Madewell x SÉZANE

October 21, 2014

Sezane for Madewell - Style Bee - Lee

I held up the drive-thru line this morning after my phone alerted me that the much anticipated capsule collection by Parisian label SÉZANE for Madewell was available. I was immediately entranced! If you’re not familiar with the French brand just imagine a style cocktail made up of classic shapes, surprising details, chic palettes and a dash nonchalance then you have Sézane. I’ve been receiving their monthly newsletter for almost a year now and each time it arrives I melt over the latest collection. The brand’s founder and designer Morgane Sézalory (my latest girl crush) has the ultimate knack for creating easy to wear, timeless pieces with unique elements that set them apart. I have a total obsession with Parisian style, especially after reading this book so the collaboration (read more here) was a major spike on my radar. I decided to put together a few looks featuring my favourite pieces from the collection. Hopefully these will give you some outfit inspiration for the next few days.

Sezane for Madewell - Style Bee - Outfit

Clutch // Shirt // Sweatshirt // Skirt // Boot

Sezane for Madewell - Style Bee - Outfit

Dress // Ring // Coat // Pump // Bag

Sezane for Madewell - Style Bee - Outfit

Bag // Sweater // Boots // Denim // Sunnies

Taking A Moment

October 20, 2014

Style Bee - Time and a Trench Coat

At times my pursuit of happiness ends up making me unhappy. I get too easily fixated on the things I haven’t done, achieved or become and I forget to stop and appreciate what I have accomplished. I don’t mean to say I should be patting myself on the back more or letting my head swell but that I should allow myself some occasional contentment. I started out my second year of blogging with the quote “Good Things Take Time.” and it seems that lately I’ve forgotten this little piece of wisdom.

We’re constantly surrounded by reminders that we ‘need’ more, whether it’s more travel, more clothes, more money or more notoriety but it’s in the moments when I switch it all off and take a deep breath that I’m reminded of how much I have to be happy about already. This week I’m setting a new goal, which is to embrace those moments more and try to let the stress of all my plans take a back seat. Wish me luck!

Style Bee - Time and a Trench CoatStyle Bee - Time and a Trench CoatStyle Bee - Time and a Trench CoatStyle Bee - Time and a Trench Coat

Trench Coat J.Crew // Shirt Everlane // Pants J.Crew // Shoes Everlane (back soon) // Bag Millay Vintage (gorgeous alternative here, affordable option here) // Ring and bracelet by Laite

Closet Mission – Fall Bonus

October 18, 2014

Style Bee - Closet Mission - Fall Bonus


Did you think I’d never stop yacking about my Closet Mission? Well I’m about to but first there’s one last wardrobe category to cover and that’s Fall Bonus. Now, just because these are “Bonus” pieces does not mean they were an after thought. For some people they may even be at the top of the essentials list. So here we go!

1. Simple Rings - The French really have it right in their approach to accessorizing. Less is chicer, sexier and so much more. I’m absolutely mad (in the best way) about my Laite Jewelry pieces. I’ve also been coveting the Vrai & Oro ring sets for months and just recently discovered a new jewelry designer Favor that I think is definitely worth a look.

2. Black High Waisted Denim - The right high waisted jeans can have a miraculous impact on a look yet I’ve only recently discovered a rise that has truly changed my denim ways and that is these by Rag & Bone. I’ve been a long time fan of JBrand skinnies and would wager a guess that their high rise action is awesome. Around the blogosphere Acne Studios has a great fit and denim rep so they could be worth a whirl too.

