Inside My Closet: Erin Hemmerling

Inside My Closet: Erin HemmerlingWe are excited to be starting a new series where we visit the homes and closets of some seriously stylish and interesting people. Erin has been one of our beloved sales associates for a few years now, and just by looking at her you can tell she’s a cool and noteworthy gal. She let me snap some pictures of her bedroom and told me a bit about her favourite clothing pieces she has found over the years.

Inside My Closet: Erin HemmerlingInside My Closet: Erin HemmerlingTell us about your style.

Having literally just thought about it, my style is basically an accumulation of influences from all the female figures I’ve looked up to in life. My mom, my Barbies, the early 2000’s pop divas who’d make me late to school cuz I’d be waiting for their videos to come up on the Countdown, and my younger, purer self who dreamed someday of being a fashion designer (my million dollar design was a ¾ length baseball shirt with a heart in the middle) AND a DJ (I’m selling my DJ controller if anyone’s interested!!!)

My truest self comes out when the sun goes down – something feels weird about taking the TTC in broad daylight wearing my rainbow jumpsuit and 5-inch platforms, I guess. I’m a huge clothing collector and I’m not crazy about wearing the same thing twice which is why I’m so lucky to be a part of Common Sort. The funny thing is, a bunch of us CS gals live together and we NEVER share our wardrobes. I often end up coming home with Amalia or Meghan’s old clothes which had been sitting in their closets the night before. It’ll always comes back to the ladies in my life.

Inside My Closet: Erin HemmerlingThis is the dress I’m being buried in. It’s also one of the first pieces I ever collected when I started working in second-hand clothing. Missoni is one of my favourite brands, but you gotta admit they’re kinda hit-or-miss. Obviously the story of this dress had to do with a fancy grandma passing it down a few generations. I’ve only ever worn it once when working the Vintage Crawl and I distinctly remember wearing nothing underneath (Ou La La!) and later finding out from my co-worker that it was completely see-through (C’est La Vie!)Inside My Closet: Erin HemmerlingI am OBSESSED with hoops earrings. I have a monthly allowance for at least 2 multi-packs from Claire’s. They just compliment every outfit I own. I got my Erin earrings custom-made at the CNE on my birthday, cuz how could I not?Inside My Closet: Erin HemmerlingInside My Closet: Erin HemmerlingI attach memories to EVERYTHING I wear, and the last time I wore this cloud print shirt in 2015 I knocked over a lava lamp on stage at Double Double Land deeming myself “The Girl Who Broke The Lava Lamp On Stage At Double Double Land”. I am still not proud of this moment and I haven’t been able to wear this shirt since, but it’s still the best shirt I own and it’ll forever have a special spot in my second drawer.Inside My Closet: Erin HemmerlingInside My Closet: Erin HemmerlingI made these 8 ball earrings out of keychains. I have a growing keychain AND earring collection so it made sense to combine them. I think jewellery design is my next pursuit in life – but don’t hold me to it!!! Inside My Closet: Erin HemmerlingInside My Closet: Erin HemmerlingI don’t shop fast fashion stores often, but If I do, I’ll check out the sale section. The crazy thing about this two-piece is I found the top at Forever 21 and the bottoms at Zara. This has happened to me on a few occasions working in second-hand where I’ll buy something one season and have a totally matching piece come in the next, and every time it feels like it was meant to be. I once called this outfit “I just auditioned for ABBA Mania” and it makes its way out on special occasions. I’ll NEVER get over the fact that it cost me less than $20.Inside My Closet: Erin HemmerlingInside My Closet: Erin HemmerlingInside My Closet: Erin HemmerlingOk, these are a story. Whatever the internet says – listen to it. There is NO way to successfully apply glitter to Crocs.

I love to add a comedic element to my outfits when I can, and my friends know this. When my best friend Ashlyn got married this past May, she let us choose our own shoes to wear with our bridesmaid dresses. She was apparently going to let us choose our own bridesmaid dresses until she remembered she’d picked me to be in her wedding party.

I spent 3 nights decking out these Dollarama Crocs in $40 of fine glitter. I thought cheap foam would work better than the special plastic. We all grew up in small towns where Crocs became classic but I’d also had a weird feeling that they were about to make a comeback. There’s still glitter on our kitchen floor and apparently it’s forever embedded in Ash’s living room carpet.

