Shedoesthecity Dufferin Mall Hauls revealed IN FULL DETAIL!!!!

We each had $100 to spend and one hour to do so. GO!

Monica goes arm party crazy at Ardene and is ready for any Hawaiian party with this headband.

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Sometimes in life, you are just really tired and a bit cranky. Sometimes you stayed up way too late (again) in an endless cycle of Kristen Wiig videos and TED talks that you are half-intrigued, half-super annoyed by, and getting up and going about your day seems like a living nightmare because you have no concept of what hardship is anyway, let’s be real, none of us do. And then SOMETIMES your job for the day involves meeting a bunch of wonderful ladies at the Dufferin Mall, taking $100 dollars each, and going wild for an hour. Sometimes life is prettttty good.

An hour turned out to not really be enough time, and if I had had some more planning minutes I might have done a few things differently (I pine for you, canvas backpack from Aldo Accessories), but all in all, I met up with everyone in Dufferin Grove on Friday afternoon with a big bag of lovely things. Sadly, none of these things were Swiss Chalet gift certificates, but such is life. Fashion before rotisserie, I always say. I ended up with:

A cool watch (Ardene, $10.00)

So, I have a secret theory that people who wear watches are cool and smart? Also it will hopefully prevent me from looking at my phone every five seconds, a habit that I know is tacky and that I am trying to curb.

Some arm party-style thread and bead bracelets (also from Ardene $4.99)

Taking a cue from the Man Repeller (and the ‘buy one, get one 50% off’ sale Ardene was having), I picked up the classy sister of summer camp style friendship bracelets. I will get around to distributing them amongst my friends, I swear. As soon as I am done wearing them all together at once.

A wicked striped blouse from Le Chateau ($69.99)

This blouse rules, the end. I could tell before I even tried it on. That is blouse love. I wore it out on Friday night and just basked in compliments. Thanks y’all.  … Or should I say, thanks MALL.

A vintage-y Hawaiian-print turban-style headband from Aldo Accessories ($9.99)

Summer is coming, and with it lots of sweaty dancing and then cool days in the park when I will not have the time or willpower to wash said sweat out of my hair. This will turn that around and make it look like I have the time and willpower to transform myself into Allison Brie on Mad Men having a casual day in the park. I want to host a barbecue.

We all showed off our stuff and then got to work on what will go down in history as The Best Surprise of All Time, a Barbie ice cream cake with the Duff-Mall’s perfect motto on it: really. We ate too much and watched teens skateboard and I remembered why going to the mall was so much fun in high school. Because it just is. Plus, there’s a Swiss Chalet.

Kait gets a sexy turquoise bra and pretty flower print dressIt’s her hot date look, okay?

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My shopping sesh at the Dufferin Mall was super fun and productive. I was scoping for some skirts and sundresses and the mall was hatching them like spring chicks at every corner I turned. I beelined for the beachy stylez in Costa Blanca, where I found a blue flowery skirt ($19.50). I pictured myself wearing it with yellow tights and it flowing in the spring wind. 

When I walked into Sirens, a highlighter-orange skirt ($10.50) practically jumped on me. The clothes in that store always make it look like a party, and I appreciate a little party vibe in my wardrobe. Then I bought a lacey turquoise bra from La Senza ($26.50). It’s very “Victorian-smut”. With the remainder of my gift card I plan to head to Wal Mart to stock up on groceries, because highlighter skirts may enhance my weekend style, but you can’t party on empty! 

Annie was smart and bought wine to match her dress and purple undies.

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As it turns out, I’m a pensive shopper.  An hour to me sounds like a lot of time, but fifteen minutes left to spree had me spinning in circles in the food court, empty handed.  Obviously something had to change before the big park reveal.  I’d already tried on all the dresses I could possibly manage at H&M, so I picked one in my mind and worked backwards.  Pink floral.  Nips in at the waist.  What accompanies such perfection?  Wine.  Winerack.  Done.

Back at the mall, I’ve still got half a gift card , so I picked up a pair of silky purple undies.  Yay! I love dressing in brights right down to the skin, so these little babies are purrfect.  I needed one more thing before calling it a day.  Bling! I ran to Aldo Accessories and found a gold butterfly headband, which certainly reminds me of my grade six self, but I love her, too, so we’re happy to be reunited in hair accessorizing. 

Becca somehow gets more than all of us. Combined. Mostly neon lace.

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Me vs. The Duff. 1 hour, a $100 gift card. So many stores! So little time! The potential outfits were racing through my mind as I met my favourite Shedoesthecity lady friends the other day at Dufferin Mall.

I grew up close to the Mall so I know it well and dove right into some of my fave stylegasm spots: H&M and Sirens. H&M is amazing, obvs, and Sirens has some good finds, especially in the sale section way in the back, for crazy cheap, like $5 and $10!!! I love the digging and the hunting for that perfect overlooked item and the satisfaction of saving a bit of dough by getting something on sale. So immersed in the sales racks for a holy 60 minutes I was! Also stores like Sirens are great for neon spandex staples, which are their own category in my wardrobe. I got tons of great loot that I wore out on the town this past weekend! And it was really cool to see what everyone else got. It was the most fun group shopping event ever! Really.

