The right accessories can take an outfit from drab to fab. Just ask Robin Keeler, a fashion consultant for shopping centres across Canada.
"Accessories can make or break an outfit,” says Keeler. "They can pull all the components together, add a personal touch and they can become your signature. Depending on how they are coordinated, accessories create various effects. With practice, the right accessorizing can add endless possibilities to your wardrobe."
With just a few key accessories you can revitalize your look without spending a small fortune on new clothes. So what's hot for fall 2012? From jewelry and sunglasses to bags, hats, gloves and scarves, there's a lot to get excited about.
Fall 2012 accessories you'll love When it comes to jewelry, Keeler says to look for chunky cocktail rings, cuff bracelets and collar necklaces.
"Necklaces with large stone inserts, glamour arm candy such as metal and coloured epoxy bangles worn piled up on the arms, and longer length necklaces worn [as a] single strand or layered" will be particularly on trend this season, she explains.
Stunning sunglasses and beautiful bags
If you're searching for some new sunglasses, you should know that retro is in. Keeler cites round, 1970s-inspired shades as well as cat's-eye frames and aviator sunglasses as the hot looks for fall 2012.â€¨
Bags of all shapes and sizes will be stylish this season. For everyday use, Keeler suggests adding a cross-body bag, leather tote or satchel to your look. For eveningwear, she says to spice up the look with the addition of a bag embellished with jewels, rhinestones, embroidery, laser cut-outs, bows and lace.
The season's best hats, scarves and gloves
Love 'em or hate 'em, Canadian winters call for some serious gear. So turn your cold-weather accessories into a style statement. Tweed caps, floppy felt hats, fedoras and cloche hats are all chic options, says Keeler, and the wraparound "eternity" scarf is here for another season.
When it comes to keeping your fingers toasty warm, anything goes, though Keeler recommends upping your style factor with studded leather gloves in a vibrant colour.
Fall 2012 accessories for your must-have listâ€¨ Of course, we're not all going to rush out and buy an entirely new wardrobe but purchasing a few key pieces can give your look a lift this fall. What are the season's must-haves? Keeler suggests adding a collar necklace, a cage belt and an eternity scarf to your fashion repertoire for instant flair.
Other fall trends include equestrian pieces like riding boots, pops of bright colour and coloured blocking on items like scarves, faux-fur embellishments and jeweled headbands.
Page 1 of 2 -- Get eight dos and don'ts for wearing fall 2012 accessories on page 2
8 dos and don'ts for wearing fall 2012 accessories
2. Don't pair long earrings with a necklace. Wear one or the other, otherwise your accessories will unflatteringly compete for attention.
3. If you wear statement earrings, do make them your accent piece. But feel free to add some funky bangles, too!
4. Don't wear a floppy hat with any other large statement pieces. The hat is your eye catcher!
5. Do express your personal style with bold accessories such as an oversize belt, statement shoes (platform styles are most comfortable) or interesting jewelry. Try to limit it to one bold piece so your look is not over the top.
7. Do buy timeless accent pieces so you get more mileage out of your wardrobe. A crocodile-stamped leather envelope clutch is a great statement piece that's versatile and can be carried year-round.
8. Do experiment with your accessories to try different looks and cultivate a style that's chic and unique to you.
Whatever accessories you opt to wear this season, remember that it's all about personal style. Regardless of what's in, a lack of confidence is definitely out, says Keeler. So choose a few signature pieces that you love and wear them paired with poise and your own pretty smile!
Natalie Bahadur is the senior editor of styleathome.com and a contributor to canadianliving.com.
Classic, healthy and savoury muffin recipes to bake fresh or made in advance and frozen.
Whip up a dozen moist muffins on a leisurely Sunday morning. Or better yet, set out the muffin recipe ingredients the night before and let the first person up bake a batch for everyone. Most of these muffin recipes can be made in advance and frozen.
Before you start baking your favourite muffins, take a few tips from The Canadian Living Test Kitchen about muffin recipe dos and don'ts in this article: Muffin know how.
With the growing trend of love blending with technology, there are a variety of online dating sites with mobile apps that are helping connect more people. Whether you're looking for a casual encounter or something more serious, there’s a dating app to suit almost every need. Here are seven top dating apps for you to consider.
1. OkCupid (free for both iPhone and Android devices) This popular online dating site also has a location-based mobile app that allows you to take your experience on the go. Users can sign in via Facebook or directly through the app to find local singles. The app allows you to watch the activity stream for potential matches, "favourite" a profile and rate your potential matches through the Quick Match feature. With over five million registered users since 2010, you never know whom you might find.
2. Match (available on iPhone, Android and Blackberry devices) Match.com, a pioneer dating website that launched in 1995, has users based in 24 countries around the world. People can sign up through Match.com and then download the app on their mobile devices. The app allows members to view profiles, upload up to 24 images, add users to their "Favourites" and rate their "Daily Matches." Subscriptions range anywhere from a month to a year. Pick one that suits you best.
3. eHarmony (available for iPhone and Android devices) This popular online dating site launched in 2000. Its claim to fame? Over one million people who used eHarmony went on to find lifelong partnerships. Users can sign up via the app, complete a relationship questionnaire, upload photos from their mobile phones or from Facebook, and receive daily matches—all free of charge. Paid subscribers get access to email and can also see who has viewed their profiles. It's the perfect app for those of all ages who are looking for long-term commitments. 4. Badoo (free for both iPhone and Android devices) With a community of more than 208 million users, Badoo is perfect for those looking to socialize and meet new people. The free basic service allows users to chat with and message other members, and upload photos and videos. Members can sign in with a Badoo or Facebook account via the mobile app or website to connect with locals who share common interests. The app also features a fun game called Encounters, which allows users to view potential matches and then tap "yes" or "no" to indicate whether or not they would like to meet. If you're not looking to date, Badoo is also a great app for social networking and friendship.
