3 Canadian Style Finds for Spring

You’ve read our Editor’s Wish Lists for Spring 2014, here are a few more finds we think are worthy for spring. As a bonus, all of these items are Canadian!

1. Strathcona stockings


Image above found here.

Cult favourite, lady-run label, and  Vancouver-based designer Strathcona Stockings (the stockings are named after a Vancouver neighbourhood for readers who aren’t local)–what’s not to love?

2. The WORN Archive: A Fashion Journal about the Art, Ideas, and History of What We Wear


Get thee to a bookstore, ’cause the WORN Archive will be out in May. We’re huge fans of WORN–it’s Canadian, feminist, and all about why fashion and clothing very much matter. Details here.

3. Mod Style Blossom Voile Infinity Scarf by Veespoke 

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Above: Image found here.

Another Vancouver line, Veespoke, makes beautiful infinity scarves for folks who aren’t sure how to wear scarves! We love the bright selection (like the one above) and the very West Coast feel of this stylish local label.

What to Wear: VIWIFF 2014

The 9th annual Vancouver International Women in Film Festival is taking place this year from March 6-9th. What better way to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th than to check out some excellent films made by women? Here’s what to wear to this exciting cultural event driven by and celebrating work made by women.

viwiff 1

Madewell sheer shirt, 100 CAD / Red camisole, 46 CAD / Nümph highwaisted pants / ALDO black stiletto, 110 CAD / Alexander Wang buckle purse, 1,355 CAD / Revlon eye makeup, 5.55 CAD / Revlon beauty product, 5.55 CAD

Attending film festival screenings is like going to any other movie theatre. However, the films are introduced, and Q&A panels may follow with the filmmakers, so a few special details might be nice to have. An easy rule? Throw together whatever Euro-chic pieces you have like the ensemble above– a nice blouse, unexpected colours, interesting cuts, etc.

viwiff 2

Topshop chiffon shirt, 78 CAD / Vanessa Bruno pink tuxedo, 745 CAD / Mango skirt, 52 CAD / Topshop sporting footwear, 110 CAD / ASOS laser cut purse, 42 CAD / J Crew tri color jewelry, 83 CAD / MAC Cosmetics lips makeup, 18 CAD / Essie nail polish, 15 CAD

A basic silhouette works for attending a screening as well. Above we have a skirt, blazer, and blouse. Adding pops of colour and something fun like a polka dots lends the outfit a more cosmopolitan vibe. Don’t have the $ to pull an outfit together? Just paint your nails an exciting colour–it adds colour, and won’t break the bank.

viwiff 3
The outfit above is pretty neutral–perfect for colour-shy Vancouverites. Add a bright necklace or a contrasting-print scarf to a dress with touches of colour to give your outfit an extra something.

Supporting women involved in the Canadian film industry is super-important considering the barriers they face. The 2013 report Women in View on Screen showed that women made up just 22% of fiction directors and 20% of fiction writers. Things were even worse for racialized women–the study found that out of 78 fiction directors, just 2 were women of colour, and that racialized women were entirely absent from documentary production.

The Vancouver International Women in FIlm Festival is mostly entirely volunteer-driven event, here are some interesting facts about what was going on behind the scenes during the planning of the festival (found here).

Interesting facts about #VIWIFF 2014

  • The festival line-up has a movie from every continent this year except Australia and Antarctica.
  • For the first time ever, the festival is opening with a thriller/horror movie–Karen Lam’s Evangeline.
  • Our block of Venezuelan films showing the afternoon of Saturday, March 8th, are not only excellent films, but the result of a partnership with the Venezuelan consulate to bring the best of Venezuelan female filmmakers to Vancouver!
  • The beautiful documentary Chi by Anne Wheeler focuses on Babz Chula, a larger-than-life Vancouver performer who was also a lifetime member of Women In Film & Television Vancouver.
  • Germany and Venezuela tie for having the third most films showing at the festival after Canada and the States. From Germany we’re showing FinsterworldZu Dir?, and  Am I Not Your Girl?
  • Evangeline was submitted at the very last  minute before the submission deadline–at it was a good thing as it is our opening night film!
  • Our Evaluation Team watched an average of 945 minutes of film each; Festival Committee members had to watch an average of 2350 minutes of film each.
  • You name it, we had it: we had submissions of all genres and lengths–films as short as 90 seconds, and as long as 2 hours. We had rom-coms, horror movies, animated films, student films, even erotic films!

Don’t miss out on #VIWIFF 2014!  Info about the schedule here, ticket info here. Check out the VIWIFF blog for updates on everything from fun facts about the filmmakers to media literacy resources. 

Editor’s Spring Wish List: Lydia O.

