Some mornings, I wake up and think; “today’s the day I’m going to put a whole bunch of pieces together in different ways and wear something wildly bold!”
But then I d0 – I play in my closet, I belt some blazers, I put shirts on backwards (just kidding, but sometimes this is actually a good idea!), I put on a skirt (gasp!) or a dress (double gasp!). But then I realize, as I’m looking at myself in the mirror, that I’m just not quite as comfortable in these ensembles. Sometimes, they’re warranted: a spin around an event, a meeting, or a photoshoot… but if I think hard, the outfits that garner the most compliments (real life compliments, not just virtual likes on social media) are the ones that are, essentially, my uniform. Shirts and jeans. Of course, it varies as the seasons change, but there’s not much that a good pair of denim and men’s shirt can’t accomplish (for me, anyway).
I realized since I started consistently wearing an outfit formula, and having less in my closet, I struggle less with analysis paralysis – after managing a luxury boutique, I realized that customers made more deliberate and satisfying purchases when they had less choice. Too many options, and they’d get overwhelmed and walk away frustrated. An outfit formula makes life simpler, while allowing you to stay true to your personal style.
So here it is, my uniform – I’ve added snakeskin booties for a bit of a classic twist, and my moto jacket is an extra must-have layer in this cold … What’s your uniform? Do you have one? Do you think it’s just an excuse to be lazy and wear the same thing all the time? I’d love to know!
There is nothing quite like French girl style. We all try to emulate it, that cool, underdressed chic factor that seems to say “i’m put together without really giving a shit”. So to invite you to a chic Parisian-themed event, I only thought it appropriate to put together a French girl inspired look that consists of – you guessed – some serious staple pieces that can likely be found in many a Parisienne’s closet.
Oddly enough – and as a complete side note – I find myself leaning to the French/minimalist aesthetic versus the maximalist and adventurous styles my Italian heritage would have me wearing. No matter which way you swing, I do believe a little injection of French class is always good for the wardrobe, and the opportunity to snap up classic style for a good cause is even better.
Enter Merivale Optometric’s annual ladies night, where proceeds go to the Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind, and stunning discounts can be found on exclusive eyewear like that of Caroline Abram and Dior.
As a big fan of androgynous dressing, I totally get the allure of incorporating pieces from the opposite sex into my wardrobe – for one, a baggy sweater makes me feel and look smaller – bonus – but a little revelation the other day made me realize that more than anything, lenses do the best job of blurring lines between masculine and feminine style. Specs and sunnies are truly (in my opinion) one of the only accessories that can’t be claimed by either gender. You see, anybody can weara tie, but it’s history and traditional use associate it with menswear. But a thick pair of black frames? Both Yves Saint Laurent and Nana Mouskouri rocked and owned those as an inherent part of their personal style. How many times has your mom or grandma swiped her hubby’s reading glasses to check the menu at a restaurant and looked super chic doing it? The ease at which eyeglasses can cross back and forth between men’s and women’s style makes them my new go-to accessory (how did I not realize this before?!), and I think you should consider their merits too.
Totally apropos therefore, is Merivale Optometric’s 4th annual trunk show to benefit the Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind happening on Thursday May 12th. That night, you can view the complete collections of Rayban, Dior (which has been killing it in the land of sunnies – I’m talking about theeessseee the Dior So Real) and Fendi, which have awesome selections for both men and women, although, we’ve just established that anyone can wear anything in this department. Not to be missed either are the four legged guests of honour, their wonderful trainers, and exclusive discounts.
It’s an evening I never miss, and to give you some ideas of what they’ll have on deck, I took some outfit photos in a pair of scholarly Dior lenses (paired with an uber sport look to show how versatile they are and keep confusion alive) and a classic pair of Rayban Aviators. In both of these cases I looked for a gentleman to pop the frames on but didn’t find any obliging strangers, but trust me when I say that both of these frames would also look pretty awesome on a gent.
Below, some lenses that are a bit more masculine … but I think anyone can wear any of these frames and feel like a rockstar… hopefully you’ll join us on May 12th so you can see for yourself! For more eyesight awesomeness, follow Merivale Optometric’s Facebook Page (seriously, the articles they post are super interesting), and check them out on Insta too!
Being stylish doesn’t mean wearing the latest trends or sporting the season’s “it” bag. Having style means possessing a certain “je ne sais quoi” – something that exudes confidence and charm far beyond what fashion can provide. There are a few stylish ladies that I know who possess this stylish charm, and I decided you should all get to know them a bit better too. In the next little while on the blog, I’ll be featuring some super chic businesswomen who always look fabulous but who, more importantly, are experts in their field and have been able to thrive in style. I’m throwing the spotlight on these women because their work does not involve “fashion” on a daily basis in the traditional sense. Yet each of them adds it to their daily mix with finesse.
