Fashion · Uncategorized

Matching your shoes to your bag: yes or no?

I know I started this post off with a question, but really, I’ve already made up my mind. Matching shoes and bags are a big YES in my book.

I’ve been so into ’em. Especially lately, as I’ve been exploring some new colour palettes.

When I’m trying to balance colour in an outfit, matching accessories bring the whole thing together and make it look like a look. It’s like bookends for the outfit.

Here’s the thing though: I think it works best with casual outfits and well-worn pieces. I also think it works best with neutral accessories.

So to keep things simple, I’m sticking with accessories in warm cognac, black, or deep brown — the holy trinity of neutrals.

This is what it looks like for me:

shoes and bag

So, this whole matching-shoes-and-bags thing begs the question:

How often do you switch purses?

It would get really tiresome to switch with every outfit. So I don’t.

If I’m just running to the grocery or something, I go with whatever bag is already in use. If I’m super busy and just need to get stuff done, same story, I don’t stress about it.

Remember back when matching accessories was treated as a rule, and it was a faux pas if everything didn’t match? I’m not into it like that. No need to treat it as a rule.

Instead, I only switch bags when it feels fun. Like when I’m playing around, creating a look for a low key date night or to hang out with friends.

So I probably end up changing bags once or twice a week. That may sound like a lot, and maybe it is. But, I keep a tidy purse and I only have five things in it — my wallet, phone, mask, glasses, and my keys — so it’s not a big deal to switch right now.

Now, I’m curious to hear your opinion on this. Matching accessories: Yes or no? Would you stick with just bags and shoes or would you expand to other accessories? Would you stick to neutrals or try colours? Let me know in the comments.

Fashion · Uncategorized

Commando vs Spanx: faux leather leggings review.

OK, I’m so excited to share today’s post with you all because it is by far one of my most-asked questions this time of year! For years I’ve been a huge fan of any and all faux leather leggings and find any chance I can get to wear them all throughout fall and winter! I even wrote a whole guide on how to style faux leather leggings with lots of outfit ideas if you need some inspiration!

But between all the pairs I’ve purchased and worn over the years, two particular pairs (or brands, rather) have always stood out to me – Commando and Spanx. This sparks the question– which pair I like better or if I had to choose just one, which would it be? They’re both very similar designs and are at the same price point so if you’re going to splurge on a pair… which one do you pick?

The truth is, I love them both!! But of course they have their differences, so today is all about sharing the different features of each pair and giving you all the information you need to decide which one you want to buy! Or maybe you’re like me and you’ll want both!

I’d love to hear in the comments below which pair you prefer or find yourself wearing more and why. Or maybe you just have one pair and absolutely love it – regardless, I’d love to hear!

Commando Faux Leather Leggings.

First up we have the Commando pair. I love this pair of faux leather leggings and reach for them quite a bit. One of the things that stands out to me the most about them is that the material is actually thicker and they’re fleece-lined. So for me, this pair might be more appropriate when it gets super cold outside since I live in Canada. I also consider them to be more “formal” and find them easier to dress up if that makes sense? The finish is what makes a big difference with this as the Commando pair looks and feels more like actual leather!

As you can see from how I styled them though, you can clearly still dress them down! Sneakers are a great way to make them feel more casual and you can never go wrong with an oversized sweater this time of year. It’s probably my favorite way to style faux leather leggings in general!

Spanx Faux Leather Leggings

Next is the Spanx pair. I feel like Spanx leggings have a cult following and people go absolutely crazy for them and I totally understand why. They’re super comfortable yet they also “hold you in”. The shape wear component to them is something I know a lot of people really love and, I love it too!

To me, they wear much more like active wear or athletic leggings. They’re not lined, so they’re much thinner than the Commando ones, which I think makes them a bit easier to move around in potentially (hence the reference to active wear). They also look more causal in general because the finish looks less like authentic leather. That said, I love to dress them up with black booties and a chic blouse – in this case, this super cute animal print chiffon top.

Commando vs. Spanx

If you’re still not sure or want more clarification, I also put together this chart to show you all of the differences side by side. Like I said at the beginning of the post, I don’t think one is better than the other, but you just have to think about what you need out of your faux leather leggings!

Which is your preference?

Do you have a particular pair that you love? If you’re hard-pressed for one or the other, tell me which brand and why in the comments so we can all see and weigh the options!

Don’t forget to subscribe to LiveLaughLearn.blog to stay up to date and follow on Instagram @LiveLaughLearn.blog

XOXO.

B.

Fashion · Uncategorized

Layering decoded: a formula for practical, bulk-free layering.

In the past, my biggest gripe about layering was bulk. I felt like the only way to stay warm was to look like a marshmallow. And as awesome as marshmallows really are, it’s not super practical to be dressed like one.

So, here’s my formula for bulk-free layering.

1 | Base layer

To me, this is the most important layer. It’s the layer that’s right up next to your skin, so it determines the way your body feels in the outfit — which is a big deal. Usually, no one will see this layer, but even still, it’s nice to have a good-looking base layer that can stand on it’s own. You know, just in case you get too warm and need to shed your other layers.

You can find a basic long sleeve anywhere but right now, this is my favorite long sleeve base layer under my sweater — it’s soft, lightweight, and stretchy. You could also do a fitted short sleeve tee.

2 | Main layer

My main layer is usually a loose sweater, but it could also be a lightweight knit or even a silky blouse.

If it’s super cold outside, I go with a wool sweater…I do live in Canada after all. And remember, it’s not itchy because I’m wearing a base layer. Winning!

My love for wool can’t be quantified. It’s ridiculously warm and it’s naturally stain and odour resistant too. Did I ever tell you about the time a friend accidently spilled an entire glass of red wine on my beloved wool cardigan at FriendsGiving? I ran to the bathroom thinking it was ruined, but after blotting it with cold water, there was no sign of the stain. Within 10 minutes, I was out enjoying a fresh glass of wine — stain free. Unbelievable.

3 | Outer layer

This could be a rain jacket, a parka, a sweater, or a pretty wool coat. But no matter what, I value function over form when it comes to my outer layer.

One of the biggest layering mistakes I used to make was buying outerwear that was too fitted. Sure, it fit perfectly with a tee underneath, but a bulky sweater? Not happening. Nothing feels worse than having your sweater bunched up in your armpits or creeping up your neck because your coat is too small.

I’m currently on the hunt for a super warm winter coat, and when I go to the store to try them on, I purposely wear bulky sweaters. That way, I don’t make that mistake again.

BONUS | Scarves, hats, gloves, socks, etc.

If it’s super cold out, add these bonus layers to warm up even more.

And that’s it!

The key to it all is to get dressed knowing you’ll add and remove layers throughout the day.

So tell me, how do you approach layering? Got any tips to keep things bulk-free? Also! Do you have any tips on finding a high quality, warm winter coat — not just one that looks warm? I’m on the hunt for a truly warm winter coat, so I’d love to hear your insights. Share away in the comments.

As always, don’t forget to subscribe to LiveLaughLearn.blog to stay up to date and follow on Instagram @LiveLaughLearn.blog

XOXO.

B.