Following up on Tuesday's post on Playing Building Blocks with your Wardrobe, I wanted to show more examples of wearing one item multiple ways.  So I visited one of my favourite local boutiques The Velvet Room in Kerrisdale.  

Deborah Richardson and her daughter Jessica started The Velvet Room in 2007.  They saw an opportunity to fill a gap and built a business focused on Canadian designed and produced working chic and unique formal occasion clothing.  In the past few years Deborah has seen a real growth of the Canadian design community and consumer demand. She equates this change in part to the recession where less designers found opportunities south of the border  and more customers wanting to support our own economy.    Within minutes of meeting Deborah you feel her passion for Canadian design and fashion industry.  And her boutique provides a great opportunity for young designers from across the country who have decided to both design and produce in Canada.     This provides an opportunity for her customer's to buy unique designs that won't be worn by hundreds of other women across the city.   Deborah also clearly understands what works for different shapes and works with her clients to find something that makes them look fantastic.  Nothing pushy, just great ideas and helpful information.  And such a refreshing change to the often empty blank looks a lot of chains give you when you ask questions.

I asked Deborah if I could come by the store, pick out a dress and then see how we could style it three different ways.  I talked about transitions from Work to Weekend, and from Winter to Spring.  We picked a lovely brown taffeta tunic dress by if Toronto.   Its rich chocolate brown colour made it a great neutral to pair with a wide variety of colours.   I also loved that it wasn't black. And the cowl neck and zipper front made it such a unique dress.  A dress that appears a bit tricky to pair with other items.

Thankfully one of Deborah's staff, Brooke, offered to poise for the pictures for me.   And while it will be a long time before she reaches the FF40 demographic, she  made it easier because we wouldn't have to worry about finding something that fit me.  I could focus on just taking pictures. 

For the first shot we paired the tunic dress with a punch of coral from Body Bag.  Ideally we would have included a pair of jeggings or leggings and high boots to make it a fun and comfortable weekend outfit. But The Velvet Room focuses on working chic and not weekend casual, so you'll have  use your imagination on this one.

Ready to be paired with leggings and a boots for a weekend look.

Then we opened the zipper on the tunic dress to show the punch of coral was a dress from Body Bag, paired it will a fun pair of coral earrings by Coral Moon Design (Deborah's jewelry line)  a neutral bag and flats.  Now the tunic is a bit on the short side for me. But it could have easily have been worn over a longer skirt/dress length and looked great.

Chic for work

Finally we dressed up the tunic dress for work by pulling up the collar and pairing it with a Body Bag cream blouse, teal wrap belt by Bronsino, a scarf by To Desire and pumps.  We wanted to pair these items with the dress to show how you can have a bit of fun with the cowl collar and make it a feature.

Work and then drinks with the Girls

If you are looking for some new chic work basics or a fantastic dress drop into Kerrisdale to visit The Velvet Room Boutique.   You will find a unique addition to your wardrobe and you'll be supporting the growing Canadian design community at the same time.  And sign up to receive her Newsletter The Voice for some great styling advice.