About Sarah

 

Sarah Francis is a fashion addict with a serious shoe fetish and a penchant for shiny things.  She's the Director of Real Life Runway and Official Stylist of Vaughan Mills. Her work has appeared in some of the country's top magazines, newspapers and TV shows.  Oh, and she loooves to shop. Obviously.

 

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Entries in Fashion (32)

Thursday
Mar232017

LIKE A BOSS | 12 Spring Upgrades Your Work Wardrobe Will Love

via whatweworeblog on Instagram

Girl bosses used to dress like men to get the respect they deserved, often with mixed results. Pants. Obviously yes. Shoulder pads? Mmmmnot so much.  As a proud girl boss, let me say that I have managed to build my own business, work on my own terms and continue to set goals that my 7 year-old self would have been proud of, and I've done it all in pink. This spring, a killer work wardrobe is all about harnessing your fashion power to make your 9-to-5 grind more fun. It's about taking charge of the season's top trends and making them work for you. And of course, it's about shoe shopping because let's face it: when is it not about shoe shopping? 

Read on for 12 spring upgrades your work wardrobe is going to love. Now all you've gotta do is werk it...


STYLIST TIPS | Bored with your basic button-down? Give your blouse edit an instant update by adding bell sleeves to the mix. The oversized sleeves will make every board meeting more dramatic, each Powerpoint point more pointed, every after-work sip of wine so much more chic. Wear them with tailored trousers (any colour you like, from neutrals to pastels to brights to florals) and a long pendant necklace, then try it with frayed hem cropped jeans and white kicks on the weekend. 

OUR PICK | Bell-Sleeve Blouse, $44.90, Reitmans

 

STYLIST TIPS | If thinking in practical terms (which you should never do in fashion, btw), printed pants might seem tough to justify. After all, how many times can you wear floral pants to work? Okay, picture these stylish scenarios: 1. With a white button-down, black pointy-toe pumps and black fringe pendant earrings. 2. With a plain white tee, a black leather bomber and clean white sneakers for dress-down days or casual offices. 3) With a black blazer, black silky tank and heels in place of a boring suit. I've only named three. I could go on but I won't, because I need to get this post done so I can go buy these pants. #sorrynotsorry (Oh, would also be super cute with a pink trench or an army green utility jacket or the black bell-sleeved blouse I featured above - see? I can't stop...)

OUR PICK | Floral Print Crêpe Slim Leg Pant, $49.95, Le Château

STYLIST TIPS | This lovely pink trench, with it's subtle moto-zip detail, has girl power written all over it and is ideal for running the world, no matter what the spring weather throws your way.  

OUR PICK | Soft Pink A-Line Trench, $139.90, Cleo

STYLIST TIPS | If you tend to stress, let your shoes guide your vibe. These laid-back slides will help you slide into work without having to worry about the pain of uncomfortable heels or the annoyances of no-sandal dress codes, plus they'll help you look extra on top of it. If you wish you could wear slippers to work, these are really the next best thing. I love wearing these with wide leg cropped pants (see below) or printed pants (see above). 

OUR PICK | Backless Loafer, $90, ALDO

STYLIST TIPS | I'm not suggesting you wear sunglasses in your office (tempting as that might be), but on your way to work, out for lunch or on your commute home, you need a pair of expensive-looking glasses in your workwear arsenal. I'm loving the collection of premium glasses at ALDO right now that feels decidedly luxe without the commitment of designer eyewear prices. If pink just isn't your thing, you're probably going to hate this post so far but luckily, most of my suggested pink finds come in black, too. 

OUR PICK | Premium Sunglasses, $55, ALDO

STYLIST TIPS | When it comes to looking profesh, never, ever let your work bag be an afterthought. If I had a dime for every time I've seen a perfectly well-dressed woman ruin an entire outfit with a plastic lunch bag, I'd have so many amazing pairs of shoes. Remember that a truly killer work wardrobe is all about attention to detail - think polished digits and shoes, on-point hair and heels, and of course, a sleek-looking laptop bag to carry all of your Very Important Stuff. 

