JEANS: A Love-Hate Relationship

Jeans and I have a love-hate relationship.  Here’s my theory (and many of you are not going to like it):

Not everyone looks good in jeans; but everyone can look good in jeans.  This is especially true when it comes to trends.  As well, I don’t believe that all jeans are comfortable.  Denim, in general is not a draping dream… It’s stiff, and if it weren’t for spandex that has now helped reinvent it- it’s just a rigid, resistant fabric.    

So, how do you make jeans work?  How can you look good and comfortable at the same time? 

You have to find the right fit for you.  And that too is not as simple as it sounds.  Jeans have to work for you- not the other way around.  Here are some of the tricks I’ve given clients throughout the years (and that this Montreal Diva uses for herself as well!).

Loose, or baggy jeans are not just for gardening. These can be so comfy without ditching style. Belt them up and wear some heels- it will change the look completely.

As well, I get that some slouchy jeans can make your back side look less than appealing…so why not top them with a cardi, loose kimono, or long- oversized blouse? This is also great for camouflaging, ladies;)

Another way is to steal the attention away from the jeans, so that you still feel stylish and comfy. Let your top be the star and focus point! Try this for yourself- you’ll thank me later. Notice how my top (and booties) in this next pic, stand out. Another trick is hem design (draws the eye from the boots right to the hem)!

A good sleeve is another big actor in this scene. Sleeves can be theatrical (stealing the show gain!)…starting to see the pattern here? Accentuating with a tight tank or vest also draws the eye to your seemingly smaller waist- and keeps the eyes on the top altogether.

Along those same lines a long top over a pair of skinny or straight jeans can give the appearance of you being a lot slimmer than you actually are (even – even if they’re low waisted). Pair that with some cute booties and let’s just say that those jeans .you only partially see them) look so dang cute!

Speaking of skinny jeans…Pair them with a jacket and immediately you’ve gotten yourself a more complete look! Now the eye goes from top to bottom- it’s cohesive- looks stylish and is super comfy. If you can find a long jean jacket like this one below even better! This length does not cut you off at the waist. Reaching your hips, it takes away any emphasis away from the tummy or behind (or hips- read below).

I can’t rave enough about bell bottoms… and- high waist. Yeah, you read that right. Bell bottoms look great for both curvy and slim shapes. If you’re heavier at the hips, I recommend that you wear (as shown above) a longer jacket if you want to sport your skinnies. But let me just say that if you want a balanced look: a tighter fit from hip to knee and then a flair, balances you out and is way more flattering in every way. Plus, they look absolutely fabulous with platforms (the higher the better!). In this style, you can easily cinch your waist (thick or thin) with a cute belt- and the look will be irresistible; something that can’t be pulled off too well with a low waist pair of jeans. (Key word: muffin).

While I’m on the subject of bell bottoms- or any jean for that matter- a white blouse should be a staple in your wardrobe. It freshens up the look and always seems to make the blue in your jeans pop. I love this contrast so much. As well, white is also the eye-catcher in a jean situation- and as we’ve seen, if you want to wear what you want when it comes to jeans…well then, you always need a show stopper match to help you achieve that!

And then there’s the mono-chromatic look! This is a natural body slimmer. As much as I love me a good print, nothing beats mono-chromatic for making me look put together when I’m in jeans. This look automatically elongates and camouflages all those areas we want kept to ourselves;) Can you imagine an all black jean look? Right?

But if you insist on having your jeans steal the show- then make sure you mean it! You can certainly have fabulous jeans that are the center of your look’s attention- but make sure they are so fabulous that every other part of you that’s not playing, is just an after thought. These jeans are what I’m talking about!

So there you have it. If you don’t want to have a love-hate relationship with your jeans, follow my tips and own your style! Remember: You wear the jeans, don’t let the jeans wear you!

#Confessionoftheday: This love relationship is cyclical; it comes and goes. Like a roller-coaster ride. I guess I’m in it for the excitement. Way to go Levis!

