A Last Bit of Summer Romance…with SIMONS & Park Royal

A Last Bit of Summer Romance with SIMONS and Park RoyalThe September issues may be out, but if this glorious hot weather in Vancouver is any indication, summer isn’t over YET. And while I may be pinning up my fall fashion wish list, I’m still going to soak up every last bit of summer by wearing my summer attire until it’s too damn cold to do so. My favourite piece of choice? A romantic summer dress of course! This Self Portrait lace dress just begs for those hot summer nights and twirling at sunset. This dress is from SIMONS Park Royal, which has a great selection of both affordable fashion (including their in-house lines I adore like twik and Icone), as well as designer labels like Self Portrait amongst Moschino, Carven, Elizabeth and James, and Mary Katrantzou, just to name a few.

A Last Bit of Summer Romance with SIMONS and Park Royal

With this dress having such a bold floral lace pattern, I wanted to keep the accessories I paired with it quite muted so that the dress was the focal point. A simple suede tie choker from ALDO and a thrifted black satin clutch does the trick. Taking inspiration from the black, white and soft baby blue colour palette of the dress, I also paired it with these black and white pumps from Town Shoes, which were the perfect pop on my feet while cohesively bringing the whole look together. Pssst…both the choker and shoes are also from Park Royal Shopping Centre!

A Last Bit of Summer Romance with SIMONS and Park RoyalA Last Bit of Summer Romance with SIMONS and Park RoyalA Last Bit of Summer Romance with SIMONS and Park RoyalI love the fact that a dress in this timeless feminine style, with its curve-hugging silhouette and a-line frill bottom, is something I can wear for seasons to come. And when the colder months do arrive, I can easily transition it to Fall with a simple white t-shirt or turtleneck layered underneath (hello 90’s!!!), finished with a black blazer or moto jacket worn on top.

A Last Bit of Summer Romance with SIMONS and Park RoyalSpeaking of Fall, if you want to see more fabulous looks from SIMONS and Park Royal, then be sure to tune into CTV Morning Live next week as I bring you two Back to School Fashion segments, all from fabulous Park Royal retailers! On Wednesday, August 31 I showcase great looks for those cuties aged 6-12, and on Thursday, September 1, it’s all about the hottest looks for teens and college students! Plus, I am excited to announce that I have partnered up with SIMONS to giveaway a $100 GC through my Instagram, perfect for snagging a back to school outfit for your little one or perhaps a perfect fall piece for yourself!

SIMONS $100 GIVEAWAY Contest details:

  1. Follow me on Instagram (@ManaMansour).
  2. Comment on ANY photo posted from this SIMONS romantic outfit on my Instagram + Tag a friend.
  3. Comment on this blog post for an additional entry.
  4. Contest closes on Thursday, September 1 at midnight!

Good luck and don’t forget to tune into CTV Morning Live next week! xx

~ All photography by the talented Randa Salloum. ~

Cropped Corporate

Cropped CorporateJune in Vancouver is notorious for having unruly weather…one minute it’s nice and summery, the next, it’s cold and wet. And if the last week or so is any indication, June sure has been standing up to it’s “Juneuary” moniker. For a casual outfit, the fix is easy, throw on a leather moto or a military jacket, some cute booties and you’re off. But what about a work wear ensemble? Wearing a coat or even a trench can be too warm, but wearing too little and your freezing all day. This #OOTD is the perfect solution to both, stylish, airy and work appropriate, but warm enough for those grey June days.

Cropped CorporateCropped CorporateI was recently inspired by Chanel’s 2017 Cruise collection, presented in Havana, Cuba at the beginning of May. A historical occasion, not only for the fact it was the first time an international fashion line was presenting there in decades, but also because it paid an homage to the vintage Cubano gentlemen style of the 1950’s, filled with cropped jackets, wide-leg pants and lots of fabulous neck ties. And that’s exactly where I took my inspiration from for this work wear ensemble, mixing a bit of high and low, with a few thrift pieces thrown in (duh!).

