August 31, 2010

What I Love now! - August Pre-Fall Edition

Fall is just around the corner and it's the time when fashion changes seasons. Now's the best time to scoop up deals on summer clothes and start planning for Fall/Winter!

Read read read:
Nina Garcia just put out her new book Nina Garcia's Look Book: What to Wear for Every Occasion. The illustrations by Ruben Toledo are fantastic as always. Also it's a great reference to have and a good way to arm yourself for any unexpected invitations and what to wear for those events. My one criticism so far is that the office attire section tends to be very conservative - geared towards more of a conservative workstyle. Many companies on the West Coast, especially Silicon Valley are much much more relaxed in their dress codes and I would say in general the West Coast tends to be more relaxed when it comes to dressing.
Nina Garcia's Look Book: What to Wear for Every Occasion

Also, fashion magazines have put out their all-important September issues - usually the size of a huge phonebook. I'm currently catching up on the September issues from Harper's Bazaar and C Magazine (for more local California flavor). Until someone launches the colour version of e-Ink, I'm sticking with the old fashioned paper subscription versions.

Thank you H&M: Usually I'm not a fan of the H&M as the sizing tends to be good for taller girls and often the materials are purely manmade. As part of their 2010 Autumn/Winter collection though, H&M released a cute cotton blend cardigan for $29.95 which I couldn't resist buying in the red/white stripe version. This is not an item for girls with big shoulders, but for petite girls who tend to have smaller shoulders, or want to balance out a pear shape, this is perfect! It also comes in black/white stripes as well.

Thoughts on Trends: I haven't fully figured out what my focus will be for Fall/Winter. I'll probably be on the prowl for a velvet blazer and a leather jacket - since my closet is lacking either. But here are my initial thoughts...

Fan of: Lace, red, jackets, ladylike satchels

On the fence: Camel, animal prints, the return of the pantsuit (really?), kitten heels

Trends that did not need to happen: Gray and army colours (blagh), Denim shirts (why?!), flannel

August 30, 2010

I won a Style Award!

Hooray! Be in Style sent me a Style Award - see the nifty badge above. Thanks Be in Style!

August 29, 2010

Links a la Mode: Looking Forward to Looking Back for Fall

links a la mode

Looking Forward to Looking Back for Fall

Edited by: Ann of Holier than Now
Every season begins with looking back: the designers revisit trends of yore, and we fling open our oversized Tupperware bins and dig through the back of our closets to see just what it was we wore this time last year. Despite the thrill of new trends, most of us probably feel that the first Fall shopping we should do is in our own closet (View from 5 ft. 2 and Your Saving Style inspire on this front). Next step: after considering your bank account, and perhaps the pros and cons of fast fashion (see: Consumerism Killed My Soul), a visit to your local thrift store or flea market for vintage finds might replace that mall excursion you were imagining. With a wealth of inspiration from the blogosphere, there's never been a better time to invest in - or just be inspired by - style from the past.

Links à la Mode: August 26th

Going Bold

The topic of how women pull together outfits came up one day. I realized that there are in fact, many routes in which one can go to bring together everything into one fabulous fashionista package. For this particular post I will center around the situation in which you want to "Go Bold" and get out of any typical routine look.

You can start going bold by:

1) Pick any one item of bright colour or unusual pattern and coordinate things around it. I love starting with things like a bright orange cardigan from J. Crew, tailored red pants, a printed skirt - whatever you may have in your closet.

2) Decide if you want to then add other pieces in any of the following manners:

a. Keeping everything else neutral (i.e. colours such as white, tan, grey, navy, brown, black). 

Just to illustrate what can happen with colour. I'm using the latest Dior Couture collection for examples - ultimately the colours can translate equally well to everyday clothing. Look at how much yellow and red pop against the black on this dress:

Dior Couture Fall 2010
Model: Kim Noorda

b. Pick other colours in a similar colour family (i.e. cools such as blues and greens, or warm colours   such as red and yellow).

This is a more "matchy" approach - the green bow and lavender shoes complement the blues and violets on the dress below. The pink plastic headcone is another story....

