Posts Tagged ‘style’

February 27, 2014 12:00 am

Wear It with Style! The Pastel Trend

Have you heard the news? Pastels are back in style this season! When I made this announcement around the office, I heard a collective groan from all the ladies. Pastels are tricky. You run the risk of looking like a little girl or, even worse, a giant bubblegum!

But they’re also oh so pretty, and can be a lot edgier than you think. Here’s how to get it right.

1. Go for sophistication

As I mentioned above, pastels can make you look really young if you’re not careful. To avoid that, try to stick to more mature styles and clean lines to look sophisticated rather than too sweet. For example, a pale pink pencil skirt for the office would probably work better than a full, bell-shaped skirt.

Of course, there’s always an exception to the rule! You know your style best, and if you can rock a pale pink ballerina tulle dress, you go girl!

2. Add some edge

The perfect way to tame down the girliness of pastels is to pair them with harder, or more masculine pieces. Take a look at the outfit we put together below…

How to wear pastel this seasonShirt / Boots / Shorts / Sunglasses / Blazer / Necklace

Keep in mind that the trend works best when you just add a pop of pastel, instead of giving everyone a cavity just by looking at you! We went with classic, more androgynous pieces here like the chambray shirt and boyfriend-style blazer to tone down the pretty watercolor shorts (seriously, love the shorts!). The boots, glasses, and necklace add a bit of rock and roll to the look, and definitely take it into cool territory.

3. It’s all about the accessories

Another great way to rock the pastel trend is in your accessories. This is a great way to try out trends in general, as they’re not as expensive to buy as clothing, and you can incorporate them into your wardrobe for a lot longer. Pastel necklaces, bracelets, and even sunglasses add a nice touch. If you’re really bold, go for a pair of pale shoes, too!

4. Or, just watch this video!

Our very own Style Mentor Tylar put together this great video tutorial on how you can make the most of this trend. Take a look!


As any good stylist will tell you that there are certain wardrobe essentials that you should spend a little more money on, and others that you really shouldn’t. Tee shirts are a dime a dozen (and really shouldn’t cost you much more than that), but a good blazer can last a lifetime.

In this series, we’re talking investment pieces – you know, the ones that you can (and should!) spend the extra money on. The blazer is one of the most hard-working items in your closet. Whether you dress it up or dress it down, you’ll look polished, put-together, and oh-so stylish. Instant fashion! Invest in a good blazer, and spend the extra money to get it tailored to fit properly. Believe me, it’ll be worth it.

Not sure what to wear with your fabulous blazer? We styled the same blazer 3 different ways, for 3 very different looks. Take a look at our inspiration boards below!

Look 1 – Blazer + Maxi dress

Pair your blazer with a maxi dressBlazer / Bag / Maxi dress / Lipstick / Sandals

This look is perfect for a cool summer night. I love the highs and lows of the outfit – the super tailored blazer paired with the flowy, boho maxi dress. Top it off with a dramatic red lip for evening, and you’ll be ready for wherever the evening takes you.

Look 2 – Going out in style

Wear a blazer for a chic evening look

Blazer / Pumps / Blouse / Cigarette pants / Hat / Scarf

Funky and fun, this look really plays off your personal style with the use of interesting accessories. It’s the perfect combination of both dressy and fun, meaning it could take you practically anywhere. This outfit is built off simple pieces that you probably already have in your closet – a standard blouse, cigarette pants, and black pumps.

Look 3 – Sunday afternoon

Invest in a good blazerBlazer / Boyfriend jeans / Tee shirt / Shoes / Belt

This look is the definition of Sunday brunch cool. What was once a slouchy tee shirt and boyfriend jeans, with the addition of a smart blazer, is a polished outfit that you can wear with confidence. As always, add your own accessories to personalize the look.

Make sure to check out some more of our stylish creations over on our Polyvore page!


January 14, 2014 8:03 am

3 Ways to Wear Graphic Prints in 2014

It was so much fun putting together the following looks, I think it’s time to go shopping! From accessories to outerwear and everything in between, graphic and prints are going to be big this year. Not sure how to get it right? Keep reading for graphic inspiration!

