Parisian Chic Style Guide

I, like so many others, have always been inspired by the idea of the french woman. She’s stylish and beautiful without much effort. She eats what she wants (butter, pastries, and cheese included). She drinks wine everyday and she stays slim and fresh. She makes no apologies for living a life of decadence and yet she glows with good health. The allure of the french woman has spawned hundreds of books and articles and it doesn’t seem to be fading away. And for good reason! After all, don’t we all want to wake up with glowing skin and perfectly mussed up hair, maintain our health and still indulge in everything good life has to offer? Unfortunately, as someone who has never lived in France, I don’t have the secrets to mastering this paradox. I do, however, have a pretty decent grip on french style (if I do say so myself) and in this blog post, I’m focusing entirely on the main principles of it. From the must-have spring accessories to the beauty essentials that will give you that oh-so-alluring je ne said quoi, here are my tips and picks that encapsulate French style.


A C C E S S O R I E S

The french approach to fashion is all about the classically elegant capsule wardrobe that is punctuated by luxe extras. Tie a silk scarf around your neck and slip into a beautifully crafted pair of velvet loafers and watch your neutral cashmere sweater and cigarette pants ensemble go from zero to a hundred, just like that. When it comes to accessories (and everything really), buy fewer pieces but make them count. Sure, that designer bag may seem like a ridiculous amount of money now, but if it’s taken care of, it will last and look beautiful from season to season, year after year. Like a fine wine, a Chanel 2.55 flap bag only gets better with time.

1 // Barneys New York – Small Straw Tote Bag

2 // Tiffany & Co. – Sterling Silver Elsa Peretti Bean Necklace

3 // Nine West – Huff Women’s Smoking Slipper

4 // Polo Ralph Lauren – Callie Raffia Smoking Mule

5 // The Cambridge Satchel Company – Cloud Shoulder Bag

6 // The Met – Monet Sunflowers Bangle

7 // Mulberry – Square Silk Scarf

O U T E R W E A R

When it comes to your coats and jackets, look for timeless silhouettes and high-quality fabrics. Once you’ve got a flattering style in mind, keep your eyes peeled for eclectic details and unexpected colours to breathe new life into basics. The mainstays of your spring/summer outerwear arsenal? A lightweight linen trench, a buttery soft cashmere cardigan, a waist-cinching leather jacket and a weekend-casual denim jacket.

1 // Vero Moda – Cool Trench Jacket in Pink

2 // Iro Luiga – Cropped Leather Jacket

3 // (Pre-Owned) Chanel – Striped Knit Cardigan

4 // Rebecca Taylor – La Vie Floral Embroidered Jacket

T O P S

The essence of french-girl chic is looking like you rolled out of bed in a striped Chanel boat neck and Dries Van Noten trousers, swiped on some lipstick and finger combed your hair before strutting outside with all of the confidence in the world. It’s effortless yet stunning. It’s put-together but not too polished. So how does one achieve this tricky balance when shirt-shopping? Look for well-made tops in beautiful, natural fabrics. Subtly sexy, unexpected details are oh-so-French as well. A deep, cleavage-baring v-neck? Non. But a plunging back in your linen sweater or an off the shoulder ruffled cotton tee? Oui. P.S. never underestimate the versatility of a silk t-shirt. It will take you from day to night with ease.

