Infographic: Contagiousness of 2015’s Top YouTube videos

I’m in the midst of an interesting course at George Brown College, Social Media Marketing. Going back to school (online) has been pretty challenging while working full-time (especially since I have three courses overlapping at the moment!), but it’s so important to keep learning and to stay sharp.

As part of this week’s digital book report I looked at whether the success of the Top 10 YouTube videos of 2015 could be explained by Jonah Berger’s six STEPPS to virality as outlined in his book Contagious: Why Things Catch On.


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Vintage find: Johnstons of Elgin cable-knit wool sweater

My weekend thrifting excursion turned up a true menswear classic: a beautiful Scottish cable-knit wool cardigan.

The label said “The Mill Shop” in Newmill Elgin, Scotland, so when I got home, I did some digging and came upon the exact label on the history page for Johnstons of Elgin. It seems that this was their first shop open to the public in the town where their mill is located. Johnstons of Elgin has been in existence since 1797 and is one of the finest makers of woolen wear. Score!

This is what I love the most about thrifting: finding unique, high quality things that you could never find at the mall, then learning about the item’s history. This sweater was so beautifully made, and would cost an arm and  a leg to buy today – and I got it for $12.99!

Johnstons of Elgin – The Mill Shop


The cable-knit sweater is a classic style that brings to mind fishermen. This style of sweater is Irish in origin, called an Aran jumper. There is even folklore surrounding the different types of knitting! From Wikipedia: “The cable, an integral part of the Aran islander’s daily life, is said to be a wish for safety and good luck when fishing.” I have Irish on both sides, as well as a bit of Scottish, so this sweater has extra meaning for me.

I wore it with distressed jeans, a Hawkings McGill oxford shirt from Urban Outfitters, a vintage 1950s tie, a cashmere Zegna scarf, and Persol sunnies. It’s cozy, casual, and most importantly for this icebox we call Ottawa: warm!

I found this pic of one of my vintage style idols, Steve McQueen, wearing a cable-knit aran sweater. I always know that when I ask myself, “Would Steve wear this?” and the answer is yes, I can never go wrong!

Steve McQueen and Norman Jewison

18 May 1968 — Smoking cigars, actor Steve McQueen (left) and director Norman Jewison discuss a scene from the movie . — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS via:


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REBEL/RECLUSE vintage clothing + accessories

I wanted to share a throwback to some old promo shots I styled for my vintage clothing company, REBEL/RECLUSE vintage clothing + accessories. 

 Vintage is a way of taking the best from the past to create something that feels very now. You can visit my booth at the Ottawa Vintage Clothing Show April 19, 2015.


rebel recluse logo 2


A biker jacket adds instant edge




Escada jumpsuit



Chanel pumps

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Mini post – Today’s look: black & navy blue

I felt great today in all black and navy blue. That colour combo always makes me feel chic and refined. Here’s a mini post with a few pics of today’s look.

And btw don’t even try to tell me this is white and gold. 

I added a thrifted black fur collar to a gorgeous 50s cashmere coat – inexpensive never looked so rich!

I had forgotten about this vintage Versace turtleneck. The lettering is actually raised, I love it so much! I’m guessing it’s from the 90s.

I am so done with winter (anyone in Ottawa can attest to the fact that this one was particularly brutal!) but I have to say the snow was rather pretty today. 

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Vintage dream find: Givenchy double-breasted blazer

I loved the movie Kingsman: The Secret Service so much and was totally inspired by the fashion. I mean, international spies who operate using a Savile Row tailoring shop as a front – hello!

The styling and sets were gorgeous and felt very now, but with a definite 70s vibe (fitting considering what we’ve been seeing on the runways this season.) Colin Firth and the other Kingsmen wore impeccably tailored suits that featured my current clothing crush: double-breasted jackets.


So true, Colin

Double-breasted jackets have been back in a big way the past few seasons after an unfortunate, incredibly unflattering, boxy period in the 80s that almost killed them for good. Now, they’re slim, sexy and infinitely chic.

Here’s a recent vintage find I did back-flips over. It’s a Givenchy Monsieur double-breasted blazer in navy, and when I saw those gold buttons in that famous logo… well, those are the days that keep you thrifting through all the crappy excursions where you come home empty-handed!

Givenchy gold logo buttons, to die for

It fits a dream as well – no need for alteration! It would appear that my arms are freakishly long, hence sleeves are nearly always a good couple inches short. I’ve had to throw back many a beautiful vintage jacket into the wild as a result.


Vintage Givenchy blazer – thrifted for less than $20!

White oxford – Uniqlo

Old faithful black jeans – Scotch & Soda

Leather boots – Winners

Double breasted jackets really aren’t that hard to wear. As part of a suit they make for a smart, powerful look or they can dandify a really casual look paired with jeans or slim slacks. I even like to wear one open with a t-shirt underneath, it creates a really interesting silhouette.

I paired mine with jeans, my old faithful leather boots, a crisp white shirt, and an ascot.


