Look 16 – Perfect Summer Jean Review

May 27, 2015

Style Bee - Perfect Summer Jean

I dare say it’s time for another product review here on the blog! I previously reviewed GAP’s Revolution Denim and J.Crew’s Regent Blazer, which seemed to be helpful for those in the denim and/or workwear market this spring. Both pieces have become mainstays in my weekly style rotation and I’m so glad I was able to share them with you!

Jeans are such a tough item to shop for so I thought I’d review a pair that’s been getting a ton of buzz and notoriety this season, the Madewell Perfect Summer Jean. These jeans seem to be on everyone’s radar and I’ve received lots of questions about them every time I post a pic on my Instagram. See lots of shots and details as you scroll down for my official (unsponsored) review of these so called ‘Perfect Summer Jeans’.

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So there’s no question, these jeans have all the key components of a Mom jean. High waist, check. Relaxed, tapered leg, check. A worn in light wash, check! Turns out that’s exactly what I was looking for though. I have a great pair of vintage Levi’s 512s and love them but they have zero give and are pretty much the heaviest weight denim in my closet. I was looking for an all around lighter alternative that would carry me through the summer months. Cue the Madewell Perfect Summer Jean, a style that’s back by popular demand and seems to be getting more love than ever.

If you’re looking for a modern made, old school look these are definitely a good option. By adding a cute crop top, some fun clogs and a black bucket bag they make for a perfect flirty summer look. I’m also loving them with cropped sweaters and ankle boots or a tucked in tee, woven belt and wedges for a pure vintage vibe. If I can still rock these when I’m really a Mom I will be seriously proud of myself!

Here are some slightly more technical details. (For size reference: I am 5’7”, 120 lbs):

1. FIT

  • RUNS LARGE – I originally bought the 26 (my usual) but had to size down to 25
  • > 10 inch high rise waist (hits at belly button)
  • Slightly cropped inseam and tapered leg which is ideal for cuff rolling
  • Fitted through waist and hip but relaxed through thigh and leg
  • More of a ‘girlfriend’ denim fit than ‘boyfriend’
  • Very comfortable, especially as far as high rise goes

2. DENIM

  • Lightweight, super soft cotton with a hint of stretch (1% elastane)
  • Maintains shape well after first wear but will stretch out at least 15% initially
  • Very much like a Levi’s 512 vintage fit but much softer and lighter denim
  • High cotton content makes them quite breathable (99%)

3. WASH

  • Beautiful vintage, worn-in, super light wash for summer

4. DETAILS

  • Contrast stitching and silver hardware are reminiscent of vintage finishes
  • Feel great after being worn for a day or so

Overall Rating: 0 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10

So that’s my two cents on the Perfect Summer Jean from Madewell*. If you’re in the market for a vintage look in a light weight feel I would definitely consider trying these. With free shipping and returns it’s pretty much a no lose situation anyway.

Have you tried these yet? I’d love to hear you’re thoughts!

SHOP THE LOOK



Elizabeth Suzan Top n/a (love this one and this one) || Madewell Denim (25) || Custom No.6 Clogs (very similar) || Baggu Bucket Bag || Morning Ritual Necklace || Laite Atelier Jewelry

*This post was not sponsored and all opinions are my own.

Basic Beauty Routine

May 25, 2015

Style Bee - Beauty Routine

Well, Monday’s back and so is the weekly routine! I’ve been planning to share my basic beauty and skincare routine for a long time now but until recently I really wasn’t all that satisfied with it. I’ve since begun using a few key products that have totally changed how my skin feels and turned my typical procedure into a daily ritual.

SKINCARE

I have combination skin prone to both breakouts and dryness and this past winter was pretty ruthless. I’ve spent the last few months trying to get everything back under control and I’m glad to say it’s finally working!

One of the main game changers has been the combination of REN’s Evercalm cleansing milk and day cream. After reading the rave reviews and at the suggestion of Style Bee guest blogger Faith Pierce (post here) I decided to give REN a try. It did not disappoint! Both of the products I’m using feel amazing, smell amazing and are free of all parabens, sulfates and other unnatural synthetics. But most importantly they make my skin look and feel better than it has in a LONG time. The cleansing milk is super smooth and creamy but still leaves my face feeling very fresh and clean while the day cream feels rich but not too thick or gloppy. It absorbs very quick and leaves my skin feeling super smooth, almost as if I’ve used a primer. One thing I will say is that the cleansing milk is best used in combo with a make-up remover since it doesn’t quite remove all my mascara (I use this one).

