The Swagger Coach: Whoah-oh-oh Jamie’s Crying (with EXCITEMENT!)

swagger coach

Bright, vibrant shades. Swirly, whimsical patterns. The ability to wear shoes without socks. Heck, the ability to wear shoes in general. Spring is a-coming, folks, and I’m super excited to feel wind on my legs and sun on my shoulders again. Will I be that girl dancing like a lunatic in the park in flip-flops and a summer skirt during the first semi-decent weekend in March? Possibly, but consider it my ode to the upcoming season rather than a chemical imbalance inside the ole’ noggin.

I’m a fashion fiend and a tragic over-spender, so any change of season creates a rush inside of me that can only be compared to new love, or possibly a really well-made pasta dish. Your wardrobe is your uniform, and it conveys more about you than you know. Are you fussy with details and accents like trimming and buttons? Are you simple and classic like a well-fitting pair of jeans and a cute tee? Are you a girl-on-the-go in yoga pants and a hoodie? What you wear is the image your project unto the world, and if your outfits start to form a pattern, it begins to tell a bit more about you as a person, your lifestyle, your attitude. Right now, my outfit tells me that I’m the lovechild between the citizens of Pleasantville and Shoshanna from Girls. I’m in a coral pleated dress, a white lace-on-knit cardigan and a matching set of pearl earrings and necklace. Tonight I’ll likely be in skinny jeans, knee-high boots, a long layered necklace and a fitted top, since I’ll be hitting a show at the Hard Rock. The following day, I may not even wear pants since I have no plans other than cleaning my apartment and doing dishes. Oversized t-shirt for the win.

My wardrobe is stylistically diverse, and I keep it that way to prevent myself from falling into the “trend trap”, where it appears as though your entire collection of clothing was supplied by the same fast-fashion retailer. I play with trends, but I’m not a slave to them, and like to keep a hint of retro flair in my outfits to keep things unexpected and playful. I get plenty of inspiration from the lovely ladies I work with and our outstandingly creative, funky customers, and would love to share my top three style-friendly trends for spring with you, primarily so that I’m not the only one hyperventilating about them. Basically, come to my store and flap around like a maniacal bird with me, there’s strength in numbers.

1) OXFORDS – I have always loved oxfords. When I was in high school, I found the most hideous pair of size 7 men’s oxfords in a thrift store, and although I knew I’d likely never get the chance to wear them (they really were decrepit) I had to have them and took them home. I racked my brain trying to find an excuse to break out these bad boys, but alas, it was late summer and they were roughly 5 lbs apiece. That chance didn’t come until early October, when it dawned on me. I collected an oversized blazer, tuxedo pants and a top hat, and a ruffled shirt. I drew two lines from the corners of my mouth to the sides of my chin, and darkened my eyes and eyebrows. I was a haunted ventriloquist dummy for Halloween. Times have changed and the oxfords of this spring are ladylike and classic, rather than boxy and clunky. Plus, with the vintage trend emerging in full-force, the oxford pattern is now found on bags, skirts and even sunglasses. Oh, and these (below) are coming to my store in both black and brown in the upcoming weeks, and are from one of my favourite shoe lines. Pardon me while I take out a line of credit, this season is going to hit me like a ton of bricks.

spring oxford

2) CORAL – Every season I have a colour crush. During the winter season, it was mustard. The one before was emerald and before that (in the summer) I was obsessed with butter yellow. Once every couple of years I fall head over heels with coral, which is (in my opinion) the most universally flattering shade on almost any skin tone, and is the quickest way to liven up a complexion since cream blush. Picking a shade can be a bit tricky, so my best suggestion is the most well-known: Stick out your bottom lip, as though you’re pouting, and the deepest shade of pinky-coral is your best match. This season, orange-based corals are hot, so take that in stride and keep an eye open for those peachy-pinks and grapefruit tones! In store, we’re expecting our best-selling Yoga Jeans in a brand-new shade called Cardinal (vibrant coral) and our year-round essential Paper People tops in a similar shade. We’re also getting the farewell piece from the Fresh Baked Goods collection, the Lauren dress, in coral as well. I wouldn’t suggest wearing them together, per se, but individually these are sure to punch up your wardrobe in a splashy way!

spring coral

3) BELTS – I remember low-rise jeans. I know you do too. Now here’s the dilemma: allow them to shimmy down your hips, or belt them for that exquisite muffin-top look that happens to everyone, regardless of how tight your mid-section is. Belts were things to be hated, and quickly became a staple accessory for the skater crowd of Avril Lavigne wannabes. Then someone in the fashion world sat back on their couch on a night off to watch Grease and said to themselves,”Hmm. Those high-waisted belts sure do create an awesome silhouette.” and suddenly the wide belt was back in fashion. Luckily for us, designers are working in fabrics like elastic, satin and leather for more contemporary versions of throwback styles, and words like “sash belt” and “skinny belt” are commonplace. If you were to walk to your closet right now, you’d find at least five different pieces that could be contemporized or refreshed by adding a belt. Personally (and I know I’m biased here, but you’ve got to see them to understand) I’m absolutely in love with the Susana Erazo belts (carried at Fresh Collective!) which all feature elastic sides, adjustable widths (like a bra strap, they’re unbelievable) and oversized leather-bound buttons as clasps. Her collections also include wide sash belts and skinny classic ones, but the way I see it, the bigger the better! I’ve collected several in classic tones, intense colours and funky combos but my all-time favourite is a whiskey-coloured leather one with two buttons. Love love love.

belts (1)

What are you excited for this spring? Are there any trends which you’re interested in but unsure of how to pull off? Picked up a wicked item but just not sure how to pair it for a modern, stylish effect? I love getting feedback from our fans, so send in your comments and questions! You can reach me at Jamie@freshcollective.com and I’m available for advice, style tips or just to listen to you rant about your terrible ex. Better yet, swing by the Kensington Fresh Collective location and we can do it in person. See you soon friends!