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FALL FASHION | How to Shop Smart on a Small Budget

via H&M

September always feels like the perfect month to start fresh. Whether you're going back to school or sending your own little ones off next week, whether you're getting getting back into a fitness routine or just paying those endless bills, bills, bills, September can be a crazy expensive month. 

Since fall is my favourite shopping season of all, I've been tasked with finding ways to look on point without doing major damage to an overstretched budget Luckily, there are loads of smart chic buys flooding into stores for fall that don't feel like you have to sacrifice a thing. From layering pieces that'll make you want this heatwave to end, to boots that will make you swoon, read on for the smart buys that will help you reach your full fashion potential this fall. 


WHY IT'S A SMART BUY | Before I leave the house, I always take a quick glance in my full-length to check myself. Um, turn to the right, quick little selfie, okay, I'm good. And if I feel like my outfit is missing something, I immediately reach for my trusty fedora. I've found that a great fedora is one of those the-more-you-wear-it-the-more-you-want-to-wear-it things. I own one in grey but am really feeling this camel version for fall. See what I mean? Addictive.

OUR PICK | Camel Fedora, $30, ALDO


WHY THEY'RE A SMART BUY | If you didn't jump on the culotte bandwagon for summer, don't despair. Culottes are still totally on trend for fall and are easier to wear than you might think. Try wearing them with a turtleneck (they'll be ev-er-y-where this season) or a bow-front blouse plus a pair of mules or tall boots.

OUR PICK | Culottes, $60, Reitmans


WHY IT'S A SMART BUY | Tied loosely around your neck or draped oh-so-chicly over your shoulders, the plaid blanket scarf is a cold weather must in my opinion. This particular multi-toned plaid was impossible to get your hands on at the end of last year so hurry up and grab it before it sells out again, k?

OUR PICK | Plaid Blanket Scarf, $29.95, Garage


WHY THEY'RE A SMART BUY | Sunglasses might be essential all year long but that doesn't mean you should stick with the same pair all year. If you've been wearing fun round shades or metallic aviators for the past several months, now's the perfect time to make the switch to something darker. These black cat-eyes are feminine yet fierce and will add just a little bit of fashion drama to your errday. 

OUR PICK | Gold & Black Cat-Eye Sunglasses, $12, ALDO


WHY IT'S A SMART BUY | This classic moto gets bonus points for its textured finish and sleek lines, making it ultra-wearable for the cooler weather. The best part? It's vegan leather which means you won't have to break your budget to get it. 

OUR PICK | Faux Leather Moto Jacket, $138, GAP


WHY IT'S A SMART BUY | Affectionately dubbed 'the mom skirt', button-front A-line skirts are a silhouette fashion A-listers like Alexa Chung are loving right now. It's cute, it's flattering, and it'll give you that perfect vintage vibe this fall. 

OUR PICK | Button-Front A-Line Skirt, $39.99, H&M


WHY THEY'RE A SMART BUY | Patent black Chelseas are the boots you won't want to take off this season and unlike over-the-knee versions, they won't cost you a fortune. I mean, that perfect shine, that pointy-toe, and both a stunning flat and so-cool chunky-heeled option to choose between? Can't handle these. I just can't. 

OUR PICK | Leather Chelsea Booties, $98, GAPChelsea Boots, $145, ALDO


WHY IT'S A SMART BUY | A cool faux fur vest can make a huge impact on your fall style and this one is stellar. Worried that you won't wear it enough to justify the buy? Throw it over top of jeans and a graphic tee, wear it over a flowy dress or even pair it up with a classic white button-down. Instant rockstar. 

OUR PICK | Faux Fur Waistcoat, $49.99, H&M


WHY THEY'RE A SMART BUY | This fall, it's all about huge earrings. But instead of opting for predictable danglers or massive hoops, why not try something a little more edgy? These silver leaves are oversized and impactful for both day and night. 

