Why power dressing is more in style than ever

Model: Lucía Hernández Peris | Credit: Claudia Peris

Empowering women has been one of the main concepts behind the collections of renowned brands like Dior and Prada that aim to reflect today’s women’s lives. Over the past few seasons (even years, I would say) fashion has been reflecting on the new wave of feminism. This industry, often and unfairly deemed frivolous and superficial, has proved once again that it is connected to the world and its concerns.

Model: Lucía Hernández Peris | Credit: Claudia Peris

Clean lines, vibrant colours, and the return of the iconic women’s suit, which was especially popular in the ’90s, are the dress code for women who are ready to stand out and conquer the world. However, fashion reinterprets the traditional power dressing and shifts focus toward fresh directions and areas.

Model: Lucía Hernández Peris | Credit: Claudia Peris

If in the past tailoring and structured designs were reserved for the office environment and were a byword for boring and serious attire, the situation has reverted today. We love playing with pieces and we are finding ourselves styling those traditional garments with more extravagant options. Ripped jeans, leather pencil skirts, and sexy crop tops are becoming the norm in and out of the office.

Model: Lucía Hernández Peris | Credit: Claudia Peris

For the past few weeks, with the excuse that a new season is coming up, I have been trying out this new concept of power dressing and tailoring, and I’ve found that every store  — luxury and high street — is imbued with this spirit. The best way to wear it? With a feminine touch that makes it appropriate for almost every job situation, like trench-coat-style dresses, and with a sexy twist like crop tops underneath blazers for a more casual occasions.

Model: Lucía Hernández Peris | Credit: Claudia Peris

Spring style Revamp: Three Runway Looks For Less!

TEXT: Chris Zaghi and Claire Ball

Gone are the days when the standard polyester pantsuit or pencil skirt were the go-to for every woman at the office. The new 9-5 wardrobe should tastefully represent your personal style, as well as the atmosphere of your workplace. The same goes for your beauty routine. You want to look professional and put together without foregoing some extra oomph to your everyday makeup look.

When looking toward the weekend, most of the times all you want to do is throw on a t-shirt and sweats, but hear us out. Loungewear is great for picking up groceries, walking the dog, and laying about and watching Netflix. But sometimes the weekend calls for a little pizazz! An easy weekend solution is to keep your makeup minimal instead of your clothes. Why not amp up your weekend style with some comfy show stoppers that’ll have all your friends begging you for fashion advice and opt for a minimal makeup look?

Now evening wear and formalwear can be a bit tough. There are tons of rules and guidelines on what’s right and what’s wrong. No white at weddings, no stretch fabrics, avoid things that are too casual. All of these rules can make it almost impossible to find something that won’t be gasped at by the rest of night’s guests. Luckily, over the last few years, how we look at formal attire has changed drastically. Outfits that would have never gone over well at formal events are now slowly being accepted. And more outlandish and gaudy designs are being celebrated at events instead of being shunned. This opens up a lot of doors to what you can wear to a formal event this year. So keep your makeup relatively classic with a bit of a twist and let your outfit do the talking!

Office Ready: Chanel vs. Zara

Photos: Vogue Runway – Zara

Zara Textured Weave Cardigan &  Zara Structured Mini Skirt With Ruffle:

$135.80 online or in store

Zara has a long-standing tradition of providing the fashion-forward masses with reasonably priced and well-made clothing inspired by the world’s most exclusive luxury labels. The clothing you find in most Zara boutiques tends to lean toward a very elegant and trend-positive style. And when looking for the perfect 9-5 outfit, elegance, assertiveness, and freshness are key. For example, Zara has recently added this beautiful tweed set to their lookbook. Elegantly trimmed with a fire engine red hem and buttoned with faux pearl accents. This classic style mirrors the suits Mademoiselle Coco made famous decades ago, but with an added flirty twist. This especially helps with keeping your 9-5 wardrobe fresh and exciting (and you can mix and match the set too!)

Office Makeup look: Blush(ing)

Photos: Vouge – MAC Cosmetics

MAC Casual Colour in Hi Jinks: $31.00 in store or online

In case you were absent during the ’80s, now is the time to embrace a retro throwback in your beauty routine. The spring/summer runway was both subtly and extravagantly reminiscent of the decade and one of the most popular makeup tributes to it was bright blush and lips. Designers like Kenzo, Reem Acra, and Adam Selman all participated in various versions of the retro blush. This look from the Chanel spring/summer 2017 runway features a strong, bright coral cheek contour with a hint of coral on the lips to evenly brighten up the face. MAC has a line of creamy multipurpose lip and cheek stains that are perfect for recreating this look for the office on your own! Just trace the cream colour up the cheekbones, and around the eyes. If you’re really feeling the 80s vibes, finish it off by dabbing a little bit on the lips for an added pop of colour. This beauty look screams springtime while also keeping it professional and pretty for work.

