Do you have an expensive dress hanging in your closet that makes you feel like a complete bad ass, but you never wear it because you're saving it for a "special occasion"? Or are there a pair of shoes you've been lusting after but you always talk yourself out of them because you wouldn't have anywhere to wear them?
I went through a period in my early twenties when I lived in jeans and t-shirts. I was drawn to full, vintage-style skirts and edgy, punk rock accessories but I didn't think this wild style fit into my new role as an activist. I was restricting my fashion choices to fit into someone else's mold.
Eventually, the clothes I wanted to wear felt unnatural to me. It seemed too dressy and out of place to swan around in retro dresses paired with leather jackets.
Until I decided to just go for it. In 2013 my New Year's Resolution was to not wear pants. Skirts and dresses all day every day instead.
I started incorporating glittery hair pieces and brightly coloured lipsticks into my outfits until they became my signature style choices. I'm happy wearing a tutu to work, bejewelled bunny ears to the farmer's market, or a gown for a pizza date. Dressing up and expressing myself sartorially makes me feel good. And people have come to expect it from me.
It's also changed how I go about buying clothing and accessories. I'm happy having a closet full of high quality, statement pieces with a few basics to mix and match them with. And I'm especially drawn to any item I can remix or restyle to make it completely my own.
Which is why I completely fell for Kirk & Kirk's handmade sunglasses. You get to choose the frame, colour, and pin for a completely customized look. Jason and Karen Kirk are carrying on the work of their family, who started designing glasses in London in 1919. Each pair is handcrafted in France, while the adorning jewellery is produced in England.
They were kind enough to send me sunglasses from their Solarium Collection and I felt like a kid in a candy store getting to make my own creation. Inspired by the Victorian obsession with science and nature, each frame is named after a celebrated scientist of the era. I chose the Eleanor frames in anthracite with a silver fly pin. They're the perfect combination of vintage chic with a punk rock edge.
It's easy to let a high end product languish in a drawer for fear of them getting lost or broken. But I'm here to say: let's always wear our Sunday best! Let's get pleasure from the things that we love. Let's allow them to make us feel good, rather than collecting dust somewhere.
So last Sunday I styled my hair in pin curls and put on a fancy outfit for a trip to the market and a walk around East London. Here's what I wore...
I'm wearing sunglasses c/o Kirk & Kirk, Love, Yu corset top from my bestie's bridal boutique in Toronto, a Danier leather jacket, a Stella McCartney skirt (from the #VCSwapShop), United Nude shoes c/o AllSole, a necklace from a street market vendor, a tea rose crown c/o Crown & Glory, and an LYDC London bag.
I love the quote by William Morris, "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." When we focus on quality over quantity, we stop our obsession with consuming and start actually getting pleasure from our favourite things.
So why not save up for the most luxurious item you can afford, rather than buying 10 cheap ones that will break easily?
Make "wearing your Sunday best every day" a personal mantra.
Put on your fullest skirt and twirl around your living room.
Instate "dress up Mondays" to add a little flair to the start of the week.
Always keep a bottle of bubbly in the fridge to celebrate good feedback, friend's successes, or awesome hair days.
Spray glitter in your hair before going to the movies.
Invite your girlfriends over and wear your prom dresses for a pizza party.
Buy beautiful vintage crockery and use it to serve tea every week (even if it's just for yourself).
Wear a different colour of lipstick every day of the week.
Use those luxury bath products that you got as a gift, instead of saving them.
Replace your mascara with falsh eyelashes that make you feel like an old school movie star.
Learn to do a hair style you really love and wear it once a week just because.
Support independent, creative brands.
Buy things that make you feel good.
Love, wild sunsets, & rose lemonade,
And tell me, which Kirk & Kirk frames would you choose? What can you do to celebrate the little things today?