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SPRING TREND: Rainbow Brights

A model on the runway at Chanel's Spring 2014 show at the Grand Palais. Credit: Giovanni Giannoni/Fairchild Photo Service.

In about 15 hours, I'll be cruising among the clouds en route to a little place called Cuba. I know, I know, poor me. So why am I taking off in April you ask? My oldest, dearest friend, who I've known since I was 4, is getting married and luckily, she decided to say 'I do' on a beach. #yay

So, I'm packing up my husband, kids and suitcases full of beach-ready finds to spend a week celebrating my friend's love story. While I was packing my brightest things, it made me wonder why we don't dress like we're on vacation all the time? So many of us choose the most practical things on the racks, the things we'll get the 'most wear out of' which is not only terrible sentence structure but is also incredibly depressing. Getting the most 'wear out of something' is a sentence that should be promptly abolished.  

My head might already be in the clouds but in my pre-vacay state of mind, I say let's start only buying things that make us happy. The rainbow bright looks that Karl Lagerfeld sent down the Chanel Spring '14 runway are a perfect example of fashion joy. Why choose one fav colour? Every-hued pieces let us have our rainbow cake and eat it, too, and while you might not have worn so much colour since grade 1, spring is the perfect season to get insanely colourful. To feel appropriately adult-like, I've toned down these rainbow-hued finds with stark black & white which has an instant grounding effect on every look, keeping you looking modern and grown-up without taking away any of the fun.

With wedding season top of mind, I've shown 4 looks that would be perfect for any bride or wedding guest, but would be just lovely for loads of other occasions, too...

ps - Off to pour myself a mojito while I pack. Practice makes perfect, right?

Knit Floral Jumper, $60, H&M; Striped Ottoman Skirt, $39, Smart Set; BCBG Duchess Bootie, $135, Hudson's Bay; Statement Earrings, $15, ALDO; Formula X Polish in Hot Coral, $13, Sephora.

Jones NY Blouse, $60, Hudson's Bay; Classic Long Trench, $498, Coach; Floral Scuba Skirt, $60, H&M; Laser-Cut Clutch, $25, ALDO; Studded D'Orsay Pump, $150, French Connection at Town Shoes. 

 Anne Klein Striped Shirt, $67, Hudson's Bay; Geometric Infinity Scarf, $30, Roots; Perforated Boots, $56, American Eagle; Distressed Skinny Jeans, $56, American Eagle; Short Trench, $108, GAP.

Marci Striped Heel, $198, Coach; Ralph Lauren Cat-Eyes, $250, Sunglass Hut; Ruffle Dress, $25, H&M; Ponte Moto Jacket, $40, Smart Set; Zip-Top Clutch, $7.95, H&M.


Line We Love: 424 Fifth Collection


All photos courtesy Hudson's Bay

When Lord & Taylor and Hudson's Bay joined forces a few years ago, we knew that good things were bound to come of the merger. After all, both department stores are the oldest in their respective countries yet have somehow managed to stay cool and current through the years, kind of like Prince. Or Madonna. Or anyone else epic enough to go by one name. I digress. 

The latest offspring of these hip department store parents? The exclusive new private brand, 424 Fifth, named after the address of Lord & Taylor's iconic Manhattan flagship. Just launched at Hudson's Bay and Lord & Taylor stores across Canada and the U.S, the already-buzzed-about line, comprised of women's apparel and accessories, is already being touted by editors and bloggers as a must-buy for fashion savvy women seeking effortless glamour.

So what makes the line stand out from all the others out there? The collection is full of hardworking wardrobe essentials, perfect for both day and evening, work and play. While decidedly on-trend, the brilliance of the collection lies in the fact that everything is endlessly wearable, from chic midi skirts to luxe-looking knits that would look right at home on women of all ages. But where 'wearable' and 'versatile' can sometimes translate to 'boring', 424 Fifth is anything but, thanks to a focus on elevated fabrics and pops of pale blue, look-at-me citron and vibrant cherry. 

“The collection offers a fresh, modern take on the way women dress today. We are confident that our customer will find her everyday essentials and also discover some favorite statement pieces along the way," says Marie Holman-Rao, Chief Creative Officer of Hudson’s Bay Company

Personally, I know I've already found some of my new fav essentials, including the birdcage and midi skirts, the sweet statement knits and that amazing tropical beach scene coat. Okay, fine, maybe not all 'essentials' but at $29-$300 for the collection, I have a compelling reason to justify a few pick-me-ups. Or is that pick-ups for me?

So, what do you think? Which pieces are you eyeing for your own closet? Can't wait to hear what you think! 

P.S - A huge CONGRATS to Linda Lee-Northrup for winning our gift card to shop for spring clothes at White Oaks Mall! Check this blog for more great spring giveaways and thanks to everyone for your inspiring entries. Come on SPRING! xo


Transitional Dressing 101 + Win a White Oaks Mall Gift Card

A perfect transitional look from street-styler Elizabeth Victoria Clark.

I'm done. Like, SO over it. Aren't you? I'm all about being a glass half full kinda girl but this unrelenting winter is enough to transform even the most optimistic among us into pouting, snivelling, whiny, cranky babies. Waahhh.

Happily, fashion has a way of tinting the lenses of our ski goggles rose-coloured and since we've been lucky to experience a few days of balmy weather lately, that means it's officially time to think spring. 

