A Week Of Outfits With Kathleen Elie From Conscious & Chic
The Good Trade's Week of Outfits Series highlights women that have personally inspired us to shop and live with intention! Each woman takes her own unique approach slow fashion and demonstrates how beautifully sustainable fashion can come to life. Today we're excited to share a week of outfits from Kathleen Elie, the Editor-in-Chic at Conscious & Chic.
// ABOUT KATHLEEN //
Fashion has always been a part of my life from growing up surrounded by beautiful fabrics and sewing machines to learning how to sew later on in fashion design school. You see, my mom is an amazing seamstress. She learned the craft when she was 5 years old and uses it to this day. Needless to say that she is highly skilled and loves it although she kept it as a hobby all these years. Thanks to her affection for fashion, I grew up wearing custom-made dresses. At first, she would choose the styles and materials but soon it was my turn to dream up the creations she would then bring to life!
From that tender age, I learned to respect the craft because I saw firsthand what it took to create a garment. A lot more goes into it than most might think. I also learned that style goes beyond the pieces themselves. As the popular quote says: "Fashion is what you buy. Style is what you do with it."
Style should always be an expression of who you truly are versus a copy of what you see or are told you should want to wear. Obviously, I don't believe in following trends. They are good inspiration but they are not law so we should have fun with our looks.
In addition, I appreciate well-crafted and scrupulously sewn clothing. That is one of the reasons why I am not a fan of fast and cheaply made fashion and will often opt for a vintage shopping spree instead. The attention that went into each garment all those years ago from the fabric, fit, lines, seams all the way to the trims is something I admire. When shopping for preloved fashion, I do my best to stick to pieces that fit me perfectly because I would rather not alter them. I have been quite lucky thus far.
Sustainable fashion doesn't only include thrifted or vintage pieces, however. There are many roads to sustainability in the wardrobe department like shopping sustainable designers, artisan-made goods and stewarding the clothing we already possess by shopping our own closets.
As the Editor-In-Chic and founder of Conscious & Chic I create and curate content showcasing ethical living in fashion but also in beauty, food and travel. My goal is to inspire people to live their best sustainable lives and take back their purchasing power. Thanks to my academic background and professional experience in Finance, International Business and Fashion, I dare to believe that one day doing business ethically will be the only profitable way.
I am blessed to work in a creative industry where I can make my own fashion rules. I don't have to fit into a box but au contraire am able to express myself through my clothing and accessory choices. One of my golden rules when selecting what to wear is comfort. From sitting at my computer to going to meetings and events, I never know where the day is going to lead therefore I not only have to look good but also feel good in my #ootd. I love this first look because it is the epitome of creative comfort. It features a thrifted blazer I found in New York, thrifted top, up-cycled backpack, artisan-made ring from Costa Rica, afro pick earrings from Montreal and ethically sustainable shoes which were made in Spain.
Thanks to the warmer temps my legs can finally come out and play. I do wear pants for the most part, but every once in a while the bug to wear dresses and skirts bites and I have to oblige. This denim dress is one of my favorites because it can be worn belted for a more structured look or loose, perfect for a stroll on the beach. For this city-chic ensemble I paired the adjustable spaghetti strap dress with a Danier leather jacket I thrifted in Toronto, a neon belt I have owned forever, sustainable patent leather pumps and vegan leather handbag.
These plaid pants are perfect for an office to happy hour kind of Wednesday. They are unique and give off a 1970's vibe I cannot resist. I found them at thrift shop and based on the construction, I could tell that they were custom-made by a skilled individual so I had to have them. That is one of the many things I appreciate about preloved fashion. The ability to discover one-of-a-kind pieces with an interesting past. I may not know the story behind this fabulous pair of trousers but I'm sure it is a special one. I paired them with an ethically-made merino wool top, my high school best friend's hearts ring, eco friendly 18k gold ring from the Brazilian amazon and vintage handbag from my mother's collection.
I am obsessed with colorful African prints, especially during the warmer months. I notoriously wear all-black-everything for much of the winter but the spring season always breathes new life into my closet. The African print skirt featured in this look holds a special place in my closet because it is one of my original designs. I made it along with an assortment of other African print pieces including peplum tops, pencil skirts and head wraps. For this look I styled the purple stunner with an ethically-made halter top, vintage crossbody bag my mom gifted me, one of my favorite denim jackets which I've had for a very long time, fair trade earrings, Refinery29 pins and high heel sandals a friend gave me.
Colorful preloved leather? Yes, please! When I first spotted this skirt at a thrift shop, it was love at first sight. In case you haven't noticed, I have deep affection for unconventional pieces. Take a closer look at the detail on my heels. It is those little unexpected touches that can make a look extra chic! As for the top, I made it around the same time as the skirt from Wednesday's look. It is a peplum top but I tucked it into the skirt in order not to take away from the height of the cinched waist. The peplum fits in incognito because the skirt is the perfect size for my body.