#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: 1970’s Boho

#ootd 1970's Boho

By now it’s no surprise how much the 1970’s is influencing fashion, especially Fall 2015. From seeing bell-bottom silhouettes, to kaleidoscopic prints, to Victorian peasant shirts (that just beg for a day at Woodstock), this retro era is definitely having a major resurgence. I myself, am a huge fan- the fashion from the 1970’s has always been big in the Mansour household. As a child of baby boomers, I would spend countless hours rummaging through my mom’s closet to borrow the killer clothes she still had from the era. However, as with any trend that’s a nod to another time, it can quickly look costumey if done too literally from head-to-toe. A simple way to avoid that is to incorporate pieces that are inspired by the era yet still have a modern look and feel to them. I love this skirt and blouse I found both from Forever 21, that feel both like an homage to the trends of the 1970’s I love, but still modern enough to surpass the trend. Their price tags don’t hurt either. I never go too crazy when spending on pieces that are more trendy than classic.

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#ootd 1970's Boho

#ootd 1970's Boho

#ootd 1970's Boho

Another great tip when incorporating the 1970’s trend into your wardrobe is to hit up thrift and vintage stores. Why buy new when you can go authentic? Often times the craftsmanship back then was far superior then now, so these pieces (when found in good condition), still look fantastic. I am a huge fan of vintage/thrift accessories, like this belt and purse found at Value Village and the earrings straight from my mom’s 1970’s closet. If you need a bit of help on how to search for treasures, check out my vintage shopping tips here.

Thank you once again to the talented Ellen Ho of Hong Photography for capturing me so beautifully for the second installment of my #OOTD series, and to Gurveen at Pink Orchid Studio for the amazing bohemian braid and flawless makeup.

Outfit Details: blouse and distressed jean skirt- Forever 21, belt and suede fringe bag- Value Village, open toe booties- Winners, earrings- vintage from mom’s closet, gold stud ring- Winners, turquoise ring- from Iran

#OOTD: Print Perfect

Style By Mana Print Perfect

As summer winds down, I am trying to get the most wear out of my dresses and strappy heels before the weather is too crisp to even think about putting them on. It’s also around this time that wearing transitional garments is key, in other words, items in your closet that work well for both seasons. A great choice is a dark print, like this French Connection dress. Dark prints have a dark background (either black or jewel tones) unlike their summer counterpart that is usually against white and have neon or pastel florals. This dress fits that bill but the cut is great for the last weeks of warm weather. Later on, it can be easily paired with black tights, a leather moto jacket and booties.

Style By Mana Print Perfect

Style By Mana Print Perfect

This also brings me to the topic of prints. Anyone who knows my style knows well enough how much I love bold, bright prints. If you think that wearing bold prints will make you look larger or that they are too loud, think again! Prints can actually be utilized to take attention away from certain parts of your body that you want to mask, while injecting a refreshing and colourful spin on any outfit. And especially considering the huge influence the 1960’s and 1970’s are having in fashion right now, injecting prints into your wardrobe couldn’t be more current and fashion-forward!

There are a few tricks on wearing bold prints that I want to share. Firstly, keep in mind that large prints give the impression of a greater surface area, so if you are a bit more curvy, best to stick to smaller patterns that are tightly grouped together. The smaller the print, the smaller the frame appears to the eye. A great way to choose a print, say like a floral, is to make sure the flowers are no larger than your hand span.

Style By Mana Print Perfect

Style By Mana Print Perfect

And finally, it’s important to anchor vibrant patterns with a strong block colour. A great way to choose which colour is to pick out a colour from the print, like I have done with my accessories here. The black belt and black purse (taken from the black background of the print) anchors the look, while the blue shoes, taken from the same blue colour of the print, creates a cohesive look without adding any extra busyness.

Style By Mana Print Perfect

This #OOTD photo series is the first part in my collaboration with the immensely talented Ellen Ho of Hong Photography. Ellen has captured me for different editorials throughout the years and her spirit, talent and vision never ceases to amaze me. Also, a huge thank you to the beautiful Gurveen of Pink Orchid Studio for working her magic on my hair and makeup. Gurveen so effortlessly brought my vision to life and I felt so beautiful. Excited to share more photos coming soon!

Style By Mana Print Perfect

 Outfit Details: printed dress- French Connection, BCBgeneration blue suede heels- Winners, vintage black snake-skin cross-body clutch- Front & Co, thrift black leather and gold belt- Value Village, gold cuff- Kate Spade.

Vintage 101: Top 5 Tips on Shopping Vintage

vintage bannerFrom as early as age 14, when my interest in fashion and personal style began, I have shopped and loved vintage/thrift. Those first experiences with vintage were rummaging through my mom’s closet, picking out fabulous pieces that she’d kept from the 1970’s and 1980’s. Wearing them might have gotten me a few weird looks from the other girls at my high school, but I felt great, not only because I looked so unique, but also because I knew the stories behind the garments. Stories like how my mom went to Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City in 1973 to pick out a professional wardrobe, or finding small-town jewelry shops in Idaho on road-trips (as a side-note, my mom did her university studies in the US). Fashion has proved to be cyclical, but rather than always buying it new, I love incorporating the same trends from when they were first appeared on the radar. Not only does it give you a chance to have and wear one-of-a-kind pieces, but there’s also a history behind those pieces and the designers who made them…many of whom don’t design anymore. The added bonus? It’s good for the environment too.

Shopping vintage can be a bit overwhelming however. Many times the stores are jam-packed with a hodgepodge of different things, all displayed together, so searching through them can take a lot of patience and time. From my experience, I’ve compiled a list of my tips when shopping vintage, to make your shopping trips a whole lot more productive and fun.

  1. Give yourself a lot of time. Vintage shopping isn’t like running into Club Monaco to quickly grab a blazer. As I mentioned above, items are not always merchandised as clearly as other stores, and if you’re going to a thrift store like Value Village, it’s even more spread out.
  2. For the ladies, when shopping vintage, wear a handbag that’s cross-body or just bring your wallet. You’ll need your hands to look through garments and feel things, so the last thing you want is your hands to be tied up.
  3. Look at the make and quality of the pieces before purchasing. A lot of clothes were manufactured in North America or Europe back in those days and it should say so. Also look at the materials; if an item is mostly made up of acrylic or synthetic fibers, it’s not really worth it.
  4. Go for pieces that are classic, rather than what’s funky or outrageous, for example, a beige trench, a navy pea coat, military jackets, cashmere sweaters, etc. Also, any designer pieces that are classic to the brand, like a quilted Chanel purse or an LV suitcase are great finds. Not only do those pieces never go out of style but they actually increase in value if they’re keep in good condition.
  5. If it doesn’t fit but you absolutely love it, find a good tailor! This is something I think a lot of shoppers are weary of. They see something they love but if it’s not in their size, they disregard it. A good tailor can customize a piece to fit your body perfectly, which can modernize it as well.

Lastly, if you’re in the Vancouver area and want to know where to go for great quality vintage clothing, check out the clip below from my show West Coast Style. I featured two of my favourite local shops on an episode I did in season 1.

*I LOVE VINTAGE photo courtesy of the talented M’c Kenneth Licon.