Style Bee - Summer Check-In

Summer Check-In

08.08.16

Well hello fellow lean closet and slow fashion enthusiasts! I dare say it’s high time I checked in with you about my 2016 Closet Mission and shared how it’s been going. Sorry it’s been so long! I must warn that this post is going to be a big fella so grab another chai latte or top up that coffee and make yourself comfy. Here’s what we’ll be going over today:

  1. How my 50 piece closet is looking.
  2. My most worn summer items + what they’ve taught me about my style.
  3. What I have bought since the last check-in.
  4. What I wish I’d bought this Summer. Ergo, the ones that got away.
  5. An update on shopping responsibly + what’s in the pipeline! 
Style Bee - Summer Check-In

50 PIECE CLOSET

I’ve received lots of inquiries about my 50 piece closet and how it’s holding up. Truthfully, until just this past week it’s been a bit out of control and lurking around the 75 piece mark. I know, not exactly ‘lean’. This is mostly thanks to some awesome collaborations and the addition of a few vintage gems (my Levi’s collection is starting to stack up) but I recently did a big clean out and have about 30 pieces ready to find new homes.

Style Bee - Summer Check-In

This brings me to my next topic, the Style Bee Closet Shop. Yay! After countless comments and emails asking to shop my closet, I’ve decided to give it a go. I’ll be opening an Instagram account where you’ll be able to shop (via Paypal) my gently worn, great condition closet pieces that just haven’t seen enough daylight to warrant keeping. Stay tuned for an instagram announcement and a post on here when the shop is live later this month. The sale will only be active for 7 days and anything not sold will go to my local consignment store. There are some really great pieces (that pain me to let go) up for grabs and I’ll be shipping to the US and Canada. Here’s a taste of what’ll be up for grabs:

Style Bee - Summer Check-In

MY MOST WORN SUMMER ITEMS 

In no particular order, these are the items I’ve reached for most over the last couple of months. It’s been quite hot here in Ontario for the past many weeks so loose fits, lots of linen and vintage, super soft denim has been my go-to. More than anything I’m just thankful that our A/C is earning it’s keep!

Style Bee - Summer Check-In

1 | Everlane Linen Shirt | This classic has been a staple all summer. I honestly wish I had two so I could wear it more than once or twice a week. Tempted to try the poplin version which is fully stocked. I wear a size 2.

2 | First Rite Split Skirt (s/o) | I bought this piece via Garmentory (sign up here for $20 off) and it’s been one of my favourite purchases all year. I wear a size S.

3 | Vintage Levi’s | The black pair I found in Amsterdam at Episodes and the other pair I found at OutPost Vintage here in Guelph. They are both high waisted and slightly cropped and have been softened up a ton. I’ve seriously tried on 100s of pairs over the last few years with no luck and then somehow found these within a month of each other. I guess good vintage finds you and not the other way around! Check out Re-Done, Denim Refinery and Urban Outfitters for some vintage gems online.

4 | Petra Crop Flax Twill | I can’t say enough positive things about this top. The cut is so flattering, the fabric is incredible and it goes with everything I love. Tempted to pick up the Ivory colour just in case it doesn’t return next summer! I wear a size S which was a bit but to start but shrunk slightly in the dryer.

5 | P&S Linen Day Dress | Ok, so I believe that every woman needs this dress. I wear it at least twice a week (including right now) and it never lets me down. I simply wash it on delicate and throw it into the dryer on low and it comes out perfectly ready for use. It’s been getting softer and softer with time and I really just adore it. I wear a size S.

6 | Georgia Linen Tees | All three of my Georgia tees are from previous seasons and have held up beautifully. The boxy, slightly cropped tee shape is a personal favourite for sure. I would wear one of these with a pair of jeans or linen pants any day and feel great. They’re perfect for a casual office or I’d opt for the crepe silk version if I was in a more corporate environment.

7 | Florence Pant in Linen | Oh these pants are a godsend. I wear a pair every other day and can’t seem to get sick of them for a second. The high, wide elastic waist is both comfortable and slimming while the wide leg and cropped ankle is flattering and modern. I also love that I never have to worry about them dragging on the ground. I were a size S regular and I’m 5’7. For a more corporate setting I would opt for these or these.

