Let there be light -Style staple #14 Sun dress-

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It’s summer in Canada. Which is maximum 2 months out of the 12. Finally it’s hot out, which means you and I need a new summer dress.

I’ve always pictured the perfect summer dress as light, airy, and undoubtedly floral. After all, it’s not summer unless  it’s filled with flowers, everywhere.

I am old now and can no longer sport anything super short. Instead, I opted for something just above the knee, showing just the right amount of legs without hanging my behind out for the world to see.

I like something that flows, for those rare moments when you feel like twirling in circles as if you were 5 again.

And as the saying goes, “happiness is a beautiful dress that doesn’t need ironing”, so be sure to look for a dress that doesn’t wrinkle easily and you’ll be able to wear it as soon as you land in a sunny destination.

Even if you can’t get away, I would still urge you to visit a park, pack a picnic, and hop on the green lawn in your favorite summer dress.

Animal Instinct -Style staple #13 leopard print-

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Leopard print is like the fresh strawberries on top of a gourmet cheesecake. The cake may still taste good without the fruit topping but it wouldn’t look nearly as mouthwatering. You won’t deem it as Instagram worthy because deep down, you know something is missing.

That’s how leopard print works. It was never meant to serve as the “main dish” as you’ll end up looking like something escaped out of a zoo in head-to-toe leopard. Rather, it acts as the strawberry that punctuates your look.

It’s as universally flattering as black, if styled in the right way, best with denim of all kinds: jeans, shirts, and daisy dukes. Leopard has a way of injecting excitement to your look like the same way that extra shot of vodka does.

Try adding a leopard belt to an otherwise opaque ensemble.

Wrap yourself in a leopard scarf to add warmth to a basic black turtle neck.

Pair leopard flats with cuffed up jeans. Sport a leopard headband. Change up your watch wrist band from plain leather to leopard print.

… et al

Find your basic animal instinct and add some strawberry to your cheesecake.

The Bling Ring -Style staple #12 the right hand ring-

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 Many years ago, there was a diamond ring ad campaign I loved called “The Right Hand Ring”.

It featured quirky and empowering slogans that read your left hand says “I love you” and your right hand says “I love me too”.

I liked the refreshing perspective of celebrating you and you alone. It’s a novel idea to own an important ring that’s neither for your engagement nor wedding. It’s to acknowledge a milestone you’ve achieved, award a promotion you’ve earned, and to remember a journey you took. It’s about pushing yourself higher when you’re feeling down and pulling yourself together when you’re flying high.

Here, I want to try a few “right hand ring” lines myself:

Your left hand knows its limits. Your right hand wants to have it all.

Your left hand asks for permission. Your right hand begs for forgiveness.

Your left hand writes the wedding vows. Your right hand plans the Bachelorette party.

Your left hand says “I’ll think about it”. Your right hand says “I’ll take it”

“Women of the world, raise your right hand”

Your arm, hand, and shoulder’s best friend -Style staple #11 the bag-


Did you know…

your best arm candy is not your current boyfriend nor your future husband.

It is your beloved bag.

We are not talking about your trendiest purse nor the sexiest evening clutch, but your everyday companion, who is perfectly attractive on its own but has never stolen your spotlight.

It complements you; makes you look taller, slimmer, and prettier.

It travels with you around the world, to Paris even, winning approving looks from the toughest fashion critic, the Parisian women.

It accompanies you to the fanciest dinner parties as well as to the dullest places like your doctor’s office or the grocery store.

It holds your hand and latches onto your arm through the busiest crowds, never parting you.

It sits quietly near you when your focus is elsewhere like watching a movie or catching butterflies, patiently awaits you.

It will not blame you when you have a “fall out” and will be just as happy to reunite as the first day you brought it home.

It’s like your best friend but better. I guarantee that you will never have a quarrel or a misunderstanding.

I am grateful to my best bag friend. And I hope you are too.


Smile in the rain -Style staple #10, the trench coat


The Burberry trench coat is one of those closet staples that grows with you and becomes who you are. I truly believe she’s immortal and will be with me until the end of time. Even then, I’ll probably request to have her buried with me :).

I chose the Heritage Kensington coat instead of the seasonal runway versions because let’s be honest, I can barely afford one so it’s better to have an undying classic. In terms of colour, I had my heart set on “honey” as the hue brings out the trench’s best features. You’ll be able to see every functional design detail like the gun flap, epaulettes, storm shield, and the shield cover in the back.

Couple things I learned when shopping for the coat:

1. The magic word is gaberdine, a special tightly woven cotton invented by Thomas Burberry in 1879 that will outlast years of rain. It’s worth the extra investment as it outwears regular cotton coats for decades to come.

