Closet Mission – Summer Bonus

July 26, 2014

Summer Bonus

As promised I’m sneaking in a few extra items to my summer wardrobe list. These bonus goodies are the could live without but I’d rather not items that have expanded my summer style and made it way more fun. So without further adieu here are my summer closet bonus pieces:

1. Romper – I talked about my romper rules earlier this season and I must say, once you find one that meets all your requirements, there’s no turning back. It’s been the perfect wardrobe wildcard for bachelorette parties, warm evening date nights and a slew of other fun festivities. Here are a few worth a peek - Ladylike and lacey from Club Monaco // Chambray from Club Monaco // Cute and silky from Joie // Aritzia (shown) // Sea 

2. Crop Top – Crop tops are a great item to have in your summer wardrobe arsenal. If you’re daring you can go for a major crop with high waisted cutoffs for a full on circa 1990s look. If you’re just feeling moderately brave go for a crop that ends right where your high waisted jeans or maxi skirt begins (that’s more my MO). I love a little crop top under overalls or a loose fitting crop tee over a slip dress for a layered look. They’re a great go to for some summer style fun. Lots of options from Aritzia // American Apparel // Need Supply // Zara

3. Sensible Shorts - It’s all well and good to live in your ten year old cutoffs but sometimes you need to step it up a notch and lengthen your inseam slightly. A dressier or more structured fitting short is great paired with one of your silky tanks or styled down with a cotton tee. Here are a few ideas - JCrew // TopShop (my fave) // Sleek and high rise at Aritzia

4. Chunky Sandal – Anyone who’s ever been to a backyard wedding or summer lawn party knows that heels are no match for grass and sometimes a flat sandal just leaves you feeling short and stumpy. Cue the chunky sandal! Rescuing the grass from unwanted aeration and lifting us up to the sky. Ok maybe the uplifting credit should really go to a second glass of sangria but we can’t pretend those clogs or wedges aren’t essential in these instances. Love all these options – Contemporary clogs No.6 Store // The dreamiest wedges from A.P.C. (shown)// Reasonable and refined from Sole Society // A sturdy heel with simple details from Madewell

And that, my dearest friends, concludes the summer installment of my 2014 Closet Mission. Was there something you think should have made the list that didn’t? I try to think of all possibilities and it’s no small feat to cull the list to just 10 (give or take a few). I really appreciate you reading along and making the time and effort that goes into these posts so worthwhile. I know there is still a full month and then some of summer but I’m already getting jittery and giddy about fall style and all the exciting things it brings. Stay tuned and have a great weekend! xo

Closet Mission – Summer Essentials

July 25, 2014

Style Bee - Closet Mission - Summer EssentialsStyle Bee - Closet Mission - Summer Essentials

Today I bring you the meat and potatoes of my summer closet mission! If you’re just tuning in you might be wondering why the heck I’m talking about summer essentials when fall collections are already descending. Well, my new friend, the answer is that I’m trying to establish a year-round closet that is complete with all the pieces I need and void of those I don’t. I’m testing my wardrobe season by season to discover what really makes me excited to get ready every morning. It’s been summer for quite some time now and I’m ready to reveal my honest findings, which are as follows:

1. Slip Ons - I bought (or rather my mum bought for me) my first pair of Birkenstock’s when I was in grade 10. I wore a uniform in high school and all the girls had a pair of Birks. I still have that very pair and they still fit like a dream. After much deliberation and a lot of internal negotiating I decided to invest in a new black pair this year. I’ve since worn them at least once every day this summer. My only complaints would be that they’re too practical and go with too many outfits. If you’re ok with that, here are a few Birk options and some sleeker approaches to the summer slip on - Birkenstock (black, my fave) // Birkenstock (Silver) // Birkenstock (iron) // Chic option from Joie and Loeffler Randall

2. Denim Jacket - This was the one article of clothing that inspired my whole closet mission. I was wearing one in my office over a sweater on a cold day thinking I just didn’t know what I would do without a denim jacket. It’s the most quintessential and versatile layer there is. I invested in a classic, super soft one with great details and it’s made all the difference. These are all great classic options.  J.Crew // Madewell // Rag&Bone (my fave)// Joie

3. Cut Offs - Another no-brainer summer go to. Cutoffs are something you can’t ever have too many of. Dark wash, light wash, boyfriend fit, booty fit, vintage or new there is no closet that doesn’t need a great pair of cutoff shorts. These are all great looking –  J.Crew (my fave) // Rag and Bone // Joe’s Jeans // Current Elliott // Madewell

