Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Boys will be boys"

God you boys have it easy. Your morning routine can’t be much more complicated than a shower, a quick shave, and a little hair gel. And I’d be shocked if your night out attire involves much more than a pair of jeans, and a t-shirt. There’s no primping and preening. There are no torture treatments, fire hazardous tools, or face paint.

Come on, you’ve probably been the same size since high school, and I’ll bet money that your last “investment buy” was a box of condoms. You’d never think of spending $300 on a handbag, let alone a pair of high heels.

So I doubt you’ve ever had to spend hours in a salon chair having your hair dyed beyond recognition, ‘cause you can get away with an $8 hair cut, and a 2-in-1 shampoo. You’ve got it eassssssssssy.

And I get it- you like sports, Xbox and double D’s- you’re a guy’s guy. “You don’t care about what you wear”. But just because you don’t care, doesn’t mean that the girl you are buying double-vodka-sodas for won’t. Because face it, out of a bar full of girls, something tells me you’ve likely managed to pick one that’s probably not interested in “what’s on the inside”.

So here are a few style pointers that might work better than that wingman of yours:

A Guy’s Guide to Girl-Proofing Your Wardrobe

1. First things first: bejeweling is only okay in Vegas, or on Broadway. It’s not okay on a t-shirt, and especially not okay on the pockets of your jeans. 

2. Nothing will ruin an otherwise acceptable outfit more than those stinky, smelly runners you wear to the gym. Leave them in your locker, and buy a pair of cool kicks. I guarantee you they are just as comfortable.

3. Buy clothes that fit; we don’t want an eye full of your boxer briefs, nor do we don’t want to share our skinny jeans with you. No ifs, ands, or butts.

4. Just because that graphic tee made it through four years of frat parties, a trip around South East Asia, the bar exam, and countless girlfriends, doesn’t make it “vintage”, dress age appropriate bro.

5. And if I can leave you with only one piece of advice: a clean (bonus points if it is ironed) button down shirt will impress her every time.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Take me the way I am

Thanks to a traffic jam, the regular 20 minute drive to Home Sense took my mum and I close to an hour, giving her just enough time to touch on everything from possible heath risks all the way up to men and relationships. She lost her train of thought right in the middle of "despite what I've shown you, good men do exist" and did a 360 attack into "so, what do have against the preppy look Em?" Taken off guard mid snooze, I didn't have enough time to formulate a better retort then, "uh, it's just not my style.....?". Unsatisfied, she pried again, ".....but it looks so good on you".  I snorted a half laugh, and rolled my eyes, signaling the conversation was over, and that there wouldn't be any further questions visa-ve this, but it got me thinking...

....what do I have against the preppy look? When it comes down to it, I certainly have nothing against Lacoste, loafers, or a button down shirt. And yes, I own Birkenstocks, tennis whites, and Ralph Lauren. But for lack of a better answer now, the quote on quote 'preppy look', just really isn't my style. Sure it works for my mum, the ladies golf team, and the Hampton's, but every time I try on a polo, or a string of pearls, I feel like an impostor.

I've been told my look is 'hobo-chic' --a definitive blend of homeless, and stylish. 9 times out of 10 I have a stain on my shirt, or a rip in my skirt. I don't own an iron, and wait until absolutely necessary to launder my clothes. I hate to brush my hair, and am lazy when it comes to shaving my legs. And while I own a fair share of designer duds, I prefer to shop at thrift stores. It kills my mother. 

The one time I dragged her to Value Village I was lectured the entire car ride home. The dialogue went something like this: "you know, I can't tell you how disappointed I am Emily...I would have thought I had raised a daughter to have standards... I just wish you would aspire to the finer things in life, not shop in a poor persons' store!" 

At the end of the day, taste is so subjective- it's not linked by genetics, or friendships- just because I like one thing doesn't mean my best friend, or sister is going to like it, and vice-versa. If we forget what's in "style" (according to Anna Wintour) everyone has a personal style, even the girl wearing pink velour Juicy sweats, a fake tan and acrylic nails, and the guy sporting the Ed Hardy t-shirt, rhinestoned jeans, and Gucci murse. 

