Friday, 30 May 2014

Matchy-Matchy > Mix-Not-Match

May the longest month ever is finally drawing to a close and I'm heading to the bush* to camp so I thought I would seize the chance to recap all the Mix or Match May looks...

*There's power.  I'm having blender drinks.
People preferred matchy and thought I would wear the aqua but I wore the floral!
People preferred the polka dot top, but I wore stripes!
The look on the right might be one of my faves of all time with THREE mixed patterns!
Here's what I know for certain about these photos:
Not many people dress in Mexican colours for Cinqo de Mayo where I work...
These art-print pants are one of the best scores ever!
The denim sheath dress was an instant fave. 
Even with the same colour scheme, people still preferred matchy-matchy.
Skirt season started which makes me a happy, er, camper.  Ca roule!

The two looks on the right represent what I like to call "good eating clothes."
They don't care how many brunches you go to.

 I love these pants so much I don't care they were so "expensive" ($14).  I am hunting for more!
Taking In Style's advice about mixing colours with this pink skirt...
The month culminated in my biggest moment of fame yet - an appearance on Breakfast TV Edmonton.
I wore the BCBG dress in the middle then slipped out of my heels to go to my real day job.
Today's outfit was a battle of She Does Create earrings vs. VV Boutique wood hoops.
I went with the wood since they're so rustic* and I'm going camping.

*joking, just afraid of wrecking new pretty things that I stole earned from my sister

Well that was sure A LOT of me; I'll understand if you stopped looking after 75 smiling Nicoles.  A few observations from Mix or Match May...
  • Matchy-matchy is the clear victor amongst most women.  Even I liked it more than I thought I would.  I still plan to show a fair amount of mixing because I like it better.
  • Chambray is the great equalizer.  Even if you think the term is pretentious, it takes a mixed look and unifies it, and takes the edge off M.M.S. (Matchy Matchy Syndrome)
  • Stripes are a sure thing.  Wear them matched, wear them mixed - they add style to any outfit.  So if you feel in a rut or just plain wild and crazy, throw on some stripes!
Now, I must skedaddle and have a gin pack for my family of five.  Stay tuned for June's style challenge and in the meantime, Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Nicole on Breakfast TV

I should really be sleeping since I was up at 4:30am this morning... aside from that I could totally get into the whole TV thing after having so much fun on Breakfast TV Edmonton this morning!  It was such a positive experience - thank you to the behind-the-scenes crew Jenna, Cody, Dale, Phil and Jason, and to Bridget and Ryan for making me (and everyone) comfortable.  Now that is a skill!
Anyone willing to entertain a selfie before 6:30am is a-okay in my books.
Something makes me think this isn't his first selfie with a BT Edmonton guest...

We talked about a lot of things this morning... thrift tips, my VV Boutique Style Hall of Fame, my Pinterest hunting list and my foray into thrift style consultation
Here's my happy little blogging station.
My thoughts: "Please for the love of God don't let me flash anyone under this glass table."

We of course talked about what I was wearing...

... the power of accessories...
All of these fab pieces are second-hand in perfect condition and thrilled to be with their new mom - that's me.

We debunked some myths that thrifted things are out-of-style and in poor shape... totally not true!
Blogging station selfie.  I couldn't resist.

Three friends came by in their thrifted ensembles: Sherry, Nadine and Chantel.  Be sure to check out those posts to find out how each is a perfect and different example of the awesomeness of thrifting!
 My thrifted BT Edmonton ensemble...
Quick change to make this BCBG dress work for my day job!

It was pretty cool but most of all being a part of BT Bloggers Week has helped me share the joy of thrift shopping!  It's not just for vintage pieces and costumes - you can find everything from casual to corporate!  In case you were sleeping, here is the link to the video...
Thanks for having VV Boutique Style on BT Edmonton!

Chantel on Breakfast TV

I have had 17 coffees so I'm good to go for BT Bloggers Week on Breakfast TV Edmonton!  I'm making my BT debut this morning talking about VV Boutique Style and all things thrifting!  My mission is to share the love of thrifting with the world (this is how I start all my Mrs. America speeches) - or more specifically to show that anyone of any size, any age, any budget and any style can enjoy thrifting success!  

I coerced begged invited my next gen friend Chantel to come along and represent for all those young enough to be my child.  Welllll, Chantel would be pushing it but as a 25-year-old working professional about to embark upon grad school (to become an Occupational Therapist - YAYYYY Chantel!), she is a good example of using thrift shopping to fulfill fashion desires on a budget.  I have helped Chantel edit and organize her closet so I have a pretty good idea what's in there.  She has several thrifted pieces including a recent amazing score of a $4 Cynthia Rowley blazer in perfect condition..

