I feel the need to document this new normal we are all living. Coronavirus / COVID19 has disrupted our lives in many ways and changed the way we work and live.
Friends in Asia have been asking me since the outbreak in Canada started – why don’t you wear a mask? In the past few days governments in the west have shifted their views on masks. Wearing a mask is not mandatory but recommended.
Here’s where I stand.
I’ve been a mask since mid-March when I go out. It protects me, it protects you and most of all it protects my elderly parents who I’m providing for.
I have 3 types of Masks:
A friend from China sent me some surgical masks. I wear one every time I go outside. To get gas, to go for a walk, to visit from parents. It’s comfortable and breathable. Bonus – I like the colour of these.
The grocery store is where I could potentially come into contact with the most people. The N95 really protects. I managed to get 5 of these on Amazon for $60 now they are probably $60/each. I hate the writing on this one and sometimes tie a scarf over it. Also, the elastics get stuck in my hair but I’m glad I have one for these trips.
I thought I would try and sew a mask and it turned out really well. I based my design on the surgical mask. Shopping tote fabric was the closest match to the surgical mask. I like that I can wash it in hot water and wear it again. I used a bendable rod from a discarded mask to it stays close to my face. For more protection you can double the fabric and insert a coffee filter in between.
Wearing sunglasses also helps protects from infection.
What will life be like when this is over? Will it ever be the same?
I wait for friends from Italy to send a letter from the future.
Slogan tees have been trending for awhile. I like to choose a slogan that represent me. Usually something artsy or things that I like. A slogan tee should be about you not just a brand. Here are some styling tips for almost every occasion.
My workplace recently went jeans-everyday which makes it so easy in the morning but heading into summer I like to wear more dresses – stay tuned for my summer picks! Slogan tees are great and unexpected under suits and with pencil skirts.
These tees are both JCrew. The Champagne tee lists different types of sparkling wine -which I love. I paired it with a light pink skirt and ballet flats. I like the retro look of flats with a pencil skirt and it’s comfortable when you’re running to meetings all day. This cream & black tee looks sharp under this black suit and adds some fun – making it look less rigid. Below is a closer look at the slogans.
French fries & Italian guys – stuff I love or stuff I should avoid?
For a casual look I like this monochrome look of all bordeaux. This tee has a catch phrase I live by in my work – “creativity has no borders” and has great ruffle and lace details. I could also dress it up with pencil skirt and heels. This Georgia Okeefe quote is also special to me. I saw her show at the AGO a couple of years ago and was so inspired by her work and the way she lived & worked on her own terms. This grey tee I’ve styled with dark denim and tropical print Converse sneakers.
Night out or brunch? Here are a couple of options. Chic is the word with this black ruffle sweatshirt. I’ve paired it with this fringe pencil skirt. Texture on texture and a pop of colour with the teal kitten heels. Flower power is a top I snagged on the Joe Fresh clearance rack for $5. I love it with dark denim – especially this Paige denim skirt. I’ve kept the espadrilles in line with the dark denim so the top becomes the show piece.
Another important tip about slogan tees – if it seems offensive it probably is so consider another option before wearing it to work or out with friends.
Here are some of fav costume jewelry pieces that I currently have on repeat. I love costume jewelry because it is inexpensive, it presents opportunities for mixing & matching and there is no worry if you lose an earring 😉
Trending right now is large geometric shapes for earrings. These are unique because their shapes are disrupted. The triangle has a little loop in it and the hoops have a pearl.
This circle necklace came with my FabFitFun subscription. I’ve been a member since Spring 2017 and I love receiving a box of great stuff every 3 months. I like the clean design of this necklace and its’ simplicity.
These beaded tassel earring called my name at Nordstrom Rack. Teal/Turquoise are my colours and never more so then when I became an endo-ovarian cancer survivor. Whenever I wear teal now it is so much more than my favourite colour.
Late fall and early winter is hat season for me. I love to wear hats because they give me a unique and eclectic style. I like to layer them with different scarves – I find matching sets boring and uninteresting. This tweed cap I’ve had 4ever and I’ve added floral embellishments to make it more feminine. It was my first DIY hat project.
My collection has a bit of everything from cloches to caps and pom-poms.
My newest hat was a feel good purchase. At a recent appointment at Princess Margaret Cancer Center their shop was having a hat sale. I picked up this beauty for $17 knowing some of the money is going towards helping women with image issues associated with cancer treatment. Win-Win.
