Street Style Icon

Here’s the thing about street style: For all the inspiration it serves and the little styling ideas it gives rise to, it’s a fantasy — or at least 99.99% of it is. Because of borrowed pre-season clothing and car services that make it possible for people to wear shoes they can’t actually walk in (or forgo tights or coats, or even a purse), most of what you see in those slideshows is exactly what you’ve feared: nothing more than a put-on.

But there exists that .01% of showgoers who treat Fashion Week like a regular Tuesday afternoon. They might make sure they’re a little more considered, or actually pull out the flat iron in the morning — but their clothes, their outfits, and their style are totally real. Street style truthers, meet your magic bullet: Jenny Walton.

Vintage printed dress found at a shop in Florence.

Vintage printed dress found at a shop in Florence.

Walton is an illustrator — check out her work at Makers and Microns — and works alongside Scott Schuman at The Sartorialist. She’s got a good eye, no doubt, but it wasn’t the fact that she could put together a beautiful outfit that caught ours. It was the fact that she repeated items — a lot. Her vintage-looking clothes really looked vintage. And when we scrolled through her Instagram, we found that some of the pieces she wore in street style photos that made her outfits iconic (see: here and here) were from J.Crew and Zara. According to Walton, the only real difference between her regular outfits and her Fashion Week outfits is versatility: “I travel for a few weeks with just one suitcase — this is a challenge! I have to be smarter and more efficient than at home, because I have the reality of not having very much space!”

The refinery visited Walton at home to get a preview of what pieces are making it into her suitcase, and to hopefully glean some of her shopping secrets, so our eBay, Etsy, and mall excursions can get a little closer to being as fruitful as hers.

Vintage Red Sweater Vintage Filthy Rebena

Vintage red pullover from Screaming Mimi’s; red vintage blouse; pink J. Crew skirt.

Mississauga Toronto Lluggage case Halston slingbacks Filthy Rebena Vintage

Vintage luggage case and vintage Halston slingbacks.

How would you describe your signature look?
“I think there’s something very classic about my look, and I think that just comes from what shapes I like and that they read as classic. I’m more petite on top so I like smaller, more fitted tops. I like things that are fitted at the waist and I tend to like fuller skirts. I like my neck and jawline so I love pulling my hair back and wearing big earrings. For me, I know that’s a part of my body I like, so I choose to highlight it and it makes me feel great. Also, I mainly buy vintage, but I layer in things I find at Zara or J.Crew, as well as a few really special splurge pieces.”

Vintage printed dress with a M&J Trimmings bow.

Vintage printed dress with a M&J Trimmings bow.

Tell me about those ribbons!
“I actually bought the ribbons at M&J Trimming in Midtown to wrap up some books as presents. I loved the color of the ribbon, so I grabbed it from a stack of books and tied it around my neck because it’s simply a great color.”

Gucci Zara Filthy Rebena Vintage Mississauga Toronto London

Gucci bee sweater; Zara pleated skirt; Converse Jack Purcells.

What’s the secret to buying items from fast-fashion shops that don’t look like they’re fast-fashion?
“I think it comes down to two main things. Firstly, it’s a process: it’s a lot of sifting through things. Secondly, it’s also about having styling smarts and being able to see each piece individually beyond what they have merchandised it with in the store.

“I am someone that, for whatever reason, has always enjoyed analytical shopping (I consider almost everything), but at the same time, I buy barely anything. You have to be both extremely open, and at the same time extremely selective. You want to wear the clothes, you don’t want them to wear you.”

Vintage jewelry.

Vintage jewelry.

Vintage bag Mississauga Toronto Vintage Clothing London

Vintage bag.

Vintage green suede coat from Beacon's Closet; Gucci skirt; Thrifted blue cashmere sweater Walton's mother found at a thrift store; Jack Purcell sneakers.

Vintage green suede coat from Beacon’s Closet; Gucci skirt; Thrifted blue cashmere sweater Walton’s mother found at a thrift store; Jack Purcell sneakers.

