Monday, April 29, 2013


Blouse, Belt & Purse- Vintage; Capris, Rings & Bracelets- Thrifted; Heels- Garage Sale; Necklace- Gifted; Hat- Simons; Nail Polish- Fuchsia Fever by Revlon
If I had been alive during the 70s I like to think that my day to day attire would consist of floppy hats, rounded sunglasses and bellbottoms.  Since I wasn't born until nearly two decades later, I play vintage dress-up instead.  This weekend proved to be the perfect time to break in one of my new floppy hats, when I met local fashion bloggers (Malorie, Darcy, Kelly, Rosie, Laura, Kathryn, Zara, Leah& Lauren) for brunch, followed by shopping at the Ottawa Vintage Show

Just like with thrifting, you can find unique pieces when you shop vintage, just be prepared to pay a little more than your neighbourhood secondhand shop.  Vintage items are carefully curated and as a result are high quality and often seen as collectibles or nostalgic memorabilia. 

"Vintage clothing is not only glorious and stylish, it's also the way forward in terms of recycling. Whenever I go into great vintage stores, I wonder why we ever buy new things."  (Actress Thandie Newton)

Here is how I shop vintage:

1. Go in with a budget.  Once I am in the store, I often become overwhelmed by all the beautiful retro articles and spend more than I should.

2.  Pay attention to fabrics.  I can count on one hand how many times I have been to the dry cleaner so when shopping vintage I try to avoid buying silk or wool, unless it's something I can spot clean like this floral silk blouse I am wearing.  

3. Sniff test.  I am not shy to smell the clothing because it can be very challenging (if not near impossible) to remove musty, attic or basement clothing smells.  And cigarette smoke? Forget about it!

4.  Pay no attention to the sizes as a size 12 vintage may very well fit like a modern day size 6 (think Marilyn Monroe)  so when I shop vintage, I don't get discouraged by the label.  It's about a great fit, not an arbitrary number!

5.  Do a 360' stain check.  I have often brought vintage clothing home with me only to realize that the back of the dress is covered in tiny stains.  Use your keen observation skills!

6. Think outside the box! Just because something is labelled a certain way, doesn't mean it has to be used as such.  For example the vintage hot pink lingerie I bought at the show (photo below), will be worn as a summer dress (styled with wedges and flowy hair) and I have various vintage scarves displayed throughout my house as tablecloths. 

I entered the Ottawa Vintage Show with $40 cash and here are the treasures I took home with me:

Lingerie- $15. 

Scarf- $5
Animal (Racoon?) Ring- $5 & Dangly Jellyfish Earrings- $15


Are you fond of vintage?

Friday, April 19, 2013

tiaraiconaccessory addict {hair}

For my third accessory addict installment (part 1- jewellery & part 2- shoes), I decided to feature one of the most overlooked accessories- hats and hair adornments.  I like to think that I'm someone who can wear a hat well (and hey maybe I'm not but just don't tell me otherwise, I love wearing them too much!) and I like how they can completely transform an outfit and 'funkify' a look.  When I'm not wearing a hat, I like experimenting with hair accessories such as bows, headbands, braids or my personal favourite- the sock bun.  Next time you're choosing an ensemble, don't forget about your head!
{Hair wrap}
{Vintage beanie}
{Sock bun}

{Zellers beret}
{H&M beanie}
{Gap faux fur earmuffs}
{Urban Outfitters fedora}
{Marshalls sun hat- worn while vacationing in St. Kitts}
{The Shop of Worldly Delights bow clip}
{Floral headband, won in Coffee & Cardigans giveaway}
{The Shop of Worldly Delights hair bow}
{Thrifted, and then microwaved, fedora}
{Patriotic Canada Day flag headband from Dollarama}
{Floral headband, turned into a hair clip for 4th of July festivities}

{Dollarama bandana & cowgirl hat}

Are you a fan of hair accessories & hats? 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

tiaraicon"you are more beautiful than you think"

Blouse (worn like this & this)- Consigned; Skirt- Thrifted; Shoes & Belt- Target; Ring- Sears; Nail Polish- Turquoise by Joe Fresh

I'm a big fan of Dove's real women campaigns so when I saw a link to their latest video being circulated on twitter, I was excited to watch it.  In the video, a sketch artist draws two different images for each woman.  The first drawing is created using her personal explanation of her own appearance and the second is taken from a stranger's description of the woman who they just met.  The sketch artist can't see the women, he just draws their images based on the descriptions.  It is eye opening to see end results, in all cases the women are much more critical of themselves, whereas they only comment on the positive and the beauty in the other women.
"Our self perceptions are generally kind of harsh and unbecoming when really that's not how the world sees us."

"We spend a lot of time as women analyzing and trying to fix the things that aren't quite right and we should spend more time appreciating the things that we do like."

According to Dove's Real Beauty Sketches campaign, only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful! I am certainly guilty of criticizing myself, everything from my thighs, to my pale skin, my jaw and my ankles.  So instead of focusing on the negatives, let's celebrate our outer and inner beauty!

I love my hair, my nose, my shoulders, my hands, my sense of humour and my creativity, just to name a few.

What physical traits or personality attributes do you love about yourself?

