With winter officially off our backs, we can finally look forward to summer. Sure, spring is right around the corner—but can you truly say that it’s the season of clear skies and warm weather? In my neck of the woods (that being Canada), it’s a never-ending sludge of rain, leftover slushy mud, and boisterous winds. Summer, on the other hand, is a blissful period of sunswept afternoons. Naturally, I wanted to base my next collection of OOTD to mark such as momentous occasion—and what better to shop for new outfits than to go to your neighborhood thrift?
To be fair, some of the pieces shown are bought at other stores such as Aritzia—but you can take care knowing that the majority of stuff I’m wearing is thrifted. Intended to be light, playful, and bright, these three outfit ideas can be worn as a casual city ensemble, a bookish look for flea markets, or ‘safari’ galavanting on a scenic hike. Pick your poison.
Yes, I’m fully aware that I have wayyy too many dresses in my closet. After getting my hands on more clothes hangers this weekend, I was surprisingly shocked about how many summer pieces I own. To be fair, most of them are sewing projects that I’ve made in the past—so I can’t be bare to part with something I’ve spent hours on. You can partially blame Pinterest, the internet central of aesthetically pleasing fashion. I chanced upon this gorgeous v-neck linen dress a couple of days ago and I was super tempted to make a version of my own. But instead of opting for traditional red, I decided to work with creams instead for a more neutral look.
To be quite honest with you, this isn’t my best work. I screwed up a lot—more specifically the lining part of the dress. On top of that, I had a few fit issues and haphazard seams. I tried to cover most of it with embroidery patches, but you can really see my mistakes up close. Regardless, it’s still a functional outfit. Just a little pointer for future me: don’t wear this dress while carrying a food baby.
Sewing is a spontaneous moment for me. Not to sound pretentious, but I only turn on my Brother H537ST when I feel myt creative juices flowing. My skills, patience, and attention seem to falter when I’m clearly unmotivated. It’s the reason why I only sew every other weekend, or on a random Thursday night. Yes, you can probably slag me off for being lazy, you can hold me to it.
For the reasons stated above, my sewing projects are a mix of completed garments and quick-fix thrifts. First up on the bat is the upholstery corset. I scored this gorgeous floral material from my local Value Village, which I think was originally used for furniture. Nevertheless, I decided to ditch dining room chairs and opt for a classic corset.
By now, I’ve constructed nearly 7 designs over the past year, but I couldn’t see past anything but a Bridgerton lace-up moment. I utilized a pattern made by Nava Rose and cut out two copies: one for the main fabric and one for the lining. I adjoined the two pieces together and turned the whole corset inside out to hide the raw seams. The result is a stunning corset that can be worn casually with jeans or a cute tennis skirt.
What I’m wearing
Next up on the chopping block is a white satin slip. Originally, I wanted to create a poet blouse with puffy sleeves, but I didn’t have enough fabric for it. Instead, I opted for a bustier, spaghetti strap moment with cups and a ruffled front. If I had enough material, I would’ve definitely made the top more voluminous and dramatic. If you zoomed into the picture, you can probably see that the hem is unfinished. Of course, I plan to complete a rolled hem, but I thought the raw edge gave a sort of ‘sensual’ feel to the outfit? I don’t know, but it gave me ‘Elizabeth Bennet and Mr.Darcy conversing in the rain’ kind of vibes. Composed, but oddly seductive.
What I’m Wearing:
Earrings: Sukoshi Mart
For my last project, I wanted to upcycle this stunning dress I thrifted at Talize. I’m not familiar with the brand, and I can’t seem to find the tag on the gown since I’ve cut it. But, it appears to be a Korean company that’s long been out of business for some time. Originally, the gown touched the ground—which gave the illusion of a wedding dress instead of a casual, romantic number. I decided to make a tiered effect by cutting the outer hem shorter than the lining. The sleeves naturally puffed out into a ‘winged’ effect, but I decided that it wasn’t really my style. So, I opted to gather the puff to help accentuate the shoulders. The result is still a bit outlandish for my liking, but I think I can dress it down with an oversized romper and some sneakers.
Yes, I know this outfit is devoid of actual strawberries, but I thought to keep it light. The pink gingham paired with the red buttons does enough to provide the illusion of rouge berries, plus—it carries the illusion of springtime bliss. With April just around the corner, I thought it best to get a head start on this season’s clothing. I scored this gorgeous fabric at my local thrift. I didn’t realize that it came from Pottery Barn, so I’m pretty sure that the $5 price tag was only 1% of the original cost. Anywho, I used a pattern made by Etsy seller Patternsbybrandijoan to create this adorable romper.
I used the button-up shirt pattern to construct the upper-half of the two-piece. For the shorts, I just sourced some tailored bottoms I had lying around. I decided I wanted a cinched-in waist, so I adjoined the two pieces to make a channel for the elastic to feed through. I’m pretty proud of the result, minus some raw seams here and there. Occasion-wise, this romper would make for a great casual outfit for the spring and summer.
