Toronto Fashion Find: Coats by Mary Ellen for the Perfect Custom Coat

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Years ago Carol once said to me, “You vote with your dollars”. It’s something that stuck. I live in Toronto, a close walk to two major streets that are lined with shops, restaurants and general services. Even if it means … Continue reading

Local Fashion Finds in Toronto

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We hope you’ve been enjoying our month of fashion and beauty ruminations.  To round off, we’ll be telling you about our favourite local fashion finds this week.

High end, thrifting, making your own – what’s your style when it comes to looking great in Toronto?  Does big city living boast so many options that the overflowing choice leaves you unsure of where to start?  Or do you thrive on the ever-changing world of fashion that graces our city?

This week, catch a glimpse of 4 Mothers’ varied thoughts on this, as we tell you about our experiences and what exactly it is that we’ve found – you might be surprised!

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Go-to Outfits for Moms-On-The-Go by guest blogger, Amy from Joey and the Owl

Please welcome our guest for the day, Amy from the Joey and the Owl.  A new mom to her son Joey, Amy finds herself living in one of the world’s most fashionable cities and yet she lives a real life.  Running around after a toddler in Louboutins isn’t practical!  Amy chronicles her fashionable and functional wardrobe with beautiful photos but it’s her honest and compelling essays on motherhood that resonates with her readers.

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So many times when women become mothers, their sense of style goes out the door. I have always loved fashion so after I had my son Joey two years ago, I was determined to find outfits that were effortless, comfortable and stylish. I always feel better about myself when I put in some effort in how I look and dress and I think that is so important for mothers. We give up so much of ourselves for our children and families so I think it is essential we take a little time out of our busy day to apply a little lip gloss, put some curl in our hair and throw on an outfit that makes up feel good about ourselves.

Since we live in NYC and we walk everywhere, comfortable shoes are a must! Joey and I are always running to playdates and classes so I am always buying things that I feel allows me to get down on the floor or chase after him. The first look is a  mid-waisted jean, which is a must when you’re on the ground with your child. The low waisted-jeans are definitely not practical when you are a mother and constantly bending down. I paired my jeans with a simple black turtleneck, flat over the knee boots and a poncho sweater. I threw on a hat with this look because I love hats and I think they make every outfit look more stylish.

Jeans: Madewell

Poncho: Topshop

Turtleneck: Splendid

Poncho: Topshop

Boots: Stuart Weitzman

Hat: Rag and Bone

Amy 3 Amy 1Amy 2The second outfit is a little bootie, with boyfriend jeans, tshirt and a plaid jacket. I am really into plaid this season and I love matching it with leopard so I threw on a leopard belt. I saw this Madre tshirt on a fellow blogger and I had to have it. I just thought it was so adorable! I also don’t carry a diaper bag, I substitute it with a simple tote because it is more stylish and you can throw everything in it.

Tshirt: Riley and Co
Jacket: Gap
Jeans: Madewell
Belt: Jcrew
Booties: Rag and Bone
Bag: Cuyana
Beanie: Gap

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Building a Wardrobe by guest blogger, Iva Grebesic

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Our guest today is Iva Grebesic of the popular fashion blog, Falling in Style. If Iva looks familiar it’s because you’ve probably seen her on Steven and Chris or Cityline sharing the latest and greatest in functional fashion for every day life. In addition to being a contributor Yorkdale Style Council, Fashion Magazine Style Panel and Brazen Woman, she is a mom to 4 busy children. Follow Iva on Instagram where she shows that women of any age can be fashionable.

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Thank you for that wonderful introduction. When building any wardrobe it is an investment – in time and money. That investment needs to work for us and in today’s busy world work for multiple occasions. I am a firm believer that we all need some key pieces in all our closets and today I’ll tell you what mine are. The one thing I want everyone to remember is that basics are a starting point to build upon. When buying anything think of FIT, everything in our closets should fit properly. If it doesn’t, no matter what a great deal it was or how little we paid, it won’t look good on us and we won’t wear it. A deal is only a deal if we wear the clothes.

Even when selecting the basic items in our wardrobe everything should be a reflection of who we are, clothing is just a way of expressing ourselves. Life is too short to be wearing bad outfits. To me that means no woman’s personality is defined by an oversized t-shirt and yoga pants.

