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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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Don't forget your MINIMUM PURCHASE coupon (until March 26,2017)

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! ;)

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Don't forget your MINIMUM PURCHASE coupon (until March 26,2017)

Weight...yes, I went there! No one wants to talk about it. The only thing worth 'more weight' it seems, is growing a new human! In fact, even those who are 'thin' do not want to hear about it. So, I guess it's best generally to avoid it. However, what if your weight tends to fluctuate because of illness or your weight has changed because of this new little person in your life? And how to dress for this! Just remember though, beauty is not measured in pounds!

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The front cover Wink Wink dress is great for weight that's other than steady. After all it neither defines your figure nor conceals it fully. It's just so pretty, that's all people will see! Also great if you are growing a new little person, I'm sure it would be great for a good few months as it's been designed with many gathers, front and back.

Wink Wink pleat dress (2 floral patterns) $98

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Yet another great example of fabulous vibrant hue's. The cold shoulder design shows no signs of disappearing any time soon. If definition is what you're after, try belting it, or, maybe you have a favourite chain necklace....have you tried using it as a belt? This works well as an alternative to the usual leather, given that it's a strong enough chain link with adjustable links.

Wink Wink v neck dress (royal, fuchsia or black) $98

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This is one of Plum's favourite dress bodies. Season after season this has been reproduced with a variety of beautiful patterns, also suits a wide variety of body types, which is what has made it a very popular style.

Simone front pleat dress (3 prints) $98

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Here's another fabulous, swinging fun dress; great for a good night of dancing (think...festival). Love the asymmetric hemline...edgy and totally now and fresh. Try it with a long pendant or variety of your favourite chains.

Double Zero ribbed tank dress (black, brick or slate) $69

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STILL CRAVING COLOUR? There is no shortage of it for the season in this bold print top. It's basic shape lends itself to a variety of co-ordinates and the lively pattern can also help distract.

Wink wink cap sleeve t shirt (4 print patterns) $39

Carlton University recently was in the news for removing all the weigh scales in it's workout spaces. One way to look at scales is, they can be viewed as a tool, choose to use them or not. Certainly less intrusive than one's Mother who's first question when phoning from 6 provinces away was 'how's your weight?'....*big sigh*! 'Great Mom, I don't weigh what I did when I was born, but it's still good'!

Yours in Fashion passion....

Suzanne M.

Check out more styles here at Plum's webstore

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I think we've danced long enough with winter. Winter sit down, it's time for Spring. I find myself so fed up with winter, I'd like to box it up and send it to the east coast of Canada where they know exactly what to do with it. Baltic and Slavic countries have the right idea; every year on the first day of spring, an effigy of winter is burned and thrown in the river as a way to welcome Spring....I say why wait, let's do that now.  Let's have a look at some spring looks:

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Did you hear the one about the cats who went on vacation from their tough lives? No me neither because that's impossible...Bear Dance makes some seriously silly t shirts. Plum has an extensive collection to choose from.

Bear Dance 'cats in Volkswagen van' (ivory) $35

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Trench coats are synonymous with spring. Signifying that it's time to pack away the heavy coats, and now warm enough to put on a lighter one! A great, timeless take on a men's classic.

Soya Concept trench belted coat (sand) $149

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Here are a couple of fresh spring options. The Tobias on the left with it's small polka dot print, brings to mind snow drops, one of the first floral emergence.  A beautifully tailored jacket.  And the tan drape front Tobias jacket presents a neutral alternative to black.

Tobias shawl collar jacket (black or navy) $198

Tobias open front jacket with rolled sleeves (concrete, nougat or olive) $149

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Maybe as an homage to the suffragettes' of a 150 years ago, (white having been a significant colour), you'd like to implement some white into your wardrobe, or to support a cause ;)...the collarless Point Zero jacket is a fantastic choice to lighten up the season.

Point Zero collarless jean jacket (lt indigo denim or white) $90

Mavi Adrianna glam white rinse (white) $118

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Grey is a wonderful transitional colour to springs brights. Not too dark, not too light (as Goldilocks once said). An uncomplicated garment, great for a casual work environment or weekend/off hours. Simple and comfortable, but easy to accessorize.

Ellison slouchy knit tunic (grey or navy) $65

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I aim to create a life that I don't need a vacation from (I like that quote)...however a girl can dream...Bear Dance make some of the most light hearted, amusing and nicely fitting t shirts I've found and I'm a bit obsessed with t shirts.

Bear Dance 'I need a vacation' T (black) $35

Great things happen during transition times. We sometimes notice things we'd not normally notice and thus take a different direction, pause to appreciate what we have or get excited by what is to come ...Spring brings with it so much hope (and some great wardrobe pieces) ;)

"Honor the space between no longer and not yet"~Nancy Levin

Yours in Fashion passion...

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

 
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NEW ARRIVALS ARE HAPPENING NOW!!

Really...who wears shorts in winter? Except maybe your boyfriend or the guy from UPS? I remember my Mother recounting to me stories of my Father shoveling snow in below zero weather... 'maybe' wearing a jacket. Is wearing shorts or short sleeves in winter 'a thing'? Truthfully, the majority of people wearing shorts in winter are heading south...spot them in the security lineup at the airport, fully ready to get out of the cold and into the warm! And if that happens to be you, make a detour to Plum first; well known for having the best selection of resort wear. Get to your destination fully ready to do nothing but sit, enjoy, relax. 

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Forget about digging out, musty old, out of season clothing. Go shopping. Go home, move garments from shopping bag to travel bag...one and done! Easy. If you select well, you can just go with carry on. T shirts are a must have and Plum has an excellent variety to choose from.

Michelle California print t shirt (white) $42

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And then there's the tank dress....easy to put on; belt it if you prefer a more accessorized look. And with a simple change of your footwear, and jewelry, and maybe hair up, moves into evening for dancing or dining.

Wink Wink tank dress with curved hem (black, mocha, mulberry or navy) $79

 

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Wherever you're headed...there will be 'night'! Sundown 'will' happen and you'll need at least a light cover. Comprised of viscose this is so flowing, light and easy. No buttons...and very long.

acapella oversized open shawl (black, natural or navy) $79

 

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If you're a pants person, do not pass these up. With the effortless flow of rayon, these are going to be your go to pants for the entire season, not just vacation. Long, wide legs, pockets and a truly rudimentary print these will be a breeze to co-ordinate.

Stevie wide leg pant 100% rayon (black print) $77 IN STORES NEXT WEEK

I may not be headed south or someplace warm and void of precipitation, but I do love what's new and fresh and this is just a hint of what Plum has received for Spring. If you're like me and do not like missing out on your size and colour of choice, be the first to get in and check out what's new and needed.

Yours in Fashion passion....

ps...enjoy your trip!

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