I’ve been making clothes since 2016. Thanks to YouTubers and the help of my mom, I was able to find my way around a sewing machine at a pretty young age. To be fair, I learned how to thread string through needles when I was a little girl, as my first ever project was a patchwork handkerchief made out of scraps from my mom’s fabric snippings. I like to think I’ve improved since then, and I definitely picked up on some intel and knowledge that I wished little me knew since then. Obviously, I can’t time-travel to the past, but I’m sure novice sewers will get some use out of my experience. Without further ado, here are some tips and tricks that beginners should get a feel for.
Make a plan first
Nothing’s more pitiful than winding up with a completely different garment than what you originally imagined. If you want to stay clear of ill-fitting tops and bottoms, it’s best to sketch out a plan first. This can include illustrations and measurement notes. As you hone your skills, you may be able to construct a piece without a blueprint.
Make a pattern
I remember my first ever dress. Pink, shiny, and horribly stiff, my sewing dream quickly wound up as a hospital gown. The issue? I thought I didn’t need a pattern. If you’re a novice sewer, it’s always best to draft a pattern to ensure no mishaps in the future. Make sure you keep your blueprints, as you can always re-use them in the future.
Try on your garments at every possible step
Remember, you’re sewing for yourself—not your mannequin. When possible, you should always try on your blouse, dress, or pair of pants to ensure everything goes smoothly. If you need to take something in, it’s best to have some safety pins instead of actual pins to prevent jabbing.
Know the importance of seam allowance
One of my major sewing fails is forgetting to add seam allowance to clothing. Of course, this isn’t necessary when it comes to stretchy fabrics, but you should always er on the side of caution. You can always take things in, but you can’t add more once you’ve made the final cut.
You’re going to make mistakes, and it’s okay
Like any profession, mistakes are bound to happen. It’s all a part of the learning process. There are days when sewing goes smoothly, but there are also times when your skills aren’t up to par. It’s important to take a deep breath and re-evaluate the situation. If you keep on making mistakes, it’s best to leave the sewing project until tomorrow.
I think it’s fair to say that 95% of the internet agrees that Emily Cooper’s wardrobe is a complete mess. From rainbow colored-pencil skirts to frilly-tiered dresses, there’s lots to unpack with E.C’s closet. Honestly, I can’t bring myself to hate her aesthetic. Some outfits definitely work—but I can imagine some casual dressers gasping and oogling at a few controversial fits. Emily Cooper is into fashion, but you knew that already. From season one to two, her ensembles cater to the maximalist aesthetic. She’s big on bold colors, patterns, and silhouettes—as it’s pretty rare to catch her wearing something downtoned and subtle.
While others define Emily’s style as digital vomit, I think it’s a fairly smart wardrobe choice—given her personality and living situation. We often forget that the ‘American girl lost in Paris’ is a TV trope done to death. From Anna and the French Kiss to Sex in the City, audiences continuously wipe their memories of this tired cliche to clap and laugh again at quirky Americanism. To western viewers, the protagonist features a commercial woman with ‘Bambi’ eyes as she learns the intricacies of Parisian culture. To a local, it’s definitely something worth rolling your eyes over. Fortunately, today’s society realizes that there’s really no need to recycle this trope again. If anything, ‘alien-ness’ is more so attributed to the westerner than the location itself. Emily Cooper is the outsider looking in, and her naivety isn’t supposed to be cute. Instead, it can be accurately translated into cultural ignorance.
Fashion plays an important role in addressing Emily’s Cooper character. Her wild silhouettes and love of colors can signify her outsider status. She does her best to understand Parisian culture, and it shows through her ‘try-hard’ efforts through outfit coordination. By no means am I saying that maximalism is the ‘copycat’ at fashion, but instead—I’m referring to the show’s take on style as a character definer. As a viewer, I see Emily’s wardrobe less as a statement and more as a ‘cheek-and-tongue’ metaphor. Emily in Paris, to me, is painfully self-aware of its trope, and they’re trying to show us in a more visual manner.
I didn’t expect that I would return so late, but my excuse is a hodgepodge of Christmas planning, important family matters, and University papers. I’ll spare you the details, but expect a full-blown project in the future. I’ve been working on something big and I can’t wait to share it 🙂 For now, I’ll share an outfit I’ve worn the last time I went downtown. I was attending a ballet with a friend, so I needed something simple and elegant.
Unfortunately, with the blowing winter winds, opting for a summer dress wasn’t something worth considering. I could’ve insulated myself with a turtle neck and fleece-lined tights, but I knew it wasn’t going to be enough. Plus, I’ve done it before and I hated how stiff it felt. Luckily, I chanced upon this gorgeous sweater dress from Oak + Fort. Paired with my ASOS boots and my mom’s old leather jacket, I think this look provided a needed touch of modern contemporary in the dead of winter. Oh, I was still cold, but there’s only so much you can do if you’re attending a ballet.