Pair a graphic skirt with a crop topCrop top / A line skirt / Statement Necklace / Pumps

This season, we’ll be seeing more and more midi skirts (also known as tea length) both on and off the red carpet. The retro vibe of this hemline is a great match for a modern graphic print in bold colors. It keeps everything fresh and updated. It’s a common myth that a bold print can only be worn by certain body types. We say, in 2014, wear what makes you feel fabulous!

Because the length of this skirt is a bit on the conservative side, I decided to pair it with a crop top (which will be sticking around for at least another year) and pumps, to give it a sexier side.

This outfit would be great for a versatile day to night weekend look in the warmer months.

The graphic tee is a classicGraphic tee / Jacket / Jeggings / Bracelets / Ankle boots

The ultimate way to wear graphics is the graphic tee. Yes, it’s finally cool to wear your favorite animal on your shirt again, just like you did when you were six. I chose a neon tee, because I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to the neon trend just yet.

To balance out the baggier tee, skinny jeans (or jeggings) are a must. This look is a little rock and roll, so I paired it with a biker jacket and boots. But I went with more muted jewelry to keep things feminine.

This outfit would be great for a relaxed night out with friends, or a concert.

Leopard pants for a night outCrop top / Printed pant / Hoop earrings / Clutch / T-strap sandals

I couldn’t help myself. These leopard pants are amazing, and are a great way to go graphic this year. The best part is that they’re pretty much stylish sweatpants. That means you can dance the night away in comfort and style.

I’ve paired them with some bold accessories, because why not? That colorful clutch is amazing, and those T-strap sandals will help elongate the leg, and eliminate bulk in the hips.


December 27, 2013 10:00 am

Common Fashion Mistakes to Avoid

Looking good is a priority for many men and women, but with so much conflicting advice out there, it can sometimes be difficult to get it right. Here, we take a look at some of the most common fashion mistakes that you should try and avoid.

Choosing quantity over quality

The perfect wardrobe is one that includes just a few high quality pieces that can be mixed and matched for the ultimate in looking fabulous. Instead of rushing out each season and buying whole new outfits, invest in just a couple of well made pieces from fashion houses known for their attention to detail. In the longer term, you’ll save money and reduce the clutter in your home.

Putting trends ahead of style

Trends change all the time, but true style never goes out of fashion. Rather than following what’s on the catwalks, focus on cultivating your very own signature look. When you become known for always being true to your personal style, you’ll turn heads for all the right reasons. Whether it’s understated, gothic, or sporty, work out what’s best for you.

Failing to consider accessories

Clothes are important, but it’s often accessories that really complete an outfit. Choose pieces that can be matched with several outfits for different occasions, and invest in a good watch. Timepieces from the likes of Michel Herbelin are classic items that will put you ahead in the style stakes, and will remain a treasured part of your look for many years to come.

Fashion is a very individual matter, and what works for someone else might not necessarily work for you. If you steer clear of these common mistakes though, you’re in a great position for getting noticed as a fabulous and stylish fashionista.

Sarah is a digital marketer who has an interest in fashion and currently works closely with many brands including Michel Herbelin.


August 16, 2013 8:30 am

Seven Early Fall Outfit Ideas

Take your summer look into fall with ease

It’s mid-August and we’re well on our way to slightly cooler evenings and shorter days. We’ll be sad to see the warm sunshine go, but we are pretty excited for the arrival of the biggest season for fashion of the year. For this reason, we’ve collected 7 early fall outfit ideas to inspire you. Click through the links to take a look. Pay close attention, because you’ll see most of them are actually reusing pieces from summer!

This summer, the trend has been loose-fitting blouses with khaki or denim short. Why not swap out the shorts for full-length jeans in the fall? A long sleeved silk blouse keeps the outfit feminine and polished – perfect for late August and early September. Add an oversized statement bag, and you’re set!

Leave it to Chiara of the Blonde Salad to appear on just about every one of our lists! Take a peek at this incredible fall look. We love how she’s paired a hot coral-orange suede moto jacket with a soft, embellished sweater and zippered pocket pants. To cap off the look and keep her hair smoothed while riding her scooter, she’s chosen a chunky knit black hat. Have you guessed how much we love layering yet? We are based in Canada, after all!

Nina Dobrev knows about changing climates – from living in Atlanta during filming and her regular visits to LA to her frequent stops in NYC and trips home to Canada. In this photo she’s matched a peacock print maxi dress with a braided leather belt and cropped, loose sweater.