Becca Lemire’s Dufferin Mall Haul: 

Sirens: Lace tank tops, $6. I got turquoise and sky blue. They’re stretchy and perfect for layering. They had them in every neon colour!

Neon orange spandex hot pants, $10. I think one of the SDTC ladies called them “electric salmon”. I’m gonna roll with that. When I’m feeling bold I am going to pair them with something blue, as I love the contrast of wearing blue and orange together.

Neon & black mesh dress: $20. I felt like getting something semi-risque to wear to a summer party. It would work well as a top too! Variety is key.

Black T shirt with fringe along the sides – $5. I need more ‘normal staple’ type things to add to my wardrobe and often set out on shopping expeditions being like “ok, get a plain black shirt” and end up with a neon green spandex bodysuit. I feel like a bit more of a grown up with this T shirt.

Blue asymmetrical skirt – $5. So excited to have this skirt! It goes with so many different things and can be dressed up and dressed down so well. I wore it on Friday with a yellow fishnet top and floral tights.

Blue & purple Leopard T shirt – $5. I love animal print. And wearing multiple leopards in one outfit. I wore this T shirt on Saturday with a typical beige and black leopard print cardigan and people were overwhelmed with the leopardess. In a good way. Roar.

H&M- peach sequined skirt (on sale) $7!! This colour is so pretty for spring and the sequins make it fancy. Its stretchy and made out of sweatpant-type material so super comfy too.

3 pairs of tights $7 each!!! OMG! Black sheer with polka dots, hot pink and peach coloured. Coloured tights are so fun! They add an awesome punch to any outfit and can either be a shot of colour paired with black or neutrals, or part of an outfit-bouquet of colour. 

Jen cheats but wins for best rain boots in the West End.

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What the others didn’t know was that I had already been to the mall earlier that week to plan my route. Is that cheating? I don’t care. Prone to anxiety, I needed a game plan. I was to hit SoftMoc for rain boots, H&M for something colourful and fun and Gap Factory Store for a pair of denim cutoffs. If there were leftover dollars, then I’d get a canister of Mother’s Little Helper from David’s Tea; their newest chamomile blend.

Sounds organized but under the gun, things got a bit cray-cray. Fun and colourful at H&M? That’s like saying, meet me in the park by the blade of grass. It’s all colourful and fun! I didn’t wait for a change room, I just stripped in the store by a mirror and tweeted for help. After tossing around the store like it was my private bedroom, I decided on a neon green purse and black denim vest. I’ve since been dancing in the mirror finding the perfect pink lipstick to pop-pop-pop this look into outer space, yo! 

I think I broke the record for fastest boot tryer-oner in Ontario. “YES, That one! Next! Size 9! Another colour!” The salesgirl probably wanted to kick me. I have to say, I’m pretty proud of my find. While I love Hunter boots, I found these super snazzy bright blue ones that I’ve since been rocking rain or shine! Even indoors, like slippers. P.S – they were $100 less than the Hunters. POW. BANG. I WIN. (Oh right, this isn’t a contest.)

Lastly, I blazed through the Gap Factory Store and grabbed a half dozen shorts to try on. I ended up with a pink t-shirt and Hadley short-shorts that match my rain boots. I will wear all of them, together. Always. The label on shorts reads, “slight curve through the waist and hips.” Guess it’s time to shake my booty. Really.

After twirling in La Senza for forty minutes, Haley settles on a nautical theme look.

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LET’S DO THE DUFF! After fuelling on Bagel Works and ice cream cones, and with Robin Sparkles on repeat in my head, I was ready for our shopping challenge. Sure, I could have hit up my usual Duff suspects (H&M, SoftMoc, Dollarama), but my goal for this challenge was a little different: I wanted to see what was on offer at stores I don’t normally go to. (Also, I’m not supposed to go into Dollarama unsupervised any more.) My first purchases were from La Senza: a black-lace-and-jewel-tone bra that looks like a collaboration with a street artist, and a pair of lacy black shorts. I was in the middle of doing a sexy dance in the change room when I realized we only had an hour to complete the challenge. GOTTA GO!

I ran out of there, on to my next stop: Bluenotes, for a colour-blocked tangerine and cream-coloured oversized sheer tee. $12.50! Really! Next? Garage, a store I’ve never been to before but greatly enjoyed. It’s spacious, laid out in a logical way that sort of feels like a show room, and full of bright summery cotton options. My finds here? A striped tie-up tank and an amazing fitted cowl-neck sweatshirt in soft cream and grey stripes that makes me feel like I own a yacht. I plan to wear it on my front porch with my roommate’s boat shoes all Spring and try to convince people I do.

My Dufferin Mall haul already felt like a victory, but the success tasted extra sweet on the side of my brunch at Origin that weekend. I sat down on Sunday morning to a table full of stylish breakfast companions, and every single one of them exclaimed over my top. “Where did you get it?” they asked, fingering the sheer cream hem. “Dufferin Mall,” I replied. “Really.” ZING!

Gee, that really was the best Friday afternoon. See our behind-the-scenes Dufferin Mall adventure here.

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