In the summer of 2014, I stayed in a gorgeous laneway house in Portland, Oregon for four weeks with my dad and my best friend. At the time, I was experimenting with a newfound love for taking portraits and living in such a beautiful space with my bff, who just so happens to be one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever known, gave me the perfect circumstances to test out my new passion. I always intended to post these photos on my blog, but it took me until now, three years laters, to finally get around to it. It was a delight to revisit these pictures, especially now as my bestie has left the city to go to school and I have to cope with the fact that I won’t see her until Christmas. Enjoy!
In April, I decided to take on a small project I called Fashion Revolution month, where I posted daily content on social media mainly discussing second hand shopping. This project gave me an amazing opportunity to encourage others to make the switch towards ethical fashion. I turned to this blog as my main platform for sharing this project, as it’s the place I’ve always chosen to speak about things I care about ever since I first became interested in activism.
After the first few days of the project, it already started to lose its appeal to me. However, I decided to keep going with it because I had a vision of this project and it felt important for me to make it a reality. In the end, I was glad that I was able to share my passion for thrifting with the world, but I was also feeling pretty unhappy with my work. Because of lack of time and energy, I wasn’t able to truly invest myself in writing good content and taking quality photos. Soon after the month of May began, I removed the link to my blog in my Instagram bio because I was feeling so embarrassed about how bad it was.
While all of this was happening, I also happened to be in a pretty shitty mental state where there was a lot of self-hatred going on. I had been stuck in this cycle of putting myself down about everything for weeks and I couldn’t seem to get out of it. After a particularly shitty meltdown, I decided to go back and re-read a blog post I wrote about self-love in November 2014. Reading words from my teenage positive living phase was weird, but also exactly what I needed in that moment.
Another reason I had removed the link to my blog in my Instagram bio was because I was embarrassed by my early content. I don’t necessarily agree with some of the things I used to believe in (a.k.a. I realized Frozen is definitely not the most feminist Disney movie to date.) Yet reading that self-love post two and a half years later left me feeling surprisingly empowered. For once, I wasn’t cringing at myself but I actually felt comfort from reading my own advice. I realized in that moment that my blog doesn’t only serve as a place to share my passionate rants, but also as a sort of time capsule of my teenage years.
Change and leaving my naïve, angsty teenage years behind me are really important to me in my process of growing into a young adult. There’s a phrase I often repeat to myself in my head “Things change, people change, and I’m not the same girl I used to be.” And yeah, in a lot of ways I’m not the same girl I used to be. But I’m also still as angsty as I was back then, still have no idea what I’m doing or where I’m going, and still have a lot to learn about myself and the world. I’ve realized that growing up doesn’t just mean leaving my past self behind, but also being able to look back, especially in moments of weakness, and be reminded of the important discoveries I made and how those shaped me into the person I am today.
I’ve never been good at taking my own advice, but I think 16-year old Sarah has some good words that are worth sharing again:
“…There is no one I can be more intimate with than myself. There is no body, no mind, and no spirit I know better than my own. At the beginning of my journey of self-love I knew that I had to take a really hard look at myself. There was no hiding. I had to put myself out there: flaws, strengths, everything… I found the freedom to be myself by living in that vulnerable place where there is both everything to lose and everything to gain. It’s a state where anything is possible… Self-love is the hardest kind of love. It’s the easiest to lose touch with and the hardest to regain. It’s also the most important kind of love, because at the end of the day, all I have is myself and there is only one of me…”
At the time when I wrote that post in November 2014, I thought that once I had figured out the key to self-love and happiness, I would be set for life. Unfortunately, that’s not really how things work, because even though I recognize the importance of self-love and know a little about how to steer myself in a positive direction, I’m also a human who’s insecure as heck. I know this probably isn’t the last time I’m going to be stuck in a shitty cycle of self-hatred, and that’s sort of okay because that’s just life and I know that these moments come and go.
