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WIN IT! Street Style Tricks to Try + a White Oaks Mall GC Giveaway

Do the unexpected and pair your skirt with cute kicks. Photo via Clochet Blog.

It's hard to put your finger on it. But there are some girls who know how to pick just the right pieces, how to mix them up to perfection, and stroll out of their houses every day as street style superstars. Or, at the very least, Instagram superstars. 

Luckily, it doesn't take a lot to achieve sartorial nirvana, especially in the summer months. All you need is the right canvas (read: good basics), the perfect mix of colours, and one stellar accent to surprise the whole look. Read on for my top street style tricks, then get inspired by some of my fav summer looks below....


  • PICK PIECES YOU LOVE: See a plain white tee? Um, pass. Go for a solid white but look for interesting details like laser-cuts, an interesting hemline or a tone-on-tone print to take your look from basic to bananas.
  • KNOW YOUR BODY: Choose pieces that fit you well and if they don't, enlist the help of a Stitch It tailor. The right fit will instantly help you look more polished and pulled-together.
  • BE BRAVE: Opt for a bold bag, a bright skirt or a pair of printed pants. Compliments come to those who dare to think outside the black box.
  • BE A CHEAPSKATE: A very basic outfit will benefit tremendously from the right cheap and cheerful accessories. Find a pair of crazy sunglasses, a playful clutch or an armful of fun bracelets to instantly reinvent your little white dress.
  • SHOP THE WRONG DEPARTMENT: I'll often check out the mens and kids departments for accessories. You just never know what you might find.
  • DO THE UNEXPECTED: Street stylers know that beauty lies in dissonance. A skirt with a pair of sneakers is a current go-to trick. Mixing prints (even if they clash a little bit) can be spectacular. The key is to think of what you would normally wear, then do the exact opposite.
  • GET INSPIRED: Street style blogs, Pinterest and, of course, The CLOSET, will inspire you to dress a little more creatively and will help you hone your stellar street style over time.
  • NOT SURE WHERE TO START? See below, then scroll down to enter to win a $75 White Oaks Mall Gift Card to do some summer shopping!

Mirrored Aviators, $12, ALDO; Pebble Leather Crossbody, $49, Danier; Lace Short-Sleeve Blouse, $39.95, H&M; Jacquard Weave Skirt, $59.95, H&M; Converse All-Star Sneaker, $54.99, Soft Moc.

Snakeskin Print Tank, $49.90, RW&CO.; Statement Sunglasses, $12, ALDO; Python Print Pants, $16, GAP; Navy Blazer, $98, GAP; Handbag, $60, ALDO; Ankle-Strap Heels, $39.99, ALDO.

Red Tote, $40, ALDO; Tulle Dress, $49.95, H&M; Persol Plastic Aviator Sunglasses, $430, Sunglass Hut; Formula X Pyrotechnic Polish, $13, Sephora; Peep-Toe Ankle Booties, $28, ALDO.


We're giving away a $75 Gift Card to one lucky winner to shop at White Oaks MallHERE'S HOW TO WIN IT:

1) Leave a comment below and tell us what you'd buy with your White Oaks Mall Gift Card. 

2) For a bonus entry follow White Oaks Mall and realliferunway on Twitter and tweet the following '#Contest Alert: @WhiteOaksMall & @realliferunway are giving away a $75 GC & I want to #win it! #giveaway' 

3) Contest ends Wednesday, July 30th at 5 pm.

4) Contest open to residents of Ontario only.

5) We'll contact the lucky winner via email.



Liu Wen rocks a Derek Lam LWD. Photo: Harper's Bazaar

Between WimbledonFIFA World Cup, and the upcoming Rogers Cup, fairweather sports enthusiasts like me are currently experiencing some full-on fandemonium. I usually like to participate in team sports (girls shopping trips) and full contact sports (sample sales), but the thrill of Canada's epic Wimbledon run and the World Cup Final Four has me living on the edge of my seat instead.

Sure, I love the games, but you can't blame me for lusting after the style of these sports heroes; I mean, Eugenie in her tennis whites? Talk about 'love'. And Team Germany's highly impractical soccer whites? Winning. 

A hot summer day just begs for this coolest of palette cleansers: bright, solid white. When worn head-to-toe, there isn't a more winning combination for any athlete, whether your sport is sangria-sipping, World Cup watching or, of course, shoe shopping. 

Happy FIFA Finals! Oh, and while you wait for the next game to start, check out my fav winning whites in stores now...


SUMMER STYLE: The Working Girl Edition

 A perfect summer look from the H&M Summer '14 Campaign. Photo courtesy H&M.

Staying motivated for work can be hard work in and of itself. But in the summer? Fuhgeddaboudit.  I mean, seriously, with the sun shining and docks, beaches and patios constantly calling your name, is it any wonder that we want hit the snooze button a few more times than normal?

While we can't promise that a good work wardrobe will make that epic team meeting any shorter, we can promise that you'll be the best-dressed beauty in that boardroom. Simply check out our working girl edit below to look like a boss all summer long. See? Your work here is done. You can go home now (just tell them Sarah said you were needed elsewhere...)