Style Bee - Beauty Routine

A couple other products I’ve discovered and love are by Province Apothecary a 100% natural and organic skincare line made right in Toronto. I love the refreshing scent and feeling of the Balancing Toner, which I spray directly on between the REN cleanser and moisturizer. I’ve also loved using the Regenerating + Stimulating Exfoliator which is a magical blend of lavender, green tea and other natural plant products. I use it about every other day in the shower and it really helps clear my pores and slough off dead cells.

Style Bee - Beauty Routine

Not to go unnoticed is Province Apothecary’s gorgeous branding and packaging. I honestly feel like I’m using a secret potion every time I tap a teaspoon of exfoliator into my palm. A little goes a long way too and this one small bottle has lasted a couple months and it’s not even half way empty.

Style Bee - Beauty Routine

I attribute a lot of my new found skincare satisfaction to the incorporation of more regular and deliberate exfoliating practices. I never used to use masks or treatments on my skin but I’ve found that the Herbivore Botanicals Pink Clay Mask is a great addition to my weekly regimen. I usually use it once a week to give my skin and pores a thorough clean and scrub. It doesn’t hurt that it came with the cutest little mixing pot and a brush that makes it a totally breeze to paint on.

Not to go unnoticed is Province Apothecary's gorgeous branding and packaging. I honestly feel like I'm using a secret potion every time I tap a few teaspoons of exfoliator into my palm. Not to go unnoticed is Province Apothecary's gorgeous branding and packaging. I honestly feel like I'm using a secret potion every time I tap a few teaspoons of exfoliator into my palm. 

So that’s my skincare routine. Certainly nothing elaborate or groundbreaking but mostly natural and totally satisfying, at least according to my skin right now. I don’t currently use any anti-aging products but I’m on the lookout. For now, good sun protection and moisturizing will have to suffice.


BEAUTY

While I work from home most days I usually have at least a couple meetings and reasons to leave the house so I do a few quick touch ups before I head out the door. Most of all I aim to keep my makeup natural and unfussy.

It starts with Smashbox BB Cream which I like for it’s skin tone smoothing abilities, built-in 35 SPF and lightweight, barely there look and feel. Then I’ll lighten up my under eye circles with Clarins Instant Light perfector and use Clarins Instant Concealer if I have any persistent redness or problem areas. It’s a super quick 3-step system that leaves my skin looking refreshed, illuminated and most importantly, natural.

Style Bee - Beauty Routine

From there I turn to my minimal brush collection to add some life to my cheeks and eyes. I invested in good quality Clinique and Bobbi Brown brushes back in university and with regular cleaning they’re practically like new. Definitely one of the most worthwhile (and only) beauty investments I’ve made. Shown: BB Face Blender Brush || BB Bronzer Brush || Clinique Powder Brush || Clinique Eye Shadow Brush || Clinique Eye Contour Brush || Quo Liner + Brow Brush

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I use one shadow palette exclusively, the Urban Decay Naked Basics and one blush exclusively, NARS Orgasm. These two have been all over the place with me and have never let me down. The shadow palette is great for anything from a no make-up look to a dramatic cat eye to a sultry smokey eye. I’ll never need anything else. NARS orgasm is a great colour for my slightly freckled and occasionally sallow complexion as it warms up my cheekbones and the slight shimmer gives a little glow.

Style Bee - Beauty Routine

After eyes and cheeks it’s time for the finishing touches. Anastasia Brow Wiz had been on my radar for a long time but I was reluctant to spend almost $30 on a brow pencil. I now look at it as easily the best $30 I’ve spent on an makeup, EVER! I love a strong brow but the drawn on look is scary and just plain weird. Cue the Brow Wiz. The tiny tip of the pencil let’s you build up a natural brow shape and density, then the little brush helps smooth everything out. I can’t recommend this product enough.

From there it’s time for a few swipes of mascara, I’ve been using Lancome Hypnose forever and I will never stray. Then a few dabs of lip colour or balm. I wear Smashbox Be Legendary in Mandarin if I’m feeling colourful and always Roc Enydrial for balm. And with that I’m out the door!

