The crocuses and daffodils may be blooming where you live, my friends. Of course I say that without a shred of envy. Ha. But here in the great white north, it is still winter. Still very much winter. And I’m on a kick to make sure I wear my winter stuff before spring. My midwinter slow fashion initiative, I’m calling it. If that doesn’t sound too pretentious. I especially want to wear my winter coats, some of which have not made it out of the closet yet this year. Like this alpaca and wool Max Mara coat, bought way back at the turn of the century.
I haven’t worn this coat in a couple of years. And I thought about it the other day when I was watching a television show about fashion. A stylist showed the audience how to style leggings. “Do we really need help with how to wear our leggings?” I wondered. But never mind. The first outfit she created paired the leggings with a teddy coat and heavy boots. And I thought, “Hmm. I don’t own a teddy coat. But my alpaca and wool Max Mara coat is pretty fuzzy. And my Stuart Weitzman boots are pretty chunky. I could put together an outfit like this.”
Okay… so maybe I did need some new ideas for how to wear my leggings.
I have one good pair of leggings, these black Vince ones from 2014. (similar here) I wear them a lot and have over the years. Especially for travel. They are heavy enough to not show every bump and bubble, and stretchy enough to not bag at the knee after a few hours of sitting. I also have an older pair of leggings from Theory which I still love. They are ten years old and getting a bit baggy around the butt and knees, but they look decent enough to be my air travel pants.
So yesterday when the sun was shining, and it was a balmy +7° C, I donned my Vince leggings, my grey oversized Vince turtleneck, my black Stuart Weitzman boots, and my Max Mara coat. And I felt pretty good. I know this outfit isn’t fashion forward. Not world-beating-ly cutting-edge or anything. But it’s not bad for pulling a bunch of old stuff out of my closet. The newest piece in the whole outfit is my Mackage bag which I bought four years ago.
You get a better look at my coat here. It’s charcoal with some lighter grey threads woven in. That’s my Mackage cross-body bag which I searched and searched for in 2016. I like a bag that doesn’t have too many decorative doo-dads. And I love my vintage jet necklace and that vintage plastic brooch with the rhinestones. I wore that brooch a ton when I was still working.
I don’t know if you can tell from this shot, but I’m trying some new colours and products with my make-up and skin care these days. Working towards a less is less, and less is enough look. Ha. If you’re interested, I’ll tell you about that in a later post.
You know I never wear my Max Mara coat anymore. Probably because it seems too dressy. But leggings, a pair of chunky boots, and a woolly hat can make it look less stuffy and more casual. I think the coat is just fluffy enough to be able to take advantage of the teddy coat trend. And unlike many brands of teddy coats, my coat is not made from polyester.
I’ve never been a fan of polyester. Especially cheap polyester. But I’m not sure I had much of an idea of the impact it can have on the environment. I did a lot of reading today, about eco-friendly fabrics, and it seems we should be doing our best to avoid buying polyester, and not just for the style considerations. The processing, the dyes, and let’s not even get into the landfill issue. Apparently recycled polyester is okay. Some companies like Patagonia are using recycled polyester to make their clothing. And buying polyester pieces from a thrift shop or consignment store is okay too. But because polyester doesn’t breath well, and is difficult to keep odour free, many polyester shirts and blouses are not resalable as a result. If you’re interested, here’s one of the articles I read today about polyester.
Of course, there are all kinds of other facets to this issue of eco-friendly fabrics, but it does seem that buying natural fibres is still the best way to go. I just read that alpaca is one of the most eco-friendly fabrics there is. How cool is that? Here’s an interesting guide from the website Good on You which rates the sustainability of many clothing brands, some you may know and love already.
So I guess the adage “choose well, buy less” is the best strategy. For my purposes, I’ve always loved quality clothing. Even when I could barely afford it. That’s how my habit of hanging on to the “good” things in my closet started. Not because I was virtuous. But because if I paid a lot for something, I couldn’t afford to waste my money and get rid of it too soon. Then over the years it became such a kick to watch the trend reports, and find that I already owned a similar piece. I would haul said piece out of my closet with a flourish and announce to Hubby my amazing prescience.
Here are some options for fuzzy, cosy coats. Not necessarily teddy coats. I’d go with a good quality teddy-ish coat, myself. Then, in a year or two, it won’t scream trend that’s not a trend anymore. All the coats here are made from natural fibres, except for the black Fendi jacket which is second-hand.
This is just an FYI if you are ever interested in an item I list in these little pictorial thingies with which I am having so much fun. If you click on the heart and ask for a sale alert, you get an e-mail that tells you when the price on the item goes down, and you can order it right from your e-mail inbox. I did not know that until the other day. I am indeed having fun searching for products to include in my posts. It’s like shopping without spending any money. I try to find things that I would like to buy myself.
You know, it would come as a huge surprise to many of my former colleagues that I’ve become such a fan of the whole slow fashion movement. I think most people thought I was a shop-a-holic, with acres of closet space, chock full of clothes. Ha. But I think that was because I always loved clothes, always talked about clothes, and always, always cared about how I dressed for work. And I usually bought good pieces when I could afford it.
Most of those people never knew that I basically shopped twice a year, with a few forays for “filler” pieces. None of them had ever seen the size of my house let alone the size (or lack thereof) of my closet space. And nobody but me knew about my stash of old, too good to get rid of pieces that I knew (or hoped) I’d be wearing again one day.
So I guess the fact that the slow fashion movement suits me and my fashion philosophy isn’t surprising after all. At least to me.
Now how about you my friends? Any midwinter slow fashion initiatives in your house? Are you looking for ways to make your winter wardrobe more interesting without shopping?
P.S. Thanks to Frances from Materfamilias Writes for our conversation via e-mail the other day. And for putting the idea into my head about polyester coats.
P.P.S. The clothing links in this post are affiliate links. If you buy something after clicking my link, I will earn a commission.