Without further delay, I’d like you to meet Joelle Zagury, an Optometrist at Merivale Optometric. I met Joelle through none other than the national style sensation Erica Wark, and I’m always floored when I visit Joelle’s Optometric practice because she looks fab, somehow manages to run a successful optometry clinic (with help from her equally amazing and stylish team) AND has two adorable kids. #lifegoals
1 – Have you always been so stylish? When did you really start paying attention to how you dressed and what image you wanted to portray?
The first part of this question makes me laugh, I don’t think I was ever considered stylish! Growing up in Montreal, everyone was so fashionable. My mom is a hair stylist and my dad has a luxury eyewear store in downtown Montreal. I was always the unkempt bookworm. I spent a lot of time as early as 5 years old in my mom’s hair salon reading Vogue quietly, I would say that is when I started to admire fashion. I was always drawn to looks that gave women an easy confidence, elegant without being overdone. In the 8th grade I started to pay attention to the fabrication, quality and fit of footwear, purses and clothes. I started being involved in buying luxury eyewear the summer after 10th grade and that made me think a lot more about how I dress and how people perceive me. I got to help design my prom dress with Kevin Allwood a Canadian-Jamaican designer now based out of Toronto, he was fabulous to work with and it was tons of fun.
I think my image now is a marriage of corporate casual and bohemian, for example I might pair distressed jeans with a dress shirt and “fancy” shoes. I like to mix flowing and structured fabrics and I love high heels and handbags, I have glasses and sunglasses to go with nearly everything, it really completes an outfit, you can have a basic t-shirt on and add a nice pair of specs and a stack of bangles and now its a an outfit, I call that 3 dimensional dressing (eye nerd term).
2 – How do you manage to always look fab AND be a mom AND run a successful optometry clinic?
The answer to this is that I do not always look fab;), I have a fantastic husband who supports me, he is wonderful with our children and is a partner in the truest form. I am no island, our team is amazing, we have a flat corporate structure, we are casual and cooperative, everyone on our team is professionally trained and responsible for an element of clinic operations. I feel lucky to have them.
3 – Where are your favourite places to shop?
I can write a book about this! I am a high/low mixer. I have always been a big fan of attainable luxury brands like Kate Spade and Coach from glasses to purses and office supplies! I love inexpensive Canadian stores like Dynamite, gives you H&M type prices but with less stuff/square footage so you can be in and out in a flash. Holt Renfrew & BCBG for shoes, accessories and evening. Jeans from Aritzia. Work wear, I mix Banana Republic and J. Crew with local shops like Victoire, Green Tree Eco fashion & Vien Avec Moi. When I am stuck for ideas on a busy work morning I like skinny black ankle pants and a blouse with a long necklace, pointy flats & awesome glasses (that’s my fake it uniform).
4 – What or who inspires you in the morning?
My co-workers! The ladies & guys at my office always look amazing. I shop with some of my colleagues. I have some co-workers who have mastered mixing prints, now that is advanced & they all have nice glasses. In a perfect world I have the wardrobe of Olivia Pope and Olivia Palermo at work and the street fashion of a Parson’s design student.
5 – What is the best part about your job?
As far as I know Optometry is the only industry that mixes math, physics, biology, psychology and fashion. I love being a clinician and I love seeing my regular patients year after year and hearing about their lives. I love the challenge of solving vision problems while keeping the patient’s physical appearance in mind, from designing a contact lens or thinking of a pair of glasses that might minimize the look of a hight prescription. When you work with people you are never bored!
If you loved reading about Joelle’s personal style, there’s even more great news! She and her team are hosting a Ladies Night Event on Thursday, September 24th at 4PM. The evening will include some beautiful eyewear collections along with discounts, mini manicures, makeovers, and great company. Best of all, a portion of the proceeds will go towards Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind.
It’s that time of year again! The lovely ladies at Merivale Optometric are hosting their Annual Patient Appreciation Trunk Show and let me tell you; it’s always a ball. Even if you’re gifted with 20/20 vision, the evening is full of fashionable sunnies (everybody needs a new pair for summer!), delicious treats and a heart warming cause.
This year, Merivale Optometric is donating a portion of all proceeds to the Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind; a wonderful organization. I’ve had the opportunity to run as a guide for visually impaired runners so I truly appreciate the benefit of these beautiful creatures.
Perhaps you remember a post with Merivale featuring some of their beautiful frames along with some tips from them (the experts!) on the right type of frames for your face shape. At this Trunk Show, you’ll be able to find some even more exclusive designers like Céline (OMGEEE), Dior (double OMGEEE), Fendi (one of my Italian faves), Jimmy Choo (a classic!), Kate Spade (I have literally started a collection of these – thank you Merivale Optometric! – you can see them here and here), Max Mara (so chic) and Marc by Marc Jacobs (for the IT Girl in you!)
