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

anchor blues

blue and mintcobalt blue blazer
anchors awayteal
metallic teal - guess heels and wayfarersroxy anchor tee

anchor tee ROXY  ||  blazer LeCHATEAU  HERE ||  heels GUESS  ||  denim SOLO LAB  ||  sunnies ARDENE

Cobalt and mint is one of my favourite color combinations… ever.  You all know by now my love for any shade of blue, its my favourite color and I am still totally obsessed with these metallic stilettos, they add the perfect flash of color to any outfit.  I couldn’t resist these sunnies for the same reason, especially at 3 for $15, I’m especially loving the mirrored lenses lately.

When I’m at work its so important for me to be comfortable, which is why I love this Roxy tee –  its soft and breezy and I love the anchor print!  I mentioned HERE that I’ve been very into nautical lately, so I couldn’t resist this tee on sale for $15.  Paired with a bright, open blazer this is a prefect breezy summer look for those days stuck in the office when you’d much rather be outside.  A blazer like this is a summer essential, I love a good jewel tone and the material is so light and soft.   If you have a large bust, or a fluctuating mid-section like many ladies I know, a tailored blazer without buttons is a godsend.  To make sure you get the right fit look at the shoulders and the arms, if you aren’t sure pretend to drive a car- you should be able to “steer” comfortably, if not, size up.

Dark denim skinnies (these are my current favourite pair) are an absolute essential, they are so easily dressed up for the office or a night out,  or down for a casual day.  How do you dress up your denim for days at work? Or would you prefer to not think about work at all and just enjoy the long weekend!? (If you’re from Canada, eh?)

xo, aiyanajane

summer & life begins over

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denim, linen blazer, and heels by le chateau  ||  blouse by smart set ||  sunnies by rayban

Happy Friday everyone!! What are your weekend plans?  I’m hoping to spend lots of time outside and go see The Great Gatsby this weekend, but first I wanted to reread the book.  I can’t wait to see this movie, Carey Mulligan has been my girl crush for ages and I cannot wait to just drool over all the costumes and glitz and glamour.  It’s gonna be gorgeous, darling.  Have you seen it yet, what did you think??

I’ve taken to dressing up my basics lately – a blazer and dark denim are such a simple go-to for me, wearing an all too familiar color scheme by now in shades of blue and grey.  A pretty detail I can never resist is rosettes, they just add such femininity to any outfit, this top has been a long time favourite of mine.  A linen blazer over the light tank keeps it cool enough for the warm weather, but professional enough for the office.  I get away with wearing denim nearly every day to work – a dark wash pair can be so versatile, especially when paired with heels.  I actually loathe most dress pants (ill-fitting and uncomfortable things that they are) and would much rather wear jeans and a blazer than dress pants and a blouse. For those of you who only get to wear denim on Casual Friday, I feel for you, truly.

I’ve been so busy finishing up school, working, and helping out my family, May is just flying by! Only 3 days of classes left, and 9 days until I leave for Denmark, I am so excited I can hardly contain myself!  Honestly this quote is just exactly how life feels right now- suddenly Calgary is green, there are flowers (like, outside!), people are happy again.  Its beautiful, and its all rushing by so quickly!  I snapped a few shots for you, and now time to sit back and enjoy what summer is meant for- reading books in the grass under the trees.  What does summer mean to you, any favourite summer reads?

xo, aiyanajane

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Thrift Store Find: Tailored Blazer

navy blazer with dark denim and grey for a perfect casual friday

thrift store finds - structured navy blazer

BLAZER by DERETA LONDON ||  BLOUSE by SMARTSET  || SUNNIES by ARDENE  ||  BEANIE + CLUTCH + SHOES by LeCHATEAU  ||  DENIM by BLUENOTES || ACCESSORIES by ALDO

One thing you may know about me by now is that I cannot resist a good deal- its why I love thrifting so much! My mother always said I could pick out the most expensive item in the store the moment I walk in- it’s this eye for the expensive (read: quality) that aides in my constant search for thrift store deals. This navy blazer jumped out at me immediately- the tailoring and the stitching are impeccable. I firmly believe that when you find something at a thrift store that is clearly good quality AND fits like a glove, that it’s a divine sign that you obviously NEED to buy that item. For me, $6.99 for a blazer that fit in all the right places was much too lovely of a deal to pass up!

xo, aiyanajane

western heritage

back to country roots, and warmer days..