Although our focus is almost always on Cara Loren’s perfect hair, this outfit puts up quite a fight to be the main attraction. She’s paired silk palazzo pants with a loose white t-shirt, black zip-up jacket, and oversize Michael Kors bag. While she’s opted for sandals, we’d recommend throwing on some point toe closed-heel booties or heels to make this autumn appropriate.

There are a few things going on in this outfit that catch our eye. Firstly, she’s reused a summer short/jacket set by pairing it with opaque black tights. To avoid creating a too-dark look, she’s put on a light heathered grey t-shirt and bright gold necklace. Whether you choose to finish off the outfit with heels, booties or half-high flat boots – the choice is up to you and you’ll look equally put-together.

The easiest way to get fall-ready? Swap out your favorite summer blouse for a 3/4 length chunky knit sweater. The destroyed denim jeans in a light wash in this outfit keep it fit for August, the statement necklace and bag add color, but the sweater will keep you toasty warm when a breeze heads your way.

As we mentioned in one of our previous posts, a maxi skirt is one incredibly versatile item. Pair your favorite maxi skirt with closed-toe shoes and a leather jacket and you’ll be ready for chilly temperatures. You’ll look polished, but most importantly comfortable!

Which early fall outfit idea is your favorite? Let us know in a comment or tweet us at @QCStyleAcademy!


August 10, 2013 9:00 am

How to Wear Summer Clothes Into Fall

how to wear summer clothes into fall

Just because the temperature will soon be dipping doesn’t mean you have to put away all your summer clothes just yet! Here at QC, we’re all about getting the most out of every purchase and creating the most versatile wardrobe possible. So, listen up! We’re about to give you some tips on how to wear your summer clothes into fall.

1. Wear it with Tights

If you have a favorite pair of shorts, a skirt, or a dress that you’re not quite ready to push to the back of the closet – wear it with tights. To avoid looking frumpy, opt for tights that aren’t too thick and stick to neutral black or dark grey. To make it fall-ready, grab your favorite pair of booties or calf-high boots. You’re ready to hit the autumn streets!

2. Bring On the Maxi Skirt!

The glorious thing about a maxi skirt? Well, it’s floor-length of course. This means your legs will remain sheltered from the wind and environment, even as the weather dips. Pair your favorite maxi skirt with a cropped chunky sweater or blazer to make it cool-weather appropriate. If it’s an extra chilly day, throw on a pair of tights. No one will know the difference anyways!

3. Slip on a Moto Jacket

There’s nearly nothing a motorcycle jacket can’t do. Pair a fall moto jacket in black leather with your go-to sundress or maxi dress to add warmth and dimension to your outfit. If you’ve got a chill, grab an infinity scarf and wrap it around your neck for a cozy yet polished outfit.

4. Scarves, Scarves and More Scarves

Even in the heat of summer, there’s at least one person in our office here at QC head quarters wearing a scarf. We love them, what can we say?! When the temperature starts to cool, stock up on interesting scarves – preferably a few you can wrap around a couple of times to create some bulk and drama. Suddenly, a sleeveless top becomes a cowl neck fit for fall. A long-sleeved t-shirt becomes just that much warmer.

What do you think of our style tips? Let us know what you’re not ready to part with – for us, it’s definitely our summer shorts!



August 5, 2013 9:00 am

Style Guide: How to Layer Clothes

how to layer clothes

Just like with anything else, there’s always room for mistakes when it comes to layering. The following list of main mistakes you’re likely to encounter in your career will help you identify practices to avoid, as well as their associated effects for your client. Following these guidelines will help you make smart choices with layering and create stand-out ensembles for your clients year round. Keep these “major mistakes” in mind when working with layers to ensure you’re looking put-together and not left uncomfortable or frumpy. Read on to learn the biggest mistakes to avoid when layering, and how to layer clothes properly.


Leggings are actually footless tights and are not a wearable garment on their own. It’s important to keep this in mind when getting dressed or advising others on their wardrobes. While there are times and places leggings make for a suitable layering piece, they’re often wrongly used. When working with leggings, ensure you’re using a high quality legging in a proper size.  A too-tight legging will lose its opacity, cling to all the wrong areas, and will actually be very uncomfortable.  A proper fitting legging can make for a good layering piece, particularly on cool summer nights or in the fall, but needs to be used as hosiery and not as a standalone garment.