Cropped CorporateCropped CorporateThis cropped tuxedo jacket is such a great addition to any closet, not only can it be worn dressed up or down, but it’s a great layering piece to dresses and midi skirts (especially vital for any petite or short-torso gals like me). This jacket also makes for the perfect layering piece for the unpredictable June weather, but can easily be taken off to just have the blouse and gingham pants work well alone.

Cropped CorporateCropped CorporateWith any black and white ensemble, I always love injecting a pop of colour, since the neutrality of those two shades together work perfectly as a backdrop to any colour in the rainbow. This time it came in the form of a deep red pony hair and leather handbag, from the Flare x Aldo Fall 2012 collection designed by one of my favourite Canadian stylists, Elizabeth Cabral. I will forever love this bag, and I still get compliments on it too!

Summer’s heat may be still MIA, but we might as well look good while we wait patiently for its reappearance. 😉

Cropped Corporate

 Outfit details: Cropped jacket- Alexander Wang from The Room at Hudson’s Bay, white blouse with black neck tie- Forever 21, gingham flared trousers- Zara, black leather belt, brooch and black suede pumps- Value Village, red pony hair/leather handbag- Flare x Aldo collection.

~ All photography by Isaac Wray. ~

Spring Staples…and How to Get a Designer Bag FOR LESS

Spring Staples Designer BagBy now, you’ve probably heard that fashion statistic rolling around the internet or on blogs that women often wear only about 20% of their wardrobe. Well if that’s in fact true, then a leather jacket and something with black and white stripes would definitely be in my 20%. I have spoken time and time again about how important it is for all women (no matter your style or age) to have a moto jacket in their wardrobe (I’ve even included it in my recent feature on closet staples in BC Living), so it’s a no brainer that it’s my go-to jacket for spring. This one from Zara was a great find…affordable, done in a soft lamb-skin leather and had all the signature features of a traditional motorcycle jacket…a staple I can’t live without! You’ll probably see a lot of this baby on the blog and on my Instagram, and now you know why.

Spring Staples Designer Bag Spring Staples Designer BagSpring Staples Designer BagSpeaking of spring staples, a black and white striped blouse, sweater or t-shirt is a must when wearing other spring pieces in your wardrobe, especially with other prints! I love mixing prints, and I find that black and white stripes act almost like a neutral, allowing for bolder prints like florals to be infused in. Plus, florals are having a huge moment in fashion right now…and more tropical the better!

Spring Staples Designer Bag

But perhaps my favourite part of this spring #OOTD is the pop of hot pink from my Proenza Schouler PS11 Tiny cross-body bag. I love designer purses, but like most women, their insane price tags usually sway me away. The same story applied to this Proenza Schouler, I lusted over the PS11 Tiny for about 5-6 months but waited until I saw it on sale and then immediately snatched it up. I got a $1600 purse for $400 people!!

Spring Staples Designer Bag

I noticed that over the years, I had become somewhat of a connoisseur in knowing when and how to look for major deals when purchasing designer purses, knowledge that led me to this hot pink bundle of joy and knowledge I will now share with you:

