FLORAL SKIRT: 2 WAYS

skirt + tank – LE CHATEAU, accessories – ARDENE , shoes – ALDO

Floral is such a summer staple print, (despite the fact this has been the least summery-summer ever here in Calgary!) so today I’m collaborating with the lovely Anngelik of VOGUE&HEELS to show you how we styled our floral skirts.  Be sure to check out her post HERE for her outfit details and tips on styling floral prints with a pop of color.

The most important factor I consider when shopping for skirts is its shape.  I am particularly fond of fit-and-flare styles.  The tailoring on this skirt is amazing giving it beautiful drape and movement; anything that is fitted at the natural waist, and flared over the hips will instantly slim any body shape.  An a-line skirt with a tank tucked in is absolutely my go to outfit, I have a wedding to attend this weekend and I think I may stick with that formula!  This works especially well if you have a difficult to fit body shape; buying separates instead of a dress will give you the perfect fit (top and bottom) and you will get so much more wear out of two separate pieces than one dress.

Anngelik’s pencil skirt is a structured shape, but the print is much softer and a bit abstract.  Little details like this go a long way in choosing an item… a harsh print on the pencil skirt might be overwhelming, but with the watercolor print it looks soft and beautiful.  In contrast, the graphic black and white floral print on my skirt is softened by the light-weight fabric and pleated details.

August is the biggest time for sales as stores clear out their summer inventory to make room for heavy fall inventories, so try to scoop up some floral print pieces now while they’re on sale.  Below are some lust-worthy choices… I’m dying over the McQueen – always making my heart go all aflutter with their on point tailoring and beautiful colors.

Floral Skirts
Which skirt is your favourite? Let me know in the comments!
xo, aiyanajane

Chambray Shirt(Dress)

chambray shirt, striped cardigan, leather bound sketch bookknuckle rings, layered rings, ethic jewelry, silverchambray shirt dressmulti-color stripe sweater, tight and bootschambray, stripes, topknot, fall fashionfall layers

Chambray, Sweater & Sunnies by LE CHATEAU |  Boots by Spring  | Belt & Rings via Manana Imports

Chambray has been a trend I have been hesitant to embrace for the longest time.. and I don’t even know why.  Its one of those things I love on everyone else but can never quite get to like on myself. Until now.  This blouse is a nod to the trend that is absolutely taking over, but its a bit of a cheat – the top is actually a light cotton/linen blend, not very denim-like at all.. which is probably why I ended up with it after literally years of hesitation to embrace the chambray-way. I always found it so stiff- this fabric is light and soft!  I also love the pin-tucking detailing on the bust- its classic tailoring that finishes a piece to make it very flattering; look for little tailored details like this when you shop.

At this point I’ve basically accepted that we aren’t getting a summer here in Alberta.. its been rainy and overcast and determinedly MEH.  (The amount of complaining I do about the weather here, you’d think this was a climate blog and not about style. )  Always trying to look on the bright side (but rarely succeeding)  at least August means fall fashion is in full swing.  In Canada we dress the way the rest of the world dresses for fall about 90% of the year (and the rest of the time we’re snuggled up in parkas in our igloos) so you have to be good with layers in order to live here.

One thing I always do with everything is roll up the sleeves.  Unless its the dead of winter, my sleeves are pushed up to my elbows; I rolled the sleeves up prior to putting the sweater on (that way they’re even) and then cuffed the chambray sleeve over it.  I love the multi-color stripes on this sweater, and the length is perfect for layering over this tunic so that I can wear it with tights. I don’t buy into the “leggings aren’t pants” movement…  as far as I’m concerned if you can’t see crotch, then pants are for the weak.  Our house motto is “Everyday feels like Sunday when you don’t wear pants.”  Its truly liberating, I recommend you try it.

Another layering essential? The belt; this one is hand beaded leather from Guatemala.  If you live in Calgary stop by Manana Imports in Kensington for fair trade pieces from all over the world. This leather bound sketchbook and all the rings are from Manana as well; it’s my uncle’s store and I help out from time to time but I end up just shopping!  Come visit sometime.

xo, aiyanajane

summer leather

topshop mint leather shorts, forever 21 floral top, white eyelet sweater

knit + sandals by LE CHATEAU |  shorts by TOPSHOP | ruffle tank by XXI FOREVER

This little white jumper probably is my favourite summer layering piece.  The eyelet knit, short sleeves and cream color make it perfect for the season.  I love layering it over almost anything.