When wearing leggings, ensure your top drapes down to at least your mid-thighs. You’ll want to be able to bend over, reach for something, and stretch without showing off too much. Also, keep in mind the footwear with which you’ll be wearing the leggings. Footless leggings are meant to be a casual item, and shouldn’t be worn to the office or worn with dainty footwear. Pairing leggings with a long sweater dress and casual flats, or calf high boots, is attractive. Wearing footless leggings with strappy heels and a too short blouse is not only inappropriate for the office, but also isn’t flattering.

Too Many or too Little

There is definitely such a thing as wearing too many layers. The moment you begin to feel too warm in a controlled climate setting, or start to lose your silhouette, you’ve done too much. Your best bet is to restrict the number of layers used to three in colder months and two in warmer months. This will still allow for outfit versatility and transition, but will avoid causing your client to overheat or making the ensemble become too complicated. You never want to look overdone!

Just as you can dress in too many layers, you can also dress in too few. Most people restrict themselves to wearing outfits composed of one or two items such as a tank and shorts or dress. When styled correctly, these outfits can be absolutely gorgeous! However, they aren’t very versatile and you’re likely to become cold when you step inside an air conditioned building, hit a patch of shade, or when the evening arrives and the temperature begins to drop.

Too Heavy

The same problems can ensue when you layer using too heavy fabrics as would occur with dressing in too many layers. You run the risk of becoming uncomfortable, you’ll likely lose your shape, and you will wind up looking larger and fuller than you actually are. This is why it’s best to layer using the lightest fabrics possible and keeping any heavy layers on the outside of the ensemble. Always use a belt to cinch in the extra fabric around your waist if an extra layer is needed but your silhouette starts to disappear. You should never pair a thick layer with another thick layer, as this will become too bulky and is less likely to flatter you than a thin layer paired with something thicker.

Out of Season Scarves

There are certain fabrics more suited to warmer months, and others more suited to colder months. The same rules apply when using scarves in a layered look. You don’t want to put on a light linen scarf in the dead of winter, and you certainly don’t want to dress in a thick knit scarf or faux fur snood in the heat of summer! Always think of the environment in which will be and choose garments with appropriate fabric types.

Loss of Silhouette

Your silhouette may become lost under layers in a variety of situations. You may be wearing too many layers. You may not be accessorizing appropriately with a layered ensemble. You may have forgotten to keep the bottom half of an outfit balanced when adding layers to the top half. The layers could be too thick or not fitted enough. Whatever the cause, allowing your silhouette to become lost under their clothes is a mistake you should try to avoid. Learn to accept that some outfits may look amazing on other people, but simply not work on you – and vice versa. Layered looks, while able to be chic and in-style, won’t work on everyone every single time.

Too Much Color or Not Enough Color

When building any outfit, color matters greatly. When building a layered outfit, you’ll need to pay extra attention to the colors you’re selecting. If the only pop of color in an outfit is on the outer layer, and it gets removed at some point during the day, you will be left with a much less interesting ensemble. At the same time, however, you don’t want to layer with too much color as the outfit will become overwhelming. Balance must be achieved with an outfit’s colors, something which can often be done through the use of prints and patterns. Just be sure not to use too many and to use prints, patterns, and colors in complimentary hues.

Competing Cuts

When layering, it’s important to keep in mind how each garment is cut. If your base layer has a collar, the layer you place over top of it should have a complimentary neckline. A turtle neck, for example, would sit awkwardly on top of a collared blouse and would cause the neck to appear bumpy or wider than it actually is. Layering a short sleeved shirt under a fitted long sleeve sweater may result in an awkward line where the base layer sleeve ends, which is likely to show through a fitted sweater. Try to layer using as similar cuts as possible, specifically keeping in mind the base layer’s neckline, sleeve length, and hem.


What’s your biggest obstacle when it comes to layering? Let us know and we’ll get back to you with our advice!


