometric bracelet.

Pants: Forever XII (it’s true!)

Top: Joe Fresh

Jacket: Joe Fresh

Scarf: Sentaler

Bracelet: Forever XXI

Shoes: Aldo

Nail Polish: Essie “5th Avenue”

Spring:  Can you wait?  What’s your favourite way to “get the feeling” at this time of year?

Happy daylight savings time, and don’t forget to follow me by email by clicking “follow” at right, and on Instagram @something_cliche

Categories: Fashion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Top Ten: Spring 2013’s Best Fashion Trends

Off the top, the purpose of this article must be clear. You can go anywhere and find out what the big trends are according to who has thought them up, who is marketing and promoting them, or according to major magazines that carry the ads. This is not one of those lists.

This is a curated, personal, wearable and hopefully real-life version of matters for those who actually have a life they need to dress for. So no, Céline’s brightly dyed Dr. Seuss-ish fur sandals will not be mentioned here. Having said that, don’t come here hoping for tips on how to wear your old sweats. The magazines have been read, the stored inspected and the collections studied. I have consulted with philanthropists (who think I should forget about it), real girls and fashion lovers. I have nixed the ridiculous, even if Louis Vuitton says it’s the latest and greatest, and I have considered the far-out to see whether it really is realistic. I have even embraced things I don’t personally like but which I do believe have legs in the world of great trends.

So, without further ado, my list of what will make any wardrobe so much better this spring, and what will stay a while (not just a season) and what will work with an existing wardrobe.

3. Black and white graphic, photo from French Vogue

3. Black and white graphic, photo from French Vogue

1. Emerald green. If there is just one thing you can do to let the world know you’re up-to-date with your spring style, it’s to wear some serious green. Even an accessory can get the point across if you don’t feel like going for something as bold as a bright green top. Seldom has a color been hailed with the fanfare of this trend which, in truth, really began last spring. In China, it is the Year of the Snake. In fashion, it is the Year of Emerald Green.

2. Snake Motifs. Thank China. You can also thank China for a lot of overpopulation and small, lead-filled toys that should be banned, but today let’s thank them for one of the best trends of spring 2013. This trend really started in fall 2012, but it’s only been growing in popularity since then. Find this trend at stores with lots of accessories: a great way wear this is on bracelets.

3. Black and white graphics. Bold and striking. Probably the best trend to put your money into just because it always looks good in some form. Black and white graphics means that you put bold black or white stripes and other strong shapes against the other color.

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4. Rachel Sin’s fall 2013 collection. Photo by Philippe-Olivier Contant

4. Polka-dots. A part of me started to cry when I saw the new fall collection of Canadian designer Rachel Sin. It’s not too soon to get polka-dots for yourself though, and you will be able to wear them into fall if you pick your colors right. For instance, goldy-yellow and black are in for spring and will be in again for fall (left).

5. Water motifs. Not sure yet if this is a result of global warming and reflects the threats to the environment like so many other recent trends. Designers have been showing these swirling watery designs in blue and aqua, often on a white background. Wear this trend as an environmental statement if you like, it’s your choice.

6. Low heels. Don’t expect everybody to wear this trend on the runways, but many tall girls will be happy to hear about this, and so will people who walk a lot. Don’t throw your high heels away though, because nothing will make your legs look as good as the perfect pair of high heels, but low heels can be a welcome sight after years of serious impracticality in shoe trends.

7. Hothouse flowers. Think of oversaturated photos of crazed garden tea-parties (below). Overscale flowers on everything from shorts to dresses, pants to blazers. Wear it head to toe for highest impact or just one piece to let the world know you have style.

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8. Poppy motifs on clothing by Prada, photo from Vogue

8. Black and red and poppy all over. Prada, thank you. I can’t wait to see what you do with The Great Gatsby. Like me, many people probably have a lot of black and red to start with, but you might have to get poppies. Pins, bags, t-shirts and jewelry are all great ways to slip a few poppies into your life without looking back and feeling like Dorothy on her way to Oz, and wondering why you have such an overabundance of poppies in your life. Make sure the poppies you pick (pun intended) are “mod” in style or shape (see above photo), because realistic-looking poppies aren’t quite the look.

Dress from The Free People

Dress from The Free People

9. Denim. Lots of it. Denim comes back on a regular basis, but not this much. You can wear denim head to toe: baggy or loose, flowing or tight. Skinny jeans, jackets, shorts, dresses – every possible incarnation. This year’s denim isn’t really dark or patterned, it’s just washed blue denim, the classic style.

10. Crochet fabrics. Similar to lace but heavier, this look is feminine but can be worn a little more edgy if you add leather jacket. Crochet shorts, skirts, shirts and dresses all work well, but make sure you get a creamy off-white. My “covet” in the crochet department is a dress like in the photo to the right.Now that spring fashion is coming into stores, all I’m waiting for is the snow to melt so I won’t freeze to death. To be honest, I’m more or less ready for summer clothing now.

What about you?  Is your closet ready for Spring?  

What’s the top 2013 Spring trend that you intend to wear?

For more opinionated but instructional style posts, follow me by clicking “follow” at the right, and on Instagram @something_cliche

Categories: Fashion | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

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