February

As with my usual casual winter outfits, more black:

 
And just in case anyone was wondering what this coat actually looks like closed and belted:
Aritzia Spencer Wool Coat (Black)(Reiss version here) / Rich & Skinny Legacy Coated Denim (similar here) / 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Satchel / Stuart Weitzman 50/50 Boots / Jacob Turtleneck (similar here or here).
 

It’s February (almost March!). Which means I’m pretty darn sick of winter and I need it to be OVER. This year in particular was a long and rough one. The cold started early, and we had some extremely, extremely cold days. When I lived in D.C., it was just a few more weeks of the cold before I could put away the heavy coats. In Toronto, I have to wait at least two weeks longer, which puts me in a despondent mood just thinking about it. The one thing that is keeping me going? The new influx of fashion for the new season.

For spring, I’ve already added a pair of boyfriend jeans, new casual sneakers, a little cross-body bag, and an oversized day clutch. I’m hoping to finally add a pair of white jeans and just a few tops to freshen up my wardrobe. We’ll see how that goes.I already have my eye on a white blazer that I probably don’t need, but I find myself starting at it multiple times a day online. Basically, the only way to kill an obsession like this is to buy it and then try to convince myself to return it afterwards.

I took a little inventory of what I have purchased over the last few months, and I was shocked to discover that everything I’ve purchased in the last five months is either black or some shade of white except for my new Club Monaco trench coat (tan with black leather sleeves) and a pair of blue jeans! It will be interesting to see how  my color palette will change as the temperatures warm up. Or will it? As I’ve had a little more money at my disposal as of late I’ve noticed that my style has shifted to something edgier and darker (more so than it was before). It’s not surprising. I always thought that if I had more money to “invest” into my wardrobe, my style would probably lean more in that direction. I’m certainly more thrilled with my current wardrobe now than I have ever been before and I’d have it no other way.

One Sweatshirt, Five Ways

I never thought I would give into this sweatshirt-chic trend. I’ve been known to give one of my closest friends a hard time for wearing her hooded sweatshirts wherever she goes and then lamenting that she gets mistaken for being underage even with two young children in tow (which is accompanied by dirty looks by judging eyes). Personally, the hooded sweatshirt definitely has its place, namely, at the gym, in the house, and dog-walking but not much else (I may also allow for very quick errands). I can’t see why you can’t just switch out a hoodie for an actual jacket. However, I came across this sweatshirt-style sweater on the Club Monaco website and was completely captivated by it. It didn’t have a hood (if it did, I would have given it an automatic “nay”) but the alligator motif gave it this dressed up feel that I could most certainly get used to. I also love that the hem is slightly longer in the back:

Club Monaco Belle Sweatshirt

I know many of you are thinking, OK, well how do I wear this? And how versatile can it possibly be? I know you are asking this, because I was asking myself the same questions. So I came up with a few ways to style this sweatshirt, both for the office and for the weekend that didn’t include a trip to the gym (I also did a similar post for Forbes Style File a few months back, if you are interested in checking it out, see here).

Keep in simple. Winterize this look by adding some tights and/or boots:

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Club Monaco Belle Sweatshirt /Zara Pencil Skirt / 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Satchel / LAUREN by Ralph Lauren Adena Pumps / Urban Outfitters Bracelet / Forever21 Rings 
 

Layer:

 

With leather (or faux leather) pants:
 Alice + Olivia Zip Front Leather leggings (check out this faux front leather pair) / Aritzia Spencer Wool Coat / Aldo Chism Wedge Sneakers / 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Satchel / Topshop Rings / Aritzia Hat

 

Bejeweled:

J.Crew Factory Fringe Necklace (similar) / Sleeveless Button Down Blouse (similar here) / Club Monaco Rachel Pant / Jean-Michel Cazabat Sage Wedge Booties (similar) /  Zara Basic Suede Shopper Tote (similar) /  Michael Kors Runway Watch MK5076 (Silver) / Topshop Rings
 

With denim flares:

J Brand Lovestory (Dark Vintage, size 25)(also love it in this color) / Express Graduated Spike Necklace /
 Urban Outfitters, Aldo Bracelets / Botkier Charlotte Clutch (Black)(cute alternative here) /  Topshop Rings / Coach Letty Wedge Boots (similar here).

This Club Monaco Belle Sweatshirt goes for $98.50, and it’s lovely, but I would certainly wait for a sale (if you have a student card/email you can get 20% off). There are tons of other great alternatives right now, as well. As an added bonus, when this trend passes, you can always where it as a cover up to the gym (which is what I plan on doing).

And of course, this post would not be complete without a recap:

Layer upon layer, upon layer

In the past, you may have noticed that my outfits don’t involve much layering. Other bloggers do it well, I, on the hand prefer a more minimalistic look and have never had a desire to put much effort into layering other than throwing a crew-neck sweater over a button-down. However, now that I’m moved back to a much cooler climate, layering up is essential and it’s about time I’ve learned to be more creative with it:

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C by Bloomingdale’s Cashmere Turtleneck Sweater / J.Crew Keeper Chambray / Paige Premium Denim Peg Skinny (similar here) / Loeffler Randall Matilde Boots / Le Chateau Shield Ring / J.Crew Wool Cashmere Coat (more recent version here).

Do you have any fun, creative ways to layer without looking like a crazy person?

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