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Top 5 Items to Beat the Heat

Fried EggsSummer. What comes to mind when you think of this wonderful season? For some lucky ones that will find refuge at the beach, it invokes vacation, bikinis and blissful shade, while for others it is synonymous with unbearable heat and humidity. And often, to be lived at the heart of the city.

So, to keep your cool while staying trendy, here is a list of the Top 5 items that will help you beat the heat this summer.

1. Linen

I just can not bring myself to wear linen. Why? Too many wrinkles! But if you do not mind that constant wrinkled look and do not feel the need to bring out the iron every 5 minutes, then this should be your fabric of choice in the summertime.  Anything linen, whether it’s a tank top, shirt, dress, pants or a skirt will help you keep your cool.

J Crew Linen dressLinen top

From left to right: J.Crew linen dress, Style&co linen top

2. Sun hats

Sun hats are not only for the beach. I have seen plenty of hats that have that less-beachy look and which can easily be incorporated into your everyday wardrobe. A panama is the easiest way to go, but why not try a colorful one, like the purple one below and pair it with a yellow sundress?

PanamaPurple panamaYellow sundress

From left to right: Panama, Purple panama hat, Juicy couture dress

3. Summer dresses

Light and breezy, summer dresses are a must in any woman’s wardrobe. Have your pick of florals, stripes, polka dots, bold colors, or just plain white. Whatever your pleasure, you can not go wrong with this sexy summer essential. Here are a couple of my faves.

Paul & Joe dress 2Paul & Joe dress 1

4. Sandals

Another summer must, sandals not only allow your feet to breathe, but they also show off your nice pedicure. Although not my personal favorite, Gladiators are the season’s hottest trend – providing some strange tan lines – as are wedges and platforms.

Gladiator sandalsWedges

From left to right: Silver gladiator sandals, Miss Sixty wedges

5. Chic water

And for those extra hot days, why not give your skin the TLC it deserves? Freshen up with Evian’s facial spray!

Evian Paris editionEvian New York edition

Evian facial sprays, Paris and New York limited editions

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For the love of leather! M0851 in Paris

M0851 storeWhen I moved to Paris almost two years ago, I had a hard time giving up what I knew best: brands that I had known and loved for years and the familiarity of walking into a boutique where everyone knew you. It’s as though I had created a relationship with these brands and we were breaking up! Strange, I know, but when you’re moving to a city where style and fashion are the two keywords used to describe the City of Lights, you want to be ready to play the game. You want to hit all the trendy boutiques and cool arrondissements, and yet maintain your own sense of style! Demanding? Yes. Impossible? No.

As I was walking around one day, I discovered the sweetest thing: an M0851 boutique in P-A-R-I-S. I could not help myself but go in to browse and smell that sweet leathery smell that I loved so much.

To some of my Canadian readers you most likely still refer to it as Rugby or Rugby North America. Some of you probably owned their leather school bags – looking back it was incredibly uncomfortable since the straps were not plush and foamy, but the leather was all so buttery – that came adorned with the key chain. Till this day I can still hear the sound of that key chain as it would hit against the other metal parts of my school bag.

M0851 coatsFrom those early days of initiation, I have since purchased many-o-items and can safely say that I have a small M0851 section in my closet, including various skirts, pants, bags, jackets and coats, and last but not least my fave: the parka, which changed my Canadian winters forever!

M0851’s products are defined by smooth, clean, simple and modern lines; just what I like. Known for their fine leather goods, and sometimes eye-catching colors, M0851 designs both men’s and women’s apparel, as well as bags and accessories. The Parisian boutique, located in the 6th arrondissement at 63 rue des Saints-Pères, carries the M0851 collection of coats, jackets, bags and accessories. I was so proud of my Canadian roots when one day I spotted some of their leather goods at Le Bon Marché, the Rive Gauche’s upscale shopping center, and thought to myself, “Hey…they made it!”

M0851 bags and accessories

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Michael Jackson’s influence on fashion

Whether you loved him or hated him, everyone knew Michael Jackson and he most likely impacted your life in some way or another. Not only was he credited with breaking down multiple barriers in the music industry, he was also a renowned style-icon to some.

