Thursday, 17 April 2014

The style resolution it is not too late to make (and stick to)

Hello everyone! Have you made any style resolutions this year?

AlthoughI have not shared it with you, my one and only style resolution this year is to shop in season. Why? Because I realized that financially it makes perfect sense. First, it means I avoid over-buying: as much as that pair of sandals seems irresistible in December, I know it will remained boxed in my closet for at least three months -- by the end of which period new and equally irresistible styles will be available, making me regret the purchase. Second, it means I am never buying full price. As fashion seasons are always ahead, clothing is discounted by the time it becomes season-appropriate. 

This year, this rings particularly true because of the cold front that has hit most of the Northern emisphere. If you think that has made you miserable, you have no idea how much has made retailers miserable. Their loss is our (the consumers) gain, because spring sales are quite attractive right now.

Montreal's high-end department stores (Holt Renfrew and Ogivly) have no current offers. The Bay is running "The Bay Days", and it is a worthwhile stop if you have time to sift through the spring clearance items, which can be up to 60% off. GAP and Old Navy are also running their spring sale, in stores and online. If you have favorite items, I suggest you check both places because discounts vary widely between the two. Banana Republic, on the contrary, offers a consistent 40% off in store and online until April 21 with code BRFORTY.

Online, here is the roundup of the best places where you can save through Easter Monday, in case the surprise inside your chocolate egg doesn't quite cut it:

SHOPBOP. 25% off everything (including sale items) with code INTHEFAMILY14 until tonight, so hurry! 

YOOX. There is a selection of items marked down 25%, but for the next five days you can also take 15% off the items in your Dreambox with code YOOXDREAMBOX.

LACOSTE. Take 20$ off every purchase of 100$ or more until Monday, April 21, with code EASTERCROC (in stores, you need to present the email you received with the offer).

NEIMAN MARCUS is offering duty-free shipping to Canada on all online orders over 100$ until April 30 with code DUTYFREE, which is a saving of about 30%. 

J. CREW is also offering 30% off select styles with code BIGSALE.

SAKS' Friends and Family sale is scheduled to start on Saturday and run through Monday, with discounts around 25% off.

Photo: Jak and Jil.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

CS14 Essentials | The inner layer

Hello everyone! What did you wear yesterday?

I ask because it was a typical spring day in Montreal: it started out around zero degrees Celsius in the morning, increased to about 20 degrees around lunchtime, and had you sweating by 2 pm.

I changed three times. I wore a light merino sweater plus jeans combo in the morning, switched for a long sleeves tee and blazer when I went out to take my son to the movies after lunch, came back sweating and ditched the jacket. By evening, we were snuggling under a blanket while watching TV. Ah, transition dressing, I hate you.

We have to get through it though. (And no, just throwing on a scarf à la française will not do it, thank you very much). Note the thick cotton sweater in the picture above? It is my best ally this time of the year. (Plus, it goes great with fluid pants -- so SS14) When boots are not in order, I also make sure to keep my patent shoes handy, since they will withstand the rain and the slush well. Add a zip-top bag to keep my stuff dry, and I am good to go. Somewhat, at least.

CS14 Essentials | The outer layer


Hello everyone! Are you layering?

Now that we are out of the extreme winter cold, layering has become essential. My strategy is to put my stash of coats (I don't want to talk about it) to its best use. This season I am inspired by dark grey and navy, so I stored all my puffer jackets and organized our front closet with my Isabel Marant for H&M grey coat, my Vince unlined electric blue coat, and my Stella McCartney navy coat, which will accommodate cooler to warmer temperatures in the weeks to come. I also purchased an ultra-light down jacket with a hood for rainy days and windy soccer matches. (If you are lucky enough to visit the US these days, do yourself a favour and buy Uniqlo's ultra-light down, which is cheaper and comes in more styles -- but is still unavailable in Montreal).

Footwear is tricky. There is still snow on the ground, but winter boots are excessive. My feet get cold, so rain boots (like my beloved Dav ones) are not the right choice. I am considering a classic pair of Hunter boots with sock insert, or this gorgeous (by name and by fact) pair of Stuart Weitzman's Gore Tex booties -- either ones of which would be a good investment for Fall as well.

Together with the boots, I abandoned my winter hats as well though, in exchange for a cotton-blend beanie by Urban Outfitters. Still studying the best pair of mirrored sunglasses...

The Fashionable Mom guide to Cold Spring 2014

Hello everyone! Have you familiarized yourself with the trends for SS14?

After last week's rundown (6 posts in one day! And I was even teaching in the afternoon!), now it is time to get to it. What to wear right now as we wait that summer hits.

Sure, you are itching to pop out those pastels and pink. Possibly the sandals. I am, too. But there is snow still on the ground, rain appears when you least expect it, and temperatures oscillate between 0 and 20 degrees Celsius in one day, and in random order. Sorry pastels. Hold on, sandals.

In a way, we are lucky, because there is no lack of inspiration out there, and I am not just talking about the fur-galore at NYFW during March's polar vortex. From navy blue at Chloé (top) to steel grey and neutrals at Brunello Cucinelli and Celine (middle), there are a lot of pieces you and I already own that we can reinvent for our Cold Spring. I mean, look at Jeanne on the streets of Paris (via Garance): isn't that the Isabel Marant for H&M coat

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

The job I didn't get (aka my briefcase obsession)

Hello everyone! Would you mind allowing me to vent a bit?

I really wanted to get a job upgrade. Contrary to most professors, who generally hate the prospect, I really wanted to become department chair. There isn't a big payoff that comes with it in my university, so it wasn't the financial benefit that I was after. I just think I could be good at it, because I am very organized and I like administrative work. Or maybe it is just that I have been going through a sort of a research hiatus since my sabbatical, and I needed a change. Four years of administration fit the bill, and would have allowed me to put my research brain in the sand a bit and not wonder why I have not come up with a great research question that needs answers (by me, obviously).

I did not get the job. My colleague, the one whom I pushed to get hired and in doing so destroyed my political credibility inside the department, got it. I am really happy for him. I am sure that things will be better, and that coming to work will become pleasant again as soon as the current guy leaves.

I just cannot stop thinking about the briefcase I was planning to get for the new job (this one or this one, in case you were wondering).

Photo: Kate Middleton leaving for her Canada Tour in a Smythe blazer and Mulberry's Polly push-lock bag (via Fashion Fashist). 

Sunday, 6 April 2014

SS14 trends | Mirror, mirror

Hello everyone! Are you getting new shades this season?

Nothing says summer to me like a new pair of sunglasses. This year there are so many great styles to choose from, from round frames (like those that debuted last year) to extremely geometric shapes (remember, G is for geometric this season). I have fallen for the mirrored lens. How about you?

Photo: Giovanna Battaglia at NYFW.

Friday, 4 April 2014

SS14 trends | Feeling the blue

Hello everyone! Do you own a white shirt?

It is deemed one of the key essentials in every woman's closet. This season, make sure it gets a blue companion. Layering blues is a key trend for spring (like at Celine above), as much as a tailored Oxford shirt. You do the math.

My favorite one? I have tried at least a few over the years, at different prices. You know which one has withstood seamlessly time and multiple washes? Banana Republic's fitted non-iron sateen shirt, which I own in white, grey and blue. At this price point, it is a no brainer. But hurry, they sell out fast, and the brand flagship store in downtown Montreal has just restocked. (Until April 6, you can take 40% off with code BRSPRING20 if you shop online, but small sizes are already sold out).

P.S. Make sure not to miss today's earlier posts about the trends for SS14, such as this one.

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