  1. Get on newsletter lists for major department stores regarding rare seasonal sales (For example, The Room and Holt Renfrew both send notices about when their seasonal sales are to their email lists first). And, don’t forget to keep visiting. I always go at the beginning of a sale then back 1 or 2 days before the last day of the sale for additional discounts.
  2. Be open to purchasing designer purses in unique colours or seasonal variations…this is where you’ll find the best deals. A popular designer bag in black or grey will never go on sale (unless it’s damaged in some way or discontinued). My hot pink PS11 Tiny was unique and in a colour that was featured for that season…at first I was weary of buying the bag I wanted so badly in such a bold colour, but it’s become such a fun element in my wardrobe, and the perfect piece to add a pop of colour to an otherwise subdued outfit.
  3. Visit Marshalls and Winners OFTEN…both stores have small designer sections and they do get great designer purses from time to time. I’ve seen Valentino, Gucci, Givenchy, Proenza Schouler, and Alexander McQueen purses in mint condition at these retailers. The only thing is, you can’t really think about it or they’ll be gone the next day. A solution, buy it on your TJMaxx card and you’ll have 30 days for a return, so plenty of time to make your decision.
  4. Visit designer consignment shops for second hand purses in great condition. My favourite location in Vancouver is Turnabout Luxury Resale. They accept only items that are in really good condition, plus their team is experts in detecting the real thing (if you are worried about getting a fake). If the price is still too steep, check the date on the tags of when the item hit the floor. Consignment items get discounted for every month that they are not sold.
  5. Buy off-season items…bright spring purses or beach totes bought in the winter months will most likely be on discount. Same goes for clutches and evening pieces in the heat of summer, as most of those items come out in the holiday season.

Spring Staples Designer BagI hope those tips will lead you to your very own designer purse on discount!

XO M

Outfit details: Leather moto jacket, black and white striped sweater and floral trousers- Zara, black lace-up pumps- Hudson’s Bay, Proenza Schouler PS11 Tiny cross-body bag- The Room at Hudson’s Bay.

~ All photography by Isaac Wray. ~

A Suede Story

Suede StoryOh suede…how do I love thee?? Let me count the ways! I’ve been LOVING how this soft luxurious fabric has made its way onto the top of the fashion trends these last few seasons. It’s also the perfect fabric to throw on during April’s unruly weather…one minute it’s sunny, the next minute it’s as nippy as an October day. Believe it or not, I have had this jacket since grade 11! Yep…it’s a miracle it’s lasted this long (and that it still fits!). When I dusted off this baby from the back of my closet, I was not only giddy, but I saw the perfect example of how cyclical fashion can be. With its grommets and bomber shape, the 1970’s is what this jacket pays a nod to, and we’ve seen that era’s influence in fashion come and go throughout the years. Just proves that if you buy a special piece of high quality that you love, KEEP IT! No need to buy another one…you never know when it will come back.

Suede Story

Suede Story

Since this jacket is sooo 1970’s, I took that influence into the other parts of my outfit. These brocade wide leg trousers matched the colouring and 70’s vibe of the suede perfectly, and they were a super affordable find at the Zara end of season sale. What 1970’s outfit is complete without a turtleneck, am I not right?? A turtleneck is a great layering piece under a suede jacket as it’s lightweight enough to not feel bulky but warm enough for cool spring days. I still wanted a polished look to my 1970’s disco vibe, so I paired it with sleek black accessories in the form of classic black pumps and my favourite oversized satchel handbag.

Suede Story

Suede StorySuede StorySince suede (and even faux suede) has made such the fashion comeback…tell me, how have you incorporated this fabric into your wardrobe??? Share in the comments below!

 Outfit details: Suede jacket- Stone Ridge (bought when I was 16), black turtleneck- Zara, brocade wide-leg trousers- Zara, gold drop necklace- Ann Taylor, black pumps- Turnabout Luxury Resale, 3.1 Phillip Lim ‘Pashli’ satchel- Holt Renfrew, sunglasses- Forever 21.

~ All photography by Isaac Wray. ~

#OOTD: Tonal Texture

#OOTD: Tonal TextureWe’ve had some pretty NASTY rain on and off in Vancouver these last few weeks, and despite having spring right around the corner, it sure doesn’t feel like it. Maybe it’s my Persian blood talking, but if it feels as cold as it has been, there’s no way I’m ditching my warm outerwear, no matter what month it is! However, a conundrum still remains: despite it not feeling like spring, the longing for spring colours is still there. Enter this textured fuzzy coat in this neutral tone. There’s something fantastical about a piece that reminds you both of high fashion and the Muppets, isn’t there?! This beauty of a coat does exactly that, and all for only $30, yep you read that right! More on that in a minute…

