How I thrift

The upsurge of thrift-tok has risen over the years, which may come as a surprising shock for experienced thrifters or a ‘been there, done that’ eye roll for some. In my experience, buying second-hand clothes was considered taboo, given their affiliation with being cheap. In a way, it’s reassuring to know that the stigma is no longer there, but I’ve got to admit that it’s a little unnerving for people to label thrifting the newest in-thing. Call me a special snowflake; I’ve been doing this for years.

Obviously, you shouldn’t view my thrifting skills as the peak of expertise, as I’m sure that my methods may be questionable for some. With that being said, I’m fairly confident that I picked up a few things along the way. If you find yourself at a stand-still at your local Goodwill (or Value Village), I’ll share some tips and tricks for thrifters to keep in mind. In my opinion, the goal of every shopping trip is to walk away satisfiedhaul or no haul.

  1. Look for quality, not the brand tag

I’ve seen a fair amount of thrifters scour for the brand tag when it comes to clothes. Obviously, fast fashion labels such as Shein or Romwe get a bad rep for being cheap and unsustainable. I’m not here to defend companies with questionable manufacturing practices, but I’d like to re-instate the fact that sustainability starts at the transaction. The person behind the Shein purchase is half-to-blame, but you can at least decrease their carbon footprint by picking up a pre-used Shein dress. It won’t win any awards in quality, but I’m sure that it’ll last for a decent amount of time. If that Boohoo shirt calls your name, don’t be ashamed in adding it to your shopping cart.

2. Leave no aisle unturned

I’m not referring to children’s clothes, as most experienced thrifters advise newbies. Instead, I’m talking about aisles pertaining to fabric, loose material, sleepwear, and even maternity garments. You’d be surprised with the number of finds tucked away in unseen corners. A good amount of my thrift finds are found in random places.

3. Don’t pay attention to shoe sizing

Popular thrift stores, such as Goodwill, Value Village, and Salvation Army, aren’t known to be super curated and organized. This bodes especially true for shoes, as most shoppers aren’t keen to put back pairs in their original spots. As a result, it’s not uncommon to find a size 7 in a size 6. You should also look for footwear in other sections, such as the men’s, women’s, or even children’s.

4. Be skeptical about designer finds

This includes behind-the-counter items and products sold openly for customer viewing. Some store reps confuse counterfeit goods with the real thing, as it’s increasingly difficult to differentiate designer from dupe nowadays. Unless you’re 100% sure about a certain purse or garment, I suggest double-checking on the internet before committing to purchase.

5. Never underestimate the power of a one-piece (and a pair of slip-on shoes)

If you often shop for second-hand clothes, chances are that you’ll be stuck in the try-on stall for a majority of your time. Instead of waiting around for the next open booth, I advise wearing a simple jumpsuit or romper to make the process easier. I recommend opting for a neutral-toned one-piece, as it can easily test a garment’s versatility and practicality. Of course, wearing hassle-free shoes is also an asset. Trust me, there’s nothing more frustrating than untying and re-tying your Chuck Taylors over and over again.


My Fashion Portfolio Submission for University :)

It’s Toronto Metropolitan University, but we’ll discuss the name choice on another day.

My passion for fashion is a decade-long love affair, so it ultimately made sense for me to pursue my studies. I remember driving up to God knows where with my mother in the passenger seat and the casual topic of sewing came up. After a thoughtful conversation, she encouraged me to spread my wings and dip my toes into the creative arts. I was filled with excitement and hesitation. For one, it meant another four years of essays, homework, and commuting. It also drove a colloquial axe into my future savings, in hopes of renting my own place. But, she convinced me that it was more of a once-in-a-lifetime investment. Would I regret it? It only took me a few seconds to say yes.

It was relatively easy picking my top three.

During the time, COVID was still a rampant issue, so I decided that international studies were not the most feasible option. Inevitably, I chose Ryerson, George Brown, and Humber as my top-tier contenders. I knew that Ryerson had the best program since I was already exposed to the fashion curriculum there. Ironically enough, the application itself was trickier to fill out compared to the portfolio itself. I’ll spare you the details, but basically, it was a bunch of hopping back and forth about completing the right forms and submitting the correct documents.

