Dressing for work in a creative environment is challenging. I work at a hair and beauty store in Toronto’s financial district, so what I wear is pretty monumental to the job. When I first started, they told me to “dress like you’re going on a first date”, which really confused me. First, I haven’t been on a first date in ages since I’m in a committed relationship. Also, I’m the type of person who’d show up to a first date in a sack to see their reaction. After days of going in under-dressed or over-dressed, I finally found a good balance. These are my top three ootd’s, hopefully those of you in similar jobs can get some inspo!
There’s a saying at Ryerson about how you can always tell us fashion students apart from the general crowd. I guess you can call it the fashion vibe. You know when you see someone on the street and think “wow, they look good” even though they’re in jeans and a t-shirt? We’d get complimented on our everyday outfits and whenever we say, “thank you, I study fashion,” the response would be “I had a feeling you do!” So this week, I’m betraying my creed by giving away all of our secrets. Just kidding! But I will share with you my tips on how to look effortlessly put together.
This week’s post is another tribute to the past since I am such a fashion history junkie. If you have not seen the 1964 Film of My Fair Lady, featuring Audrey Hepburn, you’re seriously missing out. In the Edwardian London, Professor Higgins (a rich, but tactless phonetics expert), makes a bet that he can turn Eliza Doolittle (a young woman selling flowers with a strong Cockney accent) into a proper English speaking lady. The two get to work on Eliza being able to pass off as a duchess at the Embassy Ball. It’s witty, comedic, and it will tug your heartstrings. And not to mention the costumes! Oh god, the flamboyant, stunning, ornate costumes!! I can’t event begin to describe them! *ahem* Anyways, here are some modern day fashion trends that I find reminiscent of My Fair Lady.
I’ve been so excited to share this post with you guys!!! (One exclamation mark isn’t enough haha) Keeping active has always been a big part of my life, and it took me a while to figure out how to look good while sweating buckets. With the rise of athleisure, it’s become possible for us fashion girls to kill our style while killing the weights.
Coming from an immigrant family, I grew up very frugal. It wasn’t until middle school when my family started shopping for clothes in actual stores, and even then, we’d only go to cheaper places like Winner’s and Urban Planet (they were pretty ghetto back in the day). So that’s how I’ve become the type of person who thinks $20 for a top is steep. However, I learned that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to look put together. Here are some Holy Grail tips passed from one fashionista to another on how to look fabulous for cheap.
Recently, I’ve done a styling challenge where I put together some outfits with clothes I haven’t worn often. Not only was it super fun, but it seems like you guys quite enjoyed it! Since I’m all about creativity with what you already own, here’s another styling challenge. This time I’ll be working with a little black dress (the timeless essential of Coco Chanel). For each look, I will be using only accessories and black shoes to change it up. Psst, I got my LBD for about $13 from Forever XXI about four years ago and it’s been one of my trust wardrobe savers.
We all have moments when we fall in love with a totally rad garment…until we see the price tag. Yes, I’m talking about those times when we question if $60 for this top is worth it. It’s about investment pieces nowadays. Meanwhile, our inner hoarders will try to convince us that everything is worth investing in. Over the years (and tons of trial and error), I’ve come to make peace with my inner clothing goblin. Here is my wardrobe spending guide- aka. when to splurge and when to save.
As a lover of Fashion History, it’s in my blood to be inspired by designers of the past as well as the present. Earlier, I’ve written about a groundbreaking designer, Rei Kawabuko. This week is a tribute to one of the fairy godmothers of fashion Coco Chanel. Gabrielle Chanel was truly a timeless woman. What she stood for a century ago remains relevant today! As I always say, fashion is not just about clothes. It is expression, art, ideals, and philosophy. It shapes not just our bodies, but how we interact with the world. Here are four keys to live by that every creative lady can learn from Coco Chanel. Continue reading “Keys Learned from Coco Chanel – My Fashion Hero”
It looks like summer is here to stay in Toronto at last! Goodbye three seasons in one day and hello warm weather clothes. Judging by the looks of my wardrobe, it’s quite a tornado’s hit. But it has a system to it! All the cold weather clothes are shoved up on the shelf, blouses are hung on the left, and dresses hung on the right. Oh, and there are sections in the back where I exile clothes I don’t wear often but don’t have the heart to get rid of. We all have those clothes we buy thinking “omg this is totally fetch“….and a week later, we realize fetch isn’t gonna happen. (At least you tried, Gretch) Anyways, I decided to flex my styling muscles and show these forgotten garments some love! Continue reading “Outfit Challenge – Styling 3 Underloved Garments”
Differences from Toronto in Fashion & Lifestyle
I had the liberty of studying abroad in Manchester, England with my best friend (who is still thankfully my best friend after living together). Observing, not in a creepy way of course, Manchester’s street style and how people lived was a huge part of my experience. Fashion is not just about what people wear, but also how they live- how they shape themselves to interact with the world around them. The combination of all these differences is what makes Manchester seem like another universe.
Dressed to impress the cashier
One of the first things I noticed was that a man in Manchester City Center without a suit was a rare sight. It didn’t matter if they were a young professional or a seasoned mogul. They were always dressed to impress in and out of the office. You’d never find anyone caught dead in sweatpants and a hoodie. Needless to say, people living in Manchester take style very very seriously.
Heels for default
I was quite delighted to see so many fellow tall gals unafraid of wearing high heels. Even on a regular day, the streets were filled with all sorts of heels- chunky ankle boots, classic pumps, knee high boots, wedges ect. Not even the endless cobblestone paving can stop Manchester ladies from rocking it. However, I never quite mastered the art of not tripping every ten steps.
What’s with the coffee??
It was very jarring to learn that drip coffee I’ve taken as a given is considered an “American thing”. Every single café served espresso based drinks. It felt like a luxurious experience drinking lattés every day instead of my usual black coffee. We did manage to find regular coffee at Burger King.
The colored hair trend
Contrary to the super conservative image of England, quite a lot of people in Manchester sported bright hair. I actually noticed that more people in Manchester had colorful hair than in Toronto at that time. Colorful dyes were even more accessible there! Drugstores there had lines from L’Oreal, Schwarzkopf, and Bleach London that aren’t sold here.
Toronto has always been hectic to me. You’d blink find yourself left behind. Like you’re constantly working and rushing to the next place. Life in Manchester was about consistency. More importantly, it was about breathing. There was a set time when all students had a lunch break. We were told to treat our studies like a full time job and learned to take ownership of managing our schedules. Even when school was its busiest, there was still time to go on trips over the weekend or just lounge for hours. Walking down the street everyday, I’d look up and see ornate architecture in even the most ordinary building. Perhaps the course load there wasn’t as intense, or maybe it was the relaxation of travelling, but I never felt rushed in Manchester as I do here. It was the second city (the first was Toronto) that I fell in love with, and I’d go back in a heartbeat.
This post is also available on Onah Jung
Posts about architect, interior design, and fashion- check her out!