Today's Outfit: Black And Pink



I look back fondly on these outfit photos as the time before the heat wave, when warm but pleasant temperatures made layering tricks like a V neck tee under a strapless dress seem like a comfy, cute idea. Nowadays layering seems positively masochistic. (Oh, and just as a follow-up, the dress in this outfit post was the one I mentioned buying and wearing to salsa in this post.)


  • Tee (American Eagle)
  • Dress (Gap)
  • Belt (Buffalo)
  • Sandals (Sterling)
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And The Winner Is...

...LisaC of Tickle the Blog! Congratulations on winning the Perricone MD giveaway; I'll be contacting you shortly for your shipping info. To everyone else, I give my heartfelt thanks for entering the contest and for visiting and reading my blog!
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Shopbop Sale Picks

50-70% markdowns make these items at least somewhat affordable for stylish chicas on a budget. None of these items are available in my size anymore (except the shorts, I think), but if something below catches your fancy and fits you--well, today's your lucky day, isn't it? Enjoy!

Frye 'Margot' studded sandals ($50.40). Studded and strappy, these sandals let you partake in the gladiator and stud trends but won't seem dated 2-3 years from now.



Lauren Moffatt snap pocket short ($71.40). The red detailing lends a nautical twist to a summer classic; play up the sailor girl vibe with a striped top.



Juicy Couture ruffle button down blouse ($47.40). Demure and unique, with oversized ruffles that extend from the front to the back, this blouse transitions seamlessly from the office to the boardwalk.



Dallin Chase 'Didier' dress ($97.50). Show off sculpted shoulders in this sleek silk number.



Black Halo split shoulder mini dress ($103.50). Talk about a twist on the classic LBD! I love the one-shoulder sheath silhouette, split in the shoulder, and the pleated chiffon panel down one side.



Madison Marcus 'Innovate' dress ($207.50). This frock takes the colour block trend to another level with the all-over pleats, zig-zag assymmetry, and striking colour combination.

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Today's Outfit: The Accidental Romper



Here's a style trick for those of you who like the look of a romper, but aren't so sure about its "flash in the pan" trendiness or the inconvenience (i.e. having to strip down for bathroom breaks): Take a loose-fit tank top and a pair of shorts in the same colour family and tuck the tank top in. I discovered this quite by accident yesterday when I needed a casual outfit for lounging around the house, blogging, and running errands. Both separates are off-white but similar enough in tone that they work together.
  • Tank top (from Mexico)
  • Shorts (Smart Set)
  • Earrings (DESIGN + CONQUER)
  • Sandals (Sterling)
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Since You Asked...

...I shall oblige!



When I blogged about my excitement over the new Sephora store downtown and mentioned my interest in the MAKE UP FOR EVER lip glosses, Asian Cajuns wanted to know how they worked out for me. I'm pleased to report that the lip glosses are just as ultra-pigmented as they promised to be. Although the colours look ridiculously bright in the tube, they provided my naturally rosy lips with just a pleasant pop of red, fuchsia, and coral. The red and coral were more subtle, while the fuchsia was the most distinctive hue. I'm also a fan of the minty flavour and the non-sticky texture. The lip glosses retail for $22 Cdn each, so the 3-pack ($38) was definitely a better deal.

Wearing the red lip gloss, which looks quite subtle in the photo. In real life the red is reminiscent of candy apple sugar.


Dream Sequins (who's hosting a fantastic giveaway for a Necklush piece on her blog, by the way) asked for a picture of me wearing the 'Valve' earrings I received from DESIGN + CONQUER.

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Product Review: Philosophy Eye Believe Eye Cream



I was quite intrigued by the Philosophy Eye Believe eye cream I spotted at Sephora when I finally found the time to browse the new Pacific Centre location. This fast-acting, fast-absorbing balm contains peptides and promises to firm and moisturize the delicate skin around the eye area.

