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If you have something to say or a cause to support, it's commonplace to put it on a t shirt. And why not, that's a lot of blank space to be used! This is not new, the first graphic t's were army issue back in the 40's or perhaps earlier, the 'Wizard of Oz' t shirts used to promote the film. Graphic t's then skyrocketed to popularity in the 50's and 60's when bands caught on to their promotional appeal. And, who can forget George Michael's 1984 iconic 'Choose Life' t shirt. BUT, no need to be so serious. Plum has a wonderful selection with a much more light hearted take made by Bear Dance. They're silly, often feature some of our favourite pets and fit so well. Let's explore them and a few ideas on what to wear with them:

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This is assuming your cat can't read, otherwise this is a great way to get on your cat's bad side! But who cares, it's for your amusement not theirs. Love how it's worn above with camo pants, after all, don't forget black and white are viewed as neutrals. Don't be afraid to mix things up!

Bear Dance cat and book (grey or ivory) $35

Mavi Juliette cargo pant (military green) $118

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Maybe sass up the silly of this 'chicken doing yoga', with a pair of tuxedo jeans. With the addition of the 'don't-mess-with-me' heels', I'd say this is a fun Friday night outfit!

Bear Dance chicken doing yoga (black) $35

Dish skinny tuxedo jean (black) $124

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Here are three pieces that work well together. If you work in a somewhat relaxed environment, these pieces work because they balance each other out and there are no pattern clashes.

Bear Dance 'I work hard' t shirt (black) $35

Look gingham check scarf $39

Tobias jacket with elastic back (blue/cream or cream/black) $189

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And who doesn't love 'little red' staring down the big bad wolf! Another way to wear your graphic t...tuck it into a skirt, add a belt and a simple cardigan add a bit of red lipstick and you're ready to go!

Bear Dance wolf and riding hood (heather grey) $35

Orb pencil skirt (black, or heather grey) $55

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Plum has plenty of seriously comical images to choose from. Find the ones that suit you. They're also great as gifts.

So, maybe if we have something to say, we can possibly use Facebook, blogs, Twitter, or back in the day, we used that low tech thing above our chin... maybe we can save the t shirts for, light hearted, funny, silly...provoking smiles and fun conversations...not more arguments. Because, well...we now have a new world leader that can do that for us!

Yours in Fashion passion...

Suzanne M.

Let's make graphic t's great again! ;)

CHECK OUT the PLUM online store or INSTORE for more options  ... read the full post and reader comments

 
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"I don't like princesses!!" my 9 year old daughter proclaimed to her very generous Aunt who offered her a princess-type gift. Aside from the pre-programmed maternal feelings of mortification, there also drifted away some of my 'Mommy' dreams of dresses and clean, neat hair! Perhaps you're not the majestic type either; not into multiple layers of adornment and perfectly coifed hair. Either end of the spectrum is clearly fine, just know yourself...be yourself and boldly go with that!

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Go with something simple and by all means, abandon the high heels if need be. If you prefer uncomplicated, no reason this would not fit. A slight a-line shape, a naively bold, floral print with pockets. A simple, somewhat retro dress, yet the border adds a modern touch.

Simone shift dress with black trim (coral or teal) $129

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It really can't get less complicated than one piece. Made with tencel, this jumpsuit, is fun, easy and great for weekend getaways or even day to night activities. Slip on some strappy sandals, try it with a long sweeping open front cardigan or a shawl.

Ellison tencel jumpsuit (light blue) $95

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On the other hand, if you do find yourself more at the romantic end of the spectrum, you can stop here. ACAPELLA make some lovely blouses, this one with such a feminine, floral design.

Acapella oversize cap sleeve blouse (3 prints) $59

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Romance is definitely not dead when you don this gorgeous dress. More engaging florals, a cotton fabrication with a hint of stretch, and fully lined make this dress perfect for wedding season. You'll be breath taking.

Simone floral empire waist dress (ivory/pink or silver/multi) $175

I'm afraid, like my daughter, I've never really believed in fairy tales, prince charming or knights in shining armour. However, I do believe fashion allows us to take us to another place or boldly be ourselves and express it with colour and style...And anyway, 'Cinderella never asked for a prince, only a night off and a dress' -Kiera Cass.

....and we all lived fashionably ever after!

Suzanne M.

   ... read the full post and reader comments

 
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Did someone just flip a switch?  As much as I love the spring, and try to embrace the wardrobe change, I cling to my blacks and darks. As soon as the weather brightens, I feel a bit like an evil spirit coming surreptitiously out during the daylight hours.  Suddenly I feel compelled to bury my blacks in the back yard, however, still clinging to them like a lifeline! It is possible to liven up your wardrobe (I tell myself), while still being ones self! Here are a few ideas.

 

 

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This supremely beautiful jacket is simple, comprised of clean lines, with pucker pleated sleeves and 100% linen. You know...the fabric that wrinkles when you look at it, but that just adds to it's character (that's what I tell myself about my wrinkles)! Great for those who like to dive right into the season!

Tobias linen jacket with pleated sleeves (grey, natural or rose) $179

Mavi Adrianna glam white rinse (white) $118

Plum ribbed tank top (12 colours) $18

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If you're like me, you're not ready to drown yourself in a vat of happy colours. Not ready for the white, or even light...well what about bright? This jewel shade top is just the thing to pump up the colour in your wardrobe. Stick with the dark or denim bottoms but light next to the face...people will think you started a new relationship! Just a wonderful marriage of eyelet in a knit fabrication.

Wink wink cap sleeve eyelet t shirt (jade, pink or white) $49

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And another idea...a throw/shawl. So many fresh, lively colours, yet still merging nicely from the dark season. A great ethnic feel, with wonderful ribbons of bold colours woven through the edges. Complete with tassels.

