Tag Archives: fashion blog

my favourite clothes are free clothes

may 1st julia

me in my neighbourhood on may 1st, 2012

it looks like i unceremoniously ended my commitment to share outfit photos with you guys on a regular basis here… partly because of the massive time commitment and work involved, but because i’ve been rethinking what it means to flood the internet with images of myself… but that’s topic for another post. right now, i feel pretty excited about my warddrobe. the changing of the seasons will do that to someone who lives in a climate of extremes! last week, a big part of my spring cleaning involved taking my summer dresses out of suitcases and putting my winter scarves, coats and woolly garments away. this ironically coincided with a heat wave! it feels like summer in may.

julia wearing her jean jacket

my new (free) jean jacket in my very pink and blue neighbourhood

i wasn’t the only one doing spring cleaning, though. coworkers of mine were clearing out the work closet and there were a few unclaimed stragglers. after a few days/emails, they were deemed officially up for grabs. most weren’t my style, but i tried some on anyway… and found the jean jacket i never knew i lusted for. it fits me like a glove and makes me feel super tough. i seriously own next to no denim (after having spent my teens basically living in jeans) so it’s a really nice change. great for spring evening bike rides!

julia wearing a green 1960s dress with a short beehive.

trying new things with my hair, as i’m way overdue for a trim

following the trend of free garments: i’ve had this dress for about two years, but have never worn it! when i volunteered at le vestiaire, a local thrift store, we were “paid” by basically having first dibs on the clothes we sold. for someone like myself who loves variety, it was ideal. i could take home a dress one day and if i didn’t absolutely love it, i could bring it back my next shift. my closet definitely expanded a bit too much during that time! i put this handmade vintage garment aside at some point, and must have lost sight of it in the shuffle. i don’t know why it took me so long to rock this dress because it’s definitely a new favourite. my necklace was a gift from my friend salima.

green dress and hair down

when i say “next to no demin” i literally mean you see all the denim i own in this post. that black denim pencil skirt was a gift from a friend, and this shirt is what i THOUGHT was denim… that is, until i read the latest issue of WORN, i realized it is in fact chambray. (i’ll be making a post about some of the best magazines i’ve read lately, and WORN is among them!)

blue dress and my little pony graffiti

posing with my favourite my little pony stencil

speaking of worn, this is one of my softest most worn-in dresses… so much so that i wear it quite rarely for fear it will soon end in tatters. i’ve shown it to you guys before, in april 2010! and that my little pony stencil at my feet? one of my favourite things about québec city is the abundant street art. these particular guys have been around for about a year now. i did a short radio piece on them last year, which you can listen to here.

last but not least, one little photo from april when i was visiting one of my best friends, morgan, in kelowna. it did my heart so much good to spend time with some of my favourite people when i had time off in april, and i’m so grateful to have such generous and loving people in my life.

i’m posting this on the train. i’m on my way to visit my sisters in ottawa, go to my younger sister’s bachelorette party and celebrate my older sister’s birthday! so expect a bid of radio silence. june holds many adventures for me, too!

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Filed under fashion, quebec city, self-portraits, what i wore today

currently: kicking ass and taking names

let’s keep this short and sweet: i’m in toronto right now with some really fantastic old friends i never get to see and having a really fantastic time. i’ve crossed paths with so many wonderful people i’ve known over the years, surreal is the best word to describe this feeling.

this photo above? really quick self-portrait i took in cabaret vintage, my absolute favourite vintage clothing shop. i hadn’t been there in years and was happy to waste an hour admiring gorgeous hats and wonderful suits, gowns, bowties. toronto was briefly my home in 2008, but it suits me much better as a place to visit. i appreciate it much better that way.

but this post isn’t about toronto! it’s about cool shit happening on the internet i think you’d like to check out. speaking of admiring vintage wares, lately i’ve been pondering what it means to buy used/thrifted for the most part. i have some blog posts in the works around those ideas, but almost felt like these next two posts beat me to the punch!

chloe lum of scroungy glamour

a few weeks back i re-discovered chloe lum on twitter and found her blog. not gonna lie, i’m a minor former fangirl – she makes incredible art and seeing AIDS Wolf when i was a teenager kinda changed my life. i’ve torn old posters of hers off of sign posts and had them on my university dorm room walls back in the day. i always kind of looked up to chloe when i first started going to shows, half terrified of her, and half wanting to be her. i didn’t have too many role models as a young girl in a scene dominated by straight white dudes most of the time. aaaaand now i’m telling this to the internet and am already embarrassing myself…

tout ça pour dire! she has a blog and it’s awesome. i just read this post after having spent a good hour writing about very similar questions, wondering what you can do when you hate the way clothes are made and sold and marketed to you, but love clothing. i don’t know if you guys have noticed but that’s kind of the main reason i started this blog. chloe’s post on thrifting as refusal asks a lot of the same questions:

Now don’ get me wrong , I’m not naive and I don’t see buying second hand as revolutionary act or anything but it *is* a way to keep money out of the hands of folks like Richard Hayne and clothes out of landfills. While that’s far from everything , it *is* something. Right?