July 4, 2013 9:00 am

How to Look Taller and Leaner

Fashion is a mix of style, illusion, and effect. It can take some time to master, but today we’ve got a quick and easy tip to share with you. If you’ve ever wondered how to look taller and leaner, this article’s for you. You’ll be looking taller, leaner, and oh-so polished in less than a minute. Read on!

How to Look Taller & Leaner


Creating the illusion of greater height and a streamlined silhouette all starts with the right pair of pants. In this case, we love a dark washed mid-rise denim jean with a flight flare. We’ve chosen to pair the jean with medium height heels in black. It’s important to note we chose heels with a slightly pointed toe. This helps to add height to the silhouette! If you’ve got another pair of shoes you’d rather wear, just be sure they’re in a dark color so there isn’t an obvious stop-and-start where the shoes end and the jeans begin.

To keep the clean, vertical lines going we chose this peachy-cream lace sleeveless top. Note the vertical line where it buttons up in the front – this helps draw the eye up and down and further adds to the height you’ve created with the shoe/jean combo.

Lastly, grab a long necklace. Something that’s long and delicate with once again keep the vertical silhouette going. If you’d like to add even more height, opt for a high bun in your hair!

There you go – taller and leaner in less than a minute… no working out or magic required. Enjoy!

For more styling tips, be sure to like QC Style Academy on Facebook. To find out how you can turn your love for fashion into a career, read about our online Fashion Styling course.


June 25, 2013 9:30 am

How to Wear a Maxi Skirt in Summer

The maxi skirt is a must-have for every woman, particularly in summer! It’s easy, versatile, lightweight, and will give you the illusion of added height when paired with a low heel or wedge. In this post, I’ll show you how to wear a maxi skirt three different ways for summer. Enjoy!

1. Effortless Glam

Effortless Glam


River Island crew neck shirt
16 CAD –

Frankie Morello high waisted pleated skirt
520 CAD –

Zara flats sandals
40 CAD –

Rebecca Minkoff mini handbag
195 CAD –

Lori s Shoes geometric necklace
25 CAD –


The first way to wear a maxi skirt is effortlessly glam. It’s comfy, too! Pair your favorite grey t-shirt with a punchy pink maxi skirt, white and metallic sandals, basic white bag, and add a statement necklace. You’ll be ready in a pinch for a day of shopping, visiting, or just about anything else. I love this laid-back but still glamorous take on the maxi skirt.


2. Edgy Cool

Edgy Cool


45 CAD –

Frankie Morello maxi skirt
520 CAD –

Pull Bear pull bear
93 CAD –

Cromia handbag
115 CAD –

Silver pendant necklace
70 CAD –


The second way to wear a maxi skirt is edgy cool. Perfect for a night out, music festival, or your favorite band’s concert – this look is sure to turn heads. You’ll stay cool in a cropped tank, comfortable in flat gladiator sandals, and will have plenty of room to store essentials in a medium sized neon yellow clutch. Add a few layered necklaces and your look is complete!


3. Office Appropriate

Office Appropriate


39 CAD –

Frankie morello
520 CAD –

Boutique 9 pointed-toe pumps
140 CAD –

Dsquared2 strand necklace
660 CAD –


The third way to wear a maxi skirt is my personal favorite – office appropriate. Who says you can’t look good at the office? Not me, that’s for sure! I love letting the maxi skirt take center stage. Pair your skirt with a fresh white silk blouse, metal and pearl mixed necklace, navy blue clutch, and closed toe gold heel. Can’t show your shoulders at the office? Swap the sleeveless blouse for one with capped sleeves and you’ll look just as great.


Which is your favorite way to wear the maxi skirt? Let me know in a comment!



June 10, 2013 8:00 am

How to Start a Fashion Blog

how to start a fashion blog

Blogging is a very productive past time. Not only does it help to get your name out there and build your credibility, but it also opens the flood gates for industry connections and for your styling capabilities to continuously evolve. While we’ve all seen at least one fashion blog, it can be intimidating when thinking of starting your own. In this post, I’ll walk you through how to start a fashion blog with an emphasis on starting small and keeping both the cost and time commitment as low as possible.

