The kids are getting ready to go back to school, the leaves will soon be changing colours, and I’m already dreaming of leather jackets and riding boots – sure signs that fall is on its way! And rather than fight it this year, I’m going to embrace it because autumn is, hands down, my favourite sartorial season.
My love for fall dressing is in large part due to my outerwear addiction, which I’m more than happy to share with you. The search for the perfect fall coat obviously entails a trip to Sherway Gardens, the upscale fashion and lifestyle centre in Toronto’s west end. With over 200 stores on its directory, there are plenty of stylish outerwear options from which to choose (clockwise from top left):
1. The Trench – Burberry (Available at Holt Renfrew)
Every woman needs a trench coat in her closet, and none is more iconic than Burberry’s classic take. Whether you’re on the hunt for single- or double-breasted, epaulets or no epaulets, tan or black, Holt Renfrew stocks a selection of styles from the UK-based design house. Our pick for the season is a double-breasted version with leather accents that’s classic with an edge ($1,695).
2. The Motorcycle Jacket – Jacob
Whether it’s done in cotton, wool or leather, I’ve never been able to resist a great motorcycle jacket. Jacob’s white textured cotton offering, priced at a very affordable $99, is downright irresistible. Not a practical colour, you say? With a price tag like that, this fabulous little moto jacket is completely worth the risk. (Just carry a Tide pen with you!)
3. The Blazer – Club Monaco
There’s always room for one more blazer in my rotation, especially when it’s as sharp looking as this one from Club Monaco’s September collection. Colour blocking trend or not, the combination of the light brown plaid and contrast navy sleeves is simply perfect. Dress it up for the office or keep it casual for the weekend – you’ll get a lot of mileage out of this jacket (US$249).
4. The Varsity Jacket – Roots
Whether or not you’re currently in school is completely beside the point. Varsity jackets have never been cooler, and if you aren’t lucky enough to have a vintage piece you can fish out of your (or dad’s?) closet, then Roots is your very best bet. There’s a range of styles and colours available, but our hands-down favourite is the Sorority Jacket in grey ($358).
With such chic outerwear options, it’s rather impossible to pick just one, isn’t it? That’s where Sherway Gardens’ Fall Into Style Contest comes in. Until September 17, enter to win the grand prize of a $1,000 shopping spree at Sherway Gardens or 1 of 20 $100 Cadillac Fairview shop! card® gift cards over on Sherway Gardens’ Facebook page*. And don’t forget to share your winnings with the lovely blogger who told you all about the contest. Hint, hint.
Good luck and happy outerwear shopping!
* Open to Ontario residents only.
Image Credits: Burberry, Club Monaco, Jacob, Roots
Sponsored by Sherway Gardens
I was innocently flipping through Vogue‘s September issue tonight when my jaw literally dropped at the sight of this image from Burberry‘s Fall 2011 ad campaign. That coat! That bag! Simply to die for. I whipped out my laptop to find out how much this outfit would cost me from head to toe…well, maybe minus the hat.
My window shopping excursion on Burberry.com was short and depressing. The total cost of my dream Fall ensemble came to a whopping $33,690! And that didn’t even include pants. Or taxes. With the large luggage suede and alligator bowling bag going for the cost of a car or two at $30,995, and the drop waist duffle trench jacket a relative bargain at $2,695, this is one outfit that’s a tad too rich for my blood.
But a girl can dream, right?
Image via TFS
I have an ongoing love affair with the Canadian brand Smythe that would probably be more accurately characterized as an addiction. With more versions of designers Christie Smythe and Andrea Lenczner’s classic equestrian jacket in my closet than I care to admit, I tell myself every season that I don’t need another but inevitably succumb to the temptation of the latest colour combination. That cycle is about to repeat, too, because the lookbook for Smythe’s Fall 2011 collection was just released.
I can already see myself falling victim yet again to the allure of that incredibly well-cut equestrian jacket that steals my heart season after season, this time in the colour haze with caramel leather elbow patches (pictured above). That’s not the only Smythe piece on my Fall/Winter wish list either. There’s also the charming fair isle coat with fur-trimmed hood that made my jaw drop at the Holt Renfrew runway show at LG Fashion Week. And that smart-looking piped black blazer with sharp shoulders, too. The list goes on and on; the addiction continues…
What’s on your Smythe wish list? See my Fall 2011 picks below and the full collection here.
Images courtesy of Smythe
On March 16, 2011, I attended the Penicullus Bellum Fall 2011 collection preview at The Spoke Club in Toronto. It being my first exposure to co-designers Patricia O’Connor and Claire Warwick’s line, I was intrigued by the name (has such a mysterious air to it, doesn’t it?) and the “avante garde” label in their press material, but had little in the way of expectations going in. So when I stepped into the backstage area before the show, I was delighted to find racks of outerwear in the most luxurious of fabrics and unique of designs – I am, after all, an outerwear addict.
As each coat was pulled off the rack and styled on a model, I found myself blown away by the intricate, hand-done fur and leather detailing and high-quality craftsmanship. After the show, I asked the designers whether they find it difficult to differentiate themselves among their fellow Canadian outerwear designers. O’Connor and Warwick humbly shared with me that an equally impressed party had declared that donning a design of theirs was akin to wearing a gown as an evening coat. I didn’t try a piece on myself that day, but I don’t doubt that statement in the least – that’s how beautiful their creations are.