Wondering what The Closet Feminist’s editors are coveting for Spring 2014? Lydia Okello, our Advising Editor and fave Canadian personal style blogger has her picks for spring below.
Spring Fling

Monki pink top, 41 CAD / MuuBaa cropped leather jacket, 1,005 CAD / Opening Ceremony strappy high heel shoes, 385 CAD / Charlotte Olympia box clutch, 1,715 CAD / Club Monaco wide brim hat, 240 CAD / Karen Walker cat eye sunglasses, 435 CAD / NYX coral lipstick, 4.38 CAD

This spring I’m coveting flirtatious looks that are a little bit bad ass. This cobalt blue bomber is a lust-worthy statement piece to play with. A cheeky printed skirt + glossy chunky oxfords are just the saucy punch I’m looking for. Add a cherry pout, a chic clutch, and a comfy sweatshirt and I’d have a bonafide spring-fling look!

6 Body-Positive, Affordable Style Resolutions for 2014

By: Emily Yakashiro

Come this time of year, there is endless talk of new diets, exercise regimens, joining gyms, etc. Little of the talk I personally here is about creating a vision of health that suits you and your specific needs, and reflecting on old habits in a meaningful way that is gentle and constructive for yourself. Unsurprisingly, a lot of these insecurities foisted onto us by a misogynistic media and a sexist, fat-phobic society at large can bleed into our clothing choices. I say screw that–here are six body positive, slut-shaming free, and affordable style resolutions for 2014.

1. Remember that clothes are supposed to fit you, you are not supposed to fit your clothes.


Above: Love this romantic top by Youtheary Khmer–would look great with faux leather leggings or an emerald pencil skirt.

We all know that clothes are made to fit certain types of bodies by the fashion and garment-production industry at large. Vanity sizing exists, and different stories size things differently ( a size 8 at the Gap will likely be different from a size 8 at Forever 21, for instance). There is no regulating/governing body which makes shopping accessible and easy for all body types and shapes, sizes, and needs across different stores and labels. That means it’s up to us to figure out what works, which is frustrating, yes, but also not a reflection about what our bodies are, but what this industry thinks will work for the majority of the population. The fashion industry is not taking your shopping experience personally, and neither should you if stores are stupid and only make sizes 1-8 available.

Bottom line: find the clothes that fit you, and resist the negative messages that say it’s your body that doesn’t fit. If you want to exercise, go ahead, but know there are other ways to make your clothes fit: belts, tailoring your clothes, making your own clothes, shapewear, trying vintage clothing because fit is made for different bodies each decade etc.

BONUS: You know who is hilarious and has killer style? Lesley, who writes for xoJane on Fatshion. Check out her insanely funny (and practical) fatshion advice here and here to start.

DOUBLE BONUS: You know who has an amazing, accessible style column where everything from wigs for gals with alopecia, to cute handbags for folks with injured backs is up for discussion? That would be Rookie’s Damn Girl Ya Look Good column.

2. Lose the Labels

I’m not talking about the clothing brand, I’m talking about style labels like “preppy”, “hipster”, “conservative”, “slutty”, “bohemian”, etc. Such labels can be useful if you’re trying to redefine your style, but ultimately they put everyone into a box they usually don’t want to be in. It limits yourself and other people.


Above: Love those bright colours, love United Colors of Benetton ads–all with people of all backgrounds wearing whatever they want (or at least portraying this idea). This ad is from their Spring 2012 campaign.

I had a friend ask me the other day if Doc Marten boots are “too hipster” for her style, and she was literally so scared that I would say “yes” that she would consider returning them because “hipster” style was not for her. This made me really sad–again, putting people and objects into boxes hurts everyone. For me, Doc Marten boots are like black pumps or a peacoat: classic and super-practical. Docs (or a similar, durable, heavy-duty waterproof boot) are my #1 recommendation for people moving to Vancouver as they are well-made, sturdy, waterproof, and won’t fall apart (I’ve had my pair for 4 years and they don’t have any holes or need to be resoled yet)–perfect for our super-rainy weather. Whether they are “hipster” or not doesn’t even enter into the equation to my mind. Leaving labels behind takes off unnecessary limitations and allows room for growth and exploration, and that is what style is all about.

3. Check out the stuff by a local designer.

Whether you’re in Edmonton (Malorie Urbanovitch) or Charlottetown (Dreamboat Lucy), chances are there is a local or in-province designer whose designs you can check out. I’m not talking automatically buying their clothes as I understand that can be pricey or inaccessible, but just see what your community has to offer. It’s good to support local designers by at least knowing their name (you can recommend their line to someone who can afford it if it’s expensive) and giving their website a hit–a little goes a long way. Remember that a “fashion designer” doesn’t just mean someone who makes incredibly opulent couture, it can mean someone who designs jewelry or t-shirts. Plus, a little pride in local talent never hurt anyone!

