Calgary Journal Online

Home Local Living Local Living Weather ninjas with style
Weather ninjas with style PDF Print E-mail
Written by LISA HALLET   
Saturday, 23 April 2011 15:36

Ten tips for young Calgary women to keep their fashion fresh this spring

Calgary’s weather is notorious for having multiple personalities. It’s warm and welcoming one day, then cold and bitter the next. So how does a young woman put together a functional, trendy wardrobe in a seemingly dysfunctional climate? Here’s how.

1. Cardigans

“A girl can never have too many cardigans,” says Justin Barrington-Foote, manager of Betsey Johnson, a clothing boutique in the city. They’re so simple, but so versatile. They’ll go with any outfit, from jeans to pencil skirts to dresses, and they’re perfect for Calgary’s ever-changing weather, he says. “They’ll ball up small and you can just throw them in your day bag and pull them out when you need to.”

2. Trench Coats

They’re classic, professional wardrobe consultant Angella Hlymbicky says. But right now, they’re also trendy, and they’re for every woman. You can find them with lots of fun details, from skirted waists to colourful patterns, she says, and they’re the perfect light layer to accompany any spring-inspired outfit.

3. Rain Boots

Release you inner puddle jumper! Every designer is making them, Hlymbicky says, and there are a variety of styles to suit any personality. From motorcycle to camouflage, classic to trendy, there are rain boots for every woman, she adds. They’ll help you conquer those puddles while keeping your toes warm and dry.

4. Bell-bottom Pants

You look back at your mother’s old photos from the ‘70s and laugh at the outrageous flared pants. Your kids may end up doing the same, because the flares have returned, says Laura Chisholm and Chelsea Evans, students at Calgary’s Ecole Holt Couture, a school of couture fashion, sewing and design. The “70s boho look” with bustiers and bell-bottom pants is back in a big way they say. They’re not for everyone, Hlymbicky adds, but you can find a fit for different body types and take a riff on that style.

Chandra Harbaruk demonstrates how to pull off florals and ruffles this spring at Leslie Davies' Spring Fling Launch Party on April 7.
Lisa Hallet/Calgary Journal


5. Big Bag

Big bags are the perfect springtime accessory, especially in our city, says Kimberley Jev, editor-in-chief of Wear a light scarf, but keep a thick one in your bag to throw over your cold shoulders, along with mittens and a light cardigan, she suggests. You’ll be prepared for whatever mother nature may throw at you and will be a practical “weather ninja, but with style,” she says.

6. Pop of Colour

For those of you who live in black, come on over to the light side. Spring is always a great time to experiment with colour, Jev says. Take a bold colour and pair it with your neutrals to punch your outfit up, she recommends, but stick to colours that look good on you. There’s always a hot, of-the-moment colour, but it may not be suitable for your complexion, Barrington Foote adds. Do bright, just do it carefully.

7. Chunky Jewellery

This is one simple way to incorporate that pop of colour into your wardrobe, Hlymbicky says. Jewellery is personal; it’s a great way to identify your own style, she. Find a statement piece and it will set you apart from everyone else, she adds.

8. Florals and Ruffles

They’re the ultimate in femininity and they’re everywhere on dresses, blouses and skirts, says Marlene Zwicker, professional wardrobe consultant with The Style File Image Consulting System. They’re a great way to camouflage a wide variety of figure challenges on all women’s shapes, she adds. Get inspired by the colours and patterns of the season around you.

9. Cargo Pants

Those of you who could never quite let go of your cargos, rejoice! They’re back, says Leslie Davies of Impact Image Essentials Group, an image and wardrobe consulting company. Cargos are functional and versatile in their material – they’ll keep up with your on-the-go lifestyle – but you can make them fun for spring in a cropped or cuffed cut, she adds.

10. Spring Makeup

Your look wouldn’t be complete without the final finishing touches of makeup. And pink is everywhere for spring, from lip colour to blushes to eye shadows, says Manal Souraya, manager of Murale, a beauty product store in the city.

But keep in mind that less is more. You’ll want a natural look for spring, but then incorporate a pop of colour with your blush, nails and lip colour to define those features, she says. NARS Cosmetics and Bobbi Brown Professional Cosmetics are both lines of makeup that have five different coral and pink crayon glosses that will help you find the perfect shade for your spring look, Souraya says.

The Bobbi Brown “Beauty Rules” book is also a great tool to teach you how to prepare your skin for makeup, how to apply makeup, and what the right makeup is for you, she adds.

There will be new trends every season, but that doesn’t mean that they are perfect for you, Hlymbicky says. You never want to compromise on clothing that won’t be suitable for your body type, so take the trends and be inspired. It’s all about adding bits of these trends to your wardrobe, Davies says, and not about being a slave to style.