TEST Summer Staples

The smell of bonfires, Coppertone and margaritas are in the air.  This could only mean one thing – that the glorious season of Summer has turned up the heat (and our hemlines) in Toronto.  With a new season here, we bring you some trendy wardrobe inspiration brought to you by our favorite TEST shops.

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Pastel Shoes – 17.50 USD – TheGoodJujuShop

LOW FOOTWEAR
While sky high sandals are sultry when the sun goes down, hot summer days call for keeping it chic and easy with more practical footwear.  Browse the TEST Team vintage shops to get the “low” down on Summer gladiators and bright espadrilles.  Your tootises will thank you for the low footwear – especially during long walks scouring seashells at Woodbine beach.

 
Floral Crop Tank – $30.00 USD – Honey Bliss Clothing

THE CROP TOP
The days are heating up so don’t be afraid to show a little skin.  The crop-top trend is wonderful for summer as we can dare to bare a little more midriff than usual.  Don’t fret, we aren’t asking you to show too much tummy.  We’d pair this Floral Crop Tank with a favorite high-waisted skirt and cardigan for work.  We wouldn’t just save this beauty for work — for a weekend look, it would be great with vintage high-waisted cut-offs.  Which brings us to our next Summer wardrobe staple…

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Vintage Jean Shorts – $52.00 USD – Aiseirigh

DENIM SHORTS
Denim shorts are one of our favorite warm-weather mainstays, if not for their longevity but their sheer ease.  You can find some good twists on the classic, like neon lace appliqués.  We’ve spotted some structured versions around the big smoke to take to the office on summer Fridays.  Toronto-based Etsy shop Aiseirigh has got a few good ones in stock – florals, fringed and even baggy ones.

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Bustier Sundress – $27.26 USD – QueenWestVintage

SUNDRESS
The season’s key piece takes on many chic forms, from the airy boho white dress to the rockabilly polka-dotted halter. Shop the best of them, in flirty and feminine iterations.  The sundress is great for brunch dates, barbecues and lawn parties.

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Photography Print – $30.00 USD – CharlenePrecious

STRAW HAT
Whether you’re on the beach, being a lounge lizard at the pool or lunching al fresco, a straw topper is a breathable accessory to add to your outfit.  We personally like the wide brimmed floppy ones that are basically like a SPF of their own!

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Summer Bag – $160.00 USD – GraceDesign

SUMMER BAG
So you’ve picked out the perfect crop top and snapped up this season’s must-have sandal – but what about a stylish bag to pack all your seaside necessities?  We are head over heels for Grace Design’s Summer Bag pictured above.  It’s gorgeous woven summer bag that is roomy to stow away an entire days worth of essentials.  We could easily see this taking us from the beach to sunset cocktails.

Show your fellow TEST Members some love by admiring, favoriting and shopping local this Summer.  By shifting just a portion of your spending, you can help create more jobs, a stronger economy and build a better community here in Toronto.  Here’s to happy shopping, long Summer nights and playful wardrobes!

Inspiration Dose

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Do you Tumble with Filthy?  Tumblr is a hybrid – kinda like a crossbred of Instagram and freelance blogging.  Tumblr is an amazing way to get our brand across as we post relevant and frequent content in a visual, image-based way.

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Tumblr has been successful for us to show a more personal, lighter side of Filthy Rebena that demonstrates more about who we are rather than what we do.  It’s a natural, organic extension of our brand.

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So if you’re already following Filthy Rebena on Facebook and Instagram, hop on the Tumblr Train.  We’d love to see what is inspiring you!

Houseplant Inspiration

tumblr_ncbd8eiCwy1qzyjdbo1_1280With Earth Day still fresh on our minds, we thought this would be a perfect time to round up some of our favorite past tips and tricks about houseplants, succulents, and herbal remedies. We’re ready to welcome in spring with a bang (no matter how long it takes to finally arrive), and plan to have a boatload of plants to look at in the meantime. Now if only the sun would come out!
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If you’re just starting out with plants, you probably don’t want to dive into anything too complicated, like outdoor plants. If you’re absolutely horrified at the prospect of caring for plants, start small. Succulents are virtually impossible to kill and available almost anywhere these days. Air plants are also an option if you’d like some greenery with minimal work; they can survive without dirt, making taking care of them nearly foolproof. If you’d like some true houseplants, there are a ton of leafy greens that are hard to murder. Anything along the lines of aloe, ivy, and ficus plants are all easy to care for.

Sometimes it can be hard to find a plant that will last, but plants with big, waxy leaves are hardier than others, and they’ll do well in the corner of a room, as long as there’s a little bit of light. (Here’s a very complete list of the best kinds of plants to buy.) Lugging home a plant like this is an instant apartment-brightener, and will cheer up any room with super minimal effort. Like instant spring!