Dior Couture Fall 2010
Model: Anna Selezneva

c. Pick complementary colours, that is colours opposite each other according to colour theory. Typical pairs include black and white, yellow and violet, blue and orange.

Below is a double whammy of complementary colours: The top of the dress is a violet print accented with a yellow bow along the waist, the bottom skirt in blue is accented against the orange shoes. Again, plastic wrap headgear is completely optional...

Dior Couture Fall 2010
Model: Jac

If dealing with patterns, remember that it is possible to add another pattern provided the pattern is of different scale. Example, a skirt with small polka dots often works better with a large floral patterned top as opposed to small floral motifs that are about the same size. Experiment and see what works on you!

August 25, 2010

Mizrahi 24.24 Remembered

Sorry sweet readers - I took a bit of a blog break as I am working on some new posts that I hope will be interesting!

This is the 24th and last in a series of questions from Isaac Mizrahi's fantastic book How to Have Style with my personal answers below.

Discovering Your Style, Question #24: How do you want to be remembered style-wise?

I think I would like to be remembered style-wise as being unique, unafraid, a little romantic and hopefully still stylish enough to encourage others to also try expressing themselves through fashion!

How would you like to be remembered?

August 19, 2010

Links a la Mode: Fast Forward to Fall

links a la mode

Fast Forward to Fall

Edited by: Florrie Clarke of Intrinsically Florrie.
The trends for the coming months were dictated back on the catwalks in February, but now as September draws closer it's time to get our teeth into them and have a good hard think about those all important autumn buys. Particularly seeing as while I type this the weather is strongly urging me towards a winter wardrobe.
This week's links both look to winter and bask in the remaining sun. We look at a fashion interpretation of the current oil spill disaster (intelligent or tasteless?), are inspired by gorgeous fashion illustrations and a chain bag DIY, debate the history of the 'prep' look and think about how all our choices determine our body shape.

Links à la Mode: August 16th

  • a la modest: High-waisted jeans (a.k.a. mom jeans) are back in vogue!
  • Beautifully Invisible: Steven Meisel's Water & Oil: Social Commentary or Tasteless Fashion?
  • Beyond Fabric: On men bags
  • Dramatis Personae: Gilda Su announce Revasseur & Pre-Fall 2011 Lookbook.
  • Embracing Style: How to make your own chain bag!
  • Fete a Fete: Review of Guerlain's new 68 Champs-Elysees fall 2010 makeup collection:
  • For Those About To Shop: Katharine Hamnett is the mother of eco-fashion and believes consumers have the power to change the world
  • Independent Fashion Bloggers: Can you Kickstart a New Career With Crowdfunding?
  • Intrinsically Florrie: Dream dress and dream shoes- the fairytale look
  • Kyoto Maiko: You Can't Buy "Prep," But You Can Own It...
  • Miss Jones & Me: Roll into the Wild Woolly West: A focus on Fall transition pieces because the temperature can't drop soon enough!
  • My Closet in Sketches: A hand drawn interpretation of the magic of white jeans (from the Gap men's department, to boot!).
  • Vogue Gone Rogue: tuscan vineyards and teal rompers. A lighthearted outfit post inspired by Tuscan countryside and wine.
  • Rags to Reverie: Sarah Mower's Fashion Illustrations for Vogue China and Vogue Nippon
  • Retro Chick: A very modern vintage manicure
  • Shoe Daydreams: Where do you draw the line with knocks-offs... what about when a blogger favorite retailer is doing it?
  • Shoeper Woman: Why does no one dress up any more?
  • Style Eyes: How to jump right out of a style rut - some ideas on how to look and feel great
  • Stylin' Girl: Kristen McMenamy. Collages & trivia about a timeless fashion icon!
  • The Demoiselles: What would you sacrifice for a more "fashion-friendly" body?
  • The Simply Luxorious Life: A dream of a shopping list for the fall fashions - staples that will enhance any woman's wardrobe.

August 18, 2010

Mizrahi 24.23 Tell the world

This is the 23rd in a series of questions from Isaac Mizrahi's fantastic book How to Have Style with my personal answers below.