Fast forward 1.5 weeks, and while I can affirm that this product does what it claims, I'm not sure I'm as utterly devoted to it as I am to other tried-and-true products in my daily regimen. It does moisturize and firm the skin around the eyes, and it does indeed absorb very quickly--so quickly, in fact, that at times I second-guess whether I've put enough product on, although one look in the mirror can confirm that I have. I appreciate the fact that it's unscented and therefore won't irritate sensitive eyes. The packaging design deserves some props too: The upside-down squeeze tube has a fine needlepoint opening that dispenses just enough product in a sanitary way, unlike those jars where you're dabbing your fingers in the product all the time.

Do you have an eye cream recommendation you'd like to share? And while we're on the topic of eye creams, don't forget to enter my Perricone MD giveaway!
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Product Review: Decleor Paris Aromessence Ylang Ylang Night Balm



Use oil to cleanse oily skin? That's the idea behind the seemingly counterintuitive oil cleansing method, and the reason why skincare products containing essential oils are gaining in popularity. I got to test-drive one such product lately with the Decleor Paris Aromessence Ylang Ylang Night Balm. Boasting all-natural ingredients and ylang ylang essential oil, it claims to clarify blemishes, re-balance the complexion, and reduce inflammation. I received my Ylang Ylang Night Balm in the form of a 5 mL tube from Wink Beauty Lounge--part of my gift with purchase. If I had paid the full retail price of $69 for a 30 mL jar, though, would it have been worth my money?

I'd have to say no. First off, the instructions on the tube ("At night, warm a little dab of the balm in your cupped hand, then apply in light sweeping strokes") left a lot to be desired. Were you supposed to use it every night? Once a week? I was mystified and had to do a bit of Googling on my own.

User reviews on various websites praised this product as a solution to multiple skin problems, but cautioned against using it more than 1-2 times a week because doing so would "congest" pores. (Shouldn't the product warn users about that right on the packaging?! But I digress.) The user reviews also promised miraculous "morning after" results, so I decided to try using it 2 nights in one week and see for myself.

I followed the vague package instructions as closely as I could, warming a little of the balm in my palm and sweeping it lightly on my face with my fingertips. The essential oils emitted a pleasant, soothing fragrance. In fact, I think the scent actually made me sleep better on the nights I used it. I also liked how a little bit of the balm went a long way, meaning that even a 5 mL sample tube would last me ages.

The downside? It didn't absorb completely into my skin and I woke up with an oily film all over my face. The results weren't as miraculous as I was expecting either. My face was more even-toned and my skin was soft, but I didn't see a noticeable improvement in blemishes or that energized, well-rested look I get when I use my Mary Kay TimeWise Night Solution. Also, I'm not crazy about how this product can only be used 1-2 times a week to be truly effective. Call me greedy, but I want that luminous "wow" factor every morning of the week.

My final verdict: It's worth a try but not worth the buy.

Has anyone else ever tried the oil cleansing method or Decleor products? What has your experience been like?
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Get Glowing With Mary Kay!



It's Skincare Week on Solo Lisa! I wear minimal makeup most days, but I try to be diligent about good skincare habits and love trying new products. With summer weather and the harsh effects of the sun and pollutants wearing on our complexions wherever we turn, now is a good time to take a look at products that protect and revive our skin. This week I'll be posting product reviews and special offers, starting with this exclusive offer from Mary Kay.

Remember the Mary Kay TimeWise Night Solution I reviewed in April? After using it for 4.5 months and loving the results, I recently re-ordered another bottle of this miracle serum from my Mary Kay consultant, Angela Dean. Angela also told me about the TimeWise Day Solution when I re-ordered: "The combination offers to help protect and restore your skin to a more youthful appearance with this day and night duo. When used together, TimeWise® Day and Night Solutions deliver our exclusive Pronewal™ system around the clock with crucial protection during the day and boosted renewal at night." Translation? SPF protection during the day, nourished skin at night, and a luminous, energized complexion 24/7.

Exclusively for Solo Lisa readers! From now until August 30th, 2009, mention "Solo Lisa" when you order the TimeWise Day/Night Solution Set from Angela and get 25% off; that's $69 for the set (marked down from $92). You have one month from the date of purchase to try the product, and if you're not satisfied with it, return the Solution Set to Angela for a full refund.

