Archive for November, 2011

November 28, 2011

Rent Frock Repeat: Review & Discount Code!

A few weeks ago I posted an interview featuring Canadian company, Rent Frock Repeat, that allows women to ‘release their inner runway’ by renting high-end designer dresses for special occasions.  For a wedding this past weekend, I had a chance to rent a fabulous frock and try this service out.

via tibi.com

This was the fun and flirty jacquard Tibi navy/bronze dress I rented.  The courier arrived exactly when they said they would and I excitedly ripped open my package to try on my frock.  One amazing aspect of the website is that they allow you to rent 2 of the same dress in two different sizes (second dress is free) so that you can ensure you get the correct size.  Unfortunately for me – the sizing just didn’t work out despite the two dresses I had!  The measurements on the website were correct – it was actually a fluke that I had been losing some extra poundage courtesy of running around after H all day/night.  Combine that with a strapless design and you have the dreaded scenario of constantly pulling up your dress all night!

I got the best possible customer service when I spoke to Lisa – she rushed over a variety of dresses for me that same evening so that I would definitely be able to find something.  I really felt the owners care about each and every customer and want to see them happy in a dress that flatters them, fits well and makes them sparkle!

Brand: Rent Frock Repeat

MSRP:  Varies depending on dress

Key Features:  

– Choose from top designer dresses to rent for either a 4 or 8 day period

– Professional dry-cleaning (Creeds), courier service and return paid postage included

– Dress inventory updated often (at least every season)

I Love It Because:  Aside from the most excellent customer service I’ve received in forever, I truly found the entire RFR experience to be easy, quick, convenient but mostly – FUN!  ‘Shopping’ the frocks online was awesome and made it very easy to figure out what I was looking for since they use models of different shapes and sizes.  Another great thing I loved was that each dress was styled in a variety of ways so that you could get ideas for how you would wear your dress based on accessories you already own.  Included was this super cute Thank You note along with a care package with some useful Night Out treats:

Also handy was the above checklist which let you know that your dress had been inspected and how to care for it.  The dress that I did end up going with was an absolute hit!  A blush pink Peter Soronen (who dresses none other than Michelle Obama BTW 😉 it was a sexy, short and sassy number that normally would not have been on my radar at all.  However, the beauty of this website is that you can feel confident trying out something you perhaps wouldn’t be drawn to since the whole element of ‘dress up’ has been taken up a notch.  It surely helps that this dress which regularly retails for $1695, rents out for $250 – you can feel like a superstar for a night even if you’re on a much smaller budget.  Hubby managed to snap a photo right before we headed out…(of course, H was having his first epic meltdown in forever, the cab had arrived, I couldn’t find my clutch and something was burning in the oven…no joke!):

But I Wish It Had:  As far as the service, ease of the website and selection and quality of dresses available I would have to say RFR is lacking in nothing!  However, my one wish is that they invest in some edgier, more fashion forward pieces.  I was able to find plenty to choose from for a fun night out as ‘Glam Me’ ‘Sexy Me’ and ‘Girly Me’  but if I were to use this service more often (and with weddings stacking up quickly already for 2012 it would make sense!) I would love to have some dresses that reflect my own personal style a bit more.  Also, having a tiered membership with added extra benefits or bonus treats where you could stack up Free rentals after renting 5, 10 or 20 dresses or some similar feature would be a great incentive!

So, Reco or No?  YES all the way.  I was pleasantly surprised by how vehemently I was recommending RFR to everyone who complimented me on the dress that night!  Being an avid dress shopper and owning gorgeous frocks of my own I really wasn’t sure how I would feel about having to send back the dress I rented.  Or even renting a garment that somebody else has worn already for that matter.  But from the crisp, clean and (super important to my sensitive nose) scent-free dresses that were couriered to me to the tons of compliments I got for wearing something I perhaps wouldn’t buy….can’t really say anything but YES!! I guess flattery DOES get you somewhere 😉  For this Holiday season why reuse the same ole LBD when you can dazzle and shine in something new and gorgeous instead?

DISCOUNT TIME! Wanna try it for yourself?  If you haven’t already taken advantage, Rent Frock Repeat is offering readers 15% off their first rental until Nov 30th use STYLNMOM.  You can reserve a dress for an event up to 4 months down the line using this code.