#OOTD: Tonal Texture

#OOTD: Tonal TextureI had seen these fuzzy, Muppet-like coats on the runways the last few seasons, as well as on the top European fashion bloggers, but despite being immediately drawn to them, I wasn’t sure if my petite five-foot frame could sport them without looking like cookie monster’s long lost cousin…not the cute one either. So my heart kept longing for one of these terrifically textured babies for my closet, I even tried on a few different varieties, but it always ended the same, with me putting them back on the rack. It wasn’t until I saw this one on clearance at Forever 21 did I take the plunge.

#OOTD: Tonal TextureYes, the super affordable price made it easy to consider, but believe it or not, it was also because it was the first one I had tried on that had ANY shape. All the others were in that cocoon boxy shape, which may look great hanging off a tall waif model, but any girl with an actual figure ends up looking like a bit of a mess. This one was cut closer to the body, going in at the waist, and flaring slightly out. And the fabric was thinner than the previously heavier versions I had tried on. I also loved how the beige colour of the coat was the perfect neutral tone to go with multiple things in my wardrobe. Did I mention it was also only $30??? Score.

#OOTD: Tonal Texture#OOTD: Tonal TextureTo counterbalance the heaviness of the coat, I wanted to pair it with lady-like vintage pieces. This polyester printed blouse came straight from my mom’s closet (purchased in the mid-1970’s), and this saddle cross-body bag I got from an amazing vintage store in Portland, Oregon. I had almost forgotten about this bag until the Chloé “Drew” bag recently revitalized the popular handbag silhouettes of the 1970’s, propelling imitations everywhere. Seeing these bags in almost every retailer this last year reminded me to bring this bag out from the back of my closet…I figure if you can’t afford a Chloé, a vintage bag is the next best thing! The jeans are the perfect feminine stretch skinnies jeans, finished off with my favourite nude pumps. Call it “Working Girl” meets street-style!

#OOTD: Tonal Texture#OOTD: Tonal TextureSo tell me, would you sport a perfectly textured Muppet coat? 😉

Outfit details: Textured fuzzy coat- Forever 21, printed blouse- vintage (mom’s closet), denim skinny jeans- AG Jeans from Nordstrom, leather saddle bag- vintage, Saint Laurent nude pumps- Holt Renfrew

#OOTD: Denim on Denim

#OOTD: Denim on DenimWith a few more weeks of winter to endure, my warm coats and outerwear are still due for heavy rotation. But if you’re like me, the end of February is about the time when I long for a bit of variety. There’s only so much love I have for throwing on the same few coats over and over again, even for this winter wardrobe fan. So, to inject some much-needed diversity with my outerwear, I decided that playing with layering, specifically with denim, might be just the thing. As we all well know, denim jackets are not the warmest item, so I wanted to create an outfit that was layered in a way that allowed for a unique spin on my more lightweight denim pieces, while still keeping me toasty.

#OOTD: Denim on Denim#OOTD: Denim on Denim #OOTD: Denim on DenimFull disclosure, a couple years back, I saw a fashion week streetstyle photo on WhoWhatWear with a very stylish women wearing a denim jacket under a single-breasted wool coat. Immediately I pinned that baby and kept it as a source of inspiration, hoping to recreate something similar. And I did just that with this OOTD, but added my own spin, a great black turtleneck underneath (which should be a staple in every woman’s wardrobe) and some leopard print!

#OOTD: Denim on Denim #OOTD: Denim on DenimEnter Mana’s version of denim on denim, winter-style. I’m proud to say that everything in this outfit aside from my purse was purchased quite affordably, but when placed cohesively together, look far more expensive. In order to achieve that, I made sure my denim jacket and denim jeans were from the same colour family, and I kept the entire look fairly simple…sometimes less is more (just Google Emmanuelle Alt, the EIC of Vogue Paris to understand what I mean). If you want to try a multi-layered look with denim for your winter outfit, just make sure your top layer is fairly thin but roomy enough that it gives you enough space and comfort to wear a denim jacket underneath.

