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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.

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Sweater Woes (Cold Weather Notes)

Sweater woes you may ask? Well yes. If you live in a cold place such as I do, (central Ontario Canada) where sweaters are a must they start to become woeful either by the amount you have, they way they are stored or by the condition of them. Today, mid February, it is -25 Celsius outside.

I like winter. i do. Just not that cold. There’s cold and then there is the thing we have in these parts called windchill. That’s when the wind blowing makes the ambient temperature colder than the thermometer reading. Yesterday morning it was about – 18 Celsius with a windchill making it fee like -38 Celsius. -38! What?!

Argh.

I am a cold person most of the time. I get chilly most days all year. Except for the heat waves I need a little sweater or something. Lightweight and thin. The kind you see on the telly with a little belt and the sleeves pushed up. Cute dress or blouse and skirt too. I do this. I have cardigans. Lots of them. They are thin so they only take up 3 dresser drawers and I still don’t have enough. I need a better brown and I don’t have the right green to go with certain thing. I haven’t any ivory or pink. I only have one dark purple and not a lighter purple. I have no real blue just 2 turquoise colours and I have a selection of lengths both in body and in sleeve. Still not enough.

IMG_20150216_152442Pardon the filter.

And the ugly slippers. (that’s another woe)

This is a 90 cm drawer. Three of them completely full. I haven’t discovered a better way to store them. Have any of you?

Why So many? Winters are long here. Sweater weather is from late September, early October to early May. You need an appropriate selection so it’s a never ending quest.

IMG_20150216_144538

We built the bedroom closest on our early 1970s house to have better organization because a single shelf and pole will not be enough. I have this stack of cubicles for all my sweaters. It also has a basket with all the knit shirts or t-shirt like things. (I don’t wear many of them). I have tried to organize these cubicles but….

IMG_20150216_144426I have purged. I have, really.

I don’t know how many sweaters I have. There are two more cubicles I didn’t photo since I think you get the idea. Extra warm sweaters in one. Thin and sweater vests in another. Old but very warm in another. Ones I can’t wear with a coat and therefore have to put them on when I get to work.  You pull one out and they all come down. Or they get mushed into the back and you forget you have them. I also have what everyone with a rather drafty house has.

House sweaters.IMG_20150216_150002 I won’t lie, I filtered the hell out of these because they are a little sad. by sad I mean I won’t wear out of the house. There is another one not pictured since I was wearing it when I took the photo.  These are cozy, oversized, pilly, old and sad things that you loath to answer the door in but sooooo comfy. I come home from work and take off the work clothes and put on comfies or something else. I wear nice clothes at work and quite frankly I want to take off the tights and the belts etc… at the end of the day but that’s another post.

Sometimes my BF leaves before I’m awake and comes home late and for weeks all he sees me in is yoga pants, turtlenecks and one of these sweaters.  Poor guy.

Now, I know most of you have a sweater shame out there. Something old but cozy that you refuse to put down. My favorite isn’t pictured but it was knitted by my Nan for me in Grade 9. Over 20 years ago now and I love the thing. It’s pilly and not o.k. to be seen getting the mail in but I won’t let it go. It’s so warm. Isn’t that what sweaters are about anyway? I have fantasies that I’ll have this beautiful Aran sweater not covered in tea stains with perfect hair and not actually be cold because, like in the photos I see, wearing a little skirt with no tights in the brisk Irish wind….There are a few things wrong with that picture though. The least of which I don’t live in Ireland. I guess this rather never ending woe about sweaters is a little unimportant but I think universal for a bunch of us. I don’t think I would like living in a place with no proper winter though. I’d likely miss all the sweaters!

Cheers

Meaghan

Please leave a comment about your sweater woes and how do you store them? Do you have a better solution? Also, what is your sweater of shame? Where did your house sweater come from and why won’t you let it go?

 

 

Eiffel Tower Ornaments!

Eiffel Towers!

Eiffel Towers!

