Etsy Winter Trends

Winter is a favorite fashion season for many.  It’s time to break out the jackets, layer up and load up on chunky socks and boots.  Keep your eyes peeled for oversized silhouettes, luxurious plaids and touches of fuzz.  Below are some great Toronto trends from your TEST Members to inspire you to get cozy with your wardrobe this Winter:

Plaid is having a moment on the runway.  Designers are partial to a tartan print because it adds an interesting dose of color to classic fabrics.  Since us Torontonians are all are guilty of overdoing black in the winter, it’s nice to see some colors to brighten up the mood.


Plaid Wool Wrap – $184.22 USD – VespertineCA

Vespertine’s plaid wrap embraces the chill.  The quality will warm your heart and the color will warm up your wardrobes.

The waist is making a climb far up past the belly button for a look that is super slimming and very sexy.


High Waist Plaid Pants – $46.50 USD – Wild Thing Vintage

Don’t just try out any old high waist this season.  Look for exaggerated, supersonic high waist silhouettes that create the look of long, lean legs and a teeny tiny mid-section.  Check out these stylish high waist plaid pants from cool cat, Wild Thing Vintage.  (Winter Fashion just doesn’t get better than that folks.)  Also, be sure to check out Wild Thing’s shop, as she has many more dramatically high waisted treasures!

From fur stoles to pastel furry coats, designers are using fur accents, whether real or faux, to give everything an added ooph of luxury.  This season, clothing with a “touch of fuzz” is guaranteed to get you noticed and keep you warm.


Fur Hat – $45.00 USD – Juliesinden

We’ve been seeing hints of fur on gloves, boots, collars, hats and even on hand bags.  It’s clear that a fur accessory is the ultimate embellishment.

The fringe trend is still going strong, with virtually every designer including frayed fabrics in their collections. Those more daring can opt for a fringed jacket or top like this beauty from Copious Fashions.  This fringe crop top can be easily dressed down with jeans or dressed up with a skirt.  No matter how it is paired it will never be boring.

Fringe Two

Fringe Top – $73.54 USD – Copious Fashions

If you’re a newbie to the this playful trend, a fringed bag is perfect for you!  We are absolutely loving the quality of this clutch from Heather Hird Designs.

Step aside statement necklaces! Oversized, exaggerated, embellished, bold earrings are officially the “it bling” for Fall 2015. Fall looks to have an obsession with the oversized style. We’ve seen oversized duster jackets, extra-high platform creeper boots and super-large buttons.

These large black feather earrings by Love At First Blush are perfect for the Fall season.  We love the exaggerated bright gold on the black.  We imagine they are so much fun to wear!

Last (but not least) on the home decor front, textile wall hangings are having quite a decor moment.  The look is a little bit Bohemian, a little bit classed-up 70’s and span from macramé to weavings to simple yarn hangings.

Found in a huge array of colors and styles (sometimes macramé, sometimes tufted yarn), these fibrous fixtures have found their way onto the walls many a stylish home. Take a look at local shop, Roving Textiles to find some of our favorite works of tapestry textile art.

Show your fellow TEST Members some love by shopping local this Winter.  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.  Happy shopping and happy warm ‘n’ wooly wardrobes!

The Sukajan

You’ve come a long way, baby. From humble souvenir to runway sensation, the sukajan has enjoyed quite the ascent. This letterman-style embroidered bomber, often sumptuously decked out in tigers, koi, dragons, and cherry blossoms, has its origins in WWII, when troops who had served in Asia wanted a memento of their time overseas.


They’ve since become something of a staple tourist buy, the province of countless thrift shops stateside when their novelty wears out. (Some may also remember the sukajan Katy Perry wore on the cover of her “Roar” single.) But with the Resort and men’s Spring ’16 collections, designers proposed lavish versions without a hint of chintz.


Chloé’s Clare Waight Keller spun a quilted take with blooms and prowling leopards, while Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri’s boasted a veritable ark’s worth of fauna, from frogs to the house’s famous butterflies. Men’s options were no less dreamy, like Kim Jones’ blush number with perching bird-of-paradise (courtesy of illustrator Gordon Flores) at Vuitton or Kris Van Assche’s lush white roses for Dior Homme.


The bomber’s back in a big way. Now the only question remains: How will you wear it?
KateSource: Resort, Spring 2016:

Flat Fashion

6 Ways To Take All The Fun Out Of Fashion
This story by Winona Dimeo-Ediger first appeared at, an alternative news+culture women’s website.

glamour girl in a white hat on the beach

While flipping through a fashion magazine the other day, I was shocked at the revelation that “beachy hair at the beach” is now considered “predictable” and passe.  Apparently this year you’re supposed to aim for “pretty, polished” hair at the beach, which sounds like a real bitch to maintain in the presence of saltwater, sand and kelp.

Once I pried my eyes out of the back of their sockets, I thought, this is exactly the kind of thing that makes fashion feel like a punishing, exclusionary chore rather than the fun opportunity for self-expression that it should be. Fashion is fun, creative and personal. But oh how easy it is to forget that, isn’t it? Let’s take a look at some of the most common ways to suck all the fun out of fashion, so we can try our best to avoid them in the future.