OUR PICK | Uptown Box Tote, $328, Roots

STYLIST TIPS | Wide legs have all but replaced skinnies for fashion influencers and chic working girls are following suit. This spring, it's all about the wide leg crop and the high-waisted wide leg, both of which will make you look totally current on the job. Wear them with a white shirt and block heels or push it with suspenders à la Monica from Friends Season 1, Episode 1. Don't you just love Netflix fashion inspo? 

OUR PICK | Stripe Woven Wide Leg Pant, $99.95, Le ChâteauWide Leg Cropped Pants, $34.90, Reitmans

STYLIST TIPS | Dressing for work can feel like a daily battle. Time to take control - think of your office as your town and you as the slick sheriff. Except, instead of a bandana 'round your neck, you've got this floral scarf instead. Now reel in those boring outfits and rope 'em in with this scarf. Basic black suit? Whachow. Simple crew neck sweater? Kazow. Those neutrals'll never know what hit 'em. 

OUR PICK | Floral Scarf, $12, ALDO

STYLIST TIPS | A pair of shoulder-skimming earrings are the answer to every woman's early morning probz. Hit the snooze button one too many times? Add these earrings to a white long-sleeve tee and black cropped pants. Missed the kids' schoolbus? Throw these earrings on and nobody will notice those mismatched socks. I'd also highly recommend these stunners to take any outfit from serious to seriously fun for impromptu dinner dates with your work besties. 

OUR PICK | Fringe Earrings, $12.90, Reitmans

STYLIST TIPS | Adding a third piece is key to taking any work outfit from meh to major. While a blazer can sometimes feel too constricting and a long cardigan can feel sloppy, a sleeveless blazer is the perfect, stylish compromise. Wear it with everything from fitted long-sleeve bodysuits and tailored trousers to a tee and dark denim on casual Fridays. 

OUR PICK | Sleeveless Open Blazer, $74.90, Reitmans

STYLIST TIPS | If you love your striped tees as much as I do, then it's likely you love wearing them to work, too. Problem is, a striped tee doesn't exactly scream 'adult', does it? Luckily, this striped chiffon top has all the classic vibes of your go-to striped tees but with a lovely pleated chiffon detail that instantly upgrades it to corporate level. Love!

OUR PICK | Pleated Chiffon Striped Top, $49.90, Cleo

STYLIST TIPS | Spring means it's time to start wearing your dresses again and this eyelet beauty is ripe for the picking. Navy is a nice subtle update if you're guilty of wearing all black all the time but luckily, it still pairs beautifully with black for the office. Wear it now with black tights and ankle boots and later with bare legs (if your office allows) and block heels or pointy-toe flats. Bright accessories (think yellow or pink) are ideal for creative offices while silver, gold or black extras will keep the look toned down. 

OUR PICK | 3/4 Sleeve Eyelet Dress, $79.90, Reitmans

STYLIST TIPS | You've updated your work wardrobe and those 'nothing to wear' mornings are no more. But here's the thing - success at work, like success in fashion, is all about setting goals and taking risks. Make it your mission this year to step outside your comfort zone and do something different. My recommendation? Try silver shoes. From perforated brogues to fun Mary Janes, shiny silver shoes will help you step up your 9 to 5 game. Avoid Studio 54 vibes by pairing your loud shoes with a quiet, classic outfit - think black or khaki ankle pants and a fine-knit crewneck to start. Bust out those bomb dance moves at your own discretion. 

OUR PICK | Silver Perforated Brogues, $90, ALDO; Block Heel Mary Janes, $80, ALDO

Thursday
Feb022017

LOVE ON THE BRAIN | 18 Valentine's Gifts To Make Them Swoon

Pretty in pink Ray-Bans via Sunglass Hut

There's nothing better than love. Sigh...I mean, what's not to love about love? From new relationships to weathered, old ones - er, I mean, deep, lifelong, stuff-that-movies-are-made-of ones - Valentine's is about celebrating that most important 4 letter word. I'm talking about love. Love is patient, love is kind, and love demands presents from time to time. Or is it just me who demands them? Anyway, it's complicated. Let's let these sweet, swoon-worthy gifts do the talking for me today. Clearly, I'm so smitten that it's making my mind foggy. Hmmm...must be love on the brain...