It snowed last night in Calgary. That made me upset, also Ronald the goldfish died, so I am le sad. Today I stayed indoors all day long, ignoring the outside world. It was nice… I got caught up reminiscing about summer and missing my horses. My best friend, Michelle, (above) and I shot these photos in early July, at that time I was looking forward to an entire summer of riding, but only a few days later another horse (not pictured) decided that my pelvis was better off in more than one piece. That was the end of that. So I’m already looking forward to next summer (please, come quickly..) when I can be back out with my girls! I kinda love them.

wearing: DENIM + TANK – le chateau  //  shoes -ardenes  // lace top – F21

xo, a

what i wore

I recently picked up this cropped hunter green cable knit sweater, its perfect for fall don’t you think!?

sweater+ watch – walmart ~ plaid + pearls + denim~ le chateau ~ boots – winners ~ bag – mat and nat

I layered the sweater over a plaid shirt that I had left over from a Stampede season long past, rolled up the sleeves and tucked it into mid-rise skinny jeans. The sweater is a cropped and boxy, so the higher rise denim works better with the proportions. Then I added a multi-strand pearl and gold statement necklace and a bracelet watch I had from the Arm Candy DIY. I carried my cherished magenta mat + nat cross-body bag- I loved the way the pink and green popped together- and added brown boots and a belt to finish the look!

I’m still recovering from having a painting fall on my face and an infection in my right eyelid from my Halloween costume, so I went for bright pink lips to distract from my swollen eye! Bold lips and well groomed brows make a statement, and its a super easy makeup look. Keeping with the simple theme I rocked the top knot to keep my hair out of my face and the focus on my necklace!

 remember- keep smiling! xo, a

Fall Essentials- everything under $30

This weekend I went into Calgary in search of a birthday gift for my brothers, but I had an ulterior motive… to pick up my fall must have pieces! If you follow on instagram you’ve already seen the pieces I bought!

Here I’m wearing only one new piece- the khaki green skinnies (which I got at Bluenotes, buy one get one for $10) I’ve wanted colored jeans since spring, but getting broken in the middle of summer put a real damper on my shopping! At first I was leaning towards mint (this springs hottest hue!) but I felt like the second I slipped them on the size of my thighs doubled. (Obviously not true, but a great deal of good style is being confident in your clothes, which you can’t do if you’re worried someone can see your thighs from space!) After trying on pair after pair of minty jeans I realized the color was just too light for me and my athletic legs!  So khaki it was- which is a better fall color anyways! Next on my list are colored cords, maybe in teal (my favourite color) or burgundy (the perfect tone for fall) what color are you dying to wear this fall? Let me know in the comments!

20121016-105639.jpg20121016-104951.jpgMy favourite photoshoot companion, Evie the kitty showed up!

Look how big she’s getting!! I can’t WAIT for kittens!!

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* SWEATER+ RIBBED TANK TOP + CROSS BODY BAG – le chateau (old) *
* BOOTS- winners * PU JACKET- suzy shier * SUNGLASSES – source for sports *
Everything I’m wearing cost less than $30 / piece – proof that looking good doesn’t have to cost a fortune!
PU SKIRT, PANTS – XXI FOREVER // DENIM- BLUENOTES This is the rest of what I bought while I was at Chinook Center! When I’m shopping I try to go in search of a few specific pieces at a time, going in with an idea of what I want to add to my wardrobe helps make it easier to stay focused and not overspend!

I’ve been dying to add some leather (pleather) pieces to my collection, especially this bubble skirt, which I literally HUNTED down in the zillions of racks at forever21 after seeing it a few weeks ago. Much cheaper than the Alice + Olivia version I’ve been drooling over for the longest time! When shopping for pleather look for pieces that aren’t too shiny, otherwise it often looks cheap and tacky. 

