Musings

An Ode to Sweaters So Soft You Want to Rip Your Clothes On

With the first official day of winter just around the corner, we’ve developed a rather timely obsession with sweaters. Not the ugly Christmas variety, but rather those that meet the knitwear purchasing requirements of: (a) uber chic and (b) ultra soft.

From an on-trend cozy plaid pullover to a cheap and cheerful oversized sweater dress, we’ve been collecting sweaters that fit the bill like it’s our job, buying up cozy sweaters we can’t wait to rock to a beautiful holiday sweater party.

OK, we just made that one up, but if we can throw shindigs in honour of ugly Christmas sweaters, surely we can do the same for gorgeous ones? In fact, the celebration is happening right now – and you’re invited!

We’re chatting about winter fashion favourites we’re so enamoured by that we want to rip our clothes on, with none other than Downy, our go-to for keeping our sweaters soft and cuddly all winter.

Join the #RipYourClothesOn conversation over on Twitter: we’ve shown you our latest, coziest fashion obsessions – now we want to see yours!

We’ll also be live-tweeting during the airing of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show tonight (can’t wait!!), so don’t forget to tune in from 10pm-11pm EST to share what makes you want to #RipYourClothesOn.

In the meantime, we’re going to leave you with a little #RipYourClothesOn inspiration – check out this sneak peek of what’s to come from our friends at Downy tonight.

Sponsored by Downy

Musings

The Backseat Stylers Do The #ALSIceBucketChallenge

So Richard of Toronto Is Fashion nominated us for the #ALSIceBucketChallenge and this is what resulted, along with a donation to the very worthy cause.

Find out more about ALS and contribute to the campaign via www.als.ca!

Musings

The New Year’s Style Resolutions We’re Going to Try Really, Really Hard to Keep

No one’s really very good at keeping New Year’s resolutions (except Beyonce, probably, because Queen Bey wins at everything in life), and we’re definitely not exempt. We’re not going to lie to you and say that (1) we’re going to stop shopping (never going to happen), (2) start training for a marathon (even less likely than #1), or (3) [insert some other impossible task we're doomed to fail at]. But, we do have some style-related resolutions that we’re going to try our damndest to keep in 2014, so we’re going to share them with you so that we’re held accountable to someone other than ourselves. Because answering to just each other just hasn’t done the job in previous years.

So what’s on our list of new year’s resolutions? More, more, and more. Because it all sounds so much more enticing when framed with ‘more’ rather than ‘less’.

1. MORE RESTRAINT.

After our Boxing Day shopping spree, the urge to shop, shop, and shop some more should be out of our systems for at least a few days months, but we resolve to rein in our addiction for the rest of the year. Whereas our motto was previously “buy now, think later”, we plan to think a little harder about our purchases before plunking down our hard-earned cash going forward. Just because we love, love, love it, doesn’t mean we have to have it. We’ll be reminding ourselves that it can be enough just to admire from afar and that no one has actually ever died from not owning a particular pair of shoes. Restraint is especially needed during sale season, when sales goggles have caused the purchase of more than a few items that have been the wrong size or that just don’t fit our lifestyle in the past. No more of that in 2014.

2. MORE CREATIVITY. 

We’re planning to shop less this year, but fully intend to be just as creative with our style. That means searching the deepest, darkest corners of our own closet for forgotten gems, and contriving new outfits out of oldies but goodies. We’ll continue to mix high with low, soft with hard, girly with menswear-inspired to keep things fresh. We’ll try new silhouettes, new colour palettes and new designers. We might even attempt a DIY project or two…maybe. Bottom line: we’re going to experiment. The results might not always be pretty – we’re known to falter now and then – but hopefully the outfits we do get right will make up for the ones that unintentionally assault your eyes.

3. MORE PERSONAL STYLE POSTS.

If we’re going to be more creative and experimental with our ensembles this year, then we may as well show them off a little, or at least use them as examples of what not to wear, right? We got a bit lazy about personal style posts in 2013, but we have grand plans to bring them back with a vengeance. We’ve even perfected our sparrow faces in preparation. So be ready to see our mugs just a little more on this here blog in the coming months…just as soon as the temperature outside gets a little friendlier. Goosebumps and frostbite don’t go well with Chanel and Charlotte Olympia.

