How to Style a Crop Top

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I’ve done a fun little collaboration with eBay Canada’s Fashion Notes and it’s all about crop tops.

Ever since I watched Clueless, I knew crop tops were a thing to keep my eye on. Granted, I was only 7, but even at that young age, I knew I was watching a style icon in the making. Cher Horowitz obvious but more importantly, those crop tops! Donna Martin was all over them in Beverly Hills 90210 and even boring Sabrina Spellman got in a few good belly shots.

So you can imagine how excited I was last year when they began popping up at festivals and on hippie chicks in the park. Only the very daring brought them back out to play and I wasn’t one of them. Winter came and stayed a looong time but then…summer! And back to make all us gym phobes nervous were my precious crop tops. And this time, they were reimagined for the everygirl. Crops of all lengths, with sleeves or without and even looking like an adorable bralet for as far as the eye can see. Suddenly crop tops go with every bottom in my closet, and if you don’t believe me, go to the post HERE and have a read!

-xoB

Gillette Drafted Reaction Video: Top 24

Every so often when I write something specific about a real person, I sit back, reread it and go “Wow, that sounds really mean.” And then I hit submit/publish because I know that if I think about it too long, I’ll start to feel really bad and probably not go through with it. Making a video about real people and what I think of them was very similar except in the days it took to edit the video, I had so much more time to think about what I said and feel bad about it. I mean…obviously not too bad because I’m still letting you guys see it. But just know that I realize I’m not a good human and I’m fine with you thinking that too.

The powers-that-be over at The Score have chosen their Top 24 contestants who will go to Gillette Drafted boot camp and compete for a spot in the Top 6 who will actually appear on the reality show Drafted. I did my own Top 24 predictions a few weeks ago and am happy to say that our of 19 spots (5 were given golden tickets ahead of time) I got 6 names right. Out of hundreds of videos, that’s kind of impressive. Shut up.

Unsurprisingly, when I read through the names of who were chosen to go to boot camp, I was a little disagreeable about a few select people. Some of my favourite auditioners didn’t get chosen and that irked me. So much so that I felt it necessary to make a video about the five that I really thought didn’t deserve a spot. Either because of a particular incident (coughGUMGATEcough) or just because they seemed more nervous than other hopefuls.

The video (guest starring my roommate Marni and her anniversary balloons) is below. Feel free to make fun of the One Direction pillow that makes an appearance.

Head over to the Drafted facebook page (linked above) to vote for your favourite contestant.

xoB

Gillette’s Drafted: My Top 24 Predictions

SCORE MEDIA INC. - Gillette DRAFTED Returns with Brand New Look!

Hey Drafted guys and gals! Welcome to my own personal website where I can make all the crazy assumptions and predictions that I want! Just kidding….I do that anywhere.

After four city auditions and numerous online submissions, I have a sneaking suspicion that the Powers-That-Be over at The Score have picked their own Top 24 to go to Drafted boot camp in hopes of whittling it down to a final 6. Before they announce their own picks, I decided to put out my own predictions of who I think deserves a spot. When the true list comes out, I’ll be posting it too, just to see how close I was.

Luckily, thanks to 5 golden tickets that were given out, I’m guaranteed a score of at least 5/24.

The golden ticket winners were:

  • Luke Reynolds
  • Courtney Hutchings
  • Joe Aminzada
  • William Vaughan
  • Harrison Bourdon

Funny enough, when I was constructing this predictions list, I had Harrison on it before I remembered that he got a golden ticket. So, I think that gets me double imaginary points? I’m totally fine with everyone that received a golden ticket…..except *cough* GUMGATE! If you missed my Calgary recap, GumGate is Joe Aminzada who did his first audition in a tank top and while chewing gum. Even though he followed it up with a redo sans gum and with a shirt that had sleeves, I don’t forgive and forget so easily. I’ve got my eye on this guy and at the moment it’s twitching.

*Sigh*

I’m so conflicted about my own choices. Don’t get me wrong, I think they’re all worthy candidates but I feel like I’m missing a lot of goodies. My list only includes submissions from the tour stops and NOT submitted videos…sorry but I didn’t even know where to start with those.

So here are my own personal Top 24 picks and predictions. Don’t judge me!