Happy Dress Renting!ax

November 24, 2011

The StylnMommy Holiday Dress Guide

If there’s ever a time to break out the heels and glitz its the holidays.  Its great to pair a fab top with some amazing jeans but there really is nothing like a dress when you want to spiff yourself up.  Here are some of my faves from this season:

via alicebytemperley.com $595 CDN

This Alice by Temperley dress has enough sparkle without making you look like you should be hanging off an xmas tree.  I love a rich navy dress too – its subtle, classy and can be worn year after year.

via wilfred.com $115

Silky, hot pink and simple.  Can be worn either as a tunic over leather leggings for a festive night of drinks on the town or with bare legs and heels, piling on the accessories.  Can be found at aritzia or the wilfred boutique.

via hm.com $388

If you were lucky enough to snag some of the Versace for H&M collection then maybe you already have this LBD in your dress arsenal.  I like anything black, leather and studded so this is basically the perfect little dress for moi. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to fight the crowds to get anything from this collection.  The conservative tailoring balances out the fact that its (pl)leather.

via tibi.com $462

Tibi is a great brand for dresses for any occasion.  In fact, I’m wearing one this weekend courtesy of Rent Frock Repeat  to a wedding that M and I are going to.  This black and white Roccoco print says holiday without smashing it over your head.  The back is low cut and sexy and the slightly unusual silhouette gives this dress some edge.

via bcbg.com $278

Speaking of being smashed over the head – if you’re looking to make an impact in a big way then you may as well go green, sparkly and short.  You won’t have any trouble finding a partner under the mistletoe since this dress will be luring em in as you walk/shimmer by.

via guess.com $78

I’m still into lace in a major way.  The little sleeves take this Guess dress from skank to swank.  Keep it chic with monochromatic accessories, an oversized clutch and some killer heels.

via bananarepublic.ca $89

It really isn’t a Holiday dress guide without some gold.  If you want to go for the gold but don’t want to stick out like a string of tinsel – maybe choose something like this from Banana Republic.   You can belt it but i’d leave it as is and go for a bit of a flapper vibe complete with bare face and red lips.

via shopbop.com $866

Here is the amped up version of the BR dress.  You’ve still got a subtle gold shimmery effect but its been done in true black swan style with a bustier and a full skirt.  Available at shopbop.com (which btw can ship to Canada in 3 days).  Its pricey but unforgettable.

via anthropologie.ca $388

For all the Audrey Hepburn types out there, head on over to Anthropologie where you can find this dress and many more like it.  The boatneck just screams for a huge statement necklace and if your feet are tired from all the heels-only events you’ve been racking up, this dress looks super cute with a pair of ballet flats.

via jacob.ca $79

Most of the time I look at Jacob as being somewhere you can reliably pick up some slacks for work. (though who really calls them slacks anymore?! I mean pants.)  However if you have a holiday party at work and changing into a sequin-encrusted gown seems like it just won’t fly, then maybe you could pick up a classic sweater dress.  Worn with opaque black tights and a blazer you can get away with wearing this during the day at work.  When its time to clock out you can breezily take off the blazer, slip on some heels, do a makeup refresher and you’re good to go.  They have this dress in red too but it felt a bit too elfy.

via freepeople.com $717

I’ve been on the search for a gorgeous long gown that isn’t a maxi and still gives the body some shape.  This Free People gown is super sexy while still being long.  It’s got the perfect combination of hard and soft with the metallic bustier top and the gauzy and light skirt.  You could rock these with some converse and you’d still be the belle of the ball.

Hopefully this gave some inspiration towards finding that perfect dress for the myriad of holiday events you’re sure to be attending this season.  Whether its a family brunch, New Years Eve party, holiday dinner with friends or a night out for drinks – this time of year is a major one for getting together and rehashing the year so why not do so while looking frocking great.

 

November 18, 2011

The StylnMommy Holiday Gift Guide

I’m a huge fan of the holidays.  I know some folks start bah-humbugging when the red and green decor goes up on November 1st (as orange and black is cast aside for yet another year) but not this mama.  The festive season really gets the planner in me excited – lists, organizing get togethers, planning parties, figuring out menus…love it.

I had a really tough time figuring out a format this Gift Guide – would I do Top 10 items for Women, Men, Kids?  What about Best Fashion, Home Decor, Pet, Lifestyle gifts? Best & Worst?  Under $50? Over $500?

When it comes down to it, the options for Gift Guides are endless – so I figured, why not just find some lovely things that I would want to receive in my stocking and leave it at that!  So if you need help figuring out what to get for a female in your life…hopefully this will help.  Or if worse comes to worse you know what to send over to StylnMommy 😉

via teatroverde.com

Some Christian LaCroix notecards.  As much as I embrace technology (let’s face it, I’m lost without my Blackberry) I’m a strong believer in the authenticity of a handwritten card or note.  These ones will make any fashion-lover smile and are $15.95 at Teatro Verde.

via stltowine.com

The holidays are about cozying up with fam and friends and a great evening is always had with some STLTO wine.  I held off for a long time on trying this brand since I felt it was super gimmicky but once I did I became a diehard fan of the red.  This gift set is a great hostess gift – for just under $20 you’re getting a bottle of quality vino with a scarf! Can’t go wrong.

