While Audrey Hepburn may have passed 24 years ago, her style is one we still look to for inspiration, whether we are aware of it or not. Audrey had a knack for mixing masculine with feminine, creating a look that was classic, accessible and wearable. Her timeless style is what made her an icon and will continue to inspire us for years to come. We’d like to imagine that if she were still alive today and walked in one of our stores these would be some pieces she would choose.
Next up on our personal style series, one of our buyers, perpetually colourful with a smile that could brighten anyone’s bad day, Inez. Tell us a bit about yourself.
An angel who lives for love and laughs.
How long have you worked for Common Sort and what’s your favourite part of the job?
I have worked at Common Sort for a collective time of about 2 and a half years. I took a break for a year to work on my art practise, styling and fashion presentation.
While I was away from Common Sort I found myself thinking about the communities that the stores are apart of more than any other part of the job. There are very few retail businesses where people of many different levels of economic status’ can enter and find clothing that suits all of their needs, aesthetically, functionally and financially. The price of new contemporary clothing that you buy in a mall is outrageous. Those prices are lies, and it isn’t fair that some folks have a more challenging time paying the price of those lies than others. The amount of times I have heard people exclaim while shopping at Common Sort “this regularly retails for so much more“, is in the hundreds. The cost of living in Canada is so high, I feel that Common Sort offers a tiny bit of reprieve from the oppressiveness of consumerism.
As much as I truly love fashion, the nature of fast fashion is destructive to the planet. Even independent designers struggle with needing to make their clothing affordable enough for themselves to make small runs of garments, so most of all the clothing we see is made from synthetic materials and flown across the earth to be sold in North America. Common Sort buys directly from the general public, and we get so much clothing in every single day. It blows my mind to think that almost all of what we get in would end up in a landfill otherwise. Well! these are some of my politics in a nutshell, but I should say I also LOVE the thrill of finding a piece of clothing with a lot of character, especially vintage. Garments were made with more consideration towards fabric and wearability in the past. Things were made to last.
How would you describe your style?
A cartoon of Cameron Diaz playing a pop star who by night, is the secretary of a cult.
What’s your favourite piece you own?
ALL of my clothes are each my favourite pieces. I don’t buy clothing to have a cohesive wardrobe, I buy individual pieces that barely go with anything else lol. They all stand on their own. But honestly.. my favourite piece of clothing I have is a very very plain, boring ass mid calf length black cotton skirt with a thick elastic waist band. Originally from Forever21, I bought it because one summer I was very sick and it was all I could handle wearing on my lower half. It kind of looks perfect with everything and I also feel like I would have gone totally bonkers that summer without it. It’s kind of a horcrux for a part of my soul now.
Some tips on how to style an outfit.
Instead of styling tips I’m going to share the best advice I ever got on getting dressed. I used to feel soooooo stressed out about finding the perfect outfit for work, or a party or a date or something. I felt like if it was an important event then I had to have a new combination of clothing pieces so the memory would be preserved in that outfit. But it is so hard to put together a new look under pressure. Someone told me just to wear your favourite go-to outfit, the one you KNOW looks good, even if it isn’t very special anymore. The last thing you want is to be pulling on the hem of a dress or constantly checking your self out in a mirror every second you get because you feel uncomfortable. Put comfort first always, but consider expanding the boundaries of that comfort zone sometimes. Everyone has the capacity to push a little bit here and there. Go for it.
Favourite trend at the moment?
Literally I have no idea what is trending. I’m really into clogs and ska inspired outfits right now tho.
A few years ago I made a promise to myself I would NEVER wear an all black outfit in the winter, so I think it’s fun and challenging to come up with exciting looks throughout the darkest days of our year.
Think of your style 10 years ago…are you embarrassed by it now?
My style when I was 16 was really similar to where I am at now *in theory*. I liked and wore vintage clothes, I have always been really inspired by the Fruits fashion blog, and I liked to make my own clothes sometimes. One thing I should note is that 10 years ago I was really into Happy Hardcore and raving. Just let that simmer in your imagination for a moment. I think I looked sick and I have so much respect for my younger self for absolutely not giving a heck about what other people thought about how I dressed. I still apply the PLUR vibe to my visual and empathetic self now.
WHAT SHE WORE// Shorts, Top and Shoes: CS, Sunglasses: vintage, Bag: Courage My Love
Aside from Pride being about acceptance and love (the best and most important thing), it’s also an opportunity to really go over the top with your look. To celebrate Pride Month and the Toronto Pride Parade that is right around the corner, we pulled some Pride inspired pieces incase you are still milling over what you could wear this weekend to celebrate. Happy Pride everyone!
Another round of Get This Look; a series where we find a look from the internet we love and recreate it with pieces we have in the shop. Today we were inspired by Maria Bernad’s super simple, chic masculine look. Outfits don’t have to complicated to be interesting, often the right accessories can make all the difference.
We have come so accustomed to clothes being cheap and thus disposable that we often forget to look at the reasons why that is. Clothing was once something you invested in, looking for pieces that would be timeless and worn over and over. But now we are able to buy clothes weekly, wear them once or twice and forget about them because they barely cost us a thing and new seems to always be better. Certainly we can’t all afford to buy designer pieces or shop independent all the time, but I think it is important to start taking note of the brands who have very questionable ethics and look to brands that pay fair wages, focus on sustainability, make an effort to be transparent and create really well-made pieces that will last. Looking at clothes the way we look at investing in good furniture may help us to see that our view of clothing and the whole industry has become a little skewed. Of course our first thought is buy secondhand, but if you want to support independent businesses and brands that are doing it right, these are the ones we think you should lookout for.
Everlane is known for doing immense research on the factories they work with and visiting them often to ensure the factory’s integrity. It is important to them to remain transparent so you know exactly what you are paying for and why.
Focusing on careful consumption, Elizabeth Suzann creates timeless pieces that can be worn several ways. All their clothes are manufactured in their studio located in Nashville and they strive to create as little waste as possible.
Maison Cléo is a mother-daughter brand based out of the North of France, creating pieces that are easy to wear and making French girl style accessible to everyone. Every single piece is handmade in their studio by mother of the duo, Cléo. They are extremely transparent when it comes to breaking down cost of materials and hours put into making each piece so you know exactly what you are paying for.
Based in NYC, Ö/D focuses on effortless style while putting forth effort into being a brand that supports social and environmental consciousness. They source high-quality fibres from vendors that adhere to a “do no harm” policy, which is to say they do not harm the environment or animals.
We recently got new mannequins at all three stores, and we are pretty darn excited about them! We are now better able to put together some really interesting and eye-catching outfits, and while they may be a little more complicated than our previous ones, it is well worth the struggles because they look fricken good! Our visual merchandiser Meghan always does a really great job with our mannequins (we are so lucky to have her), so we wanted to share the outfits she put together on our new babies in Riverside.