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. ~

Spring Shoe Event at Hudson’s Bay Vancouver

Spring Shoe Event at Hudson’s Bay VancouverThere’s nothing I love more than a whole lot of lust-worthy SHOES, which is why I am excited to return once again as host of Hudson’s Bay Vancouver’s Spring Shoe Event! And guess what…YOU ARE ALL INVITED!

On Thursday, May 12, 2016 from 6 – 8 pm, the second floor women’s shoe department will be the site of an exciting evening full of complimentary food and drink, an exclusive fashion show full of this season’s hottest shoe trends (hosted by yours truly), and the chance to win a $500 shopping spree! There will also be amazing event-only sales going on for just that evening.

Spring Shoe Event at Hudson’s Bay Vancouver

As this is a private event, you’ll need a ticket to get in, and at just $10, it’s a steal…but if you buy ANY shoes that evening, you get $10 off with your ticket. So basically it’s a no brainer to come! Here’s the official event poster:

Spring Shoe Event at Hudson’s Bay VancouverTickets can be purchased by visiting the women’s shoe department at Hudson’s Bay downtown Vancouver anytime from now until before the event, however I am also giving away 3 pairs of tickets via my Instagram!!

Just look for the below photo on my feed and follow these steps:

Spring Shoe Event at Hudson’s Bay Vancouver

  1. Follow Me! (@ManaMansour)
  2. Tag a girlfriend or a special lady who you’d love to bring as your date to the Spring Shoe Event.
  3. You’ll get an extra chance to win if your date also follows the above steps and tags you back!

That’s it!! The winners will be announced on Wednesday, May 11 after 5 pm.

Spring Shoe Event at Hudson’s Bay VancouverSee you all on Thursday!

Xo Mana

~ All photography by Isaac Wray ~

Streetscouted: Spring/Summer Wardrobe Staples

Streetscouted: Spring/Summer Wardrobe Staples

Hello June! Although summer is just around the corner, in Vancouver we ushered the new month this week with cloudy skies and cooler temperatures. June has traditionally always been a fickle month, one minute it’s hot and sunny, the next minute you’re wondering if we’re back in dreary March. That’s why on weeks like this I always resort to my favourite spring/summer staples- a structured blazer over a blouse, killer distressed boyfriend jeans and sleek pumps. This combo works perfectly for June’s unpredictable weather, while always being chic with that little bit of edge. It also makes for a killer night on the town outfit- BONUS.

Streetscouted: Spring/Summer Wardrobe Staples

Streetscouted: Spring/Summer Wardrobe Staples Streetscouted: Spring/Summer Wardrobe Staples When recreating this outfit, I recommend investing in the blazer more so than the other pieces, especially since you can now find great-fitting trendy distressed denim at many fast fashion retailers. I love this pair found at Zara, and you can’t beat the $49.99 price tag. For investment blazers, Judith and Charles, Aritzia and Club Monaco are my top choices.

Streetscouted: Spring/Summer Wardrobe Staples

Streetscouted: Spring/Summer Wardrobe Staples

 OUTFIT DETAILS || Blazer and distressed boyfriend jeans: Zara, Blouse: Peter Pilotto x Target (no longer available), Black suede pumps: Kelsi Dagger (purchased at the Army & Navy shoe sale!), Neon satchel: ASOS, statement necklace: vintage. All photography by Streetscout.Me.

To capture my favourite spring/summer wardrobe stables for this post, I collaborated once again with my favourite streetstyle photographers, Sabrina and Jeremy from Streetscout.Me. They always know how to make any outfit shine, and have spent the last few years capturing some of Vancouver’s most stylish people on their awesome website. Here is just a taste…

Streetscouted: Spring/Summer Wardrobe Staples The beautiful Randa Salloum from The Unprecedented captured by Streetscout.Me.

Streetscouted: Spring/Summer Wardrobe Staples

The immensely stylish Sue Randhawa from The Optical Boutique captured by Streetscout.Me.

Streetscouted: Spring/Summer Wardrobe Staples

 The dynamic duo of Streetscout.Me, Sabrina and Jeremy!

And now for some exciting news. Right now Streetscout.Me are holding a great contest with Robson Street! For the month of June, they will be street scouting the most stylish strangers on Robson Street to be featured on their website, as well as on the Robson Street blog. The most fashionably dressed will also be rewarded with $50 gift cards each week to one of Robson Street’s retailers. Find out more information and when they will be hitting Robson Street (camera in tow!) here.

