Link Love: Real and Faux Fur

Forum member Joy noticed the NYTimes fashion Fall supplement was full of ads featuring fur and faux fur. So it could be a big trend for Autumn 2015. In the meantime, the debate about real versus faux fur continues:

Earlier this year The Guardian asked if wearing fur is morally worse than wearing leather.

The newspaper also reported that the fur industry “is enjoying another year of considerable growth. The demand for mink, sable, fox and ferret has soared and farmers have stepped up production.”

In an Op-Ed piece on BOF, Elisa Allen, Associate Director of PETA, argues that “Fashion isn’t found in granny’s closet; it’s set by innovative designers who embrace eco- and animal-friendly materials and advances in fabric and fibre technologies that make the most out of metal, cotton, cork and synthetics. The only place left for fur in fashion is in old back copies of Vogue.”

Hannah Weiland, the founder and designer of London-based label Shrimps, decided to work with faux fur for a number of reasons: her personal views, price, colour and creative flexibility. She doesn’t think that faux fur is a trend, but a lifestyle that clients and buyers are increasingly comfortable embracing.

Fab Links from Our Members

Gigi thought these 40 outfit suggestions could come in handy, especially if you are shopping your closet and want to try new item combinations.

This image on The Sartorialist immediately reminded Joy of Angie’s hacking post. This would be a different way to hack out shorts from a pair of jeans.

Skylurker found Viktor & Rolf’s last couture show very poetic: The golden frames are made of cloth, and the patterns are embroidery and jacquard work!

Angie loves Sylvia’s arty architectural skirt and blouse outfit with flat sandals and red accents. A gorgeous look for her first day in NYC.

Deb lets us know that Goodwill is going upscale with new boutiques.

Liz Jackson, who has idiopathic neuropathy, has been petitioning J.Crew to sell walking canes. Robin thinks this is a great idea: “They’re a really common assistive tool, so why shouldn’t they become part of mainstream fashion?”

Nadya thought this article about the Americans who received the Legion of Honour wearing khakis and polo shirts was charming.

A Question That Will Help You to Edit Your Dressy Capsule

Editing your dressy capsule, party capsule or holiday capsule is one of the trickiest parts of the closet editing process. Dressy pieces worn on special occasions or for formal events maintain their pristine condition because they are infrequently worn and laundered. They were probably pricey, so we might have a harder time passing them on. And in an effort to be organized and prepared, we like to keep dressy items in our wardrobe — “just in case”. As a result we have a tendency to hold on to our dressy capsule for longer than we should, which is problematic because these items do date, your style preferences change, and so does the shape of your body. 

Whenever my clients are unsure about passing on formal pieces, I ask them this question: “If you were invited to a dressy occasion any time soon, would you wear that piece?” If the answer is “no” or “probably not”, the item is passed on. If the answer is “maybe”, we thrash out the possibility of updating the footwear and bag to go with the dress or separates to make it look more current. 

CURRENT is the operative word here. It’s very important to refit your dressy pieces regularly — not just look at them — to formulate a current opinion about them. That way you’ll have a more effective dressy capsule on hand instead of resorting to an outfit that makes you feel less than fab.

Tadashi Shoji Sequin Illusion Lace DressTadashi Shoji Asymmetrical Ruched Mesh GownAkris-punto Metallic Tuxedo Jacket

Weekly Roundup: Stripes

A striped pattern is graphic and also bold if the stripes create a high contrast with each other. Diagonal stripes are dramatic, especially when they create an interesting patterned effect on a wardrobe item. 

I haven’t seen all these items in person, but they’re fun examples of the power of the stripe. 

Visit the collection page to see the items alongside my descriptions.


Swimsuits & Accessories

A selection of one and two-piece swimsuits, and swimwear accessories

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Boho-Lite Items

Update your casual wardrobe with a few boho pieces for Spring and Summer.

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Mint Items

A selection of mint tops, bottoms, bags and footwear.

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Soft White Tops

A selection of soft white tops that work well as layering pieces, or worn on their own.

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A selection of dresses for a range of body types.

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Black, White & Pink

A selection of soft and comfortable pieces for dressy and casual occasions.

Read More

Checking in on Your Style Goals for 2015

Now that we’re eight months into the year it’s time to check in on the style goals that we set back in January. I’ve done more shopping than usual thanks to a few trips abroad and an especially successful Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I’ve bought several wild cards that have worked out well. 

I set nine goals in January, and I’ve managed to reach some of them.

#1 To wear Simple outfits that are Modern, Crisp, Dressy and Bold.

Moving away from a Tomboy fashion persona, I’m in the mood for a prettier, softer, sleeker and more ladylike style direction. No hard edge or overly masculine combinations. The style moniker I aspire to is Urban Pretty, and the adjectives I use to describe it are: Simple, Modern, Crisp, Dressy and SOFT (instead of Bold, which I’ve been using for years). 

#2 To continue adding a refined and soft element to my style as I marry my favourite style personas, Modern Classic, Punk, Trendy Fashionista and Androgynous into a cohesive look that is age appropriate and attractive. 