That gold, pleated skirt is so fun, and I recognize it from a few of your street style shots.
The gold skirt is Gucci, and I love it. This is one of those few new statement pieces I own, and I think it’s worth it to splurge on because it’s so unique, and it ends up elevating everything else in your wardrobe that you pair it with. I imagine I’ll be wearing it for a very very long time.” [Ed. note: For contrast, Walton’s green pleated skirt is from Zara!]

Miu Miu Bottega Veneta Vintage Filthy Rebena

Pink and red Miu Miu shoes; blue glitter Bottega Veneta shoes; all scored on eBay.

What items do you typically spend the most money on?
“Usually I spend the most on shoes. The good thing about investing in a pair of shoes is that they’re always going to fit, so as long as you take care of them, you’re set. Now that there are so many ways to buy and so many different sites that you can go to, I think it’s worth it to spend a little time hunting around for something — I’ve bought Miu Miu shoes on eBay, for example. I don’t have too many rules, but the one I would say is to not to buy vintage shoes. A few seasons ago on discount are fine, but I’ve bought shoes from the ‘60s before and they always break within a few wears, so I’ve just learned it’s not worth it — no matter how pretty they are!”

Source: Refinery29

Tee Up

Vintage influences and minimalism are still dominating in the fashion world.  The most versatile way to wear vintage minimalism is to start with grabbing your favorite plain white t-shirt.  The white t-shirt is great because it is affordable, everybody is comfortable in them and it’s used as a blank canvas for your favorite statement pieces.  Here are three of Rebena’s favorite ways to wear a white tee right now.

Khaki

White Tee and Khaki Combo

The white T-shirt and khakis combo has been absent in fashion for years, as everyone tried to forget those creepy Gap commercials from the late ‘90s but what’s old is new again.  Go for a flashier shoe – say, an on-trend espadrille in bold neon if you are trying to keep things out of normcore territory.

 

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White On White

 

We’ve got a good few months until Labor Day – make ’em count with a monochomatic ensemble!  It might feel tough to pull off but it’s actually a breeze to style.  Pair white on white with sandals, pumps, statement heels, even slip-on sneakers could all work with a silhouette this simple.

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If you really want to get folks talking, pair your white tee with the most dramatic skirt in your closet, whether it’s a bright wiggle, floor-grazing maxi or a flouncy tutu!  Add sophistication with streamlined, modern shoes and edgier accessories.  If you are finding yourself headed to your t-shirt drawer more often this Spring, let us know how you like to tee-up your white t-shirts in the comments below.

Source: Pinterest, TumblrToronto Sun

Winter Skirts

Our shop is bursting at the seams with wooly winter skirts.  Wearing the wrong type of skirt during the cold winter months can leave you feeling more cold than chic. Choosing the right skirt and accompanying accessories will leave you feeling both warm and fashion forward.  Below are three great choices for the winter.

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Winter Blues Skirt – $28.00 – 1970’s -Extra Small

Pick a skirt made of a heavier material. Sheer, lightweight fabrics look out of place and will only make you colder.  Opt for heavier materials like wool, velvet and leather.  A maxi-skirt in Winter will give you the least amount of hassle.  Many maxi-skirts can even be worn with minimal to no leg protection.  Pick out a skirt that extends somewhere between your mid-calf and the top of your foot, a few inches above your ankle. The longer the skirt, the warmer you’ll be.

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Beige Wrap Skirt – $28.00 – 1970’s – Small

A midi-length (knee-length) skirt will give you the greatest amount of flexibility. Midi skirts can be made to look professional, trendy, or flirty, depending on how you accessorize them. You will need additional leg protection to keep your calves warm, however. Knee-high socks, legging and tall boots are cozy choices for a midi-skirt.  You can really be playful with your leg-wear while wearing a midi-skirt.

PencilSkirtWOOLY

Wool Pencil Skirt – $29.00 – 1960’s – Small

Although the narrow shape of a pencil skirt can restrict the movement of the wearer, the pencil skirt will give you the greatest amount warmth due to reduced ventilation.    Pencil skirts are made to look professional as they fall to the knee and are super tailored for a close fit.  Pencil skirts in the winter look cute and will keep you warm with tucked in long-sleeve tops, textured scarves and nylons.  Don’t forget a long winter coat for extra warmth.
InstaWooly
How will your wardrobe be keeping warm this winter?  Let us know in the comments below!