1 // H&M – Ruffled Open-Shoulder Blouse

2 // WtR – Sonnet Belted Silk Wrap Top in Emerald

3 // River Island – Petite Pink Striped Crop Shirt

4 // Chicwish – Focus On Lace-Up Back Sweater

5 // Patrizia Pepe – Silk Blouse in Fuchsia

6 // Mango – Floral Embroidered Striped Shirt

7 // Banana Republic – Cropped Ponte Shell

8 // Galvan London – V Neck Camisole in Black

B O T T O M S

Creating a well-rounded, french-inspired capsule wardrobe definitely requires a few essential pieces. For example, a perfectly worn-in pair of blue jeans for casual-wear is a must – I mean, how many of us live in denim? Also, a pair of dressier trousers that you can wear to work or to a fancier event. Don’t limit yourself to plain black – a classic print like stripes or houndstooth is a little more interesting but still goes with everything. Finally, make sure to have a collection of skirts that can take you from work to play. A lace or silk number is a sexy choice for a night out, while a fluttery knee-length piece can take you anywhere, from a wedding shower to a Sunday brunch. Like with everything else, never skimp on quality and pick pieces that are unique but not trendy – for example, a wide-legged pair of high-waisted blue jeans is ultra-modern but also timelessly flattering.

1 // Dries Van Noten – Velvet Culottes in Mint

2 // Weekday – Ace Wow Blue Jeans

3 // Daily Look – Lily Lace Trim High Waist Shorts

4 // River Island – Beige Paperbag Button Front Pencil Skirt

5 // J. Crew – Okinawa Striped Wide-Leg Silk-Twill Wrap Pants

6 // TOPSHOP – Heart Ruffle Toe Mini Skirt

B E A U T Y

French women are renowned for their simple yet extremely effective approach to beauty that centres far more around skin and hair care than makeup. Forget contouring or gluing on false lashes. French beauty is all about embracing your uniqueness and enhancing your natural beauty, while also taking excellent care of your complexion. Invest in top-shelf skincare and hair care items and stick to your regime everyday. Treat yourself to a bit of pampering as well – a monthly or bi-monthly facial and massage will keep your skin glowing, while also allowing you to gain professional insight on how to keep your face looking it’s best. Also, never forget to wear a bit of perfume. Find a scent you love and wear it until people associate it with you. Finally, go easy with the makeup. A bit of red lipstick and a smudge of eyeliner is all you need to make your beauty look really pop.

1 // Yves Saint Laurent – Rouge Pur Couture The Mat

2 // Byredo – Velvet Haze Eau De Parfum

3 // French Girl – Lumière Huile Pour Le Corps in Moonlight

4 // Avène – XeraCalm A. D Cleansing Oil

5 // Bobbi Brown- Long-Wear Liquid Liner in Carbon Black

6 // Peter Thomas Roth – 24K Gold Pure Luxury Hair Mask Treatment

I hope you enjoyed this post! What does french-style mean to you? Let me know your thoughts!

xoxo,

Alicia

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Six Stunning Scents For Spring

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In the same way that people like to update their wardrobe from season to season with a few key pieces, I like to refresh my perfume arsenal. As the chillier months melt away, I am looking forward to a lighter, more romantic scent wardrobe, filled with bright fruits, feminine florals, and earthy aromas that bring me closer to nature. With this in mind, I have curated a short and sweet list of six stunning scents that absolutely scream ‘spring is here!’. Keep scrolling to check them out!


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1 // Pop By Stella McCartney

Notes: Tomato Leaf, Violet Leaf, Green Mandarin, Violet, Frangipani, Tuberose, Sandalwood, Cedar, Musk

When you look at the notes for Pop by Stella McCartney, you don’t really get a strong impression of what this scent will smell like. Despite its predominantly floral, herbaceous ingredients, Pop is bright, flirty and optimistic. If it was a colour, it would be shocking pink. It has a sweet, almost edible aroma that is accented with ultra-feminine floral aromas. Wear it on those sunny spring days when you want to be dancing through your 9-to-5.

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2 // Marche au Fleurs By Fragonard

Notes: Melon, Black Currant, Sweet Pea, Lily-Of-The-Valley, Peach, Jasmine, Orange Blossom, Musk

Fresh and almost watery in it’s opening, Marche aux Fleurs truly does smell like a walk through a rain-soaked French garden. Juicy black currant and ripe melon add a touch of sweetness to a dewy bouquet of white florals.