Jersey Girl Texan Heart

Living on Cloud Nine

Rosy Outlook

Seeking Sunshine

Straight A Style Blog

Anne in Residence

Granola and Grace

The Queen in Between

Coast to Coast

This Blonde Shopping Bag

Is This Mutton

The Upside to Confinement

Who would have thought it would come to this?  And now we are all in it together- even though we must keep apart.  Can it be that this confinement due to Covid-19 can actually bring us back to a newfound quality-time? We shall not be defeated!

Here are some ideas for how this Montreal girl spends her time:

  • Exercise. It doesn’t have to be something too strenuous (unless you want it to be).   I started taking long walks on a more regular basis.  This helps with the cabin fever and to refresh my mind.  Try taking a different route than usual and start observing the nature around you with more intent- it’s beautiful. Or- my favourite…dance to some 80’s fab music!
  • Cooking! Oh how cooking releases my stress, I can’t say enough about this!  Comfort food and the whole process- I’m loving it.  Why not cook up a recipe that you’ve been dying to make?
Check out the Highlights over at my Instgram feed @lucybertoldi under Yummy and Yummy 2 for tasty recipes
  • Start journaling.  This can be in written form, art, or other.  I make art.  Can anything be more cathartic?  The whole creative process keeps you in the moment (which weirdly enough makes time fly!).  I do mixed media art on canvas but also a lot of journaling.  If you’re interested on seeing more just head on over to my Instagram: @mtl.diva.art

Art heals

  • Meditate- keep your faith.  In the same lines with journaling or making art- try some meditating.  For some this could be in form of prayer, yoga, or whatever other form you get into.  This helps us refocus, regenerate and ultimately brings us inner strength- leading to hope and positivity!
  • DIY’s and projects!  Why not work on some of the things that always get set aside because of no time- can’t use that excuse right now!  Revamp your stuff and feel a self of renewal and accomplishment.  This is probably my favourite thing to do lol!  But projects can also be cleaning out something (like your closet!) …which btw, can also be cathartic!!
  • Sit down with a good book you’ve been longing to read! A bit of quiet time to indulge in the topics you want to learn more about.  Researching new things can be so much fun to help open your horizon for your present job, career, sport or hobby.
Adorned in Dreams, by Elizabeth Wilson is a fashion historian’s dream for real.

Click on link below to watch a clip of my review of Illustration Now! Fashion by, Julius Wiedermann Taschen

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2dP8zuPSHI&feature=youtu.be
  • On these same lines, on your own (or with those you’re cooped up with!)- maybe watch a movie (or finish a Netflix series- or start one!) And why not play a game of sorts: cards, monopoly, backgammon…
  • Pamper yourself.  Take the time to finally indulge (without a darn schedule to follow!).  I think I will finally start trying those 12 different masks I have piling up in my try and review bin!
  • Heart-to-heart time with those you love (at home with you- or through Skype, messenger…). What better time to tell those you love how much you care for them?  This could be a good time for those talks you’ve been setting aside for ‘the right time’.
  • Lastly, try to remain positive, thankful and appreciative.  So difficult to do- but certainly doable!  Look at all the positive things you can actually do within this confinement period.  We’ve been geared up to always be on the go-go-go that we’ve forgotten how to stop, be still and appreciate.  Maybe a forced situation such as this one, just maybe, can bring light upon the things that are good around us.  For once we don’t have to say: I don’t have time.

#Confessionoftheday: Reminding myself that the sun always rises. Working hard on not letting anyone or anything take away my joy. A constant battle well worth the fight.

Stay Safe

How to Shop for Perfume…Guilt-Free

So, here we are, smack into the Love month and once again thinking about the perfect gift for that special someone…or maybe…just for us.  Why not?!  Perfume is about the senses, luxury, fantasy, romance, presence, passion, identity, and pure joyful delight.  Women love it all…Except for that price thing.

