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An Ode to the Wrap Dress

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There are few articles of clothing magical enough to somehow flatter a variety of women, regardless of personal style, age or body type. The wrap dress, first pioneered by Diane von Furstenberg in the 1970s, is one of these beautiful rarities. It does exactly what the name promises, it delicately, and yet comfortingly, wraps the body in fabric - hinting at, rather than completely revealing, one's shape.

The feeling of wearing a well-fitting wrap dress cannot be overstated. It's here that the twin powers of femininity and moxie meet (and then maybe share a couple of cocktails). How does it accomplish this sartorial feat? 

The wrap dress is such a perfect garment because it can do so much for so many different people. Anxious about your arms? This dress covers them. Want to define your waist? It can do that too. Need a dress that's office-appropriate, date-appropriate, lunch-with-mother-in-law-appropriate, flatters legs of all lengths, and will never go out of style? Look no further.

For all these glorious features, I have dedicated my first post of 2013 to one of my favourite articles of clothing - an instant closet staple - the wrap dress.

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The No Guru Gift Guide for Men

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It is officially the home stretch before Christmas. Judging by the number of flustered gentlemen I've seen in our store lately, there are still plenty of last minute shoppers out there. So, before you wake up to yet another new kitchen knife waiting under your tree ("but Honey, it's so practical!"), you many want to show the men in your life what you really want this year. I present to you: The No Guru Holiday Gift Guide, Men's Edition.

Note that this post can be shared (accidentally-on-purpose) with dads, brothers, boyfriends, husbands, best friends, and beyond using our handy 'share' tools at the top of the page (the icons right beside my beaming face). Send it out via Twitter, e-mail, Facebook, or 101 other ways that include pretty much everything except carrier pigeon.

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Gift-giving 101: Things that are beautiful and/or cozy and do not require you to guess on sizing are always a good call. Bonus - accessories are still 25% off, so this bubble necklace is $25 $18 and this fringed infinity scarf is $32 now just $24

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Intermediate gift-giving: If you're set on gifting clothing, try an oversized knit. They're stylish and comfortable, and you still have a generous amount of leeway when it comes to sizes. The number on the left comes in Teal and Wine and has just been marked down to $48. And on the right, this zigzag sweater is available in Teal and Mustard for $55.

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Professional gift-giving: If you think you're ready to go pro, our Tobias coats (designed and produced right here in Vancouver) are a guaranteed A+. Sizing is a liiiittle trickier, so if you're hemming and hawing between two sizes, go bigger. Most people will layer a knit under their coat, so a little extra room is a bonus. Higher risk, yes, but major points if you can pull it off. Our 3/4 length pea coat, in Black, Camel, and Navy (left) is now $265, down from $330. Our double-breasted pea coat (right) is also available in Black, Camel, and Navy, and is marked down at $225 (originally $295).

If all else fails, never fear! Plum also carries gift certificates in Beginner, Intermediate, and Professional gift-giving denominations. 

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Accessorize

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Although the Christmas season has many virtues (read: hot beverages on cold nights, time spent with loved ones, baked goods out the wazoo, and Boxing Day shopping), there's no denying that it can be a stressful time too. Between a hectic schedule, traveling, and a to-do list that sometimes seems to be on the verge of out of control, we have to remind ourselves to take time just for us. And, dare I say it, treat ourselves once in a while? Coincidentally, we'll be announcing another exciting giveaway tomorrow on our Facebook page. Because hey, we like to treat you too.

So what better time for a sale? Now until December 24th, you'll receive 25% off all accessories (excluding Hue hosiery and socks - but you know you're getting socks for Christmas anyway, so no biggy).

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A sale like this is a great time to kill two birds with one stone - stock up on gifts and stocking stuffers for the people on your list AND reward yourself for maintaining your sanity. Win-win, friends!

So what do you think? How are you taking time for yourself this busy holiday season?

And don't forget: our ever-popular Kersh open cardigans are still on special - $39 each when you buy two or more! For tips and ideas of how to style them, check out this recent blog post.

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Ways to Wear it: The Kersh Cardi

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I have -ahem- several Kersh cardigans in my arsenal. But my absolute favourite is the long, open-style cardi that I bought this fall...in fact, I'm wearing it at this very moment. It goes with juuuust about everything (if you don't believe me, just keep scrolling) and comes in a rainbow of colours, and just so happens to be part of a special promo.

