Nothing Short of Chic: 2016


'Tis The Season 2016: Formal - The Black-Tie Affair (4/4)

Around the holidays, a black-tie affair is the perfect time to go all-out with jewels, luxe fabrics, and a sumptuous gown. | Nothing Short Of Chic

The most elegant (and glamorous) of all is the black- or white-tie affair, which almost always requires a gown. 

This is the final instalment of this holiday series! I meant to do a full-on, hour-long shoot for this outfit (which is what I wore to celebrate Christmas Eve with my family) with full makeup and everything. Of course, I got consumed by last-minute holiday preparations, gingerbread-making, and lots and lots of cooking (such things happen). Anyway, long story short, it was overcast all day long, and then right at sundown, the clouds broke just at the horizon and we had about ten minutes of golden hour. So I frantically got dressed, not even having time for a comb (let alone any makeup). My dad was kind enough to race after me down to this deck to take some photographs, quickly, as the sun sank. And here they are.


'Tis The Season 2016: Cocktail – The Sophisticated Gathering (3/4)

We're getting into the more sophisticated sector of holiday-party season, with cocktail soirees being quite common. Here's just one outfit that fits the fabulously flexible dress-code. | Nothing Short Of Chic
Cocktail parties are elegant, sophistiquée, and very flexible in terms of expressing personal style.

It's almost Christmas! (For those of you who celebrate the holiday.) The last few Christmas parties are wrapping themselves up, no pun intended (though other holiday parties, including the New Year, are still to come) – in fact, I have one this evening. As we get nearer to the eve of, the gatherings tend to get more sophisticated, with less invitees and closer acquaintances and friends. Such a party is my very favorite kind and requires an ensemble that's a little more upscale. If your invitation lists a "cocktail" dress code, you can really go to town and get into character, whether that's a 50s evening look, a sequined fit-and-flare, or, like me, a late-20's flapper look.


'Tis The Season 2016: Festive - The Girls' Night/The Date Night (2/4)

A foolproof outfit formula for a "festive" dress-code holiday party, whether for a girls' night, date night, or some other "festive" gathering. | Nothing Short Of Chic
Decoding the "festive" dress code – a staple of the holiday season.

Let's set the scene: you're going out with your girlfriends, or your sister(s), or your significant other and a couple other couples. You want something festive and fun, but still glamorous and a little sexy. Here's where that classic combination of gold and black and the luxurious textures of lace, silk, and patent leather are your best friends, because any combination of these elements will be elegant, sophisticated, seasonal, and alluring. Pick silhouettes that flatter your particular body type, and add shoes that are sleek and comfortable, and then finish off the look with gorgeous jewels and bright lipstick – done and done. The best thing about an outfit built around gold-and-black with (faux) fur, lace, silk, and velvet, is that they look elevated yet effortless every time, and with a little shift in the styling, you can also wear the ensemble over and over and nobody will notice.


'Tis The Season 2016: Casual – The Office Party (1/4)

How to dress for the oft-dreaded office holiday party this season. | Nothing Short Of Chic
A few tips to dress for the oft-dreaded office holiday party.

Christmas is ten days away, for those of you who celebrate it, and we are officially in full holiday mode (though, to be honest, some people have been since Hallowe'en ended). This next two weeks is holiday party after holiday party for most people, and each invitation brings with it the new question of what to wear – which, in case you don't know, happens to be my speciality. Perhaps I can't solve world hunger or fix the droughts, but at least I can help you feel more confident.


Personal Style: Layered Textures – (Faux) Suede & Velvet

Baby, it's cold outside – wrap yourself up in luxe fabrics and chic layers to keep yourself warm and stylish this season. | Nothing Short Of Chic
Let it snow, and while it does, drape yourself in luxe layers to stay warm.

It is, officially, the chilly season. I came home on Saturday to promises of snow up here in the Vancouver area, which is a rare occurrence for us, and lo and behold, those vows were kept. Snow is so gorgeous – and it provides a welcome change in background options. So we've all been piling on the layers. But layers doesn't have to mean shapeless and bland – actually, layering is great because it gives you the opportunity to wear two or three outfits at once. When shooting this, my photographer DJ Cleland-Hura joked that it felt like the setting (and clothing) for a Ralph Lauren ad. Ours is a little less glossy and a little more NSOC (which is the point!) but I'm super happy with the results – so many thanks to DJ, and to the nimbostratus clouds for granting us this beautiful snow to pose in.


