Category Archives: Ladies

A preamble to the Dressed for Dinner gift guide: Adrian+Shane t-shirt stocking stuffers

Artists Adrian et Shane have decided to hand stencil some t-shirts, and their slogans are awesome. I stopped liking t-shirts with slogans a long time ago, but above are two of the best (in my opinion) from their mini-collection. I like the notion of illustrating what clothing you’d wear should you be in the position to be gangbanged (why not, you deserve it) and I really like the idea of wearing a shirt that says Diet Diet when I am quite clearly on anything but. Buy these for me for Christmas. I wear a large. And buy some for yourself too, because tis the season to be gangbanged and wear ironic t-shirts (since we’re going to be meatpilin’ until January, at the very least). You can buy them here »

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Goodhood launches look books for spring/summer 2011

I was looking at Goodhood’s shop today, in anticipation of the days of bare legs. If the shipping costs weren’t exorbitant, I would grab these Monitaly flat fronts in a second (not to mention, these Mark McNairy Gibsons). But during this online window shopping, I found their look book, which for both men and women emphasizes patterns better than most I’ve seen to date. This is arguably more so the case for men, since none of these gents are sporting the ubiquitous Cape Cod look (great, but getting boring), but a nod to the ladies with a painted legging and a Navajo print seemed relevant, since we can all give this application of colour a shot.

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Santa’s got a brand new bag

The holidays are swiftly approaching and with the egg nog, mistletoe and obnoxious carolers comes an increase in travel that is mostly unavoidable. In the interest of practicality, I recommend some heavy duty bags that will suit most of your holiday destinations.

Filson tops my list because the design could not be more simple. Quality fabrication is the reason you’ll want to buy this wheeled option (seen above, $575 CDN), as Filson only uses oil-finished twill and bridle leather – both will wear well and last through your many family gatherings throughout the year.

Red Canoe’s line of heritage-appealing bags are a departure from Filson’s minimalist approach. In place of rich leather is heavy duty cotton webbing and twill, ensuring that your bag can take the rough-and-tumble treatment of an airport, shuttle bus and even in those moments when you throw it on the ground to use an en route washroom.  I like the splash of red that the Boeing B-17 ($149.99 CDN) offers, which is only one of many eye-catching details that grab the attention of strangers (see brass finishes and appliqued patchwork). If you carry this bag, you will be asked where to find it.

For those of you hitting the beach to leave the snow and slush behind, nothing is more functional than a tote. Hong Kong’s JOYCE teamed up with Thom Browne to create this simple tote with his iconic tri-coloured ribbon detail. This is a limited edition item, so if you see it, grab two. One for me (and I don’t even like totes – but I love Mr. Browne).

Norse Projects teamed with Ally Capellino to create this beautiful rucksack. Styled to look overstuffed, Norse Projects showcases the waxed cotton’s resistance to prove the quality of design. This distinctly classic piece comes with a laptop compartment, giving the old-fashioned rucksack an interior update. You can snag this bag for $280 (US) at their online shop.

If you are looking for a day-trip bag, or something for everyday use, I’d say you will find nothing better than Palmer and Sons’ leather suitcase. British bridle leather is a sturdy base and a 1-ton resistant closure proves that this little package can take a whole lot of weight (that is, if you aren’t scrawny and frail (if you are, that is okay, just don’t overfill it, weakling)). Palmer and Sons’ collection is an assortment of all-handmade designs, proving that a lot of time and care goes into each bag. You can pick this suitcase up for a cool $385, which is a steal, since the value is resting in the fact that you may never need a new one (at least, not until you get bored of this one).

I hope you find the bag to suit your travel needs this holiday season! With so many options, it is hard to pick. I hope I’ve at least narrowed your search!

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Movember TOMS Shoes

In the interest of full disclosure, I will say that TOMS did send me a pair of their mustachioed corduroy Movember shoes, but as always, the mere act of sending is not enough for me to have something to say. But since I have always held an affinity for even their simplest of shoes (for example, the black solid with check lining), it made sense to throw ’em on and test ’em out. ‘Cause that is what shoes are for.

TOMS must have philanthropy written deep into their mission statement, because the sales of their Movember kicks go directly to support LIVESTRONG and the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Even further, the brand recognizes the needs of children around the world in their One for One campaign, which offers a new pair of shoes to a child in need with every purchase. I think that is definitely something to write (and get excited) about.

I have gargantuan feet (men’s size 12, excessively wide), yet the TOMS elastic V at the opening is perfect for the pedi-challenged, offering ease of wear. I slipped these babies on and off without even the slightest problem, which for me, is really important. I’ve squeezed my feet into a pair of 10.5 shoes and I’ll be honest, it was the worst feeling imaginable. But in the interest of fashion, I stuck it out, only to find out that I had done considerable damage to my feet. I can safely say that these TOMS shoes won’t present any of these problems. Each TOMS shoe comes with a suede insole and rubber sole for comfort and a latex sponge arch adds support to your feet if you are like me and typically walk tip toed (it isn’t your fault, your feet were made that way).