Discovering Your Style, Question #23: What's the one thing you'd like to tell the world?

To not be afraid to express yourself in the way you dress, to chose a colour rather than basic black, to enjoy having people notice you, to embrace true individuality when it comes to style - that is what I would like to tell the world.

Speaking of unique interpretations check out more of Susan Stockwell's amazing dresses, which are truly unique pieces of art.

Artist and Copyright: Susan Stockwell
Description: Victorian style dress made from maps of the British Isles
Material: paper; maps; glue

August 17, 2010

Wanted: Shabby Apple Dresses

I happened upon Shabby Apple - a site which brands itself as "A return to what dresses were always meant to be—a one piece outfit. No need to add anything…no tank tops, no cardigans, nothing." Hrmmm not sure about completely never needing accessories, but I like the idea of dresses that can stand on their own!

What's particularly nice is the number of reasonably-priced dresses done in cotton. Some of my favorites from left to right are:
1) Frida K - The black skirt and white top are all 1 piece. The high waist is very chic.
2) San Gabriel - Soft ruffles meet military on this dress. It's a nice break from military style jackets.
3) L'Opera - The magenta colour is quite lovely as well as the interesting usage of diagonal ruffle work.

Tip: Apparently has a page with many Shabby Apple coupon codes.
Shabby Apple Picks

August 16, 2010

Review: Moth Steamer Trunk Skirt

style #18909903

(Also available in all Black)

August 13, 2010

Selling Out on Urban Decay

As much as I love Urban Decay's 24/7 eyeliners, their lipsticks are much less impressive. I got a chance to sample Sellout - a warm neutral lipstick that is a full coverage cream. Colour-wise I thought it was quite pretty and flattered my pale olive skin tone. Something that you could wear during the day.

While the lipstick seem glossy and creamy at first, it actually dried my lips out horribly like a drugstore lipstick. Furthermore, I found the creme caramel scent and flavor was sickeningly sweet to have on all day.

Verdict: Don't bother buying these - lipsticks like this are the reason women switched over to glosses.

August 11, 2010

Mizrahi 24.22 - How Do Others View You

This is the 22nd in a series of questions from Isaac Mizrahi's fantastic book How to Have Style with my personal answers below.

Discovering Your Style
, Question #22: How do you think people see you style-wise?

Probably crazy considering I live in the suburbs where most folks will not wear much beyond jeans and tees, haha! I hope well-dressed in general comes to mind. But I would say fairly colourful, a bit girly, and a bit romantic. Unfortunately a rather consistent remark I get being petite is also how "tiny and small" people think I am. But since my feet aren't terribly good with 3 inch heels, I don't think being 5 ft 1 can elicit many other reactions when most girls are much taller.

How do you think people see you style-wise?

August 09, 2010

August 08, 2010

Inspiration: Janelle Monae

I just loved Janelle Monae's retro menswear look and beehive-like hair once I saw her perform "Tightrope" on So You Think You Can Dance:


Her look is truly unique and one of a kind. The colour palette she prefers favors striking black and white themes, bow ties, a menswear/retro combination, and of course, the hair -- all of which really set off her beautiful features and complement her retro-sounding voice. 

Janelle Monae in InStyle July 2010

Details on how she achieves the look are below from an InStyle feature: 

August 07, 2010

Review: Moulinette Soeurs Cascading Bow Dress

Cascading Bow Dress

style #18896985

After watching the September Issue, besides renewing my love for Grace Coddington's genius photoshoot spreads, I oddly enough was drawn to all the handwritten notes alongside looks for the magazine. Thereby I was inspired to do a more "visual" review format where I get to mark up items I've tried on with my thoughts. Let me know in the comments if this works better!

August 05, 2010

Links a la Mode: Jealousy, Race, and Summer Jackets

links a la mode

Jealousy, Race, and Summer Jackets

Edited by: Thom Wong of The Sunday Best.
A veritable cornucopia of stylish reading awaits you in this week's list. You'll get taken on a tour of (rarely mentioned) downtown Halifax, discuss again whether any role model should be based on image, and look into doing the impossible with a dying medium. Along the way discover what tips men might have for women's style, whether a closet can be perfectly unisex, and what Mormons might know about minimalism.