As I was walking down the aisle, I felt the layer of glitter snag on the bottom of my dress and COMPLETELY lift up from the shoe. I thought I was going to trip up the altar and I think my heart sank further than hers. Luckily, I was holding her brother’s arm and made it up alive, but obviously my shoes did not. The photographer was just as sad as I was, but hey, at least my feet were comfortable!!!Inside My Closet: Erin HemmerlingMy method of thrifting has always been this: I walk into the store and pick up whatever (literally) catches my eye first. I’ve always been attracted to bright colours and crazy patterns, and this Custo Barcelona jacket was sticking out like a sore thumb – I HAD to take it home – so badly that I think I still owe my friend shopping with me $100 for buying it… (Sorry Pete)Inside My Closet: Erin HemmerlingInside My Closet: Erin HemmerlingThis jacket was the first thing I ever bought at Common Sort! Straight off of the repairs rack! I still haven’t fixed the giant hole in the shoulder but WHO CARES when you have an Ace Of Spades as a zipper pull. I dress thematically whenever I can and one of my biggest style regrets was not wearing this to the casino in Niagara Falls – my friends and I dressed up in wigs and fur coats instead. It probably wouldn’t have been worth it anyways considering we almost got kicked out for taking a picture of the Britney Spears slot machine.Inside My Closet: Erin HemmerlingInside My Closet: Erin HemmerlingThis is one of the first things I bought at our Common Sort in the Annex. I’d been feeling really down on myself for most of the summer, and when I found this jacket embroidered with “One Of The Elite” on the back, I couldn’t help but cheer up. I never thought a children’s dance jacket could make me feel such a cute confidence!!!

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2017/18 Fall-Winter Trends at Common Sort

Common Sort | Fall/Winter 2017-18 TrendsWe are coming into a new season, so our buyers are keeping their eyes peeled for any pieces coming into our shops that are on trend for this Fall/Winter. While being on trend isn’t everything, we like to make sure we have something for everyone when they walk into our stores, keeping in mind some people love to be trendy, while others seek something more eccentric or something timeless.

We have pulled 6 of our favourite Fall/Winter trends from around the web, and then pulled some pieces from our shops to help you find potential favourite looks for this coming season.

Common Sort | Fall/Winter 2017-18 TrendsCommon Sort | Fall/Winter 2017-18 TrendsCommon Sort | Fall/Winter 2017-18 TrendsCommon Sort | Fall/Winter 2017-18 TrendsCommon Sort | Fall/Winter 2017-18 TrendsCommon Sort | Fall/Winter 2017-18 TrendsCommon Sort | Fall/Winter 2017-18 TrendsCommon Sort | Fall/Winter 2017-18 TrendsCommon Sort | Fall/Winter 2017-18 TrendsCommon Sort | Fall/Winter 2017-18 TrendsCommon Sort | Fall/Winter 2017-18 TrendsCommon Sort | Fall/Winter 2017-18 Trends

Get This Look / 2

Common Sort | Get This Look / 2
photo via @maria_bernad

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.

Common Sort | Get This Look / 2Common Sort | Get This Look / 2

Personal Style: Dan Tonner

Common Sort | Personal Style: Dan TonnerNext up on our personal style feature is Dan Tonner. Let’s get to know this lil’ gem!

Common Sort | Personal Style: Dan TonnerCommon Sort | Personal Style: Dan TonnerTell us a bit about yourself.

I’m Dan. My favourite emojis are: diamond, cigarette, nails & the blue heart. I use they/them pronouns. I’m from the East Coast. I smoke like a chimney, drink too much coffee and comic books are my best friends. My elbows are dangerously pointy and I flail them when I dance, so be careful. It literally took me a week to answer this question.

How long have you worked for Common Sort and what’s your favourite part of the job?

I’ve been at Common Sort for about 8 months. I’ve gotta agree with Meg, the strong femme energy brings a magical touch to the business. It’s also lovely not having to work in soul-sucking corporate retail. Something I really appreciate as well is how accessible we make fashion. Being genderqueer, walking into a store and trying on “women’s” clothing is often a frustrating & discouraging experience. I’ve been able to explore my style and identity through being exposed to clothing from so many varying brands, decades and styles, and it creates a beautiful opportunity for self-expression. I think Common Sort extends those possibilities to everyone.