Style Bee - Beauty Routine

The time it takes from stumbling into the bathroom to walking out fresh faced is about 10 minutes (give or take a hairdo). Some days if I’m in a hurry I skip the eye shadow, blush and lip colour but clear skin, a defined brow and full lashes are a must for the most part.

So tell me, what’s your daily beauty ritual? Do you use any of these products or have any great recommendations? Do tell! 



Weekend Sale Shopping

May 23, 2015

Style Bee - Nordstrom Sale Picks

As you may already know, I’m not exactly a big sale shopping advocate. It’s a major cause of buyers remorse and too often sale purchases end up unworn and wasting space. But once in a while there’s a seriously good one that’s worth checking out. In this case it’s the Nordstrom Memorial Day Sale (on now until May 31). In Canada we don’t often have major holiday sales the way the US does so it’s kind of a novelty when we get to reap the benefits up here.

Most often with sales I find that pickings are slim at best and usually not a lot of great staples or classics make it. BUT this one is a different story. There are lots of essentials to be found that would be great all summer and even year round. I’ve put together my top 18 picks from the Nordstrom sale to give you an idea of what’s available and save you some digging. A ton of these items are under $50 and even with our crumby Canadian dollar 40% off ain’t bad! With that I wish you happy shopping!

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1. Easy Oversized Tee  ||  2. Vince Minimalist Sandal  ||  3. Current/Elliott Skirt  ||  4. Wool Fedora || 5. Halogen Basic Tee (lots of colours!)  ||  6. Cole Haan Chelsea Boot  ||  7. Lush Maxi Dress  ||  8. Dolce Vita Wedge Sandal  ||  9. Mosaic Scarf  ||  10. Alexander Wang Clutch  ||  11. Free People Poncho  ||  12. Loeffler Randall Espadrilles  ||  13. Caslon Hooded Linen Jacket  ||  14. Vince Camuto Mule  ||  15. Frame Denim Cutoffs  ||  16. Dolce Vita Flat Sandal  ||  17. Eileen Fisher Organic Linen Tunic (More colours!)  ||  18. Rebecca Minkoff Tote

Title photo via http://www.FIGTNY.com

Look 15 – Backpacking

May 22, 2015

Style Bee - Opelle Kanye Backpack

As I’m sure is the same for you, I’ve crossed paths with a lot of backpacks so far in my life. They’ve run the gamut between being big enough to carry everything I could ever need and small enough that I cringe at the thought of my late 90’s style choices. They’ve all served their purpose at some point but they’ve certainly never been like this one. The backpack trend has been on my radar for a while now, but they always seem too overdone or too juvenile or too sporty. I figured it just wasn’t meant to be until I saw that Opelle Creative had indeed created the perfect answer to my lifelong backpack dreams.

I can’t quite put it into words but something seriously magical happens when the perfect balance is struck between form and function. It’s finding designers that are achieving this balance that makes me remember why I love style and fashion so much. From the moment I slung it over my shoulder, I knew this bag was going to be a total game changer. It’s perfect for biking around town, ideal for hauling my minimum of 3 notebooks everywhere I go along with my giant iPhone, wallet and sunnies. But it’s practicality is just half the equation. It’s also ridiculously chic. I mean, supple black leather, paired with soft suede, adorned with minimal but deliberate gold detailing is cause for sartorial celebration! Not to mention being named ‘Kanye’ basically makes it the Yeezus of all backpacks.

I’ve collaborated with Opelle Creative once before (see the post here) and I really can’t say enough good things about Amy, Beth and the Opelle team. They’re super creative, work really hard and honestly just get it! So if you’re in the market for a phenomenally well made and beautifully designed bag, definitely have a look at the full collection.

Now don’t mind me while I skip around town like the happiest kid on the block!

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Thank you to Opelle Creative for sponsoring this post*!

Mad photo skills courtesy of the amazing Agata Piskunowicz.



Size Reference (I’m 5’7 and 120 lbs)

Dress Acne Studios Size 34 (similar here and here and here for less) || Shoes Zara || Sunnies Warby Parker || Baby Kanye Backpack c/o Opelle Creative || Jewelry Laite Atelier

*Please note that while this post was sponsored, all opinions are 100% my own. 

