THE BUY: Singin’ in the rain

Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor brave the elements. Story by Caitlin Agnew. Illustration by Cleo Kendall.

As I write this, it’s a gorgeous, sunny, and muggy day, and that can only mean one thing: impending thunder showers!  I think it’s time to take a cue from Gene Kelly and go singing and dancing in the rain. But before heading out, I’d like to thank Kate Moss for making rain boots cool again (see Glastonbury 2008).

Weather-minded clothing has never been chicer— these days there are tons of waterproof options to choose from that won’t leave you looking like the bad guy in I Know What You Did Last Summer (unless that’s what you’re going for).

Here are our top 10 pieces (all available in Toronto) that will have you dancing in the rain in no time.

First up: Old Navy’s cherry red trench.

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THE BUY: Pastels

In The Great Gatsby, Daisy’s voice is “full of money” and her wardrobe is full of soft, sweet pastels.Illustration by Cleo Kendall. Story by Caitlin Agnew.

Pretty pastels have made a comeback, coating everything from the trench coats at Burberry to the models’ hair at Proenza Schouler. Like cotton candy, sorbet, and Easter eggs, pastel clothing is sure to add some joy to your wardrobe.

This week we’re channeling the delicate outfits worn by Mia Farrow as Daisy in The Great Gatsby. Feminine they may be, but these new pastels need not be worn by a shrinking violet at grandma’s tea party.

We’ve found military jackets, platform heels, and—for the subtle among us—nail polish, all in girlie pastels hues, all available in Toronto. First up, the summer’s sweetest shoe.

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THE BUY: Fit to be dyed

Twiggy gets psychedelic, as illustrated by Cleo Kendall. Story by Caitlin Agnew.

Tie-dye has left summer camp arts and crafts for a foray in fashion, leaving us tickled pink (and blue, and yellow).  This hippie dippy classic evokes visions of an idealized youth, full of sunny days spent running through fields chasing after butterflies.  Although we continue to see such soft, lackadaisical and carefree tie-dye pieces, there’s a new, harder take on the look, most notably in the Proenza Schouler Spring 2010 collection, available in Toronto at The Room at the Bay.

The girlie girl in us loves the pretty, washed-out tie-dye, but our inner sophisticated woman yearns for something more grown-up.  Lucky for us there are many tie-dye pieces that go both ways, and in between, depending on how you wear and accessorize them.

From dresses custom-made by local designers to California Girl bikinis, here are our favourites.

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THE BUY: Oxford circus

Story by Caitlin Agnew. Illustrator Cleo Kendall was inspired by Blair Waldorf, the modern arbiter of preppy chic.

If you’ve been paying attention to what women are wearing on their feet lately, you’ll have noticed a major shift away from the ubiquitous ballet flat to a pointier, manlier, and more practical shoe. Yes, oxfords and brogues (brogues being the ones with the detailing and “W” shape at the top) are the current shoe of choice for Toronto’s fashion-conscious pedestrians.

The running shoe for grown-ups, oxfords and brogues are as versatile and practical as they are fashionable.  Wear them with jeans, wear them with a dress, wear them to go shopping or out to brunch; they’re the perfect daytime shoe, offering comfort, support, and a polished finish to any outfit.

Gossip Girl’s Blair Waldorf loves them, and with the great selection available in Toronto, you’re sure to find a pair (or four) that you’ll love too. Here are 10+ of our favourites.

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THE BUY: May flowers

Story by Caitlin Agnew. Illustration of the Reality Bites cast (sans Ben Stiller) by Cleo Kendall.

The Buy is celebrating the arrival of May flowers with a look back to our favourite ’90s flower child: Winona Ryder as Lelaina Pierce in Reality Bites. A hopelessly romantic Gen X-er, Lelaina chooses passion and poetry over Porsches and prosperity, all in the name of love and good conversation. (Who could forget “You, me, and five bucks?”)

This spring’s floral-print craze is a welcome throwback to mid-’90s hippie-chic, with delicate blossoms sprouting everywhere from Prada to Betsey Johnson. A patterned dress, an embellished shoe, even a lipstick case—adding a floral piece is an easy way to inject seasonal colour, femininity, and trendiness into your wardrobe.

We’ve chosen our top 10 floral pieces, all of which are blooming right here in Toronto.

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THE BUY: Jean genie

Story by Caitlin Agnew. Illustrator Cleo Kendall was inspired by the famous 1969 photograph of Marisa Berenson wearing a YSL mini-dress.

“I’ve often said that I wish I had invented blue jeans,” said Yves Saint Laurent in 1970. “They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity—all I hope for in my clothes.”

They also have arguably the most stylish lineage of any article of clothing—from James Dean to Brooke Shields in her Calvins to the Spring 2010 runways, which featured more denim than a Zeppelin reunion concert.

Always stylish, forever cool, and never boring, denim is the universal signifier for casual, confident and effortless chic. In the inaugural edition of The Buy—our weekly column of stylish things—we take a look at this season’s top denim offerings, blue jeans, sure, but also denim shirts, dresses and jackets, all of which are available in Toronto.

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