The portfolio consisted of an essay and three creative works. I knew I had the write-up in the bag, so I decided to focus a majority of my time on the projects themselves. I chose to create my own outfit from scratch, which proved to be quite expensive. I wanted to show off my passion for fashion history, as well as demonstrate my sewing skills as well. I came up with a bejeweled corset and a slim turtleneck dress underneath. I also wanted to include a French hood for a bit of sophistication. It wasn’t integral to the look, but I needed to balance out the glitz showcased on the top. 

I won’t go into the specifics about how I constructed this outfit, but let me tell you—I was definitely self-conscious about my own sewing skills and pattern-making abilities. The fit wasn’t exactly perfect, but my mom gently reminded me that every fashion school candidate applies with some sort of detriment. At the end of the day, it didn’t look so bad. Thank god for angles and the nuance of black fabric. 

If you happen to chance upon this article looking for tips and tricks, I’d be more than happy to share my own experience. The best advice that I can ever give is to proceed without insecurity. It’s normal to have imposter syndrome, which is why it’s important to remind yourself that school exists to improve your abilities. Other tips include starting early, making sure you have enough fabric, and try on the garment as much as you can. 

After months of nervously waiting, I’m happy to report: I GOT IN! I was waiting for that offer of admission to come in before uploading the post. Of course, I would’ve published this article regardless of the result, but the tone of the write-up would’ve been more somber if it was a deafening negative. 

Before I end this post, here are a few concept sketches I illustrated for other outfits. They’re a bit more complicated in design, so you can see why I opted for the corset/turtleneck look to help save some time.


Things that I learned throughout my fashion journey

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.


Emily in Paris: Wild Americanisms Translated by Fashion

Emily in Paris/ Courtesy of Netflix

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.


Fashion and the Importance of Relatability 

In early September, my halftime consisted of lunch spotting, catching up with homework, and mindless meandering down the Eaton Centre. The latter part was a way to treat myself. If my eyes weren’t glued to the fluorescent screen on my laptop, I could treat them to sights of discounted clothing racks or accessory stalls. Since H&M was relatively close to the Dundas subway station, it was usually my first pitstop. 

H&M, like so many other stores at the mall, helped me stay on current fashion trends. If I wasn’t going to buy anything, I could at least educate myself on the latest style crazes. In the midst of corset lace-up hoodies and cold-shoulder tops, I was astounded- but not surprised- to see a sweatshirt ripped from a University giftshop. Written in laughably bold letters: Hype college- as if it was a sans script way of doing the ol’ wink wink nudge nudge to its fellow students that shopped there. Naturally, I felt called out.

Relatability is far from a used marketing trick by big-name retailers. If anything, it’s been done by other industry leaders. I won’t say that it’s a shady tactic by any means, but that untasteful collegiate sweater did get me thinking: how does relatability play in fashion, and is it a significant role? 

The first thing that comes to mind is the upsurge of Y2K fashion. I know, I covered this topic to death in a recent post but it’s still mind-boggling to think that such a dated trend has now become stylish and refreshing. I mean, haven’t we all collectively agreed that low-rise bottoms were a bad idea? 

Nevertheless, it’s a classic example of relatability and fashion doing the ol’ tango. It’s familiar and it reminds us of a better time. Don’t get me wrong, Hollister t-shirts will continue to forever haunt me, but it does spark memories of somersaulting at recess and playing tag with old friends. If anything, it’s a memento rather than a statement piece. 

Political fashion is also a great example of relatability and fashion. Nothing will speak to consumers more than a pressing issue, as some big-name designers are integrating subjects like environmentalism and social justice. 

Take for instance, Daniel Fletcher, who created the anti-Brexit collection in 2016. It was a creative way to showcase his political stance by using his talents and expertise. I will say that it’s a subtle way of expressing his viewpoints, but it’s tasteful, grounded, and provides an alternative for activists to showcase their perspective casually. 