Weekend Chic: A.P.C vs. ASOS

Photos: Vogue Runway – ASOS

ASOS Denim Crop Jacket with Ruffle HemASOS Ridley Skinny Jeans

$138.62 + Shipping

Weekend outfits often tend to lean towards whatever is the most casual (and clean) that’s laying around your room. This can lead to some serious drab moments when going out and hitting up the town. Luckily, ASOS has a slew of different dressy yet uber-casual options for you to beef up your weekend wardrobe. Now, most people don’t want to wear a blouse on the weekend. No problem. Denim is your best friend in this case. The denim jacket and jeans give you the same refined, high fashion silhouette that the A.P.C ensemble gives you, just without the high fashion price tag. The pulled in waist and ruffles paired with matching skinny jeans give this look a fresh and expressive take on your traditional Canadian tuxedo.

Weekend Makeup look: No-Makeup Makeup

Photos: Vouge – Sephora

Laura Mercier Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20: $55.00 in store or online

The bare skin “no-makeup” look has been seen before, but this season it seems that it was more popular than ever. With designers like Isabel Marant, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, and Christian Dior all displaying a minimalist approach to makeup on the runway, there is no denying the obvious appeal of the “no-makeup” look. Radiant, clear skin like this look from the Stella McCartney spring 2017 show, is the perfect way to keep it casual, fresh, and chic on the weekend. Just apply a good tinted moisturizer, like Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer with SPF 20, to even out your skin and bring out your natural radiance with a dewy glow. If you need to cover some blemishes, just touch them up with a little bit of concealer and blend it out. To complete the ultimate natural look, brush up your eyebrows and you’re good to go!

A Beautiful Evening Out: Gucci vs. Free People

Photos: Vogue Runway – Free People

Garden Life Maxi Dress$327.50 online or in store

Evening wear can be a tricky thing to get right. With all the guidelines surrounding what to wear, most people opt for something black and that’s that. However, modern evening wear doesn’t have to end up being so uptight. One big trend we’ve been seeing are florals — explosions of colourful blooms completing outfits in exotic prints and embroidery. And that’s just the right amount of punch your closet needs to fulfill all your formalwear desires. Free People does a wonderful job of merging elegance and hippie-chic in a neat little package, and the Garden Life maxi dress does just that. Mirror the beautiful blooms seen at Gucci this season. The dress is perfect for this year’s upcoming wedding season and any other spring/summer event that requires a little evening magic. Who knows, maybe you can even turn a dull winter party into a tropical paradise if you have the guts to do it.

Evening Makeup look: The Smudgy Eye

Photos: Vogue – Sephora

Marc Jacobs Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner: $31.00 in store or online

This “still wearing last night’s makeup” look is the new smokey eye. The spring/summer runway was all about the smudgy eye. Runway looks from Rag & Bone, Christopher Kane, and Balmain featured similar versions of the black, ashy, smudged out liner look. Pairing this makeup with the floral Garden Life Maxi Dress adds an edgier vibe for a perfect night out look. The best part about this beauty trend is that you no longer have to stress about drawing a straight line! Use Marc Jacobs Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner to rim your eyes, and using a smudging brush, Q-tip, or your fingertip, smudge out the liner to create an “already worn out” smudged and smokey look.

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Sharpe Suiting Helping you Look your best



Leon Wu, tired of corporate IT in Los Angeles, California, decided to pursue his passion in making the world a better place, by making people look their absolute best, and curing his own frustration of not having a suit to wear for different occasions. And not just stopping at revamping the classic suit attire for himself, Wu wants, and continues to push, for every, and anybody, to look and feel comfortable in a suit. Wu, founder and CEO of Sharpe Suiting, wants both men and women to look sharp in unisex suits and everyday clothing.

With the concept of Sharpe suiting emerging in 2012 and coming into fruition in 2013, the business not just caters to selling suits off the rack, but creating a one-on-one customer clientele experience where customers could create their own suits. Choosing from a variety of wool blends, and colour wheel of colours, the clientele of Sharpe have the option to make whatever suit, shirt, or trouser they prefer for whatever function.


Co-designing every suit with his clients, Wu helps everyone from men wanting a suit for work or a wedding, to business women needing a statement power suit for the office. “The suit is perfect for a working woman because it is cut in a way where it drapes be kind of androgynous but yet feminine. And it’s also cut in a way, same suit but different cut and size, for a man to wear it. It’s got more of a tapered look to it, more modern kind of cut,” explains Wu. Also catering to celebrities, such as Kendrick Samson from Vampire Diaries, every Sharpe Suit has an essence of star quality when leaving the creative space.


Having sold 250 suits within the two year time span of being in business, Sharpe Suits continues to bring awareness to the ever changing styles of suits by catering to the LGBTQ community, and that both men and women can feel confident, sexy, and overall powerful in a suit. Shooting with popular online publication Buzzfeed, as well as their online store, Sharpe Suiting helps showcase to future, and current, clients the many styles the Bespoke suiting business has to offer.

