Ashley MacInnis: The Frenzied Fashionista


Presenting Your 2014 Summer Style Staples

The Eight Items I Can't Live Without This Season

Between October and May, you can almost bet that you’ll find sweaters (or jackets), boots and blankets in my car. You can also bet that I’m complaining about the cold, cursing at my pantyhose and lamenting that pants are torture. It’s no surprise that by the time the temperatures hit double digits, I’m doing my seasonal swaps!

Every summer, I hit a point where I realize that I cannot possible even imagine living without a specific array of items. Now that I’m officially half-way through the season, I’ve got a pretty good handle on what I can’t live without between now and September 1.

They are, in no particular order…

A Cute Bag

It’s time to ditch your dark, heavy handbag and throw only the essentials into a smaller, lightly hued bag! You’ll be sweaty enough in the heat without lugging an enormous bag filled with stuff you don’t actually need.

1. Flapover Crossbody Bag - Le Chateau: $29.99

2. BSocial Tote - Steve Madden: $108.00 (Similar - BAdorn: $88.00)

3. Bleecker Sullivan Hobo - Coach: $378.00

4. Voyager Crossbody Bag - Forever 21: $19.80


A Great Bathing Suit I Feel Good In

It’s hard to have fun in the sun and sand if you feel self-conscious. Find a swimsuit you love and go! I snagged this beauty at Victoria’s Secret — it’s my first non-racing one-piece and I LOVE IT. From full-coverage one pieces to the skimpiest of itty bitty bikinis, wear what makes you feel YUMMY!

1. Ruched Control One Piece - Heidi Klein: $360.00 (Similar - Victoria's Secret: $58.50)

2. Retro Pin-Up Bikini - Amazon: $11.99  (Similar - Handmade on Etsy: $41.42)

3. How Sweet It Is Ruffled One Piece - Roxy Swimwear: $39.00

4. Stripe Triangle Bikini - Heidi Klein: $380 

5. Floral Boyshort Maillot - Anthropologie - $160.00

6. Scallop Detail Triangle Bikini - Marsyia: $260.00 (Similar - Victoria's Secret: $75.00)


Comfortable Sandals (but not flip flops because they’re bad for your feet!)

I’m a huge fan of Birkenstocks — they’re comfortable and they last forever. Choose a pair of sandals with good arch support and that you can walk in. Your back will thank you.

1. Laina Demi Wedge Sandal - Sperry Topsider: $97.00 

2. Charlotte Sandal - Aspiga: $145 (They would go with EVERYTHING!)

3. Gladiator Sandal - DSQUARED2: $206 (Similar - Aldo Shoes: $27.49 - $60.00)

4. Mayari Birko Slide - Birkenstock: $91.00 


A Dress That Works For Desk to Drinks to Sunday Brunch

D’ya know what I love about dresses? They are outfits in and of themselves – which is why I recommend dresses when you’re building a wardrobe on a budget. Look for easy to wear and wash fabrics like cotton and jersey, and don’t be afraid to experiment with bright colours and prints. Tis the season!

1. Chambray Embroidered Dot Dress - Gap: SOLD OUT (Similar - Gap: 79.95)

2. Chevron Maxi Dress - Amazon: $16.75 (Lots of cute colour combos!)

3. Ponte A-Line Dress - Target: SOLD OUT (Similar - Old Navy: $39.95 *I own this!*)

4. Embroidered Shift Dress (Petite) - Topshop: $64 (Similar: Topshop: $72.00)

5. Drawstring Waist Dress: Mango - $64 


Bright Nails

Speaking of bright, what’s better than a colourful pedicure? (Having someone else scrub your feet and paint your toes, I know!) If your workplace allows open toe shoes and bright manicures, try out some bright colours this season! My new favourite shade? Tart Deco by Essie.  

1. OPI Polishes in Hotter Than You Pink and My Chihuahua Bites$10.50 at Chatters Salons

2. Essie Polishes in Hide and Go Chic and Turquoise and Caicos - $9.58 at

3. butter LONDON Polishes in Wellies and Silly Billy$17.50 at Sephora

4. Deborah Lippman Polishes in Private Dancer and Break 4 Love: $20 - $22 at Sephora


Cute (but cheap!) Sunglasses

I am fundamentally against buying expensive sunglasses. Mostly because I lose and/or sit on them regularly. I like Bizou because I can get two pairs for $20, but stores like Target, H&M and Forever 21 have loads of cute shades at super low prices.

1, 2, 3: H&M - $7.33 - 13.00      |  4, 5, 6: Forever 21 - $6.50 - 12.00           | 7, 8, 9: Target - $14 each


A Big, Floppy Hat


Double up on your eye-protection (and keep your face and hair out of UV rays) by throwing a floppy hat on your fashionable head. Bonus: Floppy hats are super chic.

1. Wide-brimmed White Hat - Amazon: 26.00

2. Wide-brimmed Blue Straw Hat - Amazon: $16.00 

3. By The Sea Hat - Roxy: $28.00 

4. Dita Sun Hat - Prana: SALE $25.20 

5. Coastal Clearing Hat in Red - Modcloth: $34.99


Tinted Moisturizer

Summer is *not* the time for heavy makeup, but I still like to put it on!  I swap out my foundation for a light-as-air tinted moisturizer or BB cream, with at least SPF 15. It’s one less step in my morning routine, and I’m happy for it – I can spend more time on the things I really want to do – like snuggle with F! 

1. VS Tinted Moisturizer/ Primer with SPF 15 - Victoria's Secret: $15.00 

2. Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream with SPF 30 - Amazon: $7.19 (About  $9 at Target or Walmart)

3. Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream with SPF 35 - Sephora: $22.00 - $50.00

4. Estee Lauder Double Wear All-Day Glow BB Cream with SPF 30 - Sephora: $45.00

5. Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream with SPF 30 - Sephora: $39.00


Now, make sure to check out Zeba’s beach bag items and hear what Dan has to say about all-natural sunscreens. Sound off in the comments below and tell us what you can’t live without this summer (or any summer, for that matter!).