Spring Fashion - Club Monaco

I don't think I have ever really talked fashion on here. Ok maybe once or twice, but it's rarely been mentioned. Not because I don't love it, because trust me, I do, but because I haven't really felt like shopping or looking at clothes for the longest time ever. It's sort of been a crummy year, or actually, more than a year and a bit. Sometimes, life is shit.

But back to fashion. I really shouldn't even allow my eyes to wander over to my favorite shopping websites - I'm looking at you Net A Porter, JCrew, Ssense, Whistles, APC, Acne, Alexander Wang, Comptoir Des Cotonniers, should I continue? I used to get into massive time sucks just searching the web. It's a good high, if you are looking for something specific, and even more so when you have money to burn. But these days I've steered clear. It's too addictive. Plus there's so many pretty things to look at.

But today I accidentally wondered -- and I saw so so so much good stuff out there. Here are some highlights from one of my favorite retailers, Club Monaco.

I'm tempted to buy all these jumpsuits and dresses here. I really love a good jumpsuit. I find that they are quite flattering to my body and hide a lot of issues around the mid section. Plus they are super comfy, except when you have to go to the bathroom, especially in a public space. It's as challenging as you imagine. But it's a small price to pay for feeling pulled together and I absolutely love that you just need to grab one piece of clothing out of your closet in the morning. Oh and did you see those cross back overalls as well?

Their accessory collection has also never been better. Yes please to all of these. The fine jewelry collection by Adina Reyter is perfect. It's simple but edgy, modern and cool. However, I'm still kicking myself for never buying the Jamie bow tie flats that they had a couple of years ago, which now come in a pump version. If only they weren't 4" heels -- as much as I love a good high heel I curse myself about an hour into wearing them. I'm a flat, sandal and boot girl.

Stay tuned for more fashion round ups in the future, but it might be a while before I let myself wonder the fashion universe again.

Holiday Countdown - Gift Edition Part 3

With Christmas less than ten days away, I hope that the final push to finish up your holiday shopping has not crushed you just yet. To make things a tad easier, I'm providing you with another edition of my curated collection of gifts, this time for the City Sophisticate. She's a stylish woman in her late 20s to mid 30s, a young professional that knows what she likes and what she wants, and who prefers unique, feminine and thoughtful finds that are luxurious but still practical enough to use everyday.

Buy her any of these gems, and you will probably be in her good books forever.

1. Woodlot Re-charge Package - $59 - This lovely Canadian made toxin free bundle includes a coconut wax candle, a nourishing soap bar, and mineral bath soaks. Everything is made out of rosemary + peppermint essential oils, and this little set is the perfect way to help her relax and recharge during the holidays.

2. Ilia Multi Stick - $34 - For the girl on the go, who doesn't need a lot of makeup, nor does she really want to put it on anyways. This magic stick comes in six unique shades, and works on cheeks, eyes and lips, providing a sexy but subtle hint of rosy shine that will enhance any winter complexion.

3. Ring Dish - $32 - This gorgeous little handmade ring dish is made out of porcelain and features a delicate gold rim. Each dish is one of a kind and will look right at home holding her favorite jewelry on her nightstand or dresser.

4. Stone Morter & Pestle - $272 - Almost too pretty to use, this Tom Dixon Morward white marble and brass set is sure to become a family heirloom.

5. Lady Bag - $1350 USD - Mansur Gavriel has been on the top of my wish list for the last couple of years, but only now can you find this extremely hard to find label in Canada. It's currently sold at Holts, and I'm kind of fearful because once things are no longer rare, my deep lust and attraction can sometimes go away. However, this chic carryall shouldn't worry, as it's essentially the perfect IT bag. It's totally sexy and naked, roomy enough for everyday use, and it comes in six colorways.

6. BarreWorks - During any gift giving season, I beg you to never give a girl a gym membership. Unless it's what she wants, trust me, just stay away. But BarreWorks is totally different. With two locations in Toronto, this is a super on trend fun ballet inspired workout that I think any girl would probably be quite happy to get. You can purchase a 5 class pack ($95) or a two weeks of unlimited classes for $40.

7. Lip Gloss - $42 - This has to be my favorite lip gloss ever.  I love that it's all natural, glides on without all that gunky mess, and it provides me with a youthful shine that stays on for hours. Well worth the hefty price tag.