  1. Anthony Bruno (nailed his audition)
  2. Shari Leavitt (super comfortable in front of the camera)
  3. Jamike Njoku (just plain adorable)
  4. Mike Watson (the male version of The Face)
  5. Mia Gordon (her video has over 45,000 views)
  6. Henry Whitfield (eyebrows…but like talent too)
  7. Emily Jameson (glorious hair…but like talent too)
  8. David Hurley (fancy pants 2.0?)
  9. Alex MacKeigan (made Top 24 last year)
  10. Teddy Jenner (can’t put a finger on it…)
  11. Tyler Rowe (awesome scratchy voice)
  12. Gerard Overvoorde (majorly surprised at how great he was)
  13. Darryl Jeannis (could really kick ass)
  14. Drew Stremick (needs to get better but I like him!)
  15. Andrew Corry (great suit)
  16. Dorian Williams (with a little work, there could be something here)
  17. Justin Kelly (watch out Emily, he might steal hair products)
  18. Joseph Clayton (liked him right away)
  19. Blair Langille (pointed right into my soul)

I had a really hard time putting together this list. Here I was thinking that I wouldn’t like enough people to actually fill 19 spots when in reality I liked so many people that I had 50 names on my list needing a trim.

I tried to not only pick people I liked but also include people who did a great job and sounded like they knew what they were talking about.

It can’t all be left up to eyebrows and sweaters you guys! I mean, yes a few are here because I couldn’t say no to a good head of hair but I swear for the most part my intentions are pure.

The real list comes out in about 10 days and if I can figure out the technology, I might try to record a video of my reaction because I really don’t think I got very many right. I mean…3 girls?? What am I thinking?!

Tweet me or comment below to let me know just how bad I screwed up my list or if I chose correctly. And as always stay tuned for more!

xoB

PS Here’s a video I made with Drafted’s Matty Drappel and Jackie Redmond. Hopefully, it won’t be my last!😉

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Stylelab’s Pop Up Shop

As you might imagine, I really identify with the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland who is forever saying ‘I’m late, I’m late for a very important date!’ I feel like I’m always running behind. And this post is no different.

Last week, I was invited to check out a new concept style lounge set up at the Convention Centre specifically for Canadian Screen Award nominees to visit, get styled and RENT their looks for the night.

For two days, the lounge was open and available for members of the Academy and nominees to browse through Toronto-based brands and choose what they’d like to own for the night.

Stylelab founder Leesa Butler was on hand both days to guide attendees through the gamut of brands including Rent Frock Repeat, Off The Cuff Resale Design Menswear, MM Crystal Jewellery and Cuffwear.

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While there I got to chat sequins with Lisa and Kristy, new products from Handsome & Lace with Lee, Swarovski crystals with Michelle and eye-popping cufflinks (in the shapes of everything from guitars to eyeballs) with Chris.

Amid feelings of wanting to stay on the plush white couches with this fabulous group all day, I have to admit I was also feeling crazy jealousy towards the celebs who were getting the A+-list treatment from them!

xoB

Costa Blanca Spring Shopping

Hey everyone! It’s been quite the spell since I last blogged, hasn’t it? Thanks to the fabulous Chris Howson over at Proud FM (where I’ve been a guest) I’ve decided I need to step up my blogging game and since there are so many things happening this week and in upcoming weeks (hooo boy) there’s no time like the present.

Like anyone else, I have a specific list of stores that I consistently shop at and can never just walk by without popping in. They range from the uber cheap (Forever 21 and my beloved $3 jewellery) to the ‘Aren’t-you-precious-thinking-you-afford-stuff’ Holt Renfrew.

I was recently given the opportunity by MacIntyre Communications to visit Costa Blanca at the Eaton’s Centre and experience the 180 degree spin they’ve taken to reinvent themselves from ‘Woodbridge club clothes’ to sophisticated, affordable day wear. With a new creative team that includes a photographer churning out glossy shots that look like a magazine editorial, the store seems completely brand new.

Armed with a publicist and a sales girl, I was released into the racks with the task of finding at least two outfits I’d wear on any given day. My dressing room choices were four times the allowed amount but I managed to sweet talk (aka sneak) extra pieces in with me.

Along with every other store, Costa Blanca has rolled out their spring stuff onto the floor which means I was a kid in the proverbial candy shop. Sheer shirts! Shift dresses! Maxi skirts! Peter Pan collars! Snakeskin flats! Try to find two outfits? It was more like ‘try not to work yourself into a fit and pass out under a rack of sheer sleeveless dresses’.