Bedroom Reveal

May 20, 2015

Style Bee - Bedroom Reveal

BEDROOM REVEAL

At last! Our bedroom renovation project is ready for it’s big reveal! I’m thrilled to finally be able to share a look at how we transformed two tiny, awkward “bedrooms” into a single bright and welcoming space. It’s taken an agonizingly long time to get it to this point and there are still things I’d like to work on but I just couldn’t wait any longer! If I’ve learned anything so far about renovating, it’s that you cannot rush it. From framing to electrical to drywalling and painting to choosing fixtures and functional finishes it all takes careful consideration and a hell of a lot of elbow grease.

I will take one quick moment to brag about my contractor/carpenter/prince. Dave has been working tirelessly and expertly throughout the entirety of our renovations. He is truly in his element, even when things aren’t going as planned! We’re a good team, although I might be a lot less at ease with the process, the results are proof that we’re making it happen.

So let’s talk about this project shall we? Here’s a look at the rooms when we started. They may not look all that bad but they were itty bitty in size with wall mounted electrical, pop corn ceilings, plastered walls and there was not one single right angle to be found.

Style Bee - Bedroom Reveal

FLOOR PLAN – BEFORE

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WHAT WE DID:

  1. Deleted door on Bedroom #2
  2. Reframed the entire south wall (incl. door) to allow for a larger bathroom.
  3. Deleted wall between Bedroom #1 and Bedroom #2
  4. Fixed and buried all electrical
  5. Insulated the walls and attic
  6. Installed pot lights
  7. Replaced 90% of drywall
  8. Replaced all trim
  9. Inserted a full wall of built-in closets
  10. Painted, painted and painted

FLOOR PLAN – AFTER

Style Bee - Bedroom Reveal

360 TOUR

Even after combining the rooms, the space isn’t massive but with high ceilings and two huge windows letting in lots of natural light it doesn’t feel cramped at all. A full wall of built-in, low profile closet space makes it functional. We keep extra linens, blankets and clothes in two large bins under the bed and three lidded laundry hampers help keep clutter under control.

Let’s start with a quick 360 tour of the space, starting from the bed going clockwise. Then we’ll look a bit closer at the details, and talk about why we made the choices we did.

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THE DETAILS

Like I said, it’s not a big room but it’s a bright, fresh space to wake up in and a cozy, comfortable place to hit the hay. As you already know my aesthetic is fairly minimal, with clean lines and simple but purposeful hits of pattern and rich neutrals. I absolutely LOVE white walls but they can feel a little too stark so we wanted to warm up them up with earthy tones, some hits of black and a couple brass accents. We went for white curtains to soften the big windows without becoming a distraction or blocking too much light.

I searched high and low and everywhere in between for the perfect pair of brass wall sconces, finally finding the right ones from the amazing Schoolhouse Electric. They’re industrial but still so sleek and elegant and the open bulb makes them feel contemporary. We wanted to keep the area around our bedsides uncluttered but functional so we opted to design and build our own floating side tables. That way they fit perfectly, leave lots of room below and still hold all the books, maps and magazines we could possibly want to have within reach.

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I’ve been smitten with the Fine Little Day ‘Eye Eye’ poster for ages. I wanted to pair it with a strong, bold graphic and the ‘Tropical’ poster by Seventy Tree just seemed to fit the bill. The great thing about these prints is that they could work anywhere in our house so even if we want to switch things up at some point they’ll never go unused. I found them both for a great price via The Poster Club.

Style Bee - Bedroom Reveal

I’ve mentioned Lint + Honey a few times on the blog (here and here for example) and Andrea’s pillows are just as beautifully designed and well-made as her kitchen wares. I immediately loved the tribal feel of this simple but striking print and can’t get enough of the black, cream and flax colour palette.

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When I originally met Dave he had just completed his first major furniture building project. From a single piece of naturally fallen cherry tree he designed, cut, planed and created this incredible bed frame. I honestly thought he was pretending he made it just to impress me, but nope, it was legit! It’s aged beautifully and Dobby happens to love it just as much as we do! When the curtains are open he has a perfect vantage point to the street outside.