8 | Black Slides (s/o) + Tan Slides | I alternate between these two pairs a lot. The black pair are by Sol Sana from last year (similar here and I also love these) and the tan pair were gifted to me by J.Crew (on sale). They’re made in Italy and have broken in and held up really well.

9 | BRYR Miranda Peep Toe Clogs | I never got around to doing a proper post on these but I really like them. I wear a US 7 and have a slightly narrow foot. I bought these in a 37 with black leather, a 3″ high heel and after consideration I went for the regular width (you can choose narrow). I would say they’re a fairly standard width, so a touch wide for me but nothing crazy, and the leather DOES stretch slightly with wear (which I was told it wouldn’t) but that worked out OK for me. I had to wear a bandaid on my inner ankle for a while when I was breaking them in but they feel good now. My only wish is that the wooden part was sealed or coated (the way No.6 clogs are) to prevent stains, smudges and nicks. But overall I’m thrilled with these clogs and would definitely recommend them. Just don’t order them if you’re in a hurry, mine took 3 months! 

10 | Georgia Raw Silk Dress in Ivory | When I first chose this dress for a partnership with Elizabeth Suzann I wasn’t sure how much I’d wear it but I LOVED it so I decided to try it out. Turns out it’s become a true staple over the season. It washes up so easy on delicate then I simply hang it on a hanger to dry and it’s ready to wear. If I want it to be super crisp I’ll iron it once in a while. I always wear a nude bra and underwear so nothing shows through but it’s been the perfect little white dress to wear with my clogs and a bandana or my Birks and a denim jacket.

11 | Only Child Sara Box Top (s/o) | After receiving the Black Box top as part of a collaboration for Spring I just had to order the white version. Only Child is easily one of my favourite indie brands and Haley find the most magical fabrics and has such a knack for the perfect oversize cut. These are both sold out but she’s got some great options on deck for Fall and if you’re desperate for something like the Sara Box top I’d recommend this one as it looks very close.



What pieces have you been wearing most this summer?

Style Bee - Summer Check-In

SUMMER STYLE NOTES + WHAT I’VE LEARNED

  1. Linen, cotton and super soft denim is all I really want to wear.
  2. Silk is glorious and wonderful until I sweat. Raw silk is better but a bit hotter.
  3. I don’t love wearing shorts (or shaving my legs). 
  4. Pick up a flowy, feminine maxi dress next year.
  5. Bodysuits are magic! Find some ethical options STAT!
  6. Pick up a couple sleeveless tops (not cropped) next year.
  7. A couple more T-Shirt friendly bralettes would make a world of difference.
  8. Go easy on the oversized silhouette.

WHAT I’VE BOUGHT

I’m not going to lie, this is going to be extremely underwhelming as far as fashion blogger hauls go but I’ve been really good about shopping less. Spending your entire disposable budget on a trip to Europe also helps keep your shopping in check.

During my Spring Check-In I mentioned that I was looking for some ‘running’ shoes to work out in. I immediately returned the pair I’d bought from Nike (Free RN’s just look so cool!) after you guys shared some awesome suggestions. I’m totally smitten with All Birds, but tragically they don’t ship to Canada. So I decided to go for my second pair of Veja’s and I’m so glad I did. They’ve been perfect for the light jogging, cycling and circuit training I sometimes convince myself to do. I also wear them all the time with my mom jeans and a white tee for a totally 90’s vibe.

Style Bee - Summer Check-In

When I was in Europe I bought a raincoat in Amsterdam, which is apparently the most appropriate purchase you can make there. It was a bit of an emergency situation and while I wanted to find something made responsibly I didn’t have time or 400 Euros to burn. So I bought a simple, classic one from Samsoe + Samsoe that I know I’ll have for a really, really long time. As you may already know, I also bought a pair of vintage Levi’s from Episodes and incredible vintage and thrift shop in the city.

