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Combining lingerie inspired pieces, or actual lingerie itself, with the clothing hanging in your closet can be quite tasteful when done right. No, I’m not encouraging you to run around in a bra and unbuttoned cardigan per se, I’m talking more along the lines of slips, camisoles and a peek of a chic bandeau or bralette.

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Sticking to a classic palette (think neutrals and monochromatic vibes) allows you to leave the house without the risk of looking like you unintentionally left the house… you know what I mean. No one wants to see your bright red lacy pieces in public, however, behind closed doors you’re free to wear whatever you want. Red included.

Avenue + Bistro Cafe served as the perfect backdrop for my all black look. The crisp white interior, combined with black detailing and marble everything provided for a complimentary setting to this subtle nineties inspired look. It really allowed the dark outfit to stand out against the stark white.

coat: Forever 21 | dress: vintage | socks: Adrene | boots: Just Fab

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Having never been to a warehouse sale, I had no idea what to expect before attending the Nordstrom Warehouse Sale. I pictured it to be something of unwanted clothing and accessories from seasons past, middle-aged women fighting over the last tattered Michael Kors handbag for prices similar to that of Boxing Week deals. Well, needless to say, I was wrong. About everything.

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Attending Style Democracy’s Nordstorm Warehouse Sale opened my eyes up to a world of designer goodies for prices I had to triple check. Seriously. $39.99 for this Rebecca Minkoff cross body bag? I thought I was seeing things. Budgeting a little to high (a far cry from the usual overspending) did not mean I was about to put away that hard earned money into savings. Because why on earth would I do that in a room filled with clothes, shoes, bags…? So the rest went towards a Kate Spade bag, Frame dress, and one piece Pilyq bathing suit. All items purchased coming in well under $200.00.

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I would say this little shopping trip was nothing short of success. I love the thrill of a fabulous deal, even more so when it’s on a fabulous piece. This means that Style Democracy is now at the top of my internet history, as it keeps you up to date on all the latest sales (warehouse included), trends, special events and etc. So yes, I do check it everyday and I will continue to check it everyday. No shame.

jacket: Zara | top: H&M | bottoms: Orsay | shoes: Native | bag: Rebecca Minkoff

Special thanks to Style Democracy for sponsoring this post

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An outfit that can take you from work to weekend is always a must-have, and one of my favourite combinations is mixing casual pieces with dressier pants. Chic black boots always make an outfit look a little bit more sophisticated, but adding a cropped leather jacket into the mix adds in some edge as well. It’s the best of both worlds really.

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This top can be worn with a camisole and underneath a blazer to make it work- appropriate, and then on it’s own to show some skin for when the fun begins. It’s a nice break from an otherwise all black look. I tend to lean towards all black (as I’m sure you know), so breaking it up with a sea foam colour allows me to change up my look a little, but still stay within my comfort zone.

jacket: Forever 21 | top: RW&CO | bottoms: Dynamite | shoes: Just Fab

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Photos by Rita Roque

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So I’ve been seeing these braids everywhere lately, and I’ve always wanted to try them but given the fact that my forehead is more of a fivehead no way did I think I would flatter the style. But then I thought whatever. I’ll do as I please. Turns out they’ve become my go-to style for whenever I don’t feel like using heat or washing my hair. It’s actually quite freeing, no need to worry about flyways, losing volume or any of that hair nonsense.

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I’ve come to refer to them as an accessory as well, taking a simple shirt and jeans combo up a notch, as it adds an instant casual cool vibe to any look you wear. For some odd reason, I feel like these braids look better when you have sunglasses on. Weird, I know.

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coat: Forever 21 | top: J Crew | bottoms: Zara | shoes: Le Chateau | sunnies: Ray Ban

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A few weeks ago, I had the chance to visit the OREJEN Pop Up Shop in Toronto. The OREJEN Fashion Lab is like a marketplace for designers across the world, showing and selling designs, along with launching emerging and developing designers in the fashion industry.

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The Pop Up Shop was located at 12 Ossington Avenue, and we decided to grab lattes down the street at Union before starting off the day. Shortly after, we headed over to the showroom. Various designers were displayed on mannequins across the room, and the clothing was hung on clean and organized racks, making it very easy to navigate through the different collections.