  1. Dark Denim Jeans – Every woman should own one pair of great jeans. They should be a dark wash because you can dress them down or wear them out for a fun night. When it comes to cut everyone is different, I prefer a boot cut or skinny. Another great option is a trouser jean which, like the name suggests, is cut like a great pair of classic trousers. If you want to get out of your comfort zone try a pair of boyfriend jeans.
  2. A Classic Blazer – I own way too many blazers (I’m going to say between 15 or 20) but you only need one, just don’t tell my husband. I would recommend a navy blue one or black. A neutral blazer can be work with jeans, pants, skirts and dresses. It takes a casual outfit to the next level and makes you look pulled together.
  3. Little Black Dress or LBD – before I go further I am going to say it doesn’t have to be black but a dark neutral colour, navy blue, dark grey or a rich brown are all great options. I recently bought the perfect LBD from Pink Tartan. If you are finding it hard to find the perfect dress I would recommend Dress Mavens (dressmavens.com) a perfect bespoke option.
  4. Dress Pants – you can also call them trousers or slacks. The style you pick is based on your body type but one good pair should launch a thousand looks. Pair them with blouses, sweaters, cardigans or even t-shirts. The possibilities are endless. My favourite colour? It has to be a classic pair in navy blue.
  5. Pencil Skirt – I find a pencil skirt universally flattering, no matter what your shape there is one out there for you. If you are not in a corporate environment I say ditch the black or navy blue and try a fun colour or pattern. You already have a LBD and a pair of dark neutral slacks so have some fun!
  6. Classic Pumps – colour options when building your wardrobe may seem limited but will offer investment pieces that will last years. So for pumps, pointy toe or almond toe heels in black or nude will offer versatility.

Once you have the basics add jewelry, pretty tops with graphics and pretty details and enjoy. Never take yourself too seriously, you’ll miss all the fun.

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Feeling Great, Looking Great

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Last month, 4Mothers focused on fitness and health as the perfect way to ring in the new year.  Taking care of our bodies, hearts and minds can only lead to a heightened sense of well-being, and we all know that feeling great is the best we can strive for in any year.

Feeling great, looking great… we know they’re usually connected.  With the arrival of February, we’ll shift our focusto looking great through fashion and beauty this month.  Whatever that means for you, we’re delving in because we know that looking great can be both a reflection of feeling great or the pick-me-up that helps us get there.

So we’ll reveal some of our musings and favourite finds in the wide world of beauty, fashion and spa treatments.  We even have some do-it-yourself beauty fun thrown in – do you know how easy and effective it is to make your own lip balm?  Nathalie will soon tell you.

We’re especially delighted to present some amazing guests this month, like Iva, mom of four, who gives real style advice to real women at Falling in Style.  And if you haven’t yet found the lovely space at Joey and the Owl, we can’t wait to introduce you to it.  We’ve also got the goods on maternity style from Aly from The Newlywed Life.  I’m pretty sure my maternity days are over, but I currently have two close friends who are right in it (one pregnant with her first child, the other with her fourth!) so we’ll all be paying close attention to Aly‘s thoughts.

Stay tuned!  The days are flying by – it’s February already! – but we’re here for you everyday, for a few quiet moments amidst the busyness of our lives.  It feels great to us, and we hope you enjoy your time here too.

Image:  Beauty Fashion Shoes Silhouettes 

Mom Jeans

My “best” jeans are missing. Gone. Nowhere to be found.

Now, things going missing in my house is hardly an unusual occurrence. What’s rare, though, is that for the first time since I was a child, I only own two pair of jeans, so their absence is keenly felt.  The missing ones are a pair of skinny jeans. They look good tucked into boots, but that’s about the only thing they have going for them. They’re too short in the rise, are unwearable without a belt (lest I flash someone while bending over) and really need to be worn with both a compression tank (to smooth out my really-should-have-gotten-rid-of-this-by-now muffin top) and a long tunic or sweater (to disguise the compression tank top, of course). They were made for a bony sixteen year old with boy hips, not a fully fledged woman with birthing hips.

The other jeans, which I’ve owned since I was on maternity leave with my first son (and which were purchased in a panic when I ran out of clothes that fit; a continuously nursing child is both a blessing and a curse) are faded, wide legged, and button up somewhere in the vicinity of my chin.

The skinny jeans are the ones I feel compelled to wear. They’re fashionable. They make the three inches of visible thigh between the top of my boots and the bottom of my sweater look thin. The other ones are the ones that, everything else being equal, I would wear every day because they actually fit.

They’re Mom jeans. Baggy. High-waisted.  They’re the jeans you wore in 1987 and your mom has never stopped wearing. And now they’re the ones you reach for because they hide your post-partum pooch and c-section scar. Comfortable? You bet. Fashionable? Not even. I confess to owing a pair. You probably own a pair too, and unless you’ve had time to give yourself a thorough once-over in a mirror in the morning, you’re probably not even aware that they make your ass look like as expansive as prairie wheat-field.

What’s got me thinking about Mom jeans is this post over at the blog Blood Sweat and Peanut ButterTiffany198549 knows all about Mom jeans and the stages of transition between wearing hip, sexy skinny jeans and Mom jeans: How Bad Jeans Happen To Good Moms. Braver than I, she has so far resisted the slow, pleated slide toward comfort fit. But I embrace my Mom jeans, though they have their place: they are definitely not to be worn on dates with my husband, casual work days, playground visits, girls’ nights out, or any other places when I might actually care what I look like. But on a 9:30 a.m. Saturday errand run, me and my 9-inch rise will be rockin’ the grocery store.