I also couldn’t resist these cute little knot rings from STONERIDGE. Amber Leaf ring from Mañana Imports in Kensington. Its my uncle’s store! If you’re in the area check it out, they have lot of beautiful pieces from all over the world!

xo, a

The Basics Every Woman Needs

The Basics Every Woman Needs

As much fun as experimenting with all the latest trends is, these are the pieces every woman needs in her closet.

Invest in these 5 Basics:

5. red pumps

4. white blouse

3. mid-sized leather bag

2. dark wash boot-cut jeans

1. tailored black blazer

Pair these together for a fool proof outfit that looks right every time. When you’re shopping for these must-have’s take your time, try on lots, and don’t buy until you find find truly great pieces.

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Remember these tips while you shop:

#5 – Red Leather Pumps

Look for genuine leather shoes (they’ll last so much longer) with a heel height you find manageable. I personally feel that slipping on red heels makes me feel instantly sexier, try it yourself! How do you know its leather? Look for the label, usually on the bottom or inside. It will show one of the following symbols for UPPER, LINER, SOLE.

#4 – White Poplin Blouse

When shopping for a blouse fit and material is essential. Look for something luxe like silk, besides being soft and durable its a natural fabric that has thermostatic properties, meaning it will keep you warm in winter and cool in summer. Its hypoallergenic and highly absorbent, meaning you’ll be comfortable. Make sure the blouse fits your shoulders (test this by raising your arms, if it pinches, its too tight) and doesn’t pull across the chest.  Busty girls, buy some double-sided tape, this way if your buttons gape open a bit you can stick some in there to keep it closed. Avoid Polyester at all costs, where-ever possible I like to choose natural fabrics. All clothing should have a label inside listing the material, country of origin and care instructions. Always check this label before you buy. Keep in mind many things may read “Dry Clean Only” but often you can get away with washing them in cold on the delicate cycle and hanging them to dry. When in doubt, Google!

#3 Mid-Sized Bag

Here is where you can have the most freedom, find a bag that suits your style. Again, genuine leather is your friend (unless you’re a vegan!) because it will last so much longer. Inspect the bag for quality; are the seams sewn straight, is there glue visible, paint that could flake off? Interesting detailing like quilting, studs, chains, will give your bag personality. Choose a neutral color (black, grey, brown or beige) and this will be wearable forever.  However you don’t want to play it safe buy a color you LOVE (I seem to always be buying teal) a punchy bag can add color and personality to an otherwise demure look. Find something that’s big enough to be practical, but small enough to take out. (About the size of a brick.)

#2 Dark Bootcut Denim

Jean shopping can be an absolute nightmare, no one knows your body better than you so dress for your shape. It might be a pain but everyone needs a great pair of boot-cut jeans so invest the time to go try on a large selection. Buy these a bit long and pair them with heels to make your legs look miles long. Look for jeans with a bit of stretch (check the care label for spandex) in a dark wash, and remember that fit in the waist is much more important than length. The hem should hit just at the top of your foot when you’re wearing heels.  Paying to get your jeans hemmed will make a huge difference- keeping you looking tailored and presentable- too long or too short and you’ll look ridiculous. More great tips here.

#1 Black Blazer

The black blazer is the single most important piece you can shop for. It adds instant polish to any outfit and will never go out of style. A single breasted, single button style looks good on EVERYONE. If you are very busty try a style with a waterfall front and no buttons. Make sure it fits in the shoulders and doesn’t pull across the back or at the buttons. Test the mobility you have in your arms; if you couldn’t drive while wearing it then keep looking. 3/4 length sleeves are flattering and functional. Don’t be hesitant to pay more for quality materials, like wool, and dry clean your blazers to keep the shape.

Always remember to buy for the fit you are and not for the size you want to fit. When you’re shopping don’t become depressed about having to go up a size- no one knows what the size label says but everyone can see if you’ve smushed yourself into something too small. Different stores vary so much in their (vanity) sizing that its unlikely you’ll ever be able to say with certainty what size you wear. Still hung up on that ‘medium’ label when you’re sure you should be ‘small’ ? Just cut it out! Literally (and figuratively, you’re beautiful as you are) take scissors and get rid of it. I have clothes from sizes XXS-XXL in my closet, but I’ve  cut out almost all the tags (mostly because they’re itchy) but also because my body image isn’t defined by the size label!