Common Sort | Personal Style: Dan TonnerCommon Sort | Personal Style: Dan TonnerHow would you describe your style?

Equal parts pleather daddy, self-proclaimed pastel princess, rave queen, boy next door, trailer trash, badass boxer & a little bit of Molson Canadian promoter girl, with just a touch of Jackie Kennedy on my classy days. 

Some tips on how to style an outfit.

My general rule is that you’re only well dressed if you’re embodying a minimum of two Spice Girls. My go to is Scary/Posh. Scary was the best… that NASA look she pulls in Spice World is lit.

What’s your favourite piece you own?

I have this crazy monogram denim zip-up Christian Dior hooded vest from some runway show in the 90’s. This adorable, little 82 year old Scottish woman who used to work for Vogue sold it to the store and I nearly wept when I saw it. Dior was my first love. I also have this ancient Roots knit turtleneck that used to belong to my brother. He and I had matching ones when I was 5 or so. Its been so worn that the threads around the neck are coming loose making this cool distressed look. I have to hand wash it because I’m afraid it will literally disintegrate if I put it in a machine at this point.

Common Sort | Personal Style: Dan TonnerCommon Sort | Personal Style: Dan TonnerFavourite trend at the moment?

I’m trying to learn how to power pattern clash. People look so bold and colourful and I respect the sense of being able to find two things that shouldn’t go together but work together perfectly. I used to always wear simple strong colour palettes and never any patterns or prints, but now that I’m addicted to dying my hair weird colours my wardrobe is getting a little bolder. I love pulling big looks and I live for making the Judgemental Judy’s of the world uncomfortable and also when little kids think I’m cool.

Favourite designer(s)?

I love Thom Browne; his shows are always really compelling, conceptual, and weird. His most recent show was this crazy deconstruction of the idea of a grey suit which sounds boring now that I’m describing it, but I swear it’s great. I also have a weakness for Daizy Shely’s marabou feather jackets. Yves Saint Laurent goes without saying, he was a visionary & a progressive .

Favourite season for dressing?

Spring, minus the florals. You still get all the layering from Fall and Winter but with all the light and airiness of Summer. Plus, it’s exciting to slowly break out all the great pieces you’ve been dying to wear since Fall. Did I mention my fondness for pastels?Common Sort | Personal Style: Dan TonnerCommon Sort | Personal Style: Dan TonnerThink of your style 10 years ago…are you embarrassed by it now? 

I would describe my style ten years ago as “I’m Here, I’m Queer and you don’t have to get used to it but PLEASE pay attention to me”. Picture a young awkward Danny, fresh out of the closet, braces, every possible colour paired with every possible pattern. I had these Converse shoes that were made out of the same material as tennis balls. Not cute. I try not to think about high school…

WHAT THEY WORE // vintage Everlast pants via CS, secondhand jacket via CS, Seductions fishnet bodysuit and Underground platform creepers via CS

*photos by Alex Spence

 

Designer Pieces

Common Sort | Affordable Designer PiecesOne of the great things about thrifting is you can often find really amazing designer pieces at a significantly reduced price. While we aren’t known for high-end clothing, we definitely get high-end pieces frequently. If you have a love for thrifting designer, then be sure to scour our racks, you are bound to find something that was once pretty darn expensive for, often times, less than 1/4 of the original price. Today we wanted to share some designer pieces we have in store at the moment.

Common Sort | Affordable Designer PiecesSee by Chloe blouse size S – $56

Common Sort | Affordable Designer PiecesMiu Miu heels size 34.5 – $51

Common Sort | Affordable Designer Pieces3.1 Philip Lim size XS – $60

Common Sort | Affordable Designer PiecesBurberry London bikini size L – $65

Common Sort | Affordable Designer PiecesRebecca Minkoff bag – $40

Thrifting Tips

Common Sort | Thrifting TipsCommon Sort | Thrifting TipsSometimes walking into a thrift store can be overwhelming; there’s so much stuff and where do you even begin? Even though we have done all the picking and sorting and weeding out the “meh” stuff for you at our stores, it’s still a ton of clothes, each different from the next. Being a good thrifter is definitely a skill, and to be one you have to really like searching. If you are already a pro thrifter, then this post is old news for you, but for those looking to get better at finding the gems, we have put together a list of some tips we think could be helpful.

