Curvy columnist Meredith Shaw has a few skinny-jean-tips to share.
Photography by Carlyle Routh. Hair by Jukka/Davines/Plutino Group. Makeup by Jodi Urichuk/Bite Beauty/Plutino Group.
Have you ever flirted with the idea of trying a daring style but weren't quite sure how to pull it off? We found six women who were intrigued by a trend they usually avoid, then we gave them the support and style advice to help them make it their own. Here, Canadian Living's curvy columnist Meredith Shaw shares her skinny jean tips.
(Read about our other style dares here: crop tops for the office, curve-hugging dresses, arm-baring tops, print mixing and feminine ruffles.)
You know that magical pair of jeans that makes you question, "How often is too often to wear them?" For many women, it's the skinny jean. Our curvy columnist Meredith's style profile (feminine with a rocker edge) lends itself to the slim shape, but she has a gripe about its name. "The word 'skinny' is in its description—and there's nothing skinny about me," says Meredith, adding that "judge-y jeans" would be a more precise moniker.
Cardigan, $60, hm.com/ca. Top, $30, winners.ca. Love & Legend jeans, $92, and shoes, additionelle.com. Hat, starburst choker, bracelet and ring, bananarepublica.ca. Earrings and gold-tone choker, jenny-bird.ca. Choker wrap, carolineneron.com.
Real talk: Despite the style's questionable name, women of any size—and age—can rock these curve-hugging pants. But keep a few things in mind. First, fit and construction are key. "When you have curves, you need extra stretch," says Meredith. The optimal level of spandex (or lycra) is between one and four percent; any higher and you risk losing the denim shape. Mid-rise jeans are universally flattering. Look for ones that sit right at (or slightly below) your belly button. No matter your size, these fitted bottoms shouldn't pinch, bunch or create lumps—or a muffin top.
Shop the trend:
Rockstar mid-rise jeans (sizes 0 to 20), $45, oldnavy.ca
Nadia Aboulhoson for Love & Legend jeggings (sizes 14 to 24), $92, additionelle.com
High stretch skinny jean (sizes 00 to 20), $100, gapcanada.ca
Slim fit jean (sizes xxs to xl), $59, veramoda.ca
Skinny jean (sizes 24 to 38), $55, reitmans.com
Skinny jean (sizes 24 to 34), $99, luckybrand.com
Calvin Klein skinny jean (sizes 25 to 32), $125, thebay.ca
Super skinny jegging (sizes 2 to 16), $35, hm.com/ca
Levi's mid-rise skinny jean (sizes 10 to 16), $75, sears.ca
Dark wash skinny jean (sizes 25 to 32), $80, rw-co.com
Honey-Caramel Apple Bundt Cake<br>Photography by Jeff Coulson/TC Media Image by: Honey-Caramel Apple Bundt Cake<br>Photography by Jeff Coulson/TC Media
Canadian Living visited the historic South End district of Halifax to see the celebrated craftsmanship of architect Andrew R. Cobb. Over 100 years since his work, his signature style has left a mark on the residents of this charming period neighbourhood, who take time to decorate their doors in vivd holiday vignettes. Find inspiration for your own holiday decorations from one of these 12 beautifully decorated holiday doors.
Lynn O'Callaghan took the three Rs to heart for her vibrant decor. She reduced the number of urns on her veranda to a single standout arrangement; reused her old wreath, updating the original lime ribbon with fab fuchsia tulle; and recycled a large birch branch destined for the dump by sawing it up and inserting pieces into the urn. We'll add a fourth R for "reimagined." Instead of plastic ties, Lynn used green dollar-store pipe cleaners to suspend her handsome spruce and hemlock garlands. Brilliant!
Wreath, propsfloraldesign.com; light, livinglightingns.ca
The bright Bermuda-inspired front door of Elizabeth and Michael Ryan's 1920s Andrew Cobb home is complemented with a simple homemade wreath. Elizabeth wired small pinecones onto a wreath form; added a few larger pinecones that she and her husband, a Second World War buff, found in Normandy, France; and finished the look with metallic gold sprays and ribbon.
With its luxe louvered shutters, stucco exterior and climbing vines, Lynn Tilley's home exudes French country charm. During the holiday season, an ornate wreath of pink and burgundy flowers, berries and pinecones pops against the stately black door, while a bold yet elegant bow tops the pretty package.
Bow, mymothersbloomers.ca; wreath, costco.ca
Festive flourishes are no sweat for Larry Swinamer and Susan MacIntosh. Decorating, says Larry, is "a collective, fun endeavour. It just sort of flows." He's in charge of the entryway's delightful arrangement of hanging ornaments, while Susan, who is the owner of Props Floral Design, takes care of the wreath and planter. She breaks up the evergreens with decorative elements made of copper, including whimsical whales – a nod to the couple's waterfront location.
Wreath and planter arrangement, propsfloraldesign.com
"A wreath on the door expresses the circle of love, peace and joy that begins at home," says Catherine Johnston, who had this splurge-worthy statement piece custom-designed to complement her home's dazzling façade. As a personal touch, she added fragrant cedar and balsam fir boughs cut from her winter cottage at Foley Lake, N.S.
Wreath, propsfloraldesign.com; light, homedepot.ca
"Every year I'd buy a wreath and it would come with a piddly little red bow," says Cindy Wheeler Ingham, who wanted something more substantial to decorate her Andrew Cobb home for the holidays. Her search led her to this bold ready-made bow in her youngest son's favourite colour – only to find it was too big for her wreath. So...she ditched the wreath!