Heck, I remember a time I was crazy for butterfly clips, Off the Wall, and white eye liner. A time where I owned a crimper, platform flip flops, and enough Roxy to make your head spin. So who knows, maybe there will be a time where I religiously carry around Tide-to-go, take my clothes to a dry cleaners, and have weekly blow outs. A time where I feel naked without my diamond tennis bracelet, where I catalogue order my clothes from J. Crew, and where I aspire to the 'finer things'. But for now, I refuse to feel like a wolf in sheep's clothing. 

A Girl's Guide to Owning Her Own Look

1. Separate what you like from what Glamour or Rachel Zoe tells you you should like. Maybe it's not cutting edge, and maybe no A-List celebrity would wear it, but so what? 

2. Your mum would probably prefer you in a more classical look, while your boyfriend would probably like it if you showed a little more cleavage. Forget what they think and wear what you feel comfortable in. It's your body after all; be pro-choice.

3. Experiment. Clothes give you the chance to take on whatever persona you might like: the hipster, the athlete, the vixen. Play around-- clothes are about as permanent as a middle school crush. 

4. Know your limit, play within it. Just because Rihanna can wear just about anything and look awesome, doesn't mean you should shave off half your hair, or wear MC Hammer pants. 

5. Remember that there is a time and a place for everything. Even I can recognize that dinner with the grandparents means a pencil skirt, cardigan, and talk of my future. Save the 4 inch heels and micro-mini for the bar. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Falling into Fall

The only thing worse than standing in your bathroom with a roller brush in one hand and a blow-dryer in the other, wondering what the f*** have I done (see last post), is the realization that summer is over. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, more depressing than the reminder that in a week you are going to have to kiss patio drinking, 12 PM wakeups, and lazy beach days goodbye, and instead welcome 9 months of rain, late night study sessions, and gortex. 

Even though transitioning from summer to fall means means hauling out the sweaters, and packing up the string bikinis, there's something about the somewhat-sunny days, the crisp smell of leaves in the air, and the short-lived back-to-school excitement, that makes September my favourite month of the calendar year. 

For those of you who misappropriate Fall with turtlenecks, Hunter rain boots, and stolen umbrellas, let me stop you in your tracks-- there is no reason you can't incorporate your summer wardrobe. In fall. In this city. Throw on tights with that sundress. Finish off your t-shirt and jeans combo with a big scarf. Pair that mini with a blazer.  Rock your gladiator sandals with skinnys and a leather jacket. Wear boots with anything and everything. And for pete's sake, forget what your mother told you, and wear white after labour day

 But whatever you do, make sure there is relative balance to your outfit. Promise me that unless it is for a costume party, you will under no circumstances, try to look like a "snow-bunny/hula dancer caught in the 80's", ka-peesh? I saw a girl downtown last week in broad daylight wearing- and this pains me to repeat- a long sleeved sweater, a brown fur vest, a blue tropical print mini skirt, black knit leg warmers, and gold flip flops. I feel I don't need to say any more than that is a prime example of "What Not to Wear". Stacey and Clinton would be horrified.

So, so long as doing it doesn't land you on a TLC show, milk your florals for as long as you can, and don't retire you flip-flops just yet September is the time to slowly ween these things out of your closet; there is no need to take the parka out of storage just yet. Now read on for some transitional tips as we say goodbye to sangria, 12 hours sleep, and sun-kissed skin. It's been a fun run. 

A Girl's Guide to Making the Transition

Summery dress-check
Tights-check, boots-check,
cardi-check, non-fat latte-check
1. Layer. Layer. Layer. Wear a cami underneath a t-shirt, underneath a cardi, underneath a jacket. Don't layer like you are hitting the slopes, you don't want to look bulky like the Michelin man. Keep the layers light, and don't be afraid to show a little pop 'a colour. 

2. Whether they are thigh high, motorcycle, heeled, or ankle, realize boots anchor any outfit. Stock up on a couple different styles, and you'll be shocked at the wardrobe possibilities they open up. And, for future reference, summer is a great time to buy boots at low prices, think ahead to Fall and hit the sales racks before the beach. 

3. Complete your outfit with a blazer, leather jacket, or chunky sweater. Save that Mountain Equipment Co-op for the dreariest of days.  

