Showing posts with label ecostyle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ecostyle. Show all posts

Thursday, 14 November 2013

The Claire Closet

Last season of Eco Fashion Week I met an amazing lady.

She took part in the Thrift Chic Challenge and her school marmy inspired looks gave me the chills.

The Claire Closet EFW07 Thrift Chic challenge collage

That coupled with her positive and radiant energy I fell for her hard.

Claire Bouvier, The Claire Closet EFW07 Thrift Chic challenge
Claire Bouvier, The Claire Closet EFW07 Thrift Chic challenge

See even complete strangers couldn't pass up a photo op with this amazing lady.

Claire Bouvier, The Claire Closet EFW07 Thrift Chic challenge

Let's take a closer look at her creations down the run way.

Claire Bouvier, The Claire Closet EFW07 Thrift Chic challenge
Claire Bouvier, The Claire Closet EFW07 Thrift Chic challenge
Claire Bouvier, The Claire Closet EFW07 Thrift Chic challenge
Claire Bouvier, The Claire Closet EFW07 Thrift Chic challenge
Claire Bouvier, The Claire Closet EFW07 Thrift Chic challenge
Claire Bouvier, The Claire Closet EFW07 Thrift Chic challenge
Claire Bouvier, The Claire Closet EFW07 Thrift Chic challenge

After the show, I got to know her better in the EFW lounge. I found out that she is a school teacher and she teaches her girls the importance of eco-fashion. She calls them all CC (Claire Closet) girls. Claire uses thrift fashion as a tool to empower young women by giving them a voice and strengthens their personal style and identity via fashion. You can read up more about her mission here.

Her person story of how she found thrifting is very inspiring. She has grasped the importance of embracing uniqueness and loving oneself no matter what other people may think.

Check out her closet, The Claire Closet. On facebook, twitter and instagram.

I feel an extreme sense of kinship with this beautiful soul. I hope to be able to collaborate with her on many more projects.

Let's all get to know her a bit better but taking at look at her personal style while having her share some insight with everyone.

Q. Do you have any advice for girls who have always wanted to try thrifting but are intimidated?

A. I remember the first time I went. It was overwhelmingly exciting but also intimidating. There is SO much and you just don't know where to start! I always suggest to go through your closet and choose 2 things that you need. When you get to the thrift store "zone in" to the racks that have the pieces you are looking for and patiently go through the clothing. Take your time and be patient. It took me years to be able to spot quality and style quickly. You have to be persistent and know that after a few shopping trips it simply turns into an exciting treasure hunt. There is nothing more exciting than finding your new favourite _____________ for under $10.00.

1. Decide what pieces you are going to thrift for
2. Be patient and look through everything
3. Check for quality
4. Be persistent
5. Jump around when you find your lucky winner!


Claire Bouvier personal Style

Those are some great advices.

Q. Aside from thrifting, any other eco friendly fashion advices you can offer to budding eco fashionistas?

A. I would suggest to take your time and focus on your eco style. Define what your personal style is and what makes it unique. It's hard to style other people when you are trying to find your own style. Rock YOUR look and then that confidence will spark all the people around you. It's magical what can happen when you're confident in who you are.

Claire Bouvier personal Style

Speaking of styling.

Q. Your Thrift Chic runway show was so amazing, where did you get your inspiration from?

A. Thanks Jasmine! To be completely honest, I watched yours several times before making the voyage out to Vancouver. You were a HUGE inspiration.

(Aww shucks, I am so extremely flattered)

The inspiration for my show was the people in my life. I love people. I love their stories. However, I am particularly fascinated with the 30's, 40's and 50's. So, I brought those years and mixed it with the modern day woman. The inspiration was an electro swing feel.

(I must say she totally nailed it!)

Claire Bouvier personal Style

Q.Have you kept many of the pieces? And are they not integrated into your own wardrobe?

A. I have kept almost all of the pieces from the runway show. However, there were a couple pairs of shoes and accessories that I gave to my models after the show. They rocked them so well on the runway, they simply had to take them home. The rest of the wardrobe has become part of my teaching wardrobe. My collection was intended to be wearable therefore I happily wear each piece whenever I get the chance.

That's amazing, I know there are many pieces I would have loved to rock from the runway.

