The Comfort of a Good Tried and True Outfit

Feature. The comfort of a tried and true outfit, the artyologist

When one is wearing a 1960’s outfit, one must pretend to be a Vogue cover model of the era, and pose appropriately.

I love to play dress up with my wardrobe and come up with new outfit combinations.  It’s always so much fun to pair items with something I haven’t before, and come up with new ideas on how to wear the garments I have. I especially love to do this whenever I get something new in my wardrobe. Before I buy a garment, I always try to picture it with the things I already have- how will it fit in with what I already own? What do I have that I could pair it with? And then, as soon as I bring it home, I try pairing it with as many things in my wardrobe as possible. That way, the next time I go to get dressed I already have an idea of what sorts of garments work together well, but I have the freedom to experiment and add accessories that haven’t been out to play for a while . . . or to choose something unexpected altogether. However, as much as I love to experiment, sometimes you just need the comfort of an old friend.

Enter, the tried and true outfit. This is an outfit that just “goes” together, and every time you wear it, you love it as much as you did the last time.

I have a few “uniforms” in my wardrobe, but this is definitely one of my favourites. You can actually read more about this coat in this post from back in March. Today’s outfit is identical to that one, with only the addition of a new-to-me vintage hat. I have worn this outfit, with the exact same dress, coat, and shoes several times since I found this coat a few years ago – and every time I wear it, I still love it just as much as the first time.

I only wear this dress paired with this coat, because it is a tunic, that I turned into a dress (but is impossible to alter so it is more fitted, as it has to be pulled on over the head.) The dress is rather baggy, and so it isn’t very flattering on its own, but when worn under this coat, it suddenly looks like a 1960’s shift (and so it is worth keeping in my wardrobe, even if I only wear it a couple of times a year!) Adding my trusty old low navy peep-toes, furthers the 1960’s theme, and when you are wearing a 1960’s inspired outfit, you have to pair it with a ridiculous feathered pillbox, right? I don’t know why, because they are rather silly, but I just love 1960’s hats. I picked this one up in the spring, just in time to pack it away for summer, so this was it’s official debut. I wasn’t sure how I felt about this hat while I was wearing it; it almost seems too tall and narrow. However, there is a benefit to taking pictures for your blog- you can look objectively at things later when you go through the photos! After looking at the hat in this pictures, I actually think it’s grown on me a bit, but what do you think? I’m still trying to decide if it is a yes or a no.

comfort of a tried and true outfit, the artyologist, hat

So, there you go, even though I have worn this exact thing before, I enjoyed wearing it all over again. That’s the magic of a Tried and True! The only sad thing about this lovely coat, is that it is wool, but only lined with a lightweight satin, and so it isn’t warm at all. I only get to pull it out a few times each Spring and Fall, but I do love wearing it while the weather permits!

Do you have a Tried and True outfit you love to wear? Or do you like to experiment and wear something different each time you get dressed?

Outfit details:

Actually now that I think about it, every piece in this outfit, except for the sunglasses and earrings, was a hand-me-down, was thrifted or bought at a vintage store. That’s cool, as that doesn’t usually happen! 🙂

1960's Peggy French coat, the artyologist

hat detail, the artyologist, the comfort of a tried and true outfit

black and white 1960's hat, the comfort of a tried and true, the artyologist

A Fashion Moment With McCall’s Treasury of Needlecraft: Dressy Sweaters

a fashion moment with McCall's Treasury of Needlecraft, Dressy Sweaters, the artyologist

I think that it is about high time there was another peek into the McCall’s Treasury of Needlecraft, don’t you? It has been quite a while since the last edition, back in July, where I shared knitted and crocheted dresses. This time around, we are delving into “Dressy Sweaters”.

By this I mean, not your average knitwear, which is usually intended for warmth (although style is always important as well!). These knits I share with you today are all just a bit fancier- either with intricate patterns, beading or other pretty details. Some of them are not specifically intended for evening wear, but look a little bit more elegant due to how they are styled, and what they are paired with, while some of them are intended for evening wear. We don’t usually think of knitted and crocheted garments for evening, but when they are made out of more delicate materials, they are the perfect option for fancier occasions, especially when the weather begins to turn cooler.

I hope you enjoy these lovely pieces!  Which are your favourites?

beaded sweater, fashion moment with McCalls treasury of needlecraft, the artyologist

This needs to be in my wardrobe. Like, right now. This is one of the most beautiful cardigans I have ever seen, and it is definitely worthy of being worn with a bridal ensemble as shown here. Or with anything for that matter, as it would make any outfit incredible!

two-ladies, fashion moment with mccalls treasury of needlecraft the artyologist

Two outfits finished off perfectly with the addition of a belt.

fashion moment with mccall's treasury of needlcraft, dressy sweaters

You could definitely wear this beautiful jacket in place of a blazer. It looks so polished.