The urge I used to get to write for this blog is pretty non-existent now, so you probably won’t be hearing much from me on here for a while. However, I will keep the link in my Instagram bio until I have something better to put there because at the end of the day, I’m glad this little blog is still here to serve as a reminder to myself about who I used to be and how I can learn from my own words, despite how embarrassing they may be. Thank you for your wisdom, 16-year old Sarah, and for being there for me when I needed you the most.
Week 3 of Fashion Revolution month will give you a peek into my closet and showcase some of my favourite second-hand items, along with the stories that come with each piece. To finish up this week, I will be showing my shoe collection.
| Nike – Crossroads Trading Co. – $15 | I bought these velvety sneakers during a day trip to Seattle I took back in February. These shoes remind me so much of that very short, but very special trip.
| Topshop – Fabtabulous Thrift 2.0 – $8 | I was stunned when I saw these in the thrift store because I had been dreaming of owning some black heeled booties exactly like this. They’re a little big so I just popped an insole in them and now they’re great.
| Forever 21 – Buffalo Exchange – $7 | I had a pair of oxfords from Urban Outfitters that I wore until the heels were basically non-existent because they were so worn down, so I was really happy to thrift a new pair.
| Dr. Martens – Talize – $30 | I felt like I struck gold when I found these like-new condition Docs. My mom has been collecting Docs for years and she got me obsessed with them as well, but this was the first time I had ever thrifted a pair. I love these so much and can’t wait to wear them (even though they will probably murder my feet the first few times).
| Roots – vintage hand-me-down from my mom | This is such a simple, but classic pair of shoes. The way the leather has been affected by the many years of these shoes being worn is beautiful.
| Value Village – $10 | This pretty little pair of sandals was such a good find. I can’t wait to wear these while I’m in Europe this summer.
| Hand-me-down from my mom | I call these my carpet shoes because the fabric literally looks like it belongs on the floor of an old person’s house. These are the perfect slip on shoes for the summertime.
| John Fluevog – Talize – $20 | In addition to her Dr. Martens collection, my mom also has an amazing collection of Fluevogs (which I often borrow – thanks mama chu!). This was my first time thrifting Fluevogs and I was so happy to find them! Perhaps these boots will be the beginning of my own Fluevog collection…
| Nike – YWCA Thrift Store – $6 | OKAY, THESE SHOES THOUGH! These are probably my favourite thing I’ve ever thrifted. I love how they are so unique and fun and wow they just make me so happy 🙂
Week 3 of Fashion Revolution month will give you a peek into my closet and showcase some of my favourite second-hand items, along with the stories that come with each piece. For the sixth day of this series, I will be featuring my dress collection.
| Everly – Eastside Flea Market – $1 | I’m not sure if it was supposed to be in there, but I found this in a vendor’s loonie bin at the Eastside Flea Market at the False Creek food truck festival. I have worn this dress so many times to dance shows and it’s just great to be able to look classy in something I only paid one dollar for.
| St. Vincent de Paul Society Thrift Store – $3 | The day I bought this, I was in such a rush that I didn’t have time to try anything on. I almost never buy anything without trying it on first, but I decided to get this slip dress because the color was so beautiful. I’m planning to wear this piece for the first time when I go to a show in a couple weeks and I can’t wait to style it.
| American Apparel – bought from a friend – $3 | Guys, it’s a pastel colourblock t-shirt dress, need I say more? Thank you to my wonderful friend Desi who sold this to me! This piece made such a perfect Easter outfit last weekend.
| Oak & Fort – Salvation Army – $8 | I have always been in love with Oak & Fort’s minimalist aesthetic, so finding this gorgeous sweater dress at the thrift store was such a satisfying moment.
| Vintage – hand-me-down from my mom | 2nd photo by Shafira Vidyamaharani | When I was planning my outfit for prom last year, I knew that I needed to do it ethically, but I also didn’t want to spend a lot of money. It all came together with the help of my mom, who lent me this beautiful, classic dress. It was originally thrifted by her sister many years ago then it was passed along to my mom. This dress will always hold so many memories of my grade 12 year.
