My Little Black Dress

Let’s discuss little black dresses and how every girl should own one.

This girl does. I found my trusty Nicole Miller a few years ago, at Primitive on 17th Ave. At the time, I wondered whether I should spend so many pennies on one dress.

I’m happy I did. My LBD is fitted, to the knee, sleeveless and ruched. It’s the perfect wardrobe staple — it’s basic enough that switching accessories changes the whole look and it’s classy enough to go anywhere.

And this dress has been worn many places, including fancy dinners, Christmas parties, fundraisers, fashion shows and galas. I love that, even if an event pops up at the last minute, I feel prepared.

Take last week as an example, when I received a last-minute invite to the Premier’s Dinner in Regina, Saskatchewan. Knowing I had my Nicole Miller, I didn’t stress. In the end, though, I opted to bring some local fashion talent to SK. I wore a beautiful silk Lara Presber dress, which also resides in my small dress collection. (I’m sure a few friends are questioning my use of the word “small.”)

My LBD won’t rest for long, because I’ll be wearing it to a big dinner in Lake Louise next week.

This will not be the first time I’ve worn the Nicole Miller to an event in the mountains.

A few years back, I attended Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Waterkeeper Alliance Fundraiser in Banff. The event was lots of fun, made more fun because my friend Jen was also there. I will not bore you with pictures of us with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. or Justin Trudeau. No, let’s get to the money shot.

WARNING: If you were an original Beverly Hills, 90210 fan, the following picture may blow your mind.

If there’s ever a time to be wearing a little black dress that makes you feel like a million bucks, it’s when you’re sandwiched between Luke Perry and Jason Priestley. As scruffy as they may be.



Favourite Moment of the Day

Here’s something that my husband and I started long before we were married: every day, at the end of the day, he asks me my favourite moment of the day. And then I ask for his favourite.

When we have kids, we’ll ask them, too.

I’ve learned so much about Spencer and about myself since we started favourite moment of the day. Seemingly small things often make the best moment of the day. For instance, dinner is a recurring favourite — not fancy dinners out but a simple homemade dinner together. A great ski run on a sunny day. Beers on a patio. Sleep-ins. Getting home from work early. Holding nephews. Perfect sandwiches. Random compliments.

I’m pretty sure that this was a favourite moment of the day:

Try it. You’ll be glad you did.



Things We Like Fridays

Hooray, hooray Chris’ holiday starts today! (Sorry, Michelle, I don’t mean to gloat. I just really, really, really need a vacation.)

  • Now, if Chris were staying in town, she’d be headed to dinner at Ki Modern, a popular Toronto restaurant that just opened a Calgary version. It’s bloody fantastic! A sockeye salmon-goji berry-spinach roll. Need we say more?
  • And she’d hit the new Skoah spa in Kensington for a facial the next day. Michelle is an addict.
  • Michelle is also currently addicted to Uncle Luigi’s olive oil, sold exclusively at Mercato on 4th St. S.W. It’s straight from Calabria, Italy, and it’s wonderful.
  • In emergency pre-bikini training? Check out this post we did on stability ball butt moves.
  • If you haven’t heard about this already, check this site out, called Hook Chas Up. Chas — and his amazing idea — charmed both of us and, every so often, we check back for updates. We hope he finds a great match.
  • We really like airline upgrades. Just in case anyone from Air  Canada is reading this.
  • Speaking of travel, check out these images from the Royal Geographical Society’s Travel Photographer of the Year.

Happy Memorial Day long weekend to our American readers. Have a drink for us.  And happy almost wedding to Evan and Jen! See you tonight.

~The Toque Girls


Outfit for Traveling to London

Did I tell you about my big trip coming up this week? On Friday, we’re flying west for my brother’s wedding. From there, we’re heading the other direction to London, England, for a few days of catching up with friends and showing the boy my old haunts. After that, it’s onto Cyprus for two weeks of heaven.

I can’t travel in heels, short dresses or uncomfortable pants, although I applaud Victoria Beckham for her skills (see here, here and here).

Obviously, Ms. Beckham’s travel experiences differ considerably from mine. For instance, I’m not sure she’s ever hauled her suitcase along London’s bumpy streets. I don’t even think David Beckham does that.

For people that lug their own bags, I like comfortable-but-not-made-for-sports pants, a lightweight shirt with sweater and scarf, and shoes that I can sprint in — just in case, say, I drop my passport on the plane and realize that only after I’ve walked all the way to a terminal at the other end of the airport and the pilot has to hold the plane for me.

As if anyone would ever to do that.

For my London flight, I’m going with my trusty drawstring jean-things. I don’t really know what to call them but they aren’t as grandma-ish as they sound. I’d take a photo but they’re in the laundry.

Here’s a similar pair from J.Crew:

I own and love this James Perse classic T. It’s one of my standbys for traveling:

A scarf is always necessary. It functions as blanket, sweater, pillow and bad-hair cover. Here’s one from Aritzia’s fall line:

I’ve been keeping my eye out for Vkoo cardigan for a while. This brand caught my eye months ago when I saw a photo of Vanessa Hudgens wearing one of their cardigans. They’re great layering pieces. This light linen one would be ideal for a plane trip to a small Greek island, don’t you think?

For the shoes, I’m spotted these BCBG flats a few weeks ago and tested them out. They’re very comfortable. I could definitely drag luggage and my tired self around London in these:



Great Wedding Style

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending a lovely wedding in Edmonton. Justin, a friend I’ve had since elementary school, married Andree, an all-around amazing girl.

I love this couple. My only complaint is that they live far, far away. Currently, they’re in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. My fingers are crossed that they move to Alberta sometime soon, as I’d be thrilled to see more of them.

From start to finish, their wedding was a blast. It also brought out some seriously fabulous outfits.

First, let’s have a look at some of the ladies. Here’s Suzanne, who rocked a BCBG dress, a vintage belt and Nine West shoes:

And bridesmaid Laura, who made classic black look amazing:

Next, we have Julie, Justin’s mother, and Michelle, Dree’s mother, who both opted to wear colour and looked stunning:

The guys looked pretty awesome, too. Here’s groomsman Shaun, another elementary school friend, who made suspenders sexy:

And Tayo, who wore an unapologetically bright, checkered pink shirt and a great pocket square. Thumbs up for this look:

And, of course, no man topped the groom, Justin. In the midst of the dance fun, I grabbed him for this shot:

I’ve obviously saved the best for the last — the beautiful, wonderful bride. Dree looked, in a word, perfect.

Congratulations, you two.