If you aren’t versed in the political field, I’m sure you have other ways of ‘rebelling against the common curve.’ This is, of course, the uprise of ‘core’ fashion. Thanks to social media platforms like Pinterest, TikTok, and Instagram, we’re now open to hundreds of aesthetics. This usually includes popular styles like cottage core, techwear, dark academia, grunge, and vintage. 

Relatability is present in all of these different categories. It speaks to a generation of like-minded individuals who share the same interests and values. If you like the brooding, mysterious aesthetic of old London, academia can be your thing. For those who love open fields, book reading, and flowers, I’m sure cottage core will speak to your spirit. 

Ultimately, relatability is the way we communicate with clothes. It grounds us to long-lost memories, deep-seated values, and perspectives we align with. Fashion, at the end of the day, is a method of self-expression, and if we can’t relate to it- chances are that we leave it on the racks for the next person to gloss over. 


When the Pandemic hit, My Bank Account Dipped. And so did my Self Esteem

I never had issues with my body before- which I guess makes it very surreal for me to confront that I do have them now. Especially in a blog post; especially online; for an entire Internet audience to see; I’m now realizing that a simple ‘hello,’ is overdue- by the way.

While this is a fashion blog, I feel as though beauty and clothing go hand-in-hand. As storefront mannequins continue to be stand-in for what the ‘common’ male and female body looks like, I can’t help but notice that the garment industry is manufacturing pieces meant for plastic torsos, hips, legs, and arms. We’ve chalked it up to sizing issues- that a particular pair of jeans or blouse didn’t fit right because we were either an inch too small or too big. But maybe- here me out- it’s because it was never tailored to someone that was real in the first place. Beauty standards, the ever cruel mistress birthed by social media and the male gaze.

Back when I was young, I thought myself lucky to be blessed with a thin body. I had some pre-conceived notion that skinny girls were usually marked to be valuable and something to be desired in terms of shape. I kept it to myself, strolled by those early elementary school years and past my high school phase. Body issues? please, I had homework to stress over other than thigh gaps and a cinched waist.

But as I reached the end of my university period, I found myself in a position I’ve never expected to be in. The pandemic of 2020 hit. We were forced to cancel our plans and put our dreams on hold as we stayed indoors. I had a lot of time on my hands- and my bank account seemed stagnant from that point on. So I turned to online shopping to help pass time and give some sort of escapism. Zara, ThredUp, Amazon, Reformation, and other websites started to pop up on my recommended feed on Instagram and Facebook. Occasionally, I would purchase from said sites, but after weeks of anticipation-I would be met with this weird feeling of disappointment. The quality of clothes was unquestionable, but it was the way I looked in them made me feel some type of way.

See, the ‘pretty girl’ Asian mindset that I had- at least, from what I society has poisoned me with- was that I needed have a slight hourglass shape. Still thin, but with some definable hips and chest. What I soon realized, was the reality that I wanted to buy a certain body shape that I unconsciously desired. I thought that spring dress and skirt would look as great as the girl did in the picture. But after weeks of patiently updating my Canada Post tracking page, I would slip this small cutout of fabric onto my body to find out I was nothing like those models. I’m fat, I would tell myself, I don’t have the body to fill out this top.

Now, telling myself that I should loose a couple of pounds is nothing less than terrifying when I first thought of it. Those that are close to me know that I’m underweight. I’ve always been 100. No fluctuations- just a solid number that stayed with me since my high school years. I was certain that I didn’t need to loose any fat- in fact, I should actually be gaining some. Then I started working out in hopes that I would turn out to be a picture-perfect girl in the end. I hated feeling shallow and vain. I was angry at myself for wanting to loose weight and angry that I didn’t feel pretty enough.

For those looking for a solid conclusion, I’m going to have to let you down. I have no redeeming remark that I’ve passed through this phase and I’m on a healthy road to mental recovery. But to be real with you, I feel like every girl on earth will never truly be free of societal’s grasp of physical beauty. We are all living in social media, especially when the internet is all we have during the unsteady period of COVID-19. What I can say is- I’m glad that I at least accepted that I have this belittling mindset. Even though I’ll still feel a bit self conscious the next time I go dress-shopping, I have some comfort knowing that I’m certainly not the only one who feels this way. Because in the midst of millions of social media and clothing product pages being updated everyday- there are billions of real people out there who live filter free.