That’s it – 3 simple new year’s resolutions that should be easy-peasy to follow for 365 days. Wish us luck! And feel free to call us out if it looks like we’re falling off the wagon. We could use some tough love. But not too tough, OK?

Image Credits: Tatler UK, Vogue US

Musings

The Backseat Stylers’ Year in Review – 2013 Edition!

Oh 2013, you sure were good to us! In between the 300 blog posts and innumerable tweets, Facebook updates and instagrams, we also worked on some incredibly creative projects, hobnobbed with a few very boldface names, and even photo-boothed with our favourite model of all time. We couldn’t have asked for more, literally, unless Backseat Styler clones were on the table.

Here’s a look back at the moments that made 2013 so special for us. A huge thank you to all of you lovely readers, designers, PR pros, journalists and fellow blogger friends for showing us so much love over the past 12 months – it means the world to us. We have grand plans to make 2014 our most epic year to date. Come along for the ride?


That time we donned fancy fascinators to take in the races at Queen’s Plate 2013.


That time we stuffed artistically placed roses in our favourite Charlotte Olympias for Lancome’s ‘Roses by…’ installation at Luminato.


That time we partied with Sam Edelman at Hudson’s Bay. (Image credit: David Pike)


That time ELLE Canada named us one of their top 8 Canadian style blogs. Whoa.


That time we photo-boothed with Daria Werbowy, our favourite model of all time. OH. EM. GEE.

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Musings

Happy Holidays from The Backseat Stylers!

Happy holidays and bonnes fêtes from The Backseat Stylers! We hope you’re staying warm and having at least as much fun as we are.

P.S. Next post? Our annual Boxing Day Sale Guide. Stay tuned!

Musings

The Backseat Stylers Featured in CBC’s Story on the Rise of the Fashion Blogger

If you follow The Backseat Styles on Twitter or Facebook, or are an avid watcher of CBC’s various daily news offerings, then you may have caught yours truly on the boob tube yesterday. S was featured alongside fellow Toronto fashion blogger Jay Strut in reporter Deana Sumanac’s timely story on the rise of the fashion blogger, which was previewed on the morning news and aired on The National.

In case you missed it, check out the clips below for a peek at yours truly’s 15 minutes of fame.

On the morning news:

On CBC’s The National:

Musings

Say What? Emma Watson’s Shocking Shoe Confession

Emma Watson, currently promoting her new film The Bling Ring, has made a surprising confession about the size of her footwear collection. While on the topic of extravagant celebrity wardrobes, the actress said in an interview with the Radio Times, “It’s almost like consumerism as a form of kleptomania,” said Watson. “I’ve got about eight pairs of shoes and that’s it. But it’s easy for me to sound like a total hypocrite because, of course, I’m dressed in designer clothes right now.”

Only eight pairs? Well, we suppose that with a pair of to-die-for Tom Ford wedges (pictured above) in her shoe rotation, a girl really doesn’t need much more. Or does she? A recent study found that the average woman owns about 19 pairs of shoes, but only wears 7 of them. The fact that an A-lister like Emma comes in with a below-average sized shoe collection is rather unexpected.

Which begs the question, how many pairs of shoes do you own? We’re definitely not in the business of shoe-shaming around here, so spill in the comments. We’ll start: one of us Backseat Stylers is significantly over the average, while the other is in Emma Watson territory. Your turn!

Image via StarzDay

Musings

Shop Your Way to Rewards You Love With the American Express Choice and ChoicePlus Cards

Confession: I’ve shopped a lot over the last few months. But it’s not as devastating to my wallet as it may seem. Why? Because I charged everything to the brand new American Express ChoicePlus Card I’m currently test driving, and earned up to double points on my purchases. A pretty fantastic deal, wouldn’t you say?

The new Choice and ChoicePlus Cards give me the freedom to earn points everywhere I use my Card and the power to choose five places from over 100 retailers where I want to earn double points. Remember when I selected The Bay, H&M and Flight Centre to be on my list of 5 retailers? I chose wisely, because I earned double points on the contribution I made to my sister-in-law’s upcoming honeymoon to Bora Bora, and even some seasonal sale items from The Room at The Bay (hello Mary Katrantzou and Roland Mouret!).

Now, of course, comes the fun part: redeeming all those points I’ve racked up! With so many options available through American Express Choice by Membership Rewards, I can save up my points and redeem for rewards I really want and love. Gift cards to retailers like Banana Republic, Sporting Life and The Keg, concert and event tickets through Ticketmaster, merchandise rewards from brands like Apple, Sony and KitchenAid – the possibilities are endless.

