Questions To Ask Before Buying New Clothes

posted in minimalism, shopping tips

To go along with my video about 5 things I no longer buy, these are some questions I’ve found helpful and are good to ask yourself before buying a new garment:

 

When/where will I wear this?
  • Clothes should fit your lifestyle, only buy pieces you know you’ll actually wear.

 

What will I wear it with?
  • Make sure the garment works with what you already have and doesn’t require you to buy other things to wear it. I try to think of at least 3-5 different outfits including the item, if I can’t easily think of them I know it’s going to be difficult to make that piece work in my wardrobe.

 

Does it fit and is it comfortable?
  • If it doesn’t fit right, can it be altered? Your clothes should fit the way you want and if it’s not comfortable when you try it on, you likely won’t enjoy wearing it.

 

What is it made from and how do I care for it?
  • Make sure the material has the properties you want (eg. soft, breathable, water-resistant, etc.) and is a fabric you like wearing.
  • Check the care instructions and only buy things you are prepared and able to care for properly.

 

Is it good quality?

 

How long can I see myself wearing this?
  • 1 year? 5 years? 10? …20? This helps avoid fleeting trends and the longer you can see yourself wearing something the better the investment it is.

 

Does it fit with my budget?
  • Make sure you can afford it and that your money isn’t better spent on a different piece(s).

 

Are there any sustainability aspects? Is the company trying to reduce their environmental impact?
  • Look for sustainable materials, eco-friendly production, or any other areas where the brand is conscious of the sustainability of their products.

 

Were the people who made this paid fairly for their work?
  • Support companies who manufacture in an ethical way – pay their workers a living wage and treat them with respect. Check out brand’s social responsibility policies and look for fair trade brands.

 

Do I love it, or am I trying to convince myself I need it? Is the price/sale factoring into my decision?
  • It’s easy to get excited about something new so make sure it’s an item you actually want and will use (giving yourself some time to think about it often helps). It’s also incredibly easy to be tempted by sales, ask yourself if you would feel the same way if the product was regular price.

 

Winter 2017 Capsule Wardrobe

posted in capsule wardrobes

The items in my winter 2017 capsule wardrobe (I generally follow the Project 333 capsule wardrobe format):

Tops
  • Light grey cotton jumper – People Tree *
  • Grey jersey top – Comazo | earth
  • Long dolman sleeve top
  • Plaid shirt – secondhand
  • Light blue shirt – thrifted
Layers & Sweaters
  • Grey cardigan – thrifted
  • Gold/green jacket – thrifted
  • Knit vest – handknit
  • Asymmetrical jacket – handmade
  • Red sweater
  • Icelandic sweater – thrifted
  • Mustard/navy sweater – People Tree *
Bottoms
Dresses
Accessories & Bags
  • Black hat – thrifted
  • Beige knit hat – handknit
  • Blue knit hat
  • Scarf – handknit
  • Blue/grey backpack
  • Black bag
Shoes

 

Winter is my largest capsule as I wear the most layers. This capsule includes 33 pieces but I did not include my winter coat, I also realized I did not count the belt shown in the video- so with those the capsule would be 35 items. I don’t include jewellery, loungewear, athletic clothes, or undergarments in my capsule wardrobes.

 

 

* indicates an affiliate link, thanks for your support! For more information on the use of affiliate links please see my disclosure policy

Holiday Get Ready With Me

(please note: this post contains some affiliate links)

Holiday party makeup look

Products used:
RMS “un” cover-up – I have 00 but apparently they now have an even lighter shade
Lily Lolo mineral concealer in Blondie
Benecos eye shadow base
Red Apple Lipstick eyeshadows in Brownie Points, Clean Slate, Buttercream, and Black Magic *
100% Pure lip & cheek tint in Pink Grapefruit Glow
Dr. Hauschka volume mascara in pearl anthracite
Alverde lip liner in Aubergine
Lavera lipstick in Matt n’ Plum

and my nail polish is Little Ondine in Red Red Wine *

 

 

* these products were sent as gifts, I asked if I could test out this product but anything I receive for free is always under no-obligation and all reviews are my own thoughts and opinions

 

Why Clothes Don’t Fit

posted in shopping tips

I decided to make this video is because in the last couple months I’ve:
– overheard some girls in a dressing room complaining about how their chests were too small for the clothes
– had a client say they are a “weird” shape so clothes don’t fit
– had another client list off the “problems” with their body
– saw a comment about how a person’s hips were too big to fit pants
and these are only the remarks I noticed and remember!

Unfortunately too often with conversations and thoughts about how clothes fit, people will find fault with themselves instead of the clothes. Instead of “this shirt is too tight in the stomach” it’s “my stomach is too big”.