4. Maxi Dress - What’s the most appealing part of a maxi dress in the summer? Effortless elegance? The slimming factor? The unsurpassed comfort? Or the fact you don’t have to shave your legs to wear one? I’m going with all of the above on this one. Love all these options - Madewell // Need Supply // Madewell // Madewell // Club Monaco // Club Monaco // Splendid // Rachel Pally (my favourite)

5. Flowy Top - At risk of an over share I’ll tell you this - I sweat REALLY easily. Thus close fitting clothing does’t do me any favours on hot summer days. A light flowy top makes life way better and looks a lot more chic. I love all these options and recently picked up this one.  J.Crew // Joie // Free People // Free People // Madewell // Nili Lotan (my fave) // Steven Alan

6. Black Swimsuit - What’s summer without a little dip in the lake or pool? Swimsuits are one of the most subjective articles of ‘clothing’ any of us will buy. We all have our complexes and at least one area we’re not dying to share with the world. But as loathsome as most (myself included) find the swimsuit shopping experience it is indeed necessary. I have tried bright colours, bold patterns, fancy cuts and frills. They’re all distracting and often of no added  benefit. I always end up turning to my basic black bikini. Manageable tanlines, flattering adjustable ties and a colour that won’t wash out my already frighteningly pasty complexion. Here are some decent options - L*Space Top & Bottom (my fave) // JCrew (all swim) // Madewell

7. Cover-Up - It’s just nice to be able to return some things to the imagination once we’re back on land. These are some lovely options -  Madewell (my fave) // Nili Lotan // LemLem // ShopBop // J.Crew

8. Cropped Denim - It’s quite surprising the difference two inches of ankle exposure can have on your overall temperature. Cropped jeans are a great option for days when cutoffs aren’t appropriate or you’re not in the mood for a summer dress. Just watch where the crop hits on your calf, you don’t want to get too close to capri territory! Love these options - JBrand // Mother (my fave) // AG Jeans // J.Crew

9 .White Dress - I’m pretty sure a pretty white dress is on every style blogger’s summer must have list. There’s just nothing quite as fresh or feminine. These are all great takes on the forever classic - Club Monaco // Aritzia // Anine Bing (my fave) // Ella Moss // Anine Bing // For Love and Lemons

10. Silky Tanks - These are basically the get out of jail free card for the summer wardrobe. One of these plus a pretty skirt (from your spring essentials list of course) and you’re out the door. They elevate any look just that extra little bit that counts. Just please be weary of that escapist bra strap always peeking out and vying for attention. ‘Cuz that ain’t classy. Love all these silky options –  Everlane (my fave)// Aritzia (all three shown) // Club Monaco // Club Monaco

Staying true to my previous Closet Mission instalments, tomorrow will feature a few freebie summer closet items. Stay tuned!

See my Spring Closet Essentials and Accessories >

See my Winter Closet Essentials Part 1 // Part 2 and Accessories >

Closet Mission – Summer Accessories

July 24, 2014

Style Bee - Closet Mission - Summer Accessories

To be honest, summer style is probably the farthest from my wheelhouse. An ideal summer day for me is 22-25 degrees celsius and partly cloudy. I am not a beach bather or the full afternoon on a boat type. I gave up attempting to tan after grade twelve and too many crispy evenings spent hoping my half British complexion would somehow turn my burn into a bronzed glow. Now, I’m not saying that summer isn’t a glorious season that I relish while it’s here and long for when it’s not. What I have found so far this summer is that, much like any other season, if you’re dressed right for the weather, it’s even more awesome. So I’ll begin the summer edition of my closet mission with my essential accessories. Which are indeed as follows:

1. Dainty Necklaces – When the sun is hot and the air is humid I’m not exactly inclined to want a lot of extra things around my neck so it’s all about light, delicate jewelry for me in the summer. I have worn my Bow necklace from Another Feather almost every day and I have been dreaming up ways to get my paws on the dainty ‘circle’ necklace by Vrai and Oro (shown), it’s just so perfectly simple and classic. See lots of great dainty options from these three jewelry designers. Another Feather // Gorjana // Vrai and Oro

2. Blanket - I don’t know about you but as lovely and lush as a field of grass may look, it’s not my favourite thing to bask upon. It’s pokey and scratchy and I end up with weird grassy imprints all over my legs plus I’m constantly paranoid that something is crawling on me. I solve this completely trivial problem with a super soft blanket or throw. I love my Pia Wallen and I highly recommend the incredibly beautiful options from Cambie Design in Toronto. Take it to the park or down by the lake with some tasty treats, a book and a bottle of red and you pretty much have my dream afternoon. See some great options here: Cambie Design // Pia Wallen via Mjolk // Steven Alan 

