Summer 20 – Look 10

July 30, 2015

Style Bee - Summer - Look 10

This is my all time favourite summer dress so it only makes sense that by the halfway mark of my Summer 20 it would be making it’s second appearance. I’ve worn it so much lately I almost feel bad for the rest of my closet. But then I put it on and feel instantly way better. I was worried about how it would wash up but it’s maintained it’s texture and shape beautifully. I love wearing it loose (like I did here) but wanted to try something a little more pulled together so I added a braided belt for a touch of definition. I love how it changes the look and how the vintage bag and clogs soften the whole vibe.

Speaking of which, this little vintage bag happens to be my latest obsession. I popped into my local thrift shop to pick up a new camera strap and it was on the counter peering up at me in all it’s glory. I was helpless to it’s charm and simply had to bring it home with me (and at $34 how could I resist!). The rest is simply history. I swear I don’t actually ever find vintage pieces, they find me!

So with that I’ll wish you all a fabulous Friday, er I mean Thursday! I’m a day ahead of myself because we’re heading to Vancouver tomorrow for a week and I am too excited for my own good!

Style Bee - Summer - Look 10Style Bee - Summer - Look 10Speaking of this vintage bag, isn't it a gem!? I popped into my local thrift shop to pick up a new camera strap and this was on the counter peering up at me in all it's glory. I was helpless to it's charm and simply had to bring it home with me. I've been using it ever since. I swear I don't actually ever find vintage pieces, they find me!   So with that I'll wish you all a fabulous Friday! We're up in the air right now on our way to Vancouver for a week and I am too excited for my own good! Follow along on Instagram for updates.Style Bee - Summer - Look 10

For those who have asked I managed to find where this dress is still available in S + L and M.



 

Closet Mission – Underneath

July 29, 2015

Style Bee - Underneath

UNDERNEATH

It’s been a little while since my last official Closet Mission instalment but here we are and today it’s all about streamlining that infamously tangled mess that is the underwear drawer. I honestly don’t know why this wasn’t one of my first Closet Mission posts because I’ve come to realize that what we wear under our clothes is just as key to our style satisfaction as the clothes that everyone sees. I’ve spent the past many months completely overhauling my underwear collection and coming to terms with a lean(ish) selection of bras and undies that feel great to wear and add a bit of extra enjoyment to the process of getting ready each morning. As such, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the streamlining process and a few of my new and all-time favourite lingerie brands.

Disclaimer: the word ‘panties’ makes my skin crawl so that’s the last time you’ll read it in this post. 

Style Bee - Underneath

Step 1 – PURGE

I started with a ruthless ditching of any stretched, frayed, holed and just plain old uncomfortable bras and bottoms that had been plaguing me for years. For some reason I find it easier to give away a decent shirt than I do about tossing a pair of boy-shorts that ride up and feel awful. Why is that? I dare say it’s the ever looming threat of a laundry day gone by and an empty drawer staring back at me, bra and undie-less. I’d also been wearing bras with straps so stretched out that throughout the day I’d have to keep tightening them back up. Honestly! But I knew I had to follow through with this mission in all facets of my closet and I couldn’t let the fear of a missed laundry day or the dread of ‘bra shopping’ stifle my progress. So out they went to make room for some fewer, better upgrades.

Style Bee - Underneath

Step 2 – ASSESS

Every woman has a very specific set of needs when it comes to her underwear. Few things are more distracting that an uncomfortable bra or a pair of briefs that get a little too adventurous. So it’s important to assess your must haves in order to build a good foundation of options. What colours make sense for your style? What fits are you most comfortable in? What kind of coverage are you comfortable in? What’s your budget? These little strips of fabric get pricey! Think about the things you wish you had to go under your favourite clothes. Maybe you need a great racerback bra or a little extra oomph would make you feel fancier on date night. This is not a time to be shy or modest, what do you really feel like wearing under there?