Week 3 of Fashion Revolution month will give you a peek into my closet and showcase some of my favourite second-hand items, along with the stories that come with each piece. Today’s post will feature my jacket collection.
| Tommy Hilfiger – Eastside Flea Market – $30 | I decided to hop on the bomber trend when I found this guy. Not only is it that perfect shade of green but it’s also Tommy ❤ It is so easy to style this jacket because it literally makes every outfit look cooler.
| Nike – clothing swap | My cousin hosted a clothing swap last year where she got together a small group of her friends to bring their unwanted used clothes and exchange them with others to get new pieces. The remaining clothes were then donated to a women’s shelter. I couldn’t believe someone wanted to give this windbreaker away, but I was so happy to get it!
| Vintage from my mom’s family | When I was over at my uncle’s house for dinner this past winter, he brought out a big bag of vintage coats and asked me if I wanted them. I was so happy to get to take four beautiful wool coats home that night. They were all bought in Hong Kong in the 70s and belonged to my mom, my aunts and my late grandmother.
| Front & Company – $30 | I bought this jacket about 7 years ago before moto jackets were even trendy. I’ve only started to bring back this jacket within the last year because it always felt too edgy for me, but I’ve decided to just embrace it.
| Vintage from my mom’s family | Here is another gorgeous wool coat! Out of all the coats I took home that night, I have definitely worn this one the most. It goes with every outfit and kept me so warm this past winter.
| Adidas – Salvation Army – $1 | The weather in Vancouver has only recently started getting warmer, so I haven’t had much of a chance to wear this jacket yet, but I love it so much. It gives me such vintage Adidas vibes.
| Vintage from my mom’s family | Here is yet another one of the beautiful wool coats I acquired last winter. Everything from the gold buttons to the cool pockets to the burnt orange lining in this jacket is absolutely stunning.
Week 3 of Fashion Revolution month will give you a peek into my closet and showcase some of my favourite second-hand items, along with the stories that come with each piece. Today I’m excited to share with you my collection of button up shirts.
| Gap – hand-me-down | I found this in my family’s old Halloween costume basket and I think this particular shirt may have been used for my brother’s Frodo Baggins costume back in the day. This shirt is very oversized on me but it hangs so nicely. I also added a little wolf pin that my grandma gave me years ago on the pocket to add some detail.
| Club Monaco – Crossroads Trading Co. – $12 | I bought this shirt in San Francisco because the print was just too great to pass up. I love how the print is super subtle, but still extremely detailed and fun.
| Vintage hand-me-down | I found this elegant little thing when I was going through my mom’s old clothing. I especially love the slit in the front between the first and second buttons.
| Vintage hand-me-down | This was another find from my mom’s old stuff. I wasn’t convinced at first about it because of the construction of the sleeves and the way the collar sits much lower than what I usually like, but the textured detailing of the shirt was just so beautiful. It has been really fun to style this piece into some classy outfits.
| Salvation Army – $5 | I debated between this shirt and another one by the same brand that was yellow and had skateboarders all over it, but settled on this one because the print combined with the deep green colour was just too good. This shirt is definitely a conversation starter. It’s hilarious when people will literally just start to do all the signs with their hands without even saying anything to me.
| Salvation Army – $7 | I fell in love with this dainty piece because of the scalloped collar and sleeves and the embroidered detail. Also the sheerness of it is just beautiful!
| Steven Alan – gifted, Made in the USA | My brother gave me this shirt for Christmas a couple years ago (along with my first Rookie mag!) and I honestly could not have asked for more in a button up shirt. It is so perfectly constructed. This is definitely one of my go-to pieces and I have made so many memories wearing this shirt.
| Arts Umbrella used clothing fundraiser – $2 | One time I was changing in the washroom after rehearsal and came out of the stall wearing this shirt. A little girl who was in there doing her bun just stared at me with this look like “Why would anyone even think of wearing that?!” It’s always an adventure wearing a shirt this loud.