Links à la Mode: August 5th

August 03, 2010

I've Been Featured on Be In Style!

Thanks very much to lovely Michele - I've been featured on Be In Style,'s beauty and fashion blog! (So thrilled!) In case you don't know already, Be In Style features shopping tips, product reviews, and blog reviews. You can also check out the rest of Michele's posts.

Also, hello sweet new readers from! Welcome to my humble blog and feel free to let me know your style and fashion thoughts via the comments or email me at sweetarchivia(at)gmail(dot)com.

August 02, 2010

Faking the Anthro Look

Let's face it, not all of us live near an Anthropologie store or want to look like exact replicas of the catalog. However, many of us still want that vintage-inspired look with a modern twist and cut. The good news is many options are available out there from online Boutiques that emulate the look. (Note, I've never bought from any of these boutiques - so I don't know if the clothes look as good in person - if you know, please divulge in the comments!)

Cutiemus - specializes in modern and vintage inspired clothing. I found they are currently carrying a jacket that looks almost identical to the Take-a-Bow Jacket Anthro carried in Fall 2009:

Le Train Bleu - a higher end Portland boutique with some gorgeous pieces created for the person who "values fashion as an art form." Check out the Ashley Safari Dress - a great pencil silhouette dress that looks to be so flattering.

Modcloth - brands itself as "retro indie" and has so many cute dresses, it's embarrassing. I just wish more of them were cotton rather than polyester! Their Frock the Line Dress (in linen) below has lace detailing that looks very similar to the Anthropologie Anthurium Blouse.

Ruche - The store describes itself as a modern women's boutique with a vintage touch. Check out these cute flats, very Anthro-esque, no?

Tulle - describes itself as having a mix of modern and vintage inspiration. I could see the look below in an Anthro catalogue:

Tulle Look with Vintage Wool Jacket, $68

Well sweet reader, do you have any other boutiques you know of that have that vintage-inspired look we all so covet?

August 01, 2010

A Travelin' We Go!

I finally got around to writing a bit about my trip to Vancouver, Whistler and Victoria.

Below are the places and things to do which I thought were really exceptional. Unfortunately I didn't get around to doing much shopping (with the strong Canadian dollar things were not cheap!).

1) Near Vancouver
Take a stroll around Canada Place - It was my 2nd time visiting and it still didn't get boring for me because the views are always spectacular. Outside the city - eat at Shanghai River for truly authentic Shanghai food, where you get to watch the chefs make your xiao long bao.

2) Near Victoria
Butchart Gardens - totally worth it and completely amazing garden views during the summer from all angles. Make sure to visit a gift shop for the lovely locally handmade pressed flower jewelry.  Eat dinner at the sassy Bon Rouge French Bistro Restaurant in downtown Victoria - excellent food and service.

3) Near Whistler
Drive up to Whistler through the gorgeous Sea-to-Sky Highway. The only other highway I could compare it to would be the scenic Highway 1 in California. Have an amazing hot apple cider at Crepe Montagne complete with cinnamon stick and orange wedge. Enjoy and stroll around the beautiful Whistler Village.

Packing tips!
1) Bring a compact umbrella and a warm jacket or coat. Weather was rather unpredictable!

2) The way I find to avoid forgetting little toiletry items is to keep the (nonperishable) items from your last trip still packed away in a cosmetic bag - ready for your next trip! Also makes it easy if you get an invitation for a random overnight trip last minute.

3) Your credit cards will work in Canada, your cell phone may not. There's many places for currency exchange for a small fee that exchange at a much better rate than the airport. Some places, such as the Butchart Gardens gift shop, will even take US dollars.

4) Even traveling with a Canadian passport (hey guys! I'm a citizen ok?), expect multiple checkpoints asking for your passport and plane ticket, so have them readily on hand.

Do you have any favorite travel destinations or tips? If so, share in the comments!

Vancouver - city view from Canada Place

Harbor itself with a view of the white sails over Canada Place
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