For me it comes down to 3 key factors:

1. Size – Does it even fit? Before you buy anything go to a lingerie store and get properly fitted. I know it’s a bit awkward but in most cases no one actually sees your boobs. They measure you wearing your current bra and then bring a bunch to try and see what feels right. Knowing your true size makes such a difference and you may realize you’ve been buying the wrong one! I was buying 34 B for years until I found out I’m actually 32 C. As you’ve probably noticed, I don’t have a significant décolletage to contend with but I still like to keep my support options varied depending on the day or occasion. I will also say that I don’t like drawing a lot of attention to my chest. Lots of women do and I think that’s awesome, but my style is minimal and that goes for the cleavage aspect as well. I always end up feeling a little self conscious when the girls are too ‘out there’. Which brings me to the next factor…

2. Style – There are 5 different bra categories that I wear:

  1. The triangle bralette. This one is really more form over function but it serves it’s purpose under flowy tops and dresses in the summer and chunky sweaters in the winter. It’s great for when I want to feel a little sultry! I love the Parisienne trick of wearing a black bra under a white shirt (see here). When done tastefully, there is nothing sexier! I love this one and this one.
  2. The basic bralette. This is my current go-to for the day to day under button downs, t-shirts, light sweaters etc. Comfortable, smooth and opaque with a touch of support but no major structure or underwire. I like ones that have a little extra fabric around the ribs too like this.
  3. The tried and true bra. My previous go-to that I wore for years non-stop. This style is now reserved for client meetings, or for under silk shirts or dresses in situations where I want to feel very presentable and have everything firmly in place. I have one in black and one in nude and that’s it.
  4. The Strapless. I actually kind of hate wearing strapless bras and if there’s any way to avoid it I will. But once in a while there’s an occasion that calls for it and this simple Calvin Klein one has never failed me.
  5. The Sports Bra. Ok fine, so sometimes I do some sort of physical activity (against my better judgement albeit). I’ve had the same two Lululemon bras for years and love them! This one is still available.

Style Bee - Underneath

There are 2 different styles of underwear that I wear:

  1. Thongs. Another TMI perhaps but thongs are my fave. No lines, no worries!! My ultimate faves are by Hanky Panky which are made in US, so comfy and they have held up really well over time, but some people are put off by the one size fits all sizing. Cosabella also makes a great thong and they have regular sizing and variations in rise. They’re made in Italy and also have great longevity although not as good as HP. I recently caved and ordered some cheap ones from Aerie (7 for $27, I mean…) and really like them too but time will tell about their quality.
  2. Basic Briefs. Every night for bed I don a pair of cotton briefs and a t-shirt. Sleep sets and nighties need not apply! I have black and grey in my drawer and that’s all I need!

Style Bee - Underneath

3. Colour – Is it practical? I used to let myself go nuts when it came to bra and underwear colours. I’d have bright blue, fiery orange, patterns, you name it, going on yet I was always out of nude and black options. Now my collection is 75% nude and black with a few whites and solid colours mixed in. Sure, I’ve sacrificed a little bit of fun but I at last the underwear I want to wear is available.

It’s good to set some guidelines and ground rules for underwear just as it is for other clothing. Otherwise you end up with some final sale nonsense that will never make it out of the drawer.

Style Bee - Underneath

ORGANIZE

As is with the rest of my closet, the more visible the better. When you can see your options you are much more inclined to feel as though you have some. I find a drawer exclusively for undies and a drawers exclusively for bras is ideal. Then at least there is the lowest possible form of organization in place.

Style Bee - Underneath

MAINTAIN

Underwear can definitely be pricey and once you’ve found a brand or style you like it’s hard to turn back. The good ones are often expensive for a reason. My strategy is to add 1 or 2 pairs of undies a month and a bra every few months (or less) to keep my supply fresh without breaking the bank. Right now I feel like my selection is the best it’s ever been and it took about 6 months to get here. Now I’m sure if ignored it for six months it would start to deteriorate.

Once you’ve invested in some good bras and underwear it’s key to care for them properly. I only ever hand wash my bras (Soak is a great soap to use) and I run my undies on delicate then hang dry. This prevents the elastic from drying out and fraying. These mesh washer bags are a big help too. It can be the difference between a nice pair of underwear lasting 6 months or 6 years.

Style Bee - Underneath


OF NOTE

Before I let you go and stop bombarding you with the words ‘bra’ and ‘underwear’ I have a few last items to note! I’d be remiss not to highlight a few current favourites in the ‘underneath’ department.