Some Thoughts On Importance And Mattering

Some thoughts, questions, and answers following an emotional, eye-opening week. | Nothing Short Of Chic
Original digital collage by Annika Cleland-Hura

The last week has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster for me, for a myriad of reasons. I've gotten frustrated at people I've never met on social media for posting pictures of their lunch or their shoes when there are much more important issues in the world, and I've wanted to indulge in entertainment and imagery as a way of escape – both of these simultaneously (I love that word). Mostly, though, I've been taking a break from social media because it does not feel worth it. It's not real. I post a photograph of my outfit on Instagram – but to what end? There are people literally starving in this world and I think that my ensemble du jour is worth something?


Personal Style: Tweed, Stripes, & Patent Leather

Mixing prints, textures, and modern and vintage elements for a sophisticated yet edgy look. | Nothing Short Of Chic
Modern and vintage elements are combined to create a sophisticated-yet-edgy, easy-to-copy look.

Have you ever found a piece that you feel just completely sums up your style and/or personality? That's how I feel about this jacket. Made of soft, lightweight tweed, subtly printed, with a fun fringe trim, it's very Chanel and also very versatile. These boots are another favorite of mine, because they add a bit of polished edge to any outfit, as well as a bit of height, and they're also very comfortable. Upon seeing this outfit, complete with the wide-brimmed hat and wrist gloves, my dad informed me that I look like I'm going to the derby – which I'm rather pleased with, actually. It would be easy to modernize this look a bit more if the vintage aesthetic isn't your thing, and it would also only require a switch of footwear (and maybe some pearls) to make this a completely classic outfit.


Fashion Matters: The Necessity Of Personal Expression Through Style

Personal style is important and necessary for self-confidence and self-discovery, as well as, of course, self-expression. | Nothing Short Of Chic
Fashion is often written off as "frivolous" or "unnecessary," but it 
truly is essential to personal expression.

For many people, personal style is a way of expression and an outlet for creativity that they can’t find elsewhere. My sister used to wear four layers of clothing and change outfits at least four times per day – and out-of-the-box layering is now one of her signature “looks”. A good friend of mine wears Robert Smith-inspired makeup and studded flannel almost daily. My mother has a penchant for stripes and includes some form of the pattern in almost every outfit, most often in the form of socks, either peeking out from a pair of slitted flared jeans, or topping off a cool pair of Fluevog boots. As for me? My own personal style is such a vital component of my personality that without it, I feel as though I’m missing a crucial part of myself.


Personal Style: Wardrobe Basics (Business Casual)

THIS is how you actually build a solid, stylish outfit around those "wardrobe basics" everyone's always telling you to "invest" in (hint: you don't have to splurge). | Nothing Short Of Chic
Wardrobe "basics" are all you need to craft a simple but sophisticated outfit.

Every single fashion magazine, blog, or website ever has sung the virtues of building your wardrobe upon a strong foundation of high-quality basics. But they don't ever properly explain why it's important. Here's the thing: these closet essentials can form a base for every outfit from a simple weekend look to a special date night – and in a pinch, they can be put together in so many different arrangements to form a simple and reliable yet chic look very quickly. This look is what I wore yesterday and it was really because I had a busy day and didn't want to spend a lot of time styling myself. Here I'm wearing an outfit made up entirely of items I wear on a weekly basis. Quick tip – a silk neckscarf and some good sunglasses can instantly add polish to your outfit and make it seem like you put way more effort in than you actually did.


A Seasonal Change: Crazy Sunglasses & A Bit Of A Haircut

The turnover of seasons and a personal shift meant I needed to change something up – so I decided to shave my hair off. | Nothing Short Of Chic
A shift in seasons calls for a bit of a change, courtesy of a little trim...

There is, in the world, a girl or boy, 12 or 13 – just entering the phase of image and self-confidence issues – who has been diagnosed with cancer and has just lost their hair. I shaved off nearly ten inches of my own hair, which will go to Pantene to make a wig for this child. My hair will grow back. Theirs may not. But at least they'll have the wig.