3. White Button Down - Ok, I honestly don’t know how this one made it all the way to the last season and onto the Bonus list. But that’s the beauty of a great white button down. You can forget about it all year long and then suddenly it’s the only shirt you’ve ever needed and the only one you want to wear for weeks. These are all great options – Everlane // Madewell // McGuire

4. Textured Clutch – When you find yourself wearing all neutrals its nice to add interest to a look not with colour or pattern but instead texture. It keeps you looking chic but not boring and I can’t tell you how many compliments I’ve had on my Salt + Pepper clutch.  These are all great options – Clare Vivier // Primecut // Loeffler Randall

5. Loafers - I’ve always loved loafers but never had a pair until a few weeks ago when Everlane released their version. There are tons of mod options out right now and they add that touch of masculinity that makes you walk taller and want to pop your collar. Love these two options – Vince // Club Monaco

Whew! That brings us to the end of this whole Lean Closet mission I’ve been on this year. I suppose I should formulate a proper conclusion so, here are my top findings:

  1. Fit is key. When it’s not perfect right out of the box, visit a tailor for alterations.
  2. Black and white are awesome and they both look good on everyone.
  3. There’s a big difference between feminine and girly.
  4. Texture is paramount and natural fibres often create the best ones.
  5. A few great vintage finds can give your wardrobe way more character.
  6. I will never have all the jeans I think I ‘need’.
  7. Hand made trumps machine made.
  8. Saving and waiting for the real deal is sweeter than caving and settling for an imitation.
  9. A great pair of jeans and a flowy top is never a bad idea.
  10. When in doubt, simplify.

So there you have it my friends, the Style Bee Closet Mission Results are in! But in all seriousness, I want to express a very heartfelt thank you for joining me on this mission. I put a great deal of thought and effort into each phase and it would all matter a lot less without your comments, emails and messages of support and commiseration. I’d love to think my yammerings and deliberations have inspired one or two of you to consider the same approach to shopping and your own personal style. Don’t you fret though, I’m still a long way off from my dream wardrobe and currently conjuring up new missions for next year and can’t wait to see where they take me. Stay tuned for some fun collaborations in the works as well!

Have a fabulous weekend! xo – Lee the Bee

Closet Mission – Fall Essentials

October 17, 2014

Style Bee - Closet Mission - Fall Essentials

Ooooh mama. Let me just enjoy this moment briefly. *Deep Breath* *Sigh*. Ok I’m ready, it’s just that this post has been a long time in the making. Each season of the closet mission has brought me a step closer to wardrobe contentment but I knew Fall would be a true test. I’ll tell you it was by far the toughest list to pin down. Partly because I’d already covered off a lot of great items in Winter, Spring and Summer but also because this is it, there are no more seasons left. At this point I should either be content with my closet or accept that this whole mission was a failure. Luckily, I can honestly say mission accomplished! I feel as though I’ve made great strides in my personal style quest and I have a great foundation for an infinite number of outfits. So lets get down to business and take a look at what items made the final cut!

1. Great Pumps - A great pair of heels can take an outfit from ‘Meh’ to ‘Magnificent’. The trouble is that a perfect pump isn’t always easy to find. I’ve jumped the gun on what seemed like the right pair and found that they were just too high, too shiny and too pointy. Take your time when choosing the right classic pump. Make sure the heel height, material, shape and fit are exactly what you’ve been waiting for. These are all classics with their own unique twist –  JCrew // Club Monaco // Loeffler Randall // Madewell

2. Leather Jacket - Well now, a leather jacket is just a non-negotiable closet mainstay. If you can, invest in one that’s going to last and make you feel awesome, definitely do. You won’t be sorry! I went for this one from Madewell with super minimal hardware as opposed to the typical moto style but if you’re more badass than I am then these two options are entirely legit – Zara (faux) // Anine Bing

3. Oversize Sweater – Last fall I searched high and low (both figuratively and in price point) for a great oversized turtleneck knit but came up empty handed. This year they are seemingly everywhere and I will admit I may have indulged in more than one. This Zara one has been a mega hit and I am in love with these options from Aritzia and Hope.

4. Trouser - When I used to hear someone use the term trouser I’d instantly envision a poor fitting, mottled brown pair of wool pants on a grandpa. YIKES. But this year they’re are so many great options and updated versions I’ve replaced grandpa with the always chic Katherine Hepburn in my head. I’ll have one of each of these please – Elizabeth Suzann // Aritzia // JCrew // Madewell

5. Silk Button Downs – In the summer silky tanks are my secret weapon and once fall arrives I pretty much just want the same thing but with sleeves. Queue the silk button down shirt! With a pair of skinny jeans and those heels we already talked about you’re all set for a dinner date, or better yet, a glass of vino and a good book after a long day. Equipment has mastered the silk pocket and is a nice length but Everlane has a ton of great colours and subtle variations at a great price.