1. I decided to try one of these Eberjey basic bras a little while ago and I totally fell in love! I ended up buying more colours and now alternate between them almost every day. They are so comfy and the shoulder straps are sturdy without being too thick while the back band wraps around smoothly and stays in place. I always prefer bralettes with a double clasp as one just never stays put. Plus the cotton fabric is doubled up so for solid coverage.

Style Bee - Underneath

2. Honeydew Intimates recently sent me this beautiful bra and hipster set to try out. I wore it on a typical weekend day under my usual jeans and tee. Towards the end of the day I realized they were the reason I’d felt a little bit more fun and fabulous on this particular Saturday. Few things other than fresh flowers or breakfast in bed have that effect on me! The skinny round straps and scalloped edges had me at ‘Oh, Hello There…’ {insert a sexy voice that I do not have}. I definitely recommend perusing their selection available directly on their site or via Shop Bop and Nordstrom.

Style Bee - UnderneathStyle Bee - Underneath

3. And finally….le kimono! I’m convinced that no closet is complete without one.

This kimono has been a total morning and bedtime game changer. It’s so soft, slinky and easy to throw on when I’m getting ready for bed or tidying up before work in the morning. It’s from Hackwith Design House’s Basics Collection and I love that I can wear it with jeans and a tank or over a slip dress for real-life too.

Style Bee - Underneath

Now with that I shall end my yammering on the importance of what’s underneath. But tell, me! What are your go to styles and brands? 



 

Summer 20 – Look 9

July 27, 2015

Style Bee - Summer - Look 9

It’s Monday and there are a few things on my mind so I’m just going to throw them out there.

1. The Front Tuck: In my opinion, whoever invented the ‘front tuck’ deserves some sort of medal of fashion honour. Was it J.Crew? I know they invented the half-tuck so it could definitely be a result of Jenna Lyons’ genius. Regardless it’s my #1 go to when I want to add just a tiny touch of polish to an otherwise casual look.

2. Blogging Perceptions: Since my feature in FLARE magazine came out this month, people have suddenly been showing me a lot more respect for my work on the blog and social media. Which is wonderful of course, but previously I’ve gotten the vibe from some folks in my life that blogging is a frivolous endeavour (to put it nicely). I’ve wanted to set the record straight on many occasions but I’ve held my tongue. With a full time job, a house under renovation and plans to launch a business next year, finding time to develop content for Style Bee is NOT easy.

My social life and sleep regimen usually pay the highest price but I do it because I absolutely, undoubtedly, LOVE blogging. From finding inspiration, to pulling looks, to shooting photos, to writing copy, to collaborating with makers, to answering questions and comments from readers. Every, single, aspect! Style Bee gives me a purposeful creative outlet that’s led to some amazing opportunities and connections that would never have happened otherwise. If it means working into the wee hours and on weekends, so be it.

I’m a firm believer that ‘success is the best revenge’. So if you’re working really hard at something you love whether it’s a blog or another creative endeavour, definitely DO NOT pay any attention to the haters or even the silent non-supporters. You GOT THIS! Plus the people that are actually worth your time will openly encourage you and I’m so thankful that I have a lot of those in my life too.

3. Vacation: My first real vacation in a couple years starts this Friday and I couldn’t be more psyched! We’re heading to Vancouver for 9 days and I cannot wait to see my best friend, eat fresh sushi, shop a bit, explore a lot, take great photos and most of all, spend some real down time with my love, Dave. I dare say we’ve earned it! Plus I’m challenging myself to pack with only a carry-on for the whole trip! If it’s a success I’ll be sure to share the details :)

So there you have my scatter-brained Monday mindset. Thanks for reading and I hope you like this outfit!