Style Bee - Summer Check-In

In Paris I picked up a super cute lingerie set from the loveliest Parisienne shop called YSÉ. At the time I took for granted that their line was made in France but I’ve since had no luck figuring out exactly where they are made. My bad! That said, the brand ethos to “Show off your femininity in a natural way” really resonates with me and their line is absolutely stunning and embodies that ‘Je ne sais quoi.’ of the quintessential Parisienne woman. While these purchases were not as ‘responsible’ as I’d like, I know I’ll have and cherish them for years to come.  

Style Bee - Summer Check-In

Since then I’ve added up a few more vintage gems from Outpost Vintage, my local go-to. I had a bit of store credit to use up and when I found the world’s most perfectly fitting high-rise, tapered vintage jeans I totally caved. I also picked up a few soft as air vintage tees to bring camping while I was at it.

Style Bee - Summer Check-In

And that’s it! Everything else you’ve seen come through has been part of a collaboration or sponsorship of some kind. I only accept pieces from brands that I would have otherwise wanted to purchase myself because believe it or not, the novelty of ‘free stuff’ has long worn off and I really do love running as lean a closet as I can!


THE ONES THAT GOT AWAY

Now just because I kept my shopping at bay does not mean I wasn’t eyeballing a few gems along the way. It has just seemed that every time I’m ready to pull the trigger I’m just a little too late on the draw and my size is gone. Here’s a few goodies that have been haunting me ever since they got away:

Style Bee - Summer Check-In

1 | Elizabeth Suzann Keaton Duster in Flax Twill | The perfect vest slipped through my fingers. I love it in Ivory too but I worry it will get dirty too easy. The black cotton version is gorgeous but I already know it’ll be covered in corgi fur before I even make it out the door. *Le Sigh*

2 | Jesse Kamm One Piece | So classic, so chic, so sold out. *Sad face*

3 | DÔEN Tate Silk Noil Tunic | Have you heard of this new womenswear brand DÔEN? It’s giving me all kinds of bohemian style dreams and I absolutely adore this tunic. On the wait list with fingers firmly crossed hoping for a re-stock.

4 | MNZ Sophie Sandal in Black | I am kicking myself so hard for not snagging these when I had the chance. Praying the to MNZ Gods that these come back next year. Also, should have grabbed these beauties!


I can’t be the only one who missed out on a few gems! Care to share what slipped through your fingers this season? 

Style Bee - Summer Check-In

RESPONSIBLE SHOPPING UPDATE

Despite a few noted missteps, I’ve been really happy with my progress this year. I’ve genuinely felt a wonderful connection to (almost) all the garments that I’ve added to my closet and, in turn, the talented people behind their creation. I’ve also discovered so many new designers and brands that I can’t wait to test out over time. Wearing something that feels amazing, looks beautiful and was made responsibly for reasons other than just the bottom-line, is so much more rewarding than I ever thought it would be. It absolutely requires more time, effort and often more money to make it work but I think it’s an entirely worthwhile endeavour. All my Fall and Winter Shopping  will be done 100% responsibly so stay tuned for my Wish Lists and some great collabs that are currently in the works!


Have you been on a slow fashion or responsible style mission too? How’s it going? What have you found most difficult? 

WHAT’S NEXT

Coming up on the blog I plan to focus much more on these closet mission posts. Don’t worry though, they won’t all be long and all over the place like this one! I’d like to do a better job of imparting the knowledge and experience I’ve gained this year so here’s a few ideas I’m working on:

1 – How To Develop A Personal Style You Love

2 – Canadian Responsible Shopping Source Guide

3 – Pre-Fall 10 x 10 Challenge

4 – Where To Begin Shopping Responsibly

5 – How To Make Your Clothes Last Longer

6 – Where To Shop For Responsibly Made Underthings


If you’ve got any suggestions or post ideas I’m all ears! My main goal is to make Style Bee a wonderful resource for all things related to responsible shopping and personal style. Thanks so much for reading! 

Leave me a comment here!