3. Floppy Hat - Is there a more quintessential summer accessory? Not for me anyway, so let’s just pretend there isn’t. There certainly isn’t a more ladylike way to keep those vicious rays away. Plus, they have teleportation powers. Put one on and you’re instantly on a catamaran touring the Isle of Capri, on a beach in Bali or on a chaise by the lake with a canoe waiting nearby, whatever floats your boat (I had to). I just wish the wind would work with me when I’m wearing one. These are all awesome options - Melissa Odabash // Bop Basic // Urban Outfitters // Free People // J.Crew

4. Fun Sunnies – I know, I know, I’ve already had sunglasses as essentials in both my winter and spring closet mission but summer sunglasses are on a whole other level. This is the season to have some fun with this ultra essential accessory. I love going for oversized frames in a bold tortoise, clear or even a coloured acetate. If you’re not quite on board with that, a fresh green or even reflective lens can amp up the fun factor. I mean it’s summer after all! But please don’t forget to make sure they’re UV protected, otherwise there’s really no fun to be had. I love these options - Garrett Leight // Madewell // Warby Parker

5. Market Tote - Whether or not you’re a yuppy/hipster cross (in denial) like me, you’re probably going to find yourself at a farmer’s, antique, or craft market at least once this summer. When you do you’ll most likely  want to arm yourself with a perfect bag to carry any and all gems you discover and leave with. I don’t know what it is but canvas, burlap and any sort of woven fabric seem to be just right for this very purpose. You don’t really want to toss those filthy radishes or dusty decade old ceramics into your pristine leather bag. Hence the popularity of the market tote - Apolis Tote // Madewell // Baggu // Etsy // Etsy

So there we have the accessories part of the third instalment of my Closet Mission! What are key items would you add to the list? Stay tuned for the main course, Summer Essentials, live on the blog tomorrow!

Insta Finds

July 22, 2014

Style Bee - Insta Finds

Instagram is an ever increasing source of inspiration for me. It seems almost everyday I come across a new designer, artist, maker or fellow style enthusiast that’s up to something awesome. It can be overwhelming but I try to take it all in one feed at a time.

Today I’m sharing two of my favourite finds on Instagram. The first is Elizabeth Suzann (@elizsuzann), a self taught clothing designer based in Nashville, Tennessee. Every piece in her collection has an effortless elegance about it. Her choice in materials, attention to detail and focus on practical and comfortable designs make Elizabeth’s signature aesthetic one that’s inherently subtle but impossible to miss. I’ve followed her for some time and it’s been a pleasure to see the Elizabeth Suzann brand grow and flourish. For one obvious reason, I couldn’t resist making the ‘Lee Crop’ a new addition to my summer wardrobe. Other reasons were the perfect cut and handwoven fabric from Shutters and Shuttles (another great maker in Nashville). I wore it out on a warm Friday date night the day it arrived, again the following afternoon with a denim midi skirt and can’t wait to take it for a spin with dark wash high rise skinnies. Don’t deny yourself a peek at the full Elizabeth Suzann collection here.

Style Bee - Insta Finds

My second lucky Insta discovery is the lovely Mary of  Millay Vintage (@millayvintage). Mary has an incredible feed that will instantly lighten your day and keep you entranced for hours. Mary is also one of the sweetest and most humble friends I’ve made on instagram which makes following her success even more enjoyable. Not to mention the fact that she’s a total babe with amazing taste, an adorable pup named General Gazpacho and an expertly curated online vintage shop. Her site recently got a facelift and when I went to have a peek I fell madly in love with this perfect little 1970s cross body bag from Italy. It was highly reasonable at just $38 and in incredible condition. As soon as it arrived, which was very quickly, I switched my wallet over and trotted out the door. There are so many other delightful finds on Millay Vintage that you simply must peruse!

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Who have you discovered on Instagram? I’m always on the lookout for talented creative people so if you’re willing to share some of your favourites please do! 

Top – Elizabeth Suzann Lee Crop s/o but these are all on my wish list Georgia Tee, Maxine Crop, Winnow Tunic // Shorts – old Madewell similar (ASOS), similar (ASOS) // Necklace - Another Feather // Bag – s/o Millay Vintage // Wedges – old from Nine West, lovelove // Sunnies - Garrett Leight // Rings – Acre Goods // Bangle – old from Nasty Gal

Photos by my favourite find of all time, David Ruhl.