#OOTD: Denim on Denim

#OOTD: Denim on DenimA last word on this fantabulous Givenchy purse I found at Marshalls…I hardly ever buy designer pieces at full price anymore, thanks to killer end of season sales and discount retailers like Marshalls or Winners. The key to this is PATIENCE…you’re not going to always find something with every visit, but when you do, it’s important to ask yourself whether or not you can match the piece with multiple outfits in your wardrobe. Often the designer pieces that head to discount retailers are only of that season, so they may be in funky patterns or colours that are not staples (staple colours like black etc. rarely go on sale). The discounted price, albeit tempting, may not be worth it in the end if you can’t get a lot of wear out of it. This purse was in a very neutral tan colour that I knew would go with pretty much anything in my closet- in other words, a great find!

#OOTD: Denim on Denim

 Outfit details: Leopard coat- Forever 21, black turtleneck- Zara, denim jacket- American Eagle, denim skinny jeans- Zara, hat- Urban Outfitters, black loafers and Givenchy purse- Marshalls.

~ All photography by Isaac Wray. ~

A Chic Winter Solstice

Tomorrow is Winter Solstice, and as we all tackle our last minute holiday shopping this week, while getting ready to hunker down for the official start of the winter season, we tend to gravitate towards cozy and warm pieces. As someone who always strives to combine fashion with function, even when running around taking care of errands in this brisk weather, I am always on the lookout for outerwear and winter pieces that are chic yet still keep me warm. I found the perfect outfit that achieves all the above at the new Simons Park Royal.

A Chic Winter Solstice Simons

This coat, from their in-house label Twik, pays homage to the military silhouettes that were huge on this year’s Fall/Winter runways, while being still quite feminine and tailored. I loved creating a full menswear/military inspired ensemble entirely from Simons, with this cozy beige wool sweater and tweed trousers (both from in-house label Icone) that I can wear with multiple other outfits. And when it gets super chilly, what’s a perfect winter look without a fun fur and wool toque!

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Simons just celebrated two months since opening their doors in Park Royal, the first store in Vancouver for the 175-year-old family owned fashion retailer from Quebec. I covered the opening back in October for CTV Morning Live (click here to see the segment) and now the store has become a regular stop on my local shopping excursions. The 100,000 sq. foot store has a large women’s, men’s and even home department, and before you say department store shopping isn’t your thing, then perhaps their 3 permanent art installations from the likes of Douglas Coupland will peak your interest. They’re amazing!

A Chic Winter Solstice Simons

 

A Chic Winter Solstice Simons

A Chic Winter Solstice SimonsAs a thank you to all my #stylebymana readers and followers, I want to give you some Christmas cheer with a treat from Simons, a $100 giftcard contest! To find out how to enter, just follow me on Instagram and follow the instructions below the photo for this post.

A Chic Winter Solstice Simons

Happy Holidays!

Outfit Details: Twik wool coat, Icone wool sweater, Icone tweed trousers: all c/o Simons. Faux python purse: vintage from Front & Co., brooches: all vintage, black booties: Altuzarra for Target.

*All photography by Evaan Kheraj.

Animal Instincts

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_IGP3611OUTFIT DETAILS || Urban Outfitters hat, Forever 21 leopard-print coat, H&M sweater, J Brand Oxblood Coated Skinnies (bought at Hudson’s Bay), Dolce Vita leather booties, Banana Republic gold chain necklace, Stella and Dot “Renegade Cluster” bracelet, Michael Kors watch and 3.1 Phillip Lim “Pashli” satchel. Photography by Mitra Mansour.