  1. Andrea says:

    Thank you so much for mentioning YSE. I ordered a few sets and when they arrived and I tried them on, for the first time in 39 years I finally have a bra that properly fits my less than A cup self. I truly felt like I might cry. So worth every single euro!

  2. Sarah says:

    Great post, thanks for the info about the Bryr clogs! I was also in great disappointment about the Keaton Duster in the flax Hemp. Its such a cool piece. IMHO they should have purchased more of that particular fabric as it seemed to sell out in the flax color in a few other items fairly quickly. (I had my eye on the Inez Tunic in flax). FWIW I have the Inez midi dress in the ivory hemp and while it did get dirty during a week in the Bahamas when I wore it nearly every day, you don’t really see the dirt somehow… also cleans easily. Downside- the ivory hemp is not as soft as the Flax (I have the elodie work belt in the flax hemp and its super soft, my ivory inez dress was NOT soft at all and took some breaking it. The fabric also stretches out some) But that probably wouldn’t be an issue for a jacket/vest…

  3. Alex Chua says:

    PS I meant to tell you that I purchased the Keaton Duster in the Hemp Twill size OS, but alas it remains new and unworn because I don’t think the style is right for me. I am planning to list it on eBay, but if you are interested please message me and I would be happy to sell it directly to you. The fabric is wonderful so it’s easy to see why it sold out as quickly as it did.

  4. Maria says:

    Yes, yes, yes to the Canadian Responsible Shopping Guide! I’d love to buy some pieces from brands you’ve featured lots (e.g. Elizabeth Suzanne), but I have a hard time justifying the cost of duties and shipping when I have no idea how an item will actually look on me. Been burned too many times essentially paying to try something on at home. ????

    And congrats on your engagement!

  5. Laura says:

    These are my favorite posts of yours, Lee! Looking forward to following along this Fall. I am newly pregnant and hoping to create a maternity capsule. Thanks for the fabulous content!!

  6. Clothilde says:

    Hi Lee, I’m glad you enjoyed your time in Paris, and amazed you found such a new and small lingerie brand like Ysé ! They have just one shop in Paris (and it’s the only one in France as far as I know), and you found it ! I love what they do and most of the bras I own are the same as the one you bought. They are indeed not made in France, or it would have been much more expensive, alas. They are manufactured in Morocco, with European supplies (French when possible). I hope you are not disappointed.

    • Hi Clothilde! Oh, zero complaints whatsoever! I absolutely love my Ysé set and it will always transport me back to my time in Paris. Thanks very much for the manufacturing info, that’s great to know for future reference as I might be back in the future. xo

  7. Casey says:

    Love love love your minimalist/ classic style and commitment to shopping ethically! I personally believe that fast fashion will be the death of fashion if nothing changes.

  8. Martine says:

    I discovered your blog this spring and you really inspire me!
    I love your style and the way how you choose your clothes and create your own style.
    In march I have had a session with a stylist and I have learned a lot regarding my shape and which clothes I need to avoid.
    After this session I bought a lot but I now realize that I have been too enthousiastic……..
    Made some mistakes, mostly regarding the style and quality.
    Quality is important to me but being without a job makes it difficult for me to buy the quality that I want, so I settle for less.
    But in the end I’m not happy with it and I don’t wear it.
    With fall/winter coming up I have decided to take more time to look around for beautiful pieces and not to settle for less this time.
    Even if that means that I will only buy 3 pieces the coming season.
    I also want to buy more confortable clothes but I have to be careful that comfortable doesn’t turn into oversized, which happend to me all the time in the past :-).