The lovely Lisa Brunetta has made us three dimensional Eiffel tower ornaments. They are available in sets of three and created from multiple lovely papers! These are to replace the metal ones I buy when in Paris until I can make another trip! (besides, these are way better for being local) Lots of colour sets to choose from too.

Cheers

Meaghan & Sara

I don’t often make an all black hat but…

DSC05459

I will and have often said I won’t make an all black hat but in the case of using this wonderful black silk organdy I made an exception.

The soft architectural nature of this fabric lets most wonderful things happen.

Sometimes simplicity is best.

Cheers

Meaghan

p.s

As of Nov 27th 2013 the hat is in the shop and under $100 CAD

 

“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

Style is ageless. Really.

I have been thinking about style and aging lately. It’s likely because my birthday is coming up and it always makes me think of growing older. Obviously. I have always had a particular and personal sense of style. Fashion was important and I followed trends but as I grew older style and what it was to me  evolved.  I think that too many of us look for an identity in the trend driven places and shops. Magazines are filled with promises if you only buy this newest thing. I think this society has always been like that. What I think is important is developing a personal style that either speaks to the trends within a developed look or ignores them completely. I think I speak to the trends when they suit me. Right now with the 80″s look abounding in the shops I’m ignoring it. It doesn’t flatter me. The colours and the shapes are all wrong. Again and again I look to vintage since it is most flattering for me being rather shorter and curvy.

Accessories follow trends as much as the clothing so I find it interesting that hats are just not going away. They are still in the shops where what we foolishly seem to think the leaders of fashion are, the mall. I find it disheartening though when many people come into my studio and either say, “Are hats coming into style yet?’ or “I don’t look good in hats but I like them”  What kind of statement is that? I’ve said it again and again, everyone looks good in hats and like everything else it’s the shape that suits you best. No one looks good in those floppy “straw” hats that are out yet people keep putting them on their heads because it hasn’t occurred to them that trend isn’t necessarily flattering. So when someone is in my studio saying hats don’t look good they’re just plain wrong. I’ve shown person after person that they can wear a hat. They are surprised and happy that they look good in a hat because they’ve always liked them but never believed they look good. I say it’s perception. “What do you want to look like in  a hat?” I ask. They see everything that they are not instead of what they are. That, I believe, speaks to this lack of finding their personal style.

After about age 24 the message from just about everywhere is fashion is for the young and skinny. Where did this come from? It’s in the same logic line as cut all your hair off at 30 or when you have a baby? Why? Why do we do this to women and men for that matter. The message is “Don’t try, you’re old now” What?!

Do you really think at 38 I’m old? Do I? Do I. You bet I do. I fell into that burning ring of fire in my mid 20’s I listened to all that claptrap about how I’m old now, fashion isn’t for you. You’re not skinny enough or tall enough for fashion and to top it all off I stopped listening to my instinct that told me otherwise. Argh! Foolish things we are.

At 38 I have a streak of white hair. I don’t dye it out. I earned it. This hasn’t been easy. I still am  not thrilled with the shape in the mirror but I’m beginning to see it differently. I am rediscovering my style. Not one dictated by the mall shops because they need to keep people unhappy so they keep people buying but one filled with things I love. Gloves, belts, vintage purses and hats. I’ve always loved hats. So I am taking this renewal to the studio.

I have always made hats for everyday with a woman or man in mind who isn’t wearing gloves and vintage dresses like I do but takes a little time to find a shape and colour that suits them. Someone who puts a little effort in for them. Someone who doesn’t where things that aren’t flattering because it’s easier, because they have given up. Fashion isn’t foolish. It employs millions of people  around the world and is an industry worth billions and billions of dollars. It’s not about trying to be 20 again. It’s about saying I am worthy at   (fill in your age) to FEEL good about myself in part through the clothing I put on my body. It doesn’t make you into a fashion whore or stupid or someone else. The best thing is that within the vast world of fashion there is space for everyone.

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