Beyond that it’s a refusal of buying “cool” and instead scrounging it , making it , building it , finding it , swapping it and defining it on a personal level.

in a similar vein, iris over at the always awesome bossy femme just posted this: not buying it – disposable fashion. i definitely relate to a lot of her conundrums:

I know that a $5 tank top can’t be manufactured ethically, but I often can’t afford to pay more. I really don’t like this. It sucks when being “broke” in Canada means having to support retailers that undoubtedly are perpetuating poverty globally. I’d really like to hear from any of you who have thought about how to negotiate this…

there are already some great conversations going on over in the comments, and you should go and chime in! how do you find a balance? how important is it that your warddrobe is a reflection of how you live your life otherwise, consuming consciously?

last but not least, recently i’ve gotten quite a few emails asking me for more blog recommendations, usually along the lines of “where are the people of colour/queer folks/disabled folks? where are the folks who blog about the intersection of their identities with fashion/feminism?” my answer is pretty much “not sure,” unfortunately. that is not to say those voices and stories don’t exist, but they are often hard to find and get lost in the shuffle.

luckily, two of my favourite internet friends, chelsea and cassie, are working to change that. they are turning frustrations about not seeing themselves reflected in the media, whether it be the blogosphere or the tv shows they love, into an awesome project. and they want you! here’s their callout:

Calling for those interested in creating a teen mag/mag for young women: Chelsea and I are going to start an online magazine with a strong emphasis on young girls and women of color, trans girls, disabled girls, non-heteronormative girls, queer girls, fat girls, mentally ill girls, etc etc.

We (…) are interested in whatever capacity you are willing to help. Please tell us if you are interested in writing, designing, doing artwork, creating, organizing, CSS/flash coding or something you would like to do that we haven’t listed.

Anybody who is interested, get at us by sending us an e-mail at untitledteenmag@gmail.com. Thanks!

they are also encouraging people interested in contributing/reading to fill out this survey over here. keep your eyes peeled for this awesome project! i can’t wait to see how things work out.

happy reading!

xo

julia

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Filed under currently, links, Uncategorized

you look awesome today, by the way: being unapologetically vain

for the longest time, i must admit hated the combination of red and blue. perhaps i was because i associated it with some sort of patriotic undertones, like the union jack or the american flag. but for whatever reason, it rubbed me the wrong way for ages and never really entered my warddrobe. it wasn’t until i was in my early twenties when i saw someone walking down the street in a gorgeous red coat and a turquoise dress that i thought maybe i had wrongfully dismissed this colour combination.

you look awesome today (by the way) by gabrielle matte

back in december, at the salon nouveau genre, i saw these great cards and wanted to buy a million. i think giving (and receiving) compliments is really important, and i feel like the simple but creative design of these cards really does justice to the simple message. i ended up buying three. one sits by my dresser mirror, one by my office desk, and i sent one to a friend after she complained on facebook about looking gorgeous and getting no compliments.

the thing is? i often don’t get compliments. getting dressed up for others was something i did for years while trying to figure out my own sense of style, but i learned after years and years that dressing for yourself is far more satisfying. and you know what? no one takes pictures of me. i master the self-timer to document how badass i think i look, and share it with folks who i think might appreciate it online. even then, however, i wouldn’t say i get floods of compliments.

polka dot shirt, thrifted when i was fifteen! still love it
poodle pin, thrifted
blue tights from simons
red lipstick from rimmel - jet set red
you look awesome card by gabrielle matte
dress from suzy shier
shoes from lisazain on etsy

today, for example. this is what i looked like. i had the day off, took the time to do my makeup, get decked out in a sweet outfit and take a stroll around my neighbourhood before picking up my bike from the repair shop. did one of the dozens of people i passed on the street smile at me? no. did one person tell me how awesome i look? no. but does that really matter so much? i wish i could so no without a doubt, but i’d be lying. i know i look good, and i want to hear it every once in a while. but knowing that, having that confidence, is more important than feeling validated for your appearance in the long run. i have to say i prefer radio silence to harrassing comments, but that’s a whole other post.

my advice to others: appreciate yourself. don’t wait for others to photograph you, photograph yourself. document your outfits. look in the mirror and say damn! you look fine! give compliments to others that you’d like to receive. stop strangers in the street whose outfits make you smile, and tell them.

femmes and family shared this on tumblr the other day, and it really resonated with me:

don’t ever apologize for posting pictures of yourself

Fill your blog with your own face

Show off your arms, thighs, ass, shoulders

Make pages and pages of your own teeth and hair

Dedicate space to loving the cracks in your lips and the chewed parts of your fingers

And if you are called vain, then you have succeeded

In getting others to notice

How fucking beautiful and important you are

i find it strange how absent these conversations are on fashion blogs. so many people preface posts with apologies for long gaps between posts, or for the quality or lack thereof of their images, or how their faces look without makeup or whatever… even if they are perfect. i think a lot of this is tied into a fear of coming off as vain, or “full of yourself.” you know, those shitty accusations slung around in high school? the internet ain’t always so different. i’m also reminded of the conversations about the “internet world” vs. “the real world” readers i have, and my fear that people who know me in real life might think i’m vain for taking hundreds of photographs of myself.

at the end of the day, i tell myself: so what. so what if someone i know in passing comes across my blog and assumes i think i’m all that. because you know what? i am. i am! and i wasn’t able to say that a few years ago. the road to confidence is a long one, let me tell you. it took me probably a decade of unlearning all these beauty myths imposed on me: that i was too tall, too clumsy, too loud, too hairy, too whatever you want to say to dimiss me. but at the end of the day, if i surround myself with people who know that i am not only really awesome looking, but really awesome all around, that’s what counts. fuck the myth that you can’t have style and substance.

this leads me to other words of wisdom from femmes & family:

vanity is a term used to make people feel guilty about loving themselves

so, be vain. celebrate your face, your body, your talent for putting together a fantastic outfit. without further ado, here are a bunch of babes who have done that. other red and blue/turquoise outfits i love:

Kristy Lou of Fatty Unbound

Kristy Lou of Fatty Unbound

actress Priyanka Bose photographed for Wearabout

actress Priyanka Bose photographed for Wearabout

tenue du jour~outfit of the day

Elfee Duquette, StyleLikeU Scout

Elfee Duquette, StyleLikeU Scout via refinery29

and last but not least, a stroll down nostalgia lane (if you’re a former emo kid like myself)

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Filed under fashion, personal, self-portraits