Ever since I wrote that post last week about how I was changing up my style and embracing “the loose”, I’ve been thinking about slow fashion. And how one goes about chasing slow fashion credibility when one’s style is changing? I mean what do we do?

If you’re new on my blog you won’t know that I have been endeavouring to embrace slow fashion for a number of years. In some ways the slow fashion movement’s ethic of buying less, buying quality, shopping one’s closet, and trying to be a more conscious consumer is right up my street. I am all over the “30 wears” idea. Most of my wardrobe is several seasons old, and in some cases a couple of decades.

But if I am also trying to change my style, as I am, what then? Do I abandon all my slow fashion good intentions and run hog wild at the mall? Huh?

Vince cashmere sweater, Rag and Bone Simone pants.

I thought I would do my June vlog on just that issue. So I contacted my friend Krista about whom I wrote a blog post a few years ago. Krista also loves clothes, regularly edits her closet, and is as obsessive about wardrobe building and organization as I am. And she has also gone through some changes which have challenged her approach to dressing.

In part of my vlog Krista and I talk about clothes, her clothes, and her changing ideas around slow fashion. And in the other part I explore a new-to-me consignment shop near me. Bella Boutique, in Nepean where I meet and chat to the two lovely owners.

This is what I wore the day I visited Bella Boutique and chatted with Melissa and Tina.

Me in my old and even older duds.

For that outing, I thought it was appropriate to wear my Max Mara linen safari jacket, circa 1997, a pair of block-heel sandals that are even older, and vintage earrings and bracelets bought over the years at the Ottawa Vintage Clothing Show. My five-year old Vince tee, and two year old Frame straight-leg jeans are veritable youngsters by comparison. I was a walking slow fashion advertisement. Ha.

But enough waffling. You can listen to me do that in the video below. Hope you enjoy it.

You know, I don’t purport to have all the answers. Nor do I have some sort of blueprint for how to be a slow fashionista and still navigate all the changes in our bodies, lifestyle, and wardrobes which confront us at certain times in our lives.

In many ways the slow fashion movement and its tenets are right up my street. I shop carefully, buy the highest quality I can afford, and tend to keep my clothes for a long time. But I also know that I fail at certain aspects of the slow fashion movement. I have not been a good ethical consumer. I have researched sustainable brands but then, when I was unable to find what I was shopping for, I looked elsewhere. Even though I love vintage, I have not really tried very hard to shop in thrift stores or consignment shops. I can do better.

For me, and for many of us whose bodies and styles are changing, moving forward as mindful consumers will be a challenge. But it’s one that I am excited to tackle. Not to be a Pollyanna, but there are few things I love more than a fashion challenge.

So, what about you my friends? Do your life changes make you want to abandon your best intentions to shop less? Do you long to run hog-wild at the mall instead?

P.S. There are a few affiliate links in this post. If you make a purchase after clicking my link, I will earn a commission which helps to pay for the blog.


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46 thoughts on “Chasing Slow Fashion: My June Vlog”

  1. Hi Sue, I have purchased so many clothes over the years, and still have not found my style. I have bought clothes with the hopes of travelling, but that never happen. My work clothes I donated, and I feel so guilty with the amount of money I spent. Now reaching 70, I still am searching. I buy cheap t shirts just to have a change but regret the purchase after the first wash. I love how you are so confident in what you wear, you always look so put together. I look forward each week to read your post.
    Thank you for being you!

    1. Thanks so much, Bonnie. I am not always confident in what I wear. But if what I’m wearing doesn’t feel right, I usually change if I can. Still there have been those days when I think something looks great until I catch sight of myself in a shop window or something and wonder what the heck I was thinking! 🙂

  2. Good morning, I have been a thrift/consignment shopper for yrs plus buying new. I love the thrill of the hunt and it’s relaxing to me to browse the racks. Sometimes I buy stuff that perhaps I should have skipped but the price is so good I lose my judgement. Other times, I score a great haul. Yesterday I bought a Talbots thick sweater jacket with a cute fit in mint condition, two Avalin sweaters , one with a $78 tag and this is a brand I love for their natural linen fabrics, but only found in boutiques which we have few of where I live, and a jcrew popover tunic shirt. The total cost was $22. All my good Eileen Fisher is second hand. Ferragamo black patent pumps for $80 vs $400 new, and I could go on. So I encourage you to shop consignment for some slow fashion. To be honest, I am always amazed that you spend so much on cashmere sweaters, but I am not critical of that. I admire your keeping your clothes a long time. I do the same. I just can’t bring myself to spend $300 on one piece.