Another summer piece I’m obsessed with this year are these mint faux- leather shorts from TopShop, the fresh color makes these shorts the perfect summer leather piece.  Paired with a sweet floral ruffle blouse, and embellished sandals, this outfit is simple and girly for a summer day.

xo, aiyanajanee

stripes

stripes

sweater by Le Chateau  |  denim by American Eagle | sunnies + moccasins by Ardene

So its August, and it still feels like summer hasn’t bothered to show up here in Calgary… Seriously, what is with all the gloomy overcast days?  At least August means all the stores are having mega-clearance events to make room for their fall inventory.  Now is the time to scoop up some serious deals, even if you aren’t headed back to school!

Striped sweaters are a weakness of mine (it might be embarrassing if I counted how many I have) but they are such a classic chic staple that I can hardly help but stock up on them the second sales arrive!  This cream and beige boucle piece is destined to be in heavy rotation, perfect to throw on with a pair of jeans for a casual Friday at the office!

Hope you have a lovely long weekend, happy friday, xo, aiyanajane

Vintage Havana

I’ve mentioned before that Winner’s is my favourite store, but truly it never lets me down.

For my tips on how to shop in big “outlet” stores see below.

I got this dress while shopping with a friend, I picked out a top for her and when we went to pay it didn’t have a tag so the cashier called a price check…  I told the clerk it was the only one in the junior clearance section and that it was probably $16.99.  (I kind of shop there a lot, I know their pricing pretty well…)  When I turned out to be correct my friend laughed and told me I have a problem.

I disagree, because this dress only cost me $16.99 and I also found a couple other dresses on for great deals-  see them here and here.  Essentially I got 3 dresses for the price of one, so it pays off to know where to shop to get the best deals!  Check out your local Winners to see find it at a major discount, or order online here, at $70 regular price it’s still worth it, and they ship internationally!

Despite their name, Vintage Havana is actually an American brand; their clothes kind of remind me of  if Free People and Forever 21 had a love child.   I adore the ethnic inspired print on this fabric, and the dress is tailored beautifully to fit and flatter. After obsessively clicking thought their look-book I think I might need to back away from the computer slowly before I start spending like crazy…. I also love the Multi-Stripe Baja Peplum Top made from the same fabric.

Inspired by the beautiful colors on the dress, I paired it with a bright orange shoes and a contrasting blue clutch, finishing with my favourite feather earrings and mirrored aviators.. 

If you haven’t noticed, almost everything seems to be my “favourite” but this genuine leather jacket actually tops my list of “The Best Find’s Ever.”  Only $35 for beautifully tailored genuine leather, if you shop the Le Chateau outlet stores you can often find ridiculous deals if you look carefully! 

 To make a leather jacket work for summer roll up the sleeves and push them up past the elbow, it adds the perfect amount of protection when the temperature dips down at night.

Shopping in massive stores like Winners, Value Village, or a Le Chateau Outlet can be overwhelming at first, but if you have the time to look you can come out with the best deals.

Vintage Havana Dress – HERE  |  Guess Heels | Le Chateau Leather Jacket & Wallet

shopping tips, sale shopping, style advice

 I hope these tips help you sift though the masses of sale stuff to find a diamond in the rough!  xo, aiyanajane

 

short & sweet

total look – le chateau (S11)

I don’t want to be that guy but with the recent resurgence of the short-suit a little part of me is all “pshh.. way ahead of you.”

I fell in love with this blazer right when I first started working at Le Chateau (like, a long time ago).  The problem was that the accompanying school-girl-esque skirt to match was far to hideous for anyone to wear as anything other than as part of a costume, and the ill fitted, ridiculously wide-leg pants were not exactly flattering.

So I bought the blazer, and it pairs perfectly with denim (thank you navy, the most versatile neutral since black…) but what I really wanted was a suit, a matching one… what’s a girl to do when suiting comes with a great blazer… and the worst separates ever?

The rest of the retail world agreed that those bottoms were not worth money and they went on sale super quickly. It didn’t take me long to decide that hideous-high-waist-parachute-looking-pants could be transformed relatively easily into shorts.. and by relatively, I mean extremely easily, because I just asked a fashion student friend of mine to hem them up for me (like, way up!)   Sale price + employee discount + one sewing-machine-owning friend later and TAH- DAH!   A short suit… with perfectly matching pinstripes!

