Trading Places – Crisscrossing Black and Yellow

After four years of Fashion School, I came out with two things: limited job prospects and a wardrobe consisting of black clothing. Depressing as it may seem on the surface, a black palate is both practical and flattering. And frankly, black goes with everything. Win-win, I always thought. Working at Novella, however, I was alarmed by my stylish colleague, Liat, whose brazen wardrobe appears effortless and playful — and terrifying when I envision it on myself.

For the past six years, my new year’s resolution was to methodically incorporate at least one item of colour into my wardrobe. I’d start off slowly by adding just a pop of colour in limited doses, so as not to overwhelm my psyche. So far I have veered into white and light grey — it has been a trying process. New year’s resolutions often become distant memories. Each morning, in a rush and with excuses, I end up wearing black and hoping texture will somehow spice things up. So obviously, the office took one look at me and decided that my funeral-like appearance required an upgrade. So for our second Trading Places article, Liat and I partnered up to revisit basics and wear outfits with colour — even yellow.

DAYTIME OUTFIT

Michelle: The average person simply cannot wear yellow and not look like Big Bird. But, for Liat’s sake, I really tried to like this top. I was pleasantly surprised to see how flounce sleeves could make the yellowness seem intentional and I liked how they added some texture and a playful vibe, which, to be honest, I don’t have. Next, I tried on the gingham trousers, which at first glance reminded me of a picnic table. I have to say though, that these pants were both soft and stretchy and on-point with this season’s trends. Incorporating some black made me feel like I could actually wear them. In general, my daily uniform includes black skinny jeans, and I noticed how much more mobility I had with these pants. I was fresh, youthful and a literal beam of sunlight. Unsurprisingly, I did end up buying the pants to wear with more black. The yellow will have to wait till 2018.

Liat: As a fashion blogger, my biggest fear is looking boring. And for that reason, the oversized sweater didn’t look appealing to me. My first thought was: This is not my cup of tea. But at the same time, I was curious to see how it will make me feel when I pull it off. As for the jeans, I was satisfied with what Michelle picked for me. I adore the fringe details on the buttom because of the uniqueness they add. The boyfriend fit along with the oversized sweater made me rethink my fancy style, especially when it comes to my busy unglamorous life as a busy mom. I love colours, prints, and feminine details like ruffles and lace, but for a casual weekend look, like a day with my kids at the park, I can never go wrong with such a comfy outfit.

NIGHTTIME OUTFIT

Michelle: I’m just going to start off by saying that I hate dresses because they require a certain femininity that I do not possess. Rompers or jumpsuits are just their awkward and unappealing half siblings because when you have to go to the bathroom, ain’t nobody got time for all that work! Needless to say, this romper was a challenge, both physically and emotionally. It was also a full-on floral print with a ribbon tie back, paired with a Supreme Deluxe pizza purse. There was a lot going on. My petite frame was fully submerged and drowning in colour, pattern, and print, and quickly moving through the five stages of grief. Initially, I was in denial thinking, “maybe this works.” I quickly moved to stage two and three, realizing that I had put both legs in one leg of the romper but bargaining with myself that no one would realize my error. I then became depressed, realizing that colour was not for me and finally accepting that only Liat would ever be able to look cool in this outfit. This outfit was way too far out of my comfort zone.

Liat: The black top featuring a built-in corset belt was extremely comfortable and it’s definitely something I see myself wearing with a colourful flowy skirt or high waisted pants. I love the idea that this corset is already attached to the shirt, which saved me the time of figuring out what to wear. Plus, it’s super trendy this season. Pairing it with black skinny jeans and oversized shirt makes it too casual for my fashionista soul, especially as an evening look, since I am the type of person who is always trying to mix things up and create an unexpected combination. Also I was afraid that that the button up shirt looked quite boyish. Even so, it’s not an outfit I’d normally pick for going out. But I must say it looks great together and I am willing to adopt it as a day look. I was really satisfied with what Michelle picked out for me and I think it’s also flattering to my body shape.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Michelle: Despite my pessimistic attitude toward all things colourful or peppy, I have to admit that I had a lot of fun with Liat and this exercise. It made me realize that society does not care what you wear as long as you own it. I learnt to be less anxious about colour and more willing to try something new, so next time I see colour on a rack, I will at least give it a shot. But, I am not sure if I’d ever wear yellow again, so don’t hold your breath.

Liat: As a fashion addict, I am always willing to go on a shopping spree. For me this experience was pure fun. I noticed how I am always looking for outfits that will let my individuality pop up, which leads to a closet that lacks basic pieces like plain t shirts or simple black jeans. I realized that I need to increase the causal department in my closet. It also made me realize that I have too many girly dresses, which I got just because I couldn’t leave them hanging in the store. At the end of the day, I bought the black corset top Michelle offered me because of it versatility.

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Hot List: Ooobaby and The Urban Bag

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How to survive the black friday sales

There’s no doubt that Black Friday is the day when you have to put on your savvy shopper hat and hunt for the best deals around the city. There is also no better time to treat yourself with those pair of designer boots or the sequin dress you just couldn’t splurge on before.

The annual sales event, which officially begins the Friday following the American Thanksgiving Day, is a phenomenal one. It used to be that Canadians had to have across the border sales envy, but, luckily, the unofficial sales date and its festivities have crossed the border and expanded to the Canadian market.