#thriftenvy (it's a real thing)

Once she aces anatomy and physiology, Chantel will resume regular 20-something activities of work and more work, evenings out past 8pm and special summer events including a trip to Dublin and a few weddings.  So she needs clothes for work, school, leisure, travel and occasions.  I helped her find a few "new" thrifted pieces that fit the bill and added some rejuvenating novelty to her wardrobe!  First up, a short sleeve floral top that will look good dressed down with cut-offs and summer skirts or dressed up with work trousers and a blazer like in this shot...
Yep, I made Chantel try these on at work, hiding from the tech guys in the corner cubicle.  
We are very schmery professional.*

*I jest but really, we are very good.  It took only a few minutes... (That's for my boss in case she reads this.... from your hard-working and dedicated OT, Nicole.)

The striped ponte knit blazer is perfect mixer piece because when in doubt, wear stripes!  It will style up a dress for work or function as a finishing layer for evenings out. 
Looks great with a plain old tee, or as the Fashion School of New-Fandangled Terminology would call them, statement tees.

It adds polish to a casual work uniform of chambray and black pants...
It might not be Cynthia Rowley, but this thrifted blazer is sure to see plenty of air time in Chantel's life!

This William Rast cropped sweatshirt is the perfect light summer layering piece - over a maxi or tee is a nice way to get in on the cropped trend without showing any skin.
Wear it with pants, jeans or a skirt with a longer tee underneath.
Cropped sweatshirt over maxi skirt
This is the general idea, from this pin.
However, Chantel isn't as hungry and is a lot happier than this model.

Florals and pastels are currently trending so this pretty dress is spot on for Chantel's summer weddings...
The flattering cut and the chiffony fabric means she will still look good after 10 champagnes dancing all night long. 
The little Italian leather clutch is a great example of the unique pieces you can find second-hand!  

Chantel, you look awesome!  One day when we work together as OTs, we can have daily competitions for the cheapest outfits!  Thanks for being my next-gen friend and model... and for, er, being late for work!   

Nadine on Breakfast TV

Though this morning is my debut appearance on Breakfast TV Edmonton as part of BT Bloggers Week, my guest model Nadine Riopel is an experienced pro!  Nadine is the talent behind The Savvy Do Gooder, an Edmonton based business and blog dedicated to helping others make the world a better place.  Nadine is smart and savvy and does a lot of good!  I worked with Nadine last fall to go through her closet then we hit VV for some shopping with her sister!  Even though she never gave into wearing accessories despite my hounding encouragement, she DID return to VV Boutique for some spring shopping and found 10 pieces for $50 including a pretty print $5 dress...

C'mon Nadine!!  That VV necklace makes the outfit!

Nadine is busy this week with The Good 100 Experiment.  It blows my mind to learn about all the growth and movement happening in Edmonton and area because of people like Nadine and all the others attending the upcoming Good 100 weekend workshop and gathering.  I know I take it for granted that people are working hard to make our community a better place so let me take this opportunity to say THANK YOU!  We can all do our part, and if you'd like to get involved in The Good 100 Experiment, consider getting tickets to the Saturday night party - a fab party and a chance to mingle with great people!  Though workshop registration is now closed, Good 100 workshops will be held annually, so keep up to date by signing up for Nadine's mailing list or The Local Good mailing list.

Every little bit of good helps including shopping second-hand whenever possible.  Though I usually feature clothing on VV Boutique Style, I shop second hand for my children, my husband and my home.  I have thrifted swimwear, outerwear and even underwear - yes, I really did it.  If you can wash it, why not?  I also donate regularly to Value Village and support other local second-hand stores including the Hope Missions Bargain Shoppe.  I often hear people arguing about where to shop second-hand; no matter where you shop second-hand, the community and environment will benefit in some way.  So strive to be a conscious consumer and shop accordingly.    

Obviously, Nadine has a lot on her mind besides fashion, but it doesn't hurt to look good while doing good!  I found some wardrobe staples for her recently including a chambray shirt and boyfriend jeans.  And a multi-strand necklace because I can't let it go.  Nadine,even if the term "chambray" is a little pretentious, this top has amazing versatility that can stretch a small wardrobe like yours.  Here are some ways to style them so you can save your energy for doing more good!
You may not believe me Nadine, but a chambray denim shirt over a simple black dress is a happening look!
She scored this black dress with collar and empire-wasit detailing last time we shopped.
wear a chambray shirt over a printed dress
You can also wear it over that brown printed dress like this.  Latte optional.
Chambray shirt under belted sheath dress
boyfriend jeans cobalt blazer and a gray tee with metallic heels {@FashionEdible} 
Boyfriend jeans rolled + any tee + any blazer + any bag + any shoes = nice outfit.
Boom! by Sincerely Renay 

What do you think Nadine?  I can't turn off the client-centered OT inside of me so what I really care about is that Nadine, Chantel and Sherry - along with every woman - find pieces they love that they feel comfortable in!  That is where thrifting and personal style come together best!