*THIS COAT IS FAUX FUR. I am a vegan and DO NOT support cruelty of animals, especially not for the sake of fashion*


Personal Style: The Shirtdress, Cool-Girl Style

The shirtdress is a versatile and extremely flattering year-round piece; here's how to style it for summer, with a bit of French-girl influence. | Nothing Short Of Chic
Simple and chic and elegant and sophisticated: meet the shirtdress.

Good evening everyone! Sorry for the late posting hour... I wanted to capture this beautiful golden light, and I couldn't wait for tomorrow (surprise: I'm leaving for Blaine in the morning to hang out in a beach house and run a half-marathon). I am so in love with this off-white shirtdress – it shows off even the palest tan, and the waist tie means it's flattering on exactly every single body type. And it has pockets. I especially love the combination of white and gold for summer, so the buttons on this dress are so fresh and make me feel white-hot for August.


The Hate Experience

Why do people feel the need to be negative online? As a blogger and digitally active person, I receive a lot of unnecessary, unsolicited hate. Why? | Nothing Short Of Chic

Good morning/afternoon, everyone. Today I'm telling a story.

Yesterday was quite the experience. I had my first real run-in with Internet haters (on Instagram, too – I find that they're the most vicious on IG and YouTube) when, a forum for fashion lovers with 1 million Instagram followers, shared my Modern Flapper look on their page (you can see that post here – it got over 5.5K likes, which is amazing). The initial discovery left me elated, then after reading the comments (a bad idea – a lesson well learned), that elation was deflated a little. I will admit that this negativity stung. Despite having blogged for over two years, I've never had to deal with more that a few trolls here and there, so this outpouring of hate, which consisted of more than twenty horrid jabs, is new to me. This is because I've worked hard to build a community of readers (that's you) who are fantastic, respectful, smart people, and the LookBook feature exposed me to a new audience who don't necessarily have this same decency – although the LB community is usually very positive. Comments included "awful," "worst," "are you serious?," "wtf," and a decent amount of thumbs-down, laughing, and horrified emoticons, among other things (the weirdest one was "I can see a face on your knee," which I now can't unsee).


Personal Style: Modern Flapper, Roaring 20(10)s

Reference the Jazz Age with a chic flapper-inspired shift dress, ankle-strap pumps, and a healthy dose of attitude! | Nothing Short Of Chic
The youthful elegance and coy mystery of the Jazz Age is still relevant today – albeit in a slightly 
jazzed-up fashion.

The Flapper lifestyle of the late 1920s is one of the most well-known eras in history, especially in fashion. Although the movement only spanned a few years (because of the Great Depression, it had a rather sudden end), the fringe-embellished dancing dresses, drop-waist shifts, ankle strap heels, and finger-waved bobs adorned with headbands are iconic and referenced often. Personally, the style of that time period means a lot to me and I find myself going back to Art Deco details and flapper elements quite often. This dress, which I found at a thrift store in Vancouver for only $7, spoke to me instantly and it makes me so happy to wear it. In fact, when I modelled it for my mother, she told me, "It's so you!" – a comment with which I wholeheartedly agree.


Personal Style: Yellow Pants ft. Elena Alexa

Bright yellow pants, flat sandals, and a white top make a great summer outfit!
Welcome the summer season with bright colors and great sunglasses.

My gorgeous friend Elena, production manager and amateur photographer extraordinaire, also happens to have great style. Case in point: these amazing yellow pants. They are so summery and bold and adorable. When we shot the photos for my blog anniversary post, I asked her to wear these pants so I could feature them in a post, and here they are! This outfit is so perfect for a sunny but cool summer day, but swap the tee for a flowy white tank, and you've got yourself an excellent warm-weather look for basically any situation. These pants are so transitional too – if you add a slinky top, heels, and a statement necklace, you've got yourself a chic night-out ensemble.


Happy Birthday NSOC! 2nd "Blogiversary," Or, Blog Anniversary

A 1920's-inspired outfit to help me celebrate Nothing Short Of Chic's second launch anniversary! | Nothing Short Of Chic

It's Nothing Short Of Chic's birthday!! I can't believe it! I feel so happy, so fortunate, and so overwhelmed with gratitude. Thank you, my readers, followers, and supporters, for keeping me going – I love you! Today is the second anniversary of the launch of this blog and its first post! Today, I took some pictures with my wonderful friend Elena to celebrate, and I also have some quotes from some of my lovely readers and friends. Your support and love is so precious to me!