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3 // White Potion By Ayala Moriel

Notes: Ylang-Ylang, Grapefruit, Rosewood, Tuberose, Jasmine, Gardenia, Sandalwood, Tonka Bean, Coconut

Tuberose is the sultry vamp of the flower world. It’s not shy and it doesn’t hold back. It’s the star of the show in indie-perfumer Ayala Moriel’s decadent confection. White Potion is unapologetically sexy with sweet, almost carnal tuberose combined with juicy grapefruit, creamy sandalwood and beachy coconut. It’s a creamy, romantic fragrance that softens throughout the day, leaving a rich, floral trail that will intoxicate those around you all day long.

 

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4 // Baiser Volé By Cartier

Note: Lily Pistil, Citrus, Lily Petals, Lily Leaves, Green Notes

If spring could be incapsulated in a singular fragrance, it would be the delicate, powdery aroma of a fresh-cut bouquet of lilies. This ingenious cocktail by Cartier captures this timeless scent, surrounding all parts of the lily – the pistil, petals and leaves. I love spritzing this on when I leave the house on a spring day. Its bright and joyful, with an aroma that garners compliments from ladies and gentlemen alike.

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5 // Curious By Britney Spears

Notes: Louisiana Magnolia, Anjou Pear, Lotus, Tuberose, Cyclamen, Jasmine, Sandalwood, Musk, White Woods, Vanilla

What?! A celebrity scent?! No seriously, Curious by Britney Spears is simply gorgeous and so ‘spring’ that it had to be included on this list. It opens with a refreshing, watery burst of juicy pear, Louisiana magnolia and lotus. As it continues to bloom, the intensive floral heart is enveloped in a warm, sultry blanket of sandalwood, musk, vanilla and precious woods. This fragrance has been flying off its shelf since 2004 and it’s not a surprise why. Curious may be a celebrity-endorsed scent but it’s effortlessly elegant, feminine and timeless.

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6 // Wisteria Blue By Nest Fragrances

Notes: French Wisteria, Bulgarian Rose, Imperial Jasmine

Romantic and regal are the two words that could best describe Wisteria Blue. Its simple composition proves that a complicated array of notes doesn’t always mean that a scent is more interesting. The three distinctive but complimentary notes blend together perfectly, creating a soft, velvety scent that is perfect for everyday (even office!) wear. It’s the kind of airy spring scent that you won’t want to start your day without!

Have you tried any of these fragrances? What is your spring signature?

xoxo,

Alicia

 

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Breezy Spring Layers

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Dressing for that awkward period between the holiday season and when spring officially arrives is a challenge if you live somewhere with actual seasons and a temperamental climate. As someone who lives in the Pacific Northwest, I’ve gotten used to Mother Nature’s mood swings and I know that between winter and summer, I simply cannot go outside in less than three layers. In the morning it might be sunny but come lunch time it may be dumping rain and in the evening it very well may be snowing. Enter the cardigan. If I’m cold I put it on, if I’m hot I take it off. Easy. Simple. I’m not freezing because I only wore a tee because the sun was out when I got dressed that morning or sweating buckets because I decided to wear my extra toasty cashmere sweater and now the sun is blazing through my office window.

Aside from the functional aspect, layers add gorgeous depth to what otherwise may be a pretty basic ensemble. For example, I have a black and grey geometric patterned poncho that I throw on over pretty much everything and it makes even my most half-hearted attempts at getting dressed look decent. Like shoes or purses, it’s crucial to have at least a handful of cardigans in your closet, depending on your mood and the occasion. These six caught my eye. From the perfect grandpa knit for wandering around on a lazy Sunday to a sleek, polished trench for days when you want to feel a little more fan-ceh, they tick all of my boxes in terms of wardrobe requirements.

MY PICKS

 

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1 // Royal Robbins – Tupelo Falls Cardi

You know what they say – sometimes simple is best. This lightweight cardigan is woven out of airy linen yarn for a soft, breathable feel. The best part? It can be worn as a drape front or cowl neck style, depending on your mood. Versatility and comfort – two qualities   I truly value in clothing.