McCall's Treasury of Needlecraft, the artyologist, two elegant ladies

When in doubt, add a muff. And beading. And gloves. And impeccable hair. Ok, I’ll stop now.

portrait, dressy sweaters, fashion moment, mccall's treasury of needlecraft, the artyologist

Not only in love with her top, but her topper as well! Do you think it’s a beret? Or a hat with a folded up brim? It’s hard to tell!

knitwear, dressy sweaters, the artyologist, fashion moment

I’m gonna guess the lady on the right is wearing a bullet bra. . . 

dressy-sweater, the artyologist, mccalls treasury of needlecraft

What appears to be another bridal ensemble.The question we are all asking ourselves though is . . . seriously, what is with the guy in the background??

ribbon dressy sweater, the artyologist

And last, but not least, this “handsome mandarin jacket” is made of ribbon yarn. It gives an interesting texture, and also a pretty and elegant sheen, don’t you think?

Life Lately (And it’s already November?)

Life Lately (And It's Already November?) The artyologist, sunset

Well, to be honest “life lately” around here has been less than ideal. I came down with a head cold last week, and I am still trying to get over that. I hate being sick at any time, but right now seems to be the worst timing, as I am getting behind at work, and trying to get things in order for my craft shows at the end of the month. I don’t even want to look at my to-do list 🙁 And, somehow October is gone, and we are already a week into November? And, all I want to do is get better now, so I can get on with being busy, but that seems to be taking an extremely long time to happen. . .

Nevertheless, I do still have this blog that needs tending to, and I do still take pictures wherever I go, so here are some that I have taken in the last month, that I thought I would share with you all. Some of them have made an appearance on Instagram, so if you follow me there, you may have seen them, but some are new!

How is your first week of November going?

life lately, the artyologist, winter coming, fog

life lately, leaves, street, the artyologist

Right: A most idyllic street, found in a recent trip to Edmonton (via incorrect GPS directions!) Just take away the trucks and the window reflection = when can I move in? 🙂

fog, the artyologist

The eery, and beautiful fog. . . 

berries, valley, the artyologist

A bright pop of winter colour. 

Are You a Flapper?

feature image the artyologist

I am not into Halloween. As in spooky, gory, creepy, dark and scary. However, I do love candy, and I do love costumes. I mean, I love to dress up any day of the year- so give me any excuse to dress up “officially” and I am there!

For the past few years, I have hosted costume parties, and this is the first year that I haven’t in three years. Even though I didn’t have a chance to dress up in a costume and go out this year, I didn’t want the opportunity to pass, without dressing up in some kind of costume. My sister and I have been wanting to do a 1920’s photo shoot for a while now, and since I recently got my hair shaped into a bob, it seemed the perfect time to dress up in these costumes and take some photos. We decided that a black and white faded palette, gloomy clouds, and some barren tree branches would be the perfect backdrop, and create the right mood. The “costumes” were pulled from our wardrobes, and dress up bin, of course. 🙂

flapper, the artyologist

I have also now decided that those flappers were right about so much- it is amazingly fun to wear strands of pearls, stacks of bracelets, sparkles, dark makeup and furs. Of course, not every person in the 1920’s dressed this way- but it is “iconic’ for a reason, right? Honestly, if I had lived in the 1920’s I am 99% sure that I would have been a Plain Jane, wearing prim and proper dresses, and I never would have dreamed of going to the speakeasy, in my knee length fringed dress, dancing the night away. Considering that I don’t do any of those things today. . .  But, I do love to dress up in the 1920’s flapper styles, even if they are not historically accurate, and more “inspired by” the era. Nora, of Nora Finds, recently said on her instagram, that in a few years it will be the 20’s again, so we should “bring back the beaded flapper dresses and finger waves”. I wholeheartedly agree!

What do you think? If you lived in the 1920’s would you have worn the knee length dresses and bling, and been a flapper? Or would you have been a prim and proper lady, who stayed at home and behaved herself?