Transitional Styling with StreetScout.Me

This time of the year is one of my favourites. Warmer weather means ditching bulky winter coats, but spring breezes along with cool nights means the substitute is chic layered pieces that doesn’t make you feel too hot. As someone who could be classified as blazer-obsessed, I love finding new patterns and colours in this classic shape that elevate it from business to fashion-forward. Plus, it’s my go-to item for creating the perfect spring look that can be both casual yet sophisticated.

To showcase this perfect transitional piece, I teamed up with my favourite local street style photographers, StreetScout.Me, led by the talented dynamic duo (in both life and in business) Sabrina Fenster and Jeremy Levy. Coming from marketing and fashion editorial backgrounds, StreetScout.Me was created to showcase the realistic side of fashion, and show the rest of Canada just how relatable fashion actually can be. I’d say that’s a mandate after my own heart! Sabrina’s older brother is a good friend and broadcasting colleague of mine, and was my principal videographer/editor of the show I created, West Coast Style. For so long I’ve been hoping to collaborate with his equally as creative sister, and was so happy to finally make it happen now that Sabrina and Jeremy call Vancouver home. You may have seen their shots on recognizable publications such as Fashion Magazine, but here is our transitional styling shoot:

 

Lord & Taylor tartan blazer from Hudson’s Bay, Target chambray shirt, BCBG Max Azria leather leggings, J.Crew statement necklace, Ever New pony hair leopard print smoking slippers, 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli satchel, gold rings from Winners, sparkle studs from Forever 21, and Ray Ban sunglasses from Sunglasses Hut.

Aren’t these shots AH-MAZING??? A big thank you to StreetScout.Me!

Celebrating Spring Trends with a Look Back at Sunday Occasion

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Today is the first official day of spring, and for my fellow Iranians around the world, the spring equinox also marks the beginning of a new year, known as Nowruz. I love this time of the year, it’s not only a happy celebration full of yummy food and warm visits from family and friends, but it also means for a renewal and a refresh of our homes and closets, something I always look forward to.

My love for the spring season was fully realized when I was asked by Pacific Centre to host and style Sunday Occasion, their charity spring fashion runway show, just held last week. It was such an honour being involved with this event; in addition to having the chance to inspire attendees on incorporating the hottest spring trends using mall retailers, 100% of proceeds went to an incredibly vital organization in our community, Coast Mental Health. I am happy to say that the event was a complete sell out, with 150 fashion-loving guests being treated to an afternoon of delicious food, cocktails and three runway shows from Holt Renfrew, Harry Rosen and finally, Pacific Centre retailers (styled by me)!

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Coast Mental Health Foundation’s Board of Governors Chair, Shirley Broadfoot, addresses the crowd.

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To celebrate the arrival of spring, here is a breakdown of some of my favourite looks from my runway presentation, along with which Pacific Centre retailers I used to create them. My inspiration was simple: I wanted to show men and women simple ways to recreate the hottest spring trends from international runways (Paris, Milan and New York), while using a variety of accessible price points.

Look #1: A Men’s Dressy Look

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This look was inspired by mid-century modern styles we saw in men’s runway shows, think 1950’s, 3-piece suits with fluid lines and softer fabrics. We saw that in the men’s Armani runway show and now we see it in a 3-piece khaki suit from Le Chateau. I paired it with a navy polka dot dress shirt from Banana Republic, a brown leather belt from Coach, Ted Baker brown leather loafers from Town Shoes, Tom Ford wafer-style sunglasses from Eyes Inspire, finished off with a fun men’s umbrella from Coach, to be prepared for when the Spring showers hit.

Look #2: A Women’s Dressy Look, Perfect for the Office

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This look was inspired by floral and neon trends we saw from Oscar de la Renta and Michael Kors. Don’t be afraid of incorporating neon hues for the office, in a sea of black and grey, adding pops of colour in your work attire is a great way to freshen it up and make it fashion-forward. Here I have put the model in a hot pink and black floral blouse from Banana Republic, a hot pink blazer from Ever New, pencil leg dress pants from Judith and Charles, a black leather handbag and gold pointy-toe pumps from Miss Sixty, finished off with a classic pair of Dolce and Gabbana cat-eye sunglasses from Eyes Inspire.