Don't have cash to spare for skincare products? Not to worry: If you're a US resident, you're eligible to enter my Perricone MD giveaway contest. The contest is on for another week, so leave a comment on my giveaway post and enter asap!
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Special Wear Else Sale



If you're a Lower Mainland resident, this is for your eyes and ears! Just a reminder that the Wear Else Warehouse Sale is still on until the end of July. Get up to 75% off your favourite brands.

Exclusive Offer! Mention "Solo Lisa" at the cash register and get an additional 10% off your purchase. Happy shopping. =)
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Yaletown Summer Shopathon



Yaletown was the place to be last Friday night as fashionable chicas descended on this hip neighbourhood for the Yaletown Summer Shopathon. Hosted by The Style Spy, participating retailers offered exclusive discounts for one night only. Organizers handed out swag bags to the first 250 shoppers in line at the registration table and all attendants were treated to complimentary drinks at Charm Modern Thai. After greeting The Style Spy's editor-in-chief Erica Lam, I crossed the street and bumped into lovely Twitterers erin_gee and smash11 at Eden.

The Style Spy's editor-in-chief Erica Lam with a fellow organizer




Although Eden had some lovely things, nothing in particular caught our fancy. We kept walking and bumped into Melissa of Five Corners and local stylist Paulo Vallejo (ISTYLEU), among many others. By the time we made it to Charm Modern Thai for our free sangria and appies--with pit stops at Boudoir, Beauty Mark, Noir Lash Lounge, and Blo along the way--we were quite the merry little band of marauders. Other pedestrians were probably mildly irritated with how we clogged up the narrow sidewalks.

Spirits were almost as high as the soaring summer temperatures while we shopped our way through Yaletown!


Erin models the hammered gold cuff she bought at Boudoir while we wait for our sangria. Boudoir was also where I found a polished silver bracelet.


Charm served delicious complimentary appies with our free drinks. Yum!


The Shopathon wasn't the only event happening in the neighbourhood, though. A block away from the registration table, a beer garden and gourmet hot dog stand kept summer revelers refreshed and fed as they enjoyed the sunshine. Rumours swirled about a hot DJ act happening nearby as well, but we never made it. Instead, we stopped at Goldfish for some delicious drinks and a snack.

I leaned over the beer garden fence to say hi to some coworkers but never ventured beyond that.


What a fine group of chicas! Lounging with drinks at Goldfish.


I ordered a blackcurrant spritzer.


The pale blue enamel flower ring I bought at the Babe Belangere boutique


MizzJ joined us for the last leg of shopping. An impulsive pit stop at Fine Finds proved to be too much temptation: As we browsed the novelty goods, jewelry, clothes, and accessories, MizzJ found a gray eel skin purse she'd been drooling over since her last visit (now 40% off!), and I found a to-die-for tight brown satin and jersey dress with ruching all down the front. Initially I was skeptical the dress would even fit because it looked so tiny on the hanger, but when I pulled it on--wow. Just wow. I promise I'll take a picture for the blog when I wear it.

The evening wound down with dinner and more drinks at Glowbal. Erin, MizzJ, and I laughed and talked our way through dinner. We were joined by Bev and smash11 later, who ordered a delicious-looking satay platter and recounted their towed-car misadventures to us. By the time MizzJ and I left we were dead tired and ready for sleep, while smash11 and Bev were tossing around clubbing plans.

Kudos to The Style Spy for a great job!
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Weekend Shopping



Local label Dace is having an incredible sale with up to 80% off merchandise!

In other news, I'll be attending the Yaletown Summer Shopathon today. Going street shopping with a bunch of other stylish chicas on a sunny day and then having cocktails afterward--it can't get any better than that! Who else is going?

Have a great weekend everyone!
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Weekend Mementos

Fashion and shopping aside, this summer has just flown by in a frenzy of activity. Work, long walks, rediscovering the public library and reading a book a day, blogging, dancing, time spent with friends...here's a glimpse at some relics of the past weekend.

On Friday night, I went to Burgoo on Main Street with my friends Felix and Lawrence for dinner and drinks. (I would've done a food porn photo, but by the time my mac n' cheese arrived I was so hungry I forgot about the camera. Rest assured, it was delicious.) After dinner we meandered down Main Street and had a couple pints before going out for an evening of salsa dancing.