Wonderful Weekend

July 19, 2014

Style Bee - wonderful Weekend #12

White Tank // Cargo Pants // Duffle Bag // Slip-Ons // Bangle

I can’t quite believe it but this is the last weekend I have until September that doesn’t somehow involve a festival, wedding, bachelorette or getaway.  August is going to be insanely busy! We’re working on the office and around the house like crazy this weekend (not unlike every weekend). I’ll be wearing weird cargo shorts I got for a very short landscaping gig in uni and a crappy cotton tee all weekend. But if I were to somehow turn that into something chic it would look a lot like this. Have a Wonderful  Weekend! xo

July Finds – Country Kitchen

July 17, 2014

Style Bee - July Finds - Country Kitchen

July has a unique feel to it. I’m somehow both completely content but also highly motivated. I think it must be a combination of the hot sun and long bright days. Plus everything seems to be coming into it’s prime right now. Fruits and veggies are just plumping and perfecting themselves for consumption. As such, July has brought out some domestic instincts in me, one of which is my love for culinary creations. I’ve always dreamed of having a sort of modern country kitchen. Think all white cupboards, hanging cast iron skillets and lots of butcher block with copper accents here and there. So while our current kitchen is many months from any resemblance of what I just described, I decided to pick up a few goodies that would help me feel like I was working in a country kitchen after all. The first of which were some freshly snipped daisies from my parent’s garden.

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Then it was a matter of finding some fresh local strawberries, which lasted all of thirty seconds after I took their photo.

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Next I picked up some copper measuring cups. Half of my old set was missing and I have a feeling my ‘eyeballing’ measurements weren’t doing my recipes any favours.

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Now it’s time to start getting my favourite recipes all in one place. I’ve had folders, photocopies and ripped out magazine pages all over the place for years. I’ve used Pinterest a lot while cooking but find my phone ends up in precarious places like teetering over the edge of the sink or covered in olive oil and pepper. A good friend gave me this adorable recipe tin and organizer earlier this year and it’s just perfect for keeping my recipes safe and sorted.

Style Bee - July Finds - Country Kitchen

With those additions I’m feeling much closer to my dream kitchen experience. Now it’s just a matter of becoming a chef worthy of said kitchen!

Dish Towels West Elm // Copper Measuring Cups (in-store), measuring spoons available > West Elm // Recipe Box Rifle Paper Co. // Gold Pen Cross // Blue Bowl Old IKEA

Bohemian Dreamin’

July 15, 2014

Style Bee - Bohemian Dreamin'

Sometimes it’s hard to predict how much wear you’ll get out of a dress. Especially when it’s not one you’d typically go for but this embroidered maxi dress from Madewell has been a secret weapon this summer. I’ve worn it to rehearsal dinners, birthday shin digs, on exploratory adventures in New York and it will probably see at least 10 more wears before the season ends. It’s elegant but not overly dressy and it’s simple shape with unexpected details make it just a bit more special than the typical black maxi. Double side slits are key for ventilation, soft cotton makes it a breeze to wear and a forgiving waist means I’ll definitely be helping myself to seconds at the next backyard BBQ. I pair it with easy waves and some simple accessories and I’m all set for a full day or night of summer fun.

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Dress s/o Madewell, Love this one, great print on this one, also love this one // Sandals Old J.Crew, SimilarSimilar, Similar // Clutch Clare Vivier // Necklace Another Feather // Bangles Madewell // Sunnies Madewell

Photos by Sir David Sinclair Ruhl.

The Bee’s Knees #29

July 14, 2014

Style Bee - The Bee's Knees - #29

Neat - Somehow I have managed to evade the dreaded shattered screen on all of my mobile devices. However, I have not managed to avoid paint cans or pavement, rain storm puddles or snow piles either. I just can’t bring myself to subject them to the confines of a massive Otter Box or other unsubtle armour.  But a sleek, chic leather case? That I can make myself? Well that’s a cover I can concede to any day. This super simple DIY from Almost Makes Perfect is a quick and easy project. I might swap the safety pins for a sewn-in cross stitch to give it a more polished finish but that’s up to you. See the tutorial here.

Style Bee - The Bee's Knees - #29Style Bee - The Bee's Knees - #29Style Bee - The Bee's Knees - #29

Suite - My dream bedroom is serene, calming and inviting. It’s where I wake up with my favourite person and creatures, it’s home to my treasures and filled with soft lighting. And while ours is coming together nicely I could certainly settle in to one like this. It took about five pins of all the different views of this room for me to realize it was in fact one single space. It’s all just SO GOOD! The lighting, the gallery wall, the linens, the baskets, the white floors, the stool, the plant! There is not one element I would change. I may not be able to sustain an organized open closet but it sure looks incredible and maybe that’s motivation enough. See all the photos and some before shots of on My Scandinavian Home. See more of my favourite spaces here.