Whether you are after a new outfit for that Christmas party at the office or looking for last minute bargain holiday gifts, chances of getting a good deal are everywhere. To help you get through the chaos and take advantage of the great prices, we’ve prepared a few strategies here that will make your shopping more enjoyable and productive.

Credit: Eaton Centre

Make a list

Get inspired by browsing online or brick and mortar stores and write down a list of possible gifts (including ones you want for yourself!). You can also make a list of the people you want to give gifts to along with their hobbies or interests. You can never go wrong with classic gift choices, which will probably be on sale, like candles, silk eye masks, coffee table ornaments, or boxes of chocolates.

Credit: The private life of a girl

Set a budget

Set a realistic budget. With sales ads everywhere, it can be very easy to get carried away if you don’t set your limits. A strict plan will help you fight the urge to buy something just because it’s on sale. Be prepared. Think of it as a mission — no distractions!

Credit: Vogue Brazil

Rise Early

Keep in mind that this isn’t just a single day event. Many retail and online stores extend their sale dates. You can take a breather here and there, or you can start early and track or compare prices between stores. Amazon’s already started its Black Friday deals and Indigo’s announced their pre-Black Friday sales.

Credit: Allure

Go Online

If you can’t take the day off on the illustrious Friday, don’t worry — retailers often offer the same discounts online. Shopping online would actually let you avoid the inevitable in-store shopping madness. Join the pre-6am traffic of online sales and shop when you want, where you want!

Credit: Elle

Be social

Get social and share and read others’ tips on the best deals. People are surprisingly nice and share locations and how-tos for deals you’d otherwise miss out on. Also, check your gram, Facebook, and Twitter often for by-the-hour deals and special offers. Be kind and share the good info with your friend!

Credit: Mikael Jansson

 

Tried and tested- holiday party outfit (anything but a dress)

As we get closer to the holiday season, we find ourselves looking for the prefect glam outfit to go with the holiday spirit. Normally, we associate the festive season with the Little Black Dress and, sure, there is no doubt that the LBD will always be a safe choice. But what if we feel the urge to pull off something bold and experiment with colors and textures. I believe the LBD deserves a little break once in a while. So I decided to find creative ways of putting together an outfit with ensembles that feature anything but a dress. Whether it’s a fancy jumpsuit, a metallic pleated skirt, or a tuxedo-inspired look, the following 5 pieces will not only get you into the festive mood, but also let you shine at any holiday cocktail parties.

Glitz and glam

Shiny pieces and metallics define the holiday season. They can definitely function as the ultimate neutral at any holiday party. For a festive punch, I opted for a pair of bold pants with a luxurious damask jacquard prints, which evoke a sophisticated feel. I paired it with a silky blouse with a metallic sheen and ruffle details along the neck and sleeves. This statement piece adds a touch of glam and gives a feminine twist to the holiday dress code.

Blouse and pants: Alice And Olivia (Nordstrom)

The velvet suit

This menswear-inspired look offers and alternative way to mix things up. Simply trade in your classic tuxedo suit with a velvet one. I chose this set because the shimmering kimono-like jacket paired with matching pants keep everything sleek and sexy. Velvet is my favorite formal fabric during the holiday season because it provides a warm sense of luxury. For those that fear an all-velvet look, you can break things up with a silky top, a contrasting texture.

Jacket and pants: Zara

The ultimate jumpsuit

I always feel drawn to jumpsuits for some reason. The overall is an unexpected option when you need to look instantly put-together on casual days. It’s not only an easy to wear piece, but also one appropriate for special events. Choose a tailored and formal-esque jumpsuit — look for a balanced fit and avoid silhouettes that are too baggy. I love the idea of a monochrome jumpsuit that can flatter any body type. So I chose this burgundy piece and paired it with a statement necklace and a tailored coat with subtly metallic details.

Jumpsuit and coat: COS

Rise and shine

Metallic skirts can be the go-to perfect option once the holiday party season is in full swing. You can wear it during the day in the office and at a cocktail party after work. Simply by switching to stiletto and adding a furry or a snakeskin clutch, you can elevate the look. I love how the shine factor is mixed with other textures and unexpected combinations. A black top with little frills was the first thing popped into my head. It’s delicate and feminine. Plus, you can layer it with a cool leather jacket for an edgy twist.

Skirt and top: BP (Nordstrom)

Fairy tale story

A maxi tulle skirt is a great substitute for a traditional dress. The luxurious fabric creates a fairy tale look and will help you stand out in a crowd. There are so many options when it comes to tulle. For a full glam effect, you can pair the voluminous skirt with an embellished or sequins top. For a classy look, pair it with a basic blouse an a statement accessory. I paired the tulle here with a silk fabric with dotted mesh and lace details, and finished the look with red pumps.

Skirt and top: MassimoDutti

Gerhard

gerhard

Gerhard offers a carefully curated range of locally made menswear and lifestyle products, delivered with unparalleled customer service. Our idea is simple: high quality, good design and a fair price for both the makers and the buyer. Our “Made-in-Canada Mandate” is merely a means to that end.

Location: 2949 Dundas St West, Toronto

Website: www.gerhardsupply.com