4. I've already plugged leggings once, but I see no reason not to do it again. Leggings and tights (also known as 'inconvenient socks'), are perfect for the chilly days where you can't bring yourself to wear pants. Buy them either opaque, cable knit, or printed, and hopefully, assuming you aren't as klutzy as me, you won't snag them the first day you wear them. 

5. Remind yourself on the chilliest of days, that you are only two hundred- and something odd days away from lying poolside, and fake that summer tan if you must. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Oops I did it again...I messed up my hair.

Ever found yourself fighting back tears in the hairdresser's chair, determined not to let on how disappointed that the layers you requested make you look like you have a mullet? Ever found yourself in the shower frantically emptying the contents of an entire bottle of shampoo onto your head, hoping to fade your jet black hair to the 'chocolate brown' you were after?  We've all been there, we've all had to pull out the baseball hat, or bobby-pin back our too short bangs- it's the risk you run with any change. There's a chance it will turn out amazingly, or,  as my personal research shows, there's an equally probable chance that you will hate it.

I myself am a creature of habit, far too predictable for my own good. But, every now and then I will find myself bored with the status quo, itching for a change...this usually results in a trip to the drug store to buy myself some poor decisions. I've tweezed my eyebrows beyond recognition, ended up with bright blonde highlights instead of caramel, over applied fake tanner, making myself look more Jersey Shore, and less 'honey bronzed'. I've cut my own chest length hair into a bob, experimented with Sun-In, trusted the cashier in London Drugs who told me " won't turn up that red on your hair". I've made every mistake in the book--there's untagged proof somewhere out there in cyber space. 

Makeovers are a risky undertaking, the payoff could be big, or it could land you under house lock down- that's partially what makes it so exciting. That said, to err on the side of caution, solicit your friends' advice, or seek a professionals; you're more likely to be pleased with the results that way. I speak from experience when I say there is nothing worse than standing in your bathroom with a roller brush in one hand, and a blow-dryer in the other, wondering what the f*** have I done? 

A Girl's Guide to Getting out the Door

1. If you smile enough, there's a chance people won't even notice what is happening on your head; wear it with confidence, and a killer headband.

2. Do the math: two bottles of hair dye, and an emergency run to the hair salon later, you've wound up spending more money than had you just shelled out the cash in the first place. If you can rack up a $100 bar tab, don't proclaim you "can't afford to have your hair done". Prioritize, and get it done right the first time through. By a professional. 

3. Whatever the problem might be, London Drugs likely has the solution. Just don't ask the cashier for her opinion, you might end up with fuschia hair. 

4. Realize google is your best friend. A gazillion other people have probably made the same mistake, someone out there has to have the answer. 

5. When all else fails, remember, your tan will fade, you hair will grow, and your eyebrows will too. Don't beat yourself up about it, because as the quote goes, "it happens to the best of us". 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I don't need a thesaurus to tell me "curvy" is synonymous with "fat"

In a perfect world, were someone to give us the choice, I am sure there isn't a woman out there who wouldn't choose Alexandra Ambrossio's body (and face) over her own - speak up now if there is another Victoria Secret model's body you would rather.  But since genetics didn't bless us all Maxim ready, the remaining 99.999999% of the population, us mortals, find ourselves instead left to wish that we too didn't have pores, that we too had a stomach that closely resembled a washboard, and that we too were made up of 3/4 legs; maybe my letter to Santa got lost? 

Maybe you have don't have hips, maybe you do. Maybe you have double D's,  maybe you have A cups. Maybe you have thin pins, maybe you have thick ankles. Maybe you have a case of the mum-bum, or maybe you're Kim Kardashian. Don't make me go on and on; we all have different body types, but must we define them in any set category, must we label ourselves: curvy, hourglass, or boyish? Must every large chested lady out there need an empire waist?  Must every woman under 5"4' never be able to wear capri pants? Seriously, it's the 21st century, if we can have phones that have an application for just about everything except making us dinner, surely we can put these archaic rules to rest. 