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There you have it! Our finished bedroom reno. PHEW! That was a big post but I wanted to do justice to a major project and undertaking. Thanks for taking a look through and waiting so patiently for the reveal, I know I said it would be ready in Feb! Plus now it’s on record that the room actually can look this neat and tidy.

So tell me, have you ever done a home reno before? I’d love to hear your experience! 

Please see below for a complete list of product sources.

Style Bee - Bedroom Reveal


SOURCES

Paint – White Heron Benjamin Moore

Curtains – IKEA

Rods – IKEA // Finals – IKEA

Closets – PAX System IKEA

Door Mounted Coat Hanger – IKEA (similar)

Bed – Designed + made by Dave

Side Tables – Designed by moi + made by Dave

Posters – The Poster Club | Left | Right (framing by Michael’s)

Pillows – c/o Lint + Honey (Use code ‘STYLEBEE’ for 15% off)

Bedding – IKEA

Wall Sconces – Schoolhouse Electric

Laundry Hampers – IKEA

Cowhide Rug – Purchased at a Farm Fair

Mirror – IKEA (painted white)

Ring + Bracelet Dishes – The Object Enthusiast


Mini Getaway

May 18, 2015

Style Bee - Mini Getaway

Being that it’s a holiday Monday today (at least in Canada) I thought it was the perfect time to share a recent mini getaway Dave and I went on. We’re still in full tilt renovation mode on our house, rebuilding the kitchen and main floor bathroom from the studs out, literally. As such, we have very little time or finances to be going on vacation so we almost never do. Not that we don’t want to or that we won’t in the future but right now we just can’t do both. So when our good friends were having an engagement party in Toronto (our previous home) we thought it would be a great chance to take advantage of the occasion and treat ourselves to a little 32 hour vacation.

We made reservations at the Gladstone Hotel and made plans to to sleep in, drink coffee in bed and explore our old stomping grounds as if we were tourists for the day.

Style Bee - Mini Getaway

The Gladstone is a long standing boutique art hotel in Toronto. For most locals it’s synonymous with Friday night karaoke, which I partook in way too many times during university (tragic Facebook photos prove this). But a lot of people don’t know it also has a 2000 square foot art gallery, several event spaces, 2 restaurants and 37 artist designed hotel rooms. Plus it’s in the perfect location along Queen Street west and ideal walking distance to a lot of the best west end shopping and restaurants. It’s also surprisingly reasonable considering the location and limited room availability (about $200/night depending on the room). We stayed in the Surreal Gourmet room and it was a blast! Every detail was food themed, from the pillow cases to the chandelier to the giant donut in the bathroom.

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After some delicious coffee in a cloud-like king size bed, we spent our Saturday morning meandering from Parkdale to Ossington, along Dundas west and up to Little Portugal. Our timing was perfect because Crown Flora (aka succulent paradise) was having a big Mother’s Day market complete with 100s of fresh peonies, countless cacti, fresh gourmet donuts and a slew of makers showcasing their beautiful handmade goods.

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From Crown Flora we headed to La Cubana on Ossington for some brunch, tortured ourselves with a stop into Jonathan & Olivia (all the Horses Atelier, Isabel Marant, Acne Studios and A.P.C. I could ever dream of in one place!), then we walked along Dundas West and stopped in at Easy Tiger Goods, a shop I’ve been meaning to visit for ages now! Here are some shots of the beautifully curated little space.

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Then Dave and I went our separate ways for the afternoon and I met up with my girlfriend and photographer extraordinaire Agata to collaborate on an upcoming shoot (I can barely contain my excitement to share it!) and catch up over coffee and treats.

Style Bee - Mini Getaway

The day ended with a birthday dinner among friends at Mr. Flamingo (SO GOOD) along with many bubbly drinks and rounds of shuffle puck.

I knew I was in need of a break but had no idea just how badly I needed it. In just those 32 hours away I regained so much energy and reminded myself that it’s ok to stop for a bit and just let my eyes, mind and soul wander for a bit.