via sephora.com

Its always fun to dabble with some arts & crafts and one way to let loose your creative juices is on the canvas God (or whoever you believe in) gave ya.  A gorgeous looking eye-shadow set from Stila is worth $366 and is selling at Sephora for the ridonk price of $39.

via gap.com

Before you pooh-pooh my choice of including Uggs in my guide, take a closer look.  These beauts are actually super comfy and cute slippers from the Gap.  What I especially love about these is that you can’t accidentally trip on the stairs while carrying a squirming toddler around since they slip fully on like boots.  $34.95. Just add a fireplace and let the yuletide snuggles begin.

via anthropologie.ca

Since we are in maximum snuggle-mode here is the ultimate robe.  I don’t go for gauzy, silky and light robes.  When I want to lounge out we’re talking sherpa, fleece and warmth, baby!  Slippers, robe and hot mug of something. Ahhhh. Oh right, this is $98 at anthropologie. Almost fell asleep there just thinking about the coziness.

via purdys.com

Sweet treats are the way to many people’s hearts.  You just can’t go wrong with this Peppermint Bark from Purdy’s.  I did a review on Purdy’s earlier this year and let me tell you – ever since I just can’t go to any other chocolatier.  These are $8.95 and wrapped in a pretty red bow.  Great little stocking stuffer. For stuffing your face.

via luved.ca

I love clothing that’s named after people. This is the Owen by Canadian company, Luved Clothing.  I’ve always been a huge fan of stuff you can wear pre-baby, while prego, and post-baby and Luved pieces all fit this criteria.  The new collection is simply divine and each wrap/cardi can be worn by women of all shapes and sizes hence being the perfect item of clothing to purchase for someone else since size really doesn’t matter.  $99 and available online or at the upcoming One of a Kind Show in Toronto.

via bobetteandbelle.com

I actually wasn’t done with my sweet treats suggestions just yet 😉  Here are just a few of the absolutely stunning cupcakes you can get from Bobbette and Belle.  Almost too good looking to eat. Almost.

via revolveclothing.com

For the modern girl about town a boring ole nylon bag just won’t cut it.  Check out this leopard version of a laptop bag. $89 will have you carting your techie goods around like a seasoned NYFW-er.  Available at revolveclothing.com

via joefresh.com

Sometimes all you are looking for is just that extra little something to add some sparkle (but not too much) to your holiday outfit. Voila – a subtle yet stylish cuff from none other than your fave homegrown Joe Fresh.  Where else but Canada can you pick up some produce and a great outfit at the same time? (Okay, ya got me… NYC…but you get the point) $14.  I also loved many of the necklaces too.

via hm.ca

Not sure what to get that finicky teen in your life?  Being irresponsible and fashion-savvy are pretty common traits for many a teen girl.  So replacing her nth pair of lost gloves with these should have you up for Best Mom/Auntie/Cuz.  Available at H&M for$14.95.

via sephora.com

This time of year hands (and any other body part covered in skin) get extremely chappy and dry.  And nobody likes to shake hands with a turtle so any lady in your life would appreciate this gift.  It has the lovely smell of something fresh without the offense of, say, a Body Shop gift set. Sorry. Had to do it.  Anyhoo – this brand of hand cream is actually one of the better ones I’ve tried and leaves skin soft and moisturized without greasiness or goop. $40 for this set which is worth $50.

via cook-book.com

I’ve had the pleasure of taking a cooking class at Dish with Trish Magwood and I thoroughly enjoyed her simplicity and sense of humour.  And her cooking’s not bad either.  Here’s a refreshing take on entertaining at home, something many of us will be undertaking this holiday season.  And she’s Canadian to boot! Available at the Cookbook Store (my absolute fave place to get lost and browse in on a Sunday afternoon) $44.95

So there you have it folks!  Hope this Guide sparked some holiday spirit and gave you some ideas to make that next shopping trip a teensy bit less stressful 🙂  Because after all – tis the season of giving! And all that jazz.

November 7, 2011

Rent Frock Repeat: Interview & Discount!

How many times have you

a) lusted after a dress for an event only to despair over its ridiculously over-the-top price tag

b) purchased said dress only to wear it once (too fab and too noticable to be reworn!)

c) worn same LBD to events over and over

Rent Frock Repeat is a Canadian company that has developed the perfect answer to the above dilemmas – you can rent the most fantastic dress for a fraction of the price and never have to worry about wardrobe dilemmas again!   Dresses include Badgely Mishka, Robert Rodriguez, Pink Tartan, Nicole Miller and other high end designers. I had the opportunity to chat with co-founder Lisa Delorme about her company and the inspiration behind RFR.

