Thursday, September 3, 2020

A Quality Summer Cocktail Dress

 Well, I wish I could say I got more use out of this dress this summer, but with COVID, there hasn't been a lot of opportunities to dress up! I had to postpone my 30th birthday in July due to rain (boo! in July??), but went out for drinks to H Tasting Lounge (one of my favourite places for a cocktail in Vancouver) that evening and had a chance to rock this dress. It really is a showstopper.

The price of a Ted Baker dress really isn't cheap, but this is one item you'll understand the price when you feel the garment. The material is so thick and luxurious! And the hardware - the zipper on the back and the straps - both are emblazoned with Ted Baker and have a feeling of quality and luxury to them. But let's be honest, I still wouldn't pay full price for a Ted Baker dress. I picked this one up at the Ted Baker Warehouse Sale for a fraction of the cost. BUT I also noticed this dress in a different print is currently on sale for half price if you're looking for a deal too! It's so nice to have a really good quality cocktail dress in your arsenal (even if you'll need to wait until next summer to wear it!). 

This dress was giving me major 50/60's vibes, hence the fun cat-eye sunglasses and white pumps. I've also become a big flamingo-obsessed since last summer, and love, love, love this flamingo clutch I found at Old Navy! It's out of stock, but I linked up one I found on Poshmark below. All I can say is there will be lots more flamingo stuff to come in my wardrobe! Give me all the Palm Springs vibes!!!

Dress - Ted Baker (from the Ted Baker Warehouse Sale) | Sunglasses - Target | Purse - Old Navy (here's one on Poshmark!) | Lipstick - NYX Liquid Suede in Pink Lust (from London Drugs) | Heels - H&M (thrifted via Value Village)

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Friday, August 28, 2020

Palm Springs Style

 No, don't worry I didn't take a forbidden flight to Palm Springs in the midst of a pandemic! I've been holding onto these photos since last spring! I've still been wearing this outfit a bunch at home this summer. It's the perfect thing to wear when riding my bike to patio drinks. The paperbag-waist gingham shorts are so comfortable, and the top is nice and light on a hot summer day (not to mention the yellow is fun and sunny!). And the little ties on the top are just so cute, and make the straps fully adjustable, as a bonus.

I've also been wearing these braided white mules to death this summer! They are my absolute all-time favourite summer shoe. Why, you ask? They're a good step up from sandals - they just look a little more refined. But they're still easy to slip in and out of if you're at the beach, etc. They're also really comfortable. I wish I had bought 2 pairs!! Unfortunately, they're out of stock on JustFab now, but I've linked up a similar pair below.

The photos below were taken at The Shops at 1345 and Shop(pe) Ice Cream & Shop - definitely two stops I'm glad we made while in Palm Springs. The Shops at 1345 had so many great local vendors under one roof, all with a unique range of products from cute little trinkets to beautiful home decor. And Shop(pe) not only had some awesome ice cream flavours, but a great little gift shop with all kinds of fun gift and souvenirs, like pool floats and tropical cocktail kits (complete with mini umbrellas and palm leaf stir sticks!). I look forward to going back once it's OK to travel again! Until then, I'll just keep rocking my Palm Springs outfits closer to home...

Shirt - SheIn (almost identical one here) | Shorts - Zara (thrifted via Salvation Army) (similar) | Purse - SheIn (similar) | Earrings - Target (similar) | Sunglasses - Target | Shoes - JustFab (similar)

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Monday, August 17, 2020

3 Ways to Thrift Shop Safely (Online) During COVID-19

Spring, summer, resort, back-to-school… we might have all been excited to shop for the trappings for these occasions… but COVID! Sigh.

Even though in BC it’s now socially acceptable to hang out while physically distancing in outdoor spaces, the indoor shopping routines aren't easy to navigate. 