Style Bee - Summer - Look 9Style Bee - Summer - Look 9Style Bee - Summer - Look 9


Top Elizabeth Suzann s/o Love the solid ones too || Flares Madewell || Shoes Rachel Comey || Bag Cuyana || Necklace c/o Biko s/o (link to very similar option)


 

Tassel Necklace DIY

July 26, 2015

Style Bee - Tassel DIY

TASSEL NECKLACE DIY

We make at least 1 trip to Home Depot every week and I’m always on the lookout for items I can use in unique ways for different projects. Lately, the plumbing section and all things copper have been triggering ideas. I’ve also been on a crazed tassel kick (further evidence here) and decided to take it out on a necklace design I’ve had in my head for a while. Ever since I posted them on Instagram, I’ve been getting so many comments and I figured maybe a few of you might want to make one.

The great thing about these is that they’re super easy to make, the supplies are really reasonable and they add a playful statement to any look. As my style continues to simplify I find myself turning to accessories to add uniqueness and interest to an outfit. I love these because they’re a little sculptural, a little bohemian and totally intriguing. So feel like making one or two? They’re a great weekend project and an even better gift for a friend!

HERE’S HOW

Supplies: Hemp Cording (cut to 19″) | Crochet Thread | Copper Coupling Tube | Crimp Beads | Lobster Clasp | Circle Rings | Small Elastics | Glasses Case (For tassel making) | Scissors | Needle Nose Pliers | Scotch Tape  | Please Note: Supplies for both necklaces pictured but not necessary

Style Bee - Tassle DIY

COPPER TASSEL BEAD

1. Wrap the crochet thread around your glasses case (or whatever you’re using) approximately 60 times then cut along one side.

2. You will have a thick cluster of thread. Feed it through the copper tube.

3. With the tube in the centre of the thread, bring the two ends together and tie a clear elastic as close to the copper tube as possible, to secure the tube and thread in place.

4. Wrap a new strand of thread around the elastic until it is fully covered. Knot and trim exces.

Style Bee - Tassle DIY

5. Trim the tassel ends so the they’re even. Sharp scissors or a rotary cutter make this easiest.

6. Attaching the clasps:

  • Take your 19″ hemp cording (rope) and wrap a 1/4 inch strip of tape around the end to prevent fraying.
  • Use your pliers to clamp the crimp beads over the taped ends.
  • Add a small ring to each clamp bead.
  • Add a larger ring to one end and a lobster clasp to the other end.

Style Bee - Tassel DIY

7. Thread the copper tassel bead onto the cording and your all set!

Style Bee - Tassle DIY

Finally, you’ll need to prepare yourself for some compliments and inquiries about where such a necklace can be acquired :) The copper tube will start to oxidize over time and lose it’s shine but I personally love the patina it gets. If you look at the photo above you can see the difference between a new tube (white tassel) and a month old tube (black tassel).

Style Bee - Tassle DIY

Here’s a couple of ways I’m wearing them these days!

Style Bee - Tassle DIYStyle Bee - Tassle DIYStyle Bee - Tassle DIYStyle Bee - Tassle DIYStyle Bee - Tassle DIY

Hope you decide to give this little project a try! 

Saturday Shop Hop 2

July 25, 2015

Style Bee - Saturday Shop Hop

So as I’m sure you already know, Etsy is AMAZING. It might be because I’m trying to save up and resist shopping lately but it seems like it’s gotten even better in the last few months. I’ve been discovering so many talented makers and shops that I just had to share some with you. As I started pulling the images I noticed a pretty strong print and graphic design theme in everything I was gravitating towards. I guess bold patterns in black and cream and all things lunar have a strong hold on my psyche these days. Who knows why! Anyway, here is my current Etsy wishlist!

Style Bee - Saturday Shop Hop

Lamp – I’m kind of wishing I’d found this before I bought my current desk lamp. It’s basically a functional sculpture. Beautiful industrial design like this has me all heart eyes!

Wise Palm Tea Towel – I’ll have to attribute my affinity for tea towels to my Mum who has an epic collection. This one is super cute and I love how the shop has styled it with spoons and sprigs.

Line Pouch – This clutch is so adorable, the perfect size (6 x 9) and only $26 CAD!!

Confetti Print Dress – The shop Meta Formose has SO many great pieces. This oversize linen printed dress is a current fave.

Luna Moon Phase Print – I’ve been following Worthwhile Paper on Instagram for a while now and I just love her work. This print might have to make it’s way to my office at some point!

