Shop Talk

SHOP TALK: What to wear to Ottawa Fashion Week?

Currently in Europe, Farah Ragheb blogs at Farah picked an "edgy and alluring" Diesel dress — but what about the rest of us?

Shop Talk is written by OM senior editor Dayanti Karunaratne and Sarah Fischer, OM account executive and fashion maven.

The focus of Ottawa Fashion Week is clearly the runway, and yet with so many fashionable people around, it’s hard not to give your outfit serious thought. Plus, OFW isn’t only for designers; it’s also an opportunity for those of us who get a kick out of clothes to indulge ourselves.

Now, my closet isn’t full of designer labels and couture. (Truth be told, I don’t even have a closet!) But I read the mags and follow the blogs. Sometimes I feel a bit intimidated by the kind of looks Farah Ragheb (left) puts together, but then I tell myself: we can’t all be stylists, but we can all be stylish.

I’m working all day Friday, the first day of OFW, so it will have to be office-appropriate and fairly comfortable. My failsafe is a black-on-black look, with a variety of textures and some fun accessories, like this one by local fashion blogger Erica Wark.

But Farah’s dress got me thinking about a forgotten black and white number of my own. I know stripes are usually worn horizontally, for a Paris-chic look, but I’m willing to mix in a little Jersey Shore: tight around the curvy parts, off-the-shoulder, in an eye-catching pattern.

And last time I wore this to the office, Sarah F. told me it was totally safe for the office and urged me to wear it again. But I never did.

And what will Sarah Fischer be wearing?

SF: I’m torn! Good thing the event spans over three evenings so that we can rock all the looks we want! Some possibilities:

1. The statement suit: make sure all eyes are on you (that is, when people aren’t looking at the runway)

2. Polka dots or bold colours. Two of the many trends seen on the Milan, Paris, and New York runways for Spring/Summer 2011. I love colour so you can bet I’ll be rocking some brights for at least one of the evenings. Don’t be afraid to match patterns either! This seems to be an upcoming trend. I am a little wary of jumping on this bandwagon, but this lady definitely pulled it off. She gives me inspiration that it can be done tastefully.

… and of course we cannot forget about the boys. How about rocking some patterned or colourful socks! You can add them to a casual outfit or to a suit — and the ladies get a little sneak peek into your creative side.

Now it’s your turn: What will you be wearing to Ottawa Fashion Week?