The Black Ruffled Skirt: Day to Night ft Astrid Fiverson

Ever wonder how to take an outfit from day to night? Here's how, featuring a ruffled lace skirt. | Nothing Short Of Chic Ever wonder how to take an outfit from day to night? Here's how, featuring a ruffled lace skirt. | Nothing Short Of Chic
Transition from day to night with a chic, unique skirt.

The idea for this post came when Astrid F., the hilarious, unpredictable, Beatles-loving, horse-back-riding actress who also happens to be my best friend and cousin, told me about this skirt she had sitting in the back of her closet, unworn and shunned. "It was for a Hallowe'en costume," she told me, referencing the pirate outfit she sported last year. "I've never worn it since." So I decided to help her out a little and style it two ways – day and night – for her (even though she didn't ask for, and probably didn't want, my advice). Believe it or not, this is an item several of my friends own (and never wear), so hopefully, this helps several people. 


Personal Style: The Street-Style Suit

A vertical-stripe-printed pantsuit with classic heels is the chicest way to make a statement while elongating your frame. | Nothing Short of Chic
This is the type of garment you see and think – that's a street-style piece.

We all know that one of my greatest talents (and hobbies) is thrift/secondhand/vintage shopping. You can find the coolest things at these types of shops, and best of all – you can afford them. Often, the wares are unwearable, and are suitable only for repurposing, but often, they are just in need of some love (and, occasionally, are good-as-new, like these gorgeous patent-leather peep-toes). Trendy, risky, or ridiculous clothing is suddenly an option for those of us with heart-stoppingly small paychecks, and the wear-once-then-donate lifestyle is also a possibility. This striped-all-over pantsuit is not something I would have even considered purchasing outside of the local pay-what-you-want boutique – but I believe my price for this fun two-piece was about $2 (and the $100-new heels were $3 at another shop).


Personal Style: Seeing Red

Red on rouge on burgundy in a multilayered, ultra-chic travel outfit! | Nothing Short Of Chic
I love red so much that I based my whole outfit around it!

This is my first style post in a while. I'm sorry for being so absent! On Wednesday, I took a day trip to Vancouver, and I wore this. Red is my favorite color to wear, so I decided to just wear all of it! It got extra fun when I realized I had to layer jackets and was able to wear both colored vegan leather and a massively cool print. (It's still too cold for only a jacket, but warm enough that a winter coat is too much, so layering is key, especially in the Pacific Northwest where the weather is fickle.) These photos were taken on the water-taxi dock right next to the ferry berth. Isn't it just gorgeous? We're lucky we got the photos when we did, because it clouded over (and then rained and hailed) only a half-hour later.


Personal Style: The Statement Necklace

You can glam up any outfit with a gorgeous statement necklace, but I have inspiration for the classy, texture-loving girls! | Nothing Short Of Chic
Top off your wardrobe with the perfect statement-making necklace.

Everybody knows about the key wardrobe staples that make up the foundation of any good closet. Though there are a range of lists, they all outline the basics in terms of tops, bottoms, outerwear, underwear, and shoes that every woman "needs." But what about jewelry and accessories?


Personal Style: Red Leopard

A flippy red skirt and a retro leopard-print hat go hand-in-hand in this simple yet fabulous outfit (via @nikicleland) | Nothing Short Of Chic
Modern-tinged retro-chic gets a colorful (and a very fuzzy) update.

Don't kill me yet – yes, I've been alarmingly absent, but please don't give up on me. I've missed you dearly but I haven't been idle; there are an awful lot of new things coming soon to Nothing Short Of Chic (subscribe to my email list if you want to know more about everything going on). Of course, you can't see those amazing things yet and I don't want to spoil the surprise, so for now, let me just offer you this fabulous way to wear the skirt and heels you're dying to pull out for spring but are apprehensive of the cold. Feel free to add a fabulous pleather trench or (faux) fur duster if you fear the chill.