Because, if I hear one more person throw around the word 'curvy' in relation to a size 6 model, or if I see one more cover page of a magazine promoting "50 ways to dress your 'curvy' body", I just might lose it. As in tear- the-magazine-off the-shelf-and-stomp-on-it lose it. Sure, society would like to pretend that we have come leaps and bounds. That we can, and I quote, "embrace a full figure", but let's face the cold hard truth, all we have really done is invent a new word for 'fat'. We haven't liberated women or made them feel empowered about their bodies; "curvy" still isn't seen to be something desirable, and it won't be so long as we continually parade size zero models down the runway, and bombard the general public with hocus-pocus fad diets involving either grapefruit or cayenne pepper and maple syrup. 

With high profile models like Kate Moss publicly claiming that "nothing tastes as good as skinny", it's shows not only is the fashion industry not setting the best example for young women, but that Ms. Moss hasn't tasted anything quite so good as my granny's apple pie.  But, wouldn't it be nice if rather than try to categorize ourselves into some societal 'norm' dictated by an industry that survives on celery and red bull, if we just accepted that our body is our body, and dressed it as we pleased (even if that means an empire waist or capri pants)'s a rhetorical question. 
A Girl's Guide to Embracing your Body (whatever size it may be)

1. I've said it once, and I will say it again, size is just a number. Swallow your pride, and admit that you are muffin topping out of the size you would rather wear. 

2. Go buy a push up bra, or Spanx; buy whatever you need to make yourself feel the best you can, no one needs to know.

3. Do yourself a favour, and don't compare yourself to your best friend, your new boyfriends ex-girlfriend, or that girl on TV promoting yogurt.

4. All the grapefruit in the world isn't going to change your bone structure;  There are some things no amount of diet and exercise will change- focus on the things you like- I guarantee you someone out there is envious of you just the way you are. 

5. He's focusing on little else apart from the fact that you are his bed...and naked. You're the only one thinking about your dimply thighs, stop. 

PS. Half way through this post, curiousity got the best of me and I googled the definition of 'curvy', here's the results it yielded: adjective

Having a full, voluptuous figure: buxomcurvaceousshapelywell-developedInformal builtSlang stackedSee beautiful/ugly.

Not entirely sure why I might want to see beautiful/ugly for a further definition, but boy am I glad that I now have the green light to tell that woman in the changing room that those jeans really work for her built body, or that I'm jealous of her well-developed figure.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Getting over shop at a time

There was a 50% off sale, hellooooo, you obviously had to get both dresses.
Of course you'll find an occasion to wear it.
No, this denim skirt is so much different from the three other denim skirts you already own. Duh.
Sure, $250 is a lot for jeans, but they are totally an investment piece.
The sales lady at Holts complimented you on it.
ALL the sales ladies at Aritzia complimented you on it. 

Let's just stop the never ending excuses and admit it, it felt good didn't it? It felt good that you could buy it, even better when your best friend complimented you on it, and even-even better when that guy checked you out in it.

Every girl whose been through a breakup, failed an exam, got into a fight with a friend, had a rough day, or a rough night- correction: every girl on the planet- knows how beneficial retail therapy is. How do I explain it? It's that quick surge of excitement as they swipe your card--approved--as they hand over the bag of new loot that now belongs to you. It's that rush of adrenaline, as you clutch the handles, overwhelmed with the feeling that you want to do it all over again rather than spend any more time thinking about that breakup, failed exam, fight, or rough day/night. It's uplifting.

With Telus hunting me down daily, a Visa bill I can't bare to look at, rent to pay, and KD to buy, I'm not exactly "in the market to shop". Metaphorically speaking, I'm not even near the market. I am outside the market, pan handling. That however doesn't mean I've kicked the shopping habit completely. No, no, no, I wouldn't be writing a shopping blog if I had, nor would I have an entire storage locker of clothes if I had. No boys and girls, what I've done is become more saavy if you will, at least as far as shopping is concerned. When it comes to shopping I can definitely give some pointers for when the shopping bug starts to itch, and if it's not the shopping bug that's itching all I can do is recommend getting to your local clinic, or web MD.

Dr. Emily's 1 to 5 "Therapy Plan" 

1. Pre set a limit you want to spend, take out the cash, leave your cards behind. Don't have the bank calling worried about "fraud alert" due to the unusual activity on your account.