Some stores require masks, some don’t, some have no-touch shopping policy or change rooms are closed (what’s the point of shopping in person then?!). One of the hardest parts probably has to do with not the stores, but how other fellow shoppers respect the 2m rule. Then there are the complications of shopping at thrift stores during a pandemic; while for the most part, it now looks like the virus doesn’t spread easily on contaminated surfaces, it would be fair to have some hesitation about shopping amongst racks of used clothing right now.

We understand that thrifting is at its finest when you’re in-store finding that gem of an item, the way Vancouver blogger Vicki Duong thrifted a Louis Vuitton clutch for a grand total of—wait for it—fourteen dollars!

Not to worry, with the pandemic serving as a catalyst for all businesses to pivot online, thrifting has never been easier. Here are three ways you can maintain your style while saving some dollars and staying safe:

#1) Your Local Consignment Store Is Likely Online

Britta & Lee of LegalLee Blonde visiting Mine & Yours, before the pandemic. Shop them online now!

TBH, I never checked local consignment stores online prior to our current situation. I mean, why bother? The thrill was in the in-store hunt! Be it a double-edged sword, now you can shop in the comfort of your own (WF)H.  

  1. The Main Exchange:

Find carefully curated styles that cater to a feminine and modern aesthetic. There are plenty of Aritzia brands! The size range skews small, but of course larger sizes are included as well. There’s free shipping on purchases over $150, otherwise a $9 flat rate.

  1. Turnabout:

Over the years, Turnabout has expanded to eight stores. That’s eight stores worth of inventory, all online! Insiders tip: Find items for up to 50% off online during stat holidays. A friend recently got a Chanel bag for just over $2500, spent $295 on a Chloe purse, got Tom Ford sunglasses for $75… you get the gist. Shipping is free for orders over $200, but with such a great selection, it won’t be hard to meet that minimum.

  1. Mine & Yours

Gucci, Hermes, Chanel, oh my! Mine & Yours is one of the top luxury consignors in the city. There are some good deals to be found on brands like The Kooples, Rachel Comey, Self-Portrait, Off-White and more… all the way up to a $16,000 Hermes Kelly bag. All items are authenticated by a third party authentication partner. Shipping is free over $100, otherwise $10 flat.

  1. Hunter & Hare

At Hunter & Hare, it’s all about community: In celebration of Pride this year, they donated 25% of sales to Vancouver-based charity, QMUNITY. In addition to offering well priced and quality consignment goods, they also support local and independent brands. Shopping at H&H is great for people, the planet, and of course, your wallet. Shipping is free over $150.

  1. Front & Company

From cheap and cheerful to designer brands, Main Street establishment Front & Company carries it all. It’s a crowd favourite for both men and women with a hip/hipster vibe. Be sure to stop by the store in person once COVID-19 is finally over, and check out their renowned window displays. Free shipping in Canada over $100.

  1. Hey Jude

For the true environmentalists at heart, the ones who are adamant that fashion should be slow, Hey Jude is the place to be, online. Owners Lauren Clark and Lyndsey Chow hand-pick vintage-inspired contemporary collections. You can choose to pick up your goods curbside, which are usually ready within an hour.

#2) Secondary Marketplaces are Great Places to Find Gems

Hunter boots Britta purchased through Facebook (which have since gotten lots of use!), for half the retail price!

When you’re buying directly from another seller, and not via an authorized business, we know things can get a bit shady. Just look out for things like how many photos have been posted and how detailed the description is. On the flip side of the equation is because you are buying directly from another seller, you can negotiate! 

What’s great about local secondary markets is that most people are now geared to accept e-transfers or leave items outside their homes for contactless pickup. Warning: shopping from secondary marketplaces can be addicting and cause you to constantly refresh to see new items.

  1. Craigslist

It’s a mixed bag on Craigslist, so it’s worth a shot if you’re looking for a deal rather than for something super specific. Personally, I haven’t shopped too much for clothes on Craigslist, but it’s pretty handy for home decor. When I first moved out, I spent only $1100 to fully furnish my apartment, and that was including a few new items not from Craigslist!

