THE BUY: Our favourite necklaces

Story by Caitlin Agnew. Gold Plated Pen Nib Necklace ($65, at the Drake General Stores).

“It is only the modern that ever becomes old-fashioned.” —Oscar Wilde

It’s no secret that designers use history as inspiration for the latest trends, with shapes and styles cycling endlessly though collections. You can never really move forward without looking back. This week on The Buy we take a look back at old-fashioned necklaces, using literature as our guide. With whimsical detailing like coins, compasses, and mirrors, what better way to add some olde world charm to your outfit than with a classic necklace?

Here are some of our favourites, inspired by everything from pirates to adultery to a suicidal young man in love, all available in Toronto.

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TIFF SPECIAL: Red-carpet ready for $163.50

Story by Caitlin Agnew. Illustration by Brian McLachlan/Torontoist.

While TIFF is all about out-of-this-world parties and the outfits to match, the majority of us aren’t working with a blockbuster budget. With our wallets’ best interest in mind, we’ve scoured Toronto for the best fashion and beauty deals to take you from Norma Jean to Marilyn—diamonds not included.

THE DRESS

My Favourite Dresses (myfavouritedresses.com, 634 Yonge St., Suite 201, 416-944-9207)

Located in Toronto’s high-end shopping mecca, My Favourite Dresses rents A-list designer dresses so you never have to wear the same thing twice. New arrivals just in time for TIFF? Frocks from Hervé Leger and Halston. Bonus: Dry cleaning is included.

Price: $50

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TIFF SPECIAL: Top parties & hot spots

The Drake Hotel, a perennial TIFF hot spot. Story by Caitlin Agnew. Photograph by George Whiteside.

Acclaimed cinema aside, every Torontonian worth their fleur de sel knows that the Toronto International Film Festival is all about the parties—11 nights of parties, to be exact. In that spirit, we’ve compiled a list of the top spots to get up-close-and-personal with the stars, exchange festival gossip, or simply being seen (paparazzi not included). Get your beauty rest now—starting next week, you’ll be living in a city that doesn’t sleep.

Open Call at the Drake Hotel, September 9 — 18
1150 Queen St. W., thedrakehotel.ca, 416-531-5042
THE CROWD: Fun-loving scenesters
THE DRINK: Margot Tenenbaum Cocktail
OVERHEARD: “So who’s hotter: Natalie Portman or Mila Kunis?”
For the seventh consecutive year, the Drake plays host to some of TIFF’s hippest parties, guaranteed to be a hit any night of the festival. Don’t forget to stop by the Drake General Store to pick up a TIFF gift bag complete with Moleskine film journal and paparazzi figures.

Festival Opening Party at 99 Sudbury, September 8
99 Sudbury St., 99sudbury.ca, 416-849-6567
THE CROWD: Toronto’s young and eligible
THE DRINK: Champagne
OVERHEARD: “Lanvin for H&M!”
Tucked away between King and Queen, 99 Sudbury always draws a stylish crowd. For the TIFF kick-off, DJ Vaneska and DJ Oliver are on the tables, while The Row and Opening Ceremony are sure to be on the dancefloor .

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THE BUY: Military chic

Story by Caitlin Agnew.

For Fall 2010, designers sent their troops marching down the runway—literally—in military-inspired getups. From Balmain to Burberry, never has there been an army so stylish. Crisp details and muted colours are perfect for back-to-school fall chic and also lend some much-needed structure after a summer of lace and free-flowing maxi-dresses.

Military style also allows for versatile fashion strategies. Channeling your inner Napoleon?  It’s brass buttons all the way. Take back the uniform and make it your own, mixing pieces from all eras of combat and fashion.

Here are our favourite military-inspired pieces, from $8 to $4,900, and all available in Toronto.

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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: Top concert clothes

Story by Caitlin Agnew. Illustration by Cleo Kendall.

Morning found us calmly unaware
Noon burn gold into our hair
At night, we swim the laughin’ sea
When summer’s gone
Where will we be?

—The Doors, “Summer’s Almost Gone”

With only one month left of summer, it’s time to make the most of it.  Our favourite way to enjoy the fairest season is by going to outdoor concerts. Friends, music, and sun—what more could a girl want?  Oh yeah, a great outfit.

You can thank Kate Moss for this one.  The queen of casual concert cool has inspired legions of music-lovers to look their best while in the audience, be it at Coachella or on the Toronto Island. Here are our favourite items to wear to an outdoor show, from hats to sunglasses to band tees.

First up: Fidelity Lourdes Shorts ($164, at Over the Rainbow)

Think: “Cherry Pie” by Warrant

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THE BUY: Toronto’s top summer dresses

Caitlin Agnew picks 12 of her favourite summer dresses, and where to wear them in Toronto, from Lobby to Camp 4.

If there’s anything more fun than going to a party, it’s getting ready for one. And what’s more important to the preparation process than choosing that perfect party dress? From Breakfast at Tiffany’s to Pretty in Pink to Sex and the City, your dress can make or break your evening. (Remember what happened when Carrie Bradshaw wore her naked dress?)

This week on The Buy, we’ve selected Toronto’s best festive frocks. All you need is a pair of heels, your favourite accessories (see last week’s Buy), your BFFs or your beau, and you’ll be ready for anything, anywhere.

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THE BUY: Toronto’s top jewellery

Story by Caitlin Agnew. Illustrator Cleo Kendall was inspired by a sexy pic of Faye Dunaway cloaked in jewels.

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but The Buy loves jewellery in all shapes, sizes, colours, and prices. Of all the clothing and accessories we wear, our jewellery is the most personal, saying the most about who we are. We all have those tried-and-true signature pieces we can’t live without, but every season (and event) necessitates a few new updates.

Summer is the perfect time of year to show off a little sparkle under the sun, be it with gold bangles, a bronze ring, or a lucky charm. Here are some of our favourite pieces to add some splash to your look, all available in Toronto.

First up, the Lillian Crowe Pyramid Ring ($90, at Robber, 863 Queen St. W.)

Think: Liz Taylor in Cleopatra
Wear it with: A tie-dyed tank and denim shorts

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THE BUY: White riot

OUR INSPIRATION For her 1971 wedding to Mick, Bianca Jagger famously wore a crisp, cool white suit. Illustration by Cleo Kendall. Story by Caitlin Agnew.

From weddings to Wimbledon, white rules the summer months. You don’t need to be a bride or a tennis star to make an all-white ensemble work  (but a tan helps). If you’re going for a monochromatic outfit, use white as a canvas to draw attention to other elements of your look—a poppy turquoise necklace, a perfect red lip.

Or use white hot accessories—a pump, belt, pair of earrings—to add a welcome dash of cool. (A word of advice: Skip the white sunglasses. That trend should have stayed in 2006.)

We’ve chosen our 12 favourite white pieces, from $10 to $859, all available in Toronto.

First up: A lacy take on classic white courtesy of Christian Louboutin. (Guess which piece is $859?)

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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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