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 Spring Trends (5)

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

Friday
Feb172017

TRENDING | 5 Easy Updates You Need in Your Wardrobe RN

via Reitmans on Instagram

The mid-Feb struggle is real. Everyone is going on vacay, the weather is all over the map and you are so, SO sick of wearing snowboots every day. Your feet are desperate for a pedi but what's the point? Unless you're lucky enough to be headed somewhere tropical, your toes won't see the sunlight for another few months anyway. So what's one to do? Why, shop, of course!

Clear out your closet of anything that doesn't fit, doesn't flatter and doesn't make you feel amazeballs. It's the Family Day long weekend so you have an extra day to do some early spring cleaning. Okay, done? Now, it's time for a few updates. Here are 5 easy ways to upgrade your wardrobe right now:

1) LAYER UP - There are loads of tempting silk camis and slip dresses in stores but it's way too early to go sleeveless. Here's the fix: take a body-con white, black or grey long-sleeve tee or bodysuit and layer your cami or slipdress over top. You'll look cool and current and ready for spring, even if the weather's not. 

2) GET NEW (OLD) JEANS - Denim has made a trip back to the '90s with stiff, selvedge jeans replacing the stretchy skinnies of the past several seasons. From high-waisted mom jeans to stiff straight-legs to clean, classic bootcuts, the most on-point pairs of jeans look refreshingly new, yet oh-so-familiar. 

3) STATEMENT SLEEVES - When it comes to tops this season, sleeves are anything but an afterthought. Look for bell sleeves, dramatic flounces and cool tie-up details to add loads of interest to your top half. Waves, high-fives and dabs highly encouraged.

4) THE NEW COLD SHOULDER - If you fell in love with cold shoulder tops last summer, you'll be happy to hear that they're back and more interesting than ever this season. Ruffle details, pretty florals and nautical stripes will get your wardrobe right up to speed. 

5) BLOCK PARTY - So, open-toes aren't an option quite yet. But whether you're heading somewhere hot or just want to have some new shoes to get excited about for the minute the snow melts, remember that for Spring '17, it's all about the block heel. We love the sturdy comfort of a stacked heel so you can get the height you crave without the wobble. 

Scroll down for some of my top picks to shop now. Happy long weekend!

via Dynamite

1. Kismet Cropped Tank, $4.99, Bootlegger; 2. Satin Slip Cami, $19.95, Dynamite; 3. Tank Top with Banded Back Detail, $34.95, Dynamite; 4. Dotted Slip Dress with Lace Hem, $48, Suzy Shier; 5. Satin Slip Cami, $19.95, Dynamite.

via Dynamite on Instagram

1. Guess Step Hem Jean, $118, Bootlegger; 2. Raw Edge Jeans, $49.95, Dynamite; 3. Relaxed Slim Boyfriend Jeans, $59.95, Dynamite; 4. Original Comfort Straight Leg Jeans, $49.90, Reitmans; 5. Yoga Jeans High-Rise Bootcut Jeans, $159.99, Jean Machine

via Dynamite

1. Sweatshirt with Tied Bell Sleeves, $39.95, Dynamite; 2. Bell Sleeve Floral Top, $34.95, Dynamite; 3. Bell Sleeve Sheath Dress, $42, Suzy Shier; 4. Satin Blouse with Bell Sleeves, $39.95, Dynamite; 5. Chiffon Drama Sleeve Blouse, $54.95, Le Château

via Reitmans on Instagram

1. Cold Shoulder Blouse, $53, American Eagle; 2. Ruffle Cold Shoulder Top, $29.95, Garage; 3. Ruffle Cold Shoulder Top, $29.95, Dynamite; 4. Cold Shoulder Striped Sweater, $54.90, Reitmans; 5. Floral Cold Shoulder Top, $34.95, Dynamite

via ALDO

1. Platform Sandal, $110, ALDO; 2. Black Suede Slides, $85, ALDO; 3. Stacked Heel Sandal, $120, ALDO; 4. Woven Leather Shootie, $120, ALDO; 5. Navy Open-Toe Bootie, $59.99, Call It Spring; 6. Block Heel Sandal, $85, ALDO

Thursday
Mar242016

STYLE CLASS | How to Do Cool Girl Casual Without Breaking the Bank

via Style.com

Full disclosure: I'm on a seriously strict spring shopping budget. My husband's working on a start-up venture so that means that I have to be a little more resourceful than usual these days. I can't just drop mad bills at Aritzia. I can't go on an All Saints spending spree. COS, The Row and Kit & Ace will have to wait.

