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 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.
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.
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.
I think it’s long overdue that I create a mini lookbook inspired by one of my fav anime series. While I’m not totally versed in the Neon Genesis Evangelion universe, I’m a sucker for its vintage, outdated aesthetic. I decided to just focus on the three main characters: Shinji, Asuka, and Rei. Honestly, I could go further and ensemble some looks for Misato, Ritsuko, or even Kaworu- but hey, all the more for Halloween, right?
For this project, I wanted to emphasize the color palettes for each of the characters: white, being Shinji; blue, being Rei, and yellow being Asuka. I feel like most Neon Gen lookbooks usually cater to blacks, bright greens, purples, and oranges- which totally makes sense. After all, our main protagonist controls an Angel dressed in the same hues. On top of that, other designer collections- such as UNDERCOVER and Yohji Yamamoto’s Ground Y- have also styled their ideas around this color palette- but I wanted to do something a bit different.
Without further ado, here is my lookbook!
What I’m Wearing
What I’m Wearing:
Yellow dress: Zara (hand-me-down)
Rings: Black Market Boutique
What I’m Wearing:
Blue sweater: thrifted
White sweater: Oak + Fort
Earrings: Black Market Boutique
A little note: Just a bit of a heads up, I will be changing my upload schedule to bi-weekly instead of every week. Things are getting pretty busy on my end 😛