Hope you’re having a good Monday! Thanks for enduring this extra long post. xo

Closet Mission – Clean Out

May 15, 2015

Style Bee - Closet Mission - Clean Out

CLOSET CLEAN OUT

And we’re back! This Closet Mission post has been a long time in the making. We’ve discussed a lot of topics so far including; Shopping Fasts, Triggers, Style Stories, Defining Personal Style, Colour, Pattern, Shape + Fit, Fabric and most recently took a look at creating a Capsule Closet. All these elements play a key role in finding style satisfaction but ultimately the most crucial step in establishing a lean closet is cleaning it out. Many would argue that this should be the first step when you’re looking to find more contentment in your wardrobe and I’m not going to dispute that, even though I’ve taken a slightly different approach.

There are all kinds of reasons why we let our closets get over stuffed. Most people have trouble letting certain things go and clothes, in particular, can have a lot of sentimental value. We associate a certain dress with a vacation somewhere or a specific sweater with our college days and so on. Which is totally fine unless you find that every time you open a drawer it’s filled with clothes that aren’t really you, as you are and want to be, right now.

OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND

For years I really struggled to do a proper closet ‘purge’. I would end up just reorganizing my stuff rather than actively eliminating things. Before I knew it, I’d be right back where I started, in front of an overflowing wardrobe with nothing to wear. I’d keep things because they were ‘cute’, ‘fun’, ‘expensive’ or something I’d wear ‘one day’ but really I never wore any of it again. Meanwhile, someone else could have been enjoying it! I’ve now done about 3 significant closet clean outs in the last 8 months and I can say, without a fraction of a doubt, that I really don’t miss one thing that I said goodbye to.

But I’m not suggesting you just start ditching everything on a whim. It’s important to approach a closet clean out strategically and objectively so you can walk away feeling refreshed rather than emptied out. See below for my filtering process and a few tips on how you can make sure your clothes end up in the right place.

Style Bee - Closet Mission - Clean Out

KEEP  |  SELL  |  DONATE  |  TOSS 

Begin by pulling everything out into the open. Shirts, shoes, tees, undies, socks, pants, all of it! The better you can see what you’re working with the better you can assess the situation. To avoid turning your room into a tornado touch down zone use these printable cards to mark which piles are which and even consider having bags or boxes at the ready so you can easily move piles around.

KEEP – The stuff you truly like is pretty easy to pin point but it can be tough to make a call on some items. My basic benchmark for whether something stays or goes is if I’ve worn it within the last 8-12 months. If not, then it’s out. Of course some special occasion items are an exception but generally that’s my baseline. If it doesn’t adhere to my personal style definition I let it go and if it’s too small or too big or uncomfortable in any way it gets the boot. I’ve kept WAY too many items because I thought one day it might fit again, but it never does. When in total doubt I’ve used this awesome flow chart from Into Mind to determine where an item really belongs.

SELL – There are lots of easy ways to sell your clothes. Many people use Instagram as a mini market and I just discovered a great new account @sustainthefashion which will post the clothes you’d like to sell (for a mere $1/item fee). This way you’ll get more exposure and you don’t have to create a new account. Learn more about it hereDepop is another option and an app created to buy and sell your clothes and other items. If you have some high-end designer goods TheRealReal has a great reputation. Personally once I’ve decided something needs to go, it needs to go, like now. So I like to sell my good quality items via consignment. I use the shop Wild Rose in my city and they are great. Plus anything that doesn’t sell in a certain timeframe gets donated to local women’s initiative groups so I know nothing is going to waste.

DONATE – There are tons of options for donating your good condition but not necessarily resalable clothes. One great option is to have some girl friends over and let them have at your rejects. Who knows, maybe someone’s had their eye on a pair of your shoes or a bag for ages. Now they can finally enjoy it. Other options of course include Salvation Army, Goodwill, Value Village, thrift stores and so on. Chances are there’s even a clothing donation drop-off bin in your area.

TOSS – Being in constant renovation mode I rarely have cause to throw anything away since the worse shape it’s in the better it is for painting, scraping, sanding etc. But once in a while there a few things that can’t be saved and I try to recycle instead of just throwing them in the bin.

Style Bee - Closet Mission - Clean Out

MAINTAIN VISIBILITY

Once you’ve sorted everything and drawn hard lines on what stays and what goes it’s time to put your closet back together. This is definitely my favourite part but it’s also a critical step in establishing closet contentment. The best way to feel like you have something to wear is to actually see that you have something to wear. Keeping your options visible is my #1 suggestion but of course, we can’t all have epic walk-in closets.