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Pair it with jeans and then spice it up with a funky scarf or a statement necklace. I l-o-v-e the contrast between the bold necklace and the Converse sneakers.

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To dial the look up a notch, try black jeans or a skirt with printed tights. Go a little bit heavier with the accessories (waist-cinching belt! arm party!) to dress it up.

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And finally, for the interview/date night/girls' night/Tuesday night where you just feel like looking special, use the cardi as a topper for a fancier ensemble. A blouse over leather-look denim (get the look here) or an elegant sheath dress are two ways you can go. Gal's got options. 

The Kersh open cardigan is available in Black, Cardinal Red, Cherry, Cobalt, Electric Blue, Emerald, Espresso, Grape, Sapphire Blue, Sienna, Teal, Violet, and Wine. But not all colours are available in all of the stores! If you have a colour in mind, call ahead to your Plum store of choice to double check that it'll be there waiting for you. Locations and phone numbers are here.

What are your favourite ways to style a cardigan? Tell me! Leave a comment here or Tweet me @PlumClothing!

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Holiday Styling

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Embroidered Sleeve Blouse, $75, and Sequinned Mini Skirt, in Black and in Chai Melange (pictured) $69

The typical afternoon before a holiday party for me has typically gone one way: try on every remotely festive article in my closet (making a huge mess that I will inevitably have to tidy post-party), panic as I start to realize I have not a thing to wear, and then end up dashing off to the party in an ensemble I am less than excited about. But not this year. This year I am determined to plan ahead and avoid the dreaded holiday party stress mess! With that in mind, I thought it would be good (for all of us) to do a little outfit inspiration.

The beauty of holiday dressing is that once you have a selection of key pieces, you can mix and match to create as many new looks as you want! To illustrate this, let's take a look about how you can create two completely different looks using one base piece.

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Look one: Glitter Cardigan, in Black and Walnut (pictured), $79, Twist Back Blouse, in Kelly Green and Oyster, $65, Sequinned Mini Skirt, in Black and in Chai Melange (pictured) $69

Look two: Embroidered Sleeve Blouse, $75, and Sequinned Mini Skirt, $69

Some people can get scared off by glitter or sparkles. If this describes you, please refer to my cardinal rule: Just try it on. You may be pleasantly surprised! For example, the reason that these two looks work is because, even though the skirts are sequinned, they are still neutrals. This will up the glam factor without looking over-the-top. You can even try pairing the skirt with a plain t-shirt! The contrast of sparkly with plain is an easy way to create a unique and interesting outfit.

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Sequinned Evening Sweater, $89, Art Deco Skirt, $95

If you don't feel inspired by the sparkles, there is always the classic Little Black Dress. This is an absolute fail-safe for an holiday party you might have this season. It's also a great backdrop if you want to experiment with some jewellery to ease yourself into glittery territory. 

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Simone Purple lace over ponte de roma black lining with keyhole back $135

Simone Grecian style dress with draped sleeve, in Black and Plum, $135

 

For more holiday inspiration, check out our latest board on Pinterest

What do you think? Are you a glitter pro or a skeptic? 

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Get the Party Started

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I know what you're thinking. It's only Halloween, can we please just eat our fun sized candy bars in peace and worry about the holidays in December? But like or not, the holiday season is already upon us (office Christmas parties are starting as early as -gasp- next week).  Besides, the holidays are undoubtedly the most wonderful time of the year...for dressing.

So don we now our gay apparel! When else are you invited encouraged to wear sparkles and ruffles in day-to-day life? If you're not as excited about holiday dressing as I am, I would suggest starting now with staple pieces that can be worn to the office, out to dinner, etc., and then festified with jewellery and accessories as we transition into the party season.

 

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Dolman Sleeve Blouse, $85, in Green, Magenta, and Sapphire

This blouse is a great example of holiday-appropriate wear that can be worn now straight through New Year's and beyond. Wear it with a pencil skirt and under a blazer for the office, then lose the jacket and add a glitzy necklace for the office party.

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Sheath Dress, $120, in Royal, Black, and Red

Another option is to invest in a classic sheath dress. A simple sheath that sits juuust close enough to the body will be stylish indefinitely, easy to accessorize, and a great go-to in a hectic holiday season. You can learn more about the fantastic fit of Simone dresses by checking out my previous post.

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