Just for fun, here are some photos I took of one of the lovely ladies at Merivale Optometric, Franca, who makes every pair of lenses look awesome.
Yours truly will be there trying to learn more from these fabulous ladies who know that fun frames are the perfect accessory to any outfit.
I can’t believe it has taken you this long to enter my life, but now that you’re here I will never let you go. Of all the fall/winter trends I’ve seen, you are both practical and affordable, a feat that not many trends can boast. You are easily replicable (wearing two mid-gauge scarves is a nifty trick) without compromising your primary function of warmth. Your uses easily outnumber those of any handbag, shoe or hat (try to snuggle up with a Valentino Rockstud on the airplane and you’ll be sadly disappointed (and maybe even slightly injured)), while your ability to comfort during times of emotional distress is only rivaled by a phone call to mom.
Thank you for making me look like I’m above employing full mobility of my neck, enjoying peripheral vision, and speaking clearly.
I will defend you when my friends call you names like “duvet”, “security blanket” or “yeti”, and will wear you even during those warmer days of spring, just because you make me feel like an Olsen twin.
It’s official: You are THE cold-weather accessory of F/W 2013, eclipsing the cute but sometimes overused beanie. (Because who really needs a beanie when you take care of shrouding my entire head so well?) And even when your fame has waned in the eyes of the stylish and trendy, when Harper’s Bazaar adds you to their “What’s Out” list in favour of something far less robust; I will continue to wear you with love and maybe even a little bit of devotion.
Get your own new best friend oversized scarf by clicking on some of my faves here:
Have you ever heard one of your girlfriends say: “Buy it. In every colour.” when out shopping? Sometimes this statement can be daunting (especially if the “it” you are eyeing has a hefty price tag and therefore might be detrimental to your financial health), but other times it can ring perfectly true.
Enter the Joe Fresh Slim Cuffed Pant. My best friend and companion when working in an office – and even now when visiting clients and attending meetings as a freelancer – is this pant. It is the perfect blend of casual but professional since it pairs just as well with a plain tee and blazer as it does with a silk blouse. Flats or heels bring it’s professionalism a notch up or down, depending on your preference and work environment. And what’s even better, is that it comes in a multitude of colours each season. Which brings me to my next point.
Can you really wear a pair of emerald green trousers to the office? Absolutely. Even if your office is full of serious, too-busy-t0-wash-my-hair people; you can still sport a bold colour and be considered an expert in your field. (Provided you get all your work done, be a team player, exceed expectations on a regular basis AND single-handedly win your office chili-cookoff)
1 – Pick one piece to wear in a bold colour. If it’s a foundation piece, make sure it’s got a clean silhouette. If bold colours scare you; carefully embrace this trend through accessories: a bright shoe, belt, scarf, or statement necklace can also have a great impact.
2 – Build the rest of your outfit around whatever “colour” piece you’ve chosen and remember to keep it neutral so that your statement skirt, belt, blazer, etc. shine.
3 – Wear a colour that you feel comfortable in. If you like bold colours but don’t love this season’s emerald green; try a punchy cobalt blue or royal purple. Green might be Pantone’s first choice, but today’s fashion climate has a myriad of strong, fun hues to choose from.
4 – Most important of all; OWN it. Maybe you’ll get a few odd looks at the water cooler, or maybe the security guard will try to apprehend you because your shoes are too bright. No matter what happens, smile and get to focusing on the task at hand. Most colleagues will appreciate your bright outlook on the day and you will feel great knowing that you are adding your own unique spin on your work wardrobe.
Blazer: Designed by yours truly and proudly made in Canada // Sweater: Giant Tiger // Pants: Joe Fresh (NB: this season they have added a cuff so the links are for the cuffed version – still amazing!) // Shoes: Rachel Zoe // Necklace and Clutch: vintage
Do you know what the most annoying part about packing is? When it’s the night before you leave and you want to zip everything up in a nice little (or big) bundle so that you can waltz out the door stress-free, but you CAN’T – because in order to look somewhat normal at the airport, you need those very essentials that you would have liked to pack away the night before!
Does this ever happen to you?! Or do you keep an extra set of beauty essentials just for traveling!?
Below are some of my essential beauty bits that are currently strewn about my bathroom counter, ready to be hastily applied and thrown in a ziplock bag instead of being nestled in my suitcase.
1. Chanel tinted moisturizer
2. L’Oreal double lash mascara
3. Makeup forever eyeliner
4. Dior concealer
5. Aesop body cleanser
6. Aesop facial cleanser
7. Aesop facial cream
8. Oh yes, the bag itself has to be cute
9. Sleep mask