  1. Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace trumps Craigslist simply because it’s a social network, which means you can see if you and the seller have friends in common, how highly rated the seller is on traits like Responsiveness or Friendliness. I found an Aritzia shirt that was worn once for 75% off the retail price. Britta has also gotten a great deal on Hunter rain boots for half the retail price.

#3) Resale Sites are The Real Deal

Britta found a perfect replacement for this blazer on Poshmark, after getting a stain on her old one. Just $15!

There are a slew of these great resale sites, like Tradesy or Rebag for luxury fashion… if you live in the US. The former doesn’t ship to Canada, and shipping for the latter will set you back $50USD. Sigh, again. 

Thank goodness, a few operate or ship to Canada:

  1. Poshmark

According to Poshmark, they are one of the leading social commerce platforms for the next generation of retailers and shoppers. They boast 60 million community members across the U.S. and Canada, and have about 100 million items for sale. There’s a sale made every second! Their platform makes it incredibly easy to list your second-hand fashion items for sale, as well as makes it easy to find and shop new items in other Poshers’ closets. You can follow Poshers’ closets you like to make sure you always see what’s new, plus you can share and like listings that catch your eye. They even have a new Posh Stories feature which allows you to sell and shop listings with short videos!

Britta has an account and has made a number of sales using the platform, and has been able to put those earnings towards purchasing second hand items within Poshmark - like the tuxedo blazer you see above! Her Poshing tip: prices aren’t firm - there’s an option to make an offer rather than simply buy at their set price, so make them an offer and see if you can come to an agreement that’s a great deal!

  1. ThredUP

ThreadUP claims to be the world’s largest online consignment and thrift store. They have over two million items at any given time, so we’d say that’s pretty accurate! Instead of shopping by brand or by product category, currently the homepage allows you to shop by product category or style filtered by price (ie. under $10!). It’s a lot of fast fashion, but you’ll also find the odd Elizabeth & James or Vince Camuto. Beware the shipping though, there’s base (not flat) shipping cost that will increase as you add more items. And don’t forget duties!

Notable mentions: higher end resell sites such as TheRealReal, Vestiaire Collective, What Comes Around Goes Around, and LePrix ship to Canada too!

Bonus: Shop Your Own Closet

There are many reasons why we thrift: to find a good deal, to seek unique items, or to help the environment by not buying something new. Most of us have a closet full of options, so why not take a good look and start there? We had to throw this last one in there because there’s no better way to have less environmental impact and be COVID-safe by coming up with new and creative styling solutions from your existing clothing collection.

Stay safe & have fun thrifting online!

Written by Miranda Sam, Edited by Britta Bisig

Miranda Sam is a freelance lifestyle writer, #girlmom, and Italian at heart. Keep up with her most recent venture, a functional + inclusive clothing line designed for petite women, here.  

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Self-Care During Quarantine: Create Your Own Spa at Home

Palm print robe - SheIn

Self-care has been a buzz word for quite a while now, but ever since quarantine became a thing, it's been taken to a whole new level! After all, what better time to give yourself some R&R...than when there are literally no other distractions! I know there is a ton of content out there right now about how to up your productivity while at home, but we also shouldn't feel pressured to be 'productive' 100% of the time. I honestly love to spend time doing nothing 'productive' (like doing my nails or bingeing Netflix). It balances out the busy.

So, all to say that if you want to spend a little more time relaxing and pampering yourself while in Quarantine, this is the post for you. I thought I'd share a few of my favourite products to help you unwind and treat yourself by turning your home into your own personal spa - from bathtime to your nighttime skincare routine.

Daytime Self-Care

Neutrogena Deep Clean Purifying Cleanser & MaskWith not being able to socialize (outside of the house) on the weekends, I've been enjoying some extra time hanging out in bed with a face mask on, doing my nails. Cause why not?? One of my favourite face masks is Neutrogena's Deep Clean Purifying Cleanser & Mask. It feels cooling on the skin when you initially apply it which feels nice and refreshing. It does a great job of deep cleaning, so when my skin is breaking out (which it is right now), this is my go-to. Or I like to use it in the summertime because of the cooling effect.