Our house was built in 1890. Sure, sure, that’s charming and all that but it also means there were ZERO closets when we moved in. Unless of course you count the weird cubby hole above the stairs that had brown, peeling 50 year old wallpaper and gave me the creeps. Anyway, we had to brute force some proper storage space into the upstairs bedrooms and bathroom but even still we’re not exactly swimming in closet space.

Here are a few of the best ways I’ve found to maximize visibility when space is tight.

1. Colour coordinate. I know it seems neurotic and a wee bit OCD but I’ve found that if everything is sorted by colour I can zero in on the one I want and go from there.

Style Bee - Closet Mission - Clean Out

2. Hang or stack similar items together so it’s easy to quickly sift through them. I like to colour code within the garment type ie: jackets, blouses, dresses etc. to take the categorizing to the next level. I know, it’s slightly cray but I swear it makes a big difference!

Style Bee - Closet Mission - Clean Out

3. Turn the waist of your pants outward so you can better see which pair is which. If you’re a denim devotee like me there’s a chance even the most cutthroat closet clean out will still leave you with a considerable collection. Even when I was storing my jeans in drawers instead of shelves I found it really helpful to turn the waist bands outward. This way I avoid pulling 5 pairs out until I find the ones I want and everything stays much more organized.

Style Bee - Closet Mission - Clean Out

4. Hang casual t-shirts. No one wants to wear a wrinkled up t-shirt that’s been shoved into a corner for weeks. By hanging them up they’ll crease less and you’ll be able to see them better. Plus it’s nice to give the ultimate wardrobe staple the honour it deserves.

Style Bee - Closet Mission - Clean Out

5. Stow away off season wares. A great way to give yourself more closet space is to store clothes that you won’t wear for a few months like sweaters, boots and coats in the summer and light dresses, shorts and sandals during the winter. I’ve been using these bins from IKEA for years and they slide easily under the bed. Just don’t forget you’ve stored stuff when the season comes back around!

Style Bee - Closet Mission - Clean Out

6. Conduct a closet clean out every 4 months. This may seem too frequent but I’ve found it’s just about right. 6 months is too long and let’s too much clutter accumulate. 3 months is too soon as you may not have had occasion to wear certain things yet. But 4 months gives you lots of time to wear what’s there and long enough to come to terms with what’s not needed. By your third clean out of the year you should feel like you’ve got a pretty good sense of all the items in your wardrobe and whether or not they fit your life and style the way you want them to.


So those are my thoughts on closet cleaning and maintaining! Now is as good a time as any to rid your space of excess and get your closet in ship shape for the summer. When the weather is gorgeous and the days are long, no one wants to waste time sifting through too much stuff, wondering what to wear!

Have you got any great tips for cleaning out the closet or maintaining a lean one? I’d love to know!

Look 14 – Black Crane

May 13, 2015

Style Bee - Look 14 - Black Crane

You know that moment when you suddenly see your dream dress in real-life? And from that moment on there is no getting it out of your head, even if you’re on a very strict shopping fast and terrified that it might sell out? No, yes, sort of, maybe? Well, that’s definitely how I felt after spotting this perfect little charcoal number by Black Crane.

I’ve been a big fan of Black Crane ever since I bought this top last fall and have been coveting just about everything from the S/S 15 collection. The brand’s design duo Alexander Yamaguchi and Momoko Suzuki employ influences from their Japanese roots and architectural background to create pieces that uniquely combine comfort and minimalism. Additionally, every part of the Black Crane production process is completed in Los Angeles with environmental impact being top of mind. Great design with a good conscience is not easy to come by!

But let’s talk a bit more specifically about this dress, which was the only thing that haunted me during my April shopping fast. Luckily it didn’t sell out (although it almost has now) and it turned out to be the perfect reward and birthday treat to kick off the month of May. I love the feminine quality of the full skirt and cinched waist but even more the comfort and functionality of the super soft cotton and easy fit. I paired it with my go-to minimalist must-haves, a nude clutch and simple heels.

I knew I wanted to top off the look with a great necklace so I decided to test my hand at polymer bead making. With some trial and error, hemp rope and a silver clasp, it came together exactly as I’d envisioned! I wore this look last Friday to our good friend’s engagement party and had an absolute blast. It was a perfect way to kick off a mini weekend getaway, which I’ll share more of soon!

