Runway to Realway Coquitlam Centre's Style, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog Mon, 24 Apr 2017 17:53:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 On Trend: Culottes Mon, 24 Apr 2017 17:53:33 +0000 Culottes – even the word is intimidating. With their somewhat awkward length and voluminous silhouette, culottes have proven to be a hard sell for many a fashionista. Believe it or not (and I know that a lot of you won’t believe me), culottes are an extremely flattering cut of pant that makes your waist look tiny and instantly ups your fashion cred. When choosing your culottes, look for either a voluminous pair made from a lightweight fabric that provides fullness not bulk or, for a flat-fronted pair in a heavier fabric (like denim or cotton) that is slightly fitted through the hips and then flares out. Don’t be discouraged if the first pair you try on doesn’t wow you. Try a couple different pairs in different styles and fabrics until you find the right pair for you.

Now that you’ve found your perfect pair of culottes, are struggling with how to style them? Try to think of them more like a midi skirt than like a cropped pant and wear them just as you would a skirt. Don’t be afraid to play with proportions and fit. As we’ve all learned from midi skirts, mid-calf length voluminous bottoms look super chic with a form-fitting cropped top or a loose fitting and tucked in tank, t-shirt or button-up shirt, just make sure your top is less voluminous than your pants.

Also, because your feet are very “out there” in culottes, be sure to focus on your footwear. Lengthen your look and up the sophistication factor with a pair of pumps or block-heel sandals or go casual-cool in slides or sneakers.

How To: Wear Stripes with Stripes Tue, 18 Apr 2017 21:58:27 +0000 Let me be the first to admit that this look might not be for everyone, but I personally LOVE IT! I think pairing striped pieces together is super chic and gives off total cool-girl fashionista I-don’t-care-what-you-think-I’m-gonna-wear-what-I-want vibes. There isn’t really a “right” or “wrong” way to pair your stripes so have fun with it and don’t be afraid to add some big accessories! After all, fashion is supposed to be FUN!! If you’re a little unsure, I would recommend pairing different sized stripes together – try skinny stripes up top and thicker stripes on the bottom, use accessories to break up the sea of stripes and add some visual interest and don’t be afraid to add in some colour.

See how our ‘Girl in Focus’ Bianca styles a basic striped blouse and pant combo to create a truly stunning look.

On Trend: Striped Bags Sat, 15 Apr 2017 17:00:30 +0000 I don’t think I’m surprising anyone when I say that I have a weakness for good handbags – so much so that I may or may not have been told that if I bring home another bag, we’re going to have to move to a bigger house. Totes, satchels, crossbodies, clutches…I love ’em all!

So of course, this means that every time a new trend hits handbags, I need to check it out – purely for educational purposes of course! Just in case you’ve been MIA lately, stripes are everything this season. In addition to the usual striped dresses, shirts and skirts, stripes are popping up on handbags, shoes, scarves, sunglasses…

Here are my top 5 striped handbag picks, all available at Coquitlam Centre.

The Look: Easter Brunch Fri, 14 Apr 2017 21:08:32 +0000 Ok so I know that when you think “Easter Brunch”, florals and pastels are typically what comes to mind. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with going that route (have you seen how much pink is in stores right now?!) why not stand out from the sea of pastels in a new nautical-inspired look that is both chic and seasonally appropriate.

Yes, stripes can be just as “springy” and feminine and florals, it’s all about how you style them. So grab your favourite trench (because it’s April in Vancouver after all), add some colourful accessories and you’re set!

Style Spotlight: Seafaring Chic Wed, 12 Apr 2017 00:54:24 +0000 This April, it’s all about new nautical. While classic pieces like high-waisted culottes, navy blazers and striped shirts aren’t necessarily new, add a modern twist by mixing patterns, reaching for bright accessories or opting for some cut-out or laced-up details. The goal is to look fashionably chic or even slightly edgy. Under no circumstances should it look like you’re actually about to head out to sea or to a nautical-themed party.

See how our ‘Girl in Focus’ Bianca channels her inner sailor (if you read her bio you know she loves a good boat trip) and adds a hint of new nautical style to her everyday look.

WIN a $2,500 Spring Capsule Wardrobe Mon, 03 Apr 2017 23:16:35 +0000 Ever go to your closet and feel like you have nothing to wear, even when your closet is filled with clothes? Consider creating a Capsule Wardrobe – a condensed selection of clothing, including outerwear, bags and shoes, made up only of items you love, that fit you right now and that are appropriate for your lifestyle and the season.

