Saturday, April 30, 2016

Red Rainboots and Recent Outfits

Nothing brightens up a gloomy day like a pair of bright red boots!

Red Jennifer Kamik Rainboots Green Utility Jacket Blogger Outfit
Coat: Walmart Boys (similar) / Shirt: Target (similar) / Jeans: Express / Boots: c/o Kamik / Bag: Minkoff

These "Jennifer" Kamik Rainboots are 100% recyclable, and are made in Canada. The first thing I noticed when I wore these boots, is how light and flexible they are compared to my Hunter Boots. That's because these are made with a lightweight synthetic not only will they brighten up my outfits - I'll actually be able to wear them while driving (have you ever tried driving in Hunter Boots? So stiff!). They're around half the price of my Hunter Boots (which, to be fair, were worth it, because they've held up REALLY well over the years!) - I'll keep you updated as to how these hold up!

Blouse: F21 (similar) / Jeans: GAP (similar) / Sandals: Payless Kids (similar)

I'm loving off-the shoulder and cold-shoulder tops lately - and have ordered quite a few from Forever21. They have a great selection at the start of the season - but order quickly because they always sell out!

Blouse : Express / Jeans: GAP (similar) / Shoes: Payless (similar) / Bag: Coach Tanner

I picked up these slip-on loafers from Payless. They're unbelievably comfy and I love how the silver adds a subtle sparkly element to simple outfits.

Blazer: H&M (similar) / Blouse: Express / Bag: Coach / Jeans: Express / Shoes: Payless

These loafers were another Payless find - and of course I'm carrying my newly restored Coach bag!

Red Jennifer Kamik Rainboots Blogger Outfit
Top: Tommy Hilfiger / Jeans: Express / Necklace: ILY / Bag: Minkoff

And here's another outfit with my red rainboots - they definitely make rainy days a lot more fun!

Do you own brightly-colored rainboots?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Portrait and a Peach Dress

I always struggle finding just-below-the-knee dresses. It's a personal length preference - and most dresses are either too short or too long (the Goldilocks effect!). So when eShakti contacted me about customizing a dress from their site, I was happy to give it another try (I also posted about them 3 years ago! Cringing at the photo quality....)

Dress Review: Eshakti Peach Eyelet Everly Dress
Dress: c/o eShakti / Heels: Winners (identical) / Bag: EverNew (original $$$) / Necklace: J.Crew (similar) / Sunglasses: Le Chateau (similar)

I chose the Everly Dress and customized it by: entering my personal measurements, changing the boat neckline to a v-neck, and choosing the below-the-knee length.

What I loved about the dress:
  • It arrived super-quickly
  • Because of the custom measurements, it fit me perfectly
  • The cap sleeves are super-cute
What I would change about the dress:
  • The fabric/lining is on the thin side, and I feel like you can see the pockets through the dress
  • While I adore the longer length, I think it would be more flattering if it tapered in at the bottom (like a classic pencil skirt)
  • The peach eyelet is pretty - but if they offered this in white? It would be the ULTIMATE summer dress!
Ella Pretty Blog Fashion Illustration by Joanna Pop

And now for the Portrait part of my post...I had to share with you this print by the talented Canadian Fashion Illustrator, Joanna Pop, featuring the outfit from this post. This is one of the sweetest gifts I've ever received because it's SO personalized - Joanna captured every detail perfectly! And her workmanship is so beautiful - she used watercolours on the skirt, and it is stunning - I can't wait to frame it and hang it in my closet. To see more of Joanna's work, check out her instagram here. And if you're interested in ordering a custom print, click here.

Do you have a custom portrait illustration? I'd love to see it - please link it below!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Happiest Necklace

Have you noticed a shift in necklace trends recently? I'm not seeing as many bold statement necklaces these days. They seem to have been replaced by layered pieces - from delicate pendants and 90s-style chokers to long chains with tassels.