7 perf blog post

Having been around the fashion and beauty industry for quite a while, I’m still dismayed by a certain pattern that keeps repeating itself when it comes to women and fragrance.   Most women come to the fragrance counter and almost want to plunge right into a fragrance that totally envelops them.  Many do so by totally indulging and splurging.  I love that!  Unfortunately, I still see way too many women that are very reluctant to spend on themselves.  They try the scent, get totally absorbed by the splendor of the fragrance…to then sadly walk away, all due to the price.

These same women end up buying the second, third or maybe even last choice on their list mainly based on price; or just not buying at all.  I’ll bet that somewhere down the line they’re hoping to one day own that heavenly bottle they denied themselves.  Will they ever purchase it for themselves- or will they hint away to others until someone finally gets it for them?

 

I’m happy to say that I see this way less in millennial, and even younger, women!  There is so much less guilt on how they spend on fragrance!  I so wish that all women of my generation would take this on as an example.  We need to see and acknowledge all that we have done for others, instead of always waiting at the back of the line.  If you are one of those women who is holding back, I’m here to tell you that we don’t need to justify, it’s time to just own up to ourselves and duly go get what it is that we want- even if it is just perfume!

2Perf blog post

I believe fragrance can be life enhancing- no, seriously!  The right scent can actually set or even accentuate a mood for yourself -and others of course😉.   It can also change the way you move and behave, the way you feel and the way you want to be perceived.  Furthermore, it can play an important factor in determining which event, time of day, season, or even, reason for which you’ll be wearing it. Think of your attire…this too will be adapted to your fragrance, or vice-versa.  Fragrance can be your signature.  Is all that not worth the investment (if you can even call it that!).

So how do we stop price from being the deterrent? Next time you’re unsure on whether to purchase the adored fragrance you just splashed on- Consider this:

6 perf blog post

 

  • Necessity: Start thinking of your fragrance as a necessity.  After all, won’t you be splashing this on almost daily- after your shower, before you get dressed? So, I guess you can say it’s part of your hygiene routine.  (You need it).
  • Worth it: 100$- 200$ worth of clothing gets about 6 or 7 uses before it’s set aside.  For about the same amount, a 100ml bottle of fragrance can get you between 6 months to a year of daily wear (and even more I’ve been told!). (Not so expensive after all).
  • Complimentary products: If you still think the price is too hefty all in one shot, then invest slowly:  Start off by purchasing its shower gel and/or body lotion.  Usually at less than half the price each, it’s a good starting point and you’ll still smell delicious.  (Compromise)
  • Rebates: Get your fragrance with your redeemable retailer points or shop during store events, where rebates can be interesting.  You can also ask your fragrance advisor to call you for events and specials, so you’ll be sure to never miss out. (Get on the list and shop smart).
  • Shopping Logic: I have a theory about shopping priorities. If you’re out to spend on something useful, practical and a must- by all means, dive headfirst into doing your homework to get the best bang for your buck.  But when it comes to a feel-good luxury item such as perfume- the decision process to purchase is certainly not of the magnitude of say, buying a car.  Get that fragrance- it’s not a Cadillac. (Makes sense).

If after all this logical reasoning you still can’t justify why you should shop for that heavenly scent you want so badly, I’m not sure how else to convince you on the importance of this frivolous life boosting necessity.  But I’ll give it one more shot:  Maybe you can skip just one supper-date-night this week- and that might do it!  Tried and tested by yours truly…just sayin’!

1Perf blog post

#Confessionoftheday: I’m so addicted to my fragrance that I once left the house, forgetting to spritz, that I literally turned the car around to go back home to put some on.  I’ve since purchased the purse size format- so that I won’t leave home ever again without it…unless I switch purses, in which case I’d have to turn the car around again (been there, done that…hey listen, this is my confession here).  Believe me- It’s that worth it.  And…so am I. xx

3perf blog post

How to Wear Your Vintage Hats

Hats give the special finishing touch to outerwear.  But I’m talking especially about the vintage ones living somewhere in our closet.  Do you have a favorite hat that you swear next winter you’ll wear for sure…and then you never do?