If you already have some houseplants in your life, make their day by giving them some extra special fertilizer. There are plenty of ways to make your own special concoction (Google is your friend here), but for houseplants, one we’ve used ourselves is the epsom salt fertilizer. It’s super easy to make at home and encourages a faster growth-rate for indoor plants.
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If you have leafy indoor plants, make sure they’re properly watered and get rid of any brown tips on them to keep them looking (and feeling) their freshest. All you need to do to trim dead ends is get a pair of sharp scissors and cut the dead part off close to the edge. Pretty self-explanatory, but make sure to leave a little bit of brown, because otherwise the healthy leaf will be freshly cut and will most likely go brown again. Once you’ve removed any dead leaves, see if you can adjust where your plant sits or how often it’s watered, since something is obviously making the plant unhappy – adjusting something simple like this will ensure that the plant won’t go brown again (or die) anytime soon.

If there’s a corner of your house with great light, setting up a bookcase and filling it with plants is a relatively easy way to fill up the space and make your home feel extra cozy. For the bookcase itself, industrial shelving is generally inexpensive and the contrast between the metal shelves and the green leaves always looks fantastic. (Or, if you want a weekend project, you can even make your own shelves.) Mix up the kinds of plants that you put on the shelves and work in some knick-knacks as well – the end result has a homey, pleasantly cluttered feel.

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If you’re still completely afraid to go out and buy a gigantic plant, afraid it will die in six days, a simple way to get some green into your home is by buying a few bundles of eucalyptus and keeping it in a cute vase or pitcher (with some water, of course). Eucalyptus is inexpensive, easy to replace once it dies, and as a bonus: it smells amazing.
11138061_1591257424424658_1615838123_nIf having indoor plants just makes you want to learn more about them, search your city for a gardening club. (Toronto even has its very own Rock and Hardy Plant Society!) You’ll learn everything you need to know to care for your indoor houseplants, and then once spring fully hits, you might even feel inspired to start spreading your gardening wings in the great outdoors.
10914368_395339767318002_1793965562_nIf all of this is making you rethink your decision to keep houseplants, make yourself a teeny, tiny terrarium instead. Everything will live forever and if you do manage to kill it (hey, it happens), you can buy yourself new plant supplies for less than a new nail polish. Or just make fake plants that will never die.
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Please let Rebena know of additional tips, suggestions and tricks you’d like to see on the blog.  We hope this post made you a better-informed plant person. You’re welcome.  😉

Sources: UO Blog, Emily Johnston, Pinterest

Toasts & Reflections

The ball has dropped.  The confetti has been cleared.  Normcore and monocles are officially so last year.  It’s 2015 — the beginning of a whole new year in the wonderful world of fashion and Filthy Rebena.  What’s in store? Three hundred sixty-five days from now, we’ll have answers.  For now, we have gifted ourselves space and freedom to reflect on the past twelve months.  We are just gonna free-style blog here with Filthy’s highlighted reflections of 2014.

Plus Size

Bone Knit Top – 2X – $24.00 USD

To be honest, it has been an exciting year in terms of growth.  We were able to grow the business as fast as we wanted.  In 2014 we began diversifying our garments which broadened our target audience.  We started dabbling in menswear and successfully opened the doors to a plus-size market.  Diversifying has proved to be an excellent growth strategy as it allowed us to generate income that fills seasonal voids – a big first for us that we are very proud of!

Peggy Jean - Blogging since 2010

Peggy Jean – Fashion Blogging since 2010

If you’re looking for plus-size inspiration check out these A+fricken-mazing style bloggers like Curvy Girl Chick.  Peggy Jean from OnTheQTrain!  It brings a smile to our filthy faces when we imagine Peggy Jean strutting her colorful clothes in a monochromatic world.  Know that the average American woman is 5’4″, has a waist size of 34-35 inches and weighs between 140-150 lbs, with a dress size of 12-14.  Live your life and love the body you’re in.  *Insert “All About That Bass” here*  It’s catchy enough to carry over into 2015, right?

Studio & Skirts - Thanks  Jamie, Kristian, Maadoodah & Poppa Bear for making this a reality

Studio & Skirts – Thanks Skyy, Kristian, Maadoodah & Poppa Bear for making this a reality.

Rebena was smittened with excitement in 2014.  We sold product to a celebrity, wrote a business plan, built a whole new space, created fresh marketing, became guest-writers and hired esteemed model Skyy Stratosphere to showcase our menswear.  But 2014 wasn’t all a cake-walk for Filthy.  We approached a handful of vintage giants to sell product on a consignment basis but were turned down every time.  Filthy will be re-visiting knocking on doors this year.  This time not to handfuls – but bucket loads.  We know all too well that nothing great ever comes that easy.

thenandnow

Now & Then. Then & Now.

Goals?  Ringing in intentional efforts by dusting off the business plan and reviewing it weekly.  2014 was a great year because of the Business Plan.  It has given us a crystal clear direction on how to move forward.  It needs to be revisited and revised monthly as it is a living document.  It changes it’s song as Filthy develops.  It’s so cool and it would be a shame to miss out on a healthy business habit.  Filthy Rebena’s infamous “Vintage Movie Club” has sadly taken the back burner.  Although we do try to watch a vintage movie weekly, it’s a definite improvement area for our social media.

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.

Our personal resolution is to focus on creativity.  Creativity is the best motivator.  It keeps us interested, it brings hope to ideas and gives the possibility of more achievements to look forward to in 2015.  Feel more than free to share your thoughts or your highlights.  Happy 2015 ya Filthy animals.

Drinking Beer N' Raising Hell

Drinking Beer N’ Raising Hell