Claire Bouvier personal Style

Q. Any upcoming projects?

A. The Claire Closet is finishing up the first semester of eco fashion and art workshops. Once they are complete we will be hosting our second eco runway show in our new studio. We are so excited!

I am so excited too. Looks like a trip to the east coast is in order.

Claire Bouvier personal Style

Can't wait to connect with this amazing lady again. We are working on something with Value Village as well, hopefully everything works out. Stay tuned.

Jasmine Zhu and Claire Bouvier

Life is good.

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Monday, 12 August 2013

Thrift Shopping Guide

Hi Y'all, here is another guest article that I did for Stylus Magazine.

As citizens of planet earth, we all have the duty of taking care of it as much as we can. However, reducing our carbon footprint and taking care of the planet doesn’t necessarily mean having to sacrifice style and fashion. The best resource to dressing fabulously unique is actually incredibly eco-friendly as well as gentle on your wallet. My secret weapon to dressing uniquely chic is by shopping at thrift stores.

thrifted outfit from Vancouver fashion blogger Posing in Vintage, Chic thrifted outfit

This entire look (aside from the leggings) was obtained from a local Value Village. Not only are thrift stores well stocked with one of a kind vintage and second-hand pieces, they also receive donations from local fast-fashion stores (the skirt and shoes were both ones carried by Urban Outfitters). However, when purchased at a thrift store, you are not only paying a fraction of the original price, you are also helping out local charities and the environment. Oh, how I love to do good.

It can be daunting to step into the thrifting world when you are more comfortable shopping at a store that carry multiples of the same style, making your shopping experience effortless. Thrift shopping is not so easy to start out but, like any other activity, you can get better with practice, especially armed with this thrift shopping guide.

Go Big.

Value Village Store Front
Image source: Access Winnipeg

Start with visiting a large chain thrift store in your area (Goodwill, Salvation Army or Value Village). Since more people are familiar with these big name stores, they are more likely to receive a breadth of donations. Once you have whet your appetite, feel free to venture out to smaller more niche ones. You may be pleasantly surprised by your discoveries. Don’t be overwhelmed by the sheer vastness of some of these stores, they are usually always well-organized.

The Organization

Wild life Thrift Store inside the store, racks inside wild life thrift store

On each rack you will see them clearly labeled with the type of garments (sweaters, blouses, pants, etc). The racks are then organized by size, within the size category, they are then organized by color. I recommend organizing your closet this way too for maximum dressing efficiency. The store is especially well-organized when you arrive when they first open. Once you know how they are organized, it actually makes shopping so much easier.

Change Clothes, and Go.

I recommend taking a cart with you on your first trip and load it up with whatever interesting piece you see. You never know what will surprise you once you try the garment on. Do be aware that usually the change rooms will have a limit on the number of pieces you can take with you to try on. Usually the limit is 5, but if they are not too busy, they may let you bring more in with you.
If at First You Don’t Succeed

Many stores will restock the racks throughout the day. Sometimes you may not find anything at all during your trips but that is part of the fun so please don’t get discouraged. You can always go back and repeat the shopping process. Return again soon, or try a different location.

One Last Thing

vintage dresser from a thrift store
image source: SpringsBargains.com

Think of thrift stores like a small department store. Some will have furniture, books and even appliances. You can literally outfit your entire life with just previously owned goods. You can also start off with something small such as jewelry, purses or shoes if clothing seems slightly daunting. Just make that first step and venture out to your first thrift store shopping trip. I am positive you will be pleasantly surprised. Go often, don’t be afraid to try on something that is slightly out of your comfort zone. You too, can be thrift chic.

Macklemore
img source: Macklemore, NPR.org

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Thursday, 11 July 2013

Do It Yourself Crop Tops: Summer Style Essential

This summer is all about being fresh, girly and flirty.

To me, there is nothing more quintessentially summer and fresh and girly and flirty than a cute crop top.

Whether paired with something lower cut to show off that sexy mid-drift, or worn with high waist bottoms to elongate your entire line; it is undoubtedly an essential item to have for the summer.

The inspiration is this cute one from Necessary Clothing.

necessary clothing crop top, summer style, summer fashion, crop top, vancouver fashion blog

At only $17.99, it's not a hard hammer to swing. However, if you happen to want to update your wardrobe without spending any money, or maybe you are the thrifting variety then stay tuned.