Costa Blanca - BIANCA V2In the end, I chose the two outfits you see up there. Click to see a better version OR go find it on Costa Blanca’s Facebook page. Even if you’re still judging the store based on what you’ve seen in the past, go over for a quick look at their new product. The photos that line the walls should be enough to pull you in.

Exhibit A: Everything I want in a spring suit…

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And I just died.

xoB

Capezio Celebrates 35 Years

When I heard word that shoe store giant Capezio is celebrating their 35th anniversary this year, I knew I had to do a post about it.

Almost seven years ago, I was shopping for prom and needed a pair of gold shoes to compliment my dreamy red gown. I had actually bought a pair from Guess that had pointy toes and a wooden heel. It was crunch time and I was desperate.

A few days later my best friend at the time and I were shopping and she insisted on heading into Capezio to find herself a pair of shoes. The ones she landed on (Steve Madden) reminded her of the silver pair of Manolo’s that Carrie Bradshaw lost and made Tatum O’Neal purchase for her. They were absolutely gorgeous. And so, so perfect. I could barely handle it when the salesgirl told us that they came in gold as well. My BFF and I decided that it would be beyond amazing for us to go to prom in matching/but different shoes. And that’s how I landed on the perfect pair of shoes for the biggest night of my life (at 17). Plus, I wanted to be a writer. So I was a would-be writer in Carrie Bradshaw-esque shoes. Heaven.

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My glorious prom shoes

With shoes from Jeffrey Campbell, Steve Madden, Vince Camuto, Sam Edelman, Chinese Laundry, Hunter and so much more, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has memories of finding the perfect pair of shoes at Capezio.

This year, they introduced Madonna’s Truth or Dare collection, Messeca, Ash and the amazingly comfortable TOMS. Seven locations in the city guarantee that you won’t be without shoes for any small or huge occasion. Get there as soon as you can because in honour of their big year, Capezio is offering 35% off on 35 special items!!

From one shoe lover to what I can safely assume is a huge group of other shoe lovers, here’s to the next 35 years!

Happy Anniversary Capezio!

xoB

Simplistic Elegance at Marilyn Monroe Cafe

What better way to arrive at an establishment, named after the captivating and ever-interesting Marilyn Monroe, than in complete style? Let’s begin this post with a giant THANK YOU to Pennant Media Group for providing me (and my date, Proud FM’s Chris Howson) with a ride in a posh town car all the way to the Marilyn Monroe Cafe in a swanky part of Oakville.

With stark white walls, soft grey chairs and an abundance of photographs of Monroe taken by Milton Greene (from Marilyn’s Ballerina Series, Red Sweater Series and Tennis Sweater Series) the cafe isn’t the garish, over-the-top establishment one would normally picture when thinking of Monroe tributes. Instead, the severity of the timeless design is a picture of where the actress herself would have wanted to hang out. Being flanked by stunning portraits of herself wouldn’t have hurt either.

On my trip I was granted the treat of tasting anything I wanted off the menu. A menu that contains amazingness like cheesecakes, cookies, danishes, smoothies and more. I started off with a coffee (a Bianca Latte, how could I resist?) and a French croissant which was quickly followed up with two more croissants because they were AMAZING. Then I moved on to an Oreo Dream Bar and a strawberry-banana smoothie. Mmmmmmmm. Everything was so delicious!

Touring the cafe came after the food (yum) and it didn’t disappoint. In addition to the main floor area with regal-looking booths, mirrors that have televisions built in, a marble counter and adjoining glass case for the pastries to be shown off, the cafe comes complete with a second level lounge that have a balcony overlooking the first floor. Swanky.

Furnishing by prestigious designers like Philippe Starck with Dedon, Eero Saarinen with Knoll, Diesel with Foscarin, and Tom Dixon are everywhere. The espresso machines are even manufactured in Italy where espressos were invented, so you know they’re legit.

Even the music comes into play when you experience the cafe. With 22 speakers of complete clarity, the stunning JBL Audio plays soothing jazz music as well as slower contemporary hits. Music programming is selected digitally by the vibe of the songs’ algorithms and thanks to a tiny microphone on the ceiling, the sound system automatically sets the volume level, based upon activity in the café, a very state of the art feature.

