It never fails, each year I always struggle with ideas of what to wear for Easter and Spring in general.
I am a Fall/Winter type of dresser and I naturally gravitate toward dark and vibrant colors so when “pastel season” comes around I’m always at a loss.
Luckily Spring 2021 has brought a whole new moody type of Spring palette in the form of watercolor prints. It’s a walk on the softer side (like pastels) but with an emo-esc fashion twist.
Think of the watercolor trend as the chic grown-up relative of tie-dye, but with the added effect of blotchy, almost diluted-like edges. While some designers’ takes on watercolor feature more uniform patterns like Dries Van Noten, others like Acne Studios and Kenzo used them in a dip-dye effect to create random delicate patterns.
Influenced by the work of master painters, watercolor prints bring a mood of romantic expressiveness to womenswear. You will see watercolor prints in both all-over patterns and in oversized placements against white and off-white bases which give a fresh “clothing as canvas” effect.
Soft, dreamy and totally perfect for Easter dressing it’s a great way to get that Spring vibe without sacrificing your “I hate pastels” mantra.
Chocolate eggs? Done! Easter Baskets? Assembled. What to wear for Easter? An easy no-brainer with soft watercolor prints!
The denim world has been turned upside down by Gen Z’s call to cancel skinny jeans.
This call heard round the internet was first sung on TikTok. According to the Gen Z’ers, skinny jeans are OUT (along with side parts) and we should swap them out for baggy jeans immediately, lest we appear lame. Or even worse…old.
Along with the cry for 90’s esc baggy jeans came a whole slew of retro denim demands. Which includes lighter washes, jogger jeans, balloon jeans, flare jeans and yes acid wash denim.
Acid wash denim the ’80s fashion trend made popular by an entire decade of pop stars and punks is making a comeback. Refined, soft, and sophisticated it’s created by adding chlorine and to the denim to achieve a lighter lived-in looking color.
This once DIY aging technique is now a full-on off the rack trend. From designer to fast-fashion everyone is jumping on the acid wash train.
My favorite way to incorporate it is with a denim jacket. It’s a great way to dip your toes in the trend without going total Girbaud.
If baggy jeans are scaring the crap out of you Acid Wash is a great way to stay on-trend without sacrificing your denim principles.
Now that we have agreed on acid wash, one more thing about skinny jeans..
..As we get older, it’s not about showing off skinny legs, or figure-hugging clothing, feeling comfortable in our clothes and in ourselves is more important.
Skinny jeans are arguably the most wearable item of clothing to exist. Most importantly they flatter every body, designers have also perfected their fits and they are available at just about every price point. Are there cooler jeans? Absolutely. Should we be willing to experiment and explore those options? Probably! But that doesn’t mean we need to completely ditch the comfort food of denim, the humble skinny jean.
After a year of adjusting our daily lives to the coronavirus, it’s okay to still not be feeling 100.
Covid-19 has us all feeling more anxious than ever these days, and has given rise to a new condition called “pandemic fatigue.”
Pandemic Fatigue is the exhaustion you may be feeling after months of spending extra time and energy dealing with our new pandemic lifestyle and all the struggles it’s brought on. Lost loved ones, lost jobs, missing out on experiences and life milestones, like graduations, weddings, and funerals.
It’s more than likely you’re feeling worn out given the big and small strains we’re all facing. Basically, you are sick and tired of worrying about COVID-19 and everything that comes with it.
Being mentally and physically exhausted tends to lower resilience and boost feelings of dread and helplessness. Because you’re exhausted and your ability to cope may be lowered, you’re less motivated to do anything about those negative feelings. So you end up feeling more on edge, anxious, and exhausted by all of those feelings.
Now that we are starting to see a light at the end of this Pandemic Tunnel what can we do to get our groove back?
Q: The pandemic has created unprecedented stress and anxiety for everyone no matter what their age. What are a few things we can do? How to relieve the pandemic fatigue?
DP: Be gentle and kind with yourself. Stress, anxiety, uncertainty all come from not feeling safe and secure. Let’s face it, this year revealed to us the truth that we are not in control of anything outside of ourselves. There is nothing wrong with you. Take all the should of’s, could of’s, have to’s out of your vocabulary.
Q: Are there any techniques help push those bad feelings and anxiety away?
