Un-fancy your closet

November 26, 2014

all clothing-small

My original fall/winter closet

66 pieces (+ four pairs of shoes) = 70 total pieces

Have you ever had an idea for a project, made several attempts to execute it, but have it fall short of your expectations only to discover someone else who has made your dream a reality? Only a few weeks ago, I came across un-fancy.com – the minimalist closet, and what I saw on Caroline Rector’s simple site was exactly what I wanted to do for my style posts. The focus of her blog, (documenting her seasonal process of creating a capsule wardrobe), isn’t what I want to emulate, it’s how she lays out her posts; how she takes pictures of each of her clothing items, carefully documenting her thought process and how she has created an easy guide for readers to refer to and use. So, thank you Caroline for the inspiration! It’s so great to see an example of how to produce appealing posts. I will channel Miss Un-fancy in my future attempts to put together style tip posts, but don’t confuse inspiration with imitation folks.

What I will imitate, however, is her capsule wardrobe how-to, which she enthusiastically encourages everyone to try. Using her free, downloadable PDF capsule wardrobe planner, I will document my own attempts to whittle down my 100-piece winter wardrobe (this includes shoes and outerwear) to 37 pieces. Caroline aims for 37 but this isn’t a hard rule.

Below, you’ll see phase one of the process: taking inventory and documenting every item. As Caroline suggested, I used the incredible Stylebook app to take pictures of my clothing. Where was this baby back when I first started blogging!? Do you know how annoying it can be to edit out background on outfit posts? Well Stylebook makes it so easy and it allows you to organize your pieces by type and also into outfits.This took me four hours, but it was fun (I love organizing) and it helps to purge items if you see just how much you have and how little you actually wear regularly. Note that I didn’t take pictures of my shoes yet (I lost patience after four hours, I admit) but I have four pairs of fall/winter shoes.

Caroline says that what’s not included in your 37 piece wardrobe are: accessories, jewellery, pyjamas, bathing suits, lounge wear, renovation wear, purses, underwear and socks.

So how does this all work? Here’s a list from Caroline’s site on her step-by-step process:


So what’s the next step from here? I’m going to divide this beauty of a pile into three: LOVE IT, DONATE IT, STORE IT.

Stay tuned for post two!

A cornucopia of holiday shopping events

November 20, 2014

I can’t get over how many fantastic holiday shopping events are popping up this season in Ottawa. From clothes swaps for charity to craft shows and everything in between, my hometown is really kicking it into high gear. Ottawa has a reputation for being a boring town, a reputation that in my mind has definitely run its course. Not only are people putting on creative events, but these initiatives are all focused on supporting local designers, promoting Made in Canada, recycling clothing, giving back and keeping gift giving simple and close to home.



Click here for more information on The Closet Collective

Start the holiday shopping season off right with a cocktail in hand at The Holiday Market & Cocktail

It’s time, downsize that wardrobe!


The pop-up show of all pop-up shows!

In the DIY mood? Try your hand at crafting your own batch of natural beauty products

These crafters are anything but idle

Come with me to this 3rd anniversary party, or as the French say, Viens Avec Moi

urban craft

The darling craft market of the season is urban

northern lights

Ottawa’s very own Northern Lights invite you to shop their creations

I’m dreaming of an indigo Christmas

November 16, 2014

ef and larkspur giveaway

I know I’m stating the obvious when I say that indigo is every where right now. From pillow cases to clutches and table cloths, this ancient dye is a design darling. It’s also become a DIY must-do. Don’t believe me? Try ordering a Shibori dyeing kit off of Amazon. This past summer, I was inspired to try my hand at Shibori dyeing and the kit was sold out. I think I’ll throw in the DIY towel and buy some indigo pillow cases or napkins from an artisan instead. Better yet, I’ll order me some sexy indigo lingerie from Larkspur Lingerie, (now that’s a segue).

I first posted about Amanda Bear’s ethical lingerie line this past July and I’m happy to share with you now her Indigo Collection. Not only is indigo a gorgeous colour, but it is also reported to have healing properties. Heather tells me that Japanese Samurai wore indigo-dyed undergarments to promote healing and to protect them in battle. Historically, indigo has been used in traditional medicine as an anti-inflammatory and for skin calming purposes. While she wouldn’t recommend her undies for medical purposes, Heather likes to think the Samurai were onto something…

Since Christmas is just around the corner and snow is on the ground here in Ottawa, Larkspur and I are happy to announce a little giveaway for you. Details below. Good luck!





*All Photos by Claire Oring

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FINALLY: Ethical women’s work wear

November 8, 2014


If there’s one segment of the women’s ethical and sustainable fashion market that is lacking, it’s women’s work wear. Cue Wabi Sabi Eco Fashion Concept’s first collection called “Sustainable City Style Collection,” in which each piece is named after a sustainable city, and designed and manufactured with the wearer and ethics in mind.

Michele Helen Cohen of Wabi Sabi just successfully raised more than the desired $15,000 via Kickstarter to expand the brand’s line and I’m looking forward to seeing the final product. Cohen says that each dress is designed for the city life but inspired by nature.

“We worked hard to create excellent quality clothing that meets the needs of today´s busy, professional woman. From the designs to the construction to the selection of fabric, each and every decision was made by viewing things from a customer´s perspective. Each and every detail was considered for both its aesthetics and functionality.”

This premier collection, made out of knit blends of organic cotton; tencel and spandex; and organic cotton sateen/lycra blends, has a dress for every age and  body type. Cohen tells me that the dresses will wear well, wash well and will become treasured pieces in your closet.  The designs were kept classic to remain timeless but they also have a little bit of that special something. You can easily dress them up or dress them down.

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November 1, 2014

madesmith main imageThis blog of mine is a hobby, a creative side project that has been the one constant project in my life for the past seven years. For someone as flighty and indecisive as I can be, EF has always been there, the one tool I use to share my passion for ethical and sustainable fashion, new designers, ideas, concepts and more.

One of the many advantages of running this blog is the chance to meet (mostly virtually that is) and collaborate with my favourite companies. Madesmith is no exception. Madesmith is a storytelling platform that helps people discover well-designed, sustainable objects made by hand in the USA. It features exclusive collaborations with artists and makers that create fashion, beauty and home goods in their own studios or small manufacturing facilities.

Most recently, Madesmith launched Madesmith Academy, an online school where product designers, makers and your average “Joe/Joanna” can learn sustainable craft and business skills from top experts who have built successful brands.

Since I wanted to put together a Christmas gift guide using their products, they’re showing their gratitude by giving all of you 25% off of your Madesmith craft and business courses. I really can’t think of a better gift than the gift of learning, can you? Well, OK, so the products below would be pretty schnazzy too. Yes, I made that spelling up but I’m going to say it’s probably similar to something Yiddish?


madesmith gift guide-small


Tapestry | Rachel Duvall Textiles
Pot | Wind & Willow


Skateboard | Loyal Dean
Pouch | Specialty Dry Goods


Oil | Blackcreek Mercantile
Knife | Chelsea Miller Knives


Clogs | Bryr Clogs
Portfolio | Katrine Reifeiss


Hat | Derby Hats
Barrette | Canoe


Earrings | Aili Jewelry
Necklace | Gamma Folk


Room + Linen Spray | Oille Naturals
His + her soap | The Greater Goods

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