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(Snapchatting away: add me @vberan)

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I instantly fell for two designers, Studio One Eighty Nine, designed by Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah and Aniimiism. Their unique prints were very catchy, and the fabric used was like heaven. I could have worn these pieces to sleep. The blue printed outfit is from Studio One Eighty Nine, and the silk top and linen pant combo is by Aniimiism. Tonya and company were all so helpful and gave me some great insight on ethical clothing and the various designers they carry. If OREJEN ever pops up in an area near you, I highly recommend you check them out. It’s like going to an art gallery… but better… you can try on the art. 😉

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Photos by Rita Roque

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Throw on a pair of heels… and sweatpants are acceptable? I used to be on the fence about whether I liked the whole sweatpants + heels combo, but I feel if worn properly and with the appropriate colours, they can totally work.

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When I’m around the house I rock my ever so stylish baggy pant and hoodie combo, but actually wearing them out in public called for a different kind of silhouette… or an actual silhouette, in my case.

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I decided to pair my sweats with a basic tank from RW&CO and this “Zora” shrug from Yalivta, which is available in cream as well. The line was made for dancers, so of course the piece is so comfortable, no matter which way I move. Not that I’m planning on twisting my body or dancing in the streets, but at least I know it’s an option if I ever decide to do so.

Check out Yalivta here for more products and inspo from their own blog.

cardigan: Yalivta | top: RW&CO | bottoms: Hollister | heels: Ivanka Trump | sunnies: Amazon

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Special thanks to Yalivta for partnering with me on this post

Photos by Rita Roque

 

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I’ve always loved a good bohemian inspired look for the warmer months. The pieces are breathable and forgiving, saving you time and energy stressing about sweat stains, muffin tops and all the fun stuff summer brings upon us. The weather here has been quite a tease these past couple of weeks, with little pockets of sunshine followed by larger pockets of ice and snow. It’s still so mind boggling how one day you can rock the bare legs and the following day you’re buried underneath layers and a parka. Oh Canada.

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I decided to start my quest for a white eyelet blouse in November. Am I just the smartest human being ever, or what? Stores filled with heavy cardigans, thick socks and thermal leggings… not a peasant blouse in sight. But I was determined. Come boxing week, I scored this (one size too big) blouse for a whopping $10 at H&M. I knew there was one out there in the midst of winter.

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Since it’s not quite shorts weather, I paired the blouse with slim boyfriend jeans and a floppy hat. Come summertime, you’ll be sure to see me rocking it with cut off jean shorts and brown gladiator sandals. The hat will stay, regardless of the season, because who wants to style their hair everyday anyways?

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top: H&M | bottoms: Blue Notes | hat: Winners | shoes: Ivanka Trump

Photos by Rita Roque

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This past weekend, my friend and I decided to take advantage of the above seasonal weather and take a little trip to Blue Mountain. About a two hour drive away from home, the Blue Mountain region offers natural landscapes, a beach, ski slopes and many more scenic views and activities to do.

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We actually stayed at a newly renovated Airbnb in the town of Thornbury, which was a less than fifteen minute drive away from the village in Blue Mountain. Arriving just before noon, we each grabbed a London fog and treats from Thornbury Cafe Bakery. I got a gluten- free vanilla cupcake, while Brittany opted for a sticky bun to keep us energized for the day. We sat inside the coffee shop and people watched while enjoying our goodies, and noticed how tight- knit everyone in the community was. They were very welcoming, and we even had a few people chat us up as well.

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Working off the treats, we walked through the single street known as the “downtown” of Thornbury and checked out some clothing and souvenir shops. Our next stop after that was The Collingwood Brewery. Here we got a tour of the brewery, a bit of a background on how beer is made, and samples of the available brews that day. Sarah was our “tour guide” and “bartender” all in one and she was an absolute gem. In the end both Brittany and I decided on the Pale Ale, and loved it so much, we both ended up taking home six packs and cute souvenir glasses.

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Since the weather was amazing, we sat outside on the patio and enjoyed our beers until hunger decided to come creeping. Sarah recommended we visit North Winds Brewhouse & Eatery near the Blue Mountain village, so off we went. After finishing up our lunch, we checked into our Airbnb and took a nap.