 

WHY IT'S A WIN | Whether you're in a new relationship that calls for something sweet but not too personal, or you're looking for something little to give your fave tea-obsessee, this box of beautiful tea blends is sure to warm her heart. Like a box of chocolates, only way more 2017. 

WE LOVE | Box of Hearts Tea, $35, DAVIDsTEA

WHY IT'S A WIN | You met her on Tinder and your swiping days were officially done. This super cute tee will remind her of how you met while giving her wardrobe a fun little boost. 

WE LOVE | Don't Ask Why Graphic Tee, $20, American Eagle

WHY IT'S A WIN | Namast'ay the best gift-giver ever with these luxe yoga treats for your fave yogi. A beautiful S'well bottle and a cool reversible mat will make her think of you every time she downward dogs. 

WE LOVE | S'well Bikini Pink Water Bottle, $54.99, Jean Machine; Gaiam Reversible Yoga Mat, $34.99, Sears.

WHY IT'S A WIN | No woman can resist a perfect black bag, and we're particularly smitten with the luxurious woven leathers from Roots. To make it personal, clip a little red heart key ring to it to show your love. 

WE LOVE | Mini Woven Zoe Bag, $248, Roots; Red Heart Key Ring, $18, Roots

WHY IT'S A WIN | There's nothing more romantic than poetry but since most of us can't get far beyond 'roses are red', might as well leave it to pro, Pablo Neruda. Want bonus points? Pour a glass of wine, cuddle up by the fire, then read these sweet nothings to your muse. 

WE LOVE | Love Poems by Pablo Neruda, $15.95, Coles

WHY IT'S A WIN | They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, but judging by the level of excitement my husband showed when I bought him a lithium ion drill last year, I'd say tools go straight to the heart, too. This Valentines red tool cabinet is a handy-man must and will make the perfect addition to his garage/man-cave this V-Day. 

WE LOVE | International Classic Series 6-Drawer Tool Cabinet, $199.99, Sears

 

WHY IT'S A WIN | The world is a pretty troubled place right now - I mean, it's enough to make the most optimistic among us get a little low. A pair of rose-coloured glasses serve two purposes: they're super on-point and will help her slay her OOTD's, plus they'll quite literally help brighten her view of the world. Win!

WE LOVE | Ray-Ban Flat Lens Pink Sunglasses, $235, Sunglass Hut; Quay Supergirl Sunglasses, $74.99, Jean Machine

WHY THEY'RE A WIN | It can be tough to shop for a trend-setter. After all, what do you get the girl who has everything? Valentine's is the perfect chance to embrace the theme - a pair of girlfriend jeans (these ones are embroidered with the word 'love' - I mean, come on!), or new red shoes will make her style-loving heart swoon. 

WE LOVE | Vintage Hi-Rise Jean, $92, American Eagle; Red Hi-Tops, $90, ALDOPatent Pointy-Toe Pump, $85, ALDO

WHY THEY'RE A WIN | When it comes to romantic gifts, nothing tops sparkly jewels. Whether you're on a budget (um, yup) or have loads of expendable income to spare (um, nope), pretty jewellery comes at every price. If you want to keep it affordable, go for something sweet and thoughtful like this stackable heart ring, and if you're ready to splurge, it's all about the diamonds, baby. 

WE LOVE | My One True Love Stackable Ring, $90, Pandora; Vera Wang Love Collection Rose Ring, $1699, Peoples 

WHY IT'S A WIN | This time is year is the perfect time for a little escape. Whisk your love away - to a local B&B or NYC, it doesn't matter where - and make it a surprise. Tell them what to pack inside their beautiful new luggage, arrange babysitters for the dog or the kids (or both) and then take off for a few nights of adventure. Sigh...is there anything better than that?

