The Colour of Change

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So while it started to snow where I live, I jet setted to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Mostly because I have no tolerance for cold, and because it’s one of my favourite beach destinations.

I had the usual in my carry-on except this time I packed my ankara styled top. This piece is very special to me because I bought it at the Festival nuit d’Afrique in Montreal a couple of years ago – my all time favourite festival. I remember it like yesterday, my friend and I decided to have a girls weekend in Montreal. We especially went for this event. 30 degrees celsius, hot and humid, and a woman performing on stage with a voice so strong it gave me goosebumps. Her band delivered beats so hypnotic I forgot where I was – so taken away. Despite the name, this is a festival that brings everyone together. A park filled with people, so happy, different colours, and nothing matters. I always try to take advantage of this liveliness when i’m visiting my home city.

As I walked through the marketplace I laid my eyes on this colourful piece. At the time I was on the tip of, “I need a change. Maybe I just need to add more colour to my wardrobe…or my life.” I wanted to do something different, out of my norm. I know, not a big deal, but it was to me. I’m the girl who’s usually in black, from head to toe. A colour, or shall I say shade, which I wear with pride as it represents prestige. Something i’ll get into later. The problem is that at this time in my life I needed change. I could’ve gotten a tattoo, a new haircut or a trip to Timbuktu. Instead, I bought this top. I was in a pleasant place in my life but not exactly where I wanted to be. Not only does this piece represent my deep roots, it represents something even deeper in my life. It was the day I decided to add some colour to my wardrobe, but also a day that brought a positive change in my life. Coincidence? I couldn’t say.

I wear my ankara top with pride and with a big smile on my face as it only brings me great memories. On this day in Cabo San Lucas, I wore it with my bikini bottom. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not very pleased with the swimwear fashion in Canada (sad face). So I usually mix and match my beach outfits. There are so many things about this top that make me happy. They say that African wax print clothing was originally worn as a nonverbal way of communicating. To be honest, I don’t know what this pattern means but I would hope something along the lines of, “change is good”.

Just a T-shirt ?

 

IMG_4709At what point can one get away with it? Only wearing a T-shirt? Is it really only casual attire? What makes it acceptable? I’m sure you’re thinking, “a lot of questions for a small piece of clothing.”

Here’s the thing, there’s always the issue of “appropriate attire” which our generation has lost sense of. The etiquette of what to wear and when to wear it. A topic i’ve slightly touched on, and probably one of the biggest reasons why I started this page. I think it’s fun that many of us use fashion to express oneself. I think it’s a beautiful thing, but I do believe that there are still some fashion laws that should be abided.

The “fashion laws” come into play when proper attire is expected for an occasion (i.e. job interview, wedding, funeral). The list goes on. Most of these occasions specify attire which some people still choose to ignore – almost a little disrespectful. I’m not talking about all white and all black parties, but events where attire determines one’s seriousness/motivation for a job, or simply looking presentable. In my opinion, unless otherwise stated, it’s at these moments I would not wear a T-shirt. Once again…that’s my opinion.

So enough of the fashion military stuff. Outside of the typical occasion, I’m ok with rocking “just a T-shirt”. It’s one of my favourite pieces when styling only because of the versatility, and comfort it promises. Whether it’s to bed, with a blazer, or a statement necklace for a night out – it always works. We express our ideas on it, our favourite team, or sometimes settle for a plain look.

To be honest, my recent trip to Vancouver catalyzed this topic. I packed so fast, only taking pyjamas, underwear and a few pieces including my miniskirt (signature BCBG piece) – no dress shirt. So I decided to wear my simple black T-shirt tying a knot right in the front. I felt so weird to wear something that I usually lounge around in but nobody knows or cares! I guess it’s mostly psychological, and I’m slightly being a diva. It was also at this moment I realized that a T-shirt isn’t always “just a T-shirt”, it saved my Saturday night outfit.

I know, so many words for a simple piece of clothing…The beauty of fashion.

Wedding Ready?

‘Tis the season, wedding season and it’s inevitable that someone will ask me, “what do I wear?”. The questions I ask is “What kind of wedding is it? Will it be hot, cold or humid? Formal or casual?”. I even ask what kind of food will be served. It may sound ridiculous but it’s a serious question. We all know certain cultures love to feed their loved ones, and I have no issues with that, however I make sure I’m prepared.