6. Brown Boots - I know, I already went on a crazy rant about the magic and amazingness of the black boot (here) but I do love me some neutrals. I am a huge fan of mixing rich brown tones with black or white (or both!) and a pair of brown boots can really expand your outfit options. Pecan boots with dark wash denim is a seriously delicious combination. Gimme all these – Madewell // Joie // A.P.C.

7. Black Blazer – There are few things so simultaneously sophisticated and sexy at the same time. You’ve just gotta have one! These are all fabulous – Madewell (leather sleeves) // Club Monaco // Theory

8. Sweater Dress - I’m wearing one right now because, well, I love them. These are a few I could fancy myself in all season – Zara // Aritzia // JCrew

9. Leather Skirt - Just in case I get a leetle beet too comfy in my sweaters and trousers it’s good to have an option that’s more polished and structured. Okay I’ll say what I really mean, and I mean sexy. Sure summer is over but that doesn’t mean our skirts have to get frumpy or our legs have to be hidden in pants! Get your leather bottoms on with any of these options – Zara // Joe’s Jeans // Madewell

10. Over Coat - Now this I didn’t really know I needed until I found one. Ok maybe that’s not entirely logical but for real an oversized coat is a total closet game changer. Wear your gigantic sweaters with reckless abandonment, fear not the layering of sleeves and prepare to look effortlessly chic at a moments notice. I am totally in love with all these options – Elizabeth Suzann // Club Monaco // A Piece Apart // Acne Studios

Well there we have it my friends! Have yourself a wonderful Friday and stay tuned for tomorrow’s Closet Mission conclusion and Fall Bonus items, I promise they’re all delightful!

Closet Mission – Fall Accessories

October 16, 2014

Style Bee - Closet Mission - Fall Accessories

I cannot believe it’s already time for the fourth and final installment of my Lean Closet Mission. It all began here with my 2014 style mantra, “Simplify, Curate, Enjoy.” and the decision to get serious about making smarter and more deliberate purchases and style choices.  No more impulse buying or sale stupor spending. Almost every item I’ve added to my wardrobe is either a timeless classic or a simple basic that can be worn 1000 ways. I’m happy to report that this new regime has led me to a closet I love and helps me feel the way fashion should, as though I can walk my best self out the door each morning. Take a look at my Summer, Spring and Winter instalments here to get a better sense of what I’ve been up to.

So without further adieu here are the 5 accessories that are making this fall a great one.

1. Wool Wide Brimmed Hat - I have a confession to make. I’m now officially a hat person. Not just because I own a whopping 6 hats (not including beanies) but because I’ve come to a point where I want to wear one almost every day. They’re a great way to pull together an outfit and give a simple look more interest. Fall is a great time to invest in a classic wide brimmed wool hat. Sizing tip, your hat should fit very snug, if it doesn’t there’s a good chance it will just blow off and there is nothing fun about frantically chasing a hat down the street, trust me! I really like the looks of these three – Rag & Bone // Janessa Leone // Madewell x Biltmore

2. Simple Studs - My parents gave me a classic pair of simple diamond studs a few years ago and I’ve worn them everyday since then. Partly because they go with everything and partly because I have super sensitive skin. Wearing anything that isn’t at least sterling silver ends up wreaking havoc on my ear lobes. My studs are round but I really love the minimalist shape of these from Vrai & Oro.

