Express Yourself: Using Clothing to Showcase your Unique Characteristics.

Since the earliest centuries, clothing has been used by people to characterize themselves. Textiles have represented our development as a society, reflecting which materials were available and the technologies mastered in each decade. This is as true today as it was in the past. Clothing even has a social significance suggesting characteristics of an individual’s lifestyle before ever starting a conversation.  For example, some occupations can be identified by their uniforms, celebrations by a guest’s attire, or ambitions by an employee’s chosen garments.

Moral of the story?

Express yourself. Who do you want to be? What do you want to become?

We are all individuals with unique facial features, body shapes, and lifestyles. We must dress to suit our own personalities. As such, it is important to study the self. Determine what suits you and what does not; find the colors that flatter and emphasize your uniqueness; and, when shopping, pay particular attention to the fit of your garments.

According to Christian Dior, “simplicity, good taste, and grooming are the three fundamentals of good dressing and these do not cost money.” It is possible to be elegant without spending a fortune on clothes if you choose items that suit your personality. The rules of fashion? There are no rules, only guidelines that aim to flatter your singularity.

So take charge lovelies. Wear what complements you. And do not be afraid to mix your mall finds with those pieces that are completely individual.

You have a story to tell. Share it with the world.

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Video: Making You and Your Style a Priority

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Making yourself a priority is so important. In this video, I talk about how style is a form of self-care and why it’s important to give your attention to.

Dream Big!

My current read, aka “If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You,” has a harsh title, yet is surprisingly full of inspirational tidbits. The book is a biography of Kelly Cutrone, American fashion publicist, television personality and author, detailing her rise to the top and struggles along the way (reality TV fans, you may recognize the name from MTV’s The Hills or The City!).

At the age of 21, Cutrone moved to New York City with few possessions and little direction. While she pursued a traditional job initially, it did not suit her personality. It took losing her job, her apartment, and her identity to finally set her on the right track. By facing these hurdles, and accepting the unique opportunities she was given, Cutrone found her strength and worked hard to prove herself in the fashion industry.

“Sometimes, if not most of the time, you find out who you are by figuring out who and what you are not.”

These “rising from the ashes” stories permeate our culture, and while the common response may be that these kinds of things don’t happen to people me, or I can’t live the life I’ve always dreamed, you would be wrong. We’re born dreamers. Everything of value in our world started as a dream. They are necessary for us to see the world how it should be rather than how it is. If you can dream it, you can live it. It’s about making things happen for yourself and pursuing your passions full throttle.

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Personally, I’ve always had an interest in fashion. While it is not what I studied in school, I’ve always wanted to help others look and feel their best. This is why I studied to be a Style CoachTM and why I do what I do. My blog has turned into an amazing career where I get to help others dream big, and use style as a tool to help them achieve their goals.

Our community is full of everyday heroes, actively shaping their futures and rolling with life’s punches. They view setbacks, e.g. losing a job, as opportunities to pursue their passions. Readers, I am here to tell you that you can do the same. Whether you want to study abroad, learn a new language, visit all 7 wonders of the world, or start your own business, you can do it! You just need to start by taking small steps towards your goals. Take Jessica Burman, owner of local skincare line Cocoon Apothecary for example. After losing her job, she pursued her passion for natural beauty and launched an amazing skincare line which continues to grow each and every year. Bravo!

If you’re looking for inspiration, look to those around you. With a support network in place and a little bravery, you can do anything you set your mind to.

“Dreams won’t always take you on a straight path to destiny, but they’re usually related to what your soul wants for you.”

Here are a few pieces of advice I’ve learned along the way:

  1. Believe in Yourself
  2. Find and Listen to your Inner Voice
  3. Focus on Building a Tribe
  4. Work Hard
  5. Give Back

Be excited about your life, enjoy the journey, and most of all, dream big!

Facial Time – Top Spots in Waterloo Region

The changing of seasons is always a challenge. Temperatures and weather patterns are unpredictable, leaving skin itching for moisture. This is definitely true in my case, and if it’s the case for you as well, consider upping your water intake and booking a facial.

Here are some of the top facial services to hydrate dull, and dry skin in Waterloo Region. 

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Pure + simple: Super Hydrating Facial.
This treatment focuses on hydrating and replenishing the skin. It includes cleansing, steaming, extractions, facial, décolletage, and scalp massage. This facial concludes with a skin restoration mask, designed to even and plump skin. Special treatment for the eye and décolleté area.