1. Deciding on a Platform

The two most popular blogging platforms are WordPress and Blogger. Both have their pros and cons, though WordPress generally requires a stronger understanding of HTML and CSS if you plan on customizing the appearance. If you’re an HTML rookie, you’ll likely prefer Blogger and its interactive template designer that does the bulk of the work for you. Blogger is owned by Google as well, so you get all the SEO benefits associated with that – bonus! While we do love WordPress (it’s what we use for The Blog), it can be a little overwhelming for the beginner blogger. If ever you should decide to start with one and switch to another, both offer ways to import your existing blog posts and content so don’t think you’re stuck with whatever you choose to start with.

2. Choosing a Name

When it comes to choosing your blog’s name, think carefully. If you to make it super easy for your visitors to check back in with you, you should purchase the domain name to match your blog’s name. So, if your blog is going to be called Kate’s Fashion Stories you should check to see if is available. What you name your blog should relate to its content and speak to who you are and what you’re saying. So, if you choose a name like “My Shoe Addiction”, readers will expect the bulk of your posts to be about shoes. You can always change your blog’s name down the road, but it’s better to be consistent and choose a great one from the start to avoid confusing readers and losing any page rank you might have gained.

3. Writing

If you’re not the best writer, don’t worry. Blogs are more informal than a website and are meant to be more conversational than formal. You should always check your writing for spelling and grammar errors (just copy and paste it into a Word doc or Google Drive to use one of their spell checkers) but it won’t be the end of the world if you make a mistake once in a while. If you really don’t feel comfortable writing, that’s okay too. Many of the most followed blogs are more image-heavy than anything else. Just be sure your images speak for themselves!

If you do plan on writing, be sure to write on-topic and in your own voice. Don’t try to sound like someone you’re not, and be consistent in the tone and type of language you use. Your readers want to hear from you and learn about your unique perspective, so really try to stay true to your opinion and voice whenever possible. Also, try not to look to other blogs for inspiration too regularly as you might unintentionally end up copying something they’ve done – another blogging no no. While looking at other blogs can be great once in a while and provide you with photo and topic ideas, you should never rely on what someone else is doing for your own blog. It’s about showing off who you are, after all.

4. Photos

If you plan on showcasing your daily outfits, be sure to either have a tripod and remote or have someone to snap some photos for you. Even the camera on most smart phones will do the trick when you’re just starting out. There’s no need to go out and buy an expensive DSLR when you’re just starting! Try different poses, play some music to feel more comfortable, and have fun. If you’re having a good time and smiling, your personality will come through much more in your photos than if you feel unhappy or out-of-place. We love Chiara of The Blonde Salad because she always looks like she’s having such a good time and it definitely comes through in her photos.

A second option for a fashion blog is to share “street style” photos. This would mean heading out on the town and snapping photos of other people. Be sure to get their permission before snapping a photo. It’s also a great chance to let them know who you are and what you do, so it’s kind of a two-in-one. Get pictures of outfits, textures, colors, and fabrics that inspire you. If you need some ideas as to how you should shoot street style, check out We love their mix of styles and photo types!

Thirdly, you could do something like My Style Diaries and post regular outfit inspiration and how-to collages. This eliminates the need for personal style photos or a camera at all, for that matter! Using Photoshop,, or Polyvore you can create eye-catching collages and link your readers to where they can find each piece or something similar. Blogging collages can help you show off your range and that you can work with different styles and body types, and is a good idea to throw in once in a while even if you plan on uploading primarily personal style photos.

5. Getting Social

Use the power of social media to your advantage and drive more traffic to your blog from Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Google+ and more. Pinterest is one of the easiest social platforms to use for a blogger, since all you have to do is upload a picture and it automatically links back to the page from which you grabbed it – meaning your blog! Twitter is a fabulous tool for a blogger as well, as it lets you follow fashion news and connect with like-minded people. Maybe you’ll meet another local blogger and can meet up to do outfit photos together? Perhaps you’ll connect with a local shop that wants to send an item to you to feature on your blog? The possibilities are endless.

6. Have Fun

Lastly, have fun with your blog. Don’t take it too seriously, but do understand that some people manage to blog full time and make quite a successful living from it! Try not to restrict yourself to a rigid posting schedule, but make sure you are uploading consistently. So, if you can only post something new once a week, then stick with it. If you want, and can, to post every single day – go for it. It’s your blog and how you choose to run it is up to you at the end of the day. 🙂

If you have a fashion blog, please leave your link in a comment. We’d love to check it out!