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Ask Tamara: “Can a Petite Flower Rock a Maxi?”

By | Ask Tamara, Try This Trend, What to Wear Wednesdays, Women | No Comments

I recently posted a couple of blogs all about Maxis (check them out What to Wear Wednesdays: It’s HOT! and What to Wear Wednesdays: The Maxi Dress). While these dresses and skirts can be floaty summer answers to otherwise stiff pencil and A-line bottoms, the lengthy nature of the piece can create a number of figure-flattery challenges. A question that came up almost immediately was:

“Ah, but can a petite flower rock the maxi skirt? Any caveats?”

As a petite fleur myself, this is a question near and dear to my heart. Yes, I do have some guidelines that will allow a person of the 5’4″ and under set to successfully wear a Maxi style and they all revolve around… Fit.

FIT: It’s the key for anyone wearing anything, but it’s particularly important for Maxis. When a Maxi is perfect it will:

a) Show Some Toe: Shorten your hem to about 1/4″ – 1/2″ from the ground when you are wearing the shoes that go with your outfit. With every horizontal line, the body is visually shortened. Show some toe, and maybe some forefoot, but refrain from a sharp line across the ankle or pooling on the floor (if you shorten your skirt to go with heels, please don’t wear it with flats!).

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Trademark Tip: Don’t be a drag! Hem a Maxi 1/4-1/2″ from the floor & for the shoes you’ll wear. Do you show some toe when standing? Perfect! 

b) Hug the Waist: Just like a perfect pair of pants, the waistband of your Maxi should fit well, yet allow you to tuck in a thin top if you wish. Skirts that float around the waist can twist and turn when you walk, and slip too low when you sit down.

c) Just Enough Fabric: A Maxi overpowers when it is too voluminous, and looks skimpy if it’s stretched across the hip or rear. Material should flow across your curves without adding bulk or pulling. Try to grab a fistful of fabric on both sides or at the rear. Lots available? The hips are too broad. Not an inch to pinch? Try going up a size.

Still not sure? Here are a couple of advanced tips to help make you look like a tall(er) glass of water:

1. Asymetric Hems: The aptly named short-long hemline has been big for a few seasons, and it’s sticking around for more. This ‘mullet’ of a skirt is shorter in the front and longer in the back giving you the best of both worlds.

2. Side Slit: A slit to the side of the front of your skirt can elongate the leg and make walking easier in a narrower style. Just make sure the slit is no higher than 2″ above the knee.

Check out the Trademark 10: 10 Maxis That Fit Perfectly! board for some more ‘Pinspiration’.

Maxi Skirt Dos for Petite Women 5'4" and under

Yes, Petite women CAN wear Maxi skirts and dresses! These 3 simple rules will help you look great in long lengths.

What Not to Wear Maxi Skirt

Drowning in long skirts? Petite women should avoid these 3 Maxi mistakes.

And Colour of the Year Goes to….Tangerine Tango!

By | For the Guys, Try This Trend, Women | No Comments

Every seasons style influencers and pros scour industry sites for a first glimpse of ‘what’s next’. I always say that in fashion, living in the present means being a season ahead of the curve!

One of the most important influences each year, and each season, is colour. Remember that scene in The Devil Wears Prada about the Cerulean Sweater? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwYZVEjlQ5Q)

OK, yes it’s extreme (and mean) but it really is pretty much how it works! However, if there is one, most important resource on colour, it is Pantone. And, each year Pantone selects the Colour of The Year! This year’s honoured hue is called ‘Tangerine Tango’ and I bet you’ve already seen it creeping into both women’s and men’s wear haven’t you?

