It’s a sunny Sunday morning when the lovely Mrs. Stephanie Earle picks me up for our shopping adventure. Stephanie is a 27-year-old massage therapist and personal trainer (she’s starting an outdoor boot camp this summer for anyone looking to get fit and fabulous for the beach this year.) The day’s mission: finding the perfect blazer.
“It’s good to have one really good quality blazer,” she says, “something with a really good shape.” Stephanie’s ideal find will have three-quarter length sleeves, a tailored collar, silk cuffs and come low to cover her bum (that way she can wear it with jeans or leggings.)
She tells me her style has somewhat of a split personality. “The way I dress at work is so different. I have to wear black pants and I need to be comfortable, so I usually wear sneakers and Lululemon pants, because they’re really well-made and you can wash them all the time without losing the quality; and I can’t really wear any accessories or jewelry, so I’ll wear a T-shirt with a fun print or a bright colour.”
But when she’s not mending muscles, she likes have a little more fun with her wardrobe. “I like to express myself more [when I’m not working]. I wear a lot of black and usually stick with greys, beiges or whites and save the bright colours for my accessories; like a bright pink purse.”
Stephanie thinks practicality, comfort and femininity when it comes to her style. She gravitates towards natural fabrics, like drapey cottons that are flowing and romantic, and loves anything with lace or a light girlish ruffle. She’s even found a way to incorporate this fanciful nature into her athletic gear; when we’re in Lululemon (a store in which she gets very excited) she points to a spandex workout tank with ruffles along the back. “I have that one, isn’t it gorgeous?!”
After perusing some stores, we find ourselves in GAP after Stephanie spots a classic black blazer in the display window. She gathers an armful of items; two black blazers – one classic, the other double-breasted; a dusty-rose coloured T-shirt with gold button details, and some workout gear, and we head to the fitting room.
First she tries the little black spandex skirt with built-in undies and a matching top. Then she tries the t-shirt with the blazers. “Both are nice,” she says. “But I love the first one, I could wear it with anything!”
This GAP double-breasted stretch blazer is exactly what she's been looking for.
But then she hangs it back on the hook. And as we head out of the fitting room she turns to the blazer one last time and sighs. “Too bad I can’t afford you.”
Both blazers are almost exactly what she’s looking for; but it’s been less than three months since her wedding, and she and her husband just bought a new house. She has stayed strong; fighting temptation around every corner. Although this is her “investment piece”, she has promised her husband that she will only look this time. And look she has. “I’ve been good today,” she says as we pull out of the parking garage. “I just won’t tell Kevin I payed $20 for parking.”
"Goodbye blazer, too bad I can't afford you right now."
I think Stephanie’s style is less of a split personality, but more of a balanced partnership. She loves extravagant things, but is also somewhat realistic. She is fit and strong, but also soft and feminine. Her ruffled work-out garb is a perfect example. And the fact that she stuck by her promise to her husband and didn’t buy that perfect blazer – well hey, that’s totally romantic.
Scarf, JACOB, $10 (was $20); Stretch Cotton Dress, Mexx, gift; High-Waisted Pleather Leggings, Wolford, from Aritzia, $65; Suede Booties, Spring, $30 (were $70)
Wool POLINA Coat, Soia&Kyo, from Allegro, $253 (was $399)
Bag: Madison dotted op convertible hobo, Coach, $278
Check out more of Stephanie’s fabulous finds below!
"This shirt is an awesome deal!" Mauve shirt-dress with ruching and snap details, RW&CO, $10 (was $40)
Although she really enjoyed the dress, it was just a little too big in the arms.
I love these! They're workout skirts but they have these little built-in underwear shorts. I don't think I'd wear this to the gym, but outside running, for sure!"
GAPBody Nylon and Spandex Ruched Active Skirt ($39.50) and Active Tank ($39.50)
A nice colour and not too bright for everyday wear (Dolman Hardware T, Cotton, GAP, $19.95)
"I LOVE this blazer, it fits so well and I can wear it with anything!" (poly-spandex, double-breasted blazer, GAP, $108)
"I like this one, but there's only two left and one is too big and the other's too small." ( Wool blazer, JACOB, $70 was $150)
Long Flared Cotton and Angora skirt, ZARA, $19.99 (was $69.90)
Canvas Trench Coat, ZARA, $39.99 (was $109)
"I had to try this. When I was younger, I used to always wear leggings and big sweaters with cats on them." Fine Knit Animal Jersey with Peter Pan collar, ZARA $15.99 (was $39)