2 // Alice + Olivia – Ruthy Rainbow Staceface Appliquéd Cotton-Blend Cardigan (Splurge!)

If you’re feeling sassy, than this head-turning piece is exactly what you’ll want to wear when you’ve got shade to cast and salt to sprinkle. It’s bold and statement making and sooo comfy you’ll want to fall asleep in it. It’s a little pricey but hey, truly great things don’t come cheap.

3 // Burberry – House Check Reversible Cape (Splurge!)

Burberry is one of those brands that effortlessly exudes old-world class and elegance and this sophisticated trench is no exception. It’s made out of ultra-luxe merino wool and the casual cape-style shows just a peek of the brand’s iconic check fabric. It’s the kind of timeless piece you’ll want to wear again and again, to low-key and upscale occasions.

4 // Monse – Hudson’s Bay Striped Wool-Felt Blanket Coat (Splurge!)

I don’t know why but I’ve always adored Hudson Bay Company’s classic blue, red, yellow and green striped wool fabric. I have a blanket in this fabric but I love the idea of wrapping myself up and wearing it as a coat. It costs an arm and a leg but is the kind of wardrobe investment that, if treated well, will last for years and years. This lightweight wool coat will keep you warm without being too heavy – perfect for those slightly chilly but sunny spring days!

5 // Chicwish – Knit Your Love Cardigan in Hot Pink

Punchy and playful, this sweet shade of bubble gum practically screams spring and has a kitschy vibe that I love. Pair it with an airy slip dress for warmer days and a lady-like feel or with a body suit and leather leggings for a look that channels Michelle Pfeiffer in Grease 2 (my girl-crush forever and ever).

6 // Chicwish – Comfy Day Diary Cable Knit Cardigan in Mustard

And finally, the cozy, chunky knit grandpa cardigan that I (and every other girl in the world, let’s be honest) needs in their life. This cable knit pattern is so pretty and the colour is just gorgeous. It’s a great everyday kind of sweater and at only $61 (Canadian), it’s an absolute steal. I would get three just in case.

Are you excited for spring? Which of these is your favourite?

xoxo,

Alicia

5 Style Trends I’m Loving This Spring

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I’m not a super trendy girl when it comes to my own personal sense of style. I’m often inspired by the glamorous editorials I see in magazines and the cool girl looks I see in streetstyle shots. Still, overall I lean more towards classic pieces and figure flattering silhouettes that I know will make me look and feel polished and put together. Despite all of this, I find myself being drawn towards bolder, in-your-face pieces this spring. And there are a ton of trends to choose from this season. Crochet and embroidery, 70s-inspired bell bottoms and penchant for suede, norm-core Birkenstocks and mom jeans. There’s a lot going on. So after sifting through all of the most instagrammed looks of the season, these are my five favorite trends that spring has to offer.


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1 // Button Back Shirts

I love the idea of challenging fashion rules with something as simple as button placement. Button back shirts are still the staple we all know in love but with a dishevelled, IDGAF update that feels effortlessly cool. Take it one step further and don’t button the back of your shirt completely to show a sexy slice of skin.

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2 // Off The Shoulder Tops

It seems that everyone’s into giving the cold shoulder lately. Literally. I’ve always loved off the shoulder and one shoulder tops and so I was thrilled to see them making a comeback. They are flirty but demure and I love the idea of showing skin in unexpected ways. My favourite thing to wear them with are flowy a-line skirts and vintage-inspired bell bottoms.

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3 // Button Down Mini

The 70s are back again in the form of bell bottoms, maxi dresses, crochet, and embroidery. Another reference to the grooviest decade of the 20th century? Button down skirts in earthy shades of olive, cognac, and russet. Bonus points if the skirt happens to be suede, corduroy, or woven out of hemp. I love this look and I think it’s the perfect combination of sweet and sexy. It’s also versatile and is a piece that could transition from spring and summer, straight into fall.

