Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ask Tamara: Splitting a Suit

I recently hosted a private shopping night and fashion show for the alumni of the University of Waterloo, that focused on creating a fun & functional wardrobe that is well-edited, with few items that could be worn in multiple ways. It was really fun night with lots of opportunities to ask questions and have some one-on-one time with me and some of the fantastic staff at Banana Republic Flagship Store on Bloor Street.

I received this question from one of the attendees:

I was at the [event] and wanted to ask a question about one of the looks. You had one of the models wearing a full suit, and the other one wearing only the jacket. I was always under the impression that you shouldn't split a suit, and that suit jackets are to be worn as suit jackets only and not as sports jackets. Are there any 'rules' for breaking up a suit?

Great presentation, by the way. My wife and I really enjoyed it.


If one person had this question, many must have the same question. So it has become the inspiration for a new blog feature called, ever so originally,: 'Ask Tamara'.

The question you've asked is a good one. While some may feel awkward splitting a suit, it is actually ok to do so, as long as you're choosing fabrics that go together.

When splitting a suit to use the jacket with a different dress pant, aim for a dress pant in a fabric that corresponds to the jacket in terms of fabric weight and composition. For example: a refined, smooth wool jacket with a herringbone or stripe in the weave would work well with a pant of equal fabric weight and in a colour that picks up on the main colour, or a colour within the pattern of the jacket. (let's say our jacket is grey with a black herringbone. you could safely choose a solid black or solid grey pant, if the grey is similar to that of the jacket). The modern way to do this centres on choosing plainer jackets rather than a larger pattern like a glen plaid, which would look dated split up.

Splitting a suit to wear the jacket with jeans can become trickier as many suit fabrics do not naturally relate in terms of level of refinement/formality. If you want to try this look, choose a suit jacket that is more casual and on the trendier side, with a slimmer fit and either a more casual fabrication or a more novel fabrication - like a 'sharkskin,' corduroy, moleskin, or twill - to go with a darker, dressy denim. Both Banana Republic and JCrew have great examples on their sites.

Here are some examples from JCrew:
As a suit:
Just a Jacket and Jeans:
What fashion question have you been dying to ask? Write to me and I'll put it up on the blog!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Golden Globes Trends

I admit, it's taken me a couple of days to digest the fashion extravaganza that was the Golden Globes. So many beautifully dressed celebrities, nevermind the award speeches!

As I reviewed the red carpet photos, on Women's Wear Daily I saw that this time around the red carpet trends extended beyond formal wear and reflected some of the major trends we'll be seeing this spring/summer.

1. Nudes - a huge trend for spring/summer 2010, I'm looking forward to all the renditions of this colouration from ivory to blush nude tones, particularly beautiful in flowing or shimmery fabrics will be a key look. My favourites were Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Morrison, and Christina Hendricks.

2. Assymetric Shoulders - another beautiful trend, which has been on-going over the past year, was seen in brights as well as neutrals, shine as well as matte. My faves for this trend were Sigourney Weaver, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Marion Cotillard.

3. Deep Decolletage - Normally we see one, maybe two red carpet wonders who attempt to pull off this trend while looking stately and comfortable. It's particularly daring! This time though, at least 4 starlets sauntered down the step and repeat baring cleavage down to their navels. A veritable trend. It worked on Anna Paquin, Lisa Edelstein, and Olivia Wilde.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy New Year!

A fresh new year is like opening a new notebook. The pages are crisp and just waiting to be filled with new adventures, realizations and commitments. It's also a great time for a make-over!

I am a firm believer that thought leads to action. I believe that getting your mind on board first helps to get your body, your spirit and your life on track naturally.

Make your 2010 make-over a success:

1. Outline two or three goals in each area of your life (some could be: relationships, work, image, spirituality) that you would like to accomplish this year.

2. Write each goal down in a positive and active voice. In the area of image, for example: "I have a great wealth of self confidence!"

3. Write them down again, this time with details. What do you really want to happen? For example: "I am proud of my body, I have a wardrobe I love to wear and I have a self-care routine that is effortless to maintain. Other people notice how confident I am in my own skin. I am happier than ever!"

4. Get a calendar - one you look at all the time - and write down each goal on the date you want to achieve them. For our example, your ultimate goal might coincide with a special event (reunion, return to work etc), and intermittent goals could include items like fitness goals or a series of make-over program appointments with your Style Coach.

5. Write down the small, daily steps it will take for you to reach each goal. Breaking down large goals into easily achievable steps is key to your success. For example: "Start my day with a healthy breakfast that will make me feel great", "Go for a 20-minute walk after dinner" or "hire, and have a style consultation with, my Style Coach."

6. Make appointments for those baby steps to make your goals a reality!

What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Trademark has a lot of goals for 2010 too, with many changes ahead to bring you more exciting content and services! I look forward to revealing them as the year progresses.

Happy 2010 everyone! It's going to be an exciting year!