    Fashion is so much fun. I love your blog. Keep sharing your thoughts and ideas.

    1. I must admit I blew up my price “ceiling” years ago when I discovered a shop in Montreal that had clothes that felt they were designed especially for me. Now if I love something, and I can afford it I buy it. If I could find consignment clothing that fit me and my plans for my wardrobe I wouldn’t hesitate. Maybe I need to find an area of town where women dress like me and then the consignment or thrift store finds will be exactly what I want. There used to be one such store in Ottawa and it’s long been closed.

  3. Lovely to meet Krista , so friendly & natural & her Eileen Fisher dress was well worth hanging on to . I also like her light switch 😁 I think your discussion illustrated the wisdom of buying quality & not rushing for the latest ‘ fix ‘ . It can be tricky as fashion sneaks in little tweaks which can date us . Sleeves became slimmer & I felt odd in wider sleeves but I’m sure wider sleeves will be back – probably are already ? I’ve had a serious clear out & donated to the Oxfam charity who charge a decent price & sell on the net too . They also send you an annual statement telling you how much money they have raised from your donations . So you know it hasn’t all gone in landfill . I buy very few items now . Partly as I’m at home more than I used to be & partly as I already have lots of things I love & want to wear ( Might also be your good influence too ) It’s a great idea inviting your friends as guests & I hope Liz cooperates . We need her professional guidance . Tell her it’s a public service 😁

    1. Liz and I have already begun planning our strategy for the next vlog. It’s such fun to record fashion talk. I may try to get her to come shopping with me on camera… and thus all of us. Ha.

  4. Hi Sue! I am like Jeanne and I love the thrill of the hunt and can happily browse the racks of consignment stores for hours. I love to shop and love to have new things to wear. I will very seldom buy brand new unless I absolutely love something and know I will wear it for a very long time. Is this slow fashion? I’m not sure but it makes me happy and I don’t feel guilty when I tire of something and it goes back to the consignment store.

    I just watched a program on Marketplace last night that investigated factories that use forced and underpaid labour. It was eye opening as they named a large chain of stores in Canada that I have shopped at on occasion. It was very interesting.

    I love starting my Sunday mornings reading your blog. Such fun! I especially love the vlogs. Like chatting with a friend. Have a great week!

    1. Thanks so much, Ruth Janet. I think slow fashion is whatever we can do to slow down the fast fashion frenzy and the disposal of so many clothes in landfills. Even a fast fashion purchase can be slow fashion if we take care of it, mend it when the buttons fall off, and keep it as long as we can.

  5. Another lovely Sunday morning chat. By the way, that sweater is a terrific colour on you. I am another follower who loves to shop second hand and have found some wonderful items that are such fun to discover. I tried another slow fashion fix this past week, I had a pair of really comfy Clarks sandals that were in a bronze tone, which I don’t wear anymore, and got some leather paint and changed them to a gorgeous gunmetal grey that looks so good. I will now have another life for them and plan to change a couple more items. It is much easier than I thought and actually regret donating other pairs that I could have changed. Oh well, live and learn. I hope you are able to convince Liz to guest star in the next vlog post. We have heard so much of your fun adventures shopping with her, it would be great to meet her and her closet.

  6. I so enjoyed your Vlog this month, Sue. It was great to see and spend some time with you and Krista. I’m not the fashionista you are, but certainly do think a lot about ethical shopping and buying fewer pieces that last longer. You’re so right about retirement and getting older and figuring out how to look good without looking ‘old’. I have recently lost 20 pounds and so am facing the challenge of dressing myself for the realities my current life, but also being able to look good, in clothes that flatter my body when I venture out. 😊

  7. I loved that video! More like that please. It is fun to see someone else’s closet.
    Krista is lovely and was so generous to let us have a glimpse into her life and fashion.

    I love consignment stores! I take things in and often use my credit to but something new to me.
    It is the only way I can afford brands like EF.
    Anyone I think this was my fav post ever. Thank you!

