Shot on location at the @AndazOttawa / Photography by @Valerie_Keeler / Video by @HourMediaInc
Ready to elevate your fashion game? These top influencers are making waves in the blogging community and are proving that this political city has style. After steadily garnering online followers and continuing to highlight the best of what Ottawa has to offer, it’s no surprise that this collective of online tastemakers are helping to boost the style quotient across the city.
I sought out these notable women to find out why they are inspired by fashion and are turning their creative outlet into a passion project. Look no further for local fashion inspiration with an emphasis on honing your personal style. We’ve got you covered!
What does #OttawaStyle mean to you?
I use this hashtag in all of my outfit photos on Instagram and Twitter. It’s my way of inspiring others that despite being a political and traditionally conservative town, we still got it going on.
What makes your sense of style stand out?
My style is sexy chic glam. Overall, the way I dress is impactful. People notice me when I walk into the room. What sets me apart is that I’m also a mom to two young boys. When I became a mom, it was crucial for me to maintain my identity while caring for my babies. People have a hard time believing I have two kids. It’s exactly those stereotypes that I’m trying to break.
Fashion can be risky for some. Any advice?
I would rather see someone walking down the street in a completely bizarre outfit that I would never personally wear, than someone playing it safe. I love meeting people who are the former because it’s like they are giving you a glimpse into their personalities. Interesting fashion and style is an invitation to approach someone and start a conversation. I would encourage people to dress like there are no rules. If you don’t feel amazing in every piece of clothing you put on, then it’s not the right style for you.
How do you hope to educate people about the difference between fashion and style?
Through my fashion blog, I love inspiring others by showing them how to style pieces they already have. I write articles on how to pinpoint what clothing makes you feel great, how to identify "repeat offenders" - pieces you buy over and over again (a sign of what makes people feel comfortable) and what their best assets are (great legs, a tiny waistline), etc. I love to educate people on how to play up their best assets and how to make the most of what they already have. No need to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe to define your personal style. After all, that isn't style - that's "fashion". You need to take a good look at your lifestyle, your style goals and what truly inspires you and run with that. People might be sick of hearing me go on and on about that!
How do you define your personal style?
My style is quite feminine but I do dress depending on whatever my mood is when I wake up. Some days, I reach for a full, midi-length skirt with a twin-set and pearls, other days, it's distressed denim with a statement designer bag. No matter what I wear though, I wear it with confidence. When I shop, I'm attracted to great quality pieces that fit perfectly, because I want to be comfortable and feel my best. Nothing makes you look worse than constantly fidgeting with a piece of clothing because it fits poorly. Dress well, feel great! I also love jewelry. I save my money and treat myself every now and then. I have a few pieces that I treasure, that are classic, and definitely elevate anything I wear. I'll wear my Elsa Peretti Bone Cuff and feel like a superhero.
How does your style separate you from the rest?
I call myself a “fashion chameleon”. I dress for my mood, for the occasion, for the weather and for the style I want to represent. I easily get inspired by my surroundings and want to explore as many bold angles as I can. I usually aim for a unique high-fashion look, pulling inspiration from London or New York Fashion Week street style looks. Whatever I do end up wearing however always balances femininity, edge and unpredictability.
How do you help others looking to garner their own sense of style?
The last thing I want to do is have people copying my style. What I want my readers to come away from my advice is to get creative, pair unlikely combinations and shop at stores they may not know about. I want to motivate women of all sizes to look good and feel great. Finding confidence through fashion is easy when you know how to dress yourself. I typically share styling tips that I use on myself and remind people of different ways they can get wear out of their clothes.
What prompted you to start your blog?
I started my blog to share my fashion secrets. Ottawa’s plus-size fashion industry is very scarce, and any retail resource must be documented! People always complimented me on my style without realizing that I pay a lot of attention to my larger size requirement and concealing my flaws. Although I put a lot of thought into my outfit, getting dressed has become second nature. I think that’s why I enjoy styling plus-size women so much. I understand what their concerns are, and I know how to have fun within their personal limits. I love empowering women and helping them feel amazing. I love seeing stylish curvy women and I want more of that in the city.
What gap in the style community are you looking to fill?
I started my blog as a way to share what fits and works for me. I realized a lot of young women are scared of fashion, because the only inspiration we are used to comes from supermodels and designers. I want to be part of the movement that empowers women to be true to who they are and what they like, regardless of what society tells us to do.
What do you hope people take away from your blog?
I hope to show that being comfortable with yourself is the most important. If you don't feel good in what you are wearing, it won't work. And that a smile is the best accessory you have!
When it comes to fashion in Ottawa, what sort of changes would you like to see?
People need to be confident in their fashion choices. Many people in Ottawa are too afraid to push their boundaries - even if they want to! I hope Ottawa can become a fashion forward destination, even in winter!
Fashion Editor, Ottawa Life Magazine
“I’m thrilled to share the stories of these women who have been
championing fashion and our community through their blogs.
They’re showing that although we remain a conservative city, we
have a solid pool of individuals who are looking to ramp up the
style factor across Ottawa.
The fashion community is fairly tight-knit, but
it is also incredibly welcoming.”
Photography by Valerie Keeler valeriekeeler.com
Photographed at the Andaz Ottawa Byward Market ottawa.andaz.hyatt.com
Production Manager – Alexandra Hunt
On-site Assistant - Isabel Payne
Videography by Hour Media hourmedia.ca
Marie Ernst is one of Ottawa’s top influencers who is making waves in the blogging community and is proving that this political city has style. We spoke with Marie about her decision to be a fashion blogger and how her focus is all about honing her personal style.
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