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Birthday Brunch with Amanda

Don't let the recent rainy weather fool you -- it is summer!! There was even a heat wave warning a few weeks back (which was a little much) but the weather last weekend was absolutely perfect.

After a delicious (belated) birthday brunch with the girls, we wandered around downtown where I spotted the best backdrop for Amanda's first outfit (sleek and modern!), and afterwards, the hangout continued into a park for shooting outfit #2 and more girl talk.

I have to say off the bat that I love the two outfits Amanda picked for these shoots. They are so relateable and genuine, which is exactly what I wanted to showcase with this fashion project: the hidden (or not so hidden) fashionistas (and fashion-misters! Haikang, I didnt forget about you :P) that I feel so fortunate to know and be inspired by on a regular basis.

And so, without further ado:

Top from Express
Necklace from Swarovski
Sunglasses from Victoria Secret

Palazzo pants from Dynamite
Shoes from Call It Spring

Q: What do you like best about summer fashion?
A: I think I like the newness that comes along with summer fashion. What I love about summer fashion is that there are no limitations to showing off your style, unlike winter where colder weather forces you to layer up. It’s fun to see what is popular and how different people style it. The palazzo pants are a great example of that. The style is almost a hybrid between a jogger and culottes. It has that wide legged cut that has been popular and gives the pant a dressier look, while using a material and fit similar to casual joggers. This is a great blend between streetwear and high fashion, that works for a fun summer outfit. Another fun style that has been popular lately is the bare shoulder and I think it’s neat to see it incorporated in a variety of styles. It works for girly looks, streetwear, and even in a more refined, dressed up look. I am definitely looking forward to warmer weather so I can try it out myself.

Vest from Zara

Bag from Charles & Keith
Rings from Forever21

Q: How do you dress for hot weather without having to show too much skin?
A: Oddly enough, it's by wearing more material. Flowiness is my key to staying cool for the summer. Maxi dresses, palazzo pants, draping off-the-shoulder tops; the boho style is for more than just festivals. These looks are a breeze (ha..get it? like the wind?) to throw on, they generally involve little layering, and the lightness offers a welcomed breathability in what can be hot, humid Toronto summers.

Top from Dynamite
Jeans from American Eagle

Q: How do you dress up for casual/weekend settings?
A: Weekends are an opportunity to wear the pieces you can’t tie into a work outfit. I like to be comfy but still suit the occasion. One of my favourite dress down/dress up pieces is a pair of blue jeans. For maximum comfort and minimum effort, they are my go-to. To dress up my jeans, I try to add some accessories (bling, bling) and rock some heels. Of course, not every weekend outfit is as easy. For special events, such as brunch dates with my besties, I do like to be a little more stylish. What I love about weekend wear is that I can experiment and put things together that I would not for the office. Whichever route I go, I find accessories are a girl’s best friend to dress up a casual outfit.

Shoes from Aldo

Bag from Kate Spade
Rings from Pandora / Forever21

Thanks Amanda for sharing your outfits and fashion advice! It was so great to catch up and hang out again :)

I want to emphasize that the models featured in my project are not professional models, but it's through my project that I hope to shine the spotlight on them and share their fabulous style and advice with others.

Hope you enjoyed these photos and thanks for reading!