Y2K Fashion Is Trending And I Don’t Like It

It’s time for an intervention. You are in trouble and we desperately need to have a one on one with this. Fashion, I get that trends are what keep you relevant. I, myself love a bit of vintage inspo- as it can invoke those lock and key memories of nostalgia or better times. But to be serious, some fads need to go Thelma and Louise style. Guns ablazing, hands knit together, cowabunga style- the low rise jean had its moment and its time that we leave that grave untouched.

In the uneventful year of 2020, fashion has actually shown us some interesting moments now and then. With the rise of Tik Tok, its so much easier to know what’s in and what’s out. On my feed, sage-green cowl-neck silk dresses are being fitted and flattered, DIY bleach art on baggy jeans garner thousands of likes, and then there’s Y2K. In between cottage core and dark academia, I was honestly quite baffled that something like this would rise from the ashes. For those that don’t know, Y2K is a form of early 2000s fashion. While the name is commonly associated with the widespread panic in the baby Internet age, it has nothing to do with the actual event. Think of crop tops and low rise everything. Being a late 90s baby, I was smack dab peer pressured to conform to the elementary fashion code that was ‘low rise everything.’ It was a lot of torso and the unfortunate butt crack. I hated it, to be short.

Then I hated it even more when it showed up on my feed. I came across this video in which a girl was showing off her latest thrift haul. I could not believe my eyes and ears when she pulled up a low rise mini skirt, the same cut of jeans, one of those ugly 2000s print long sleeves, and those ‘beach’ wave neon colored Karen dresses that I swear is only sold at farmer’s markets. To be clear, I’m all for people wearing what they want to wear. My problem with this trend is that I know it will definitely pass. It’s timeline is very short, and I have this nagging annoyance of people who don’t look ahead to the future. Low rise jeans will never come back- and the people will buy them, to only donate their pair to Goodwill once it’s worn only once or twice.

In my last in-depth article, I pointed fingers at trends being the most unsustainable thing towards fashion. They are short lived, but they create hype- which is why everyone will want to get into what’s cool and in. Y2K is basically the text-book definition of a unsteady trend. We laugh and make top ten articles of the worst 2000s fashion clothing pieces that were popular at the time. And it’s good that we do, because we at least validate the claim that we can do so much better. Low rise bottoms are a classic example of the importance of fashion and function working together. This cut of skirt or pant will always make your figure look short and unproportionable- not to mention that it always sags down. Strange patterns with clashing colors are hard to pair with other items of clothing, as it’s often ditched to the underbelly of the closet that’s left to be forgotten. I’m not going back there, and you shouldn’t either.

The 2000s was an era of experimentation. Nobody really knew what to wear. We experimented with different combinations, we thought that it expressed some level of individuality and personality. If we really put things into perspective, that decade essentially captured what it was like figuring out our dress sense when we were. No one had a clue of what to do, we just threw things together in hopes of cohesiveness. But we grew up, looked back, and fixed our mistakes. There’s a reason why we cringe. It’s because we know that there was a better way of doing things, and we just didn’t realize it at the time.

I think there may be a reason for this revival of clothing. Compared to the dumpster fire of this year and it’s prior time, the 2000s was a relatively fun decade to be a part of. Teens now are nostalgic of those childhood memories when things were better. For the most of us, we weren’t exposed to the horrors of the real world just yet- we were still living in blissful ignorance while playing with our Barbies and Bratz dolls. And now, some individuals are trying to reclaim that past glory of a time where we had a decent social life.

I’m all in for living for those glory days, but I implore you. Some trends make it blatantly obvious that it’s only around for a short amount of time. I’d say we cut our losses before we start making 2021 the year of questionable fashion.