Essie Treat Love & Color: I'm also using this time in quarantine to give my nails some special treatment. I know lots of people are also using the time right now as an opportunity to let their nails heal after having salon nails for ages. If you want to give your nails some love, Essie's TLC (Treat Love & Color) nail care is a great way to do it! It gives the prettiest sheer shimmer and natural-nails-but-better shine. Plus it'll help give you stronger nails in just a week, with less peeling and less breakage.

MIFA Eucalyptus Mood Mist: The other must-have is an essential oil mist that will give your space some soothing spa vibes. MIFA makes an awesome Eucalyptus Mood Mist that smells sooooo so good. The eucalyptus scent is so refreshing and soothing - I like to spritz a little on our pillows before bed too, for an extra calming experience! It's made with organic ingredients, and is plant-based, fragrance-free and toxin-free. Plus - they're Vancouver-based, so #supportlocal!

Neverland Heavenly Cream Tea: No R&R is complete for me without a glass of wine or some good tea. If it's first thing in the's some good tea! My favourite treat is Neverland's Heavenly Cream black tea, which has notes of creamy vanilla and bergamot. A quarantine-themed Socially Distant mug can't hurt either!

Night Time Routine Self-Care

My skincare routine has definitely become far more elaborate in quarantine. I've been testing out tons of awesome new products, and these are two of my favourites that will help you feel like you've had some spa-grade treatments at home!

Derma E Essentials Microdermabrasion Scrub: Give yourself an at-home spa facial with Derma E's Microdermabrasion Scrub (you can find it at London Drugs!), which buffs away dullness and smooths the look of fine lines, wrinkles and roughness for healthier-looking skin. This pro-grade salon-worthy scrub is made up of a super fine-textured crystal blend that makes my skin feel insanely soft afterwards. You can also use this scrub on your hands, elbows, knees and even heels!

NeoStrata Correct Retinol 0.3% Overnight Peel: No need to go to the spa for a chemical peel (not that that's even an option right now)! These NeoStrata Overnight Peels (mine are from London Drugs) come in a one-month supply of 4 peel pads, which you use once a week. These do a phenomenal job of exfoliating the skin, revealing your fresh new skin underneath! I do get some slight tingling and peeling at first, but I find it's usually very mild. And so worth it for the super smooth skin afterwards.

Bath & Shower Self-Care

While I wish I had a giant soaker tub, our bathtub will have to do for the moment. I don't do baths all that often, but that makes them a special self-care evening when I do partake. And in quarantine, there definitely is all the time in the world for baths.

Lavender Caprina Foam Bath: No relaxing bath is complete without some foam...and this Lavender Foam Bath from Caprina (get it at London Drugs) is super foamy and the scent is so relaxing. I looooove lavender.

Garnier Fructis Smooth Treat Hair Mask: I don't usually do hair masks, because I don't have the patience for one while showering... but they're perfect for during a bath! I love the smell of Garnier's avocado Fructis Smooth Treat Hair Mask, and bonus - it's made with 98% naturally derived ingredients! You actually only need to leave it on your wet hair for 1 minute after shampooing, but I've left it on while taking a bath and rinsing off afterwards. My hair smells so good afterwards, and feels super soft. It's a great way to treat your hair while stuck at home.

MIFA Eucalyptus Coco Body Wash: Once you're done soaking, a rinse-off is of course necessary, and MIFA's Eucalyptus Coco Body Wash is the perfect way to continuing unwinding. It's 100% natural, and creates the most rich and luxurious lather. Just like the Mood Mist, the eucalyptus scent is so relaxing and soothing!

Handwashing Self-Care

We've all been washing our hands an insane amount lately. In fact, my hands are sadly pretty dry, irritated, and flaky right now as a result. Why not make handwashing a little more enjoyable, with some spa-worthy products?