Grey Cape Vest Black Distressed Jeans Studded Heels Blogger Outfit
Cape - c/o Romwe (under $15!) / Top - Express / Jeans - H&M / Shoes - ZARA (similar) / Bag - Minkoff / Necklace - c/o Happiness Boutique

But sometimes a simple outfit needs MAJOR sparkle - and a few delicate layers aren't going to cut it. Enter the "Glamorous Over The Top Statement Necklace" from the Happiness Boutique...have you ever seen a necklace so ornate?

Happiness Boutique Glamorous Over the Top Statement Necklace

Luckily, this necklace isn't heavy at ALL. Some of my statement necklaces leave me with a pain at the back of my neck. But this one feels light and comfortable.

Romwe Lapel Dip Hem Loose Grey Coat H&M black distressed jeans Rebecca Minkoff Quilted Affair

I've added in an indoor picture because it's hard to capture the details when it's so bright outside.

Romwe Lapel Dip Hem Loose Grey Coat H&M black distressed jeans Rebecca Minkoff Quilted Affair Black Studded ZARA heels Blogger Outfit

This necklace was gifted to me by the Happiness Boutique. It is priced around US$32 (CAD$40) - which is a bargain, given the quality and workmanship. Bonus - all orders come with free shipping! The Boutique is located in Germany, and my order took 2.5 weeks to arrive. If you're interested in placing an order, you can click here to see their selection. My readers get a 10% discount with code: ellaprettyblog (valid until April 29, 2016).

Also - in case you love my Grey Cape in these pics - use code "RW-ellaprettyblog60" to get 60% off ANYTHING you order from Romwe! I can't speak for ALL the clothing items on their site (I know some pieces can be hit and miss) but I've loved the items I've featured on my blog (especially this skirt and this blazer). Please note that the clothes come from China so they can take a month to arrive. If you have any sizing/ordering questions - leave me a comment below!

Have you switched over to delicate layered necklaces or do you still prefer statement necklaces?

Friday, April 1, 2016

Florals for Spring? Groundbreaking...

Although some consider florals in Spring to be a cliché... I prefer to think of it as classic! And what could be more classic than a flared floral midi skirt - it's so feminine and pretty.

Floral Flared Midi Skirt Vintage Chanel Bag
Shirt: Express (similar) / Skirt: c/o Romwe / Bag: Vintage Chanel (similar) / Heels: Old Navy (similar)

Despite unexpected snowfall in Spring (!!!), we've had some warmer days so I was able to enjoy wearing this skirt - I even wore it when I headed downtown for Toronto Fashion Week!

Alex & Ani Garnet Retro Glam Wrap / Lucky Clover Charm Bangle / Swarovski Crystal Expandable Chain Necklace
Garnet Retro Glam Wrap (similar) / Lucky Clover Charm Bangle / Swarovski Crystal Expandable Chain Necklace (similar)
I paired my floral outfit with these dainty Alex & Ani jewelry pieces. I love how each piece has "special" properties - the clover charm is meant to attract fortune and prosperity, while the garnet wrap brings radiance, and the Swarovski Crystal Pendant is infused with light.

Floral Flared Midi Skirt Vintage Chanel Bag

This skirt is my fourth midi - I also have a black skirt and two floral dresses (1 / 2). It's not a trend I'd ever thought I'd embrace (I'm more of a skinny-jeans-wearer) but I'm loving it!

Do you own any flared midi skirts?

DISCLAIMER: Alex and Ani Jewelry was gifted by their PR, I got to choose the pieces I wanted to try.

Monday, March 21, 2016

How to Restore a Vintage Coach Bag: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

I've been wanting a tan leather cross-body bag for the summer. I could have picked up a faux leather bag in stores for under $50 OR I could pay a little more and buy/restore a Vintage Coach bag. I've become a fan of vintage bags since acquiring my Chanel flap bag - they often feature better workmanship and higher quality materials, plus they have a slightly distressed, lived-in look that I love! I chose the Coach Willis bag - Style #9927 (on eBay) in British Tan because I knew I could use it for many years - and not have to worry about threads coming loose etc. from a "fast fashion" bag.