Most of Michael Jackson’s iconic looks were introduced during the 1980’s: both his “Thriller” and “Beat It” jackets making an appearance in 1982-1983, his signature cropped pants in 1983, the white glove and military jacket in 1984, and the white suit paired with a fedora in 1987.

I remember watching his “Thriller” video as a kid and thinking it was so cool, but now looking back as an adult I am wondering just WHAT was he wearing and what was Ola Ray, the female lead, wearing? High waisted pants? I understand that both looks were HOT in 1983, but trying to make a comeback now? Hmmm….interesting.

Thriller-Michael-JacksonRihanna Thriller jacketHigh waisted trouser

From left to right: “Thriller” video, Rihanna in red leather jacket, high waisted trousers.

Although I did not own a “Beat It” leather jacket or a glittery white glove, I am sure you or someone you know owned at least one of these signature items.

Beat_It_Videomichael_jackson_glove

From left to right: “Beat It” video, white glove.

Even Michael Jackson’s military-inspired jackets are being seen on today’s runways. Not such a bad look when paired with slim jeans.

MJ military jacketBalmain military jacket

From left to right: MJ military jacket, Balmain Spring 2009.

Even in the Gucci Spring 2009 fashion show, another one of Michael Jackson’s iconic looks hit the runways. So, if you’re into military jackets, white suits or even wearing white socks with cropped pants, and whether it is 1983 or 2009, it looks like Michael Jackson’s style will have a lasting impression on fashion.

Michael Jackson white suitGucci white suit

From left to right: MJ white suit with fedora, Gucci Spring 2009.

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Bringing out the girly-girl within

Sof'kipeutI have always been drawn to colorful patterns and as I walked by Sof’kipeut’s window display one afternoon, I knew right then that I had discovered a fun and, well, girly boutique. As one can see, Sof’kipeut prides itself on the use of colorful materials and patterns, as well as the mixing-and-matching of these to create and design original-looking purses and accessories.

Prior to launching a full range of purses and accessories, Sophie, the designer-made-store-owner, started off by making wedding and cocktail purses. Lightweight and custom-made, which can also be made to match your outfit, these purses are small in size and elegantly hang from your wrist for a chic and put-together look. The other purses that make up the collection are a variety of oh-so-different shapes and sizes and this is what makes them so very original.

Sof'kipeut broochesThe accessories are not only fun and eccentric, but would also make great gifts for the color-loving girl. Accessories include brooches, small and large pouches that could be used as make-up bags, hair accessories, as well as jewelry including earrings, necklaces and bracelets. I personally love the Japanese silk brooches that would add just the right touch to any outfit.

Located in the 18th arrondissement, at 29 rue Véron, this boutique is not only worth the detour but is guaranteed to brighten up anyone’s day!

Sof'kipeut purses

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Un jour, un sac

Un jour, un sacHaving the ability to change your purse on a daily basis is a dream for some and a reality for others. “Un jour, un sac” is a great concept I’ve come across in Paris. As the name suggests, you create and personalize your own purse. Select your bag, which range from small to large, as well as your material of preference – whether it’s fabric, leather or even paper, and then choose your handles, which are available in either leather or PVC. And voilà! You’ve just created your own purse. You can also choose a pouch for the inside of your purse, should you want extra space or a place to keep things safe and out-of-sight.

Un jour, un sac handlesSo, if you’re a purse fanatic like me and like to change things up once a week or even daily, “Un jour, un sac” definitely makes this possible, as all pieces are interchangeable. Looking to add some color to your plain black purse? Why not change your handles to red, yellow, orange, or pink?  These purses will set you apart from all other Parisian woman – what are you waiting for?

Most purses are in the €200 range (handles at €35, purses at €130, and pouches at €25), but be careful as it can also go up to €800 depending on your choice of leather bag.

Un jour, un sac
27, boulevard Raspail
75007 Paris

+ 33 (0)1 45 49 26 88

Check out their web site, www.unjourunsac.com, for other boutique locations.

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