The past weekend proved to be one of many errands as I crossed items off my to-do list, but at least this one was delightful--stopping by the post office to pick up the parcel that Tis Serendipity sent me from Singapore! It was full of yummy treats and cute little cell phone charms, all accompanied by the sweetest letter. Thank you!


Another delightful errand: picking up the 'Valve' mini earrings that Morgan Mallett of DESIGN + CONQUER gave me as a thank-you for the interview I did with her in May. These earrings are incredibly lightweight but make such a bold statement; I'm already thinking of ways to wear them. Thanks Morgan!
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15% Off Dresses At ShopMapel.com!

With all of the wedding style advice I've been posting lately, this terrific offer that I received from ShopMapel.com couldn't have come at a better time. Mapel sells its wares at its brick-and-mortar store in Leavenworth, WA, and online. Its physical store carries gourmet chocolates alongside casual cool brands like 7 For All Mankind, Kensie, Kersh, and BB Dakota, thereby perfectly living up to the store motto "Fashion is sweet." Online bargain hunters should check Mapel's website daily between 2-6pm for the Happy Hour special, a one-time incredible deal on a surprise item.

Exclusive for Solo Lisa readers! As part of Mapel's "Borrowed & Blue - but what about YOU?" promotion, they're offering 15% off all dresses plus free shipping for US residents and $7 flat rate shipping for international orders. To get the discount, use the coupon code SoloLisaYOU during checkout.

This sale is a great chance for the stylish chicas out there to find the perfect wedding guest dress. Even if you don't have any summer weddings on the agenda, you can pretend you do and just order a turquoise halter maxi dress or bright yellow sun dress for yourself. Sneaky!

Here's a look at some of the pretty frocks that caught my eye.

Kersh belted butterfly dress, $68



Melane Renee Design 'Bianca' dress, $146



Kensie elongated print dress, $102


Happy shopping!
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Style Advice: Wedding Hair Accessories

Today's post is brought to you by a very special guest blogger and my coworker, Tea of Everyday Sugar. I received a reader request for advice on wedding hair accessories, and having never been married or given this subject much thought, I was admittedly stumped. She very graciously agreed to do a guest post when I swivelled my desk chair around and asked her. I can't think of anyone else better qualified to write this: Aside from being a stylish married lady, she sells gorgeous handmade hair accessories out of her Etsy shop, Sugarlotus Designs. So, without further ado, let's welcome Tea!

Should I wear a modern hair accessory or a veil on my wedding day?

These days, when choosing a hair piece for your wedding there are so many options it's difficult to choose! Here are a few things to consider when you’re deciding what to wear in your hair.

Hair accessories

The dress - If your dress is very ornate, or has fantastic details like beads or ruffles, you may want to choose something simple for your hair to keep attention on your gown. Alternately, if you are wearing a very simple dress, you may want to choose a large hair piece as a focal point for some extra drama.

Both Pieces from Twigs and Honey - Flourish (Left) and Veneta (Right)


Hair style - Are you wearing your hair down, in an up-do, or half-up? If your hair is down, a clip-in flower or rhinestone hair clip beside your ear is very flattering. If your hair is up, you can still wear a hair clip near your ears or tucked in near the back. You can also opt for sparkly or floral hair pins scattered in or near your up-do. If you’re wearing your hair half-up, anything goes.



Adding color - A hair accessory is one way to add a little color to your wedding attire. You can pull in colors from your wedding theme, bouquet, or bridesmaids dresses. You can ask your florist to reserve a few extra blooms from your bouquet and ask your hair stylist to pin them in for you. Fresh flowers look great but can wilt if you’re somewhere hot or it’s going to be a long day. They can also bruise if they are handled too much. Colored hair accessories or flowers are a good option in this case.

Photos via Coco + Kelly


Headbands - They come in all kinds of fabulous flavors: rhinestone, embellished, floral. They look great if your hair is up or down, curly or straight. If you’ve got a pixie cut or short hair, headbands are a great option!

Be Something New (Left) and Jennifer Behr (Right)


Veils

Tradition – Is this a special part of tradition to you or your family? If that’s the case then you should consider wearing a veil.