Blogger Outfit Coach Willis bag Style #9927
shirt (similar) / vest (similar) / jeans / shoes (similar)

If you've picked up a vintage Coach bag at an Antique Market, or tracked down a classic style on eBay, you might feel like cleaning it before using it. Here's a quick step-by-step guide on how I restored my Vintage Coach bag.

How to Restore a Vintage Coach Bag: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

1) Before picture - The bag arrived in good condition, and I could probably have used it as is. But I wanted to make it completely fresh and "like-new". There are some dry patches on the front, as well as a small mark on the bottom of the bag.

How to Restore a Vintage Coach Bag: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

2) WASH - I filled a tub with lukewarm water and 1 teaspoon Classic Dawn dishsoap. I completely submerged the bag, opened all the zippers and soaked every single part. I let it sit for 20 minutes, then turned it around and soaked it on the other side for another 20 minutes. By now, my tan bag turned dark brown, and the water turned brownish yellow from the dye. (I had read that some dye would come out, but not to worry about it.) 

How to Restore a Vintage Coach Bag: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

3) RINSE - I put the bag in the kitchen sink and rinsed out the soap. I used an old toothbrush to scrub the insides of the bag - especially the base. After washing out the soap, I filled my tub with clean water and submerged the bag for another 10 minutes. This was to ensure that all soapy residue was removed. (The white marks in the picture are from reflections on the water.)

How to Restore a Vintage Coach Bag: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

4) DRY - I took an old, clean towel and used it to dry off the bag, trying to absorb as much water as I could. I positioned the bag to minimize creasing, and stuffed it with paper towel at the base (to help keep its shape).

How to Restore a Vintage Coach Bag: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

5) ADJUST - I let it dry over 2-3 days, checking on it 2x a day. I would carefully move it around to make sure it was drying evenly and that there was no creasing.  This picture was taken after 24 hours - although the bag turned completely dark brown after the wash, it slowly turned back to tan as it dried.

How to Restore a Vintage Coach Bag: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

5) CONDITION - This is the most significant step in restoring a vintage bag - bringing the leather back to life with some moisturizing conditioner. Apparently Apple Leather Conditioner is the best choice - so that's what I went with. I used my hands to slowly massage the conditioner on every leather surface, paying special attention to the handles and trim. The conditioned leather immediately became pliable and smooth- check out the difference between treated and untreated leather in the picture above! As I applied the conditioner, some patches turned darker than others, but it all faded evenly as it dried. You can apply conditioner 1-3 times on your bag, waiting half a day in between treatments. My bag only needed 2 applications.

Coach Willis Vintage Bag style number 9927 in British Tan

6) FINISHING TOUCHES - I trimmed any loose threads and added in a Coach hangtag. The original leather hangtag was missing, but if you call Coach head office (1-888-262-6224) with your bag's style number, they'll send you a replacement tag for free! I guess there weren't any British Tan hangtags in stock - so they sent me this pretty gold one to match my hardware.  With regards to hardware, apparently you can polish it with some Brasso on a q-tip (keeping it away from the leather) or you could use a jewelry cloth. I just left mine as is.

How to Restore a Vintage Coach Bag: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

How do you think it turned out? The leather feels much creamier and softer - I love it! Here's a peek inside my bag - it fits so much.

What fits inside a Coach Willis Bag style number 9927

Since restoring it - I've been using it every day. Because it has a thicker shoulder strap, it's very easy to carry around - unlike some of the newer bags with thin straps that dig into my shoulder.

Different ways of carrying a Coach Willis bag Style #9927
Carried: Cross-body / Hand-held / Shoulder (sweater / jeans / boots (this year's version)

Disclaimer: This is how I cleaned my vintage Coach bag - every bag is different and I can't guarantee that yours will turn out the same, so please proceed at your own risk. Also - these instructions are for the older, unlined leather bags, and NOT for the newer Coach leather bags with cloth lining. If in doubt, you could always bring your bag to a leather repair shop and ask them to restore it for you! Alternatively, you could purchase a new bag from their recently released "Coach 1941 line" celebrating their 75th Anniversary (option 1, option 2)

Helpful Posts:

Do you own any Vintage bags?


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