Bow, mymothersbloomers.ca; coach lanterns, homedepot.ca
"We really try to achieve the classic Dickens theme," explains Margo Giacomantonio. From the thick pine garland wrapped in 40 feet of ribbon to the pine and eucalyptus wreath, everything in the traditional red-and-green scheme is fresh and homemade. Flanking the door are two massive urns featuring dogwood, gold-sprayed branches and poinsettias."
Ribbon, kent.ca; wreath decorations, propsfloraldesign.com
Why should the front door get all the glory? Graced with a corner lot, these homeowners took much care in creating garden gates that were not only complementary to their Tudor-style home but also pleasing to passersby en route to the nearby city park. The neutral backdrop means the sprays – a mix of balsam fir, white pine, alder and teasel – garner the attention they deserve.
Sprays, Balsamea House, 902-624-6261
"Nova Scotia weather is not kind to Christmas decorations," says homeowner Suzanne Morrison. The secret to her success? A collection of fabulous faux adornments, including holly berry and pinecone garland, lit potted plants and a cool contemporary silver wreath.
Garland, walmart.ca; plants and wreath, homesense.ca; planters, halifaxseed.ca; mailbox, michaels.com; sconces, kichler.com
At Laurie Cruess's 1915 American foursquare–style home, a wreath of wide-meshed ribbon, purchased at the Dalhousie University Christmas Craft Sale, shimmers under the soft glow of the period-perfect mission sconces. With the help of a friend who works at the Halifax Public Gardens, Laurie arranged the planters with fresh evergreens clipped from her own garden, along with magnolia leaves, pinecones and dogwood branches.
The Boileau family refreshed the stately elegance of their 1910 Andrew Cobb home by repainting the original sconces and replacing the drafty old door with a handsome replica. But when it comes to decorating for the holidays, they choose fun over formality. Take, for example, their wreath, decked with brilliant purple baubles and delightfully unexpected eggplant-coloured leaf clusters.
Silver branches, winners.ca; silver baubles, realcanadiansuperstore.ca; wreath decorations, propsfloraldesign.com; evergreens, Balsamea House, 902-624-6261
Janet Willwerth keeps her front-door decor minimal but meaningful. "I find comfort in the familiarity of my Christmas things," she says. "Each time they are brought out, they bring back memories." Her whimsical grouping showcases two special gifts (the Santa and candy cane), a robust wreath (bought from a door-to-door salesperson) to which Janet added a bow, and an antique ship's lantern from Pictou, N.S., that's been in her family for generations.
Pull out all the stops for Santa this year, starting with a batch of cookies that are ALMOST too good to share.
For a shift from standard royal icing, we've topped these sugar cookies with marzipan, a mixture of sugar and almond paste, which is easy to roll out and adds rich flavour.
Get the recipe: Marzipan Star Cookies
Drop cookies make a fuss-free base for these delightful sandwiches, as there's no rolling out or cutting required.
Get the recipe: Minty Swirl Sandwich Cookies
A crunchy chocolate topping adds a whole new level of deliciousness to the winning combo of chocolate and peanut butter.
Get the recipe: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Crunch Cookies
A creamy, sweet and nutty filling takes these cakey chocolate cookies to a whole new level.
Get the recipe: German Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
Slice-and-bake cookies are great for time-pressed cooks because there's no rolling or cutting out shapes—simply form the dough into a log, chill and slice.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Almond-Slice-and-Bake Cookies
Buttery shortbread gets a warm hug from spiced gingerbread dough in this mash-up of two favourite holiday cookies.
Get the recipe: Two-Tone Gingerbread and Shortbread Cookies
Store a log of this oatmeal raisin dough in your freezer so you can enjoy freshly baked cookies at a moment's notice.
Gooey marshmallows and melted dark chocolate give these soft thumbprint cookies the irresistible flavour of the classic campfire treat.
Get the recipe: S'mores Thumbprints
Sesame seeds add the perfect amount of savouriness to these otherwise sweet cookies.
Get the recipe: Apricot Sesame Thumbprints
A buttery coconut filling takes these chocolate cookies into extraordinary territory.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Almond Coconut Thumbprints
Stuffed with a creamy cookie-crumb filling, these soft chocolate cookies are a cocoa lover's dream.
Get the recipe: Cookies and Cream Sandwich Cookies
Get creative when painting the glaze onto the trees. Windswept cedars, bending pines and evergreen boughs dotted with tiny bobbles look wintry and festive.
Get the recipe: Painted Tree Cookies
No ugly sweater party is complete without these themed cookies!
Get the recipe: Ugly Sweater Cookies
These colourful wreaths may look intricate, but all you need is a piping bag with a small star tip to give them their realistic look.
Get the recipe: Festive Wreath Cookies
White sprinkles give these stockings a fluffy-trim effect.
Get the recipe: Stocking Cookies
Every bite of these easy-to-make cookies will melt in your mouth.
Get the recipe: Classic Whipped Shortbread
Two buttery chocolate chip cookie doughs—one with an extra hit of chocolate—are baked together to make these scrumptious cookies.
Get the recipe: Two-Tone Chocolate Chip Cookies
These soft and cakey molasses cookies are rolled in coarse turbinado sugar for a pleasant crunch and an extra hit of sweetness.
Get the recipe: Big Fat Molasses Cookies
These festive drop cookies are both chewy and crisp.
Get the recipe: White Chocolate Sprinkle Cookies
Christmas colours add holiday flair to these giant cookies.
Get the recipe: Festive Canvas Cookies
We've added a subtle blend of spices to basic shortbread for extra festive flavour.
Get the recipe: Spiced Ombre Snowflake Cookies
These chewy, mildly spiced cookies are covered in a pretty crunchy coating. They may appear soft when they come out of the oven, but they will firm up as they cool.
Get the recipe: Chewy Spiced Double-Chocolate Cookies