Summer isn’t the time for simplicity, as you’ve probably already noticed. From May to August, we’ve sported frills, off-shoulder cuts, daring hemlines, and vibrant patterns. Winter, on the other hand, is the season of minimalism. Monochrome hues come in full force, and it serves as the prime excuse to hoard all the knitwear you can. But for those who are missing a piece or two in their December-cladded wardrobe, there’s no need to worry. We’ll review a couple of basics that’ll definitely turn any over swamped coat monster into a clean, runway look.
The Trench Coat/ Oversized button-up
Honestly, it all depends on your overall aesthetic. The trench coat is definitely for those looking to don the sleek, sophisticated look. The oversized button-up is for trendsetters who want to impart a ‘grunge’ sort of vibe to their outfit. It’s key that you choose a garment that fits well to your proportions. This includes focusing on its length and if it matches the width of your shoulders. In terms of colors, it’s always a safe bet to go neutral-which includes tones of beige, black, and white.
2. The Cardigan
I’ll put this in all caps in case there are people in the back. DO NOT OPT FOR THE THIN PULLOVER. I’m especially emphasizing those that are usually in the $10 rack at H&M. You want a cardigan that’s plush, soft, and thick. This minimizes any overlayering, due to its threadlike build. Additionally, it’s best to opt for a silhouette that doesn’t over swamp your figure.
3. The Turtleneck
Yes, even The Rock has it down. Everybody needs a turtleneck for the cold season, whether’s its slim-fit design or a bulky knit. Not only does it elongate the neck, but it’ll save you from layering a heavy scarf over top. I highly suggest that you opt for a blanket scarf, but be sure that isn’t big enough to hide your entire outfit.
4. Thigh High Boots
Yep, this one’s definitely debatable for some- but I think thigh high boots are definitely a must for winter. For one, it adds another warm layer to your pants and tights. Two, they help elongate your legs if you’re stuck with a long overcoat for the season. It’s a great boot if you want to look sophisticated, but make sure that you also have a sturdy pair of Docs or Chelseas in case the weather gets bad.
5. Cotton/wool pants
Let’s be honest. It’s real tiring in opting for leggings 4 days out of the week. You want to jazz things up a little, but you’re not keen on wearing skirts in the midst of the December breeze. For those not a fan of jeans, cotton/wool pants are a must-have in keeping your legs warm. If you opt for a well-made pair, you can definitely pull off that office-type, sophisticated look.
I’m sure you can find other basics to include in this list, but we’re here to keep things simple and short. If you have these classics down, I’m sure you can rule winter while keeping warm and cozy.
We are nearing the end of autumn, but I’m still clinging to the last remnants of November. I just don’t want fall fashion to end just yet- there are avenues I want to still explore.
Later this week, I decided to sew up another dress with some fabric I had lying around in my stash. I thrifted this gorgeous, espresso-hued paisley print that gave me such NY-autumn vibes. Initially, I thought about making a skirt out of the material, but I settled for the classic, deep-v ruffle gown that’s currently hot on Pinterest. It wasn’t supposed to be a wrap dress, but what’s a girl gotta do with a few strips of elastic? The skirt came a bit short, so I definitely need to wear a pair of biker shorts underneath.
Overall, I think it’s a pretty cute dress for the fall season. If I were keen on wearing this out, I would def pair these with knee-high boots, black stockings, and a cute leather jacket to top things off.
Before Halloween rolled around, I was already dead-set on what I wanted to be. Back a few months ago, I found myself in odd fascination with the Fast and Furious franchise- most notably, Tokyo Drift. From a fashion standpoint, I was mesmerized by the dated, yet stylishly iconic era of the early 2000s. Particularly, I’m referring to the scene where Sean visits the underbelly of street racing in a seedy parking lot. From low-waisted jeans, fur lining, to strangely patterned sequins- I can’t deny that Y2K has grabbed some of my attention, for better and for worse.
Unfortunately, there was no one from the Toyko Drift cast that I wanted to dress up as. My inspiration later came when I watched the first-ever Fast and Furious movie. There, I was graced with Suki’s debut, where she wore this attention-grabbing outfit composed of lace-up pink leather pants with a two-layered tank top set. From there, I knew I had to recreate the outfit. The problem lay in getting my hands on the right kind of fabric.
I spent months googling and going to my local fabric shop to find pink leather fabric. I knew I had to compromise on synthetics since genuine leather is not only expensive but rare to buy. Sadly, I couldn’t find a single swatch that was similar to what Suki wore. Instead, I settled on these magenta stretchy pants I found at my local thrift store. During my trip, I also snatched two tank tops that I thought I could upcycle as well.
The result is far from perfect, but I can honestly say that I’m proud of it. The pants were the real highlight of the experience since I’ve never sewn anything this unique before. Painting the splatters is another story since I used rolled up trash bags to resemble that distressed effect. I can tell you that these jeans are definitely breezy, and not appropriate for the cold, autumn season.
Obviously, I would’ve had a pink car in the background to complete the effect. Just imagine it in the photoshoot.