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Eat - We picked up some fresh kale from the farmer’s market last weekend and I was determined to satisfy my craving for a savoury salad. I found this fabulous kale caesar recipe from Mountain Mama Cooks and it definitely did the trick. It also led me to my latest food obsession, crispy chickpeas. They are delicious and crunchy and ever so easy to create. Plus I had plenty of leftover caesar dressing for salads later in the week, which is also easy to make and entirely anchovy free. Get the recipe here.

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Treat - You may already have one of these, but if not the time has come to acquire one. The great white shirt. Fiercely versatile, forever chic but not always easy to find. It’s pretty much at the top of closet essentials food chain. The summer is a great time to have a couple handy especially on breezy summer day or for some reprieve from the serious sun at this time of year. The lighter the fabric the better. Just throw it on over a simple white bralette with cutoffs, sandals and a wide brimmed hat. These are a few of the best one’s I’ve seen lately - Free People // Ann Taylor (shown) // Everlane // Equipment // Zara

Style Bee - The Bee's Knees - #29


Sunny Side

July 11, 2014

Style Bee - Sunny Side

Today is Friday and I am a happy girl. Thanks so much for all your comments on yesterday’s post. It’s such a relief to know that I’m not alone when it comes to social media discontentment, although I had a hunch that might be the case. One thing that I do love about the inter webs is that I get to connect with you! So it certainly ain’t all bad. But really, you guys are the best.

Another thing that makes me happy is finding the perfect summer shirt. I was trying to hunt down a pretty, flowy, peasanty one to toss on with my favourite denim and make for basically the easiest summer look possible. Cue this little number from the recently launched in house label By eLUXE. It’s super soft, just the right length and so light it’s like wearing a gentle gust of wind. Seriously though! Also, at $45 I would have been a fool to pass it up. I dug up my comfiest cork wedges (which seem to just get better as they get more beat up) and headed to the market for some fresh sun flowers to brighten our living room. They looked so cute in my bag I decided to keep them for the shoot.

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The weekend is looking extra good after an insane week at work and I hope yours is set to be as action packed or as relaxed as it needs to be. Happy Friday!

Top eLUXE, also love, this one too // Denim JBrand // Wedges Old from Nine West, love, love // Bag Cuyana // Necklace Another Feather // Bangles Madewell // Rings Acre Goods

Photos by my perfect summer guy Dave Ruhl.

Thursday Thoughts

July 10, 2014

Style Bee - Thursday Thoughts - 1

I had an entirely different post planned for today but it just wasn’t sitting right and I decided to scrap it and write about what’s been on my mind lately. So, look out!

I’m currently dressed in stolen boxers and a giant t-shirt that came free in a 2-4 of Sleeman Cream Ale. My house is a mess and I’m about to eat a stale piece of toast with questionable banana slices for breakfast (which will be the first proper one I’ve had all week). My dog just farted because he ate something bizarre and rotten off the road last night. Oh and I have little to no intentions of showering today. There, now you have a better idea about what I’m doing now, honestly.

I love social media and find so much inspiration through it but sometimes it can psychologically turn on me. With Instagram showcasing perfectly tailored moments, Pinterest taunting me with beautifully finished spaces and recipes, Facebook reminding me how much fun everyone else is having, Linked In pointing out my lack of promotions and Twitter being too annoying to even go near, I’m sometimes left feeling kind of sour. The fact is, it’s too easy to compare your life, surroundings, career, progress, relationship, social events, travel schedule and just about everything in between to everyone you encounter during the day.

We all know the quote from Theodore Roosevelt, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” and it’s spot on. I let all these fabricated sound bytes have a REAL impact on my emotions, which I’m aware is pretty ridiculous. So yesterday, as I was adding insult to injury by looking through my Pinterest board \\ Sentiments That Speak To Me // (formerly Annoying Sentiments I Like) I saw the message above* and it stopped me. I decided to get a piece of paper, a brush, some water colours and just write, or rather paint, it out a few times to help it sink in. Wouldn’t you know, it helped!

This exercise allowed me to clear my head and reminded me that I’m on the right path, I just need to stay focused and remember this is my life I’m living and I’m doing the best I can, which is pretty damn decent at that (OK so my morning routine has room for improvement). People are always going to have a sweeter house, a dreamier job and WAY nicer shoes but who cares? They’re not in control of my life and what I can achieve. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason but we have the ability to make the most out of those happenings. So note to self, “Dress well, work your ass off and commit to creating the life you want for YOU.”

Well don’t mind if I do!

Have a good Thursday friends. xo

*author unknown

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