How long will you wear the veil? In most of the weddings I’ve attended lately, brides have worn a veil for the ceremony but removed it for the reception. Some brides use a floral hair accessory to anchor the veil, or wear hair accessories under the veil (which they will remove later on).



The dress - If your dress has an ornate design on the back you may want a very simple veil that is mostly transparent (with few ruffles) or a shorter veil so that the details are visible. If your dress is short and you still want a veil, pick something short. A birdcage style would also work well.

Face shape – A veil frames the face. It’s also soft, romantic, and adds a little bit of mystery. Different types of veils are flattering to different face shapes. Here’s an article from Weddingbells that goes into more detail about this.

Modern twists on the wedding veil - There are also some fabulous designers who make hair pieces with detachable veiling material. This is a nod to tradition minus overwhelming clouds of tulle – and you can take off the netting later on in the evening.

5eizen (Left) and Twigs and Honey (Right)


Here are some more modern wedding veil ideas: A combination of birdcage and tulle veil, and a bandeau style tulle wrap.

Photo via OneWed


Image via Kiss the Groom


In the end it comes down to one thing...

If you love a particular hair piece, forget everything else I wrote here and go for it! It’s your wedding day and your hair dresser should be able to make it work.

Thanks Tea! For more wedding style advice, check out these posts on picking out the perfect wedding dress and appropriate guest attire for different types of weddings. And remember, if you have any requests or style questions, email them to me at solo.lisa.blog@gmail.com.
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Perricone MD Giveaway Contest!



Makeup offers a lot of fun with bright colours and artistic experimentation, but at the end of the day, I think proper skincare habits matter more. Most days I'd rather wear a bit of concealer, blush, and mascara and be good to go rather than cake on foundation and powder to disguise a poor complexion.

I was therefore very excited when Perricone MD, a leading US cosmeceuticals company, contacted me about holding a giveaway contest! The prize is their Advanced Eye Area Therapy product, which retails for $95 and boasts vitamin C ester (a powerful patented antioxidant), alpha lipoic acid, and DMAE. This miracle eye cream promises to diminish fine lines and wrinkles and reduce puffiness and dark circles--pretty amazing stuff and perfect for taking care of the delicate skin in your eye area.

To enter, you must:
  1. Be a US resident (sorry, Canadian and international readers).
  2. Leave a comment on this post answering this question: What do you do to take care of your skin? (This step is required.)
  3. Re-tweet the contest on Twitter with @sololisa in the tweet. (This step is optional and gives you a bonus entry.)
To get you started on the skincare discussion, I'll give you a sneak peek at my routine:
  • In the morning, I cleanse my face with Garnier Pure Daily Cleansing Gel, then apply a topical acne prescription and Neutrogena SPF 30 moisturizer.
  • I apply Lubriderm SPF 15 lotion before I leave the house.
  • At night, I cleanse my face with the same cleanser. Afterward, I apply the topical acne prescription and Mary Kay TimeWise Night Solution. I use the Garnier Pure SOS Anti-Blemish Spot Pen on any breakouts and NeoStrata Spot Lightener on little scar and pigmentation spots, and I dab moisturizer around my eyes.
So, what's your skincare routine? Leave me a comment and enter today. The contest ends on Monday July 27th at 11pm Pacific Time. Good luck everyone!
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Solo Lisa Reads: Good Enough by Paula Yoo



In high school, a Chinese-Canadian girl I knew proudly brought home a term report card with 98% in French, the highest mark out of anyone in her class. Far from impressed, her father said, "What happened to the other 2 percent?" While my own parents wouldn't have said something so gauche, neither would they have acknowledged my report card full of A's with anything more than a nod and a grimace, implying that this wasn't an extraordinary accomplishment but rather an expected one.

Thus I could definitely relate to the protagonist in Paula Yoo's semi-autobiographical novel, Good Enough. Patti Yoon is an SAT vocabulary-memorizing, homework-doing, violin-playing, standardized test-taking machine enduring the stress of senior year and the incredible pressure put on her by her Korean parents. As if worrying about getting into an Ivy League college and upping her SAT scores weren't enough, Patti finds herself increasingly attracted to a cute trumpet player in the all-state orchestra and questioning the path her parents have laid out for her. Should she pursue what makes her happy or what pleases her family, and can those two options ever intersect? Will she ever be "good enough"?