Even though summer here in Calgary has been determinedly gloomy as of late, on those (rare) super hot days (when you wish the office would just close on account of good weather) its nice to slip into shorts for a simple and chic work outfit.  Happy Tuesday!

xo, aiyana jane

shoes

Maybe it’s just me, but every summer I seem to be exceptionally hard on shoes.   Trekking over all sorts of terrain, from Stampede, to hiking, to shopping, to the farm, I am always in need of a versatile pair of flats… and I can never resist stopping at Ardene’s for the 2 for $15 deal.  Sure, they are poor quality, but I’ve observed over the years that the lifetime of my shoes doesn’t much depend on their price point, I’m just really hard on them.  Some call me the “Destroyer of Soles!”  (Although they might have meant “souls” & this is how I choose to interpret it!)
mocasins

STUDDED MOCCASINSmulticolored sneakers

STRIPED SNEAKERS
red sneakersSIMPLE SLIP-ON

studded loafers

STUDDED LOAFERS

I’ve been living in these shoes this summer.  Don’t get me wrong, heels are my first and true love, but a good pair of walking shoes is absolutely crucial.  To make them even more comfortable switch out the  inner-sole for a padded insert, like these gel insoles.  A pair of shoes that you can easily slip on and run around all day in are essential for work when all you want to do is go outside and play!  With the rainy weather we’ve had here in Calgary lately these have been even more crucial than usual, as I forgo flip-flops for a little more foot protection.

I’m not kidding when I say I’m often just running around in a giant rush.. so shoelaces? Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat!  Literally every single pair of shoes I own that is supposed to be laced and tied, I have knotted, cut and turned into slip-on’s.  I highly recommend it, it’s simple and saves precious seconds better used for sleeping than shoe-lace-tying!  How-To is below!
no more shoelaces

  1. Lace your shoes to fit comfortably, then double knot each lace as close to the eyelet as possible.
  2. Pull the string tight and carefully use a lighter to burn off the excess shoe-lace.
  3. Use a popsicle stick (or your finger if you like to live dangerously like I do) to tap the melted lace down on the knot to seal it!

Viola!  Now slip into your newly simplified shoes and hit the ground running!

Which pair is your favourite?  I lean towards the black studded ones (shocking).

xo, aiyanajanee

Guess

Black and white making another appearance, but it’s classic for a reason.  Simple and chic for work, toting my obligatory a.m. caffeine in this Starbucks Double-Walled Stainless Steel Tumbler.  I love this thing you guys, it legitimately keeps my drink hot for 8 HOURS.   Anyways, if you need a  new travel-mug, get the stainless steel one (not the plastic) and you will love it forever and ever. (Times Venti!)

If you already have your caffeine needs taken care of, how about your wardrobe?

Mine always seems to  be searching for a little something more…  hence, the dress.   I love the detailing on this dress:  the fabric reminds me of Chanel and the black piping nips in the waist and creates curves.   Classic and chic – that’s also how I justified it, that and finding it at $39.99 down from $231, I mean its practically foolish NOT to buy it with savings like that!

I paired it with classic peep-toe pumps, these shoes have been put through their paces (to say the least) and have never failed me over the years.   I’ve mentioned before how Guess heels are my favourite, when I want a comfortable (SERIOUSLY) pair of heels, I reach for a pair from Guess.  I have a bit of a collection by now and I can only see it expanding from here;   I’m pretty committed! One of my most important pieces of advice is to invest in quality shoes, leather really does make all the difference in comfort and longevity.  (Unless you’re a vegan, in which case… carry on.)

  Back to school sales are not just for the kids, stock up on basics like tanks and tees and snatch up some cute summer pieces that you can wear into fall, or style next year!  Boxing day has got to be the most over-rated time of year for clothes shopping, NOW is the best time to add a few pieces to your wardrobe, stores will be clearing out to make room for massive winter (and holiday) shipments.  Nearly every store has a sale on right now.. online and in stores, so keep in mind that from now until September there will be just about endless deals to be found!

look  by GUESS

Right now is actually the BEST time to be shopping  for deals!

I still can’t believe how much I saved on this dress, I love you, Winners.

Take it from a former retail manager and life-time price-comparer, pre-fall sales are the BEST! 

xo, aiyanajane

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Rain, Rain.. go away..

IMG_7983 IMG_7986 IMG_7989

jumper SIRENS silk tank LeCHATEAU camo skinnies G21 studded loafers ARDENE

Okay, so summer can really show up any time now. I’m tired of the constant drizzles and threat of rain… this is Calgary, not the precipitation capital of the world thank you very much, and this. needs. to stop… I need my 2 months of summer please, and July is half over.. August better be boiling!! For real. Or I’m moving.