The above picture may seem like a silly close-up, but I wanted to emphasize the elastic v that helps form to your ankle width. Albeit simple, it proves to be the handiest addition.

If you haven’t heard of TOMS before, yet have been looking for an affordable shoe choice that doesn’t sacrifice comfort for style (don’t worry, they are still good looking – just check out the embroidered ‘stache!), have a look at their seemingly endless selection.

When facial hair starts to appear in even the most common of items, it makes me think that I am somehow doing my job (whatever that is).

Happy Movember everyone!

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Common Projects’ F/W 2010 Oxford

For me, the more worn out and beaten the shoe, the better it is. I was talking to a friend recently who mentioned that her “shoe guy” always polishes them up, taking the days, months and years of grit away – where does all your hard work go?

An easy solution is Common Projects’ Fall/Winter 2010 Oxford ($570 US), complete with that rough-around-the-edges look that can be quite time consuming to achieve. But it isn’t all aesthetics. Common Projects has always made a good shoe, complete with quality leather and heavy duty wooden heels – even their black leather high tops deserve heavy rotation. With the ubiquity of an oxford shoe, it was about time someone gave it the update it deserves. I’d run around in the mud with these shoes on. And frankly, that’s okay.

photos by Common Projects

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PKG: Technology & Fashion

Perhaps it is the nod to Woolrich Woolen Mills, or maybe it is the fact that I really want an iPad. Either way, I came across PKG’s latest holiday offerings and thought, “this would match my jacket perfectly.” But in the interest of not over-matching, I found a solid grey option, seen below:

My only problem with the line is the logo in the corner. I think the items would look a lot more expensive if they removed it – what do you think? But apart from the annoying little rectangle, I am happy with the choices of wool selected for the iPad/laptop cases (Price: $44.99 for the 13″ – 15″ laptops / $39.99 for the 10″ iPad) – they read very youthful and the peek of colour from the red and black check would be a welcome sight as it is stowed away in your purse, duffle bag or whatever you carry. I’d consider sewing a monogram patch or a label with my name on it to remove the jarring misstep.

Accessories for the lumber-hacker. Niche.

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H & M x Lanvin at AGO

While you may have heard some squeaks about H & M previewing to press in the Big Apple, it was Toronto’s turn last night to sneak a peek at the much anticipated offerings from monsieur Alber Elbaz at Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario. There was a lot of debate about whether Lanvin should sacrifice its luxury branding for a capsule collection, but besides creating affordable clothes (read: still kind of pricey for H & M), the menswear options read – at times – expensive and unfortunately on occasion, rather dull.

Since the lighting was a bit grim, there were few opportunities to snap shots on the rack, but a mannequin display (which will be Toronto’s official window styling) showcased a number of the more well received looks to the hungry fashion-interested.

As you can tell, the emphasis – as usual – for H & M is the women’s range, which makes sense considering their profits likely reflect this thinking. Although the menswear market has seen rise in male spending globally, it still does not compare to the push from the female consumer. Which is a shame, because this bottom line thinking often results in what Lanvin decided to show – endless elefant bow ties ($29.95 CDN), metallic footwear ($79.95 CDN) and some suiting (blazers: $149.00 CDN + / pants $59.95 CDN +). All were somewhat elevated, but honestly, is a man’s sole purpose in life to dress formally? It is time H & M provided a wider range of options. Women can’t have all the capsular fun.

But when it was good, it was quite good. The shoes had a ‘polish’ to them, with holiday appeal given the range of sparkle. And although most looks were formal, there were options – including a trench, pair of sweats and a basic lightweight hooded jacket – that served as essentials for a working wardrobe.

A pair of tuxedo pants with a cummerbund waistband had little hanger appeal and it was told by an observer that when worn they did not really possess that luxury quality expected from Lanvin. But like most capsule collections, it is really a fight for what sells and with a looming launch date, there is a strong emphasis on formal party attire (read: holiday dressing) – the twist for men being some metallic detailing on a tie, an oversized bow or the sheen on a pair of new shoes. Each piece has a consumer in mind and I guess that is the variety Elbaz chose to showcase, but for me it wasn’t anything that fresh. It was generic. Plain and not-so-simple.

But you be the judge. Check out the look book below. What do you like? Like I said, it wasn’t poorly made. Everything looked expensive, but at the end of the day, aren’t we all looking for a little more?

preview images by Kevin Naulls, look book photos courtesy of H & M Canada

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