Cost: $110. Time: 60 minutes. Address: 1-42 Bridgeport Road East, Waterloo, Ontario N2J 0B3

Gina’s Spa, Hair Studio & Medi Spa: Gina’s Advanced European Facial
Hydrating. Refresh and restore optimal hydration to dry, dehydrated skin with this treatment using hyaluronic acid and ceramides to combat the loss of water and provide better protection against external agents. This restorative moisturizing treatment relieves the discomfort of dry, tight skin leaving a glowing and radiant complexion.

Cost: $115. Time: 60 minutes. Address: 6 Regina Street North, Waterloo, Ontario N2J 2Z8

Langdon Hall: Source of the Bisses

A hydration bath which quenches the thirstiest skins. Thanks to a hydrating massage and the application of a highly rehydrating facial mask, fines lines of dehydration are smoothed down, the face regains suppleness, comfort and glow.

Cost: $135. Time: 55 minutes. Address: 1 Langdon Drive, Cambridge, Ontario N3H 4R8

Do you have any favourite spas locally? Favourite treatment? Let me know! I’ve personally tried all of the above treatments.

Top 5 Tips to Make Your Wardrobe More Eco-Friendly.

We live in a global economy where our purchases not only have an impact locally but also in communities around the world. While we all love fashion, we do need to consider how our behaviours are affecting others and the environment. Today, we consume fashion at a much quicker rate than in previous decades, and the industry has altered its practices to keep up with demand.

While it may be nearly impossible nowadays to purchase clothing that wasn’t made in a “sweatshop,” there are changes you can make with your shopping habits to reduce your impact on the environment. Inspired by one of my favourite books on all things green, “Ecoholic” by Adria Vasil, here are 5 tips to make your wardrobe more eco-friendly.

Tip #1: Forget regular cotton. Did you know it takes half a pound of chemicals to make a regular, old t-shirt? Did you know cotton soaks up 10% of the world’s pesticides and 25% of its insecticides? That’s a lot of toxins! Luckily for us, fashion producers are increasingly making clothes out of organic cotton, or organic cotton blends. Organic cotton is grown without synthetic chemicals like fertilizers or pesticides. Locally, you can find t-shirts at More Than Half Kitchener.

Tip #2: Read the labels and choose more eco-friendly fabrics. Designers are on the move, creating stylish clothing with more natural fabrics including soy, flax, bamboo and hemp. It’s even becoming easier to find items made of organic wool. These fabrics are much more sustainable than synthetics and polyester.

Tip #3: Think things through. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is. We all love getting a deal, but at what cost to others and the environment? One of the only ways to ensure your clothing wasn’t made under abusive conditions is to buy fair trade. Receiving the fair trade trademark ensures the entire production process – from raw materials to the finished product is good on the planet, free from child labour, is ethical, and supports individuals in the developing world by providing safe working conditions and a living wage. More Than Half in Kitchener is our community’s one-stop shop for fair trade garments.

Tip #4: Go vintage and shop like a true fashionista. Vintage clothing has character, quality, and is truly one-of-a-kind. Vintage is one of the cheapest, and most fashion-forward ways to wear planet-friendly threads. Vintage clothing will also last a lifetime, as higher quality fabrics were often used in their construction. Be sure to check out Patina Vintage and Meow Boutique in Waterloo, White Tiger Vintage in Kitchener, and Auburn Vintage Clothiers in Conestogo for a great selection of vintage finds.

Tip #5: Consign, consign, consign. There are numerous benefits to consigning your quality pieces. First, to consign, you are cleaning your closet, making it easier to see the pieces you love. Second, you make a percentage of the selling price back, which can be used to other ways. Third, you are reducing the number of clothes that simply end up in a landfill. Buying second-hand no longer means missing out on stylish finds. Most consignment stores are selective in the items they sell, which results in better quality for a reasonable price tag. Check out Luster & Oak in Waterloo, Carousel Clothing in Kitchener, and The Patch in Cambridge for your consigning needs.

Overall, the very best way to reduce your impact on the environment is to purchase fewer items. Buy quality pieces that last, and can be mixed and matched for years to come. These are just a few tips to help your closet become a little more eco-friendly, but there are much more. I recommend checking out “Ecoholic” if you’re interested in becoming a bit greener in your shopping habits.

Some of the best local stores to check out include: Le Prix, More Than Half, and Uptown Woods.