There’s a good chance that something’s holding you back. There was a time when hats were de rigueur…now, unless it’s on the Runway, we often feel reluctant. Maybe there’s the glamour aspect that makes it feel like it’s a bit too much- it feels too elegant.

For me, it’s always been a question of practicality.  Like if I’m gonna wear a hat, it better keep me warm, and, it better look good.  And then there’s the whole fur ordeal and my new outlook on this (I’ll never buy real fur again).  But what do you do with all the fur vintage hats you have stashed in your closet?

Mine have real sentimental value, since they mostly all belonged to my mom, grandmother, or another close relative.  I don’t want to throw them out…So I do want to wear them- if only for the ode of respect for the animal as well as the environment (don’t want them in a landfill).  So now that I’ve made my peace with that, what do you do when because of the fashion back in the day, these hats are not in the least bit practical?  Meaning, yes, they’re made to keep you warm; yet they don’t even cover your ears?!

Hat collage

If you’re one of those ladies who’s bought a few winter hats because of how cute they are- but can’t figure out how to wear them with purpose…Then, take a look at my video clip for some practical styling tips.  Try these out and see if you can revamp those beauties you’ve got hidden in some pretty hat box at the far end of your closet.  And…do let me know- send me a pic- I love seeing women styling hats!

Watch my Video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErCxVULXYzU

#confessionoftheday: I secretly long for those days when, as a little girl, my mom used to take me to Eaton’s (remember that department store in the 60’s- 70’s?)- all the customers were elegantly dressed.  The women wore fancy hats, gloves and marvelous coats. Shopping was a chic and very big ordeal (well at least that’s what I thought!)  I used to love taking the elevator just because it was operated by the ladies in uniform.  Do you guys remember that?  I guess that’s wear my love of hats…and styling of course, began.

Let Mother’s Day Sparkle and Dazzle!

Do you love glitter and all that shines? Then I wish you could have joined me at the Katherine Karambelas sample sale that took place a few weeks ago! The place shone with the most precious sparkling temptations!

I can’t begin to tell you how crazy I am about this line of exquisite semi-precious jewelry. Every piece is a true work of art- seriously. The jewelry is created using precious and semi-precious stones and metals, as well as, Swarovski crystals.  The epitome of chic, and, all meticulously hand-made.  Incredibly fashionable and suitable for women of all ages and styles, well-priced and original…the Katherine Karambelas line is perfect for us, Darlings:)

There’s much that I admire and adore about this brand. Besides, beauty, quality, originality, and authenticity, for me, the fact that Katherine, a Montreal designer of Greek origin, works alongside her three daughters, heading, creating and developing a business for women, by women- is a true heartwarming inspiration. A wonderful mother and daughters’ story…

I can’t fathom anything more appropriate for Mother’s Day! Thinking of offering something splendid for this wonderful day?

So…Without further ado, let me whet your appetite- drum roll please!

Here I am with two of the beautiful and talented Karambelas sisters: Nektaria and Faith.

A little bubbly and more sparkles…

Here’s one of the pieces I purchased.

This is what it looks like on me..

And I just couldn’t resist this piece!!

And one more! Haven’t worn this one yet but with the warm sunny weather ahead- and vacation time; I can see myself wearing this one all summer long.

So these were my beautiful purchases!

And just when I thought I’d had my heart’s content…earlier this week I was surprised with this arrival in the mail! Thank you so much Katherine Karambelas. I’m a true KKit Girl now!

Magical!

Katherine Karambelas also takes special orders to create unique pieces for clients. Here are two necklaces in Swarovski created just for me. I wear these all the time, dressed up or casual…

And this one in darker stones…

 

Mother’s Day is almost here! Check out Katherine Karambelas’ splendid creations here at:

katherinekarambelas.com

Instagram @katherinekarambelas

When Looks Can be Deceiving…

Pick the right outfit, take some photos; edit, crop, delete or switch around-, write a post, share on all your social platforms, inspire and set a trend! Repeat.

