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Feeling blue?

I’m crazy for cobalt! The colour’s been cropping up in fall clothes since about 2010 or so. It’s only this season that I’ve decided it’s incredibly flattering for spring, too. Especially in Canada, where our spring is so schizophrenic. Today, it’s dreary and cold but it was only last week that we were sweating. Only in Toronto do you have your air conditioning on one day and your furnace the next!

Anyway, I’m really happy with cobalt. It’s intense and fresh but it doesn’t wash out my pale complexion. Paired with the colour-blocked Zahara necklace from Stella & Dot, and I think it’s quite spiffy!

Spring! It’s Coming!

In the whole “if you build it” vein, I thought I’d do a little run-down of what’s happening for Spring 2011. It’s currently below 20-something everywhere but it’s been Spring at the mall for over a month! A good way to ease into the new season is by layering the incoming season’s trends in with what you’re already wearing. It freshens your look and lifts your spirits for what’s to come.

Orange is the new Pink.

I know, Net-A-Porter has declared Pink “this seasons’ colour crush” (and only about 6 times if you have their iPad magazine, which is a must). But in bold, bright shades of coral, rich persimmon and shocking citrus, orange is the colour pop your spring wardrobe is looking for. Fold it in to your pre-spring wardrobe by pairing it with the navy and camels you’ve been wearing since Fall. When the warmer weather hits, crisp white cropped jeans or casual white linen pants will look fabulous with this shocking hue.

Totally Tangerine Tory

Stripes aren’t just for the Hamburgler anymore.

Horizontal, nautical, varying thicknesses and usually with a white or cream partner, stripes in Navy, Grey and Camel look hot. I think I’ve seen at least 10 variations of a Petit Bateau-style tee paired with wide legged jeans and a swaying trenchcoat. Fleet Week turned Tres Chic! While it looks best in a tee, Banana Republic featured a cute blazer and Stella & Dot’s Spring 2011 Fashion Show flaunted one of the cutest dresses I’ve seen all striped up.

Rugby Stripes by Ali Ro

Oh, to be Tan.

My face is a lovely shade of grey and it’s starting to match the oyster-coloured handbag I’ve been carrying all winter long. I have a feeling my leather goods will warm up before my complexion! Toffee or cognac colours are what you should be heading for this spring. I’m dreaming of the Chloe Marcie Large but pedestrian expenses like mortgages and groceries take precedent so I’m looking for something a little more affordable.

Calamity Jane at Roots, $288.

Transition with Accessories.

A great way to fold in new colours, textures or styles into your winter wardrobe is to start with your jewelry. Worn with black or brown, a necklace like the Carnival beaded necklace is full of bold colour and texture that just feels like Spring is here. It’s my favourite in the new collection and I adore the versatility, worn long or short. Viva Brazil!

No Free Shoes.

I’ve been stalking Sandra Bullock for weeks. Luckily for me, so have the Paparazzi! Unlike the Paps, I don’t give a crap who she’s linked with romantically. All this internet-based stalking is because I’m obsessed with a pair of low-heeled, black leather boots that she wears casually with leggings or jeans. And they have been hard to find!

Want. Her. Boots.

Best I can tell, they are this pair of Fiorentini+Baker boots, sold at Gravity Pope for $615CAD:

Love Don't Come Cheap.


Now, I’m on a new mission! Rather than spend the equivalent of a mortgage payment on footwear, I’m going to now find a similar boot for a third of the price (or lower).

The price of footwear has increased dramatically over the last few years. I remember swearing that if I ever spent $400 on shoes that it would be on Chanel pumps. The two-tone, nude-with-black-toe-caps classic style. Turns out, by the time I could finally afford them they were closer to $900. Again: eep.

Two-tone can never go too-far.

Candace Bushnell once told me – and a hundred other ladies who saw her speak in Toronto at an event in 2008 – that “in life, there is no such thing as free shoes”. Did you know that even with all the exposure Manolo Blahnik got from Sex And The City, she only once received a free pair of shoes (well, three pair but, seriously, the man owes her free shoes for life).

Let’s be honest, she’s probably been flipped a few free things in her life – shoes or otherwise. But it’s not about what you can get for nothing. It’s about working hard and earning your shoes. It’s about being a good person and being true.

Her advice really hit home with me at the time as I was being courted by PR agencies near daily to promote their products in feature articles on Note: it wasn’t exactly glamourous as we’re talking lip balms and tooth whiteners. But Candace’s advice is just as relevant now with digital influencers like Bloggers and Tweeters becoming the promotional route of choice of so many brands.

A Kobo, a tub of peanut butter or a pair of awesome black boots; this is the time when we could be using our influence for much more than bunch of free stuff we probably won’t like and usually won’t use.

