Category Archives: Personal Style

May Showers and Apple Blossom Flowers

May Showers and Apple Blossom Flowers - Sophster-Toaster Blog

It feels like I haven’t blogged in forever. I’ve been so busy getting ready for my biggest market of the spring/ summer season, the Spring HandMade Market, that I haven’t had time for much else. It doesn’t help that it rained for days and days and days after a fairly calm early spring. A friend told me over the weekend that we passed the average rainfall amounts for the month of May in the first two days of the month.

I don’t think I’ve ever done a rainy day outfit, actually shot in the rain, before. So at the end of a week so rainy we had a road bridge guardrail collapse and both of our piers by the beach flood over, I decided to rectify this and use the gloomy weather to challenge myself to take some photos in less than ideal conditions. Plus, I couldn’t risk waiting another day and letting those beautiful crab apple blossoms go to waste!

May Showers and Apple Blossom Flowers - Sophster-Toaster Blog May Showers and Apple Blossom Flowers - Sophster-Toaster Blog May Showers and Apple Blossom Flowers - Sophster-Toaster Blog May Showers and Apple Blossom Flowers - Sophster-Toaster BlogMay Showers and Apple Blossom Flowers - Sophster-Toaster Blog May Showers and Apple Blossom Flowers - Sophster-Toaster Blog

Dress GAP
Sweater H&M
Stockings ModCloth
Necklace street vendor in Panama
Ring Blue Ridge Notions
Shoes ModCloth
Umbrella Amazon

All photos by me.

Tea Rex Dress

Tea Rex Dress | Sophster-Toaster Blog

I always forget how much I love pencil and straight skirt dresses. I tend to stick to fit and flare styles – it’s definitely my comfort zone. I think I have a fairly balanced, hourglass body type, but on my small, just a little too tall to shop in the petite section, frame, clothes never seem to fit my bust, waist and hip at the same time. I’m always in a pick two situation. Buying dresses with fitted bodices and open hips are just so much easier than finding and then maybe tailoring fitted pencil dresses. But, oh my, do properly fitting pencil dresses make me feel amazing!

Tea Rex Dress | Sophster-Toaster Blog

This forgotten love and lost confidence started showing up in my designs recently. I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but I noticed, while planning my new spring pieces, that every dress currently available in my shop was a fit and flare. Oh no!

The design for the Tea Rex Dress came easy, I always admire this particular silhouette when watching shows and movies set in the 1950s and 60s. Making the sample was a breeze too, other than the special attention needed at the neckline, it’s a pretty simple cut. I was dreading photographing it though.

The closer I came to finishing the dress, the more nervous I got – especially after a winter of pants and full skirts. Pulling back the winter layers and showing more shape and skin makes me feel weird every spring. It’s not exactly a self-conscious feeling, more of an uncomfortable increase in the awareness of my body and any eyes that may be on it. Not one to let fear get in my way, I slipped into the dress, out of my comfort zone, and in front of the camera.

I strapped on my favourite shoes, opened the window in my studio to let the cool, spring air in, but some load, feel-good music on and got to work. I felt great. The poses and pictures were almost effortless. It was then that I remembered how much I love the way I feel in a pencil dress. All that worry for nothing.

Tea Rex Dress | Sophster-Toaster Blog Tea Rex Dress | Sophster-Toaster Blog Tea Rex Dress | Sophster-Toaster Blog Tea Rex Dress | Sophster-Toaster Blog Tea Rex Dress | Sophster-Toaster Blog

Dress Sophster-Toaster
Shoes ModCloth

All photos by me.

The Gamble

The Gamble | Sophster-Toaster Blog

I would never have picked this coat for myself. I purchased it as one of ModCloth’s Stylish Surpirses a year or two ago – so I didn’t know what I was buying until it arrived at my door. If I remember correctly, it was offered as a surprise from the outerwear category. I figured, no matter what I get, $15 is an amazing price for outerwear; and hey, I might get lucky and get a warm winter coat.

When the package came, I was excited by the weight of the box – it had to be a coat or boots. When I opened it, however, I was crushed. I hated it. The towel-y texture of the coat, the obnoxious gold buttons and the tacky faux fur trim just weren’t my thing. Figuring, by the look and feel of it, the coat had to, at least, be warm, I tried it on. My mind was immediately changed. Putting this coat on felt like stepping out of a warm bath and into a heated bathrobe. I coyly approached the mirror to see how it looked. I looked like an aging Hollywood star from the golden age, now playing the villain instead of ingenue. I felt like Bette Davis. I loved it!

This is now one of my favourite coats. It’s so warm and cozy that I can only wear it on really cold and stormy days like this. I was actually disappointed during this past mild winter because I had to wear my lighter and less glamorous winter coat nearly everyday.

The Gamble | Sophster-Toaster Blog The Gamble | Sophster-Toaster Blog The Gamble | Sophster-Toaster Blog The Gamble | Sophster-Toaster Blog The Gamble | Sophster-Toaster Blog The Gamble | Sophster-Toaster Blog The Gamble | Sophster-Toaster Blog

Coat ModCloth
Pants ModCloth
Headband Plexida
Sunglasses The Bay
Earrings Designs by Amber
Scarf gift
Mittens Roots
Socks Roots
Boots Bakers

Portraits by Matt Harrison, other photo by me.

Daydreamer Dress: the Dress that Almost Wasn’t

Daydreamer Dress | Sophster-Toaster Blog

I thought this ethereal, marble print fabric was perfect for winter the first time I saw it, almost a year ago. Through spring and summer I kept looking at it, excited to design a dress when the right season came around – but that pined for design never came to me. Nothing I could think of seemed right when I tried to picture the finished dress. When winter came, desperate and defeated, ready to give up on this fabric I loved, I realized it was never destined to be a winter dress.

Once I let go of the idea that this fabric would make a beautiful, winter pastels type dress, the concept for the new Daydreamer Dress came to me so freely, I knew this was how it was always meant to be.

Daydreamer Dress | Sophster-Toaster Blog Daydreamer Dress | Sophster-Toaster Blog Daydreamer Dress | Sophster-Toaster Blog Daydreamer Dress | Sophster-Toaster Blog Daydreamer Dress | Sophster-Toaster BlogDaydreamer Dress | Sophster-Toaster Blog

Dress Sophster-Toaster
Shoes ModCloth
Bow Sophster-Toaster
Sunglasses ModCloth

Daydreamer Dress | Sophster-Toaster Blog Daydreamer Dress | Sophster-Toaster Blog

All photos by me.