On my recent Thrift Shopping Haul, I picked up a few tops that I liked for the purpose of changing them into crop tops. This way, I can have 3 tops for the price of one, as well as practice sustainable fashion.

However, if you already have shirts similar to these in your closets that you probably haven't worn in awhile, then take them out and follow along. This is a great way to just freshen up your wardrobe.

thrifted tops, vintage fashion, thrift fashion, eco fashion, eco style, vancouver fashion blog

The steps are actually quite simple in deed, all you really have to do is cut the tops to the length you desire. If your tops already have tiers then it really is just cut and wear. for tops that have a clean finish, you may need to sew it to complete the entire look.

Let's get started shall we?

I love the print of the leopard top, however, the length I am not so happy about.

thrifted tops, vintage fashion, thrift fashion, eco fashion, eco style, diy crop top, do it yourself, vancouver fashion blog

Good thing these are tiered, made it easy for me to choose the length.

Simply cut the shirt under the tier you want to preserve. If the tiers are sewn down on the sides, just cut around it.

thrifted tops, vintage fashion, thrift fashion, eco fashion, eco style, diy crop top, do it yourself, vancouver fashion blog

This shirt had a lining. Cut that to the proper length, same or shorter than the outside length.

thrifted tops, vintage fashion, thrift fashion, eco fashion, eco style, diy crop top, do it yourself, vancouver fashion blog

You end up with this.

thrifted tops, vintage fashion, thrift fashion, eco fashion, eco style, diy crop top, do it yourself, vancouver fashion blog

Much cuter top now!

thrifted tops, vintage fashion, thrift fashion, eco fashion, eco style, diy crop top, do it yourself, vancouver fashion blog

Here is a before and after comparison.

thrifted tops, vintage fashion, thrift fashion, eco fashion, eco style, diy crop top, do it yourself, vancouver fashion blog

This blue top is tiered off in such an interesting way. However, I am not a fan of the length.

thrifted tops, vintage fashion, thrift fashion, eco fashion, eco style, diy crop top, do it yourself, vancouver fashion blog

This top isn't tiered on the back so you have to make sure your cut is as straight as possible. I recommend folding the shirt this way.

thrifted tops, vintage fashion, thrift fashion, eco fashion, eco style, diy crop top, do it yourself, vancouver fashion blog

Then folding it again so there is a smaller margin for error. Once it has been folded, make a quick and decisive cut.

thrifted tops, vintage fashion, thrift fashion, eco fashion, eco style, diy crop top, do it yourself, vancouver fashion blog

And voila!

thrifted tops, vintage fashion, thrift fashion, eco fashion, eco style, diy crop top, do it yourself, vancouver fashion blog

The next and final shirt is my favourite! It also looks the most like the inspiration top. It's tiered as well, so makes it easy.

thrifted tops, vintage fashion, thrift fashion, eco fashion, eco style, diy crop top, do it yourself, vancouver fashion blog

However, there is a button track in the middle of the shirt. To make sure the top looks clean, leave a 1/2" margin.

thrifted tops, vintage fashion, thrift fashion, eco fashion, eco style, diy crop top, do it yourself, vancouver fashion blog

You end up with this.

thrifted tops, vintage fashion, thrift fashion, eco fashion, eco style, diy crop top, do it yourself, vancouver fashion blog

Tuck the extra length to the flip side and either pin it or stitch it in place.

thrifted tops, vintage fashion, thrift fashion, eco fashion, eco style, diy crop top, do it yourself, vancouver fashion blog

I love the end product.

thrifted tops, vintage fashion, thrift fashion, eco fashion, eco style, diy crop top, do it yourself, vancouver fashion blog

Now I have three cute and current crop tops.

thrifted tops, vintage fashion, thrift fashion, eco fashion, eco style, diy crop top, do it yourself, vancouver fashion blog

The perfect topper to your summer outfit.

thrifted tops, vintage fashion, thrift fashion, eco fashion, eco style, diy crop top, do it yourself, vancouver fashion blog

Outfit: DIY crop top, make your own or buy similar here
Vintage shorts, similar from here
Vintage Multi-strand pearl belt, similar from here
Vintage pearl earrings, similar from here


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