I recently visited the Bata Shoe Museum to see the Manalo Blahnik Exhibit and I was not disappointed. I saw the work of a true artist and I understand why these shoes are sought after with such fervor. The craftsmanship that goes into every design is why the price tag is so high.
Fun Fact – Manolo Blahnik designed the footwear for the movie Marie Antionette by Sofia Coppola.
He was influenced by his Spanish and Czech roots. Check out the Pom Poms on these shoes which are a reminder of National Czech folk costumes.
My favourite piece was this boot. Totally my style!
Definitely worth checking out! The show is on until early January 2019.
I wear my chunky knitwear on the outside. I like my outerwear fitted as opposed to puffy and so my chunky knitwear really bulks up underneath – solution wear it on top.
I still get all the warmth but without being constrained and stuffed into a coat. It provides unique style to a mass market coat like my Costco Andrew Marc silver puffer or my Uniqlo light down.
I started this style for health reasons. Before I was diagnosed with Endo-ovarian cancer I was living with large cysts which caused bloating. All my coats got super tight and some I couldn’t zip up but I really wanted to wear my chunky vests so I wore them on top of my coats and still do!
I’ve heard that necessity is the mother of all invention or in this case unique style!
The last few months have been about giving back. Teal Fashion Week raised $1900 for the Ovarian Blitzers Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer team from the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. This success strengthened my collaboration with the key fundraisers for the team. If you’re wondering what the link is – my doctor – Marcus Bernardini is the captain of this team and I came on board through him.
Last year during radiation treatment for Endo-Ovarian cancer I focused on awareness and presenting a positive outlook about treatment through my 25Days25Looks campaign.
Then it was fundraising for World Ovarian Cancer Week with my Teal Fashion Week campaign.
Now it’s using my creativity to help the Ovarian Blitzers with their communication strategy for their 4th annual bowling event. I sourced images and then tinted them to create a “teal” themed campaign. I also designed their new logo for communication and team shirts.
My friends and I are excited to be participating in the bowling event and of course we need to look great as Team Teal Fashion Week so I designed our look. I call it Meaghan-Markle-meets-Jackson-Pollack! Each of my friends gave me a white shirt and picked an accent colour. I monogrammed each of their shirts and then went to work on the design. I used shades of teal for the paint splatter and then the custom colour was added to each shirt to make it individual.
If you’re interested in making a difference during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month click on the links below:
I was in sizzling HOT Scottsdale, Arizona and the fashion deals were just as hot as the 100F temps.
On my list was a black dress and I found 2 outstanding ones at Marshalls. This BCBG was a steal at $29 and I can wear it with a plunging neckline or just a normal V. The tea length makes it very sophisticated for a night out!
Next up is this Michaek Kors dress – also from Marshalls. It has very flattering draping as you can see in this shot. I gave myself the Beyonce treatment with natural wind. I’m showing this dress for a night out but it can easily be dressed down with flat sandals and a tote bag for a day of shopping or brunch. Great buy at $39.
The sandals I’m wearing in these photos are from Macy’s clearance and were $28. Alfani suede ankle straps but look like very high priced designer sandals.
Let’s talk about more shoes.
On the left are Fly London sandals. A brand I have always wanted. As soon as I saw the pattern and colours I knew these wedges were mine. They are super comfortable so a good investment. Cheap and cheerful finds on the right are yellow wedges from Macy’s and fire red kitten heels from Vince Camuto. Both $34 each.
I couldn’t resist these super cute flip flops!
Consignment shopping can be a touchy issue for some people. Some women do not like buying second-hand but I grew up buying vintage in my teens so not a huge stretch to the consignment experience. The store we visited in Scottsdale had an amazing selection of clothing, bags and shoes. My whole squad scored!
This Gucci dress was $145 and is from the Tom Ford era of Gucci. I love the draping and the round hem. It has a built in super fashionista cape and is a perfect match for my new Gucci Marmot mini bag. Bellissima!
I like to be on the look out for the next season when I’m shopping. My final pair of shoes was these embroidered flats by Tahari. Jewel tones on black. These will look great with jeans, leggings, skirts. In other words -everything.
TIP: make your shopping dollar go further by buying non-seasonal items on deep discounts.