Fashion-able: BeachMint

Some of the most exciting news to be announced over the holidays was the arrival of BeachMint in Canada. If you’re not familiar, this little family of sites – including StyleMint.com, ShoeMint.com and JewelMint.com – offers fabulous online shopping including clothing, jewellery and shoes.
Being savvy shoppers ourselves, we immediately signed up and took the quick personal style quiz, then became members (free!). It was quite adept at determining which pieces would best suit our individual styles. Like a Cosmo quiz, but they choose shoes we like. Fun. 

Every month, the site selects an item that they think you’ll love – whether it’s shoes from ShoeMint.com, t-shirts from StyleMint.com or yep, jewellery from JewelMint.com – and send it directly to your inbox. You can buy the piece, switch it for something else or skip the month entirely. Plus, it’s super affordable. StyleMint t-shirts are $29.99, JewelMint pieces are $29.99 and ShoeMint shoes are $79.98.

Here are some of the pieces that grabbed our eye right away: 

 
StyleMint.com features t-shirts designed by Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen – we adore the I’m Almost Not Crazy classic crew T.
JewelMint.com features jewellery co-designed by Kate Bosworth and celebrity stylist Cher Coulter – we dig this Madison Avenue Ring.
ShoeMint.com shoes are co-designed by Rachel Bilson and celebrity stylist Nicole Chavez, and manufactured by shoemaker Steve Madden – we are drooling over the Edith shoe in black.

Follow each of the Mint sites on Twitter (@StyleMint, @JewelMint, @ShoeMint) to hear news about new products, industry tidbits and warnings that the cute pair of suede wedges are down to the last pairs.  How does a girl choose between jewels, shoes and shirts? We don’t. We signed up for all three.


Fashion-able: To ruffles or not to ruffles

Carly tackles the challenge of recreating a high-fashion runway look on a more realistic budget (i.e. $100). Can she do it?
If you are like some of us on the fourth floor (ahem…), you would skip lunch for a month to buy Elizabeth and James’ Laurette Blouse in Night Sky print. You wouldn’t hesitate to give up your latte habit for J Brand’s Mid-Rise Skinny Leg jeans in red. You’d do it again when you notice the blue ones are just as cute. 
If you are like us, your piggy bank is always empty by the end of the season. So when presented with a challenge to recreate a look from the runway that had all the fashion editors talking, you take it. 
With a budget of only $100, I’m aiming to make all my Jil Sander colour-blocking dreams come true. We begin with a look at my inspiration board (that’s right, Oprah is not the only girl with one of these).

Image Source.
Image Source.
Take notes: we’re going simple and white on top, bold colour on the bottom. The runway look featured a ruffle, while Kate Bosworth worked it without one.  Decisions, decisions…

Without the luxury of time to Shopbop my heart out, I head to one of my favourite places in the city, the mall.

After waiting only 30 minutes for a parking spot (score!), I set off in search of a maxi skirt in a bright shade, with a little volume. I find my JS-inspired skirt at Zara. Long, flowing, hot pink, and retailing for just $59, it’s a keeper. I hand over my card, and debate getting an Air Miles reward card. Wouldn’t this skirt look even better in Miami?

Image source.

With no ruffles to be found on my skirt, I take a trip to the store for wardrobe basics, Gap. There, I face a tough choice. Do I dare to replace the skirt ruffle with a top ruffle?


While usually I’m not one for truth or dare, this time I do dare. I choose Gap’s white tee with ruffle sleeves. Ticket price is $29.99.  At checkout, my bill comes to only half my expected total.  Lucky me, I’ve hit a half price sale. My horoscope predicted a three-star day, and I’m one happy Aries. 

Image source.

Back home, I toss on the basic top, add one colourful skirt, and end up with a look that totally says Spring 2011 Fashion Week. Not too bad for $85. Eat your heart out, Kate Bosworth. Fashion success.    

Carly’s version of the Jil Sander maxi skirt.
Pretty fashion-able, non?