THE BOULEVARDIER:…And we’re back

Every week, our Boulevardier, Marq Frerichs, considers matters related to men’s style. This week: Leave the ballet shoes alone. Above, a selection from the Bloch Fall 2010 collection.

I know a half dozen people in my circle who are going back to school next week. I’m going back too. May you live in exciting times, I believe the saying goes. And what in the world is more exciting than learning?

For me, deciding what to wear is both super easy and a little like a minefield. It will be easy, in part, because I’m returning to the National Ballet School of Canada. Thus the majority of my classes will require tights, simple white T-shirts, sweats, and, of course, ballet slippers. And yes ladies, I do wear “Blochs”—you may know the name from your own collection of footwear.

Perhaps this is the moment I’ve be waiting for: I CAN”T STAND BALLET SLIPPERS AS FASHION.

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THE BUY: Top leopard prints

Story by Caitlin Agnew.

“My weakness is wearing too much leopard print.” — Jackie Collins

Why not take a style cue from the grand dame of racy print and animal instincts? If there’s one surefire way to add some grrr to your look this fall, it’s by adding a leopard-print piece or two. Keep it classic—there’s no such thing as a hot-pink cheetah—and pair with neutrals and solids so as not to overwhelm.

From undies to belts to bags (including the amazing Banana Republic one, above), here are our favourite jungle-cat inspired pieces, all available in Toronto.

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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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