First item on my list? I’m making winter a bit brighter and have redeemed some of my points for gift cards for essentials like gas and Cineplex movie passes (yes these qualify as ‘essential’!). As for my remaining points balance, I’m going to save it for now and keep building it up until I have enough for a really big reward down the line. In the meantime, I’ll be daydreaming about redeeming them on TripFlex travel rewards for an exotic beach getaway or on a Holt Renfrew gift card for a swanky new handbag. Decisions, decisions…

The Choice and ChoicePlus Cards are tailored to your unique shopping habits and lifestyle. You get to choose the five retailers, from an extensive list of American Express merchants, where you can earn double points and then redeem them for fun rewards – what more could you ask for from a credit card?

xx, S

Image Credit: Harper’s Bazaar

Sponsored by American Express Canada

Musings

6 Reasons Why ‘The Face’ Has Replaced ‘America’s Next Top Model’ In Our Hearts

We’re only 4 episodes in, but truth be told, The Face had us at ‘Naomi’. The new reality series, broadcast on Oxygen in the US and MuchMusic in Canada, has effectively replaced America’s Next Top Model in our hearts as our favourite reality TV modeling competition. Here are 6 reasons why:

1. The Coaches

The coaches are 3 working supermodels, none of whom require any introduction. Who better to learn the ins and outs of modeling from than the likes of The Naomi Campbell herself, former Victoria’s Secret Angel Karolina Kurkova and Canada’s own Coco Rocha. Their unique personalities and modeling styles make for a dynamic cast that has us asking, “Tyra who?”

2. The Models

As seasoned arm-chair modeling competition judges, we like to think we know what it takes to be a model. While the ANTM casting criteria seems to revolve more around sob backstories and odd personalities than actual talent, many of The Face contestants legitimately look like they have the potential to work in the industry. What’s more, their looks are diverse. The Face has already featured as many East Asian models in one season than ANTM has in 19 cycles to date.

3. The Challenges

No ‘booty tooching’ lessons here; if you don’t know what that is, trust us when we say that you’re better off. Instead, The Face contestants compete in both individual and team challenges each week, learning how to pose, walk, and everything in between from their supermodel coaches.

The team-based format puts a fresh spin on this reality TV genre and adds an interesting dynamic to the show. We’re #TeamCoco all the way, obviously.

4. The Host

We couldn’t have been happier when we found out that Nigel Barker, our favourite ANTM alumnus, would be hosting The Face. It might have something to do with our longstanding crush on him.

5. The Fashion

The series opened with Naomi, Coco and Karolina strutting their stuff for Zac Posen at NYFW, and it’s been an ongoing fashion show of sorts ever since. From Naomi in Azzedine Alaïa to Karolina in Prabal Gurung, each episode is a feast for our fashion-obsessed eyes, thanks to stylist and regular Vogue Italia contributor Patti Wilson.

6. The Naomi Factor

We watch each episode both fearing and hoping that Naomi will lay the smackdown on a fellow judge or would-be model, and she has yet to disappoint. In the series premiere, Naomi ferociously warned Coco and Karolina: “It’s game on from now on.”

We’ve been hooked ever since.

xx, T & S

Images via The Face

Musings

The Backseat Stylers’ Year in Review – 2012 Edition!

What a year 2012 was! It started with a Toronto Fashion Week runway walk and ended with some Tiffany & Co. hardware. In between, we attended a lot of events, made some lovely new friends, celebrated our 3-year anniversary, wrote 373 blog posts, and more than doubled our reach. Not too shabby, by our measure.

Here’s a look back at our favourite moments from the past year. Thanks to all of you lovely readers, brands, PR folks and fellow blogger friends for showing us so much love. We’re excited for what 2013 will bring, and hope you’ll stick with us to find out!


S’s runway model moment for VAWKKIN at Toronto Fashion Week


The side of S’s head was on an episode of America’s Next Top Model. It was awesome.


A stylish road trip to The Somerset Collection in Troy, MI? Yes please!


T and model Irina Lazareanu, giving their best smizes.


Celebrating Three Years of Style with Style Blog, The Souls of My Shoes and our lovely readers…happy birthday to us! (Image Credit: You Just Got Spotted)

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