First thing’s first, read the details on the invitation. Most invites specify the attire which I must say is very helpful (*useful tip for those who plan on tying the knot). Most of the time a formal attire is expected. What’s formal anymore? That’s another post for another day. For those who don’t know anymore, you definitely want to dress up. I always say, it’s alway better to be over than under. Pull out the pearls, Swarovski crystals and cubic zirconias (or diamonds). Go crazy. It’s an occasion and certainly something great to celebrate. So don’t be shy to be SEEN.

For a summer or hot destination wedding, keep it loose and flowing. Maybe a long dress, off the shoulder, with a bottom that moves with the wind – literally. The last thing you want is clingy material in the heat. I’m from Montreal, and believe it or not that city feels those hot and humid summers. I myself have made the mistake of wearing the wrong thing, and felt drips of sweat rolling down my legs and onto my feet (TMI, sorry). The point is that you always want to be comfortable. Make sure the material is light and non-restrictive. You may want to grab a shawl for the night, just in case the temperature drops drastically.

Autumn and winter weddings. I hope for your sake you don’t get invited to a mid-February wedding. It happened to me once. Let’s just say I was sipping on more tea than wine. If that’s the case, make sure you go with the thicker material. Something fitted and long-sleeved. Another great look is a princess skirt as a bottom and a fancy crop top to complete the outfit. You might want to do a thick cashmere shawl or even a faux-fur shrug (I won’t judge you if you wear real fur). These pieces usually dress up your look, with the right accessories of course. I also suggest wearing tights or nylons in cooler temperatures, as it’s more fitting and adds class to the outfit. That’s just me though.

This past weekend I attended my friend’s wedding in British Columbia, Canada. It was honestly one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve ever witnessed. To be honest, before going I had no idea what to wear (i know, not a real problem). An outdoor wedding in June, and on the mountaintop. Although it’s summer, it still meant I had to take backup layers for this wedding because those BC mountaintops are chilly. Lucky for us the weather was beautiful and although chilly on the mountain, the sun kept us warm during the ceremony. My dress was from Nordstrom, by Bardot and although not loose and flowing, it was just perfect. The day wasn’t too hot, and it definitely cooled down at night. I showed off my open shoulder with an updo bun, and wore my simple “diamond” button earrings with a dainty necklace. I’ll also say that my Lulu Guinness lips clutch completed my outfit, and held more nonsense that I could imagine.

It’s important to look good and fit in at a wedding. As guests we end up in countless pictures and videos – memories that last a lifetime. Sometimes it just takes a little more thought to find the perfect outfit for a long day.

Out of the Closet and in the Bag

This past long weekend I jetted off to Costa Rica. It was my first visit, but it definitely won’t be my last. Four days was too short that it wasn’t sweet – almost a tease. I met hospitality from the minute I walked off the plane until my return. The culture is warm, welcoming and rich like its ineffable sunsets. The food is tasty with a big Caribbean influence, something very familiar to me. I’m ashamed to say that I stayed at the JW Marriott Guanacaste (20 minutes from Tamarindo Beach) only because as beautiful as Costa Rica is I was not doing myself any justice by staying so remote #dontjudge. A big however, it was one of the nicest resorts I’ve ever stayed at, with impeccable service and perfect for a short weekend getaway.

If you know me, you know that I hate baggage. That includes life baggage but staying within context I’m talking about packing. I figure the less things I travel with, the less I have to worry about. Put it this way, I’ve done national and international pageants with one piece of luggage. Crazy? I think not. As a woman who mostly travels to warm countries, my pieces are usually small and light. The typical trick – roll everything, and mix and match – it’s the key to traveling light. I know, most of the time we don’t want to wear the same thing. To be honest, when you change things up and accessorize, very few people notice or even care!

What to pack? : My essentials are my toiletry bag which I make sure to keep everything under 100 ml. This usually holds my essential hair and makeup products, creams, lotions, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc. Enough underwear…maybe that extra one for unexpected layovers. For accessories I usually carry sunglasses, earrings, and necklaces. At least two pairs of practical shoes or sandals plus running shoes which I wear during travels because they’re heavy. A camera because I love to capture every moment. Last but not least, my clothing. I might pack one pyjama, but to be honest I usually sleep in underwear, especially if where i’m staying is hot #TMI. I make sure to have at least two leggings, one to travel in and the other matched with a sports bra for working out. A couple tank tops only because they go with almost everything and take up no space at all. One or two summer dresses, one skirt and my bikinis of course. One of my tricks is to make sure that most, not all, of my pieces are practical in colour which makes it easier to mix and match. Statement belts or necklaces will also dress up your outfit for a night out. It may sound like a lot, but so far these items only take up three quarters of my bag. I usually fill the rest with smaller items if necessary, like a belt, socks, and my travel blanket #yesihaveablankie #imalwayscold. Also, make sure to leave a little space for souvenir shopping.