Look #3: A Casual Men’s Look, the “Jet-Setter”

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After a long workweek, it’s time to have fun on the weekend. Casual wear is a perfect chance to experiment and play with fashion. This casual look was inspired by the floral prints we saw (even for the men!) in menswear shows like Prada and Dries van Noten. Gentlemen, if floral is a bit intimidating for you, do it in more subdued tones like Navy and blue (another big trend), seen in this shirt from Le Chateau. It’s put together with pink khakis pants and matching canvas and leather belt from the Gap (pastel hues are also another major Spring trend, more on that in another look), a denim jacket from Mexx, brown leather loafers (no socks!) from Geox, a brown leather duffle bag from Coach (perfect for any spring getaway, and then finished off with Gucci aviator sunglasses from Eyes Inspire.

Look #4: A Casual Women’s Look, “Weekend Sparkle”

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For this look, I was inspired by the embellishment trend we saw on runway shows like Marni and Balanciaga. Casual pieces that are transformed with sequins, studs and crystals, either all over or on select places like collars and cuffs. To showcase this I put our model in an embellished denim shirt from Ever New, which can be dressed up or down. I paired the denim shirt with Kelly green trousers and a hot pink thin belt from Banana Republic and finished with Kate Spade + Keds sneakers from Town Shoes that had a fun polka dot pattern and hints of hot pink.

Look #5: A Casual Men’s Look that Screams the Navy Colour Trend

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Stars like Kevin Spacey opted for navy suits rather than the traditional black at this year’s Oscars red carpet, and here I’m showing you different ways to wear navy in a more casual look, starting with a lightweight linen navy shirt from Banana Republic. It’s paired with striped navy and cream Bermuda shorts and a cream belt from RW&Co., a red and navy nylon bomber jacket (a bomber jacket is the perfect spring alternative for layering), Ted Baker brown leather loafers with contrast laces from Town Shoes, and finished off with Prada sunglasses from Eyes Inspire.

Look #6: A Casual Women’s Look, “Perfect Pastels”

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As mentioned before, spring 2014 runways screamed pastel hues, from accessories to evening wear to coats. This pastel look, also has another major trend I saw on the spring 2014 runways: leather biker jackets in pretty much any pastel colour, not in traditional black! Versace gave us pink pastel biker jackets for women and here I’m giving you one from Club Monaco. The rest of the look played on other trends as well, floral shorts from Ever New, a cotton white tee from RW&Co., white leather wedge sandals from Le Chateau and an Inzi black and white striped faux leather clutch from Town Shoes, demonstrating how easy it is to mix print on print!

Look #7: A Casual Women’s Look, the On-the-Go “Sports Lux”

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In Vancouver we love to be active and comfortable, be it walking on the seawall or running around doing weekend errands. But that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice style for comfort or functionality. This is what I am calling my sports lux look, inspired by the rise of chic sporty elements in high fashion. It all starts with this comfortable stretchy zip black and white graphic patterned dress from Club Monaco. I put it under this fabulous, water resistant black polyurethane trench coat from Banana Republic, a neon green baseball cap from J.Crew and neon pink and green New Balance sneakers from Town Shoes. Being sporty never looked so good!

I hope you can take some of these trends and incorporate them into your spring wardrobe. A big thank you to Pacific Centre for their amazing partnership, and to Holt Renfrew Vancouver for dressing me for Sunday Occasion in a Peter Pilotto dress and Jimmy Choo nude heels.

Happy Spring everybody!

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!

 

You’re Invited to: SUNDAY OCCASION

Sunday Occasion-REVISED INVITE

I am so excited and honoured to announce that I have partnered once again with Pacific Centre to host their upcoming spring trends event, Sunday Occasion. Imagine an intimate Sunday morning filled with delicious eats, sparkling cocktails, and a runway filled with the latest spring looks for both men and women from your favourite Pacific Centre retailers, all benefiting a vital charitable organization in our community…I call that a perfect way to spend a weekend!

Tickets to Sunday Occasion are $50, and 100% of proceeds go to Coast Mental Health. If you already aren’t aware of Coast Mental Health’s important work, they’re a non-profit private organization that supports recovery from mental illness by providing intervention and care, including meal and clothing programs, and supported housing. As a token of appreciation and to get your Spring wardrobe started, all guests will also receive a $50 Cadillac Fairview SHOP! CARD® gift card.

I will be styling and presenting my top Spring 2014 looks, along with Holt Renfrew and Harry Rosen in an exclusive runway presentation that only Spring Occasion guests will see. But tickets are limited, so purchase your ticket here.

Lastly, thank you to the amazingly talented Ellen Ho for the beautiful headshot.

See you on March 9th!