For me this is always a fun and easy process, as I love: writing; fashion; trend setting and inspiring. But I also am very intent on always being genuine when I post. I like relevancy and good dose of honesty. Which brings me to the photos I decided to post this Monday afternoon…

These photos were supposed to post last Thursday evening- time appropriate for my preparations for Greek Orthodox Easter. Lots of happiness, calmness and a look of peaceful ease on my face. That’s exactly how I felt on Thursday- but for some reason I ran out of time to post.

And then, on the following day, Montreal was on flood alert!

Right upto Thursday we were doing fine…but come Friday morning, all hell broke loose. My entire family and I spent the next 3 days bagging and placing sandbags around our property. Neighbours also pitched in, as did the police and firefighters. We worked knee-high in water, around the clock up until Sunday afternoon.

I believe in kindness and of giving of oneself to help others- but what I witnessed went beyond. It was cold, raining, but no one stopped. Drenched in two feet of water- everyone diligently built those walls- helping to keep my house safe and dry. Neighbors offered extra pumps, tape, snowblowers..you name it. Anything to get the job done and get that horrific water from destroying it all.

The waters finally tamed on Sunday evening…and all is stable so far. That’s how we spent Easter weekend.

But! No water came in. We are not flooded. The situation is stable. We are Thankful.

 

Why am I telling you all this? Well it occurred to me that when I would be ready to post my fashion photo today, it also needed to be genuine. I feel very relieved today and also extremely thankful that the water has calmed down, that I have a wonderful family, fantastic neighbors, a city that responded, that my family and I are safe.

There. Now I can post these photos the way they were meant to be posted: I am happy, serene, thankful, and blessed.

My look is not deceiving…I am genuine- the way I always want to come through. Today is the right day to post. Hoping your weekend was a blessed one xx.

#Confessionoftheday: Breathe. All is well:)

Italian Sunday Meal: No Fuss Lasagna

Who are we kidding- when is lasagna, no fuss?

And then, yet…if you prepare some of it in advance, there’s hope!  For instance, your sauce need not be prepared the day of.  Prepare it up to a few days before.

Cheese?  Grate that mozzarella the night before (or better yet, buy the pre-grated in-a-bag-mozzarella).  Same goes for the actual pasta used; you can buy the oven-ready kind.  It’s just as good.  All I do is pass it under hot water and then place directly in pan over first layer of sauce. Easy peasy.

As for the beschamel…well, that one you gotta do on the spot.  Unless you can prep this too the night before?  Never tried it- but if you have, let me know.

Note: For Beschamel sauce: melt about 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of flour on low heat. Gradually pour in milk. Stir on low to med heat until thickens. Pour as much milk as needed until you get the right consistency.

Alternate layers between beschamel and sauce.

All that’s left to do is put it in the oven for about 45 minutes covered at 200 c. Then uncover for another 15 minutes of cooking. Et voila!  Serve with a side dish of cauliflower and another of coleslaw.  Simple!

43839F88-AFA3-4D80-BD6E-7AE385DE79A5

And there you have it:  No-fuss Lasagna.  Enjoy!

 

Make Time for Besties…

IMG_3183 (2)

Having good friends is everything. Family comes first, but true friendship is a close runner up. This is true for every stage of our lives…but I think it’s especially important in midlife. Most of our baggage almost empty; we’ve got so much less of a load to carry.  At this stage we’ve pretty much eliminated the irrelevant and kept the most precious. Friendships have had many purposes in life. Most often related to: work, kids, neighbours, hobbies and interests, higher education, community…Let’s just say that more often than not, these relationships flourished for a particular time and period of our lives. And once these stages done, so was the friendship.