Owners of the Marilyn Monroe Cafe are hoping to open another location in the downtown area. YAY! If you’re able to visit the one in Oakville make sure you do. Guests are invited to use a sleek new Mobile App called “MM Café” to order ahead of time and skip the line.

Simple yet elegant.

xoB

Searching for the Perfect Boots?

Then pay attention.

Thanks to this gloriously long fall we’re having, I’ve been able to rock my new favourite boots from Flurries.

These sumptuous brown leather boots are knee high (sqee!) and have just enough buckles and zippers to keep me happy. Named Sadie, the boot if from Flurries’ fall and spring collection but I have a feeling I’ll be wearing them throughout the winter too. As long as there’s no snow to ruin them.

These Canadian creations are leather, made with the utmost quality and are actually comfy. I promise!

The Sadie also come in black but as someone whose closet is almost completely black, I jumped at the chance to finally own a pair of brown riding boots. While it’s true that I have a bit of a shoe addiction, it’s also very true that my feet are fickle and hate being encased in shoes. They like to revolt by making blisters or erupting in cuts. These boots? Not. One. Complaint.

Even though it doesn’t look like it, I swear I’m trying to buy shoes that not only look fabulous but are also practical. Okay those huge heels and too-small-but-were-on-sale ones don’t count. My Sadie Flurries score me a point on both levels. The soft brown shade and shiny texture are to die for and the comfort is actually present. Trust me. I tested them on a walk about around the city. No scabs, blisters or even heel pain.

Check out the entire fall/spring collection but be warned: everything appears as a must-have. In fact, I’m already eyeing my next Flurries conquest.

xoB

Parkdale Presents CAT

Last Thursday (I know, my posts are late, shhh) Parkdale’s Neubacher Shor Gallery was the hot spot where a sneak peek of the latest collection from Cat Women’s Footwear for spring/summer 2013 debuted.

Naturally, drinks and great shoes were simply all over the place but holy balls, this little outing was a legitimate party.

Put on by Elevator Communications (so aka my guuuurl Zoe T.) the event boasted dance performances by Bash Creative, tunes spun by Fashion Magazine’s own Randi Bergman (aka DJ Birthright) and even real-time graffiti art created by Toronto guerilla graffiti artist SPUD.

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Known during its two decades in business as the place to get work boots, CAT Footwear has developed into a brand that produces durable shoes in desirable styles. With a tag line that said: “Inspired by urban looks and the unique beats of the street” the Parkdale party was the place to be, especially since CAT’s SS2013 women’s line was set up all over the gallery.

I myself couldn’t help but fall in love with a certain pair of ankle boots, named Celine but I’ll overlook that part.

xoB

A Frocktail Party Plus an MMMxH&M Necklace

Last Wednesday, 401 Bay Street saw some serious action on its eighth floor when the 4th annual Frocktail Party took place.

In addition to notable guests like Suzanne Rogers, Stephen and Kirk from Greta Constantine, Tommy Ton, Jenna Bitove, Ainsley Kerr and John Muscat from Line Knitwear, the night itself was a huge success. Thanks to the 600+ guests who attended and supported the JDRF, over $55,000 was raised, nearly doubling last year’s event. In total from four years of Frocking, $150,000 has been raised in support of juvenile diabetes.

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The highest selling dress of the night (no surprise) was Suzanne Rogers’ Marchesa gown, a stunning dress encased in black tulle while an eLuxe donated Smythe blazer actually started a major bidding war.

The party was one to witness with two bars (vodka + pineapple juice…..mmmmmm), a swag hallway (which I was too late for! HMPH) and a hair styling section! Guests were shmoozing, boozing, and at one point even dancing! But my favourite moments were spent getting up close and personal (inappropriate touching) with gowns and accessories I wouldn’t otherwise have ever encountered.

Speaking of accessories, I just want to mention my necklace for a minute. The dog collar that literally dripped gems was picked up only minutes before I arrived at Frocktail from the Maison Martin Margiela event at H&M. I’m surprised I escaped with my hair intact much less with a piece of jewelry. It was pure pandemonium and personally I think H&M did a horrible job at executing it.

But on the bright side, it got me a piece of neckwear that was just perfect for the swankyness of Frocktail.

Special thanks to Lauren Green and David Han for this photos!

xoB

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