-xo, a

FALL ESSENTIALS: HATS

My dear friends, I’ve been trying very hard not to be depressed about fall, I’m such a summer girl at heart. I do love autumn but here in Southern Alberta its rather short lived, and often seems to be a rather depressing prelude to winter.

So I’ve been looking for reasons to be okay with fall and HATS, my friends, are one very good reason to love fall. Forget about having to style your hair, throw on a beanie or a toque and embrace hat hair. For healthier hair banish your hot tools for a while- give your hair a break and hide it under a cute beret. Stick a dryer sheet in your purse just in case you get a case of crazy static hair. Its also one of the best ways to grow out an awkward pixie cut. Its been almost a year now since I started growing mine out, and last winter I absolutly LIVED in hats. I mean every single day I wore one. The beanie style I’m wearing is my favourite, but I also love slouchy toques like the one I wore here– really anything slouchy and cozy!

Then right after I posted about my fall must have: leopard button down, I found this shirt in the Thorny Rose Cafe right here in my hometown of Rosebud, Alberta. It must have been fate, and I believe I was destined to have it. The Thorny Rose is a super cute little cafe (they make the best cookies EVER) that also sells knick-knacks and consignment clothing. This Jones New York blouse was a steal at only $10!

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I accessorized my 70’s inspired outfit with a simple brown leather belt (vintage), and wedges from payless.

The jeans are my absolute FAVOURITE pair, I bought them from le chateau when I worked there but they are Aphrodite brand. They fit just right, have the perfect amount of stretch, subtle flare, and a versitle dark wash. A great pair of jeans in an essential for anytime of the year, I recommended these to one of my good friends and she’s worn them to death as well!  The hat and the cameo ring are from le chateau as well, all other jewelry is vintage or imported. Oh, and here’s Evie being cute! PS – she’s expecting! YAY!

Then go from DAY TO DATE with a BANDAGE SKIRT and BRIGHT PUMPS.

DIY Arm Candy

Not very long ago I posted about how I was dying to have this La Mer charm watch. Too bad for me the one I want is $165- not really a whole lot for a watch, but in the span of 3 months I got laid off and crippled.. meaning I barely worked, and so do not exactly have the coin to drop on a novelty item.. no matter how beautiful!

So I was going to bide my time, save up a bit and then treat myself.. but I wanted it NOW!!! Patience… some say its a virtue, but personally I think being impatient has its benefits as well. For example, ever since I laid eyes on that watch (and it was weeks ago by now) I have been consumed with a desire to posses it that I haven’t felt in ages. Frustrated with my lack of funds, I decided that I was going to have a charm watch no matter what. The idea had been simmering in the back of my mind for weeks and finally I decided I could wait no longer and I was making my own.

I used a piece of leather I salvaged off of one of my old western saddles. If you don’t ride, find someone who does and steal their straps.. HAHA only kidding! Find a more legit way to acquire a leather strap for your watch. I soaked it and conditioned it with leather conditioner since it was looking pretty haggard prior to its extreme makeover! Then I went to my jewelry stash.. I used a necklace I had bought from Aldo ages ago because it had lots of cute little charms but I never wear it anymore. I also used some old earrings that I’ve been hanging onto forever in the hopes that one day their counterpart might return to me. I attached the charms using the chain from the necklace and some pliers. Truthfully it was quite a nit-picky endeavor  because I wanted all the charms to line up “just so” but it was not to be. What I realized is the more moving pieces the better- use one chain to attach your charms and allow them to slide. This way they don’t get stuck when you wrap the leather and you can move them around and arrange them to your liking. Next I just bought a cheap watch from Walmart that came with a matching bracelet. Stack it all together and I’m pretty proud of the watch I cobbled together for less than $20!

i’m wearing:
shoes – ardenes
shirt, purse, scarf – le chateau
sunglasses – the source for sports
jeans – american eagle, from trends kensington
rings – manana imports calgary, the scottish shoppe

xox, a