DP: Start by slowing down. Taking conscious breaths is the first step. As you become aware of your breath, just simply observe,/watch it. Notice if you are breathing just in your chest or into your abdomen/belly. If you can begin to breathe into the belly with ease (not force) then you tap into your parasympathetic nervous system that you are safe, and tells the sympathetic nervous system (fight/flight/freeze/fawn) part of your system to stand down.
Also just slowing down your movements – daily tasks – showering, washing dishes or even walking. Bringing awareness and a slower pace to your movements helps signal your system that you are safe.
Drink plenty of water and eat regularly. Water helps your physical body, but also helps your cognitive functioning and processing of feelings. Stimulates obviously stimulate the body and if your system is already stressed this is just like filling a full glass of water with more water. So if you can limit the amount of caffeine that would be ideal. But don’t make this a stressor. Take small steps. If you can’t eliminate either of these things then simply try to add more water. Also eating regular meals means consistency and our bodies LOVE consistency. It makes us feel safe knowing we are going to be nourished around the same times everyday. It also helps with hormones, sleep, etc. all things that get disrupted when we are under stress.
Q: What about exercise? Many of us have fallen out of our normal fitness routine.
DP: Any type of movement will do. Find a workout that you ENJOY! If you don’t like any exercise and you are anxious, doing simple shaking movements are great. This ensures your body won’t use all the energy produced by the sympathetic nervous system and helps calm the body and the mind.
Q: How about those moments we feel extra anxious?
DP: When we slow down, take care of our bodies with food and movement we start to see our emotions and thoughts more clearly. For example, if you start constantly checking your phone, but aren’t waiting for a call or email, it is just a compulsion. Take a moment and ask yourself why? Then how am I feeling? Find in your body where you are physically feeling this feeling. Allow yourself time and space (just a few minutes) to feel the feeling. Try to stay present in your body and observe how you feel with curiosity. Once the feeling is felt then it is released.
Q: So diet, exercise, being present. Got it. Anything else to help keep yourself centered?
DP: Baths are great for calm and releasing. Mineral salts and essential oils help soothe the body. I really like Breathe, Frankincense, and Lavender essential oils to breathe in.
Carving out time for yourself (even if it is five minutes) to slow down, stretch, deep breathe, etc. allow your system to reset. Baths give you that “alone time”.
Creativity also eases anxiety – painting, dancing, singing, etc… finding a hobby that you enjoy brings joy.
Laughter really is the best medicine. Laughing, just start laughing, or watch a video or TV program that you know will make you laugh pulls you out of being in stress mode
The single biggest question I get on my social media is how to mix prints.
I have to admit I wasn’t always a skilled mix-master. Believe it or not, I am a reformed minimalist- if you were to look back 3-4 years my entire closet consisted of all black clothing. I wanted it sleek and serious.
I’m not sure what changed- whether it was me, the trends, the world climate or all of the above but I blame it on Gucci.
Most trend innovations have a point of origin or a ‘spiritual leader’, for Maximalists and Print Mixing Aficionados it’s Gucci’s Creative Director Alessandro Michele. When he took the reins at Gucci in 2015 he set fashion ablaze with sequins, bedazzlement and a grandma chic style that was undeniably covetable.
The new fresh-yet-retro chic vibe he created crept into my fashion-soul and I began to find a bespoke joy in watching prints magically mingle to create something unexpected and interesting. You can ask my assistant but I think if you were to quote what I say the most it would be “Am I crazy or does this look amazing together”?
Embracing your inner Print Mix Master is about having more fun in fashion, expressing your mood, personality and not taking your style too seriously.
It’s about experimenting BUT it’s also a learned art. You have to develop a sense to pair the right pieces because in print mixing, it can be really-really right or go really-really wrong.
To keep you on the right track I put together some of my tips to have you mixing and matching like a pro:
ONE: Mix prints and textures, add ruffles here and there and include embroidery and embellishments whenever possible. When mixing prints and patterns make sure your prints have something in common. You can’t just mix whatever comes to your hands first. The easiest way to do this is to make sure that one color carries through each print. Remember that stripes and plaids are super versatile patterns that can be combined with many others they are almost a neural when print mixing. Pattern on pattern is another easy way to go, mix two different plaids or two animal prints just make sure that the colors and the style of the pieces blend seamlessly.