WE LOVE | Colorado Tribe Leather Bag, $378, Roots; Samsonite Hardside Luggage, $209.99, Bentley

WHY IT'S A WIN | If you're going to do a dinner date, might as well make the most of it. 11 of Greater Sudbury’s independently owned restaurants have teamed up for Localicious, letting you try out a new resto while giving back to the community. Localicious restaurants are offering a delicious prix fixe lunch and dinner menu, with monies raised donated to our local NEO Kids campaign. Grab your Valentine and head out for an early V-Day dinner since Localicious ends this weekend. Of course, once Localicious is over, a reso at your fave restaurant is always a surefire way to celebrate your love.

WE LOVE | A Localicious dinner for 2

Thursday
Jan052017

GET IT GIRL | Workout Gear That Might Actually Get Us to the Gym

via Reitmans

When it comes to getting healthy, it's not supposed to be about how you look, of course. But let's face it, as self-aware as I pretend to be, I'm not gonna lie - looking good is half the battle for me. I know that the real motivation for working out should always be about feelings - you know, feeling good and feeling healthy and feeling at one with my chakra. Except, I'm not sure what a chakra is. What I do know is that all of those things are super important but useless knowledge if I can't actually get myself to the G-Y-M.

I don't know about you but for me, it takes a few motivators to get me there, especially after a long and lazy couple of weeks (fine, months). And I'm not talking personal trainers. It's a new pair of cool kicks that I'll admire as I'm slogging it out on the stair machine. It's sports bras that stop the bounce and let me focus on all of those extra holiday calories I'm burning instead. It's about leggings that work with my curves and keep me sucked in to help me visualize how my thighs will look after hundreds of lunges. And sometimes, it's about things that bring joy during every tough workout - from a sleek S'well bottle to earphones that keep the good vibes going. So necessary. 

Scroll down for the cute new workout I'm loving right now and good luck, whatever your 2017 goals might be. You've got this. 

1. Adidas Two-Layer Tee, $59.99, Sport Chek; 2. Diadora Printed Mesh Tank, $39.99, Sport Chek; 3. Lole Women's Long Sleeve Top, $78.99, Sport Chek; 4. Nike Tech Fleece Jacket, $89.99, Champs; 5. Hyba Colourblock Long-Sleeve Tee, $49.99, Reitmans.

1. Deep V Sport Bra, $19.95, La Senza; 2. Nike Pro Indy Sports Bra, $55, Sport Chek; 3. Nike Pro Swoosh Bra, $29.99, Champs; 4. Nike Pro Swoosh Gold Bra, $24.99, Champs; 5. Nike Pro Padded Printed Bra, $29.99, Champs; 6. Adidas TechFit Sports Bra, $29.99, Champs

1. FitBit Alta Wristband, $169.99, The Source; 2. Hyba Duffle Bag, $45, Reitmans; 3. S'well White Gold Insulated Water Bottle, $64.99, Jean Machine; 4. PowerBeats3 Wireless Earphones, $229.99, The Source; 5. Hyba Contrasting Yoga Mat, $30, Reitmans; 6. Instance Painted Crew Socks, $24.99, Sport Chek

1. New Balance Run Premium Women's Tights, $99.99, Sport Chek; 2. Hyba Printed Fast Track Legging, $59.90, Reitmans; 3. Adidas Trefoil Floral Leggings, $34.99, Champs; 4. Nike Pro Warm Printed Tights, $68, Sport Chek; 5. Nike Power Legend Graphic Tights, $95, Sport Chek

1. Nike Air Max Thea Silver, $114.99, Champs; 2. Adidas Originals Tubular Defiant, $109.99, Champs; 3. Adidas Ultra Boost, $179.99, Champs; 4. Adidas Originals Tubular Shadow, $99.99, Champs; 5. New Balance Women's Training Shoes, $149.99, Sport Chek; 6. Nike Free Flyknit Training Shoes, $174.99, Sport Chek