    • Martine, thank you so much for the kind words and for sharing some of the style hurdles you’ve been overcoming. It’s definitely tough to make significant changes in your closet on a slim budget. That’s when patience is key, and trust me, I am still constantly battling my lack of it! I would say take your time, make a wish list (even if it’s only 5 items) and stick to it. Then you can take time to save up and the items you’ve invested in will last as you build around them. Thanks for reading! xo

  9. MICHELLE says:

    I also really wanted those MNZ palma shoes… it still bothers me now but I keep telling myself to resist the temptation. I think the Sophie is more timeless and I would probably get that one instead. I just wish I could try on these shoes in a store to make sure they are just right. *sigh*

    • I hear you Michelle, there are no stores near me that carry them either, or at least that stock them for long enough that I can get there!! haha I Love both styles so much! I really want a black leather (not suede) pair and I didn’t see the Palma’s in that material. You’re not the only one wishing they had caved for those puppies 🙂 xo

  10. Alex Chua says:

    I made the mistake of confusing oversized with comfort and paid for it big time. So I have to be careful not to purchase items that are shapeless because I think they’re going to be comfortable or I have to balance oversized pieces with more streamlined, fitted ones. I’ve been pretty good about controlling my spending this summer, especially necessary because I overspent in the spring but there are a couple of pieces I wish I had bought before they sold out – a dress from Black Crane and shoes from Maryam Nassir Zadeh.
    I’m trying to save my pennies for an ES coat and sweater and am hoping that they don’t delay too long in releasing their fall/winter collection if there is going to be one.
    Thanks for this amazing post!

    • Alex, I completely know what you mean! I think balance is key and a great way to stay comfy while still looking polished. Going to work on some looks that showcase that.

      Looks like MNZ shoes were on a lot of wish lists. There is always next Summer! I’m saving up for a great coat this winter too. I’m sure there will be a FW16 from ES so I’m on the edge of my seat for that collection!

      Thanks for reading! xo

  11. Emily Ward says:

    I have so admired your style and intentionality to shop responsibly. For someone like myself who is finally ready to embrace slow fashion and change my shopping habits, what are your suggestions for immediate items to purchase? Maybe 5-10 “everyday style” versatile items to kick start a lean closet as we enter the pre-fall season. Also, where/how do you find inspiration for so many versatile looks with relatively few pieces in your closet? I get tunnel vision and think “I have nothing to wear” as I stare at my closet. Thank you!

    • Hi Emily! Such a good question! Off the top of my head I’d say the following items are a great start:

      1) Black flats (I love my Everlane Loafers)
      2) Black Pants (I highly recommend Elizabeth Suzann’s Cecelia or Jolene)
      3) A pair of skinny jeans (I’m actually looking for a pair of black skinny jeans right now)
      4) Simple, relaxed fit sweater (Zady makes a beautiful Alpaca and Everlane’s Cashmere has held up well for me)
      5) A relaxed tee that you can wear out or tucked into your pants and jeans (I like the Georgia by Elizabeth Suzann)
      6) A Classic Coat (Trench or Peacoat)
      7) Chambray Button-Down (Brass makes a dark wash that I like a lot)
      8) A simple timeless cross body bag (I love my Eloise by The Stowe)

      Hope that helps! xo

  12. diann says:

    so excited to hear about the Canadian Responsible Shopping Source Guide! as a fellow canadian (and previous guelphie to be totally honest) it’s hard to find responsible clothing that isn’t made in the US (while shopping US is great, the dollar has been so brutal this year!). cannot wait to read it 🙂

    • Ah! So glad to hear that Diann! I totally hear you on that brutal dollar! It’s kept my shopping list very short, which is good and bad haha. I’m compiling sources over the next couple of weeks so keep an eye for that one later in August or early Sept. xo

  13. Giiiirrrrrllll, I will be all over that Style Bee Shop when it opens! You may have the one or two pieces I’ve been looking for!

    Your Closet Mission posts are my favorite…and I actually like diving into the long length. I am also trying to get my wardrobe down to a certain number, but there are also things I need to cut. My biggest issue is settling on something that isn’t quite right, whether it’s the fit/size, type of item, shape, etc. I need to be better at waiting for the right item, not the kinda-sorta-right item. Hopefully I’ll continue to improve in that area.

    Looking forward to upcoming Closet Mission posts!

    • Jenna, thank you so much! So great to hear you’re excited about the closet shop. If it goes well I might consider doing one every season to keep things super lean.

      I think everyone has trouble sticking to their guns and holding out for the ‘one and only’ version of an item. Especially as there are SO many options out there now and way too many copy cats. I’ve found that having a wish list handy really helps me stick to my plan.