Oranges are fairly challenging to wear, but it is here for 2012, so here are a few creative ways to add it into your wardrobe. Don’t be shy, it’s time to tango. 😉


Sunglasses: Balenciaga
Bag: Prada
Shoes: Le Silla
Dress: Michael Kors
Sence Copenhagen
Necklace: Miso
Bracelet: Sence Copenhagen

Blazer: J. Crew
Rings: Reiss
Bag: Big Buddha
Top: H&M
Pants: Vivienne Westwood
Scarf: Etro
Earrings: Jamie Joseph
Watch: Oozoo
Flats: Tory Burch

Earrings: Monsoon
Necklace: Satya
Bracelet: Alexander McQueen
Top: P.A.R.O.S.H
Pants: Alexander McQueen
Hat: Noel Stewart
Bag: Ralph Lauren
Shoes: Lauren by Ralph Lauren

Jacket: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Shirt: Daks
Pants: Life/After/Denim
Sunglasses: Burberry
Watch: Timex
Belt: Barbour
Shoes: ASOS

: Armani
Pants: Menlook
: Drykorn
Belt: Anderson’s
Shoes: Antoine & Stanley

Try This Trend: Men’s Spring Trends

By | For the Guys, Try This Trend | No Comments

Women’s trends get a lot of attention, don’t they? I’d never want to forget my guys though! This season, men’s and women’s trends are in very close alignment. Now, I’m not saying that you should match your tie to your date’s dress, but you will notice similarities in colour inspiration between the women’s and men’s sections, in addition to trends purely designed for guys.

Bold colour statements and pastels two trends that crosses departments this season. Not sure you can pull it off? Here’s two ways we did it that play with colours you might already love to wear – but in new, pumped up ways.


Cardigan: Ann Demeulemeester
Belt: Reiss
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban
Shirt: Reiss
Pants: Paul Smith
Tie: Reiss
Shoes: Carven
Watch: Seiko
Bag: United by Blue
Socks: Reiss

Watch: Omega
Bracelets: ASOS
Belt: ASOS
Shirt: Jeanswest
Pants: ASOS
Jacket: Dacute
Bag: Boconi
: Clarks

Try This Trend: White Denim

By | Try This Trend, Women | No Comments

White denim can seem so tricky! But actually, a good denim gives more ‘support’ than a lightweight summer fabric, which makes them the perfect way to test out wearing white pants. Choose skinny, tailored ones for a classic silhouette, or pair white with another trend – the Flare leg – for a contemporary statement.

Nail Polish: Essie
Nude Pumps: Rupert Sanderson
Blouse: Aubin & Wills
Sweater: Ella Moss
Necklace: Kate Spade
Clutch: Chloe
Bracelets: Alexander McQueen & Chanel

Earrings: Douglas Rosin
Watch bracelet: Oasis
Wedges: MICHAEL Michael Kors
Shirt: Tory Burch
Jeans: Goldsign
Sunglasses: Tom Ford
Tote: J. Crew
Rings: Reiss

Try This Trend: Floral Prints

By | Ask Tamara, Try This Trend, Women | No Comments

 This Spring is full to the brim with new trends that are seem just a little bit trickier than in past seasons. But, with a little inspiration, these Tricky Trends can be reined into some of your favourite Spring/Summer go-tos. Need a nudge in the right direction? No problem. Here are a few ways to wear one of the trickest trends this season: floral.

If the words ‘floral print’ give you a little Laura Ashley ‘acid reflux,’ I would totally understand. But, it’s time to revisit them this year in a completely new way. As a neutral print on a narrow pant, florals look graphic and modern, while in a technicolour print, they bring a daring element to a classic cut blazer.   We want to share a couple of floral print looks with you to hopefully inspire you to try this trend!

Glasses: 3.1 Phillip Lim
Satchel: Rebecca Minkoff
Shirt: T by Alexander Wang
Jeans: J Brand
Pearl studs: J. Crew
Bangles: Debenhams
Loafers: Ellen Tracy

Watch: ASOS
Flats: Tory Burch
Blazer: Roberto Cavalli
Jeans: Mango
Bag: J. Crew
Ring: Yves Saint Laurent

Check back soon for our post on how to wear white denim!

Outta Sight Summer Sunnies

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Already two long-weekends in and another shortly on the way (for Ontario folks anyway!), it’s in the dog days of summer that most of us lose at least one pair of sunglasses. Unlike replacing summer clothes mid-season when you might wonder if it’s worthwhile, sunglasses are an investment that will far outlast the sunny season both in style and in vision health.

For readers who know me, you’ll know that I wear my sunnies nearly every day, all year long. I consider them amongst my primary accessories. My Optometrist, Dr. Shirley Blanc, gave me more perspective on why sun-specs are key throughout the year. Her tips:
  1. Price, colour, or lens darkness aren’t guaranteed indicators of how much UV protection a pair of sunglasses will provide.
  2. Generally, the tint should be dark enough to reduce glare and improve visual comfort, grey or brown tints are generally recommended to prevent colour distortion,
  3. While plastic lenses are lighter than glass, make sure there’s scratch-resistant coating on plastic lenses as even small nicks can decrease UV protection.

But are all sunglasses appropriate for all occasions? Turns out, the type of protection from different lenses might be best for different activities. The Canadian Standards association complies with guidelines known as ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standards for sunglass protection.

  1. Cosmetic sunglasses: Block at least 70% UVB and up to 60% UVA. They provide only mild UV protection and aren’t usually recommended for daylight driving. They’re perfect for an after-work patio though.
  2. General-purpose sunglasses: Block 95%-99% UVB and 60%-92% UVA. Good for driving, and are recommended whenever sunlight is harsh enough to make you squint. Going out for lunch with the gang? Planned an afternoon in the sun? This is the sort of protection you’ll need.
  3. Special-purpose sunglasses: Block at least 99% UVB and up to 98.5% UVA. Suitable for extended periods of sun exposure – not recommended for driving. Since these lenses also block up to 97% of visible light, they are very dark. They’d be great for outdoor sports, a day at the beach or on the water.
AH HA! So THAT’S why you should have different pairs for different occasions. To help you decide, here are my favourite top trends this season.
Gucci Web Frames. Oversized rounded square frames are perennially chic and ideal for 9 -5.

Dolce & Gabbana two-tone frames. Cat’s Eye are the next big retro trend. Watch and see!
Karen Walker Eyewear Helter Skelter frames. An ideal combination of sporty and urbane. A little ‘Wayfarer’ and a little ‘John Lennon’, very unisex.
Super People frames. The classic Wayfarer with a twist. Sporty and sophisticated, for men and women.
Carrera City Folding frames. This Aviator Visor folds up! Perfect for busy days and travel.

All photos courtesy of Polyvore.

Hats ON to Headgear!

By | Try This Trend | No Comments
What’s the single easiest way to:
  1. Beat summer heat
  2. Avoid burnt noses, cheeks and scalps
  3. Prevent crow’s feet and
  4. Amp up style?

With a hat! They are a key trend this summer for both men and women, but it can be tough to find one that suits. Knowing the trends is one way, but using your face shape as a guide can also help you narrow down what will work for you in any season.

Trademark Tips:

Round: Choose a hat with sharper lines, and medium – high crown height with a slight taper. Medium brims that are turned up or that can be angled are great, especially if the hat is positioned forward or asymmetrically to lengthen your face.
Try This: Fedoras, Panamas, Stetsons, or Sunhats (for my ladies).
Square: This shape needs curvier lines to offset its angular strength. Look for a medium – high crown height that appear full and round. A turned up brim helps soften features, especially if worn with a side tilt or high on your head to break up ‘squariness.’
Try This: Homburgs (like a Fedora with permanently turned up sides), Fedoras, Berets or Newsboys worn high and slanted and big floppy Sunhats (for my ladies).

Long:Sharp, straight styles with a lower crown and a medium – wide brim are best. Wear it straight or forward with the brim kept straight to balance out the length of your face beautifully.
Try This: Western/Stetson styles, Fedoras, Baseball & Newsboy caps
Heart/Diamond: Look for a medium height crown in a square or round shape, and give it a tilt to one side. Small brims and curved brims will soften the point of your chin.
Try This: Fedoras, Cloches and Profile brim hats (for my ladies)
Oval: Considered the ‘ideal’ face shape, an oval face can wear almost any style of hat well! (Lucky!)
The Fedora fits so nicely into just about every category.It’s not only a versatile pick but it also happens to be The Hat of the season for both guys and girls.