2. Embrace Forever 21, it exists for a reason. Most trends only last a season, so don't buy for longevity. Their accessory department is the best thing since sliced bread. Everything clocks in at the $5 mark, so whether it's some aviators, chandelier earrings, a cuff bracelet, or all of the above, it won't break the bank.

3. Buy clothes that fit. No, you may not like that number on the tag,and yes, you may be just "five pounds away from your goal weight", but wearing things that are not the right size just emphasizes everything you do not want to emphasize. Size is just a number, cut the tag out if you must.

4. Try on the sexiest dress, and the highest heels. Everyone needs a "single lady" outfit to make her forget what's-his-face, and meet what-was-his-name?.

6. Stop in the food court for ice cream. Preferably after you've got bikini shopping out of the way.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The XY P.O.V

Boys. Boys. Boys. They are chronically late, find bathroom humour far too funny, and still weigh the same as they did in high school. Let's face it, there are some things we, as girls, will never understand about the opposite gender. And as we all know, there are some things they will never understand about us.

We go to the bathroom in threes, follow celebrity gossip religiously (hello, Brad and Angelina?) and have chocolate stashed in our sock drawer. As if that's not enough, we have a whole closet full of things that leave their minds whirling.

I have done my research and present you with the following 1 to 5 list of articles of clothing boys dislike (all of which I might add, I own):

1. At the top of the list we have Spanx. For any of you gents who have run in to control top garments somewhere in your travels, I am sure the experience was awkward for both involved parties. For those of you who have not come across (pun not intended) this miraculous invention, the girl was likely smart enough to take them off first, and yes, that is why she was taking so long in the bathroom

2. Leggings clock in at second on this list. One minute they are pants? The next they are spoiling an otherwise cute outfit by being worn underneath a skirt? As my roommates' boyfriend can be quoted as saying, "FYI, tights and leggings are just inconvenient socks".

3. Behind that we have A-line shirts. You know the ones I'm talking about. The ones that are too long to be a shirt, but too short to be a dress. In guy lingo, they kind of resemble a tent. As a friend once told me, " I don't understand why you wear all these flowy shirts, they don't look good, you should wear tight shirts".

4. Fourthly we've got Uggs. These things are really Uggly - okay I'm probably two years too late on that joke- but they are. Yes, they are comfortable, but what slipper isn't? These sheep skin boots look sloppy, and "show that a girl has given up on herself" (not my words).

5. Last but not least, is the stiletto heel. These stylish stilts are toothpick thin, and often four inches or more. The most perplexing part about the stiletto is how and/or why we gals walk around in them in the first place- to which I cannot answer. The second is why we insist on spending the entire evening whining, "my feet hurt soooooooooo much" -to which I must respond, you try walking in them.

A Girls' Guide to Guy Proofing Your Wardrobe

1. Girl, trust me, he doesn't need to know why that sexy bandage dress looks so sexy; keep him in the dust and take the Spanx/control top tights/duct tape off first. You can thank me after.

2. I blame 2006 for giving leggings a bad rap. Don't wear them underneath a denim mini, with ballet flats, instead, wear them with a long (not A-line) shirt, and boots. Retailers like American Apparel have a wide array of fun leggings, and though they will set you back $50, I personally believe they are worth the investment. That said, repeat the following with me: leggings are not pants. Leggings are not pants.

3.I hate articles that say 'don't wear this if you are curvy', so I will abstain from saying that in relation to this post. Instead, I will say this, I don't care if you are a size 2 or a size 22, a-line shirts are not exactly the most figure flattering. Look for garments that have an empire waist built in, or cinch them in with a belt. It will define your waist, give you that desirable hourglass figure, and ensure no one ever says "congratulations!"

4. I don't care if they are leather, fur, or metallic, save your Uggs for walking your dog, or taking out the trash, and promise to never wear a Juicy tracksuit to do either.

5. Guys do like heels, but they do not like the whimpering, and whining that comes with them. So all you gals out there have a choice: buy yourself some Dr. Scholl's and suck it up, or leave the stilettos/weapon at home, and wear a lower heel, or a wedge for more comfort and stability.

So boys, I know you may never fully understand it, but bear with us while we take off our fake eyelashes, clip in hair extensions, Bump it, push up bra, and control top tights, and relish in the fact that no matter what, we will always look better in your t-shirt.