Pantone’s Colour of the Year: Radiant Orchid

Pantone recently announced its 2014 colour of the year and as a devotee of 2013’s stunning emerald green, I immediately went into colour mourning. Radiant orchid? Sure, this light pinky purple hybrid could be pretty in the spring, but the colour of the year? I wasn’t convinced. So off to google I went.

While I standby my initial reaction to the colour’s lavender leaning shades, to the extent its “radiance” errs on the side of fuchsia, I’ve decided to get on board. Whatever your colour preferences, there’s no need to wait for warmer weather (or even for the colour’s official debut in the new year). A smoky purple is super cozy with knit greys and winter whites and a brighter magenta tone pops against black. Give it a test run this winter as you’re likely to be seeing a lot of it come spring.

radiant orchid

Fancy Plaid

Although I don’t love the cold, I do love a lot of the things that come with it:  snow, fireplaces, apple cider, Christmas and… you guessed it, plaid.  For me, plaid is inherently a cold weather pattern, intended to be worn in deep, dark colours, layered with sweaters, and accented with distressed leather, denim and/or faux fur.  I would, if the resultant look wasn’t quite so “lost in the city lumberjack”, wear my indigo and red plaid flannel shirt, boyfriend jeans, and lace up leather boots all winter.  Fortunately for me, designers this season seem to share my love of plaid and have brought us a variety of ways to dress up our comfies and incorporate tartan into even the most formal of outfits.  From shoes to coats, I bring you plaid: the runway and the real way.

The Runway

Michael Kors


Dries Van Noten


Alexander McQueen mcqueen

The Real Way

From your shoes to your purse, plaid need not be limited to button ups.  Add just one piece,  layer up with contrasting colours, or be bold and embrace the tartan from head to toe.  Anything goes!

PicMonkey Collage

Top row: Denim & Supply dress by Ralph Lauren, Janey Flat by J Crew, purse from Lulus
Middle row: Club Monaco suit, Anthropologie jacket
Bottom row: J Crew tartan pants, American Apparel chiffon skirt, Barbour Valerie gloves

Gentlemen, don’t worry, you can play too.  Go beyond basic flannel and amp your plaid up a notch with a blazer, a bowtie, or if you’re brave, a pair of tartan trousers.


Top row: Club Monaco Suit, Cole Haan Air Colton wingtips, Zara blazer
Middle: Tie Bar bow tie
Bottom row: J Crew tie, J Crew shirt, Zara pants

And there you have it: plaid, all winter long.

I Want: Smythe Warbler Blazer (at a fraction of the cost)

Given the temperatures this week it may be too early to be thinking about fall fashion, but a long weekend at the cottage meant a lot of magazine reading and I’m already ready to trade in my bikini for blazers, boots and sweaters.  In particular, I’m coveting the Warbler Tribute blazer that premiered on Smythe‘s Fall 2012 runways.


Inspired by the signature red trim blazers worn by the all boys choir on the tv show Glee, a portion of the profits from all sales of the Warbler blazer will be donated to anti-bullying campaigns.  Although I love fashion for a good cause, this particular cause is a little out of my price range (Smythe blazers typically retail in the $500-$800 range).  Fortunately, J-Crew has some equally awesome options and their striped version is on sale now!



Better yet, if you’ve got a navy blazer kicking around at home, roll up the sleeves, sew on some brass buttons, and give it a spin with a pair of red jeans and a crisp white shirt.