This is a discussion I want to have and also explain a bit about how fitting clothing generally works, because I never knew that a lot of brands will fit on only one body type. Also it is important to note that not all brands only design for only one body shape and some brands spend a lot of time developing a fit that reflects their customer.

I would love to hear your thoughts!

 

Further reading about vanity sizing and size standardization:

The absurdity of women’s clothing sizes – apparently standards were last updated in the 70s and currently a company (ASTM) has standard size charts but you have to pay to see them (so I couldn’t compare them) and I also couldn’t find much about how they got those numbers.
One Size Fits Most

Our Green Wedding

posted in Lifestyle

Some of the things we did to try and cut down on the environmental impact of our wedding 4 years ago and also a few things I would do differently now.

 

A change I would make is sending digital invitations, you can save paper, energy, and also money! I really like Greenvelope’s card and invite designs*, the also have helpful features like maps and RSVP tracking

 

 

 

 

Photos by Ryan & Beth Photography see more photos from our wedding.

Our favourite charity, the David Suzuki Foundation

 

* indicates a Greenvelope affiliate link, for more information on my use of affiliate links please see my disclosure policy

What is Good Quality Clothing?

posted in secondhand, shopping tips

With capsule wardrobes, investment pieces, or just for a more sustainable wardrobe buying good-quality clothing is important, but how can you tell if a garment is good quality?

These are some things to look out for:

Check the fabric

  • is it appropriate for the garment’s function
  • can and will you properly care for it (eg. handwash)
  • does it seem thin
  • is the weave/knit tight
  • is the grainline straight (threads run vertical and horizontal at the centre front and back) – unless draped or bias cut styles

Check the seams and sewing

  • are there loose threads
  • are the seams straight or crooked
  • are the stitches short (longer stitches = quicker to sew)
  • are the seams tight or when you pull gently do they open
  • look for high-quality finishing (eg. french seams, blind hems, etc.)
  • look for longer hem allowance

Other signs of good quality clothing

  • matching stripes/plaids at seams
  • extra buttons or thread included
  • lining on structured jackets, skirts, coats, and dresses
  • outside fabric on inside facings (areas next to front opening at neck)
  • flat covered zippers (unless the zippers are purposely exposed)
  • hook and eye on top of invisible zippers
  • straight and even buttonholes with tight stitching
  • pockets with outside fabric on area that can be seen in pocket
  • straight and even top-stitching
  • extras seams for good fit

 

When shopping online it’s difficult to tell if something is good quality. Search for and read reviews to see what people say about the construction, fabric, and quality of the garment.

 

 

 

 

Winter 2016 Capsule Wardrobe

posted in capsule wardrobes

I’m really excited about this winter season with lots of cozy knits to wear.

This capsule wardrobe came to 30 pieces and I will likely be adding in my wedge booties and possibly a second pair of jeans but I’m going to see how it goes.

I follow the Project 333 capsule wardrobe which you can learn more about here. As usual I don’t include jewellery, athletic clothes, sleep and lounge wear, and underwear/socks in my items. I also decided this season to not include my winter coat or mittens since I don’t see them as part of my outfits but I probably could have easily included them.

The items in my capsule are:

1. grey tank – Comazo earth
2. black tank
3. sequin tee
4. black tee – MEC
5. plaid flannel – secondhand
6. grey woven long-sleeve – handmade
7. draped long-sleeve
8. grey knit top – People Tree*
9. cranberry knit top
10. tan sweater – handknit
11. mustard & navy sweater – People Tree*
12. chunky knit vest – handknit
13. Icelandic sweater – secondhand
14. check tunic – People Tree*
15. cocoon cardigan
16. purple wrap dress
17. brown body-con dress – handmade
18. black flared skirt
19. beige flared skirt – handmade
20. black knit trousers – People Tree*
21. burgundy leggings
22. jeans – Naked & Famous Denim
23. cranberry knit scarf – handknit
24. indigo scarf – handmade
25. white knit hat – handknit
26. blue knit toque
27. light grey large envelope bag – Matt & Nat (why I no longer support Matt & Nat)
28. black clutch/shoulder bag – Matt & Nat
29. cream heels
30. grey boots – Vegetarian Shoes

 

* indicates an affiliate link, thank you for your support. View the disclosure policy for more info.

What is the best fabric?

The materials you choose are pretty important, they affect the comfort and performance of a garment, how you care for it, and also have an environmental impact, some much more so than others. There are a ton of different textiles available, all with different looks, benefits, and sustainable/ethical issues.

I created this video series to talk about common fibres and fabrics, what the pros and cons are, and what different options are available if you’re trying to make more responsible purchases.

 

Part 1 – Pros & Cons of Common Materials

 

Part 2 – Animal Materials & Vegan Synthetics

 

Part 3 – Recycled & Upcycled Materials

 

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