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Post nap, we decided that caffeine was highly needed in order to make it through the night, so we grabbed a cappuccino and latte from The Mill Cafe. The ambience was very romantic, having candles burning in every corner of the room and cozy tables surrounding a fireplace. We opted for the bar area, which had a chic marble counter top in an equally cozy corner of the room. The coffee did exactly what needed to be done… aka woke us up, so we got all dolled up and grabbed dinner and hung around the village for the rest of the night.

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The next morning we headed down to the village and grabbed some breakfast and more lattes (you can never have enough lattes) from Royal Majesty Espresso Bar Bakery. Let’s be real… it was the name that totally got our attention, but we were in for a pleasant surprise when we ordered their breakfast sandwiches. They also offer an array of baked goods, including some jumbo donuts with crazy designs. We didn’t get anything sweet this time, but if I’m ever back in Blue, you bet I’m trying one of those donuts.

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Spring is just a few weeks away, and I am beyond excited for the warmer weather to come rolling in. I love being outdoors during the warmer months, and I try to get out as much as I can when I’m not working. Since we’re surrounded by so much greenery, the trails and hiking opportunities are endless in and around the Toronto area.

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In making sure the environment doesn’t degenerate anymore than it should, comes thinking responsibly and making conscious and ethical decisions. I know, I know, it may seem too overbearing at times, but it really doesn’t have to be. Simple things like buying clothing that is locally and ethically produced can help so much. The Balance Project’s clothing line makes it possible to be able to help the planet while wearing chic, and most importantly, affordable clothes.

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I’m wearing the roman numerals tank from Balance. It’s a no- brainer top that you can wear anywhere (and you all know how much I love pieces like that). I’ve paired it with grey skinnys from Zara and a jean jacket from Bluenotes. I’m a little bit of a maniac for this jacket, so I apologize for the amounts of times you’ve seen it in my posts already. #nonewclothes

jacket: Bluenotes | top: The Balance Project (similar) | bottoms: Zara | shoes: Converse

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Photos by Rita Roque

Special thanks to The Balance Project for partnering with me on this post

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I’m back with another “Coffee and a Treat” post and this time around I’ll be featuring Black Goat Cafe. It’s a cute little place right on Lakeshore in Etobicoke, around a fifteen minute drive from the heart of downtown and right beside Humber College.

Printed Cardigan, Casual Style

Printed Cardigan, Casual Style

Printed Cardigan, Casual Style

Despite it’s size, the decor in the coffee shop is so cozy and chic. Think dark wood, exposed brick, boho chic cushions and Pinterest worthy wall decor. They’ve also got a selection of books to read from and smooth running wifi. Every time I go there, the baristas are so friendly and nice. It really does make the experience that much better.

Printed Cardigan, Casual Style

Printed Cardigan, Casual Style

Printed Cardigan, Casual Style

The cafe has a selection of coffee made from fair trade and organic beans. It’s very strong and bitter (just the way I like it), and their cookies are on a whole other level. Black Goat Cafe sells baked goods, all made in house, ranging from muffins ($2.00) to scones (app. $2.00) to of course, the infamous cookies (app. $1.50) and many more goods. My favourite is the Oreo cheesecake cookie.

Printed Cardigan, Casual Style

Printed Cardigan, Casual Style

They’ve got some amazing sandwiches ($5.00) that are also made in house, other than the buns, which come from a nearby Portuguese bakery. Everything is $6.00 or under, so no budgets will be broken while indulging in yummy goods.

Printed Cardigan, Casual Style

Printed Cardigan, Casual Style

Printed Cardigan, Casual Style

Printed Cardigan, Casual Style

As you can tell, I’m slightly obsessed with this place. Not only is the location convenient (I go to school right beside), but I’m also very picky with my coffee and need it to actually taste like coffee… sorry Tim Hortons. They are open 7:00am- 7:00pm everyday, except on Sundays which is 9:00am- 3:00pm. The hours are pretty limited if you work a regular nine to five day, but it’s so worth the drive and your free time if you ever decide to go.

Final rating is 9.8 / 10

sweater: Forever 21 | top: RW&CO | bottoms: American Eagle | boots: Just Fab | necklace: Reitmans

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Photos by Rita Roque