8. Drop Earrings - $1805 - I've never been a big diamond fan, but these drop diamond earrings with a rose gold finish are modern classic. While extremely gorgeous, they are subtle enough to wear everyday.

9. Pillow - $212.50 USD - This luxurious Molto dual sided pillow from DWR features cashmere wool on one side and cotton velvet on the other, each with a slightly different look and feel.

10. Sweater Coat - $595 USD - This simple oatmeal Yak sweater coat from Jenni Kayne is exactly the kind of thing you want to throw on during a cold day. Unfortunately, they don't deliver to Canada, but when there's a will, there's a way...

11. Scarf - This stunning scarf is made from 100% crape silk, and is produced in very limited quantities in the EU. Lucky for us, you can purchase it in store at Ewanika or have it shipped to Canada.

12. Watch - $189 USD. A classic minimalist watch in rose gold and grey leather. You can purchase it online or in store at Likely General.




Holiday Countdown - Gift Edition Part 2

This gift collection is created for the young professional man, living in the big city, working away in some media world capacity (because that's apparently the majority of dudes I know). The guy who likes nice things yet won't often splurge on himself, but who deserves it nonetheless.

It doesn't matter if you are the wife, girlfriend, mother, or sister who is bestowing any of these gifts upon the 20 to 30 something year old man in your life, because all of these are pretty safe bets. Trust me, he is probably in dire need of some of these things anyways.

This list is really just a start, because I could have kept on going with some other must haves and luxuries like a timeless leather belt, a minimalist leather wallet, black cashmere gloves, a plaid scarf, a canvas laptop bag, a real shaving kit, a proper matching pajama set, a double set of high quality white sheets to have on the go, a chefs knife, sea salt collection, a set of matching white towels, a classic watch, quality chocolate from Mast Brothers, a smoked wood chip kit for the BBQ, or perhaps a subscription to a weekly organic food box or monthly butcher delivery service.

Just remember, giving a gift to the male in your life doesn't automatically have to require a trip to Best Buy. Although, there's some really cool shit at Best Buy as well :)

1. Muttonhead Camping Hoodie - $136 - This classic hoodie is made in a sweatshop free factory in Toronto. This dual layer camping hoodie is 100% waterproof and lined with a super soft fleece. It functions like a hoodie but has the warm protection of a jacket, perfect for our unpredictable Canadian weather.

2. Dillon's Bitters - $16.95 - I know very little about bitters, except that it's a thing and I should figure it out already. Most guys will want to experiment with some of these flavors, so why not give a collection for the budding mixologist in your life. Dillon's Bitters are made local in Beamsville Ontario, and you can find them for sale in specialty food stores across Canada.

3. Chemex Coffeemaker - $62.95 - This six cup coffee maker has been a classic since 1939 and even holds a place in the permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art. This little glass marvel makes a bitter free tasting cup of coffee in less than 4 minutes and makes you look like a professional at home barista.

4. Limited Edition Military Blanket - $249 - This 100% wool blanket is an instant classic that will not only look great in the home but also keep him warm for the next 50 years.

5. Møller Trolley - $1725 USD - This beautiful solid wood walnut trolley can serve as a bar, side table, or even a printer stand. A classic piece of furniture he will treasure forever. 

6. Beard Tonic - $27 - Let's be honest. Most men aren't into grooming, even though the rise of the metrosexual would have us believe otherwise these days. Most men scoff at the idea of applying moisturizer on their face, let alone face oil. But sadly, our male counterparts are living with cracked, dry, and flaky skin that needs some nourishment. Beard oil is not just for the beard, it's really to help repair his dry skin underneath all that hair.

7. Large Ice Cube Maker - $11.95 - This is a great gift for a guy who likes to drink whiskey, yet these large cubes are a perfect addition to any cocktail. 

8. Alpaca Duvet - Nice duvets are a luxury item that most guys won't get themselves. This one is made in Canada, and instead of using feathers or down, it features 100% Peruvian Alpaca fiber. As the store states on their website "Alpaca fiber is warmer, lighter yet stronger than wool and resistant to saturation that is nearly water-repellent. It is also lanolin free making it hypoallergenic" -- perfect for the guy who gets sniffles or allergies throughout the year.  This duvet will also help regulate body temperature and is suitable for sleeping underneath year round. Call the store directly to inquire about pricing.