Thank you Nadine for coming on BT Bloggers Week modeling your second-hand style!  You look great... even without accessories.  I can admit it.  Because I'm big like that.  Have a wonderful time at the Good 100 Experiment!

Sherry on Breakfast TV

I am thrilled to be on Breakfast TV Edmonton this morning as part of BT Bloggers week talking about the everyday-Edmonton-woman fashion scene!  If you're new to VV Boutique Style, you may not know yet how awesome thrifting can be so I'm here to set the record straight along with my polished and stylish friend and model, Sherry Parker, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Chateau Lacombe Hotel.  I got to know Sherry while working with the Chateau managers to achieve affordable corporate style.  Sherry has impeccable taste and I bet you couldn't tell which pieces from her wardrobe are second-hand!
Sherry scored this David Meister dress for $22, worth well over $200 regular retail.
She is wearing head-to-toe thrifted pieces.

After shopping with many members of Sherry's teams over the past several months, I finally had the chance to shop with Sherry last weekend.  Though her work wardrobe is strictly corporate, Sherry attends many events and parties and needs to have pieces ready and waiting!  She was shopping for pieces for before and after business hours.  In just a couple hours of shopping, she found 21 pieces including clothing, shoes and accessories for a cost per item of $6.05!
That pink blazer and shell are also thrifted!
Sherry found a navy blazer in perfect condition, these peep toe leather pumps and another pair of black patent Ralph Lauren pumps.  Classics!
She found two navy skirts - one plain, one pinstriped - that work with the blazer.
and several blouses that will function as her "one" piece in the corporate environment.
 Sherry was built for dresses and suits!  She looked amazing in every last one!  Might have something to do with those marathons she does!  These dresses are all on-trend and give a good variety of options for upcoming events.
This beautiful dress looked good without a belt, but we found this unique shell-buckle belt for $4 less 30% that made her dress go from good to great!  This belt is a great example of the one-of-a-kind pieces you can find second-hand!

All of Sherry's pieces are in great condition, are in-style and were under $7 on average!!  This just confirms AGAIN that smart women shop second hand!

Sherry has been an integral part of the wonderful work happening at the Chateau Lacombe to restore the landmark Edmonton hotel to its former glory.  I'm so happy she could join me on BT Bloggers Week.  It is great timing - this Wednesday evening, Richard Wong, Vice-President and General Manager of the hotel, is bringing together hotel staff and VIPs in an invite-only event to celebrate the "new" Chateau Lacombe!  Sherry, after all your hard work, you deserved some shopping fun and celebratory new pieces!  Thank you so much for collaborating with VV Boutique Style on behalf of the Chateau Lacombe and for being a superb model for BT Bloggers Week!

Monday, 26 May 2014

Breaking News!

If you subscribe to VV Boutique Style by email and are waking up to this post in your inbox, immediately stop what you're doing and go turn on the TV to Breakfast Television Edmonton on City TV because I am scheduled to make my television debut on Tuesday morning!  Fun fun fun!  I'll be talking all about VV Boutique Style, thrift tips, sharing a bit about my best scores AND I have coerced invited three friends to come along and model some VV looks.  I'll be blogging throughout the morning about these gals, live tweeting my experience trying not to say anything inappropriate no guarantees, posting on Instagram and Facebook so be sure to check it out and cheer me on!

Back to regularly scheduled programming... It's still Mix or Match May and I'm still wearing clothes (you're welcome) and I decided to perk this rainy Monday morning up with a hot pink pencil skirt I recently scored at VV Boutique for $7.  I decided to try out In Style's colour pairing suggestions...
I view a solid colour as a "neutral" and therefore have no qualms about mixing colours but was curious if their selections would jive with my vibe this morning...

Miz Mooz pumps from my closet

Mexx top from my closet B.T. (Before Thrifting)
Gifted thrifted painted floral hoops
I liked how the sporty top contrasted with the patent peep toes ($8 VV Boutique)

Red cardi $4.20 VV Boutique
Gifted thrifted Miz Mooz red flats

Moto jacket $15 and my newest amazing score, black Frye flats $9.10 VV Boutique

I ended up going with what I would consider the most matchy-matchy of the looks (besides default black)...
 Because I wanted to wear my new She Does Create pendant that I stole earned while working the Lilac Fest this weekend!
That is snakeskin agate and is my new fave.  Not that I play favourites.  I love all my accessories!

Time for me to go and make my final outfit selection then try to sleep so that I don't look too haggard tomorrow on Breakfast TV!  Wish me luck!