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4 // Pom-Pom Accessories

It seems that fashion as of late is all about getting crafty with embroidery, crochet, and macrame being some of the hottest fabrics of the season. Another embellishment that you will surely remember from kindergarten craft time is the playful pom-pom. It’s given a chic update when it adorns hemlines, handbags, straw baskets and shoes. It’s a little tacky but in a playful way that feels very nostalgic and optimistic.

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5 // Mixed Prints

I have to admit, I’ve always been a little hesitant to mix prints. Even though I love how it looks when other people do it, it just seemed so easy for mixed prints to look more bag lady than bold. The secret to keeping this look cool instead of crazy? Mix two or three prints, but no more than that. For example, pair a striped top with a floral skirt, but keep your accessories relatively simple. If you’re new to fashion mixology, it is also helpful to keep your prints the same size i.e. polka dots with paisley or gingham with stripes. Still, rules are meant to be broken and we should never be afraid to take a risk and express ourselves through what we wear. So don’t be shy and go ahead and mix it up!

Which of these trends is your favorite? Let’s chat in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

Neon Lights


No matter how much we all love our neutrals, sometimes a splash of bright, in-your-face colour is totally necessary. From vibrant tangerine and hot pink to highlighter yellow, flashy neon hues are a fool-proof way to breathe some renewed excitement into even the most humdrum of wardrobes. Too shy to go crazy with colour? Start slow with a bright pair of earrings, some lime green shoes or a swipe of lavender lipstick. As for me, I’m ready to embrace every shade in the rainbow. Afterall, in a world that often feels a bit beige and blah, sometimes you just need a hit of neon! 


NEON BUYS

1 // Humble Chic – NY Hula Fringe Tassels

2 // Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics – Neon Yellow Cosmetic Glitter

3 // Sophia Webster – Darla Mules 

4 // Linda Farrow X Matthew Williamson Neon Orange Cat Eye Sunglasses

5 // Christopher Kane – Lace Trimmed Neon Tulle Skirt

6 // BK – Fluorescent Neon Pure Candy Colour Luminous Nail Polish

7 // Venessa Arizaga – Neon Rainbow Road Earrings 

8 // Marni – Colour Block Leather Clutch

9 // SunnyLife – Large Pineapple Neon Light

Xoxo,

Alicia

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Fragrance Friday | Fantasy In Bloom

NAME OF FRAGRANCE | Fantasy in Bloom by Britney Spears

NOTES | Berries, Green Mandarin, Japanese Cherry Blossom, Tuberose, Jasmine, Osmanthus, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Amber

VIBE | Airy, Romantic, Feminine, Whimsical, Dreamy, Joyful

Okay, so first things first, here’s a little tid bit about me. If there are two things in this world that excite me like nothing else, they are Britney Spears and perfume. Put the two together and suddenly I am in a state of mental pandemonium. I remember the day I found out that Britney was releasing Fantasy In Bloom. It was early January and I honestly felt like Christmas had come again. I have every Britney Spears perfume (it’s my not-so-guilty-guilty pleasure) and so I obviously knew that I was going to get my hands on this bad boy. I haven’t been able to find it anywhere in Vancouver but I ordered mine online. There ain’t no mountain high or valley low enough to keep me from purchasing a Britney Spears scent. 

Anyway, after I finally snagged a bottle (which is adorable, by the way) came the moment of truth. And the truth is that as soon as I sprayed Fantasy In Bloom, I fell in love with it. It’s not at all what I expected. Because of its name, I was expecting a very opulent white floral fragrance with the tuberose and jasmine in the heart taking centre stage and squashing out any whisper of cherry blossom. That being said, this perfume really does centre almost entirely around the cherry blossom with just a kiss of vanilla and red berries. The inspiration for the fragrance was a lush garden in spring, and I think Fantasy In Bloom really does capture that. It has that airy, lightly floral scent that you smell outside when spring first arrives. It’s a gorgeous fragrance for women of all ages and it’s perfect for casual daytime wear.