Slow Fashion Isn’t What You Think It Is

Unsplash via Fernand De Canne

Here’s the thing about revelations; it’s supposed to be this grandiose realization that becomes the foundation of your current beliefs. You’ve mapped things out. One plus one equals two and nobody can tell you any different. But as time runs its course, the paradigm starts to shift. One nagging fact quickly gives birth to a domino train of consistencies that you can no longer ignore, and then suddenly it all clicks into place. Dramatics aside, if you want to get down to the nitty gritty- I’ve completely changed my opinion on what it means to be sustainable. 

While it may seem like a miniscule revelation, to me, it’s been the foundation of my fashion thesis whenever I shop for new clothing. I’ve written dozens of articles upon the subject, spent hours gathering research and watching a lot of documentaries. I’ve always pointed the finger towards fast fashion. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still problematic. Changing the way we manufacture our Adidas sweatpants has to be aligned with eco-friendly and ethical labour practices. 

In my teenage years, I rarely shopped for new clothing at the mall. You could see me perusing through aisle upon aisle at my local thrift store. For many fashion nerds, it’s a cheap and ‘environmentally friendly’ way to try out new trends and styles. I hate to say this- particularly because it’s a phase in my life that I still cringe thinking about- but I was able to get into that cutesy kawaii Japanese trend by shopping at my local Value Village. I completely avoided sites like YesStyle or AsianiCandy. 

But as I grew older, I found myself generally unhappy with my style. I had too many clothes in the closet that often didn’t match- and if they did, it would take a good amount of time to find what pieces looked good together. I essentially had 4 or 5 different fashion styles I loved converged in one tiny wardrobe. I had no focus, mostly because I believed that fashion gave me the power to wear whatever I wanted. 

It wasn’t until a random Tik Tok video landed on my for you page. In what I found to be a generally defensive tone, this woman was arguing that fast fashion isn’t the problem- it’s all big brand companies like Apple and Amazon that essentially do the same thing. I thought to myself, ‘well, everyone has to start somewhere right? I won’t judge someone if they decide to start things small with fashion and work their way up.’ 

I then countered the fact that most people can’t afford sustainable fashion brands, as they are generally expensive. But then people argued that if you can afford $200 worth of Shein inventory, you can afford to shop at these eco-friendly companies. However, that’s not a fair comparison. $200 gets you multiple sets of t-shirts, jeans, and dresses at Zaful. In comparison, $200 gets you maybe one pair of jeans and t-shirt at Reformation. 

But Sophie, you may be thinking, these fast fashion brands usually produce low quality clothing that’ll only last you for a few years! I can’t really vet for that, considering I used to own two Old Navy Jeans that lasted throughout my elementary school years. I didn’t discard them because I found rips in them, I gave them up because I simply couldn’t fit in them anymore as I aged. 

The debate of what is sustainable and what is not is clusterfuck. I found myself hating these people who had the money to afford these eco-friendly brands and bragging how they only commit to environmentally friendly clothing. I’m broke, I can’t afford House of Sunny and the Girlfriend Collective. And so I was left with a general confused buzz of what exactly to do, as I already knew that thrifting for 40 additional clothing pieces for my already full wardrobe wasn’t going to make me truly happy. 

And then I realized the true culprit behind the crime- and wasn’t it already obvious to us from the very beginning? Trends, more specifically, the way our society views and discards them. Trends basically go hand in hand with fashion, as seasonal collections determine what’s in and what’s not. Social media plays a big part in what is considered popular. For instance, the 90s trend has come back in full force with scrunchies, bright TV colors, and highwaisted everything. On top of that, it branched to other core aesthetics, such as Y2K and cupid core. 

Trends aren’t sustainable, which sounds more obvious the more than I think about it. As each upcoming generation dictates the direction of the way we should dress-our love of a certain aesthetic seems to die and wither away as we gravitate to something that’s new and exciting. I’m positively sure that clothing trends like funky print pants, inverted stitching, and corset tops will end up on an obscure top 10 list of ugly fashion that 2021 kids wore. 

