By: Emily Y.
Though I pride myself on being a grownass woman, the truth is, a great deal of my wardrobe is from or made by my friends–I love their hand-me-downs or clothing-as-gifts. They know me so well, and know there is nothing I love more than clothes.
A lot of people don’t like to give clothes as gifts because it’s risky–what if the receiver doesn’t like it? Thankfully, my friends and family seem to know my taste pretty well. I really love getting clothes as gifts, because every time I wear it I think of the woman who gave it to me and how much I adore them. Here’s a little roundup of items in my wardrobe from my friends and what the item means to me.
1. ” …and I’m Not Sorry” tank top from Nicola
Okay, technically Nicola is my family not my friend, but I love this tank top. She had it made for me for my first Christmas away from home, which I spent with her family. She made it because I am very fond of marching about shouting “I’m not sorry” for this and that. I like to wear it with a bralette and toque and I feel very badass. I wear it on weekends only, or when we go out in the evenings and I’m feeling particularly rebellious.
2. Bathrobe from MerryLou
Perhaps the most ragged item on this list, but also because its the most commonly worn item on this list, this bathrobe was given to me by Lou I think for my 17th birthday. She teased me because it was from La Senza Kids (not the grownup one) because I am on the petite side. She said it was to keep me warm and cozy when I went off to UBC. When she gave me this robe, we ended up going out to some party where we didn’t really know the hosts. We were pretty wild–as most 17-year-old girls are, and I promptly decided to wear the robe all night as my jacket. It was awesome. I wear it every day, and many of the posts on this website have been written with me feverishly typing at my desk bundled up in this robe because our house is usually very cold.
3. Scarf from Howie
Howie knitted me this scarf when we were in high school I think, possibly middle school. She gave it to me when she was half-way through knitting it and then delivered the full deal a few months later. When I first saw it, I immediately fell in love with the colours–lots of muted earth tones, very versatile. Later, when circle/infinity scarves came in to style, I went and sewed the ends together to make it my own infinity scarf. Last winter, I was wearing it at home watching a video of her sing (she sings, has an amazing voice), and I hadn’t seen her for years, and my sister took a picture of me watching this video, and I happened to be wearing this scarf. My sister posted it to Facebook, and Howie recognized the scarf, and it was adorable.
4. T-shirt from Katie D.
Katie D., Advising Editor for this site and designer of The Closet Feminist’s layout is behind this tshirt. She made it years ago, or rather made the print on it years ago. I LOVE this print, I did then, I do now. She’s so talented. I love the idea of wearing her art. I especially like wearing this one with a pencil skirt.
5. Scarf from Katie F.
Not to be mistaken with the Katie D. of the previous slide and tshirt, Katie F. made me this scarf. She, along with Howie, are amongst my oldest friends (I’ve known them for well over a decade). She made me this scarf, and it kind of breaks my heart whenever I wear it because there are two very slightly different shades of burgundy yarn used in it. She told me she ran out 3/4s of the way through and tried to find a matching shade. I adore this scarf for this reason.
6. Shirt from Courtney
Over the summer, Courtney gave me a bunch of her clothes because she was moving overseas. I was an ever-grateful beneficiary–between her and Lydia, they are the greatest benefactors of my wardrobe. I love this shirt, even my lover was like, “This is a Very Emily shirt,” when he saw it for the first time. It’s my go-to going-out shirt, I like it with dressier shorts and pencil skirts and gold jewelry. I actually wore it to Courtney‘s birthday party this past summer, because why not.
7. Sweater from Amelia
I lived with Amelia in my first year of university, she was in my house/dorm. I was volunteering one night in the lobby of my house, and she stopped by to chat, and then she told me she had this sweater that she didn’t need any more and wanted to know if I wanted it since I was the only one around who would likely fit it. I said yes immediately, and it’s one of my fave winter-wardrobe staples to this day. Remember when “oxblood” became a fashion thing? Yea, this sweater. I wore it a lot that year especially.
8. Dress from Lydia
Lydia got me this vintage dress at a thrift store like 5-6 years ago, and it’s a fave. I fondly refer to it as my “Rumi” dress, and Lyd got it for me knowing full well that I would run around imitating my fave blogger Rumi Neely. I thought it was so kind of her to consider my obsession, and this dress fits like a glove. I love it’s versatility–good for winter and summer, and it makes my bust line look bigger so bonus there.
9. Scarf from Sam
My globetrotting, Ivy-League attending friend Sam got this scarf for me when she was in Africa a couple years ago. She was very anxious about giving it to me, hoping that I would like it. It’s not something that I would buy for myself ever, but that is precisely what seems to make it such an essential to me now. I love that it can double like a blanket basically. When I saw Only Lovers Left Alive when it was out, I loved Tilda Swinton’s wardrobe (obviously), and when I went to go imitate it, this scarf was heavy in rotation. I wore it every day for like two weeks after seeing the movie.