What better way to start your own Spring Capsule Wardrobe than with $2,500 to Coquitlam Centre! That’s right, this spring we’re giving away $2,500 in Gift Cards so that one lucky winner can create their very own Capsule Wardrobe.

Remember to opt-in to our e-newsletter so you can be the first to hear about future giveaways, the latest trends, style tips, new stores, events and more!

For contest rules and regulations, click here.

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How To: Build Your Looks Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:30:58 +0000

So you’ve purchased all your pieces – now it’s time to play! Don’t let your seemingly empty closet fool you. Take a look at all of your pieces, while you may only have 34 things looking back at you, the outfit possibilities far exceed the number of pieces in your wardrobe (I’m sure we could figure out the actual number of outfits you could create using some complex math equation but that doesn’t sound like very much fun to me). Don’t get stuck on only pairing one particular shirt with one particular bottom. The great thing about a capsule wardrobe is that everything “goes” together so you really can’t make a wrong move.

Using all 34 pieces, I was able to create 40 outfits without too much effort. Remember any of the “top” combinations shown above can be paired with any bottoms pictured. Coats/Jackets can be mixed. This mix of outfits will get me through most of the everyday activities in my life.

Here are my “Top 5” looks:

How To: Tips for Completing Your Spring Capsule Wardrobe Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:06:06 +0000

Ok so you’ve gone through all your clothes and de-cluttered your closet, you’ve done your research, you’ve come up with your list of must-haves and you’ve gone through your remaining pieces and checked off the must-have pieces that you already own. Now ladies, it’s time to shop!

When purchasing the items to complete your capsule wardrobe it’s ok to buy fun, on-trend pieces to keep your wardrobe current, but shop in moderation. Avoid impulse purchases and only buy what fits your lifestyle, captures your heart and falls into your wardrobe vision.

Think quality over quantity. Splurge on those perfect pair of jeans that you know you will live in this season instead of buying four pairs of on-trend pants that maybe don’t fit as well. You’ll end up reaching for the classic, well-fitting pants way more often.

Don’t buy all your outstanding pieces at once. Once you’ve purchased a couple of pieces, take them home and play with them. See how they fit into your existing wardrobe. You might discover that you don’t need to buy as much as you thought. Above all else this is about creating YOUR perfect wardrobe, so make sure you buy what makes you happy!

If you need a little guidance, here are some of the pieces I recommend adding to your capsule, all available at Coquitlam Centre (click HERE for the full capsule)

How To: Create a Capsule Wardrobe Wed, 29 Mar 2017 19:23:02 +0000 What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is a condensed selection of clothing, including outerwear, accessories, and shoes (excluding underwear, pajamas, workout or event clothing), made up only of items that you love, that fit you right now and that are appropriate for your lifestyle and the season.

Why Embrace a Capsule Wardrobe?

Be you and feel great. This space-saving wardrobe is a great way to solidify your personal style by eliminating everything you don’t love and that doesn’t fit properly. Now that you can see everything and know that everything fits, you’ll spend less time deciding what to wear and end up with a wardrobe that you actually LOVE!

Stop overspending and start investing. A capsule wardrobe allows you to create a satisfying and on point wardrobe without going broke because it eliminates emotional purchases, binge shopping and rash decisions and lets you focus on buying pieces that you absolutely can’t live without.

Release your inner fashionista. By paring your wardrobe down and removing all the clutter, your pieces will need to start doing double, sometimes triple duty. In the past, that basic black knee length skirt might have been worn on repeat with a white blouse, but in your new wardrobe it can now be worn with a blouse or sweater for work, with a denim shirt or a t-shirt for running errands … it’s time to see just how creative you can be.


Step 1: Eliminate the Clutter

Take every single item you own out of your closet, drawers, storage…and lay them all out on the floor – I mean EVERYTHING!

If it’s too overwhelming, ignore your bags, shoes and accessories for now.

Separate your clothing into two piles: clothing you LOVE and wear all the time, and then everything else (things that don’t fit, things that you don’t love, things that aren’t appropriate for your lifestyle and things that you only wear once or twice a year). Make sure to pick up every item and really inspect it to get a ‘feel’ for it. Do you love it? If it doesn’t give you the warm fuzzies, it belongs in pile 2.

Once you’re done – remove pile 2 from the room. You can decide what to do with it later (donate, put in storage, bring it to H&M and drop it in their Garment Recycling box or to Coquitlam Centre on Earth Day, April 22, 2017 between 9:30am and 7:00pm and drop it off to be recycled).


Step 2: Evaluate

Go through everything in pile 1. Is it in good shape (i.e. stain-free, hole-free)? If there are stains/holes – is it something that can be fixed? Will you actually take the time to fix it? If the answer is no, then add these items to pile 2.