MIFA Oatmeal Shea Olive Oil Soap Bar: MIFA has a natural olive oil soap bar that is unscented and packed with vitamin E, so it's safe for your sensitive skin. The oatmeal can also do some light exfoliating! Considering we're washing our hands so much right now, it makes sense to invest in some decent soap (and why not make it a local purchase, too?).

La Biosthetique Citromycine Hand Cream: Speaking of dry skin from all that handwashing, take the opportunity to treat yourself to a spa-quality hand cream! The scent of La Biosthetique's Citromycine Hand Cream is so delightful (lime, basil, lemon grass, pink pepper, vanilla and woody cedar notes), and definitely makes me feel like I'm in spa. I'm a sucker for a good scent! And the rich oils make my skin so silky soft.

Hopefully, these products help you create your own relaxing spa experience at home! What's your favourite way to practice self-care during quarantine?

Happy Relaxing! xo

~ Britta

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Earth Month Eco-Friendly Beauty Tutorial

Happy Earth Day!

This was the perfect excuse to pull out my favourite eco-friendly beauty products today, to do a little beauty tutorial. Watch the video below to see the whole look (I kept it simple but pretty), and find out why these products were curated as part of my Earth Day beauty routine. They range from natural origins products to those that are made of highly renewable resources, or have recyclable packaging to environmentally-friendly manufacturing operations. Luckily, you can find all the products I used at your local London Drugs (which is open during the pandemic, yay!), or just order online from their website and get it delivered so you don't need to leave your home!

Products I used:

Now your turn...what are your favourite eco-friendly and natural beauty brands?

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Easter Brunch in Ted Baker

Man, am I ever grateful I had a bunch of outfit photos stockpiled before quarantine! Needless to say, no, I'm not running around doing photo shoots while we're self-isolating. BUT I will be changing out of my sweatpants for Easter Sunday tomorrow, as my friends and I are doing Easter afternoon tea, delivered from Neverland Tea in Vancouver! I've been talking about them a lot lately, because a) it's important to support local businesses now if we can and b) their afternoon tea definitely brightens an endless string of days spent indoors.

Now I'm not usually one to share a bunch of higher-end brands here on Vancouver Vogue, with one exception - when I get a great deal on them!! The Ted Baker skirt and handbag you'll see below were purchased during a Ted Baker warehouse sale I went to last April. I picked up some incredible deals, including 3 Ted Baker purses, a skirt, and a dress. The beautiful skirt you'll see below here was only $29.99 and the purse was only $49.99 (can you believe it?!?!). Talk about some serious deals. I actually ended up giving this adorable little lilac purse to my mom, and kept the other two - a deep royal blue bag with gold bow, and a black bag with rose gold hardware and bow.

For sizing reference by the way, I'm wearing a Ted Baker size 2. Their sizing is completely different from any standard sizing you're probably used to - I'm wearing a Ted Baker size 2, which is about a US 4-6. You can find their full size guide for women on their website.

Since that sale, I've been keeping my eye out on Ebay and Poshmark for second hand Ted Baker pieces that are a good deal. I think one of my goals once I turn 30 this year will be to try and curate more high-end fashion pieces that I can treasure for years to come. I just love the attention to detail on their pieces. The hardware on everything from their purses to their skirts and dresses are beautiful - I love the rose gold their often use!

Finally, I paired my Easter tea outfit with this gorgeous statement top (actually it's a bodysuit) from SheIn, which I love so much I also ended up buying it in hot pink too. It's only $15! The ruffles are made of a scuba material, which gives them that nice volume.

I've linked up some similar skirt options at the bottom of this post as well, since unfortunately I couldn't find this exact skirt for sale anymore online. Just scroll right to the bottom to see them all!

Bodysuit - SheIn | Skirt - Ted Baker (similar Ted Baker ones on Ebay, or here's a similar one from Chicwish) | Purse - Ted Baker (similar) | Earrings - Nobis & Grey | Heels - thrifted

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

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