Are You a Flapper, the artyologist

holding candle Are You a Flapper, the artyologist

old-doorknob, the artyologist

Are You a Flapper, Sarah, the artyologist

Are you a flapper, black and white, the artyologist

branches, are you a flapper costume, the artyologist

are you a flapper, holding candles, the artyologist

two flappers, the artyologist

On a side note, I am not one to spot family resemblances very easily, but when my Gramma saw these pictures, she said that I looked like her when she was young, and Sarah looked like her mother, our Great-Grandmother. I guess we do have a family resemblance- even if I can’t pick it out 🙂

Fashion Isn’t About You

Fashion Isn't About You, the artyologist

We live in an era and a society that is obsessed with things like health. We use organic beauty products, because we know they are better for us. We clean with earth friendly products, so we don’t pollute our homes. We eat healthy and organic foods to minimize our risk of cancer. We know that eventually we will all die, and yet, we do what we can to improve our quality of life in the here and now. And yes, all of these things are great. We should avoid the practices that we know are bad for us, and do the things that are good for us (as far as we know that they are good for us!)

There is one element that is centre to all of these practices though, and that is that they are all good for you. As in, you personally.

Ethical Fashion is not something you do for you. It is something you do for someone else.

Ethical fashion, to be really honest, doesn’t benefit you personally in any way whatsoever. In fact, one could argue, it’s really a pain and a bother when it comes right down to it.

Fair trade fashion is often more expensive than the fast fashion garments you can find at your local mall. Fair trade and ethically made garments can be hard to find: most of your local chain stores don’t carry responsible brands in stock (especially here in Canada). And, sometimes the fair trade fashions you do find, will not be your fashion style. Building a fair trade wardrobe involves research. Which brands are ethical? Where did this come from? And really, #whomademyclothes? Being a conscious consumer involves constant questioning; not just, “Do I want this?” but, “Do I need this”? And, then there is always the question of, “What is the longevity of this garment?” Sometimes ethical fashion means going without something, until you can find it in an ethical and fair trade version.

Other options to buying fair trade fashion would be practices like thrifting, or buying vintage. This takes time though. To build a second-hand wardrobe, you put in countless hours searching for pieces that you not only like, but that fit, and are in good condition as well. Vintage is rare, depending on where you live, and it can be hard to find. You can’t just stop in at your local store to pick out exactly what you want and need. And once you find the thrifted or vintage garment you are looking for, it will require upkeep that new garments don’t. Mending and fixing go hand-in-hand with pre-loved garments.

Another option is making your own clothes. This again, is a large time investment (especially if you are like me, and are an extremely slow seamstress.) It also means acquiring the skills to be able to make the garments yourself, as you want to end up with something wearable; not a “Becky-Home-Ecky” that should be turned into a rag. And again, with new fabrics and textile, you must question, “Where did this fabric come from?” With reused textiles, you run into other problems and the quirks that come along with refashioning.

Ethical fashion is hard. Creating a wardrobe full of garments that are fair trade, where the workers who sewed your clothes (because each and every piece of clothing has been made by human hands, somewhere) are earning a wage they can truly live on, is really frustrating sometimes.

But, nobody should have to die for fashion.

That shouldn’t even be a thought that enters the equation. Because really, there should be no such term as “Ethical Fashion”. That is so redundant it’s like saying “Edible Food”.

Nobody should have to drop out of school at nine years old to go to work, just to be able to put food on the table.

Nobody should have to work with toxic fabric dyes, and no safety equipment, in order to afford their monthly rent.

And nobody should have to go to work in an unsafe factory, which may collapse at any moment, in order to survive . . . but end up dying instead.

Because nobody’s life is worth less than a t-shirt.

Fashion is something that shouldn’t be only about you. Your clothes might seem like a highly personal choice, but instead I would challenge you to view your wardrobe with an outward focus too and take a moment to think about how what you buy ultimately impacts the lives of those who you may not be able to see, but are affected nevertheless. And then not only think about it, but see what steps you can take to make a difference.

 “Demand quality, not just in the products you buy, but in the life of the person who made it.”- Orsola De Castro

As I mentioned last week, October is Slow Fashion Month, and Fair Trade Month. I know it’s the last week, but I didn’t want the month to pass by without sharing some of my ethical fashion journey, and the reasons behind why I am building my wardrobe the way that I am. This weeks prompt is “Known Origins”. There is a story behind each and every garment tag, and usually it is a story we’ll never know. But it is those stories, and the realities that garment workers are facing around the world every day, that are shaping my wardrobe choices. It’s not always an easy journey, and sometimes I really just wish that I could throw in the towel and go and buy all the things. I do fail sometimes, making purchases that I end up regretting, because I know that they aren’t ethical purchases. Overall I have come to a point in my wardrobe, though, where I just don’t feel good about wearing cheap fashion, with unknown origins. And so, I choose to wear slow fashion whenever possible, because of the lives of the people behind the garment tags. Because, as I said before, nobody’s life is worth less than a t-shirt.