Helping Novella readers get a better understanding of the brand, and suits as a whole, Leon Wu explains the aim for his diverse brand, and what his five essentials are when fitting a suit.


Novella: What do your celebrity clients look for in a suit?

Wu: Fit. A lot of celebrities are looking for something made to fit them. That’s the first thing you look for when you look for a good suit, whether it’s on the red carpet or just every day, it supposed to look like it is tailored to that person. It has a higher tine of luxury and personalization. The one thing we are aiming to have here at Sharpe, is that they are given the choice to choose everything from the fabric, to the design and we’re looking to provide that level of customization with our Bespoke line, and with our ready-to-wear line that just launched online. We’ve picked precious pieces that clients have liked and we’re bringing that to market on a global level.

Novella: What sets Sharpe suiting apart from other made-to-measure suit retailers?

Wu: We just launched online, and the thing that makes us different is our trademark formula, Andro Pometrics, that is the way we fit the suits to people’s individual identity and style.

Novella: Which colours do you like to work with the most?

Wu: We work with all types of colours. Right now for fall, mainly grey scale but we do have a tinge of maroon in there. All the styles seen on our website are made to fit a man and a woman.

Novella: What styles do people tend to gravitate towards when it comes to suiting?

Wu: People are looking for more tapered looks. We’ve seen some clients that have come in that would like a little bit of a higher tapered look or a high watered look; a slim fit in terms of patterns. Also single breasted blazers. Our clients are very creative. We’ve seen a lot of mixing and matching and contrasting double breasted vest, and a lot of contrasting lapels and collars.

Novella: What are some suit accessories that compliment a suit?

Wu: It really depends on the person, but some people like to wear a neck tie or a bow tie, that’s not necessarily what a lot of Sharpe clients need to add to the look. We’ve had people wear bolo ties, cravats, sport a mandarin collar. Shoes are a very big part of it you can mix and match with boots or an oxford. Depending on what you’re style is you can add jewelry such as cufflinks.


5 tips to a well fitted suit


1.Most important part of a suit that’s on top of the blazer is the shoulders. You want to make sure that fits very well. The shoulders are very important because that part of the suit is not recommended to be altered. Altering the shoulders jeopardizes that part of the suit the most out of any other alteration. So the shoulders, you want to make sure that fits.

2. A lot of people think a suit is tapered and is fit to your body and that is the best fitting suit, but that’s not necessarily correct. There is a certain extent that you can do for a suit to a person’s body and have it look a certain way.

3. Draping is very important for a suit. The way a suit drapes your body is going to basically be the difference between a suit that looks like it doesn’t fit you, and a suit that hangs well.

4. Another part of the suit that’s important for fit is the butt of the suit; also important. You want to make sure that it fits very well. And everything other than that just depends on the style of the slacks the person wants. Whether they want tapered or straight leg. Today, people like more of a tapered fit at the bottom of their slacks.

5. Also, the general length of the suit. You want to make sure that the arms and the legs are tapered to the right fit, and that is depending on the kind of shoes you want to wear with the suit. It should also be depending, on the sleeves, for instance your dress shirt, or whatever you’re wearing underneath to show or not.


For more of Share Suiting, be sure to visit their online store, www.sharpesuiting.com


Indochino’s New Brick & Mortar Location

Indochino Show Room (4)
Photo Credit: Indochino

If you’re not working in the financial district, or are required to wear a suit on a day to day basis due to a dress code, buying a suit can be intimidating and overwhelming.  Indochino, the Vancouver based company has become a excellent bridge to helping the younger generation get suited up with their combination of a made to measure online program and traveling tailor program.The brand would set up a pop up shop for a specific amount of time, so customers could get a closer feel at the fabrics and cuts of a suit. With increasing demand, and the opportunity to have a longer lasting relationship with their customer base, Indochino is now ready to have a permanent location in the city.

Indochino Show Room
Photo Credit: Indochino

Located at 143 King Street East, the new permanent home of Indochino Toronto is the first of the permanent brick and mortar  indochino stores to launch in North America.  The 3,680 sq ft houses more than enough fabric for customer to get a real feel before they decide, as well as more than enough mannequin’s which are suited up in Indochino’s latest offerings. The new retail space is modern, and minimalist, but still welcoming. To make the customer feel more at ease, the store has included salon style groom’s lounge which includes a coffee bar, multiple leather sofa’s, a foosball table.

Indochino Show Room (2)
Photo Credit: Indochino

For those who are not familiar with the Indochino way of suiting up, you still won’t be able to purchase a suit, or any of their accessories at the new retail location. Indochino likes to focus primarily on it’s made to measure program, where you are measured in store, and the suit or shirt can be delivered to the showroom or your home in four weeks. Any additional alterations after the first fitting can be done back at the showroom. You are encouraged to make an appointment at indochino before your first visit so the company can partner you with a style guide to get measured for your made to measure suit.

Indochino Showroom Toronto 4
Photo Credit: Indochino

For more information please visit the Indochino Webstore.