This past summer, I promised myself not to buy any clothing first hand unless I’d checked into the garment’s manufacturing history to see if it was ethically made. Well, I up and broke my vow recently. A couple of weeks ago I was downtown shopping for a gift along St. Catherine’s street and I popped into the Simons department store to see if they had what I was looking for (my first mistake). While looking for the gift, I happened upon a cute jacket (pictured above) on a sale rack and decided to try it on (second mistake), and the cuteness/sale combo led me to justify purchasing it (third mistake). The temptation was just too much- I wanted a new jacket and there it hung in front of me. It is a truth universally acknowledged about northern climes that no matter how lovely an outfit might be under a jacket, the exterior view can just mess the whole effect right up. Just ask Canadian kids on Halloween as they stuff their little monster and fairy costumes into or over snowsuits: it is just not quite The Thing.
For the past two of years I’ve been rotating two jackets that I just haven’t been inspired by lately and when I saw this black wool number with gold military-style fastenings and shoulder action with a greatly reduced price tag, I couldn’t resist. Two of the buttons were hanging by threads, which made the whole thing feel a bit more D.I.Y., as I’d have to repair the damn coat before wearing it. I figure that it’s best for me to keep this all in perspective: my consumption level is quite low and I usually wear only second hand, vintage and ethically made garments. The outfit above is a good example of this: I wore boots, a scarf and a vintage fur hat that I picked up from a clothing exchange last year, a purse from a friperie along Wellington St. in Verdun, a t-shirt I purchased from a local screen printing collective, a vintage cardigan that I borrowed from my partner, and jeans from Jeans Jeans Jeans from last spring. Even my underthings were given to me from my family over the holidays (sexy, non?).
There. I’ve confessed. But I still endeavour to stick to my principles as best I can, promise.