Tying Up Loose Threads

Every other week, read WORN on The Toast

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FACT: Toasted bread is part of a nutritious breakfast. SECOND FACT: A toast is a speech you give at a celebration. THIRD FACT: The Toast is also a hilarious and smart website, run by two beautiful geniuses named Nicole Cliffe and Mallory Ortberg. FINAL, MOST IMPORTANT FACT: Every other Wednesday, you can read a healthy, celebratory column by Haley and Anna Wornette on The Toast!

Loose Threads has, so far, tackled the lessons learned by reviled and beloved pop cultural monuments like Fight Club and Sex and the City. Anna and Haley talked about the power of fashion in museums and the significance of Wendy Davis’s sneakers. Anna pulled the Vogue-iest parts of Vogue that ever did Vogue, while Haley provided some of her meanest beauty school dropout knowledge.

What’s next for Loose Threads, you ask? Let’s just say we’ve got a little something up our sleeve… *frantically searches sleeves for story ideas*

Wornettes can read Loose Threads every other Wednesday here.

What I Wore to WORN: Pattern vs. Pattern Edition

What inspired this outfit?
Natasha Wornette: Honestly, I hardly ever wear polka dots and don’t own anything else in that print so I think that my laundry situation probably inspired this outfit, but it’s a nice change from what I usually wear!
Casie Wornette: I felt like showing my tattoo (on my back) and what you don’t see in this photo is that this dress has the most adorable back cut-out that ties in a big bow.

Tell me about one of the items you’re wearing?
Natasha Wornette: These were my very favorite sandals, which I thrifted in Barrie for only three bucks, and sadly I broke them in half biking a few days after this photo. Total bummer.
Casie Wornette: I bought this dress on my way to work last summer, because I didn’t like what I had originally put on. Many a frivolous dress purchases later, I have learnt to make double sure I like what I’m wearing before leaving the house.

What’s the best book to read in this outfit?
Natasha Wornette: Vampires Don’t Wear Polka Dots. (Please say someone remembers those from their pre-teen years; Werewolves Don’t Go To Summer Camp… Anyone?)
Casie Wornette: The pattern on this dress really reminds me of a country picnic, so probably an author from the American South. Something by Flannery O’Connor maybe?

What style icon would wear this outfit?
Natasha Wornette: Mini Mouse.
Casie Wornette: When it comes to plaid dresses, the one that first comes to mind is Charlotte York attending the Highland Fling on Sex and the City.

outfit credits
Natasha Wornette: Dress from H&M and sandals thrifted.
Casie Wornette: Dress from Winners, and shoes from Philistine.

Rented Chic

This week Serah-Marie forwarded me a press release from a company called Cakewalk Designer Dress Rentals. It’s a simple concept: the company offers Canadian women the chance to rent “the latest designer duds” at a “serious fraction of the cost.”

Aside from the ill-considered use of the word “dud,” it almost seems like a good idea. It makes elitist fashion accessible and, as the PR points out, it “greens” fashion by recycling a garment that might otherwise be worn only once or twice. Sounds great, right? So why does this leave a bad taste in my mouth?

When I was in high school, most of the kids in my classes wore Ralph Lauren and Bass Weejuns. Our family couldn’t afford that stuff. I remember feeling like a country bumpkin in my cheap, blue-white Bi-Way shirts. When mom and I went to the Salvation Army, I would scan the racks for secondhand Polo and LaCoste. (To this day I can spot a Ralph Lauren button-down Oxford by only a square inch of fabric on the shoulder.) I quickly learned which eras mirrored others and how to approximate styles. In my painfully insecure teenage years I learned to fit in without being rich.

After high school, I realized my skills could help me “make” runway looks, too. I learned to mix and alter, and to skew a season’s lines to suit my body type and liking. I could spot the quality garments on secondhand racks. My tastes matured and my personal style evolved. I stopped trying to fit in and started having fun. When it came to fashion, all that scrounging had cultivated my imagination. I didn’t have the option to rent a designer dress – and I didn’t need to.

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