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Breaking free!

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The blog title is taken from a book loaned to me. One that is not unlike the old children's 'board books' but for adults, consisting of only two pages per chapter, including some inspiring quotes, yet hardly requiring a large time investment to complete. The premise?...relax! Chill out, find YOU in the chaos of life. Find ways to relax yourself, mind body and soul. That might mean breaking out of your regular patterns from time to time if you feel stuck or bored. Maybe you're not into yoga though, heck maybe you don't even like yoga pants. Plum presents fashions that help dial down the crazy that is your life by providing many relaxed styles that don't mimic pajamas.

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With this look, yet another way to look cool, be cool...feel cool! Hardly anything complex about her look. Hair up, one simple necklace and a comfortable, embroidered lace sleeves, cotton knit top with an easy, 100% linen skirt. Linen being the very definition of cool! Footwear? Try some cut out, open toe wedges or espadrilles. (more linen coordinates can be found online and instore).

French Connection lace and knit top (white) $68

Plum skirt with curved hem (concrete, natural or olive) $72

 

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So pretty and light like a kiss into the air! If you're not really a red person, that's ok. It's more of a natural, clay like shade! If you're into muted colours or basics, this just gives your outfit a bit of punch without a lot of effort.

Cream Vicky print kimono (Marsala red) $59

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This little cutie is a great, simple stripe tank dress that can be worn back to front or front to back. V-neck or scoop neck. Very easy to pair with leggings or on it's own, to just chill or, throw on a kimono or jean jacket when there is a chill!

Orb reversible tie waist dress (black stripe) $77

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So, 'I want to try something different...new' you say....The above sweater might be far enough out of your comfort zone with some key features, making it stand out from the ordinary. Beautiful sweeping variegated hem, fringe, crochet and fresh white interspersed with a touch of natural beige. Quite an interesting design. Nice with your favourite distressed jeans.

Cream Albertina cardigan (84% cotton) (off white) $99

According to this book, relaxing, being happier and getting closer to the you, that is you does not mean you must drive like 'Starsky and Hutch' across town to get to your yoga class...what it does mean is...stop, look around you, take a breath, buy yourself some flowers or pick some, excavate an old artistic talent or try a new one...or simply park the devices for a few hours...after all, there's no GPS that's going help you find you!

Yours in fashion passion....

Suzanne M.

Listen to the wind...it talks

      Listen to the silence...it speaks

              Listen to your heart...it knows ~Native American proverb

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Noticed...but not for your speech!

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Weddings, the place where two wonderful souls come together to promise things no sane CEO would willingly put their signature on! Really not your worry though. However, what if you've been asked to give a speech? Think about what to say, or...perhaps more challenging, things not to say! Such as: talking about the parade of boyfriends leading up to the groom, how no one was fond of the groom until now or how inebriated you are, remember, there's probably a microphone in front of you! So, do yourself a favor, find 'the' dress and be as unforgettable as the bride (and yes, that's ok):

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As with the bridesmaid's dress...one hates the idea of a 'one of' occasion dress. This is not such a dress. It's incredibly sweet and flirty looking, fresh and easy to dress it down for the days and regular occasions to come.

Simone open shoulder floral dress (blue or red) $129

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Bouquet tossing is a hundreds of years old tradition, that stemmed originally from female attendee's attempting to obtain pieces of the bride's dress and flowers in the hopes of receiving some of her luck. In which case, you may want to be able to jump and stretch when the bouquet is tossed...or dance! I have seen this sweet dress on my co-worker and it's just breathtakingly beautiful.

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

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Here's a delightful dress that would be wonderful if you're needing to travel for the wedding. Packs up so easily and being a dotted print, can co-ordinate with multiple different types of accessories. Try it with a string of pearls, a locket or something bright red.

Simone sleeveless dress with back sheering (black/white or blue) $129

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Unforgettable comes in all shapes and sizes. Maybe you'd prefer something a little more uptown and edgy. Give this one a go and put your own spin on it. Try some absolutely to die for shoes, especially if you plan on displaying some fancy footwork on the dance floor...and a knock out bold statement necklace.

Simone shift dress with back pleat (black or salmon) $139

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Another sweet fresh spring option. Pockets for those of us nervous types, just above the knee and perfect neckline.

Simone sleeveless A-line dress (black or white print) $135

Weddings can make some of us very anxious, from the traditional church ceremonies with the unfamiliar reverent actions required, finding the appropriate gift to making small talk with people we barely know....But, don't forget, if all else fails, there may be vodka...looks like water but much more fun!

Yours in Fashion passion...

Suzanne M.

See more options online or head into a Plum store near you for some personal service

DON'T FORGET...FREE SHIPPING UNTIL MAY 7!: Enter promo code SHIP2017 on the order request details page. Min. $75 purchase of merchandise required. Limit 1 redemption per person.  ... 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.

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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! ;)

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