I read the story on the website – love the inspiration behind the company!  What were some of your initial challenges?

We met at work and started out as colleagues but quickly became friends.  After we both left the company we realized we wanted to do something we could call our own but didn’t know what exactly that might be.  We were invited to a friend’s wedding and didn’t want to buy another dress we would only wear once.  We already had too much of our hard earned money hanging in our closet!  We came across an article in a magazine about Rent the Runway (based in NYC) and when we couldn’t get them to ship over the border we knew we had found the business we wanted to open. That was back in May of 2010 and one year (almost to the day) we opened Rent frock Repeat.

As far as challenges, we both feel that when faced with an obstacle that you have a choice to look at it like the end of the road or something asking you to pause and look at your business or decision(s) in a different way and gain a new perspective.  The one challenge we faced was that we didn’t come from the Fashion Industry and although we both knew our business background would be used 75% of the time we also knew we had to put some time into understanding the business of Fashion.  So, instead of focusing on what we didn’t have we focused on what we did bring to the table and then made a learning plan which included reading, talking to great contacts in the Fashion Industry and studying anything we could get our hands on.  It did help that we were shopping mall and fashion magazine devotees!

They usually caution against working with friends or family – what makes your partnership tick? Do you each have different strengths/weaknesses and how do you separate friendship/business because coming from being a partner myself of a company I find that can be hard.

We are polar opposites.  Kristy is very detailed oriented, meticulous in her approach and I tend to be focused on the big picture.  We naturally tend to appreciate when others are just like us but in business you need your polar opposite!  Since our relationship originally started as a business relationship we sometimes naturally fall back into those roles during the day and when the business day ends and we are heading out together socially we fall right into friend mode once again.  If anyone asked us if we think it is good practice to go into business with a friend we wholeheartedly say yes but still underscore the importance of a shareholder’s agreement and investing a full day in diving into and discussing the particulars of that agreement.

Why dresses? Any plans to expand into other designer goods in the future?

We want to focus on dresses to begin with and make sure we do it amazingly before we head into any new direction(s).   When we do decide to expand, we want to make sure the decision is made properly.  We will most likely stay in dresses and expand this model – for example, we have many requests for plus sizes.  Maternity is another area we are thinking of moving towards since maternity dresses are pieces you don’t necessarily get the same return on in your closet, unlike a pair of good jeans or boots which are investment pieces.  Whatever we venture into we want to ensure that the highest quality garments and premium calibre designers are represented.

How do you decide which dresses make the cut?

A little bit of crystal balling combined with a scientific approach!  We are systematic in our way of buying by making sure we do our research – attending  international fashion weeks, looking at magazines  and putting it all into a spreadsheet.  This way we can review things like “do we have enough of long sleeved, short sleeved, red, black, gowns, cocktail length etc.” By having a good variety in our first year of business we can then take a look at the reports that tell us what styles, colours, designers are performing best and then buy accordingly going forward.

How does your personal styling service work online?

You simply get in touch with us via telephone, online chat or email and we will guide you step by step through the process of styling your RFR outfit.  We have customers sending us photos of their shoe options so that we can help them choose based on the look they are going for.  We will be there with you every step of the way and provide a totally personalized service to ensure you are happy with your entire look.  You can also take a look at our stylist suggestions tab on the site where we give you different ways to style each dress.  Some styles can be worn classic, sexy, bohemian etc and by selecting the look you want we show you how to accessorize in order to achieve that look with the particular dress you have selected (there is even a picture that coincides with each look)!

Where do you see RFR in five years? What is your ultimate goal with the business? 

We want to conquer the Canadian market and then be able to expand Internationally.  Wouldn’t it be great to see a Canadian company when you are travelling abroad? We get excited when we see a Lululemon on our travels – gives us more reason to be proud Canadians!

Well, lucky StylinMommy readers you can take advantage of this fabulous opportunity and save 15% off your first rental for the entire month of November! Use discount code STYLNMOM (all caps) you can use the service for 4 months after however must book by November 30 2011.

I will be testing and reviewing this service for an event coming up November 26th so stay tuned for some exciting photos and review!

 

November 3, 2011

Slap Some Faux Fur On Me & I’m Good To Go

 Hat – BabyGap (its faux fur before you load up your paintcans!)

Hoodie – Roots

Tee shirt – Childrens Place

Leather Jacket – faux again, animal lovers, – H&M

Grey cargos – BabyGap

Boots – H&M

It’s been an active and fun-filled Fall so far!  As you can see, H is all about trying to escape the confines of his stroller/carseat so its hard to get any shots taken that aren’t blurry.  They say the time flies and it truly has been!  We are trying to savour every moment…even the insane ones during his two-to-one-nap-transition!!!

Happy Thursday!

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