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Cropped Pants (worn like this)- Old Navy; Blouse- Anthropologie; Cardigan- Thrifted; Bangles- Gifted; Necklace- E-Bay; Shoes- Target; Nail Polish- by Rimmel

It's no secret that I love colours & patterns so when you combine both bright hues & zigzags, it's an Emily approved ensemble! If I had to wear a uniform, I would want it to look something like this, an outfit that could easily be transformed from career to cocktails by removing the cardigan and adding evening makeup (as I tend to wear minimal makeup to work, if any at all.)

These shoes are an example of 'sitting pretty' shoes, they may look nice but you don't want be walking or standing for too long as your toes and arches will pay the price!

This isn't the first time I wore pink & green together and it won't be the last!
{Another blooper moment, the second button is undone, unfortunately my 'photographer' is not very observant!}

Do you find yourself gravitating towards bright colours, patterns, both or neither?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

tiaraiconblack panther

Scarf- Consigned; Sweater, Ring & Purse- Thrifted; Shoes- Vintage; Skirt (worn like this)- Old Navy; Bracelet- Boutique in PEI; Hosiery- The Bay; Nail Polish- Turquoise by Joe Fresh
Over Easter weekend, I finally made the time (my previous trip home to see family was over a year ago!) to visit my hometown of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia (also the hometown of Sidney Crosby for all you NHL fans, in fact we went to the same Junior High School, but no, unfortunately he would have no idea who I am).  When I was home I also got to spend some time in my sister's small town of Wolfville, where she attends University.  It's very quaint (similar to Perth, Ontario) but a shopping mecca it is not.  So when we stumbled upon a consignment shop, I was itching to satisfy my purchasing cravings so left the store with an embellished purple top for under $12 as well as this black panther scarf for less than $7.  I'm a sucker for anything with an animal pattern (as evidenced by 1, 2, 3 & 4) so I knew that this black panther would be travelling back to Canada's capital city with me!

Do you own any animal patterned pieces? (not including leopard print because we are all guilty of that!)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

tiaraiconschool {girl} / cow {girl}

Skirt, Cardigan, Top, Bracelet & Spiky Ring- Thrifted; Boots- Vintage; Necklace- Joe Fresh; Purse- Aldo; Nail Polish- Turqouise by Joe Fresh

If I was asked to describe my style, I would hem & haw for a while before replying with Alannis Morisette's famous lyrics "I'm a little bit of everything, all rolled into one" (minus the b!%ch reference, I hope!) Just like in High School, when I wasn't categorized as belonging to one particular clique (I instead spent equal time with punks, preps, nerds, metal heads and sometimes even hooligans!), I don't adhere to one particular aesthetic when it comes to fashion. Sure I prefer skirts and dresses to jeans and pants but just like with patterns, I like to mix and match my styles.  This weekend I went for a schoolgirl/cowgirl ensemble with some new thrifted pieces and my beloved vintage cowgirl boots that I broke in during my recent trip to Texas.

How would you describe your style? Are you a little bit of this & a little bit of that or is your style more focused?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

tiaraiconaccessory addict {shoes}

When most people refer to accessories, they are talking about jewellery.  To me, an accessory is the cherry on top of the (plant milk) sundae, anything that adds an extra element of fabulosity (hats, shoes, jewellery, belts, scarves, etc. etc.) I first discovered the power of a pair of shoes as a great accessory in grade 9 when I was drawn to a pair of red studded, pointy toed heels from Le Chateau.  I wore these shoes to school, out for family dinners and even once to volunteer at the local soup kitchen.  When my high school peers were wearing sneakers and American Eagle sweatpants, I was dressed up in skirts and heels. I am an enthusiastic shoe supporter and my clothes room currently houses 85 pairs (not including flip flops and boots) and counting!
{Fergalicious by Fergie heels from The Bay}
{Andrew Gellar, consigned}

 {Guess shoes from the Hidden Treasures fundraising sale}




Sage asked me if I build my outfit around my shoes or if they are the finishing touch.  It depends on the ensemble (for example this look was inspired by the shoes) but because I have so many shoes, I rarely have a problem finding a pair that matches so usually add them as the last styling component. 

 {Thrifted with DIY silver button embellishment}

 {Because no country music lover's wardrobe is complete without a pair of vintage cowboy boots!}

{Jessica Simpson clogs bought at Hidden Treasures}
{Priceless Shoes, Colchester UK}
{Max's Footwear Boutique & Cobbler}

{Pour la Victoire, Santa Monica.  Photo credited to Maureen Murphy, photographed at Stepping Out  2011}

If you're an altruistic shoeaholic living in Ottawa, there is an upcoming charitable event that will knock your shoes stilettos off! Dress for Success Ottawa (where I work full-time as a Program Manager), is hosting its annual fundraising evening called Stepping Out on May 30th at 7pm at Lago Bar & Grill.  Besides delicious canap├ęs, refreshing cocktails & a wonderful silent auction, attendees are asked to wear their most fabulous footwear and later in the evening there will be a shoe-off (and this year a DIY shoe category has been added!) You can buy your tickets and learn more about Dress for Success here
{Gifted from Aldo}
{Urban Outfitters}

{Spring Shoes, Place d'Orleans}
{One of my most beloved pairs of heels I bought at a garage sale for only $2!}
{Gifted from Aldo}
{Nine West from Winners}
{Charlotte Russe, Santa Monica}
{Payless flats with DIY glitter}

{A sampling of my shoe collection, displayed in my clothes room}

Are you a shoe-aholic? What is your favourite shoe style?