Two Moons Necklace – Told you I’m into all things lunar right now! Love the geometric simplicity of this necklace.



 

Summer 20 – Look 8

July 24, 2015

Style Bee - Summer - Look 8

Black Shorts. You’d think that wouldn’t be such a wild idea for clothing designers, but they are next to IMPOSSIBLE to find it seems. Especially when you have a specific set of requirements which includes: 100% cotton, a high (but forgiving) waist, loose fit and a length that’s not too short but not too long. I was looking for something tailored but relaxed and easy to wear that could be dressed up or down. Apparently a very tall order!

Luckily, earlier this spring I came across FORMATION a clothing line by Amanda Vaughn-Redmon. In her North Carolina based studio, Amanda designs and makes some seriously beautiful yet very functional pieces. Her shapes are unique but timeless, simple and made in dreamy fabrics. When she shared a peek at these shorts on her Instagram and I knew they were ‘the ones’ I’d been looking for. The rest is pretty much history but Amanda was super helpful and friendly during the ordering process, which was definitely an added bonus.

This look is uncomplicated, breezy and oh so perfect for the summer weather we’re having right now. I love that I could hop on my cruiser for a riverside bike ride or head to dinner or, more realistically, work in my office all day, ha! Nothing wrong with a little versatility! So if you’re still in the market for some great summer shorts, definitely give these a look. Happy Friday all!

Style Bee - Summer - Look 8Style Bee - Summer - Look 8Style Bee - Summer - Look 8Style Bee - Summer - Look 8



Shorts by Formation || Top Aritzia (similar) || Clogs custom No.6 Store (similar) || Hat J.Crew || Jewelry Laite Atelier

 

Summer 20 – Look 7

July 22, 2015

Style Bee - Summer - Look 7

At about this point during my 10 x 10 Challenge I recall feeling a little bit constrained, so I was anticipating a similar point during this capsule closet too. The first 5 or so looks came together without much thought or effort but I wanted to push a little more to work with layers and items I wouldn’t typically put together like a denim vest and denim shorts. Anyway, this was the result and I honestly didn’t know how I’d feel about it until I saw the photos. I very rarely wear shorts on the blog mainly because I’m self-conscious of my pasty white legs (this is with several coats of self tanner!). I also wasn’t sure that the laid-back rock ‘n roll vibe I was going for would translate. But I dare say it did and I’m slowly but surely coming to terms with the paleness. So what do you know, I’ve surprised myself once again!

I think what makes this all work is the relaxed fit of the shorts and tank, the slight addition of structure from the vest and the sleek dark vibe that comes from the accessories. Wavy hair and a few gold accessories added just the right amount of polish to pull everything together. I need to just remember that half the fun of this Summer Foundation Closet is to try things on and figure out what’s working and what’s not. It doesn’t always have to be perfect!

Style Bee - Summer - Look 6Style Bee - Summer - Look 7

Let’s just talk very briefly about what to wear under a white silk tank. In this case I decided to embrace the sheerness and let it work to my advantage by wearing a fully opaque white bralette (like this) underneath. It serves as another layer and adds a bit of interest. Plus it has a little added torso coverage and it’s like wearing a sports bra in terms of comfort. Last time I wore the tank with this nude bra underneath (seriously the most comfortable fitted bra I’ve ever had!) and there was no show-through. So it just depends on what you’re comfortable with and the look you’re going for.

Ps. The next closet mission post is all about streamlining the undergarment department! 

Style Bee - Summer - Look 7Style Bee - Summer - Look 7Style Bee - Summer - Look 7



Vest old J.Crew (similar) || Tank Everlane || Shorts Madewell || Shoes Rachel Comey || Backpack c/o Opelle Creative || Necklace MIES via Etsy || Jewelry Laite Atelier

Summer 20 – Look 6

July 20, 2015

Style Bee - Summer - Look 6

Of course as soon as I say it’s not hot in Ontario yet, a massive, sweltering heat wave rolls in. GAH! I’m not one of those people that lives for the summer sun and warmth. I’m fair skinned and half British so I pretty much burn just by thinking about tanning, that and I hate being too hot. Yeah, I know, I’m the life of the beach party! So when the sun is out in full force like it has been I try to keep it under control with comfortable, cotton pieces, hats and lots of sunscreen.