3. Classic Watch - I’d never really worn a watch until this year but once you hop on the timepiece train there is no way off! It’s just too good. I personally love a simple classic face with a quality leather band. No need for a bunch of extra dials, dates or flashy straps. These three watch designers are all great options – Daniel Wellington // The Horse // Larson Jennings

4. Neutral Cross Body - I have been wearing my favourite cross-body bag (seen here) nonstop this fall. I love a good tote but being hands free has its perks when you’ve got a dog leash in one hand and a coffee in the other. It’s also nice to run a lean ship and I find the smaller my bag the fewer things I can drag around with me. It’s surprisingly hard to find a simple, neutral cross body that’s chic and classic but I love all these options – Primecut // Madewell // Joy Gryson // Hoi Bo

5. Giant Scarf - Scarves are an obvious accessory for any season but a ginormous one that can double as a blanket, or better yet, triple as a shawl is truly invaluable. I’ve worn my checked scarf (seen here) a TON already and the temperatures aren’t even really low. Everywhere I go someone asks about it and I can’t imagine how I ever made it through a fall season without it! Zara (scarf)// Free People (shawl) // ASOS (poncho)

Tomorrow I’m digging into the top 10 fall closet essentials I’ve been swearing by all season so far. Hope you can join me!

Country Cozy

October 14, 2014

Style Bee - Country Cozy

This week’s style post is a day late as a result of a wonderful Thanksgiving Day holiday. Until last week the usual Fall novelties hadn’t really lured me in. I’ve been passing pumpkin patches and seeing apple picking journeys on Instagram but I wasn’t quite in the fall spirit. As I’m typing this though, I’m in full autumn appreciation mode. After a weekend complete with a fabulous visit from my best girlfriend, a double serving of pumpkin pie and a great catch up with family I’m already eager for my next fix of cider.

Something about fall draws me towards the countryside more. Maybe it’s the kaleidoscope of colourful leaves or the orchards and crisp clear air but I can’t help but embrace my rural side. I’ve been layering up in my coziest big sweater, donning wide brimmed hats and pulling on the perfect boots for Sunday strolls. Now I’m just wondering why winter ever needs to come.

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Hat Blush Shop // Shirt Madewell // Sweater Zara (similar, same in green) // Denim Fidelity via Blush Shop // Boots c/o Sole + Luster // Necklace Biko (similar) // Bag Millay Vintage

Wonderful Weekend

October 11, 2014

Style Bee - Wonderful WeekendDress // Cuff // Purse // Lip // Pump

It’s a long weekend here in Canada so of course it’s wonderful! We celebrate our Thanksgiving in October and it always seems to come up so quickly. The leaves are still falling and the weather hasn’t even gotten cold yet. None the less it’s a nice chance to visit and feast with friends and family. If I had it all my way I’d be wearing this little get up for the festivities. I mean how cute it is the collar on this dress, and that bag?! Obviously I’m obsessed with these pumps from Loeffler Randall (this is the third time they’ve made an appearance). Must be the modern combination of the block heel and super sharp toe. They are at the very top of my wish list!

Alas, I will not be shopping this weekend but instead giving thanks for all that I already have in my life, which is what this holiday is all about. I won’t get all mushy but I must say, I’m very thankful for each and every one of you who takes time out of your day to join me here. You make all my late nights and early mornings for the blog more than worthwhile. If I could I’d love to sip some apple cider and say hello in person but for now I’ll wish you a wonderful weekend!

Grey Scale

October 10, 2014

Style Bee - Sole + Luster

One of my first projects in design school was in a colour theory course and we had to produce a perfect grey scale in ten bars using black and white paint. It seems like a simple enough task but there’s a science to getting the gradation just right. It was also one of the first times I worked into the wee hours of the morning in order to claim one of the very few A’s that would be awarded. Since then I’ve always loved colour scales, partly because of their simplicity and elegance as a graphic art form and partly because of that all-nighter. They remind me that practice makes, well, you know.

I’ve come to realize that I apply a lot of the design principles I learned in university to the way I dress and put together outfits. Colour, shape, texture and contrast all play significant roles in how well a look works, whether it’s a layout, a logo or an outfit. Lately I’m into repetition, which in this case is seen though colour and shape. Subtle continuity like pairing a pointed toe shoe with a pointed collar can complete an outfit together perfectly.