KW stripe yarn die Ruana shawl $49

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Another true sign of spring is flowers. Whether it be planting them or wearing them. This is such a delightful botanical print with an undeniably feminine shape and adorable back bow tie.

Creme Rosemary tie back t shirt $69

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Maybe it's just as simple as adding a cheerful scarf. The one above is nicely paired with a stripe shirt, which acts as a neutral against the complexities of the faux patchwork scarf.

KW multi print scarf (blue or mustard) $35

So if you're like me and drench yourself in dark, somber shades through most of the year, maybe you feel slightly compelled to climb out of the darkness for a few months....sometimes, begrudgingly!  There are subtle ways though, without turning into the wardrobe equivalent of a sheet of unlined paper.

Yours in Fashion passion...

Suzanne M.

Give light and the darkness will disappear of itself~ Desiderius Erasmus  ... read the full post and reader comments

 
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Quality 'matters' in every aspect of life...cars, people, education, garbage bags (ever have one spontaneously break?)...Garments are clearly no exception. The construction and fabrication being the key points. I spoke with Katie O'Brien, Plum's buyer and co-owner, about what she looks for when buying.  I figured who would know better, she's been buying for over 30 years. Here are a few tips from someone who has probably purchased 30,000 shirts in her lifetime. (She must have a very big closet).

  • look for no loose threads
  • more stitching per inch and even stitching
  • sometimes 'spare' buttons are included
  • don't be fooled by natural fibers, some very fine quality fabrics are synthetics that keep their newness much longer
  • check zippers, make sure they work, stitched straight and no puckers
  • how a fabric actually 'feels' (or 'hand') against your skin
  • not off grain (otherwise garment seams can twist).

None are hard and fast rules, merely things to think about and check. And don't forget to look at the inside of the garment (how it's finished, if there's lining), even though no one but you may see it.

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This is an absolutely divine shirt. Who doesn't love anything Italian (shoes, cars, men). Most of these shirts that mimic men's style are very straight cut, however this one has some shape.  Long (tunic length),features a sleeve tab, irregular stripes and one breast pocket...a gorgeous flowy feel. Wonderful with leggings, a belt, a scarf and ankle boots. A fantastic cut and really nice weight. Many reasons why it's been so popular.

M striped tunic shirt (navy) $69

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Another construction feature to look for is extra top and reinforcement stitching. There is no shortage of both with Point Zero's cropped twill pant. Plenty of extra details, such as pockets and an extra button should one come loose.

Point Zero cropped twill pant (4 colours) $59

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A regular in Plum's inventory is the Kersh cardigan. Variety of colours, universally appealing cuts and fabrications, quality and price make this a popular choice. Kersh regularly includes not only a spare button but also extra threads for mending.

Kersh crew neck long sleeve cardigan (6 colours) $55

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This is a beautifully constructed little dress. Another clue about construction is details; not so much 'multiple' details but key or unique features, such as the contrasting collar, front placket covering buttons and pleats as well, beautifully fluid fabric; all make for a knock out little dress.

Sleeveless dress with collar (black or navy) $139

Sometimes we don't think about quality and good construction until something goes wrong. Good to know what to look for in advance otherwise adopting the ability to restore and repair things becomes very important. Although sewing a button back on is far easier than rebuilding a relationship.

Yours in Fashion passion...

Suzanne M.

'The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory' ~Gucci  ... read the full post and reader comments

 
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Walking distance

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Unless you're employed at a workout studio, you can probably leave the hoodie, yoga pants and performance apparel at home for the weekend. There are ample ways to look stylish while still accommodating comfortable travels to work. Consider this; you'll be providing some much needed interesting visuals for the other bored bus riders or the grocery store cashier! Back in the day (nearly a hundred years ago) men and women wore formal wear and suits nearly all the time; choices were quite limited. We've evolved now to a place where we have far more options. We may not always be commuting by car, however, must we park our style at home?

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This is such a polished, fresh and uncomplicated look. Note the cute kicks for a nice comfortable walk. Layer it with the Soya concept trench coat if the weather is less than fabulous! All in all, this is how many European's tend to dress, simple yet with a bit of flair!

Orb Milea ribbed long sleeve cropped knit top (black or heather grey) $49

Orb pencil skirt side slit (black or heather grey) $55

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Perhaps you have a day of errands and appointments planned. This does not mean you need to bury yourself in sweatshirt material. This is a great little dress, with some simple added features. Easy to pair with a long cardigan or open front sweater or poncho, and tights. Keep the self belt or try it with a wide one.

Cream gathered neck stripe dress (black) $119

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There is simply no reason we must always resort to wearing jean jackets or blazers. This really lovely, water colour inspired print jacket can easily be worn with jeans OR a pencil skirt, simple flats and you're set for the day.

Cream Evallan watercolour print bomber jacket (blue mix) $149

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Speaking of Europe. This certainly has that vibe...easy yet stylish, fresh yet sexy! See how the simple addition of a scarf adds a little something without going over the top? And there is no reason not to try this with a lace cami....after all, when it belongs to you, you can experiment!

Orb Maja stripe off shoulder fitted t shirt (Navy) $55

Look paisley cotton scarf (navy) $39

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Well, sometimes, you just can't do without a sweatshirt...however, there are sweatshirts and then there are sweatshirts with style! Given the choice, I'd go for the one with a bit of a unique design feature.

Ellison crew neck open back knit top (burgundy or cement) $59

A complicated life doesn't mean we need to leave part of our personalities at home, in a closet, saved for a weekend date night, or party (like the good china). Style is merely an extension of your personality, not the entire contents of it.

Yours in Fashion passion...

Suzanne M.

ps: life is short, style it with your personality! ;)

   ... read the full post and reader comments

 
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