Suited to the Task: Evan Rachel Wood

All eyes–and iPhones–were locked on Evan Rachel Wood at the Golden Globes this past January, when she chose to wear a custom Altuzarra tux instead of a gown. “I’m not trying to protest dresses, but I wanted to make sure that young girls and women know they aren’t a requirement,” she said, adding later, “I promised myself I would wear a suit to every awards show this year.”

  • Evan Rachel Wood in “Suit Yourself” by Wendy Kaur in Elle Canada April 2017

Other sharp suits for inspiration:

Above: Sonia by Sonia Rykiel Pre-Fall 2016

Above: Barbara Bui, Pre-Fall 2016

Above: Dondup, Pre-fall 2016

Above: Marni, Pre-fall 2016

Above: Ports 1961, Pre-Fall 2016

Above: Stella McCartney, Pre-fall 2016

I Wore Feminist T-shirts 7 Days In A Row…And Everything Was Fine

This is what a feminist looks like–literally.

This past summer I decided to try a little wardrobe challenge: wear a feminist t-shirt every day for seven days in a row.

A photo posted by Emily Yakashiro (@ekyakashiro) on

Luckily, I happen to actually own seven feminist shirts (yay no repeats!). My biggest worry about this challenge was wearing these outfits to work–wearing a band tshirt to the office felt like one thing, but wearing my political and philosophical beliefs on my sleeve 9-5 seemed like an entirely different affair.

There was some strategy for this–I was careful to wear my more wild shirts for the weekends, like the VDAY tank I wore on the first day of the challenge (see first picture above).

A photo posted by Emily Yakashiro (@ekyakashiro) on

I had actually been planning to do this challenge for a while, but was waiting for a stretch of warm, sunny weather–it would have to happen during the summer. My rationale here was I wanted people to actually see my shirts. If I had done the challenge during colder months, I would probably cover up the shirts with sweaters and cardigans in effort to stay warm, which rather defeats the purpose. Plus, practically speaking, its wayyyyy easier to take outfit pics when its not freezing outside.

A photo posted by Emily Yakashiro (@ekyakashiro) on

I admit, I was a little nervous about how people would react in my day-to-day life. I’m happy to report though that absolutely nothing bad happened at all. Nobody even questioned me (“soooo feminism, eh?”).  I get tired of answering the “why feminism?” question, so largely, I just don’t do that anymore–I leave that up to my allies. Wearing the shirts was a quick, easy way to signal (as if its not already obvious) ‘hey I’m a feminist’.

A photo posted by Emily Yakashiro (@ekyakashiro) on

I’m assuming that no one talked to me about my shirts for a few reasons:

  1. I’m always dressed up. Wearing a colourful outfit and fun tshirt that happens to be relevant to feminism really doesn’t change my general wardrobe aesthetic
  2. They couldn’t be bothered–in talking to me, it’s obvious I’m a feminist–what difference does it make if I have a shirt on that declares it? It’s like wearing a religious jewellery, like a cross necklace. It indicates part of your identity, but most people aren’t going to bother to ask you about it.
  3. The privileges I enjoy (visibly mixed race, thin, cisgendered, etc) tend to effectively guard against any particularly invasive questions with regards to my wardrobe

 

A photo posted by Emily Yakashiro (@ekyakashiro) on

Since all was fine, I’m thinking I will do it again this summer (different outfits, naturally). If I’m being honest, I only actually enjoy wearing a few of these shirts–the others are uncomfortable, don’t fit right, etc–specific notes below.

A photo posted by Emily Yakashiro (@ekyakashiro) on

 