When the sun comes out in Vancouver, just like a caged animal that’s given it’s first taste of freedom, I can’t wait to go outside. I am not a rainy weather person at all (I blame my Middle Eastern blood), and after living in Vancouver for 27 years, you’d think I would have adapted to our wet West Coast winters, but it’s quite the opposite. That’s why when the sun peered its glorious head this week,  I had to take full advantage with a stroll in my Kitsilano neighbourhood, which also meant a chance to ditch my scarf and gloves for the first time all year- yes! In keeping with what seemed like a caged animal mindset for weeks, I pulled out my favourite coat purchase from this last season to finish off my outfit of the day: an affordable leopard-print coat from Forever 21 that’s actually quite light-weight, perfect for the changing seasons. Spring is on its way folks!

 

Fashion Flashback: My Favourite Summer Outfit

With the incessant amount of rain and dreary winter weather we’ve been having this week in Vancouver, I’ve found myself yearning for sunny warm skies, where all we need is a light jacket to keep us warm on dreamy summer nights. This summer outfit was photographed in late August, and it’s one of my ultimate favourites. I’ve been able to recycle each piece over and over again, in many different ways, which is why I love it so. That and the fact that pastel is a huge upcoming trend for spring 2014, makes me want to throw on this Halston-inspired dress the first chance I get weather-wise.

Forever 21 Dress, Zara leather military jacket, Tory Burch “Robinson” double-zip tote, BCBG Max Azria necklace, Express cocktail ring, Calvin Klein leopard heels (purchased at Hudson’s Bay).

Forever 21 Dress, Zara leather military jacket, Tory Burch “Robinson” double-zip tote, BCBG Max Azria necklace, Express cocktail ring, Calvin Klein leopard heels (purchased at Hudson’s Bay).

Photography by  Mitra Mansour

Photography by Mitra Mansour

Photography by  Mitra Mansour

Photography by Mitra Mansour

Photography by  Mitra Mansour

Photography by Mitra Mansour

TREND ALERT: The Sweatshirt, 2 Ways

This cozy classic is no longer reserved for the gym or lazy Sundays on the couch. As countless recent fashion runways and magazines have attested, the sweatshirt has now transitioned into a stylish staple, seen paired with pencil trousers, leather pants, and even sequined skirts for an easy way to create some contrast amongst bolder dressy pieces. But the sweatshirt has also gotten an update of its own, with either fun prints, embellishments or silk or leather accents, giving a whole new meaning to just “putting on a sweatshirt and jeans”. I recently did a photo-shoot demonstrating two ways to wear a printed sweatshirt, the now popular “Love and Soul” sweatshirt from Army and Navy. The first look is a bit more dressed up (Date-night), and the other is more casual (Drinks with Friends).

Look #1, Date-Night:

Army and Navy Sweatshirt, Gap plaid skirt (old), Zara booties, vintage clutch, Barefoot Contessa statement necklace

Army and Navy Sweatshirt, Gap plaid skirt (old), Zara booties, vintage clutch,
Barefoot Contessa statement necklace

Stella and Dot gold link bracelet, J.Crew gold pave chain bracelet

Stella and Dot gold link bracelet, J.Crew gold pave chain bracelet

Photography by  Mitra Mansour

Photography by Mitra Mansour

Photography by  Mitra Mansour

Photography by Mitra Mansour

 

Look #2, Drinks with Friends:

Army and Navy Sweatshirt, Zara moto leather jacket, Zara camo skinnies, Calvin Klein leopard pumps (from Hudson’s Bay), Town Shoes silver metallic clutch, vintage costume necklace

Army and Navy Sweatshirt, Zara moto leather jacket, Zara camo skinnies, Calvin Klein leopard pumps (from Hudson’s Bay), Town Shoes silver metallic clutch, vintage costume necklace

Photography by  Mitra Mansour

Photography by Mitra Mansour

Photography by  Mitra Mansour

Photography by Mitra Mansour