Tag Archives: fashion

Happy is Beautiful

If you were to ask me to think of times when my mother has looked most beautiful, I would tell you quite easily:

  • My wedding day
  • Her 30th anniversary

I have these two days in mind not because she was wearing fancy clothes or perfect make-up. Nope, she looked lovely but not so different than normal. The reason these days stand out is because she was radiating happiness. Her smile lit up her face, and she was positively glowing with good feelings.

Ask yourself this question about the people in your life. When do they look beautiful to you? I think part of style and fashion goes beyond what we wear.

Reality check from George Carlin:

‘Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to satisfy hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body.’

Fashion is fun. We can express our individuality and play with different looks. But always remember that the surface is just one layer of what you’re expressing to the world.

Feel good, look good. It’s as simple as that.

Advertisements

My perfect Audrey-Hepburn-meets-punk-rock Necklace

 

coco-chan11-e1435867105163I think for more expensive purchases it can be a good idea to let them mark a special occasion. Save it for a moment in time that you’d like to always remember or celebrate. Then when you look at that piece it will take you back to those good feelings!

I bought this necklace, the Senhoa  Chantrea, when I paid off my student loans. It perfectly fits the style I’m working towards. It was a celebratory gift to myself and I love it! It was also a 2-for-1, because I ended up removing quite a few of the chains and turning them into a second necklace. It was just too heavy before.

For me it has the physical presence of Holly Golightly’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s necklace, but with a punk rock edge to it.m8dbratec004h

Senhoa jewellery is special because:

Senhoa jewelry pieces are individually handcrafted by survivors of human trafficking or young women vulnerable to sexual exploitation.

AND

100% of Senhoa jewelry profits go directly to the rehabilitation and education of young women who are vulnerable to or survivors of human trafficking in Southeast Asia.

I think Audrey Hepburn would totally be down with philanthropic fashion! Talk about a feel-good necklace! And I always get tons of compliments on it when I wear it. Really a special piece.

 

What if everything you owned was already enough?

I think there can be a lot of pressure when you’re striving to build the perfect wardrobe. Even more so when you’re working with a capsule wardrobe: there are must-have lists, and gaps you need to fill. Sometimes I get quite caught up in the notion that my wardrobe needs something and if I don’t have it, it feels like a big void that MUST be filled.

Example: I bought a pair of Frye ankle boots that were on sale for $185 (regular $500!) and they were great aside from the fact that they were half a size too small for me. Foolishly, I planned on getting them stretched and living happily ever after. I took them to two different cobblers, had them stretched twice, and they still hurt my poor little fit. What a waste of money! Oh well, time to move on. I have removed the ankle boots from my wardrobe because they hurt, and I believe in wearing things that honour my body.

So now I had this big ominous gap: no ankle boots! I had shoes, sandles, and boots with a high upper, but no ankle boots! What a dilemma! I immediately set out to buy a new perfect pair of ankle boots… but then I realized: what if I didn’t? What if I just made do with the footwear options I owned? Would that be so bad? I’ve looked at must-have lists like this one which is actually quite good, but now I’m abandoning the idea completely. I don’t HAVE to have ANYTHING. I can just enjoy what I own. That’s the true minimalist wardrobe: get rid of everything that hurts, looks bad, and doesn’t fit. Presto, minimalism! Done!

I think living in North American has taken me far away from the idea of making do with what I already own. Living in such a comfortable and rich country makes it far to easy to collect and check off the list of things I am supposed to have. But I’m going to try and do things a little differently. Embrace the gaps. Abolish the must-have list. Because everything I already own, really is enough.

Never Buy Clothing Again! How to Host a Clothing Swap

I rarely buy clothing, but I freshen up my wardrobe often. How? CLOTHING SWAPS. They are a budget fashionista’s dream come true!

How does it work? Well, you invite a ton of your friends (and their friends, and your neighbours, coworkers, anyone and everyone) and they come to your house with food and clothes and everyone swaps for free. It’s amazing. Below I’ve put a draft of info you can use to detail your Facebook event or email invite:

Clothing Swap and Potluck!

Make some room in your closet, bring your gently used clothing that you’re no longer wearing, and leave the party with some clothes that are new to you!

Bring clothes, shoes, purses, jewellery, scarves, and other accessories! Books, dvds, cds, and unused or lightly used cosmetics are also very much welcome.

Here’s how it works: give as good as you get, and it’s first come first serve – but we’re all friends here. Be considerate, and help others find cool new styles for themselves! I have found that with so many different tastes and sizes, this always works out well and there is TONS left over.

To make this even better, it’s a potluck! 🙂 So bring food and/or drink if you’d like to partake.

Friends welcome, as long as you can vouch for them! The more the merrier.

**Leftover clothing will be donated**
**Ladies only, and ages 12+**

12pm-3pm

—-

This event is the social event of the year for me and my girlfriends! The older we get, the more rare it is for a bunch of gals to just get together and have a great time. It’s so fun to have a women-only party! The food gives it a really festive flair and donating the remaining clothing makes everyone feel like a philanthropist. It’s a win/win/win kinda party! In my friend group, we host them every six months (a winter edition and a summer edition). We find it’s useful to let everyone know that this is a bi-annual event, so that they can save items for the swap on an ongoing basis.