OUR PICK | Silver Leaf Earrings, $10, ALDO


WHY IT'S A SMART BUY | Each fall, the plaid shirt comes back into rotation but I'm ready for a new spin on the '90s classic, aren't you? I'm totally digging this super long red plaid version from H&M, perfect for wearing with jeans or black leather leggings and a vest layered over top. Swipe right, right?

OUR PICK | Long Plaid Shirt, $29.99, H&M


WHY IT'S A SMART BUY | So many people leave their bags as an afterthought but I'm about to change all that. From fall into winter when you wear the same coat most days, a red bag will make a huge impact on your look. This bag has all the hallmarks of an expensive bag thanks to its clean lines, gold hardware, and awesome oversized tassel, but since it's made of faux leather, it won't leave a huge dent in your budget.

OUR PICK | Crossbody Bag, $59.95, GAP 


WHY IT'S A SMART BUY | Want to look modern without even trying? Black and white always works but it's all about finding those perfect pieces to really make it major. This zip-front shirt is the ideal mix of drapey and structured to take you from your work-week right into the weekend. 

OUR PICK | A-Line Sleeveless Zip-Front Blouse, $49.99, H&M


WHY IT'S A SMART BUY | A little black dress might seem like a given but it's surprisingly tough to find that perfect LBD. So what makes this dress a must? Ponte travels well, doesn't lose its shape and is super comfortable so it's an ideal fabric for an LBD. Plus, this dress is made in Canada, features a figure-flattering v-neck and a subtly sexy front slit, so it's a definite must-buy for seasons of chicness. 

OUR PICK | Ponte V-Neck Front Slit Dress, $139.95, Le Château 



WHY THEY'RE A SMART BUY | I'd wear heels every day if I could, but I can't, so I won't. Running after my kids, trying to get my 10,000 steps and a general dislike of pain make flats a wardrobe must. Since I see no reason to be practical with footwear, like, ever, I love a great metallic flat to keep it fun, even when you want to keep it comfy. 

OUR PICKS | Ankle Strap Ballet Flats, $54.95, GAP; Solid Gold Loafer, $54.95, GAP


WHY IT'S A SMART BUY | You can't wander onto a street style Pinterest board without spotting something leopard. There's simply no better way to add interest into your wardrobe than with a little pop of animal print. I'm a huge fan of printed belts for fall, whether slung low with your distressed jeans or cinched around the waist of your fave tan trench. Meee-ow. 

OUR PICK | Calf Hair Printed Belt, $34.95, GAP



FRIDAY FIND | Random Shopping Obsessions


via H&M

It must be Friday. I find at the end of a long week, my defenses have been completely depleted. I spend all week staring at clothes, talking about clothes, writing about clothes, which you'd think would make me want nothing to do with clothes. Yet somehow, it never works that way. It just makes me want to shop more. Since my budget has a limit and I can't always indulge in my fantasies, I'm going to share the obsessions that left an lasting impression on me this week. After all, at least one of us should take these home. It must be Friday. 

3/4 Sleeve Striped Boxy Tunic, Aeropostale (just like that Frame 'Le Boyfriend' tee that everyone is trying to get their hands on right now)

Fringed Gold Choker, ALDO (beYOND)

Julia Cape, Roots (currently sold out EVERYWHERE, however, I have some blogger intel for you. I spoke with head office and Roots is furiously making these capes at their Toronto factory to keep up with the demand. I've been told the cape will be available again next week so you'll have to act fast. The Roots store at White Oaks can order it for you and deliver it to the store or your home. I'll keep you posted the minute it's available again - check back here or on the White Oaks FB page for updates)

Cross-Strap Pumps, ALDO (amazing colour, sexy cut. Will brilliantly update your work wardrobe for fall)



FALL IN | 25 Fall Pieces We Can't Wait to Wear

via Le Château

You might not be quite ready for it. You might still be in denial. And yet, that unmistakable chill is in the air which means it's time to get real; fall is almost here. Luckily for shopaholics like us, this simply means another valid excuse to shop. I mean, when it comes right down to it, it's a matter of survival. Layers help protect us from the cold, hats keep us covered from the elements, and boots? Well, we can't shuffle around in flip-flops forever, can we?