My only complaint about this scent is that it doesn’t last very long (only a couple of hours) and it does not project very far at all. For some people this may be a plus, and it does lend itself to being a good office scent because it’s not overpowering. I like my perfume to not take over a room, but to at least make its presence known. I don’t mind reapplying this but I do wish it was a teensy bit stronger. This is not a deal-breaking flaw however, and overall Fantasy In Bloom is a very feminine and romantic scent with sweet notes of cherry blossom, berries, osmanthus, tuberose, amber, and vanilla.  It’s just the thing to perk me up and instantly transports me to a garden full of sweet scented blooms.

xoxo,

Alicia

Six Swimsuits That Are Bringing Sexy Back 


I haven’t worn a one piece swimsuit since I was 12 years old. As soon as I entered my teen years it was bikinis only for me and until recently I associated one pieces with my awkward, gangly, elementary years. One piece bathing suits are having a major moment right now though, with major designers (Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, Mara Hoffman) and celebrities like Taylor Swift bringing them back into the spotlight. My rule with fashion has always been ‘never say never’ and while I used to think of one pieces as frumpy and hopelessly uncool, I am now ready to hop on this trend train. So with that in mind, here are six swimsuits that prove you don’t need to show a lot of skin to be sexy in the surf.

1 // Lisa Marie Fernandez – Sabine Polka Dot Ruffled Strapless One Piece Swimsuit

This retro piece instantly won my heart. It has a 50s vibe that I love and the sweet heart neckline is super flattering. Plus, you can’t go wrong with a black and white colour palette.

2 // Oasis – Tropical Print One Piece Swimsuit

Tropical prints are everywhere right now and they have a tacky tourist feel that is so wrong that it’s right. That being said, the water colour motif classes it up a little and the soft shades would look amazing with a sunkissed glow. Finally, the plunging neckline adds just the right amount of sex appeal. 

3 // Lilliput & Felix – Amaranthus Hot Coral Swimsuit 

This may just be my favourite swimsuit of the bunch. Where do I even begin with this one? The high, ruched neckline looks as though it could be on an evening gown. The gorgeous coral hue compliments all skin tones and the itsy-bitsy cutout just under the bust lends a flirtatious sexiness to the piece that still manages to be elegant. I feel like Audrey Hepburn AND Marilyn Monroe would like this swimsuit. It’s the perfect blend of sweet and sultry.

4 // Rose Gal – Yellow Off The Shoulder Ruffle One Piece Swimsuit

Open any fashion magazine or scroll through any blog and it will be immediately apparent that the off-the-shoulder look is trending hard right now. I’ve always loved that look, even when my dad would tease me and ask me if I thought I was starring in Flashdance. The ruffle at the top of the swimsuit adds some ladylike sweetness while the loud lemon hue screams for attention. I feel like a lot of people are afraid to wear yellow, but it can be very flattering and it totally pops against a tan. 

5 // Mara Hoffman – Classic One Piece Meridian White Swimsuit

This sporty piece reminds me of something that a competitive swimmer would wear while practicing laps around the pool. The silhouette is streamline and free of fuss, but the pastel graphic print adds some nostalgic 80s charm that makes it striking and unique.

6 // Rose Gal – Ruffle One Piece Swimsuit in Black (Plus Size)

I’m just going to go ahead and channel my inner Archie Andrews (I’m rediscovering my love for the iconic comic series because of my new TV addiction Riverdale) and say va-va-voom to this one shoulder stunner. If Veronica Lodge was a swimsuit, she would be this one. This black number provides some extra coverage for voluptuous figures which I love. I have a smaller bust with curvy hips so it can be hard to find a swimsuit that ticks all of the boxes. This piece absolutely does and it has a classic feel that is timeless and elegant. Also, the ruffle at the bust and the tiny bows at the hips are a cute little touch and draw attention to all the right places. In love. 

How do you feel about one piece swimsuits? Do you have a favourite? Let me know your thoughts!

Xoxo,

Alicia