dreamcatcher

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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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be a savvy shopper and save

one of the very best ways to EVOLVE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE is to constantly be trying different things on.

The best way to find what works and what doesn’t is simply to TRY IT! Its not like you have an obligation to buy, and there’s no need to feel bad or silly if something looks terrible, so next time you feel the need to shop (but maybe you don’t actually need anything) go on a “scouting mission” and try on whatever tickles your fancy, but leave your wallet at home. You’ll get an idea of styles, trends and the shapes that work on your body shape, without feeling stressed about making a decision to buy. Take pictures if you aren’t sure, then ask for a friends opinion, or if you love it, take a photo so you know what to go back for! If you find that once you’ve gone home there is a certain piece that you can’t get out of your mind, then go back, at that point, you KNOW you want it, and why not? You put a real EFFORT into finding that perfect item, the least you can do is reward yourself by adding it to your collection, right?!

I like to shop all the time.. this is not budget friendly.

Often I go into stores and try an absolute ton of clothes on but purchase nothing. (Be nice to store employees and the clothes, hang them back up after you’ve tried them on! Respect goes a long way.) To keep my shopping in check, I make mental lists of items I want to add to my wardrobe, whether trendy pieces I want to try (like a crop top), or classic staples I need to upgrade (like a LBD) I have an idea of a few items I want to add, and try not to stray too far from the list. By shopping at different stores in search of a certain piece you also will be able to more easily compare fit, quality and prices and then find the best deal. 

I had some time to kill yesterday, so I hit the Winners in Westhills/Signal Hill, Calgary. In my opinion, its one of the very best winners in terms of great product, and I have been to a lot of them! I went there with the PROMISE that I would not purchase a single thing -simply look- as a few unexpected expenses popped up recently and I absolutely cannot justify adding more to my exploding closet right now (well I could, but I literally just have no cash to buy things at this point..)

There are so many amazing denim trends right now I just want to try them all!!

 I found a ton of items yesterday at Winners that were on my mental shopping list, including coated oxblood, grey snake print, and mint skinnies, as well as the most beautiful pair of gold metallic skinny Buffalo David Bitton Jeans, for only $29.99!  I also tried this chunky off white sweater with the most darling lace heart appliques, a fuzzy black sweater trimmed with gold chains, a lovely tonal aqua chiffon blouse and these irresistible little silk cut out shorts (which for only $10, I had to cheat and buy).

What I love most about the Westhills Winners, is their purse selection!

I have bought countless bags there over the years, and right now they seem to have a particularly good selection. Honestly, if you haven`t been to Winners before, you should really go. Its probably my favourite store.

purses

My four favourites – 1. Linea Pelle Collection- Dylan $245.00 regular $185.00 sale   2. Steve Madden studded tote $118.00 regular $69.99 sale  3. Olivia & Joy forest green messenger back with chain strap $89.00 regular $39.99 sale  4. Alberto de Canino white leather envelope clutch with tassels $110.00 regular $44.00 sale. I so badly wanted the coral tote, the leather was SUCH great quality and it has the cutest zebra print lining. You guys should be proud, I walked away.

The only problem with shopping sans-wallet at Winners is that you can almost be certain that if you go back, unless its the very next day, its likely already gone. If I wasn’t on a student budget, the burgundy and the gold skinnies would be mine, as would the mint top, the heart sweater, the coral bag and the white clutch. It seems like whenever you go out intending to buy nothing that you find all the best things!

I couldn’t resist the little cut out shorts (I mean for $10!!!), so I continue to have an unresolved spending problem, but at least I look good doing it! I also exchanged a scarf I was given for Christmas that turned out to be stained and picked out this beautiful cream infinity cowl from Purr, with Calgary locations in Kensington, 17th Avenue and The Core Downtown. I love it, infinity scarves are my go to and I realized at the beginning of winter that I must have lost my old white one, so I’m thrilled to have scored such an upgrade.

infinity scarf, cowl, white, knit

xo, a