Quality 'matters' in every aspect of, 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.


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


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


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


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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Curves and cardigans


Perhaps you're aware that the wardrobe staple, the 'cardigan' was the invention of James Thomas Brudenell, the 7th Earl of Cardigan, who employed the design to lavishly outfit his regiment which has continued to outfit men into present time, from Mr. Rogers to Curt Cobain. However, It was Coco Chanel who, tired of forever having her hair messed by the tight sweater collar when donning the pullover, first created the women's (needless to say) fashionable version. Thank you Coco! While I don't have a great 'do' to protect, I still love cardigans. They come in many colours, long or short, and go with everything...maybe more versatile than a boyfriend!


With a colour selection that mimics a rainbow burst, these crew neck cardigans are the perfect addition to any ensemble. Soft and so well fitting, comprised of 80% cotton and just enough stretch for comfort or to accommodate your curves.

Kersh crew neck 3/4 sleeve cardigan (coral, denim, fuchsia, lilac, pond, turquoise) $55


Try your cardigan with this sweet as pie, tunic, shirt/dress. Hard currently to imagine 'sandals', however, wear now with tights and ballet flats. Note the ever so slight tuck in the back for definition.

Simone denim print button front dress (blue multi, blue/white or medium blue) $119


Here's another great combination. A simple tank, a sexy pencil skirt with a slit and your cardigan. Try picking one of the multitude of fresh colour tanks, an equally fun hued cardigan and yet another toned belt. Simple, feminine and easy to pull together.

Plum ribbed tank (black, cobalt, daisy, kelly green, magenta, mint, navy, peach, scarlet, turquoise, violet, white) $18

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


Another great thing that will be right at home with your cardigan are these curve hugging, embroidered jeans. And who needs hemming with this great, raw edge denim look. Those lazy or busy of us are just thrilled about this current trend!

Mavi Adrianna ankle embroidered denim $128

Even though the mighty cardigan started out as a gentlemans garment, does not mean 'we' can't share it. After all we both have hearts beating in our chests, feet for walking and like to look good...but like Bob Thaves famously in his 1982 cartoon wrote, 'sure Fred Astaire was great, but Ginger Rogers did everything he did, only backwards and in heels'! We win!! (the cardigan that is)

Yours in Fashion passion....

Suzanne M.  ... read the full post and reader comments

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Sometimes, all that's needed is a little change in perspective... a new beverage, a new pair of earrings...or in some cases an entire administration....(ahem)!! Walking around that big white elephant is hard but let's try. Things don't always work out how you'd hoped (or they did, and you feel like treating yourself). How to perk yourself up or...celebrate?  Call a friend, pull out old photos, look for inspirational quotes, do some crafting, or my something....Not necessarily a Porsche. Maybe one special wardrobe piece to boost the other pieces.

Kersh Cardigans are on sale in 6 great, EXCLUSIVE TO PLUM colours.


You can't beat lace for both how it integrates into the wardrobe and creates a sense of elegance and class. This blends in so well with the current turtleneck trends. Great with flowey, wide leg pants or crop pants and some really eye catching boots, heels or playful with your favourite jeans, just to mix things up a bit. Perfect seasonal piece.

Soya Concept Polina lace knit top (black) $69



One of the hottest trends right now is embroidery. If you love this feminine touch and have a passion for pink, this is for you. Fun, feminine, satin finish and reversible. Yes you can sometimes have it two ways!

Lululala embroidered bomber jacket (black) $129


I'm all about building a look, the earrings, scarf...belt...right down to the shoes, but sometimes  'one and done' is also wonderful...One piece, so much elegance. Done!

KW embroidered knit poncho (black or ivory) $59


Then there are these can't do without, grab and go pieces that melt into our regular wardrobe with such ease.  Comfortable, destined to be frequently worn ..and grey...a great neutral that blends with most colours on the palate. Add a necklace or a scarf, riding boots and off you go!

Very J melange knit tunic (charcoal) $69

Waiting in anticipation for something so long at times is excruciating...sometimes it's worth the wait, want to shove it in the back of your closet and never look at it again.....but you can't do that with a human being!

New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings - Lao Tzu

Yours in Fashion Passion...

Suzanne M.

Still time to take part in the purse drive...Until November 13, Plum's BC locations are sponsoring a purse drive for Dress for Success. Simply drop off any gently used, interview, career appropriate purses to one of our BC locations and they will be forwarded to Dress for Success.

Follow this link to Dress for Success; how to get involved, donate or more information

   ... read the full post and reader comments

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Plum's buyer is going sweater crazy in anticipation of 'cuddle' weather. The front featured cardigan is so soft, feels like chocolate (if Chocolate had a feeling) and looks like an Alpine retreat (a posh one, of course). The open front, snowflake design is long enough to keep the assets warm and features pockets reflecting the shoulder to chest pattern. You'll love Kerisma's take on the grampa style cardigan (Grampa not included).  Super fun. You'll be fighting off the huggers!!
Kerisma mohair, wool combo sweater $ 98
Or, if flakes are not your thing, here's one for the dog lovers. (or maybe red lovers), as, this sweater is such a bold, stunning, gorgeous red, guaranteed to grab everyone's attention as you walk your dog!  
Numph Dalmation sweater $ 100.
Musically speaking...I love, how this one has been paired with a short asymetical, plaid skirt. The whimsical piano keys of the sweater reflect so well on the grid lines of the skirt. A sharp edged, angular necklace, pulls in the same colors, completing the look.
Point Zero piano keys sweater $ 72
Continuing on the theme of 'lines'...
I'm excited about this chevron design poncho. Reminds me of the 70's (but in a good way). These are such great multifunctional pieces. Throw over your jean jacket, blazer or clearly they're fine on their own. This season, Plum has many versions of this to choose from.
Do Everything In Love poncho $ 69
Currently so many great sweaters to cuddle up to.  With many more great styles to come we can say, Fall...bring it on, we're ready.
Yours in Fashion Passion
Suzanne M.
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