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Sometimes all an outfit needs is that last little touch to pull it together and in this case it was these great d’orsay pumps. They’re from Sole + Luster a recently launched online shoe shop based in LA, offering a collection of simple, fresh and contemporary footwear for women. Sole + Luster is a great option if you’re looking to complete an outfit but not ready to liquidate an asset to buy shoes. I love this pair and have worn them out to dinners and meetings all week. See the current collection here and stay tuned for another look coming soon!

Style Bee - Sole + Luster

Sweater J.Crew // Blouse Equipment (Similar for less) // Clutch Primecut //  Leather Pants Madewell (faux option) // Shoes c/o Sole + Luster // Sunnies Madewell

Fall Inspiration

October 8, 2014

Style Bee - Closet Missions - Fall Inspiration

Fall is definitely upon us here in Ontario and I’m loving it. Last year we went from summer days to snowstorms with nothing in between, so I’m savouring the true autumn temps that we’re having now. I’m also about to embark on the fourth and final installment of my Closet Mission and, without intention, I’ve managed to save the best season for last.

Here’s a quick refresher, the lean wardrobe mantra is: “Choose well, buy less”. Here’s the thing though, Fall style is my ultimate vice. All the textures, cuts and palettes join forces to rally me into a crazed excitement. I could easily go totally bonkers and subsequently bankrupt if I’m not careful. So my trick to avoid said financial ruin and insanity is to put together all the tantalizing looks and pieces I come across and then slowly but surely whittle them down to a handful. It’s painstaking but a critical step for me to assess my existing closet, my overall style and finally, what there’s room for. From there I build my ultimate wishlist complete with all the things I need (new tights, a turtleneck without holes etc.) AND the things that would be really great to add. Then I calculate the grand total, pass out, regain consciousness and start getting serious about striking items from the list.

Style Bee - Closet Missions - Fall Inspiration

In the spring I shared some questions that help me choose smarter and buy fewer items and they’re just as applicable to fall.

1 – What pieces am I really excited to wear again this fall? Try them on, reinvest in that leather jacket or the great sweater dress from last year.
2 – What didn’t see the light of day last year? I had a faux fur vest that literally collected dust.
3 – What do I have in my closet that can build the looks I’m loving from my inspiration board? 
4 – What is my budget? This is different for everyone but an important boundary to set early and firmly.
5 – What are some pieces I wished I had this time last year? For me it was a great oversized turtleneck sweater that I just couldn’t pin down. This year I found one.
6 – What pieces would boost my fall style and really round out my options? A great blazer? Perfect jeans? A camel coat?
7 – What is my colour palette? Sticking to certain colours will help give you more outfit options. My fall palette is white and black with rich neutrals and denim.
8 – Are there staples missing? Classic pieces always come before trendy ones for me.

Once you’ve carefully looked through all the pieces in your closet and been totally honest about your wants and needs, you’re ready to make some awesome updates! Next week I’ll round up my official Fall Wardrobe Mainstays so stay tuned!

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All photos taken from my Pinterest boards. See them all HERE.

Casual Monday

October 6, 2014

StyleBee - Casual Monday

My usual Monday mantra is “Don’t overthink it.” and this simple sentiment is probably most applicable to getting dressed. For me there is definitely a correlation between what I’m wearing and how I’m feeling when I walk out the door in the morning. If I’m headed to a meeting or a presentation, it’s got to be sharp lines, heels and structured shoulders but if I’m heading to the studio and facing a mountain of emails, layouts and conference calls then it’s got to be comfortable, unfussy and well put together. Today happens to be the latter sort of Monday for me and this look does just the trick. A grey kimono cardigan from GUSTA is the perfect topper for black jeans and a white blouse as it’s not too sloppy or housecoat-esque. A great trick for looking pulled together without having to strategize much is to stick to only a couple colours. Black, white and grey is a fool proof combo that always looks complete and throwing in just one punch of pattern gives interest without overdoing it. Now it’s just a matter of trying to keep my day as uncomplicated and my outfit.

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Kimono c/o GUSTA // Scarf Zara // Blouse Old Nasty Gal // Denim Anine Bing // Shoes Shoemint (similar) // Bag Baggu (similar) // Watch c/o Daniel Wellington // Glasses Oliver Peoples 

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