BONUS: Check out our interview with Vancouver-based designer Lexi Soukoreff of Daub + Design, or our Holiday Gift Guide which also refers to many local designers and businesses.

4. Try on a trend

One thing that I always tell people when shopping with them is that clothes look different on you than they do on the rack. Hanging clothes on hangers or folding them up on tables just doesn’t do them justice a lot of the time–you can’t be sure that they will work for you or not unless you try them on. Curious about peplum tops, but think they would look terrible on you? Not sure if high-waisted trousers will work? Convinced you’d look stupid in a leopard-print mini? You won’t know until you try–that’s what changing rooms are for. There’s no harm in just trying something new on–you don’t have to buy it, and you can honestly see if it suits your taste.

5. Incorporate at least one new colour into your wardrobe.


Above: This blouse from Joe Fresh (found here) comes in this gorgeous tangerine, a red, light yellow, a pale lime green, and a lovely light blue. New colours in basic silhouettes are the easiest way to incorporate a new colour into your wardrobe.

Awash in a sea of neutrals? Boring! There’s a lot of research that suggests mood is tied to colours, why not boost your spirits with a bright colour? The colours you wear also naturally enhance whatever you’e got going on skin-tone wise. For example, I know that orange or salmon makes me look washed out (sadly–I love these colours!), but I look great in bright pink, it makes me look nice and glow-y, and it’s because of my skin tone.

If you’re not sure where to start, why not take a look at what “season” suits your skin tone and hair colour? You could also just head out and try on clothes of different colours. Fast fashion stores like Joe Fresh, the Gap, or Smart Set often have basic shirts in a variety of colours, grab one of each in your size and see which one makes you feel and look good.

Lastly, here’s a cheat sheet for choosing colours that will work well with what neutrals you already have going on in your wardrobe:

BLACK: Bright blues (turquoise, cobalt,) emerald green, yellows,

CAMEL + BEIGE: Purples (violet, lavender), fuchsia, bright pinks (bubblegum, carnation, etc)

GRAY: Sea-greens or mint, light pink, coral

BONUS: The StyleList Canada Style Council does a regular feature where the bloggers involved show readers who to tackle a new trend or colour from purple to pale blue to oxblood, and even pastels for winter. Their bloggers represent a variety of sizes, ethnic backgrounds, and are all Canadian, so you’re sure to find a look you want to emulate.

6. Accessorize!


Above: See this adorable little charm bracelet? It is less than two dollars, would add a pop of neon fun to your outfit, and would give your outfit a little something extra. When I say “accessorize”, I don’t mean you need to dive in and wear a giant colourful bib necklace (unless you want to of course!)–it’s okay to start with something small and subtle.

I know I talk about this one a lot, but until I see people actually doing it more, I will not stop my accessorizing Evangelism! A new necklace, earrings, scarf, etc, is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to ease into a trend or wear a new colour. Think about the suggestion above–scared to try colour in your repertoire of grey and black? Get some cheap, fun earrings from an accessories store in a new colour and see how it goes, or throw a scarf on before you head out the door. It adds a little bit of colour if you’re nervous–you can remove a colourful necklace or scarf easier than you can a colourful shirt or pants. Accessories further take a nice outfit to a great, memorable outfit. Just think–when you compliment someone on their outfit, it’s usually because they’re wearing a new necklace or an interesting ring, right?





Holiday Party Wish List: Erdem

It’s December which is party-and-celebration (and general get-togethers) month. If budget wasn’t a question, Erdem  by Montreal-born, London-based designer Erdem Moralioglu would top our go-to holiday attire list. While the lack of diversity both in the lookbook (shown) and on the runway is disappointing, these looks from the Pre-Fall 2013 collection of this Canadian designer (though he told Flare in May that he, “hate[s] the idea of having to define where you’re from”) are totally inspired.


Above: This coat is so amazing, very Miroslava Duma. The pastel pink collar and cuffs are spot-on trend-wise for winter, and the green with navy lace overlay keeps things winter-worthy. Definitely a way to make an entrance even with just your outerwear!


The dress on the right (above) is perfect for office parties that go from the workaday right into the big event. Most fashion websites and magazines are advocating against a work-to-party costume change, advising instead to wear your party outfit to work and make a few subtle changes. For example, the dress above would be perfect with a cardigan or blazer for work (high collar and modest length are office-appropriate), and when the evening rolls around ditch the coverup and add some sparkly earrings and you’re good to go!


Above: For the formal occasion most of us don’t have to plan for holiday-wise, but a gal can dream! Such perfectly unique yet elegant colours and shapes.


Above: The red is obviously gorgeous, but isn’t the dress on the right just begging to be worn to a family dinner?? Just look, it’s red and green and everything!


Above: Either dress would be PERFECT and so fun for a New Year’s Eve bash! Brights accented with black always looks impossibly cool.











All images from the Erdem website found here.

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