In the past, we put all the clothes into one big giant pile. But soon we found it’s hard to know which stuff you’ve already looked at, and which items are still buried. Now we organize by clothing type, and lay piles all around the room. We do categories such as: coats and jackets, dresses, pants, long-sleeved tops, short-sleeved tops, shoes, accessories, etc. It makes the whole thing more organized and easier to tell which areas you’ve already shopped.

If you’re worried that you don’t have friends your same size, stop fretting! Shoes, jewellery, accessories, and books are easily shared with people of every shape and size. Plus, the potluck angle means that people always have something they can bring and share. Don’t over-think it – just do it! You’ll have a blast. I hosted a clothing swap last weekend and I got plenty of new lovely things. Because everything is free, it’s a great opportunity to try styles you wouldn’t normally pick up in-store. Try it for six months, and if it doesn’t actually work, you can put it into the next swap. Another good thing is that this will help you keep your wardrobe curated: you’re constantly on the lookout for items that don’t fit your needs. Put ’em in the swap pile!

If you have any questions about clothing swaps, comment below or feel free to email me.

My Favourite Capsule Wardrobes

Even though I have a capsule wardrobe, it’s not as pared-down as I’d like it to be. My three greatest sources of inspiration come from the following places:

1. Paris-to-Go 10-piece Wardrobe

zero2bwaste2bsecondhand2bminimalist2bcapsule2bwardrobe2bdesigner2blouis2bvuitton2bvera2bwang2bisabel2bmarant2bprada2bdior2bj2bbrand2bmargiela2bnike

2. Save, Spend, Splurge Minimalist Wardrobes: 5 piece5-must-have-minimalist-pieces

…and 12 piece :

minimalist-functional-practical-wardrobe-set-2-casual

3. The Uniform Project

876b4cd3-ef14-4da4-927d-37c1ff51ba28_apr_30_v1_d

Honourable mention goes to into-mind, because she has many capsule wardrobe guides, but reminds us not to be so rigid and to have fun and enjoy!

Meeting with a Fashion Consultant: Closet Audit

My first meeting with a fashion consultant can be found here.

After all the fun we had doing window-shopping and discussing my style, it was time to look at my closet. We went through every single item.

Things I am not allowed to buy more of:

  • Black Dresses (7!)
  • Plaid Shirts (3)
  • Black Skirts (5)
  • Black footwear (9)

When you have a minimalist capsule wardrobe like I do, these are actually really high numbers! I can hardly believe how many black dresses I have (I went and counted them twice because I was in such disbelief), and while they’re all quite different from each other, it’s still a little ridiculous when you compare it to some of the capsule wardrobes out there.

4b5u95jdwj

I learned some cool tips:

  • Collared long-sleeved shirts can be worn open and like a jacket, or buttoned-up and underneath a sweater or a structured dress.
  • You can use scarves as belts!
  • Some tops look better when worn backwards (what!? But it’s true!).
  • When wearing a top with a jacket or cardigan, make them different lengths from each other to avoid looking like you’re wearing a sweater set.

We didn’t get rid of much because I was already rocking a minimalist wardrobe. A few items were set aside to be altered, like my lace Aritzia top that has the world’s tiniest arm holes (I’m just going to cut them bigger and sew the seams). I let go of a few items that felt too young for me; my consultant emphasized that she doesn’t believe in dressing for an age and that you can wear whatever you want, but my personal comfort level is that if it feels “young” then it’s not what I want to wear.

I added a few more things to the “donate” pile, but for me it’s really a “clothing swap” pile! I hosted a clothing swap the very next day, and I’ll detail that in a future post.

All in all, it was very valuable to look at my closet with S. It is really useful to have an outside eye take a look at your closet. I was talking with my friends and we agreed that this would be useful if ANYONE looked at your closet with you! An objective viewpoint might be just what you need to see your clothing in a new way. Try it with your friends! Let me know how it goes.

 

Saying Goodbye to Uncomfortable Clothing

Shoes that pinch my toes. Tops with no give in the shoulders. Necklaces that are too heavy. Dresses I can’t breathe in. I’m not doing it any longer.

I used to wear pants so tight, that when sitting at a circus performance I popped a few Tylenol because my legs were hurting so much! I’ve worn heels so high, that I’ve had a few drinks purely to take my mind off my feet. I’ve had scarves that are so heavy, they give me a headache. What the hell was I thinking?

We say things like, “Fashion over function” and “No pain, no gain” and “Beauty is pain”. What kind of propaganda is this? It’s delusional. Who says we can’t be beautiful and comfortable at the same time? This is the challenge I give to you.

Part of the idea behind Dress Kindly is the philosophy of dressing in such a way that it honours my body, and a big part of that is comfort. It is hard for me to say goodbye to things that look great on me, but allowing myself to wear things that ACTUALLY HURT is a disrespect to myself. I am making a vow to myself to say farewell to anything that isn’t doing my body justice. Goodbye, beautiful Nine West pointed-toe black flats. Goodbye, dark blue jeans that make my butt look so good but leave lines on my legs. Goodbye, heavy fun necklace made of purple-dyed agate. Goodbye, pain in the name of looking good.

Do you have anything in your wardrobe that hurts? Why are you keeping it? With millions of options out there, I believe we can all find ones that feel good. Let’s make that the standard and the expectation. Demand it for yourself! We have no reason to settle for less.