  1. I Love <3 My Vagina tank – got this at an actual Vagina Monologues performance years ago, so I can’t offer any current purchase details. I looove this tank top, fits so nicely. Wear it often as a pajama top.
  2. Women In History tshirt – I love this tshirt! I especially love how diverse it is, and where else would you see these women being honoured in such a fashion? You can buy it here, but they only ship within the US (boooo!)–I was only able to get mine via my girl ST who lives in the states right now. I will say though–it fits really long and covers my butt which is kinda annoying
  3. …And I’m Not Sorry tank- this one was made for me by my sister-in-law! I love it, and wear it often on the weekends (the super-thin straps make it a little unprofesh for work and necessitates layering). It’s about taking up space and not being sorry of course.
  4. Women Belong In the House…of Commons! tshirt – I’ve had this one for years, and while I think the graphic is clever/awesome, I hate the fit–its that thick, ribbed cotton tshirt material that bags easily after too many washes.
  5. feminism tshirt – While I love the simplicity of the statement, this shirt also fits poorly–too small, so its rather uncomfortable. Also, it says ‘humanism’ on the back which I didn’t picture because I don’t like that aspect of the tshirt–I’m a feminist, and don’t identify with humanism.
  6. Feminism tshirt – This one is so comfy, plus I really like it because it is made by Only Child Apparel, which is a local, Vancouver-based line!!! Also, this was probably my favourite outfit of the week.
  7. got consent? tank – This one, like shirt #4 is that unfortunate fabric. Also, it has shrunk over the years so it doesn’t fit well–neckline is too high for my taste, and its short on my torso. I got this while I was at UBC while I was working for the campus sexual assault support centre, but it looks like they are no longer for purchase.

BONUS: Looking for other awesome places to find feminist tshirts? Check out the list I have going here.

Does Outfit Colour Advice from the 80s hold up?

Here’s something just for fun during these hot summer days.  Remember when I discovered that adorable fashion advice book from the 1980s? I decided to try out the advice offered to see if the suggested colour combinations still work today–after all, when I think of 80s colour combinations, I think of headache-inducing patchwork brights encrusted with dizzying, over-the-top patterns.

coralSo here is Jeanne Allen‘s suggested colours for “Coral Pink” (original scan from the book above). According to Allen, coral pink “could almost be considered a member of the orange family,” and, “can work as a nice accent to bring brightness and softness to grey tones.”

I took a spin on Allen’s combinations above with this outfit set below. The skirt was my coral garment of choice, and instead of matching it with something easy like white, I went for the greeny/teal/grey as seen in outfits 7, 8, and 14 above.

tricky colour combo 1

MANGO blue tank top, 20 CAD / Maison Kitsuné pleated skirt, 190 CAD / Hanky Panky lacy lingerie, 59 CAD / Glamorous high heel shoes, 69 CAD / Chloé genuine leather handbag, 1,650 CAD / Rebecca Minkoff post earrings, 36 CAD / Pendant charm, 1,555 CAD

I think overall Allen’s 1980s advice holds up! The bralette certainly ties everything together, but if bralettes aren’t your thing, def try to tie the colours together with something like a scarf.

Fashion’s place in Feminism: Where is it?

The fashion-conscious feminist is made to feel doubly shamed for having twice betrayed the feminist cause: first for falling into the old patriarchal trap of mugging for the objectifying sexual gaze, then again for enjoying it.

sydneyfair

This position doesn’t leave much room for the satisfaction of playing with the spectacular identities that clothing can signify as an activity in and of itself. It assumes that a woman’s interest in her attire is purely frivolous, seeking only to outdo her peers or impress sexual quarry. It ignores the relationship that clothing nourishes between women, the pride and power that can be gleaned from a solid outfit, and the game of using garments as costumes to craft public personas. above all, it takes for granted that women who invest energy into their appearances are incapable of realizing they are being manipulated; they are lamgs who willingly nestle themselves in the fashion industry’s rapacious jaw rather than rational, empowered individuals who choose to communicate using apparel.

-from “The F Word: Finding a Place for Fashion in Feminism” by Emily Raine in The WORN Archive edited by Serah-Marie McMahon

Food for Thought: Fashion, Activism, & Femininity

Early suffragettes used fashion to their advantage, turning rallies into dress-up occasions. “They were saying, We have brains and desires and political will so we care about our bodies and how we look,” says [Marlis] Schweitzer [author of When Broadway Was the Runway]. “I think there’s something about that aspect of fashion a smart woman today might find appealing.” Indeed, we’re in a time (led by young feminists like Tavi Gevinson) when being feminine and being fashionable aren’t mutually exclusive. Thus identified as part of a sisterhood, I felt more at ease.

-Jessica Johnson in her article, “Age of Innocence” in Flare December 2013.

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