Common Sort | Thrifting Tips

LOOK THROUGH EVERYTHING; that means searching all sizes, checking both male and female sections, checking the tops of our racks, bag wall and all the mannequins. Maybe the piece you find is better oversized? Or you could find an unlikely piece hidden in the men’s section.

WEAR SOMETHING EASY TO TAKE OFF OR EASY TO LAYER OVER; there is nothing more annoying than being layered in clothes and shopping for new ones. It’s best to wear a simple outfit that you can take off easily, so that trying on clothes doesn’t feel like such a burden.

Common Sort | Thrifting Tips

COME OFTEN; At our store we are constantly getting new clothes and putting them out. To find the very best stuff coming frequently is the best way to find the real gems. You’d be surprised how quickly pieces hit the floor and leave that very same day.

THINK ABOUT WHAT WILL WORK WITH WHAT YOU ALREADY OWN; It’s easy to be attracted too many pieces you find, but knowing what pieces will actually get worn is the key to spending your money conscientiously and avoiding adding pieces to your closet that will never see the light of day. If you can think of at least 3 different ways to wear the pieces you are eyeing, then it will probably be a good addition to your closet.

Common Sort | Thrifting Tips

IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR ONLY BOTTOMS, FIND A TOP SIMILAR TO ONE YOU ALREADY OWN (AND VICE VERSA); Maybe you aren’t wearing something that goes with all the pants/skirts you’re trying on. Grab a top from a rack and use that to be able to gauge whether the bottoms really work for you. It’s surprising how your opinion can change on a piece if you are wearing something that seems familiar to you.

IT WILL LIKELY BE GONE IF YOU WAIT; The good and the bad thing about our stores is that pretty well everything is a one-off. If you really love something, don’t wait too long to think about it. It will likely be gone by the time you come back for it.

Common Sort | Thrifting Tips

CHECK SALE SECTION; Sometimes some really great pieces, especially designer ones, end up in sale section. You may find that Prada top at an amazingly reduced price.

RESEARCH TRENDS; while we keep our eye out for trends and pick based on that, it’s always good to come into the store with an idea of what is in fashion and what you would like to be wearing. You may not find it, but coming with a game plan is always a good idea, it can be overwhelming with all the possibilities if not.

Please let us know in the comments below if you have any thrifting tips as well! Lets share the knowledge. 

 

What Would …

Common Sort | What Would Iris Apfel Choose?Iris Apfel choose?

There are so many styles out there to be appreciated. Some people just really know how to put together a great outfit that works for them. Whether it’s over the top eccentric or subtle Parisian chic, there is inspiration all over the place. We thought it would be fun to imagine what some of the most revered style icons would choose from our store.

Incase you aren’t familiar with Iris Apfel – which I’m sure you are, at the very least, you’ve probably seen her picture – she is an interior designer. In 1950, she and her husband launched a textile firm called Old World Weavers until they retired in 1992. During this time they worked on several design projects, among them, design restorations of the White House for 9 different Presidents. Along their many travels Iris started buying non-western, artisanal pieces that she would wear to her meetings. It’s easy to see how she got noticed and quickly became the face of ‘you can wear whatever you damn well please at any age!’

Heres what we think she would pick…

Common Sort | What Would Iris Apfel Choose?vintage jacket size S $24

Common Sort | What Would Iris Apfel Choose?furry shoulder bag $20

Common Sort | What Would Iris Apfel Choose?assorted rings and bangles

Common Sort | What Would Iris Apfel Choose?Weekday button up size XS $32

Common Sort | What Would Iris Apfel Choose?Danier leather pants size S $26

Common Sort | What Would Iris Apfel Choose?vintage dress size M $26

Common Sort | What Would Iris Apfel Choose?Miista pumps size 40 $75

Common Sort | What Would Iris Apfel Choose?H&M Studio furry coat size M $45

Common Sort | What Would Iris Apfel Choose?$10 sunnies