All of this is very possible with a maximum sized carry-on bag (9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches) and don’t forget your personal item (i.e. duffle bag, backpack, tote bag). Most airlines will not charge you fees and you don’t have to worry about waiting on your bags when you get off the plane. That’s unless they make you check in at the gate.

Remember to make a list. Thank me later. That’s if you’re down with traveling light.


 

sunglasses (right) –> purchased in a little shop in Tamarindo Beach $9 USD. I always buy a fashion piece as a souvenir when I travel to a new country.

 

BBT – Beach Bum Threads

 

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I’m a wanderlust…well I try to be when time permits. Like many, I travel not to say i’ve been somewhere, but to explore, learn and share the beauty of what this world has to offer. I love to analyze cultural differences, with the purpose of understanding the human race, and trying to understand what divides us. I can honestly say that between food, music and people, we are not that different from each other. We are a species that mostly values love from family and friends. We love to have fun and we always celebrate with food and/or alcohol.

I travel light. I hate weight or bulk as baggage. One thing that’s certain is that I always make sure to pack my bikini. I’m a beach bum. With deep roots from the islands, the beach and sand is in my blood – I think it could literally be. To be honest, most of my chosen destinations are hot. I’ll get to the cold ones later on in my life when wearing a bikini is inappropriate. I get frustrated with the limited swimwear selection in Canada. I was devastated the day I learned Victoria Secret (except for Pink) ended their swimwear line. Ok…devastated is probably a bit dramatic. Since then I decided to be a little more patient. Not that I wasn’t already familiar with Winners and Marshalls, but let’s just say I stalk their swimwear section on a regular basis, it’s like a second job for me. Some people say they don’t have time for those two stores because of the chaos of mixed up clothing. I on the other hand call it a hobby. I love to go on a quiet “random day of the week” evening and take my time to look through the items. It’s almost therapeutic for me. Basically, I’ve walked out with some unique pieces, including swimwear. One of my most recent finds were these beautiful coverups by Kareena’s. For that elegant but sexy sneak peek look at a reasonable price one can’t go wrong. I rocked mine in the lovely Los Cabos, Mexico at the JW Marriott. They’re great to throw on for lunch or if you feel like hiding certain parts that may be noticeable to mankind. If you ever get your hands on these beauties just be sure to hand wash yours – don’t say I didn’t tell you so.


coverup → Kareena’s
glasses → Roots
earrings → Aldo Accessories

Welcome To My “Closet”

bui-bao-417691-unsplashWelcome. Let me start off first by saying this has been long overdue. What is this? To be honest, I don’t know exactly, but definitely the beginning of something great. Like many, I too decided that I want to share my passion for threads, style, the art of fashion. You see, we all interpret art differently. The same way one may stare at a painting for hours and get nothing out of it. Someone else might point out one detail and make you see everything differently. That’s the beauty of fashion. Despite how ugly the color or pattern may be, someone out there knows how to work that piece. It takes that one person to make you see the beauty of it all. Fashion is about embracing your uniqueness and expressing yourself, regardless of how “haute” the “couture” may be, or thrifty it may look. It adds the final touch of who you are.

I’m a proud Canadian – originally from Montreal. The city of fashion, love and arts. I grew up surrounded by all of it, including great food and partying. Let’s not focus on the last two *smirk*. Although it has been some time since I left the beautiful Montreal, she has never left me. I take her everywhere I go. She has taught me style, culture, diversity, and so much more. From my ballet days, to winning a Miss Canada title, and currently in my sophisticated career – I still embrace all of these elements.

The analogy of  my “closet” is my world of fashion surrounded by travel, music, and lifestyle. In that there will be purpose, culture and adventure. May you enjoy every piece, every moment, and every word.

photo credit: Bui Bao @syderbao91