  8. I enjoyed your June Vlog and appreciate all the effort you put into making it helpful and informative. I’m looking forward to next month and getting some help in trying to identify some quality basics that are worth keeping. Thanks for making Sunday morning enjoyable- Mary Lou

  9. Hi Sue, What a great blog! Thanks also to Krista for sharing her closet and thoughts with all of us.
    I always have 3 sizes in my closet because my weight often goes up and down – straight to the hips which then changes the tops, dresses and pants I need to wear. I am often asked ” why are you all dressed up?” when I dress in my style personality, which can be a bit discouraging. So it is so nice to see that fashion and people are starting to change and be more accepting that everyone has their own style personality. I love to people watch all the great styles everyone has and how they put together an outfit.
    Thanks for all your work putting together this well done Vlog. Hope that Liz will share some tips with us, as well. Have a great week.

  10. Hi Sue, That was a great vlog….We have a resale boutique here in Southern Arizona. The gals are all great, welcoming. I have cleared out my closet and have a limited mostly black and white wardrobe, 30-40 pieces a season. Hauled in and back out of the storage closet and for winter T’s and Turtlenecks in storage chest. I’m an oldy. I don’t look like the people in my part of the country. My signature is some very fine hats, black & beige for summer, Beaver black gaucho and silver w black band for winter. I’m sort so it gives me a little height….without big heels. It’s been fun re-inventing myself over the decades of my life.
    I love spending time with you and your blog and vlogs. (I don’t have any friends with whom I can talk fashion.). You have a great taste!

  11. I don’t very often chime in on fashion posts (though I always read them), but just wanted to say that the lavender colour of your sweater is beautiful on you!

  12. Lots to think about thanks to you and Krista! And I’d have loved to be a student in Krista’s class, too!

    Strangely, as I reflect back on on half a century of fashion buys, I’m a bit perplexed to realize that most of my best purchases have actually been impulse buys— situations where my heart overruled my head. I’m thinking of my 35-year-old Schneiders of Austria raincoat with which I was smitten despite the fact I was shopping for a supposedly well-thought-out purchase of an “investment” Burberry trench. The Schneider coat, made from a new-at-the-time Gortex fabric, was sportier than the classic navy Burberry— and at an even more eye-watering price. Fast forward to 2022, the number of times that coat has been worn is probably in the thousands. It has been to four continents, to rock concerts, to the London theatre, in Slovak caves and French restaurants, and still looks good enough for opening night at the opera.

    Two observations when I think of that Schneider coat:
    #1: When the heart takes flight, pay attention.
    #2: Don’t be afraid to re-think what might be an “classic” —or, put another way, the best “investment” piece for my wardrobe is something which fits my aesthetic sense and my practical needs in a uniquely personal way.

    Maybe one of the ways to merge our desire for slow fashion with changing style preferences is to appreciate the role of intense pleasure in helping us discerning what is likely to have staying power in our closets? Like Krista’s EF dress, if a garment appeals to our personal aesthetic, meets our needs, and gives us intense pleasure while it’s on our body, it’s unlikely to ever go into a donate pile.

    1. I love that, Marily… “When the heart takes flight, pay attention.” I think you are right, that if a piece gives us intense pleasure, it will have staying power.

      1. I would echo much of what has been said in these comments! But especially those comments of Marily struck me.
        I spent most of my life as a court reporter ONLY buying work clothes I loved, and don’t quite know how to deal with “fun clothhes” but I’m learning, and Marily’s #1 has been a big one for me!

  13. I originally thought that consignment stores were a great idea…..and then I tried to donate. Everything was given the third degree and if they can’t find it online and compare they deem it not suitable. A wee bit of a holier than thou attitude. My clothes are good brands but not always something that they had heard about in their narrow universe. And certainly no understanding of having something made/bespoke …..no label in it so tossed aside. So…still trying to find the better way in a world that only wants a clothing donation that is “fashion” brand they know and only one season past…gotta be fashion current LOL Classic is not in their understanding

    1. I hear you. Consignment stores are only as good as the owners knowledge of fashion and the goals for their store. They want to take what will appeal to their clientiele. And sometimes that isn’t always what I have to sell.

  14. Loved this
    End of life really concerns me, here we need to pick and choose the op shop we donate to as so much goes to landfill.
    If an outfit has balling, holes or smells, maybe need a wash the shop I volunteer at will throw them out.
    Subsequently the polar fleece hoodies I purchased several years ago I keep to do chores around the house in, but you can only keep so much for this.
    Still am working on, no new purchases e.g. retail and downsizing my wardrobe, also minimal purchases from op shops.