If you're super sick of your parkas, puffers and Sorels, it's time to take our basic course in winter to spring fashion. Welcome to Transitional Dressing 101, where the lecture discusses pretty shoes, the only test involves shopping, and instead of a diploma, you get a White Oaks Mall Gift Card. Now this is the kind of continuing education I thoroughly enjoy...

TRANSITIONAL DRESSING LESSON #1: Go a little overboard.

THE TAKEAWAY: Stripes scream spring, so whether you add a striped breton shirt under your blazer, carry a navy & white striped clutch, or opt for an anchor and starfish charm bracelet, a little bit of nautical goes a long way to making any outfit look more spring-like. 

OUR PICK: Striped Tee, $23, American Eagle


THE TAKEAWAY: Orange is just the juicy pop of colour you need to counteract all the dullness of this late-winter weather. On the rare dry days (like yesterday..sigh...wasn't that lovely?), at your office or out for dinner, a pair of orange pumps are sure to put a spring in your step.

OUR PICK: Suede Pointy-Toe Pumps, $70, Le Château


THE TAKEAWAY: A lightweight blazer adds polish, structure and a layer of extra warmth to any outfit - perfect for those days when the weather swings from plus to minus. Bonus style points for a cute printed detail like the sweet polka dots on the blazer above.

OUR PICK: Polka Dot Blazer, $49, Smart Set

TRANSITIONAL DRESSING LESSON #4: Replace your toque with a ballcap.

THE TAKEAWAY: On reasonably warm days, a cute baseball cap looks so much more 'March' than your tired old toque. Try one in a fun colour to instantly brighten up any grey day. 

OUR PICK: Graphic Baseball Hat, $18, American Eagle 


TRANSITIONAL DRESSING LESSON #5: Carry an on-trend bag.

THE TAKEAWAY: Fringed accessories were all over the Spring '14 runways but why wait until spring is official? An oversized white fringe bag is the perfect way to tell the world that you're ahead of the trends before everyone starts wearing them at this summer's music festivals.

OUR PICK: Fringed Shoulder Bag, $29.95, H&M


TRANSITIONAL DRESSING LESSON #6: Give your Sorels a break.

THE TAKEAWAY: I mean, really, you are SO happy you decided to invest in those boots, but at a certain point, your big clunky stompers can start to feel depressingly redundant, not to mention heavy. A pair of stacked heel ankle boots (treated in weather protector, natch), and worn with a pair of cute socks will help lighten your load. Opt for a rich cognac over black and you'll be able to wear them all spring, summer and fall with your skirts and dresses.

OUR PICK: Stacked Heel Ankle Boots, $130, ALDO

TRANSITIONAL DRESSING LESSON #7: Try a tee with substance.

THE TAKEAWAY: We love wearing our tees but at this time of year, they just feel far too flimsy. The sweatshirt tee is every girl's winter to summer answer, perfect for dressing up with a skirt or down with jeans, and substantial enough to feel right for the weather right now.

OUR PICK: Sweatshirt Top, $39.95, H&M


TRANSITIONAL DRESSING LESSON #8: Replace chunky with lightweight fabrics.

THE TAKEAWAY: Scarves are a year-round wardrobe essential but a heavy wool scarf is doing nothing for your spring state of mind. An oversized cotton, silk or linen scarf will still keep your neck covered when you need it but looks so much easier and breezier than your old winter scarf.  

OUR PICK: Dot Scarf, $34.95, GAP

TRANSITIONAL DRESSING LESSON #9: Take your spring jackets from storage to street.

THE TAKEAWAY: While you might think it's too early to start wearing your spring outerwear, all you need are the right underpinnings to make your trench or anorak work right now. Layer a sweater, blazer or scarf underneath and you'll feel cozy, without having to resort to your standby down puffer jacket (again).

OUR PICK: Mid-Length Anorak, $129, RW&CO.

TRANSITIONAL DRESSING LESSON #10: Update your sunglasses, stat.

THE TAKEAWAY: The easiest way to look like you've bid adieu to Old Man Winter? A super fun pair of sunglasses, of course! Think fun shapes, bright frames and tinted lenses to celebrate the return of our good friend, the sun.

OUR PICK: Tinted Tortoiseshell Sunglasses, $9.95, H&M

TRANSITIONAL DRESSING LESSON #11: Buy a cool new bomber.

THE TAKEAWAY: If you have a biker bomber from last year, you're still good. If you don't, even better, because this new slouchy biker bomber from Danier has your name all over it. To showcase this jacket's perfect slouch to its full potential, be sure keep your pants skinny or at least slim underneath. 

OUR PICK: Dagmar Boxy Fit Lamb Leather Biker, $399, Danier


THE TAKEAWAY: While our hearts are thinking minis, our brains know better. I mean, one only has to look out the window to understand that this is just not quite possible (yet). A midi or tea-length skirt (between midi and maxi) however, is wearable right now with opaque black tights and a chic black turtleneck, and with bare legs and pumps once the mercury rises. Any day now...

OUR PICK: Flared Printed Midi Skirt, $69.95, H&M 

You have all passed Transitional Dressing 101 (I grade on a curve) so now for the fun part:


We're giving away a $50 White Oaks Mall Gift Card to one lucky student...I mean, help you shop for some of these pretty spring finds.

Here's how to win it:

1) Leave a comment below telling us why you're excited for Spring.

2) For a bonus entry, Follow White Oaks Mall on Facebook.

3) Contest is open to residents of Canada only.

4) Contest closes Friday, March 21st at noon. We'll announce the winner on Wed, March 26th on this blog. Winner will also be contacted via email.