      Thanks for reading! xo

  14. Emily Mahi'ai says:

    I have the Everlane relaxed poplin and I love it. It does wrinkle VERY easily though.

    • Ah, that’s what I wondered about it. I mean linen wrinkles easy too but it’s sort of how it’s meant to look. Thanks for the tip! Everlane has really nailed the relaxed button-down haven’t they? xo

  15. Kat says:

    I bought an exact MNZ Sophie dupe (seriously, I compared them to my friend’s Sophies in person) from Old Navy this spring. I believe they were $15?? Not sure if they have them in the Canada shop though. But if it’s just the style/shape you’re looking for, that’s an option.

    And I think I have been to Amsterdam about twenty times now and it has rained every single time. Do they ever see a week without rain?? Poor saps…

    • Thanks for the tip! My heart is set on the MNZs but I’ve been trolling eBay with high hopes 🙂

      Apparently I was super lucky because it only rained once when I was in Amsterdam! I don’t know how I’d handle life in such a rainy climate but they seem to just roll with it. I’m sure people think Canadians are nuts for enduring the weather we do too! xo

    • Martine says:

      I live in the Netherlands and I must say that the rain sometimes drives me grazy.
      Especially this summer the weather is very unstable and we have (had) a lot of rain….
      All the flowers on my terrace have drowned.
      One have to adapt and have to have a really versatile garderobe 😉

    • Oh no! Your poor flowers! We have had the opposite issue here in Ontario since everything is drying out. The only good thing about bad weather is how much more it makes you appreciate the good! xo

  16. Desta says:

    I really feel you on the “go easy on the oversized silhouette” bit. I added many pieces to my summer wardrobe this year that were on the oversized side (P&S dress, Georgia top, Florence pants, etc.), and although they’re SO comfy, I got some feedback from friends and family that it may not be quite as stylish/flattering as I think it is. Oof. How do you see yourself creating a little distance from this trend? Any tips for actually making oversized look more flattering?

    Thank you, as always, for such a thoughtful post!

    Desta

    • Emily Mahi'ai says:

      I like to wear my oversized J+J tops with high waisted shorts or comfy skinny jeans! They help the big shape to not overwhelm my slight figure quite as much. Also tying bigger shirts in a knot at the waist helps.

    • Great tip! Thanks Emily! xo

    • I think there are some simple ways to ease it back while still wearing the pieces you love and feel great in. For example I’m looking for a great pair of black skinny jeans and I’ll be swapping out my Florence pants for the Jolenes or Cecilias. Then I’ll wear the Florence with a more fitted tee and a denim jacket or a linen blazer for now. I’m also on the hunt for a great long black blazer that’s relaxed but not too oversized. Hope that helps! xo

  17. Jodie says:

    Another don’t miss closet mission edition!
    Love your favorites, and most worn looks! How awesome you barely bought anything. Such an inspiring, and authentic ethical blogger haul.
    I’ve been shopping ethically and USA made (which I can only hope is super ethical!) only since the end of June, and I already can’t imagine goin back to fast fashion.
    I’ve added a few Everlane pieces(of course, they are my favorite) and Nisolo Serena sandals since I was in desperate need of a tan pair after my 5 year old ones broke.
    I want to do the fall 10×10 with you, would you be able to give a little advance notice?
    Just in case anything needs to be washed, or anything.
    Can’t wait for the next edition!
    Happy Monday!

    • Thanks so much Jodie!! I’m so glad it lived up to expectations 🙂 I totally hear you on how it feels weird to go back to fast fashion. Buying that raincoat felt wrong and I would have waited if it hadn’t been pouring outside and the only transportation was by bike! But I’ve come to terms with it and I do really love the coat, I’ll just make sure I wear it until it disintegrates!

      Nisolo’s are on my radar every season! Eventually I’ll pick up a pair. Glad you’re liking the one’s you got!

      I will definitely let you know ahead of time about the Fall 10 x 10! Would love to have you join me.

      Thanks for all the support lady! You’re seriously such a gem! xo