TWO: Layering is a MUST but try to move away from traditional ways of layering. Think outside the box. Why wear one coat when you can wear two? It gives you the perfect excuse during winter months to layer and keep layering until you look like a haute winter burrito. Pile the clothes on and pile them high.
THREE: Delicious Details. Always appreciates the details. You think tights don’t matter? Tights and socks are a way of making a statement. Adding in brightly colored tights can transform a LDB into something uber chic. Think you can skip the belt? Think again a belt helps give your silhouette shape AND adds another layer at the same time! Takes advantage of the tiniest details.
FOUR: Give yourself an anchor piece. Layer in one solid or neutral piece to ground your look.
Most of us would have an easier time reading ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs than deciphering the symbols on laundry care tags!
Triangles, lines, dots and all sorts of shapes, they are truly a language all their own but those crazy symbols are the key to keeping your clothing looking fresh and making them last.
Way back in 1971, the FTC started requiring manufacturers to tag their clothing with at least one safe cleaning method. At this stage, these were generally words indicating whether a garment was suitable for the washing machine, hand wash, or dry cleaning. For all you vintage and thrift shoppers this is a quick way to identify vintage clothing- if it doesn’t have any care instructions it was most likely made before 1971.
In 1997, they came up with SYMBOLS that could be used in place of words on labels.
The symbols were developed as part of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Symbols or pictograms are used rather than words because internationally it’s easier to identify. The symbols have some variations in Europe, Asia, and the US. But, it’s not a big deal, you can still understand it easily even though there are slight differences.
The Laundry Care Symbol Chart based on ISO uses five basic icons for: washing, drying, dry cleaning, ironing, and bleaching. Once you understand the basic icon shape, you’ll easily understand if there are slight differences. For example, the letter ‘X’ in any icon means ‘Don’t do it’.
I’m going to break down the basics of Laundry Care Symbols but I also have a little cheat sheet you can print out and keep in your laundry room.
Let’s jump in.
The Washtub: The thing that looks like a bucket, that’s the washing instructions.
A washtub without any number at the centre means that you may wash that garment in your washer at any cycle or temperature you prefer. If there is a number inside the tub, that means that you should use that temperature (in Celsius). If there is a hand, you should either wash these delicate garments by hand or on a gentle cycle. Dots inside the tub also refer to heat levels. The more dots the more heat can be used. One dot means wash in cold, two wash in warm and three wash in hot. Lines underneath the tub refer to the cycle you should wash in- no line is wash in regular cycle, one line wash in permanent press and two lines gentle. A crossed out washtub means that you should not wash your item. Ever.
The Triangle: that’s the bleaching instructions.
Bleaching care symbols are meant to indicate which type of bleach is safe to use with your clothes. Bleaching symbols on a piece of clothing are easy to read. An empty triangle means you can usebleach, and a crossed-out triangle means you can’
If there are two diagonal lines breaking the triangle into threesections, this means you can use a non-chlorine bleach – a gentler product that’s less harmful to your skin, clothes, and the environment.
The Square: (which kind of looks like a dryer) is the drying instructions.
These symbols are divided into 2 main categories: natural drying and tumble drying. Natural drying symbols mean that the garment should be left to air dry. Tumble drying symbols mean that the garment should be dried in the dryer. Crossed out symbols mean that it shouldn’t be dried. Drying symbolsuse the same number of dots and lines as washing symbols, indicating low, medium, and high heat settings.
The Iron: (the most straightforward) instructs on safe ironing temps.
These are easier to remember and are always represented by the outline of an iron. Ironing symbols use the same heat indicators you’ll see on washing and dryer symbols, so you can decide whether to go for a high, low, or medium heat temperature setting.
If the iron symbol is crossed out, then the garment is not suitable for ironing. If the iron’s steam is crossed out, you can iron the garment with the steam setting turned off.
The Circle: Dry Cleaning instructions.
Chances are, if you see a letter on the label of your garment, it’s intended to be professionally cleaned. The letters ‘F’ and ‘P’ are used to describe chemical washes and the letter ‘W’ means a wet clean. But you don’t need to worry about that, your dry clean professional will handle it. All you need to know is that if the garment has a circle or written words that say “dry clean only” take that piece to the cleaners!
Now that you have the main symbols down the variations are easy! In General, the more bars you find underneath your laundry symbols the more gentle the wash and the more dots the hotter the temp.