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Category Archives: Observations From The Apprentice

My Journey to Becoming a Clothes Horse

Once upon a time I was a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl, or tank top and board shorts as illustrated in my very poor quality picture.
boringself
My sense of style didn’t get better than this in my teenaged years, but thankfully as an adult I got some excellent guidance from a great friend and awesome boss. It also helped that Goodwill used to have a 50% off sale every Friday.
It all started with a “no pants at work rule”. This was a dilemma as all I owned were pants, so Meaghan made me a denim pencil skirt and the original tie belt.original work outfit
Since this one outfit, I’ve come a long way.
closet shame
closet shame #2
dresser
This is only the winter half of my clothing and almost everything I own was bought second hand. The exceptions to this would be things I made for myself, Awkward Stage pieces and the few, rare mall finds.

Now I after five years of work I have a pretty great sense of personal style that always seems to be evolving in someway. But to find out about that you’ll have to click here or here.

Cheers,
Sara.

“Pardon My Swagger”

I know it’s been a while since either of us have posted or had a good rant, but to be honest, we’ve just been too busy. Between juggling custom orders, new leather messenger bags, fall and winter production at the shop and a seemingly endless costuming contract for the Simcoe County Museum as well as the infamous Art Ce Soir organization we’ve hardly had a moment to stop and think.

Still before the summer ends and Meaghan and I take a much needed vacation, I thought I’d tell you how I feel about plain old dingy tank tops, wife beaters/racer backs in general and the aforementioned clothing garments on men. I suppose I could sum it all up with one word, ick, but where is the fun in that?

I understand that plain old tank tops have a use and I have nothing against their being worn for work, exercise, as an undergarment or layer. But when it comes to being worn as your “going out” shirt or every day casual wear, just don’t. Now I don’t mean all tank tops when it comes to the wardrobes of women, go for something a little more and a tank top can be a dressed up thing. Mind you adjustable spaghetti straps and a shelf bra do not constitute more. Also if you find yourself over the age 25 and/or a C cup or greater do yourself a favour and put a bra on, you’ll thank you when your fourty-five because that shelf bra isn’t going to cut it. Ever.

Now as for men, wife beaters have their use. Work, exercise, layering or as an undergarment are all acceptable things. When it comes to any other tank top and for any other use, no. There is nothing that turns me off more than on a hot day when an arm is draped around my shoulders and the unlucky one of the two ends up in the sweaty armpit hair of said arm. Those boxy things that look like t-shirts with out sleeves are just as bad. And come on now guys, if your tank top or any shirt for that matter says “pardon my swagger” you haven’t got any, I promise. No one is fooled by your “cheeky” shirt. If you’re convinced otherwise, I challenge you to show me a mens fashion magazine where one is being sold as a good option.

Remember, just because we live in a society without major social classes does not mean we have to be classless society. Your armpits, along with your dingy undies, ass cracks, ass cheeks and vaginas are not fashion statements.

Cheers,
Sara

She’s Not My Mother. Seriously.

I cannot count the number of times Meaghan and I have been asked if we are mother and daughter. Still every time we are asked I have to bite back the desire to utter some sort of inappropriate response like call her a whore. I’ve been wondering if I should start carrying a photograph of my legitimate mother, I actually look very much like her.
Still people insist that we must be related some how seeing as we are both; Celtic, white, wear glasses (which happen to be rectangular frames for us both)and have curly hair (her’s is red. Mine has only recently turned a different red and I’m not sure how or why).
If we aren’t related then why do we spend so much time together? I happen to be her apprentice and her assistant therefore I do most errands with her. That and I rent her basement apartment. We also happen to be very good friends.
But seriously, she isn’t old enough to be my mother and if she was she would have been one loose teenager. Please stop making my boss feel old, it’s not good for her. At lease aim for older sister or cousin.

Cheers,
Sara.

You want a little more of a hat..?

What exactly does “a little more of a hat” mean?

More times than I can count, we get a last minute, “I need some thing for tomorrow, I’m going to a ______.”

There is nothing wrong with a last minute need for a hat, unless of course you call on a day the shop is closed and demand we open it for you (true story). I have these moments too. Believe it or not, as a milliner’s apprentice I even forget until last minute that I need a hat for that wedding, to go with that impossibly coloured dress, which doesn’t look impossibly coloured until you try to put anything other than a vintage purse and pair of vintages shoes with it. Even the milliner herself does it.

Often, there are no difficulties helping our last minute customers find the right thing for their event. Alas, there are always the difficult few. The customers who come in and say that they don’t know what they want but won’t try anything on, exclaim while feigning coy that things are just horrid on them, talk around the phrase “I’d like it if it wasn’t this.” or came in expecting us to have the perfect thing, which is something they can’t explain, and nothing else other than this unspoken mystery will do. Often times they were thinking that they want “a little more of a hat.” I take that to mean something between fascinator or cocktail and full hat. Not so my friends, not so. “A little more of a hat.” seems to be something completely different person to person. Occasionally “a little more of a hat” means that they would actually like a full hat. More often then not it is a cocktail hat that covers at least a third of their head. Then sometimes it is an excuse to not buy anything because said customer is under the impression that we are over priced.
On that note we send them off to Lilliput Hats in Toronto and into Karyn’s more than capable hands. Her work is beautiful, completely different from ours and the last time I was in her shop, started at $150. Which is still pennies for a well made piece of art seeing as Philip Tracy’s average price is more around $1500. But I’ll save the over priced woman’s work rant for another day.

Really what I am getting at here is that instead of asking Meaghan and I for “a little more of a hat” could you, any of you about to say, “I was thinking that I wanted a little more of a hat.” say instead just how much more of a hat you were thinking?

Cheers,
Sara.

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