My new soft and pretty style direction has left a large portion of the Androgynous fashion persona behind. I’ve let go of my bold spiked hair and grown out my fringe to a softer ‘80s ‘do. I now prefer to wear blouses and knitwear to boyish button-down shirts, and I’ve added more dresses too. I’m also adding Retro Futurism as a style persona because I’m drawn to the glam looks from the ‘70s and cheeky styles of the ‘60s while ‘80s silhouettes stay close to my heart. I continue to sport modern classics with trends.

#3 To continue mixing high-end and low-end pieces in one outfit. 


#4 To continue experimenting with trouser and jeans styles in both solids and patterns throughout the year. 

Check. I’ve moved away from blue boyfriend jeans and I’m sticking to white because they’re prettier, crisper and dressier. I’ve also added skinny pants and jeans, high-waisted cropped pants and jeans, cropped kick flared jeans, red wool trousers and a jumpsuit to my wardrobe.   

#5 To continue experimenting with button-down shirts and knitwear styles because they never let me down. 

I haven’t bought a single modern classic button-down shirt this year. I’ve moved over to soft blouses, all sorts of knitwear, mixed media knitwear, and the occasional knitted top.  

#6 To NOT purchase too many black wardrobe items because I only enjoy black in small doses.

Check. I’ve purchased a solid short-sleeved black turtleneck this year and that’s it. 

#7 To NOT purchase solid grey wardrobe items because the colour does not make me happy. 

Check. I’ve learned that wearing dark and mid-tone grey in a top or topper makes me sad, so no more. But wearing a very light silver grey with white, sea foam and light blue makes me happy, so I’ve purchased two silver grey pullovers and love them. 

#8 To add more tomato red to my wardrobe, because it does make me happy. I had a very pink 2014, and now feel like having a red 2015. 

Check. I’ve added a tomato red dress, bag and pair of trousers to my wardrobe. My new watermelon lace dress is tomato red-lite. 

#9 To add a pair of white specs and a new gold-coloured watch. These are not high-priority goals but fun to have on the list so that the pieces are on my radar. 

I’ve been on the lookout, but haven’t found anything. I did add a new pair of round Retro tortoise shell sunglasses to my style though. 

I’m in a very happy place with my evolving, softer style. My hair will have grown into the the right look in a couple of months, and I’m champing at the bit to inject Retro Futurism into my Fall and Winter outfits.

Over to you.

Three Trendy Blouses to Wear with Bootcut Trousers

I’ve been working with clients on how to jazz up their modern classic bootcut trouser outfits for the office in Summer. One option is to wear them with a trendy blouse. This combination eliminates the layering fuss of a jacket or vest (although a camisole is a good idea.) 

Here are four pins that illustrate the concept.

Pin 1Pin 2Pin 3Pin 4

The beauty of the bootcut trouser is that its tailored fit on the thigh provides ample structure to compensate for fluid and oversized tops. This is not the case with wide leg trousers that are wide from thigh to hem. They are harder to pair with fashionably roomy tops without feeling like the outfit is wearing you.

Here are three solid and patterned blouse vibes that work well with a tailored pair of bootcut trousers. Some of the styles are the exact pieces that my clients have used to inject a little fashion into their classic office outfits. They finish off their bootcut trouser outfits with low, mid or high heels. A pointy toe is fab if the shoe is closed, because it effectively peeks out from under the flared hems. Statement necklaces and belts are secondary accessories. Note that black bootcut trousers are not your only option. 

1. Flirty Blouse

For lack of a better word, I’m using “flirty” to describe this style of blouse because it’s soft, romantic, fluid and NOT a basic shape. Take the glam looks of the ‘70s as your inspiration. Think of design details like pussy bows, flounces, ruffles, tiers, lace, ladder lace, banded bottoms, blousoned waists, high-low hemlines, bell sleeves, kimono sleeves and flutter sleeves. Wear the blouse tucked, untucked or semi-tucked, depending on the style of the blouse and the structure required to pull the outfit together. The belt is optional.

2. Drape Front Blouse 

The drape front blouse is also referred to as a “wrap blouse”, and last year’s ensemble might refresh your memory. The silhouette is fluid, thereby surrendering the waist, although belted versions that define the waist are gaining momentum. Most styles “wrap” in two sections down the front of the blouse, but some styles drape asymmetrically. Wear the blouse untucked and make sure that there is sufficient structure on the hem for the fluid versions. The opening of these types of blouses can be secured with a snap or fashion tape if they fall open too easily. 

3. Tunic 

This option is the most architectural and is less conventionally flattering than the other two. The snug thigh fit of the trousers provides ample structure for the tunic. Think tunics across all sorts of styles, and by all means wear short dresses as tunics too. Petites should wear their tunics a little shorter. 

Tunic styles can be fluid or fitted at the waist. The length of a tunic shortens the length of the leg line because it lengthens the torso. Although not essential, creating a low contrast between the tunic and the trousers does a great job of lengthening the look from neck to hem because it softens the horizontally cutting line of the hem of the tunic. An asymmetrical tunic, or one with a high-low hemline, adds further structure to the outfit because the shape creates magical diagonal lines

These combinations look elegant, chic and dressy to my eye, and are quite the refreshing change from skinnies paired with oversized tops. I’m looking to replace my dressy black bootcut trousers this year so I’m excited to try some of these combinations. I’ll also be covering how to wear bootcuts with fashionable knitwear as we head into Autumn.