Pin point what it is you love about these items. Is it the fit? The colours? A specific memory of where this piece came from or something that happened while you were wearing this piece? Remember these things as they will help you complete your wardrobe.

Pull any items that aren’t applicable this season (i.e. it’s April, do you really need your Canada Goose parka?) and set them aside. You’re not getting rid of them, you’re just not putting them in your Spring/Summer Capsule.


Step 3: Build Your Wardrobe Vision

Use Pinterest or go old-school and use magazines to create a collage of pieces/outfits you love, outfits that inspire you! Need some inspiration? Check out your favourite retailers’ lookbooks or blogs (like and research the latest runway trends.

Take note of what you see. Are there any reoccurring themes, pieces, colours? Have you pinned essentially the same striped shirt, skinnies and oversized cardigan look over and over again? If so, this might be a sign that you need a striped shirt.


Step 4: Examine Your Lifestyle

This is a very important step in ensuring that your capsule wardrobe will actually work for you. For example, what is your office dress code? What does your typical weekend look like?

Go back through your wardrobe vision and remove anything that doesn’t fit your lifestyle. Yes, yes, a winter white wool jacket is beautiful – but would it really work for you?

Now, pull out some paper (or plunk down in front of your computer) and write down every single re-occurring “activity” along the top of the piece of paper (i.e. work, weekly date night…), this will help you determine what you need to get you through the next three months. Once you’ve done that, write down what you typically wear to these “activities”. For example, if your typical office attire is a blouse, pants, a cardigan and pumps, then write that down. It’s ok to have multiple items for an activity. If you rotate between two pairs of dress pants, a midi skirt and a shirt dress for work, then write all those items down.

You can also write down pieces you don’t have but know would be perfect for a specific activity. For example, you don’t have a chambray shirt but wish you did to wear on date nights? Write it down everywhere you think you’d wear it. This is where your Pinterest board or collage comes in handy.

Once this is done, cross off anything that only appears once or twice or isn’t crucial to the outfit. For example – yes, you might have worn that suede fringed vest over your favourite sundress that one time, but is it something you will wear again?


Step 5: Build Your Capsule

Start by picking your neutral colour (black, grey, beige, navy). This will be the base of your wardrobe.

Pick your main colour – the central colour of your wardrobe. It could be a colour that makes you happy, a colour that makes your eyes pop, or a seasonal colour trend that you love.

Pick your accent colours. These are colours that will add excitement to your wardrobe.

Go back to the pile of clothes you love and start crossing off items on your list. For example, if the first item you pick up is a beloved grey pencil skirt, cross off every instance of “skirt” on your list where you could wear this skirt. Set these items aside. Keep your neutral, main and accents colours in mind. If a piece doesn’t fit into one of these categories, contemplate its place in your wardrobe. Do you really need a navy skirt if all your other neutral pieces are black? DO NOT under any circumstances reach for items in the other pile!

It’s ok to have multiple pieces for the same activity for example, you might have three skirts that fall into the “work” activity category but, if you find that you have ten skirts that fit into this category, it might be time to let some of them go – remember the point of a capsule wardrobe is to de-clutter.

At the end of this process, re-evaluate anything left in your pile. Why didn’t it make the cut? If it’s because it doesn’t fit any of your activities then it might be time to say goodbye. If it’s just because it’s off-season or something that you only wear once in awhile (i.e. your perfect LBD) then it’s ok to keep it.

Anything that isn’t crossed off your list is something you need to purchase. For easy shopping, combine all these “outstanding” pieces onto one sheet or type them in your phone so you always have them with you.


Step 6: Complete Your Capsule Wardrobe

Head to Coquitlam Centre to purchase any outstanding pieces, but keep in mind that you must love it, it must fit you and it must be appropriate for your lifestyle before it gets to come home with you.

How To: Watercolour Eye Sat, 25 Mar 2017 18:41:52 +0000 What is a watercolour eye you ask? Well it’s a colourful, layered look inspired by the light, fluid feel of a watercolour painting.

Yes, it’s bright, yes it’s bold, yes it’s a little bit out there but if you’re looking for a beautiful show-stopping look that screams SPRING then a watercolour eye is for you.

The choice of colours is up to you. Use pastels to tone down the look if bold colours aren’t your thing. Pick colours that complement your eye colour and/or outfit. If you’re going bold on the eye, opt for a more neutral lip and cheek. Pastel eye? Choose a bolder lip.

So go ahead, play with colour and let your creativity rule.