I’m not saying that following trends are bad, it’s an inherent part of being human. We like things that are shiny and new. To plain it simply- no matter how ‘alternative’ you think you are, your tastes are more mainstream than you think. It’s perfectly fine to like one or more aesthetics, it actually makes you look more adventurous in the long run. While it’s impossible to fight against the current, there’s one solution that everyone can try out. 

It’s called moderation. 

You don’t have to empty out your wallets to purchase a sustainably made jacket. You don’t have to make a weekly thrift store trip every time you want to invest in another trendy wardrobe. Like eating chocolates, everything is better in moderation. Instead of buying more, challenge yourself to only include items that you know you will wear. Pick clothing that you think will last you a long time. Choose styles that are timeless, and can pair with various outfits. 

Slow fashion is not only defined by buying sustainably made, eco-friendly brands. It’s about slowing down your consumption. If you buy dozens of clothing pieces from environmentally friendly brands- yes, you are a more conscious consumer, but if you don’t end up wearing them all that often, it’s still considered wasteful.

So please, let’s stop shaming people left and right if they buy clothing from H&M or Forever 21. The best way to save your wallet and keep the planet happy is to be excruciatingly picky in your decisions. 


Into the Modern Renaissance

Via Patou Spring 2021

If paintings like Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring invoke a certain mood of class- it’s only natural that it would also reflect a specific fashion style as well. The 1500s were all about exaggerated silhouettes, billowing skirts and adding extravagant details like beading and embroidery. And with it, the thought of wearing such garments out leads to imagining lavish ball dances, vast mansion gardens to get lost in and perusing endlessly through museums. 

We obviously can’t go back to the ‘good ol’ renaissance age, but we can at least borrow inspiration from it. Throughout the last three years, I’ve seen a particular fashion trend pop up on my feed through Instagram, Pinterest and surprisingly TikTok. Corsets are suddenly no longer a 90s throwback, as they are often designed in a more ‘romantic’ manner. Chunky headbands invoke a sort of Anne Boleyn style french hood. Renaissance cupids are no longer seen strictly on paintings, but on bodycon dresses. 

Via Iamgia

Harling Ross from Repeller coined the term ‘Renaissancecore’ in an article addressing an upsurge of designers and influencers wearing clothing pieces seemingly inspired from this period. Think of peasant tops with extravagant patterns paired with coats, dresses and even pants with an additional jarring print. However, the trends that I’m seeing so far aren’t really dressing in this manner, as most of them put a more modern and simplistic twist to them. 

Apart from Renaissancecore, modern renaissance fashion is inspired mostly by cottage core with a hint of light academia. Both can be considered a more ‘romantic’ trend of clothing style- as it showcases lighter tones, muted colours, simplistic design, with a kind of ‘parisian’ aesthetic that ties the whole thing together. As a result, modern renaissance fashion is outwardly simplistic- but lavish in terms of what the clothing is made out of (like silk, tulle, tweed or jacquard). 

Via Cecilie Bahnsen

Designers like Cecilie Bahnsen, Erdem, Batsheva and Patou have invoked the trend of modern renaissance fashion by taking inspiration from the exaggerated silhouettes and lavish intricacies of that time period and making it more adaptable in this day and age. It’s all about achieving a certain silhouette through the use of layering certain patterns and textures to deliver a sense of elegance simplicity. 

So why is renaissance fashion making a 600 year comeback? I’m guessing it’s because of what we think of when we hear the word ‘renaissance.’ We usually think of elaborate garments that distinguish one certain class from the rest. We think of elegance, poise, manner and expense. Think of it almost like a ye ol’ version of hypebeast fashion in the 1400s. Additionally, the renaissance is a period that marks a big social and political change within that time period- which could very much reflect the modern period today, as we move further deeper into the digital age. 

Via Joliegal

In a way, the spreading trend of renaissance clothing pieces like silk corsets and floral peasant tops can also be seen as a way to maintain tradition without looking too ‘outdated.’ But by simply tucking said corsets into a pair of high waisted jeans, you are suddenly mashing two iconic fashion trends to create something oddly futuristic.