2. Only trust specialty dry cleaners to take care of your coat. It would be a good idea to ask for name of the dry cleaner your local Burberry boutique uses.

3. Never loop the strap through the buckle. It’s worthwhile to learn how to tie the belt at the back the “Burberry” way.

4. Wear it open unless it’s unbearably windy. Part of the coat’s charm is its effortless silhouette and you wouldn’t want to take that away by wearing it all buttoned up.

Here’s a short talk by Burberry’s Creative Director, Christopher Bailey, on what the classic trench means to him.

When life gives you lemons, apply more lipstick -style staple #9 red lip stick-

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI never used to wear lipstick, or any lip colour for that matter.

That is, until I found the perfect shade.

It feels like finding the long lost love you had been searching for your entire life, it complemented your features and brightened your smile.

Or like finding Cinderella with the glass slipper, just fits, perfectly.

And like seeing a movie in colour for the first time, you didn’t know what you were missing and can never go back to black and white.

Life is short. Buy the lipstick.

Sometimes, it’s best when they can’t see your eyes -Style staple #8, sunglasses-

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   Top 10 reasons why I die for sunglasses:

  1. The most effective way to channel a chameleon.
  2. The best accessory for lazy days when you don’t have time to fuss with makeup.
  3. They make you instantly photogenic, even when the camera catches you with your eyes closed.
  4. There’s something about the big round styles that will make anyone look like a big important celebrity, a la Emma Thompson in the Bling Ring.
  5. Two words: Cat eyes. Tom Ford makes the best pair for when you need to arrive fashionably late.
  6. Aviators make the most uncool person look hot. And make the coolest person look even hotter.
  7. When you need can’t hold back tears in public. They hide your red blurry eyes so others will only see a tear drop down your cheek. Dramatic without the drama.
  8. They will somehow fix the worst of your bad hair days.
  9. Portable, you can bring them anywhere.
  10. If eyes truly are the window to your soul, you’ll need blinds for them and leave something for the imagination.

Smelly cat -Style staple #7, fragrance-

perfumeSomeone once told me that if you wear the same scent long enough, it will eventually become your own distinctive smell, even when you hadn’t spritzed any perfume. I thought it was a romantic idea and had been wearing perfume religiously since my teen years. Needless to say, to this day, I am still not sweating Chanel :(.

My love for perfume began when I couldn’t even afford to buy them. I remember going counter to counter with a friend who shared the passion and asked for perfume samples from Dunhill to Lanvin. We collected up to 50 different perfume samples and were proudly able distinguish eau de toilette from eau de parfum. (the former is lighter while the latter contains more perfume and lasts longer). Did you know that a perfume can smell differently on your body vs. on the sample scent paper? Did you also know that sniffing coffee beans in between sampling different scents can help your nose detect the difference in smell?

Since my perfume junkie days, I have learned what I like, what smells good on me, and which scent makes me happy. I also find it essential to match my scent with the outfit I am wearing or the mood I am in each day.

Chloe is an ultra feminine scent for days I feel content.

Coco Mademoiselle is a contemporary version of old Hollywood and brings out the “starlet” in me when I most need it.

Balenciaga is one of those scents that I can’t get enough of. It’s quintessentially French and refreshingly chic.

“Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself”.

I hope you can be inspired by this Coco Mademoiseele video and find your very own happiness scent!

Fashionable dog collar -style staple # 6 the chain necklace-

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I still remember the day I found this vintage gold plated chain necklace. I was with my dad at his favorite consignment store as he was super excited to show me couple paintings he had put on hold. It always happens like that, you often come across a great find when you least expect it.

I fell in love with the chain immediately. It had a perfect chain-to-chain ratio, uniformed and unfussy. It also helped that it closely resembled a much coveted David Yurman necklace I had been lusting after since the beginning of time.

Why is it such a treasure, you ask.

It has a good weight, which speaks to its quality.

A great colour, which makes it universally flattering.

A good length, so that it will work on any collar.

If you can only own one piece of jewelry for the rest of your life, go for a classic chain. It is the closest thing to perfection and it will outlast any trend, any time.

white is the new black -style staple #5 classic white shirt-

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Although I don’t wear it often, but I’ve always made sure that I have stocked at least one classic white button down in my closet. I like a crisp white, fitted through the waist, and no bells or whistles. Brooks Brothers makes one I like and would recommend anyone to start with. It’s made with the best cotton and will last a long time if you take care of it.

Other than the obvious occasions for the white shirt like interviews or meetings, I actually prefer to wear mine with unexpected bottoms like denim cut offs or flirty skirts. The more unorthodox, the better. 

So roll up your sleeves and be adventurous and you’ll be amazed at what chic looks you can put together with the classic white shirt.