Yoo breathes life into the story with sharp observations and laugh-out-loud humour. Overachievers and survivors of Asian Parent Syndrome alike will be all too familiar with the minute details of Patti's life, including:
  • the hyper-competitive frenemies who are gunning for or envious of your top grade/band chair/college acceptance letter
  • the pressure to be a lawyer or doctor
  • the pressure to marry a lawyer or doctor
  • the no-partying, no-dating, all-studying lifestyle
  • the mixture of yearning and disdain directed at the pretty popular cheerleader type in high school
Overall, Good Enough is an enjoyable read and, for me at least, a reminder of the ups and downs of my own senior year.

P.S. For more on author Paula Yoo, check out this great interview I stumbled across.
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Wear Else Clearance Sale



Stop by Wear Else for terrific deals on brands such as Paige, Rich & Skinny, JBrand, William Rast, Hudson, Taverniti, Juicy Couture, Frye, Stewart Weitzman, Michael Kors, Milly, Trina Turk, Elie Tahari, Free People, and James Perse!
4

Sephora On My Mind



Sephora may be old news for my American readers, but for myself and other Vancouverites getting one of these huge beauty emporiums has been long overdue. Tomorrow marks the grand opening of the Pacific Centre location in downtown Vancouver; dare I brave the madness and the hordes and venture there for a quick look after work?! To celebrate and to, ahem, focus my shopping when I eventually venture through its black-and-white striped street entrance, I've already picked out the product I'm most interested in. This MAKE UP FOR EVER Glossy Full Couleur Collection is a value pack of three "ultra pigmented" coral, red, and fuchsia glosses. Now, normally I try to refrain from buying lip gloss as no matter what shade of lip gloss I use, it doesn't look like the shade in the container once it's on; it just looks like my lips' natural dark rose colour with some shiny stuff on top. However, I do like the ease of a gloss and the "ultra pigmented" part sounds quite promising. This will warrant some investigation...
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New Article In Vancouver Fashion eZine

Yesterday's schedule didn't allow me to put together a brilliant post for today, so while we wait until I get my act together, I suggest you visit Vancouver Fashion eZine and check out the article I wrote on one of the newest models in the local fashion scene, Jenna Findlay. She was such a sweet girl to interview. Enjoy!
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F As In Frank Grand Opening



F As In Frank celebrated the grand opening of its Vancouver flagship store on Main and Broadway last Friday. Champagne and beer flowed all night long as shoppers, guests, and well-wishers browsed the store. Clothing racks filled with one-of-a-kind vintage finds hung from the ceiling: the racks, made out of metal tubes suspended by cables, had been pulled up to make room for revels.



The modular racks and colourful clothes overhead weren't the only eye-catching distractions inside, though. Offbeat decor details graced the spacious store wherever I looked: birch log pillars (a signature touch carried over from F As In Frank's first store in Whistler); colourful murals and antler door handles decorating the dressing rooms; old school boom boxes stacked in the storefront window; and a fully functional Mortal Kombat arcade game. Remembering the kitschy sunglasses from our '80s photo shoot, I was pleased to see a whole wall of fun shades for around $20 a pop.



Owners Jesse and Drew Heifetz


F As In Frank is surely a labour of love for owners and Ontario natives Drew and Jesse Heifetz. The brothers have been collecting vintage clothing since they were kids and were inspired by their father's love of '60s clothing. Their pursuit of all things vintage takes them around the globe and yields pieces from the 1900s to the 1990s. Particularly impressive is F As In Frank's collection of outerwear, which ranges from utilitarian denim jackets worn by workers to embroidered silk bombers from Japan, hippie jackets, and 1950s motorcycle jackets (think James Dean).

The day before F As In Frank opened its doors, news about Michael Jackson's death broke. Drew and Jesse put together this display as a tribute to the King of Pop.


Most pieces in-store are less than $50 and unlike anything else you'll find in Vancouver, so hop to it and venture down to Main and Broadway to browse this veritable treasure trove of vintage goodness!

This post also appears on Stylefinds.
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