But then, there are those that stuck around through it all- or at least popped back in here and there- but never, ever disappeared. Those are the friends I’m talking about. The kind that may have been on break while we were busy making other ‘necessary’ or ‘timely’ friendships. The kind of friends that you could pick up the phone at any time for whatever reason. Recognise them? You know who they are. So that’s who I’m talking about.

IMG_0621_Facetune_15-02-2019-17-20-22

Now more than ever, these people add so much more to our lives. Now because, having peeled off our mandates and all the responsibilities that those entailed, we are clear and free for Part 2 of our lives. A much carefreer self, we come full circle and those friends are part of that. To laugh, share, care and confide as though not a day had passed. Doesn’t the mere thought of that bring a smile to your face?

Darlings, let’s enjoy these precious beings that we call soul sisters; besties, partners in crime- or whatever term of endearment you’d like to use. We need these girls now more than ever, if just to bring back the laughs or remember the tears. They’ve seen us at both our best and our worst- lived through tears and joys, and, seen us evolve.  They just love us infinitely for who we are. Time to celebrate this friendship- call your bestie now and set up a date (just like back in the day!)

IMG_0701 (1)

Good friends remind you of who you really are and where you started off. Good friends bring out the truest, most beautiful you. And you know what is so awesome about that? That’s the part you really love most about yourself too!

Make time for your true friends Darlings. It just makes life that much sweeter.

#Confessionoftheday: I’m not always so good at picking up the phone…Thank goodness for text and social media!

Oberstdorf- Beauty in the Bavarian Alps…

 

IMG_0585

Click Here to see this beautiful hotel: HOTEL MOHREN

Being a figure skating mom does have its perks…travelling! Apart from the jet-lag and all the stress that goes along with being a Mom/ Chaperone to an athlete, I really am thankful for the opportunity of visiting so many overseas places. Our last trip was to Oberstdorf, Germany. We stayed at Hotel Mohren. Right in the middle of the town. The view was unbelievable- and the fresh crisp air made me feel so healthy. Bavarian Alps at best! This ski town, bustling with families, athletes from all over the world and the locals…perfect mix!

Besides being picturesque, quaint, but happening, Oberstdorf’s streets are lined with athletic shops, fashion boutiques, handcraft and souvenir hubs, cafes and upbeat restos and fine dining as well. The traditional look of Oberstdorf makes it sweetly appealing; especially when mixed with modern facilities to render your stay ever so comfortable. It still has the old European feel with traditional breweries, yodeling and all!

Being from Montreal, I can ‘somewhat’ compare it to Mont Tremblant…mostly because of its touristic feel. Oberstdorf has more streets, more restos, more shops and definitely more history. I enjoyed the food and of course dove into the schnitzel, as it’s traditional. It really was delicious.But these cabbage rolls though!

We did go to a cafe on our last night. But what really impressed me were the cafes along the streets. Everyone sips their coffee and dessert on outdoor terraces…uhm, it’s winter? No matter! People watching is all the rage, and why not sip your latte outdoors!

IMG_0541

And with me, some things never change…I was on a relentless lookout for fashion. I have to admit they have some pretty chic haute couture boutiques- but the athletic wear shops rule. So ski wear apparel was obviously de rigueur here…but I have to tell you- you know the typical Heidi mountain sweater look? Well, there’s still a lot of that too. Knitted sweaters, hats, mitts and more are still the rage here. And I was amazed to also find a shop that sells traditional Bavarian costumes!

IMG_0593

Oh and since it’s almost Valentine’s…chocolate and candy fest is alive and well here in Oberstdorf!

 

 

So with the excuse of going to a competition…I had myself a really good time in Oberstdorf Germany!  Good times with my beautiful youngest daughter…

IMG_0516_Facetune_08-02-2019-18-56-37

Hope to see you again, my lovely…Auf wiedersehen!

 

#confessionoftheday: those hourly churchbells still chiming in my ears- seriously though.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: