I talk a lot about the classics and traditionalism on this blog. After all, elegance is typically understated. However, when I’m buying something that’s NOT for work – I like to have a little fun! I’ll never be a “trendy” gal, but I do seek out styles that are “different” and put a unique twist on a familiar shapes. These are the kind of pieces that make you smile immediately when you pull them on. They are joyful, funky and fun. Their POWER rests in the details.
In fact, they were perfect for our impromptu trip to Toronto last week. Any other “fly by the seat of your pants” travelers out there? When I say impromptu, I mean really, really last-minute. The conversation went something like this…
Hubby: Let’s go to Toronto for our anniversary. Me: Okay, when? Hubby: Tomorrow. We leave at 3 a.m. Me: Hun, you do know that it’s a 9+ hour drive and we’re bringing a two-year-old?
Turns out, sometimes the best things in life are last minute! There is such freedom in doing something a bit crazy and spontaneous. We were exhausted… but we saw a new city, ate some good food (albeit from the grocery store – Sobey’s has an amazing deli btw), and took Hudson (our little dude) to not one, but four Hudson’s Bay stores! The legacy of the HBC trading company and Hudson Bay helped inspire his name. Odd but true (this post explains it).
My point in telling you this?
Whether it’s in fashion, or in life, exuberance and playfulness is a good thing!
Don’t be afraid to reach outside the box. Take that unexpected, random voyage. Be the fanciest girl in the room (if you feel like it). Sweatpants make you smile? Wear them with confidence! In that vein, I thought I’d share a bit of playful fashion inspiration. These are my favorite detail-oriented outfits from Chicwish, plus dazzling jewelry from Harper & Teal to match (they’ve got a really interesting story – see below).
Nothing elevates a great basic quite like textural elements. This Cotton Candy 3D Flowers skirt is not only eye-catching, it’s comfortable too! The playful “flowers” are yarn-like tufts. Best of all, you can wear this for work, play, or a party! I’ll be pairing it with a black turtleneck for the office, as well as with a cute graphic tee/denim jacket for more casual settings.
Isn’t the subtle hint of sheerness at the bottom fun? [Note: There is a secondary layer, so you’re not actually revealing anything.] It’s also available in cream and gray. This skirt is dual sizes, S/M or L/XL. It runs a bit small in the waist, but has gathered elastic at the back, so you have some room to play with. I’m wearing the S/M. For sizing reference, I’m just shy of 5′ and typically wear a XS or S in skirts.
Now, let me tell you a bit about Harper and Teal. Not only does this new jewelrly brand offer stunningly unique and quality pieces, but it is also one of a growing number of companies whose business model includes philanthropy. The owner recognizes that access to higher education has been instrumental to her success. She wants other motivated young women to have the same opportunity.
Consequently, 15 percent of every Harper and Teal purchase goes to the company’s scholarship program Sparkle. Inspire. Scholarship. By fall of 2023, it will select its first two $5,000 recipients based on merit and educational goals. Those young women will also be offered a full-time paid internship with the company, as well as opportunity for full-time employement with Harper and Teal upon graduation.
I call this beauty my fiesta dress. Talk about party-ready – it oozes happiness! However, you’re not limited to fancy occasions; this dress also looks comfortable with sandals for sightseeing. Sooo many people stopped me as we were walking the Toronto streets to ask where I found it!
Whether it’s this piece or something else, if you’re hunting for unique, Chicwish is a must-try. It’s one of the most detail-oriented brands I’ve ever found, and it extends that detail to its sizing guide. It includes the size the model is wearing, plus sizing feedback from customers (I’m in the XS/S). Unfortunately, Chicwish styles sell out quickly and this dress only has a few sizes left. The company often restocks though.
Historical vibes look totally new with the Floret Flowers Midi dress. It has ALL the feminine details: covered buttons, gathered puffed sleeves and a beautiful belt. Additionally, the fabric is incredibly soft and flowy. You know that “twirl-factor” I’ve mentioned on the blog before? Those dresses that make you feel so pretty, you want to twirl? This is that piece. I paired it with Harper and Teal’s Tesca Druzy Drops.
Looking for that perfect vacation dress? Something that looks great in photos but is relaxed enough to stroll the beach? Enter the Lacy Flair Off-Shouder Dress! I just love the high contrast of the blue and white. The detailing is truly exquisite. It’s 100 percent cotton, so you will need to iron it.
The brand calls this a midi, but #petiteproblems, it’s a maxi on me. Since I talk a lot about petite sizing on this blog, I do want to mention this style is better suited to taller ladies. I’m wearing the S/M. As a 5-footer, I found the sizing of the ruffle a bit overwhelming. That said, this dress is sooo beautiful!
Puffed sleeves seem to be a love it or hate it trend. I am firmly in the LOVE it camp, and I want to explain why. Puffed sleeves are not only ladylike and pretty, they are incredible figure-flattering. By broadening the shoulders, they narrow the waistline. The Tie Up a Bowknot top, also available in green, works with everything from jeans to pencil skirts. The wrap styling will skim your curves nicely if you have them, or if you don’t, the ruffle will suggest them.