As a blogger, sometimes you get sent clothes that are just not what you expected. Actually, I believe that is a general rule for buying any clothes online; it may not fit because you can’t try it on and you don’t get the chance to see or feel the quality beforehand. There have been many times, with both gifted items and ones bought myself, where I just end up selling it or giving it away because it was not what I expected or did not fit. That, however, has never been the case with my Mod Dolly pieces. Their pieces have always been true to size (at least, for me), the quality is fantastic, especially for an independent label and they are totally practical items to have in my closet. The thing about my Mod Dolly pieces is that I can actually live in them. Some of the clothes I have, I worry about them ripping or getting stained, or not being able to stand everyday wear and tear. But my Mod Dolly pieces have never felt that way. Sure, they are adorable and feminine, but they are tough and sturdy and make me feel my best when wearing them. And that’s what I want in clothes. I want them to reflect me, in all ways. Not just in style, but in actual wearability. I want them to be able to withstand my lifestyle. Sure, some clothes are mean’t for special occasions, mean’t for gentle care. Those pieces are special, but they’ll never be as special as the pieces that join me through my whole life; the average and the outstanding, the good and the bad.
I’m going to be pretty honest with you guys and talk about how I’ve been struggling with my body and appearance for awhile now. I bring this up because while I wanted to write about how much I love this gingham set from Mod Dolly, and how lovely I felt while wearing it and biking around on this day…as I look at these images, I feel frustrated with my body and initially didn’t want to share these beautiful images Zach took.
For the better portion of my life I’ve been happy with my weight and physical appearance. To be honest, I’ve been well lucky in my life to never struggle with weight gain or feeling like I was “fat” or hating the body I have. That’s not to say I didn’t have what I feel is normal insecurities as a teen (although, it really shouldn’t be or feel normal) – wishing my breasts were bigger or that I had an hourglass figure…basically just being more physically attractive to the opposite sex (boo!!!), but I never felt like I wanted thinner legs or a flatter stomach or smaller arms…until recently…those thoughts come up a lot now.
Being a dancer from a very young age I’ve spent most of my life, near daily, doing an incredible physical workout that felt like no workout at all. I never even had to think about that stuff because the thing I loved most in the world was also keeping my body fit (well that, and genes). However, more recently I haven’t been dancing as much – there just hasn’t felt like time and through that, from what I can gather, I have gained a little weight. It’s hard for me to know if what I see in the mirror is what others see, or if my mind is seeing and telling me falsities. The thing is, for most of my life I have prided myself on never worrying about calories or weight gain or issues of appearance – somehow seemingly ignored all societal pressures in that respect – and now suddenly I feel like a girl I never wanted to be…suddenly I feel like the girls I felt sorry for (that’s well pretentious, but I’m trying to be honest). I’m doing my best to be healthy about the way I am dealing with these feelings – I’ve been trying to eat healthier, drink a ton of water, bike everywhere and do pilates every other day, which honestly, has been making me feel really great. However, it feels embarrassing to talk about this or admit this, because I know there are girls out there who wished they looked like me, just like there are girls out there that I wished I looked like. But that’s the problem, isn’t it? Wishing we all looked like someone else, or lived the way someone else does, or have what someone else has. I don’t know how to rid ourselves of those behaviours or thoughts. I have no answers for that…there isn’t a workout for those thoughts, now is there?. But I do want you guys to know that however my life or anyones life looks to you, everyone has their shit. No one feels all that together or happy with themselves. For me, it has always felt comforting knowing I am not alone. So I speak about this for you, but also for me. Our world feels so perfectly curated now that when people are just acting like actual humans who are okay with their flaws we think they are pioneers…and that’s sad to me, but it’s also something I absolutely want to be a part of. I’ve obviously got my insecurities, but I want to actively talk about those things because those are things that we can share in. We can’t all share in a perfect home, or landscape, or hair, or wardrobe, but we can share in being humans with feelings, those are inclusive, and those are things that need more air time.
*photos by Zach
gimme a beat
Unintentionally, this outfit ended up seeming quite inspired by the Beat Generation – Breton stripes, beret, turtleneck, loafers, whole lotta black – a term coined by Kerouac in the late 40s to describe his group of non-conforming literary peers. To be honest, there was no real uniform for this subculture of “beaten down” youth (read: hipsters) of the 50s-mid 60s. The outfits likeness to this subculture is only really inspired by a caricature (read: stereotype) version of a beatnik. But it’s kind of a fun and interesting style trope none the less. Fun because it looks so damn cool, and interesting because it’s so universally understood; even if you know absolutely nothing about beatnik culture, it’s “style” still influences many outfits and trends today.
Aside from any perceived influence this outfit may have, I mostly wanted to showcase my knapsack, which I have been carrying around with me everyday since I got it. It’s pretty wonderful to have full use of both arms while out and about, a feeling I didn’t realize I was missing all these years being a religious purse carrier. Now I’m hoping I can find a wee bit smaller one, of similar style, in black…so if you spot any on the wide web (or in store), please let this gal know!
My parents have lived along this bike path as long as I’ve been alive, or rather, as long as my older brother has been alive, so about 29 years now. We first lived in a town house in a little courtyard along the bike path and then moved a street over to a bungalow backing onto the bike path. This path and forest has seen me through years and years of childhood games, teenage rebellion and a whole lot of over-dramatic sassyness. It’s as much part of my childhood and teen years as our family home, so I felt compelled to share a bit of that with you while I was in Ottawa visiting my family for Christmas. It actually felt pretty lovely that snow fell on this particular day, because before then there was absolutely no snow in Ottawa and the temperatures were much more like early fall than late winter. I honestly don’t much like snow, but it’s beautiful when you are just looking at it and not trudging through it, so I was glad that it showed up on the day I decided to snap some photos. I’m back in Toronto now, but it was nice to spend some time with family, start feeling like a human again (read: not sick) and recharge for the New Year.
I’ve been rethinking my wardrobe a lot lately. It seems every time I go through my closet in search of an outfit, I feel less and less attached to much of the pieces hanging there. I often have an idea for an outfit, only to find I don’t actually own something I had in mind, which is definitely a first world problem, really, but when I got thinking about it, I came to realize maybe I own too many things that don’t do anything for me anymore and I likely need to make room for pieces I feel a real connection to; I don’t necessarily have a desire to change my style, but I think honing it a bit more would so me some good. That being said, this burnt orange pinafore by Mod Dolly seems a perfect starting point for me. The marriage of colour, simplicity, versatility and sweetness really got me with this one and I realize those four words should be ever-present when thinking of the clothes I own. I’m certainly not jumping on the capsule wardrobe bandwagon – I’ll never be that practical – but being a bit more thoughtful with my choices seems more and more desirable to me these days.
Dress c/o Mod Dolly
Blouse & beret: vintage
Shoes: Seychelles (old)