I know I always say I don’t subscribe to trends, and that’s generally true, but I gave in to the denim skirt trend this summer. I looked for an option that was high waisted, 100% cotton, not too short and a flattering cut. Et voila, this number from American Apparel fit the bill! I’m finding it’s a great alternative to shorts and actually a little cooler and yet more put together for when the heat rolls in. I dressed it up for an afternoon of summer sippin’ and socializin’ on a patio and paired it with my all-time favourite crop top and go-to summer accessories. I love that the result is feminine without being overtly ‘girly’.

So if you’re on the fence about the denim skirt trend or looking for an alternative to cutoffs, I say go for it! Have a great week friends!

Style Bee - Summer - Look 6Style Bee - Summer - Look 6Style Bee - Summer - Look 6Style Bee - Summer - Look 6Style Bee - Summer - Look 6



Top old Elizabeth Suzann (love this one) | Skirt American Apparel (this one is super popular) | Shoes Rachel Comey (Size 5, 9, 9.5 + 10 still avail.)| Hat Janessa Leoné | Watch c/o Daniel Wellington | Clutch Clare Vivier | Rings Laite Atelier

 

Bibelot & Token – Giveaway Winner!

July 20, 2015

Bibelot & Token Winner

Today’s the day! It’s time to make someone’s Monday WAY more fun than usual and announce the winner of the Bibelot & Token Giveaway. Thanks so much to everyone who entered. I loved reading about all your summer adventures and really appreciate you taking the time to enter, tag friends and for all your kind words about this great little boutique. You made it so fun for both myself and Bianca, owner of Bibelot & Token, we’ve already made plans to host another one!

So without further adieu! The winner is: Phoebe Bates, check your inbox lucky lady!


If that’s not your name, don’t fret! You can still pick out any goodies you like from Bibelot & Token and use code ‘STYLEBEE15′ for 15% off your order.

Stay tuned for more great collaborations and giveaways coming down the pipeline! xo

Saturday Shop Hop

July 18, 2015

Style Bee - Nordstrom Sale Picks

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

It’s happening again! An epic Nordstrom sale has begun and there are a ton of great basics tucked in amongst the madness. When I say ‘madness’ I mean the 100’s of products on major discount that should have never seen the light of day to begin with. BUT there are definitely a few gems to be found. I’ve pulled out my favourites that would be great to polish off the Summer in or to get a jump start on Fall with. So whether you’re still tucked into your sheets or you’ve already got a coffee in hand (or both!) it’s worth taking a peek!

Style Bee - Nordstrom Sale Picks

Here’s my two cents on each one:

1 – Silk Black Utility Blouse – I always think of Katherine Hepburn when I see a silk pocketed blouse. So timelessly chic and feminine while still very functional. Shirt shown now s/o, similar one here.

2 – Madewell Transport Tote – I love this muted sage green colour. It would look great now with a maxi dress and in the fall with a peacoat and plaid scarf. Tote shown now s/o, another great option here.

3 – Eileen Fisher Cape – I love the shapes and fits of Eileen Fisher items. This cape is just perfect for fall. I love it styled as is or over a sweater dress with ankle boots and a wool wide brimmed hat.

4 – Black Via Spiga Sandal – These look quite comfortable and would be great for work or for dressier weekend dinner dates too.

5 – White Blazer – An absolute closet essential (in my books anyway). Love the tuxedo influence and length on this one.

6 – Levi’s cutoffs – Because summer just isn’t quite right without it’s quintessential short.

7 – Poplin white boyfriend shirt – Another non-negotiable staple for me, the cotton button-down. With black skinnies, pumps and a red lip you just don’t get more casual chic.

8 – JBrand Dark wash skinnies – This sale is a great chance to get some premium denim into your closet. These are a perfect year-round wash and fit.

9 – Converse Natural – I am LOVING this take on the classic chuck.

Have a great weekend friends!


Ps. You still have time to enter the awesome Bibelot & Token Giveaway! 

Theme by Blogmilk + Coded by Brandi Bernoskie