Working Girl Essential: A Textured LBD

How to Work It: This dress means business - if business means kicking butt in the boardroom and killing the competition at post-dinner drinks. You might already own a black dress but this frock wins top marks for being grown-up yet edgy and modern all at once. Depending on your height (this girl's a model, let's keep that in mind), and depending on the level of formality of your employer, adjust your skirt length accordingly when looking for the perfect LBD (a few inches above the knee is okay with most employers but no higher).

OUR PICK: Eyelet Fit and Flare Dress, $89.95, GAP

Working Girl Essential: Printed Pumps

How to Work It: Oh yes, you know you want these. Doesn't it just make every other pair of shoes in your closet seem so plain? We agree, especially when you've got a neutral 9-to-5 wardrobe just begging for an update. Next Monday won't seem nearly so tough. Sorry? What's that? It's a long weekend? Ahhh...even better...

OUR PICK: Floral Pumps, $80, ALDO

Working Girl Essential: Gold Jewellery

How to Work It: Earrings, a watch, a gorgeous cuff or fine necklace all somehow look more boss-like when done up in gold. You already knew you had the Midas touch - this will just help others recognize that, too.

OUR PICK: Gold Hoops, $10, ALDO Accessories

Working Girl Essential: A Summer Weight White Shirt

How to Work It: A good white shirt is a must for every working woman but the hot days of summer require a lighter approach. We love this burnout dotted version of the classic white shirt, perfect for pairing up with your pencil skirts and fitted trousers. Be sure to wear a nude or white tank underneath and a statement necklace over top.

OUR PICK: Fitted Boyfriend Burnout Dot Shirt, $59.95, GAP

Working Girl Essential: A Midi Skirt

How to Work It: Super short minis are never appropriate at the office unless you're looking for a super serious sit-down with HR. Luckily, the midi skirt is one of the season's hottest trends and looks especially amazing in this gorgeous blue. Pair it with a white shirt (see above), pastel cardigan or short-sleeved blouse. 

OUR PICK: 424 Fifth Box Pleat Calf Length Skirt, $74.25, Hudson's Bay

Working Girl Essential: A Cozy Layer

How to Work It: From sweltering smog to A/C that inspires rousing renditions of Let It Go, a pretty layer is a work week essential. We love the pretty nordic teal of this Elsa-worthy cardigan, perfect for wearing with black, white, tan or navy (read: the building blocks of every woman's work wardrobe).

OUR PICK: V-Neck Cardigan in Nordic Teal, $35, Smart Set


Working Girl Essential: A Chambray Blazer

How to Work It: A heavy suit can feel so stuffy for the laissez-faire days of summer. Still, a blazer keeps you looking polished when you're at your day job. We love this classic chambray blazer for layering over your pencil skirts, trousers and dresses. Plus, you can rock this blazer on the weekend, too, to make the absolute most of your hard-earned paycheque.

OUR PICK: Classic Linen Blazer, $98, GAP

Working Girl Essential: A Flowy Sleeveless Blouse

How to Work It: When faced with a heatwave, you never want to let them see you sweat. The solution? A sleeveless blouse, of course, perfect for wearing under your cardigans and blazers. We love them in pretty pastels with interesting details, like the cool zippers on this baberoom (I mean, boardroom) beauty.

OUR PICK: Sleeveless Blouse with Zipper Detail, $35, Smart Set

The Working Girl Essential: Sleek Trousers

How to Work It: Navy trousers not in your closet? Well, get thee to GAP, we say. These pants are just perfect, with their subtle piping detail and sleek, straight fit - more modern than a bootcut and far more flattering than the skinny. 

OUR PICK: True Straight Piped Pants, $69.95, GAP

The Working Girl Essential: A Statement Necklace

How to Work It: It can be tough to stay motivated when school's out for summer. Sometimes, all it takes is a cheap and cheerful piece to help you get up when you've exhausted your snooze button. We pick this statement necklace, guaranteed to draw 'oohs' and 'where'd-you-get-thats' from your admiring co-workers.

OUR PICK: Statement Necklace, $20, ALDO Accessories

The Working Girl Essential: Killer Heels

How to Work It: Step away from the practical footwear for a moment and train your eyes on these promotion-getters. No one (we repeat, no one) will want to mess with you, or your brilliant ideas, when you've got these killers on your feet. That glass ceiling doesn't stand a chance...

OUR PICK: Sam Edeleman Studded Pumps, $185, Hudson's Bay

The Working Girl Essential: A Jumpsuit

How to Work It: You might think a jumpsuit's not for you, but the latest crop of jumpsuits look great on almost anybody and will help you change things up from your boring old pantsuit. Simply add a great belt, sleek pumps, and a blazer over top if your office doesn't permit exposed arms. 

OUR PICK: Crepe de Chine Scoop Neck Jumpsuit, $129.95, Le Château

The Working Girl Essential: A Great Carry-All

How to Work It: A sleek carry-all will keep your laptop, iPad, smartphone and flask...(sorry, did I just say that out loud?) neatly concealed while you head from meeting to meeting. One thing's for sure - this is one investment you'll be very glad you made. Did I just hear someone say 'promotion'?

OUR PICK: Large Borough Bag in Edgepaint Leather, $798, Coach