I love shopping! I love stuff! But I draw the line (and always have) at touting a product that just doesn’t cut it. And I hope that this blog retains it’s authenticity and integrity, even with all it’s Product Shoutouts. I’m not saying that I will stop getting products from PR companies or would turn down a pair of free boots from, say, oh…I don’t know…Fiorentini+Baker? It’s just a statement that what I promote here – and at – are products or services that I really use and promise I will never lead my readers to believe otherwise. That just wouldn’t be Swell.

She Rose Tints My World.

I have been watching Glee. Ugh. I hate to admit that since I was so emphatically against this show when it started. I do cringe whenever Lea Michele starts singing, though. I can’t handle her facial expressions especially since the scene doesn’t usually require so much emotion or projection.

Here’s the thing: I’m obsessed with Emma Pillsbury!

Prim and Proper; Stylish and Sexy.

I sat down to watch my PVRd Rocky Horror episode (yes, watching it so much I’m recording it so I don’t miss it) and couldn’t wait for her next scene! It’s true, it was the fact that she was wearing the Bloom Flower Ring in Yellow while she watched John Stamos do his best Meatloaf that initially caught my attention but as the hour wore on, I couldn’t take my eyes off of her.

Stella & Dot Bloom Flower Ring in Yellow

I loved when she sexily lip-synched her way through Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me. She shed her proper exterior to reveal her — albeit repressed — confident and sexy self. Brittany and Santana watching from the window nicely reflected the feelings coming from my living room:

All the girls are turned on!

Maybe it was just like Sue Sylvester said in this very episode: “People who dress like librarians? All sex addicts”. Apparently the same holds true for those in cheerleader uniforms and, in my case, sweatsuits on Saturday nights.

I wikipedia’d did a little research and discovered that Jayma Mays actually auditioned for her role as Emma by singing it. It was easily the best performance of the episode and I wonder how long Ryan Murphy was waiting to incorporate the song into his show.

Her vintage-inspired style conveys an old-fashioned sensibility. She’s a little bit quirky and I’m pretty sure she smells just like fresh-baked crescents. Jayma Mays embodies this character so well but a ton of the credit for my obsession should also go to costume designer Lou Eyrich. Eyrich, in turn, hands the inspiration back to Mays! Full circle moment.

It seems I’m not the only one who is delighted by her wardrobe and there’s an entire blog devoted to her style: What Would Emma Pillsbury Wear? Episode-by-episode, scene-by-scene this blog breaks down exactly what she wore so you can wear it, too!

Stacked heels, t-straps and spectators abound! Cardigans from J Crew, Kate Spade with a healthy dose of Anthropologie are the main focus. Ruffled blouses from H&M and pencil skirts from Forever 21. What looks old is actually new and readily available.

And it would seem that nothing tops the perfect Pillsbury outfit off like a little Stella & Dot!

Embrace Your Inner Rock Star.

This week, Stella & Dot launched a holiday line sightly different than previous years. Rather than the usual sparkle expected this season, the line features adorably adorned leather bracelets perfect for gift-giving.

Leather for Layering

Danielle Redner insists they help her channel Pat Benatar, but I’m reminded of a different short-haired dynamo: Watts from Some Kind of Wonderful, my favourite movie of all time. It’s a John Hughes film (of course) and something about it just gets to me. As someone obsessed with social behaviour there is so much to contend with, like, the struggle to fit in, the dream to love and be loved and the whole process of learning how to relate to one another.

When she realizes she could lose Keith to Amanda Jones, she desperately tries to cling to their friendship at whatever cost. Ugh. Unrequited love! It’s so intense and it makes you crazy!

So, Watts, today’s look is for you:

Adding a little credibility to the whole rockstar vibe, did you know Steven Tyler of Aerosmith loves Stella & Dot? Stella & Dot Stylist (and apparently my new hero), Carly Foote, met and hung out with this rock legend in Calgary.

Legend has it, Mr. Accessories adored the Vintage Twist Bracelets she was wearing and thought they looked like ‘little bullets’ so she took them off her own wrist and he wore them in concert in both Calgary and Edmonton.

You are an ambassador for jewelry-lovers everywhere, Mr. Tyler. Photo evidence:

Like, Totally.

Totally Turnlock Teri Tote: I adore alliteration!

I am in need of a new handbag. Well, ‘need’ might be a stretch! But I’ve made a pact with myself to have Look Books on hand at all times and none of my current bags fit the bill. So, it looks like I’m in the market for one of these:

Totally Turnlock Teri Tote: I adore alliteration!

The Totally Turnlock Teri from Marc by Marc Jacobs.

I’m a loyal MbyMJ fan. The leather is lovely, the design is smart and the liner is perfection! Just look at it:

The Printed Lining

It’s the perfect little hint of crazy hidden under a neat and tidy exterior.

My Look Books will be zipped and protected and all my junk can float around in the other interior sections. My trusty BlackBerry (well, PinkBerry) will be on hand at all times in the (totally) turnlock front pockets. Yay!