Comfy-casual today (and a little grumpy and tired this morning, maybe) in a basic uniform: camo skinnies, soft sweater (with cute little stud details to add a bit of interest – all the ladies at my office liked them!), basic tank and (p)leather studded loafers. A little edgy detail to add to the perfect basic combination. And the best part? This outfit cost me under $50.

xo, aiyanajane

Printed Denim for Night

tribal denim

tribal bleached denim GINA TRICOT

lace tank(old) ARITZIA 

bra VICTORIA’S SECRET

color-block sandals ZIGISOHO

sunnies + jewelry ALDO

beaded bag – Guatemala c/o MANANA IMPORTS

Stormy skies again here in Calgary, but at least it give’s me the perfect excuse to wear pants instead of shorts.. most girls are out Stampeding in what I can only assume is their best impression of Daisy Duke to catch a predator… it happens every year. Personally,   I prefer a little bit of western influence in my outfit, not to look like a “character”…

This outfit has a few subtle nods towards western style, I get annoyed when I go out and people ask where my boots are.. I tell them they’re back home in the barn and ask if they’re ever ridden a horse.  It gets a bit grating by day 9 to have drunk city boys attempting to flirt by pointing out you aren’t wearing cowboy boots like the other 99% of people there.  Yeah dude, its an attempt to send the message that I do not wish to take part in any line-dancing with you.. this Shania does not want your nasty boots under her bed, so peace out, please, and thank you. I mean really, go pick one of the girls wearing only lingerie please.

I know, a bit hypocritical of me considering my top choice, but it is night, and it is hot(ish) and a little lace and a little sparkle go a long way.  A white lace top is an essential for me (and every cowgirl loves a little lace).  I recently read THIS POST by fellow yycblogger Suzanne, about wearing proper lingerie; I could not agree more. One of my biggest pet peeves is a regular bra with a racer back tank; there is no excuse as SO many bras have removable straps on the back side to allow you to cross the straps, or just buy a racer-back bra.  Pulling off a sheer lace top, I prefer to wear a pretty strapless bra; it gives more support than a bandeau,  and there are no straps digging in like a regular bra.  I love this Victoria’s Secret option – it adds a little sparkle and a little more lace without being too hoochie. An absolute essential item in my books is a good strapless bra, this one is the “Dream Angel’s Multi-Way” (ooh fancy), which I just bought and definitely recommend-  link above.   If you aren’t one for sheer just layer a (racer-back) tank-top underneath.

I think I’m mostly just annoyed that people are  pointing out that I’m not wearing boots, instead of pointing out how fabulous these shoes are!  I have been on the hunt for a pair of pretty sandals and these just fell into my lap, they are my favourite color combination of blue/green ever, and ironically enough I found them right after posting that HERE! They would have looked perfect with that outfit too, but I kinda think they will look perfect with anything!

 kisses and thanks for reading xo, aiyanajane

tribal denim for day

IMG_7828denim GINA TRICOT  || pumps, blouse LeCHATEAU || bag CO-LAB

 

TGIF right?!  I have a confession (wait, does it count if everyone already knows?) I am not a morning person.  Literally every minute of my morning routine is only for essentials.. clothing, caffeine, car.  Makeup,  hah!    Hairbrushing?  Nahhh.  Ain’t nobody got time fo dat!  Friday mornings are basically the perfect excuse for bedhead and bare face.  I slept in a bun and finger combed it out to add a little messy texture to my normally pin-straight hair.  

I know you guys voted to see the other pair of “perfect jeans” first when I posted them both HERE, but I wanted to shoot the other pair with something other than my phone to capture the gold detailing and have been so, so busy lately between vacationing and working moving and stampeding, there just hasn’t been the time!  Plus there is no way I would ever wear my white jeans to Stampede, but these printed pair are perfection.  Casual Friday with a twist… I love a printed pair of pants, and the light wash on these is perfect for summer;  to tone it down a bit for work (it is a law firm after all) I stuck with a simple grey blouse and stilettos.

Super basic look (you might even think I just rolled outta bed…) but the printed pants make it seem like I tried way harder than I actually did.  Be sure to check back tomorrow for how I style these jeans to go out!  Sam Roberts plays the coke stage tonight (like, for free) at 9pm if there isn’t enough reason to get down to the grounds already!   Last 3 days of Stampede, Calgary, lets do it up!!!

xo, aiyanajane

 

graphic B/W

black and white street style
aztectribal print and aviators
city style mini skirt and blousesmile gap toothskirt spinstyling a mini for workskirt and sheer blouse
 
summer work outfit

skirt BAND OF GYPSIES || blouse + shoes + blazer LeCHATEAU || sunnies ARDENE

To make it over hump-day, when thinking about anything other than the rest of the week seems like too daunting of a task,  I tend to lean towards black & white.   Usually when I get dressed I base my outfit around a single “inspiration” piece.   Here I wanted the print on the skirt to be the center of attention so I paired it with a tuxedo blouse and my trusty nude pumps.   I am  actually obsessed with this skirt for summer – I love the print.. aztec? tribal?   Whatever you want to call it, I am a fan of the abstract black and white!  It’s a lovely silk  skater skirt with an elastic waist, which makes it super comfortable, light, cool and perfectly floaty.  All prerequisites for any great piece!