Style Bee - Look 14 - Black CraneStyle Bee - Look 14 - Black CraneStyle Bee - Look 14 - Black CraneStyle Bee - Look 14 - Black CraneStyle Bee - Look 14 - Black CraneStyle Bee - Look 14 - Black Crane



Size Reference (I’m 5’7 and 120 lbs)

Black Crane Dress (S) || Shoes old from Zara (similar) || Harlex Clutch || Handmade Necklace

Kilim Rugs

May 11, 2015

Style Bee - Kilim Rugs

Starting the week with some interior design for a change. Whenever I post glimpses of my two kilim rugs (above) on Instagram I get lots of questions asking where they’re from. Truth is that they’re both a few decades old and spent most of their time at my family’s former cottage. I scored huge when I discovered them rolled up in storage! They suit the old time charm and very worn pine flooring throughout our house perfectly. They’re also super easy to maintain (aka shedding corgi friendly).

While I was researching interiors for another post I came across several look-a-likes from Urban Outfitters, West Elm and Anthropologie so I thought I’d share the sources in case you’re in the market for a fresh graphic area rug!

Style Bee - Kilim RugsStyle Bee - Kilim Rugs

Lighter Vintage Look-A-Likes

1 || 2 || 3 || 4

Style Bee - Killim Rugs

I love the tribal, geometric feel of all these patterns. Our walls, trim, doors and closet storage is all white so the pattern adds energy and life to the room without being overkill. To me they feel timeless, welcoming and just homey enough to make a room feel lived in. With a thin no-slip under pad they stay in place but are easy to relocate without a hassle. The dark one is Dobby’s favourite too.

Style Bee - Kilim RugsStyle Bee - Kilim Rugs

Darker Vintage Look-A-Likes

1 || 2 || 3 || 4

Style Bee - Killim Rugs

I’ve also found some really great kilim rugs at our local antique market so be sure to scope out one near you for a potentially vintage and authentic version at a great price!

Have a good Monday folks! 

Capsule Closet – Look 10

May 7, 2015

SB - Capsule Closet - Look 10

Well here we are, the final look from my 10 x 10 challenge! I wasn’t able to put my finger on exactly why this outfit is my favourite, but I knew it was. Sure it’s not pushing the boundaries of style or reinventing the wheel. It’s not even the most sartorially fresh of all my looks, but it just feels right. The more I seek closet contentment the more I find it’s about being honest with yourself and trusting your instincts. So often it comes down to the fact that if you’re feeling good, you’re most likely looking good too. More thoughts on that below…

SB - Capsule Closet - Look 10SB - Capsule Closet - Look 10SB - Capsule Closet - Look 10SB - Capsule Closet - Look 10SB - Capsule Closet - Look 10

I consider myself fairly pragmatic and while I trust my instincts I like to have some logic to back them up whenever possible. With that in mind, I took a look back at my Defining Style workbook and it helped me pinpoint three reasons why this look struck such a positive chord for me.

1. It conjures up the keywords I use to describe how I feel in a great outfit:

  • Elegant
  • Chic
  • Attractive
  • Slim
  • Comfortable
  • Sophisticated
  • Confident

2. It’s suitable for almost all my common activities:

  1. Studio Work
  2. Meetings
  3. Weekend Trips
  4. Dinner Dates
  5. Early morning dog walks (just swap the heelss for slip-ons)

3. It perfectly fits the 5 words I’ve been using to define my personal style:

  1. Simple
  2. Chic
  3. Timeless
  4. Quality
  5. Comfort

So there you have it!

I’m a little sad that this mini capsule is over but it’s been really rewarding to build on my Closet Mission and see how the steps I’m taking to better define my style are actually working! Now I’m going to take a few days to collect my thoughts on this 10 x 10 experience. I’ll pinpoint the key factors that made it work so well and identify what I’d do differently next time. Then I’ll share what’s in store for the ongoing closet mission and perhaps a little bit about a summer capsule in the works!

As always, thanks for reading and have a good one! xo



Sarf Similar || Sweater (M) Similar || Heels (TTS 7) || Denim (26 Reg) || Tote (short) Cuyana

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