Feeling very upper crust – Please bring the yacht around, Jeeves.

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Nordstrom Ottawa & how to shop high-end right

I’m so excited Ottawa is getting it’s very own Nordstrom! Nordstrom Ottawa will open for business Friday, March 6, taking over space previously occupied by Sears in the Rideau Centre.

I’ve been a big fan of Nordstrom (and especially Nordstrom Rack) during trips to Manhattan and Miami. I actually considered applying for a part-time job (on top of my full-time one) – that’s how much I love Nordstrom (and would love an employee discount!)

I’m not going to lie, I will be looking for deals, as per usual, and hope there are some sales occasionally that are on par with the amazing deals I’ve found at Nordstrom Rack over the years (DSquared sparkly tux jacket for 80% off??)

For a man’s first foray into higher-end items, start with classic staples like dark denim, or a trench coat. I bought rag & bone raw denim jeans and a Burberry trench similar to those shown below, and never once felt buyer’s remorse (well, they might have been on sale too, so there’s that.)

Photos from


rag & bone – ‘Fit 2’ Slim Fit Raw Selvedge Jeans


Burberry London – ‘Britton’ Cotton Trench Coat

Here’s the gorgeous building facelift viewed from Mackenzie King bridge courtesy of Rideau Centre’s Twitter. Can’t wait to see the inside!!


I’m hoping for their success, and that Ottawans will take to quality and investment pieces sometimes instead of just fast fashion. Remember to calculate cost per wear, people. It’s not a deal if it’s something cheap that’ll fall apart after you wash it once. Shop less, but buy things you really love, that you’ll have forever.

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“Stylish winter wear” doesn’t have to be an oxymoron

I got asked to be a part of a winter shoot with XOVELO on the canal this past weekend. The only request, “stylish winter wear”. Ottawa is incredibly cold, like soul-crushingly cold, so this was not the easiest task.

How do you look stylish, without dying of exposure?

Well, any good Canadian worth their street salt knows it all starts with that which is unseen, as in layers! Long johns and thermal undershirts are definitely your friend when the Mercury drops below -30 degrees Celsius.

Next, go with a down filled coat, they really cut the chill like nothing else (and there’s a reason every second person you see in downtown Ottawa’s wearing one.)

Finally, don’t forget the extremities – lined boots with good traction, insulated gloves (i like natural materials like fur or leather) and never forget a good hat – I ended up in a fur ushanka AKA ear flap hat later.

Here’s what I went with, I had fun and stayed warm!


Canada Goose Parka – the Expedition Shoppe
Beanie – Aritzia
Fur gloves – vintage
Scotch & Soda jeans – Holt Renfrew

For more from the shoot with Ice Bikes of Buffalo visit XOVELO

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Coco Rocha – The realest poser

I had the opportunity to meet Coco Rocha, my favourite Canadian supermodel, when she was promoting her new book at Holt Renfrew Yorkdale back in October.

Study of Pose: 1,000 poses by Coco Rocha is a beautiful book featuring shots taken by photographer Steven Sebring.

No one can pose like this woman (just see the selfies below for proof!) and she’s elevated movement to an artform. The book provides inspiration for anyone creative: artists, designers, and of course models. It can also be a challenging drinking game with friends: open up to a random page and try to mimic her stance, if you can’t, take a drink… Warning, you’ll probably drink a fair amount!

I asked her to offer advice for a new stylist, and what stuck with me was to be someone that others will want to work with. Good advice for anyone – talent is great but people need to want to see you again!

She was very passionate, intelligent and of course beautiful. Thanks Coco!






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Going grey (gray hair, don’t care)

Decided to darken my hair for the fall and have been lusting after the grey look. A little more unique than platinum, and something I’m sure not to see much here in ol’ Ottawa. I’ll be in Toronto during fashion week this year and it feels very Fashion.

Since grey (or is it gray?) is my favourite colour for decor and fashion it was a bit of a no-brainer. I wasn’t sure if we’d be able to achieve it but chalk this one up as a win for the pros at York St Spa. I’m really into it, it has that bluish/silver tone I was after. I think it’ll fade really nicely too. Here it is.



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Getting into James Dean’s pants – Lee Riders 101z

My latest thrifted find was meant to be. These jeans called out from the melee of crappy, over embellished, whiskered top to bottom relics that should’ve stayed in the early oughts. That deep blue indigo color, the stiff crispy denim, the telltale white selvedge edge. Could these be… raw denim?

But the label says Lee? Growing up I thought they were just a knock off of Levi’s.. I was sadly misinformed!

After a little research, I found out that these jeans are a reissue of the iconic Lee 101z – the same jeans my idol James Dean wore in Rebel without a Cause and Giant. My style god must’ve been smiling down on me that day.

Gorgeous jeans for sure, I’ll just have to get used to wearing non-skinnies. They honestly feel like parachute pants compared to what I’m used to! Anyone else have jeans dysmorphia like me, where everything not incredibly slim feels baggy as hell?




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