Since I've never let limited funds stop me before (and don't intend to start now), I've mined the stores at New Sudbury Centre to achieve that sporty, minimalist look all the cool girls are wearing right now. The best part? Almost every piece I found is well under $100. Who's cool now? See my picks below and get ready to own the weekend. Happy extra-long weekend, bunnies!

 

HOW TO WEAR IT | From its oversized front pocket to its well-placed back seam, this luxe-looking t-shirt dress is a stellar buy. Once summer rolls around, this dress will be weekend-ready with a pair of cute kicks. But since we're still facing snow, sleet and who-knows-what-else, wear it now with a pair of black basic or leather leggings. 

OUR PICK | Kismet T-Shirt Dress, $45, Bootlegger

HOW TO WEAR THEM | Ditch your winter joggers for a cotton pair that's perfect for spring. We love the relaxed yet structured cut of these casual pants for pairing up with everything from a plain white tee to an easy minimalist crewneck. 

OUR PICK | Utility Jogger, $45, American Eagle

HOW TO WEAR THEM | Cool girls don't usually wear a ton of accessories - after all, they never want to look like they've tried too hard. One well-picked piece is all it takes to make a major style statement, whether you're heading to an impromptu brunch or book club. From a silver aztec necklace to a small stack of textured arm-party bracelets, pick one eclectic extra and get back to that stacked social calendar.

OUR PICKS | Silver Statement Necklace, $35, ALDO; Arm Party Bracelets, $16, American Eagle

HOW TO WEAR THEM | Look at any coveted fashion brand right now and you'll see every model wearing white sneakers. While we're still in love with our low-tops, we're giving ourselves a spring upgrade with a pair of white hi-top VANS, ideal for wearing with everything from dresses to cotton joggers.

OUR PICK | VANS Sk8 Hi Skate Shoe, $79.99, Journeys

HOW TO WEAR THEM | Don't get stuck in a sunglasses style rut - on-fleek shades are an easy way to look on point without having to wreck your shopping budget. 

OUR PICK | Round Sunglasses, $16, ALDO

 

HOW TO WEAR IT | Whether you're still in school or way past graduation day, a fringed backpack is a must for any aspiring cool girl (ahem, woman). This fringed black pack looks grown-up enough to work for any age, and we're loving the under-$50 pricepoint. 

OUR PICK | YDE Vegan Leather Fringe Backpack, $49.99, Jean Machine

HOW TO WEAR THEM | How sick are these city sandals? Ankle-wrap, sexy vamp and a block heel that lets you strut, not stumble? Oh, I'm down. See? I'm already talking cooler. 

OUR PICK | Double Slingback Sandal, $110, ALDO

HOW TO WEAR IT | Don't let all those hot yoga classes and planks go to waste - a knit tank will let you show off those toned arms, whether you're chilling inside or going coat-less once the warm weather hits. A long tank looks amazing with leather leggings or white jeans, while a cropped tank looks perfect with high-waisted culottes or a black maxi skirt. 

OUR PICKS | Sleeveless Sweater, $32, Reitmans; Wrap Sweater Crop Tank, $25, American Eagle

 

HOW TO WEAR IT | Your first order of business this weekend (after you've bought your Easter eggs, of course) is to either track down your long-lost bandana or go get a new one. Pick navy, black or pale blue, then wear it around your neck with literally everything you own this season. Seriously. Instant cool-girl status. 

OUR PICK | Black Paisley Bandana, $9.50, Claire's

HOW TO WEAR IT | We can wait to bring back the seventies this spring in an easy suede dress. Wear it now with over-the-knee boots and in the spring with a pair of easy sandals. 

OUR PICK | Kismet Suede Swing Dress, $65, Bootlegger

HOW TO WEAR IT | The must-know mantra of the cool girl? Always wear your tees oversized. We love this bold take on the classic striped tee and plan on wearing it all spring with our long cardis, cropped jeans and joggers.  

OUR PICK | Guess Stripe Tunic, $49, Bootlegger

HOW TO WEAR THEM | I've pushed these jeans before, and I'll push them again. Put away your skinnies, get ready for the floods, then rock these cropped kick jeans for spring to get instantly up-to-date. Since your feet are on full display, make sure you make your shoes a priority. In other words, you get to go shoe shopping. #yay

OUR PICK | Kick Crop Jean, $40, American Eagle

 

HOW TO WEAR IT | Wear this perfect military-inspired button-down with blue jeans or black ripped jeans, closed or open over a white tank, in place of a spring jacket or tied around your waist. No matter how you spin it, I only have two words for you: Must. Have. 

OUR PICK | Military Button-Down Shirt, $45, American Eagle