5. Plenty of Fish (free for both iPhone and Android devices) Plenty of Fish (POF) allows users to find potential dates and perhaps even their soul mates for free! It does have paid services as well, but users don't really need to upgrade; most of the best features such as Meet Me, which allows members to flirt with locals in their areas, are free of charge. This app allows users to search for singles using filters such as education, height, religious affiliations and body type. Another cool feature is Date Night, which tells other singles in your area that you're available for a date.
6. Zoosk (free for both iPhone and Android devices) Zoosk is one of the top mobile dating apps for iPhone users and is one of the Top 10 grossing social networking apps in the iTunes store. This app is available for free and also has a paid subscription option that allows you to access more features. If you’d rather not pay, you can still browse millions of singles, create a profile, upload photos, see who has viewed your profile, and scan and show interest in another member by using the Carousel feature.
7. Tinder (free for both iPhone and Android devices) Tinder has quickly become the go-to dating app for young adults. And the best part? The app is completely free and works on the premise of anonymity. Users, who need a Facebook account to create a profile, can upload up to six profile photos and scroll through recommended matches from your area. If you don't like what you see, you can anonymously "like" or "pass" on the person. But it isn't just for the younger demographic: Tinder reports that 31 percent of its users are aged between 25 and 34, making it a great app for anyone looking to casually date or form potentially long-term relationships.
Whether you want to splurge or save, here’s where to stay, eat and play.
Last December, writer Lara Ceroni escaped the Canadian chill for a short stay in Barbados, where she was taking part in the annual Barbados Marathon. (See her tips on prepping for a run here.) But when she wasn’t making tracks around the island, she was making the most of her visit by checking out the restaurants, going on excursions and enjoying the sun and sand. Here are her best tips for budget-friendly picks and a few worthwhile splurges.
Where to Stay:
The splurge:St. Peter’s Bay
The northwest coast of Barbados is the perfect place to stay if you’re racing in Barbados. St. Peter’s Bay Luxury Resort & Residences offers a most tranquil setting to chill out in one of their spacious apartments or penthouses, complete with private hot tubs and picture-perfect views of the beach and Caribbean Sea. Get inspired for the race ahead at their lively Gazebo Bar with a homemade banana daiquiri (just one!) or opt to swim with some sea turtles on one of their daily free boat excursions. www.saintpetersbaybarbados.com
The save:Rent a beach villa in Bridgetown with Airbnb
Airbnb has a huge selection of sweet little cottage homes and beachfront villas that offer affordable luxury. You can usually find a spot minutes from the beach that comes with fully functioning kitchens and even backyard pools for your little ones to splash in. The prices are always appealing, starting at approximately $134 per night. www.airbnb.ca
Where to Eat:
The splurge: 13°/59° at Port Ferdinand
Port Ferdinand, the island’s newest marina featuring yacht berths, is just a short water taxi ride away from Saint Peter’s Bay, but upon arrival you will feel like you just stepped into the French Riviera. With pristine ivory yachts floating in the water and skies made up of the most blinding blue, take a long and languid brunch. Each Sunday the restaurant serves up southern-style brunch dishes—think buttermilk fried chicken and ham hock hash—on their patio while local musicians keep you entertained. Don’t forget to try the Coconut Shandy or the Lobster Popcorn. www.1359barbados.com
The save:Cutters of Barbados
The BBC listed it as one of the top 100 places to see before you die, and there’s a good reason why. Their Flying Fish sandwiches are, well, to die for: Imagine Bajan-seasoned, batter-fried fish in doughy Penny bread served with homemade macaroni pie and rice and peas. We guarantee you can’t eat just one. The owner Roger Goddard is worth the visit alone. A colourful guy, he may grab you and take you behind the counter to help brew up his infamous Very Special Rum Punch—a heady mix of fresh lime juice, nutmeg, bitters and three-parts non-spiced rum. This is the cocktail to end all cocktails. I would know—I had three! www.cutters.bb
Where to Play:
The splurge:The Crane
Named as one of the top 10 beaches in the world, Crane Beach has a vista worth a thousand pictures situated on the southeastern coast. It is a magical place, secluded amongst a Cliffside with sprawling views of the Atlantic and overlooked by the historic and charming 18-room hotel and residential resort by the same name. Buy a day pass to gain access and spend your time playing in the waves. It’s a quiet refuge, but be forewarned: the waters are not. A bit rough and tumble, it’s the perfect spot for boogie boarding.
The save:Mullins Beach
This 300-yard-long stretch of sand is one of the most popular public beaches in Barbados. Found on the west coast of the island, expect super-soft sand with very calm waters perfect for floating an afternoon away. Plenty of fun water sports are always on offer, as is the Mullins Beach Bar and Restaurant, right above the beach, which has an affordable menu of snacks and ice creams. Our advice? Stick around for the sunset. It’s well worth the wait.
Customize your topper by ironing on some DIY patches—or opt for the quick-and-easy approach by purchasing a vest or jacket that's already decorated.
Jean jacket, $267, tommy.com.Image by: Genevieve Caron
6. Denim squared
Denim on denim has earned its right to be considered a modern-classic way of dressing. A good rule is to mix up your washes: Wear lighter denim on top, with darker on the bottom. The deeper shades helps create a slimming effect.
It's hard to remember a time when skinny jeans weren't the standard in denim. The slim silhouette is still the shape du jour and can be found in just about every wash, colour, pattern and level of distress.