Want to try a hat but not sure it’s for you? I love the reasonable prices and variety of styles at Big It Up. For a custom look, there’s no better gem than Lilliput Hats. See what kind of personality a hat can add to your accessories wardrobe!

Shades of Red

By | For the Guys, Try This Trend | No Comments
Did you read my blog on why wearing red on dates is a great tip? Great to know, but red can feel a bit tricky. A little can go a long way with this dynamic colour, while a lot can either excite or intimidate. Striking the right balance means knowing how to wear it and knowing what red is right for you.

How to Wear Red
Red can evoke excitement, power, attraction, mystery, and desirability. Here’s a few tips on how to evoke the right emotion in the right context:

First Date?
My Ladies: Try a red top or red accessories to bring attention up to your face. While a matte red lip can be sexy and attention-grabbing, it can also be intimidating and untouchable. Save this for another time. For a first date go with a naturally-glossy, transparent red lip instead.

My Guys: A solid red button-down is too much of a good thing. Choose a button-down with a red stripe or pattern for the best effect. A patterned shirt with a deep red cashmere sweater over it? This could be a great choice. The key is to break up the block of color for interest. It’s all in the details!

Big Presentation?
My Ladies: Red accents, like a silk scarf, brooch, work bag, belt and/or shoe are all great choices to bring subtle power to your presentation. More red works too: a solid or patterned sheath dress are great choices especially when paired with grounding neutrals like black, grey or tan. A more intense red lip can work too, bringing attention to the delivery of your message!

My Guys: Strong red accents are great for you too. A solid or patterned red silk tie is always a winner, especially combined with a coordinating patterned dress shirt. Oxblood leather accessories (belt and shoes) are another subtle detail that create a sophisticated work look, and they’re a fun change with black, grey and navy dress pants.

Formal Event?
My Ladies: Remember Julia Roberts in that quintessential scene in Pretty Woman? How about Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face? Now is the best time for head-to-toe red!

My Guys: Now is the time for subtlety. A red patterned pocket square and/or tie are the most appropriate uses for this bold colour.

Which red is right?
From true red, to vermillion, carnelian, carmine, sangria, burgundy and persimmon, there are lots of varieties of this challenging colour to tempt your palette and one will be great for you!

Experiment with different shades to see which reds make your skin pop, your teeth appear whiter, and your cheeks glow from within. Does the colour make YOU stand out? Or do you see the colour first? We definitely want to see more of YOU!
Just like all colours, there is a shade for you and a way to wear it that will make you look and feel your very best. Not sure what shade of red is best for you? A Colour Analysis will determine your best palette.

For Women: Military Inspired Accessories

By | Try This Trend | No Comments

Many of you have asked about the military trend, with this question: How can I pull off the military trend without going over the top?

There’s a lot of military inspired boots out there. Buying a pair that will last more than one season depends on being able to find some that pay homage to the trend without going full-force into it.

Here are some that I like:

Tory Burch bootie! Lovely!


This one was featured in the September issues of Vogue and Lucky!


Frye Veronica Shorties are great if you just…can’t…bear…heels 😉

For Men: The Waxed Jacket

By | For the Guys, Try This Trend | No Comments
OK Guys,

So many of you have written and called me about that FANTASTIC jacket I spotted on the street in my demo reel.

That jacket is a waxed cotton field jacket, and the style is reminiscent of the typical outerwear of the British countryside. According to the Barbour website, the main function of the treated fabric was to keep sailors, riverworkers, navymen, and the dock and shipyard workers who were wearing them dry in the damp weather.

While this highly functional fabric has been brought back in a more tailored, urban capacity, you can find a number of similar renditions in variations on the theme. Part utility, part woodsy, part urban-guy-about-town, here are some of my faves:
This is the one from the video! By Rag & Bone, get it at Uncle Otis

The Woodland from JCrew…and they ship to Canada
Not waxed but a nice slim utility style jacket from The Gap

Happy Hunting!