With Labour Day just weeks away, I'm proactively compiling shopping lists now. Read on to find out what's making my must-buy list for fall. Happy shopping!

via GAP

Donate any jeans that don't make you feel amazing, both coming and going. Pick up a pair or two that you love and be sure to include a perfectly distressed pair in the mix. Whether you go full-on ripped up or just grab a pair with a few well-placed rips at the knee, a tiny flash of skin works wonders at making you look on point. If you're ready to go beyond the basics, there are loads of fun jeans in stores now. Cool zippers, '70s-inspired flares or sleek overalls will bring your denim collection up to speed for the new season.

1. Cropped Denim Overalls, $99.95, GAP | 2. Destructed Girlfriend Jeans, $89.95, GAP | 3. 1969 Resolution True Zip Skinny Jeans, $89.95, GAP | 4. Chelsea Skinny Fit Jean, $56, RW&CO. | 5. Flare Regular Jeans, $29.99, H&M

via Dynamite

It's a fact: the floppy hat is here to stay. Throw on a perfectly floppy hat and you'll score compliments everywhere you go. Why? Because not everyone has the guts to wear one. Since it covers a bad hair day, shades you from the sun and makes you look like an undercover A-lister, I feel like this is a small investment with a huge sartorial pay-off. If you have to choose between a synthetic and a wool, it's definitely worth it to spend an extra $10 and go for the wool IMO. 

1. Wide Brim Wool Fedora, $49.90, RW&CO. | 2. Wide Brim Wool Hat, $39.99, H&M | 3. Grey Wool Hat, $34.99, H&M | 4. Wide Brim Fedora, $37, American Eagle | 5. Floppy Hat with Chain Trim, $29.95, Dynamite.

via H&M

Find it hard to put away all of your sweet summer dresses? I feel your pain. This fall, I'll be adding a few great long-sleeved dresses into my wardrobe to make the transition more bearable. In early fall, all of these dresses would look amazing with bare legs and a pair of great little ankle boots (see below). Simply add opaque tights and a little vest over top once the mercury dips. I've shown options for work, weekend and a night out below. 

1. Jersey Turtleneck Midi Dress, $69.95, Le Château | 2. Patterned Jersey Dress, $14.99, H&M | 3. 3/4 Sleeve Shirtdress, $89.90, RW&CO. | 4. Patti Long-Sleeved Mini Dress, $298, Guess.

via Dynamite

Fall is all about crunching leaves and cozying up. Oh, and work and responsibilities and blah, blah, blah. Somehow, though, when I throw on a perfect blanket poncho, a pair of sunglasses and a dreamy pair of boots, it can make even the most mundane fall day feel more like a day in the life of Olivia Palermo. This fall, there are so many tempting options in stores at every price point - your only problem will be choosing between them all. 

1. Plaid Poncho with Fringe, $39.95, Dynamite | 2. Southwestern Fringe Poncho, $62, American Eagle | 3. Wool Blend Poncho, $34.99, H&M | 4. Lord & Taylor Box Plaid Cape, $68, Hudson's Bay | 5. Fine Knit Throw, $29.99, H&M

 via H&M 

While I love the idea of a pair of thigh-high stunners, I rely on ankle boots to stay stylish on the daily. From city-girl flats to chunky-heeled Chelseas, it's all about finding a pair that will walk the extra mile for your wardrobe. And remember - neutral doesn't have to mean boring. Texture, fringe and super soft suede will elevate your outfits all season long. 

1. Chelsea Boot, $39.99, H&M | 2. Navy Chelsea Boots, $130, ALDO | 3. Zip-Heel Bootie, $103, GAP | 4. Suede Boots, $119, H&M | 5. Side Fringe Heeled Bootie, $74, American Eagle