1. Read too many fashion magazines. As evidenced above, I love me a fashion magazine: the pretty pictures, bright colors, and airbrushed celebrities comprise one of my favorite forms of eye candy/escapism. But I think we all have a tipping point where fashion magazines go from inspiring to soul-sucking. Some people hit their limit at, like, three pages. Others can read five whole magazines. But know your limit. And treat these magazines for what they are: entertainment and advertising. That is, the “advice” contained within their pages isn’t gospel, and there’s always an ulterior motive.

2. Dress to hide your body instead of celebrate it.
Our country’s definition of “flattering” is “make yourself look as tall and lean as possible.” For those of us who aren’t tall or lean, this means that much of our focus when dressing is hiding, minimizing, or camouflaging certain body parts. We dress to create the illusion of a body we don’t have instead of celebrating the one we do. There’s nothing fun or joyful about that. If you’ve gotten into a habit of hiding yourself with clothing, start breaking out of it by focusing on highlighting your favorite features instead.

3. Become super attached to the phrase, “I can’t wear that.” This is one of my least favorite phrases in the world, and I still find myself using it more often than I’d like. Women default to this phrase when they think they can’t pull off a certain style, and 99% of the time, they’re deferring because of their body type. Repeat after me: You are allowed to wear whatever you want. The next time you find yourself thinking, “I can’t wear that” about a style you love on other people, just try it on. A bikini? Ankle strap sandals? A crop top? A swing dress? A mini skirt? A maxi dress? Go for it! Challenge the idea that certain people aren’t allowed to wear certain things. More often than not, you’ll be surprised at how fabulous you look, not to mention how free you feel.

4. Get caught up in the fast fashion cycle.
A few years ago I was a compulsive shopper, stopping into Forever 21 or H&M a few times a week (!), and almost always coming home with new stuff. I had SO MANY clothes in my closet (and was adding more all the time) but I’d never felt more disconnected to my wardrobe or fashion in general. My clothes were low quality, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it trendy, and completely disposable. I didn’t love my clothes. They didn’t look good on me or make me feel good. Trying to compose outfits from my overstuffed closet every morning was an anxiety-inducing ordeal. When I read Overdressed, I made a commitment to start shopping more thoughtfully, and discovered that having less clothes that I truly loved (that were also well made, comfortable, and unique) made me fall in love with fashion all over again. If fast fashion has you feeling burnt out and uninspired, slow it down. Prioritize quality and fit. Save up for items you love and treasure. Create a wardrobe that’s unique, timeless, and inspiring.

5. Obsessively follow trends.
Experimenting with trends is fun, but being a slave to trends will wipe out your bank account and mute your personal taste faster than you can say “leather overalls.” Give yourself permission to opt out of the frantic trend cycle and just buy and wear what you love for awhile. Some of it might line up with current trends. Much of it won’t. But you will have so much more fun getting dressed, and even better: you’ll always feel like you.

6. Shop at stores that make you feel bad. There are myriad ways a clothing store can make you feel like shit: maybe they don’t stock anything (or anything remotely cute) in your size; maybe the salespeople sneer at you when you walk in; maybe you can only afford that one stained blouse sold “as is” on the clearance rack; maybe their dressing rooms are equipped with funhouse mirrors. If a store makes you feel like they don’t want you there, stop going back. There are so many alternative options these days, it’s rare that you NEED to shop at a store you hate (and doesn’t seem to be fond of you either). Explore local boutiques, vintage shops, consignment stores, online specialty retailers and Etsy. Support people in the fashion industry that support you. Their businesses will flourish. You’ll look and feel amazing. Sounds like a win-win to me!

Recycled & Re-Spun


Rain Jacket by Worn Again – Constructed from recycled fibers and re-spun yarns

Millions of tons of material are made each year but the truth is that people are throwing away clothes. Trends change rapidly and valuable material is tossed into landfills.  A few companies are working to reverse this wasteful pattern.  Kering (owners of Puma) and H&M recently announced they will be working with the textile up-cycling company Worn Again. The goal is to meet the growing demand for cotton and polyester production worldwide by 
recycling garments.


Rain Jacket by Worn Again – Constructed from recycled fibers and re-spun yarns

Worn Again separates and extracts the materials from used clothing so that it can be re-spun into new yarns.  This conversion back to yarn, the basic twisted fibers present in all fabrics, solves the problem of separating the materials of blended fiber clothes and removing dyes from polyester 
and cellulose.


Messenger Bag by Worn Again

In other words, a T-shirt’s previously linear lifespan can now become circular. What was once worn, thrown away and left in landfills is now seen as reusable, proving fashion’s ability to become sustainable. Anna Gedda, the head of sustainability at H&M, said she believes this will change the way fashion is created and massively reduce the need for extracting virgin resources from our planet.


Messenger Bag by Worn Again

Worn Again’s technology is still in development and the two companies only plan to adopt the technology once it is deemed commercially viable – it is about the bottom-line after all. Just announcing the technology and showing its intentions has sparked conversation about textile waste. Even if it cannot become commercially viable within the H&M or Kering business models, other companies are ready to introduce textile recycling technology.

Sources:  The Crimson White, Worn Again