    1. I think we need to be very judicious before we donate. Anything not clean and repaired will most likely end up in the rag bundle or in a landfill. And if pieces don’t sell within a certain time frame at consignment stores they get donated.

  15. Absolutely enjoyed the vlog Sue. Thanks to Krista for sharing her closet and thoughts with us. I have serious shoe envy now, they are fabulous.

      1. Krista did look fantastic in those pink shoes.. and they looked great with her jeans. i have a very similar pair in blue but tend to only wear them for very special occasions. Maybe i should try mine with jeans too! thank you for a really interesting vlog and I have to say I could listen to your lovely accent for hours. i shop in a second hand shop (australian name for consignment store) occasionally but I tend to buy more on Ebay. i only buy brands I know and usually things I have actually tried on in store. I just bought a shirt which sold out in my size in store before i had even seen it. I bought it a few months later on ebay for $20 instead of the retail price of $180. I used to have the mind set that I would then go and spend the money I saved on other purchases but I am trying to limit my shopping regardless of money. I am good at purging but am now very conscious of the fact that even if its not in my wardrobe it is adding to a serious waste problem

        1. Those shoes of Krista’s with jeans and a lovely soft blazer would be amazing! I must try eBay. I’ve never shopped on there at all.

  16. Such a lovely vlog,Sue what a wonderful idea,it was so nice to meet Krista (and her closet as well-beautiful shoes!). You both know well what works for you
    Looking forward to meet Liz,too
    I was just “sun-bathing” my old MM jackets the other day
    This topic is very interesting -a lot of us have to make a lot of wardrobe adaptation from time to time

  17. Great vlog, great post!
    I hang on my clothes and my shoes. I only buy (admittedly a lot) quality, preferably made in Europe. My style hasn’t change, my body neither but I’m 62, so I no longer wear my shorter dresses or skirts. My nieces are very happy 😉
    But I can’t, for the life o me, buy second hand. Am I the only one?
    Were I to find a Saint Laurent Mondrian dress, I might be inclined to change my views, but what are the odds?
    Thank you for the the food for thought.


    1. I sell some of my own stuff in consignment stores, but I rarely find anything I like to buy. That is probably because I have a clear idea of what I’m looking for. I have bought a few vintage pieces over the years, mostly handbags and jewelry because most of the garments I like are too small.

  18. Great vlog, Sue, and resonated on so many levels. I, too, was a Principal (not long retired) in an adult/alternate high school – and was always so inspired and sometimes dismayed at the stories students’ came with both from their personal and previous educational lives. When the teaching staff would say “It’s not brain surgery”, I would gently remind them that educators do “brain surgery” from the outside in – we literally have the power to change how students feel about themselves, sometimes for the rest of their lives.

    And so enjoyed seeing Krista’s closet and the consignment store. Thank you for all the work and thought you put into your blog/vlog – I really enjoy reading it and have learned a lot. My only quibble – I wonder if it’s ever appropriate to call women “girls”? I know it’s just a word, and words have such power; in my view, women have to fight so hard to earn and keep respect and calling them girls seems to diminish that for me somehow. And of course, you may feel differently.

    1. Thanks so much, Kris. Yes, I should probably not be calling young women like Melissa and Tina “girls.” They just reminded me so much of some of the enthusiastic, hard-working teenage girls I taught. It’s hard to get out of the habit. 🙂

      1. Hi Sue – agreed – they are so young and enthusiastic – and then – so are you! Sure not trying to “should” you. I have a problem calling our primary bedroom the “master bedroom”. I actually had no idea until a friend pointed it out that that term has its roots in slavery. So maybe I’m more focused on words/language than necessary. Anyway, love the vlog/blog and your book/clothing recommendations.

  19. Oh Sue, thank you for nudging me to assess my wardrobe/style. Even though I’ve now been retired for 15 months, I haven’t been in the right head space to tackle the task. There just always seems to be something better to do. I know I’ll appreciate it when I do…so thank you for the generous way you share your knowledge.
    I also really liked your honest response to Bonnie’s comment about catching your reflection in the shop window! (That happens to me too🤭)

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Genevieve. Sometimes I catch sight of myself in a mirror on the other side of a department store and it is always jarring. Like that woman kind of looks like me but older. Ha 🙂

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