This combination of a fit and flare skirt and a 3/4 sleeve button-up it my absolute go-to for a fool-proof chic outfit.  This outfit flatters all body shapes, just make sure the skirt sits at the smallest part of your mid-section and tuck in a silk blouse. I have about 7 versions of this blouse, all basically the same cut just in different colors/fabrics and embellishments… and you don’t even want me to count the number of skirts I have.  They pair together in endless, perfect possibilities though!  To cover up, a single-button blazer is also the most flattering style because it will nip in right at the waist, invest in a great tailored piece that will stay classic for years.   

A printed skirt like this is a nod towards all the Stampede going-on’s without being too costume-y for work.  A tailored blazer keeps it professional and a button up blouse balances the short hemline.    To take this look from the “work” to “western” switch to a pair of cowboy boots and add a denim vest!  Or, just take a break mid-week, if like me, you’re still recovering from a weekend full of stampede “spirit”!   Most residents like to show a little spirit.. but an entire ten days of western themed regalia (and festivities) is a bit too much for the best of us.

xo, aiyanajane

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dreamcatcher

bare feet and wind blown billabong blush maxi dress billabong cotton maxi dress boho chic stylecotton maxi dress for suummerboho style details feather hair tie, leather tie belt high low maxi dressknuckle rings and a leather belt lace dress lace trim maxi dresshippy girl (2)perfect summer dress light pink maxi dress maxi dress and headbandmaxi dressshort girls can wear maxi dresses

dress BILLABONG    accessories LeCHATEAU

 

If you haven’t already noticed, I’m kinda a hippy deep down inside,  I almost named my blog “hippy at heart” but I didn’t really think it reflected my personal style very well, since I don’t usually dress very boho-chic!   Simply because living in Calgary, most of the time the temperatures do not allow it,  however, in mid-summer (and for the Stampede!) this maxi dress is perfect to throw on with oversize sunnies and bed-head banded down with a leather & feather hair tie.   I am so happy to be staying on a farm this summer, back to my country girl roots with big skies and bare feet- to go out in the city I added gold sandals but for a more Stampede look just add cowboy boots!

I have to confess myself exceptionally thrilled with this purchase for a number of reasons. First, I’ve never had a maxi dress before (not because I’m too short, in fact, a maxi will visually elongate a short frame so petite girls just go get one hemmed if they’re all too long!) but because I never found “the one” sure, there were a few flames in dressing rooms:  I nearly bought a leopard print one (shocking that I resisted leopard, I know) but the price tag compared to the quality was not enough to justify it.  For a nice maxi, avoid polyester.. it doesn’t breathe well, and it doesn’t last long.  This 100% cotton Billabong dress is perfect, especially for summer because the cotton is light and breathable.     The main reason this dress came home with me, no questions asked, is because it cost me $19.99!

Yeah.  You can’t say no to that kind of deal. I’ve actually been absolutely loving all of the Billabong and Roxy dresses lately, its been hard to resist taking them all home,  super cute and super affordable, be sure to check them out! This dress also checked off a few of my other favourite things and appealed to my girly side.

This blush tone is my favourite shade of pink, I love how it looks on tan skin with dark hair, I added a belt at the to break up the monochrome a little and define the waist.  It has a very subtle high-lo hem, with tiers of crochet and soft ruffles, the skirt moves so nicely and totally reminds me of an old country girl skirt.  Whenever I dress for Stampede I always have”cowboys and indians” in the back of my mind and tend to dress more towards the native side with simple jewelry, feather accessories, and leather ties.  I figure most people going have the cowboy side covered and largely ignore the Native American part of the history. (Not entirely, check out the parade, exhibition halls and grandstand show!)

If you are in Calgary and want to shop away from the craziness of the Stampede and downtown core,  check out West Hills shopping center in the SW.  The Signal Hill Winners gets the best product in Calgary (seriously) so you can find lots of great brands and really great pieces for way less than retail.   Surrounding are outlets for many other stores including Guess, Danier Leather, Ardene, La Senza, Le Chateau, West 49 and Shoe Company. For a full list of stores click here and here.  I got my dress at Winners, but the West 49 Outlet also carries Billabong and other great brands and its all clearance!  Its good to do a little outlet shopping after the crazy high-prices in the Stampede grounds!

xo, aiyanajanee

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