9. Jasper Oxford Shirt - $55 - This Frank & Oak slim fitting shirt in 100% cotton is a wardrobe staple. Plus this light grey color feels fresh and will work with any hair color or skin tone. Perfect for all seasons.

10. Duffle Bag - $424.99 - For the man who goes on business trips, weekend getaways or who frequently hits up the gym. His old ripped apart hockey bag won't cut it, but this Filson Duffle in Otter green says he's a fully grown up man. Water repellent with two way brass zippers and leather pulls.

11. Fair Isle Socks - $38 - These socks are comfy, warm and say Christmas. Great as a stand alone gift or a stocking stuffer.

12. Sweatpants - $150 - Every guy needs to have a nice new pair of sweatpants. Please. Do it for me. Or you. Or them. It doesn't matter as long as they have a pair of new sweatpants. If they are still wearing the same sweats from high school or college, this should be the first thing they receive this year. This pair from Naked & Famous is clean and classic and made from 100% cotton.




Get in Line

The Line constantly wows me with it's beautifully curated selections on everything from home goods to art to woman's ready to wear.  I have no recollection how I came across their website, but I'm here to stay. They specifically tailor products on offer that are classic, minimalist, beautiful and I hope, long lasting. Prices are pretty broad - so either normal or wildly expensive, but you get what you pay for.

I also really enjoy their art selection. But be prepared for sticker shock here. This stuff is not cheap. This is my favorite piece by Max Snow and it retails for $8,000.

What is the most intriguing thing about the shop however, is how they sell their products. Not only are they an online retailer, but they also sell out of their "Apartment", located on the third floor of a building in Soho, where customers can shop the stylized home itself. They also host dinners, workshops (like ballet classes & how to throw together beautiful floral centerpieces), and allow their customers to interact with some of their designers. I know others who have done pop ups in the same vein, but what's great about the Line is that they do it year round. It's not a gimmick but part of who they are. They also ship internationally, and you can expect shipping fees to be calculated at checkout. But be prepared to pay duties, taxes and customs fees if you are ordering to Canada.

Horse Watches

All of my life I've been plagued by the awful inability to wear most jewelry. I'm highly allergic to anything other than gold, silver and titanium. My biggest problem is that I'm a sucker for gold, and won't wear anything else anyways, so jewelry purchases can get rather expensive, which means for me...pretty much non existent. For years I've been wearing a gorgeous gold Breitling watch given to me by my father, but since it's not something I want to damage or lose, I can't really have it in rotation everyday. I'm still on the hunt for an affordable alternative, but not much has popped up of late. Until I found Horse watches. Now IF I could wear stainless steel (these beauties are made with rose gold, but the back of them is stainless which means I'm still allergic), this watch would pretty much be on my left arm 24/7.

Horse watches are made in Sydney, Australia, by a cute couple carrying on the traditions of three prior generations of shoe cobblers. And yes, of course, they make shoes as well. But for me, it's their watches that have me smitten. I like how minimalist this design is. It's so clean and forgoes any embellishment, because when something is this beautiful, it's not needed. Here is another one of my top picks - this one is called "The Classic".

Light grey and rose gold and only $189 - how can you go wrong? If only my pathetic and sensitive body could be allergy free...but for now I can still admire these beauties from a distance. And if I so desire I can look at them at Likely General, one of my favorite stores on Roncesvalles in Toronto, where they are stocked but go quite quickly. Call in advance to see if they have any on hand or ask to be put on the waiting list.

Cynthia Rowley for J.Crew

I have a thing for J.Crew. Their designs are fun, fresh, and often timeless. Ever since they came to Canada, it's been so much easier for me to add their stylish pieces into my wardrobe. Which is quickly becoming a mini J.Crew shop, and I'm ok with that. But what I really really love about J.Crew is their collaborations. I've always thought that boring, bland, and uninspired wetsuits needed an upgrade, and I instantly fell in love with Cynthia Rowley's designs when they debuted last year.

Of course, this year she has done it again. I love the bright colors - it just feels SO FRESH. Do I need this right now in my life? Not necessarily, but I do wish I had this when I used to wakeboard many years ago. Perhaps I need to start up again.