Of course, such luxury doesn’t come cheap; Penicullus Bellum pieces retail for CDN$800-$1,300. But with the price points of such established Canadian outerwear players as Mackage, Smythe and Rudsak hitting not far below that range in many cases, you may as well spend a few more bucks to really up the fierce factor and get a truly unique piece you might possibly not see on anyone else all winter. In the sea of Mackage and Canada Goose that makes up the Canadian outerwear landscape (I’ve got one of each, so I’m not judging!), how refreshing would that be? I’m certainly intrigued.
Penicullus Bellum’s Fall 2011 collection will be available for custom order through their website, as well as through Canadian online boutique Ukamaku.
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Me, Marilyn Denis, and my lovely mother-in-law
In honour of The Marilyn Show‘s 50th episode today, I thought I’d share photos of my recent visit to a live taping of the show (as a member of the audience, not a guest!). I initially applied for tickets as a surprise for my mother-in-law, not thinking it would really be my kind of scene, but it turns out I had a fantastic time! Winning a bag of beauty goodies before the show and sitting front row during most of the episode certainly helped. The guests were fun too, of course.
Oh, and Marilyn herself is good people. How can I tell? When it was our turn for a photo op with her during the post-show meet-and-greet, she immediately said to me, “That’s a Smythe jacket, isn’t it?” Marilyn’s own Theory velvet blazer, in a lovely shade of midnight blue, was gorgeous. A woman who so clearly knows a good jacket is good people in my books.
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My obsession with Smythe continues! Ever since the Holt Renfrew Presents show at LGFW last season, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the arrival of Smythe’s Spring collection in stores – equestrian jackets in olive and pale yellow, in particular. Their extremely well-cut blazers with contrast leather elbow patches get me Every. Single. Time. No matter how many times I vow not to buy another Smythe jacket, I always find myself sucked in again when the new lookbook comes out. And here I am once more – my heart going pitter-patter again like it did when I first spied the army green equestrian blazer coming down the runway. It must be mine!
Aside from the popular equestrian jackets, Smythe’s new collection also includes a navy cadet jacket, a classic trench coat and other Spring outerwear essentials. Find a stockist near you here.
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McQ cardigan / Forever 21 tank top / 3.1 Phillip Lim leather jacket / J Brand cargos / Chloé wedge booties / Make Up For Ever make-up
I’m chained to a desk Monday to Friday, so I’m used to living in dress pants, with some respite on the weekends via my jeans. Over the last 6 months or so, since I ramped up the personal style posts, I’ve become a bit more creative. Still no booty shorts for me, but I’ve happily added patterned leggings, frilly skirts and comfy but chic jumpers to the wardrobe. One of my best discoveries, though, has been these J Brand Houlihan skinny cargos. They’re a great alternative to jeans and leggings, can be dressed up or down, and fit like a glove. Oh, and I got them on fantastic sale from Revolve!
This whole ensemble, in fact, is like a greatest hits album of my shopping triumphs over the last few years. From the leather jacket via Barneys to the studded cardigan via the White Space at the Bay to the wedge boots via Saks, all were purchased on significant sale after much patience on my part. Knowing I got a fantastic deal always makes me enjoy wearing a piece that much more. So there you have it – I’m a self-confessed sale-aholic who shows no signs of imminent recovery! Any other addicts out there?
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We at The Backseat Stylers wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas filled with great company, good food and fab outfits!
xx, S and T (she’s behind the camera!)
Smythe hunting jacket / Smythe equestrian vest / Ted Baker blouse / Forever 21 tank top / J Brand jeans / Burberry riding boots / Luxe Deluxe necklace via Etsy / Make Up For Ever make-up
The last two months have been so hectic that I have a backlog of outfit posts! Now that we’re smack dab in the middle of a bitterly cold winter, looking at these photos again makes me long for those crisp Fall days when the leaves had just fallen and I didn’t have any need for parkas or mittens or earmuffs yet. Autumn is always my favourite time of year for dressing – thanks to my obsession with Fall jackets and ankle booties, my entire wardrobe centres around that one season!
I’ve mentioned my Smythe addiction in a number of posts now, and this particular ensemble is evidence of it. I managed to layer two Fall 2009 pieces together, the checked hunting jacket and equestrian vest. Paired with the Burberry riding boots I snagged from the outlet at the end of the summer, the whole outfit was a schizophrenic mishmash of equestrian, hunting and western themes. And I loved it.
More photos after the jump…
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I’m apparently easily distracted by shiny objects, because I morphed from a sequin hater to a paillette obsessor in no time flat (see here, here and here for the evidence). This obsession with all things shiny continues into the Fall as the holiday season approaches and sequins become a wardrobe necessity again. Though I probably already have more sequined pieces than I have occasion to wear, a certain silver sequin bolero jacket by MOON recently caught my roving eye.
Leigh Lezark, DJ/model/Chanel beauty ambassador extraordinaire, was in town in August to lend a spinning hand to the launch of MOON, a moderately-priced line carried exclusively at the Bay and designed by the Mimran Group (aka Canadian fashion royalty). At the launch party, Miss Lezark rocked the sequin jacket in question like it was Chanel; I was happy to discover that, in fact, it’s a very affordable offering from MOON.
I’ve been stalking my local Bay store in search of the jacket ever since, with no luck yet. Instead, I’ve been tempted by some very chic Fall basics in the MOON section. If I’m not careful, I’ll have spent my entire sequin jacket fund on the lovely MOON dresses and cardigans before the jacket even hits the sales floor.