all the clothes

Although I am Canadian, I grew up in Arizona and will always be a desert girl at heart. When I first moved to British Columbia almost ten years ago I experienced my first “real winter”, even if it was in one of the mildest places in Canada. That was the first and last time I was ever excited about snow. Sure it looks pretty on that mountain very far away, but once it starts to inhibit transportation and work and daily errands, I cannot abide. I have a slightly smaller appreciation for winters here after spending one in Ontario at the time they were experiencing their “worst winter in recorded history”. I think it was some kind of weather karma because the previous winter I retreated to New Zealand, missing the season altogether giving me an entire year of summer.


Needless to say, I was less enthused than most (excluding my immediate family who are all similarly winter-opposed) when we received record amounts of snow and prolonged cold this Christmas. Despite popular world belief, not all of Canada is an arctic tundra, and I was not mentally or physically prepared for it. I don’t own the standard winter coat and boots that you see in colder climes. They are expensive and take up a lot of room and it seems silly to invest in something you might only wear once or twice a year.


Alternatively, the key to winters in the west coast (as with all other seasons) is layers. And when the temperatures are constantly at or below zero, it means wearing all the layers. For this outfit I am wearing 4 layers on top, not including this fabulous vintage scarf my mum gave me from her own closet. The challenge is mixing a bunch of different colours and patterns (I guess this is why so many people just stick to all black everything?). Luckily, I enjoy a good challenge. I went with a couple black and white patterns of different sizes pulled together with a bit of colour (purple, obviously). I like how this outfit is visually interesting from layer to layer, but still all works together.


Unfortunately the coat was purchased new (and not exactly sustainable), but as something I wear pretty much everyday in the cool to cold temperatures, it has served me well. Everything else is secondhand: thrifted, consigned, or hand-me-downs. My best friend knitted me this toque for Christmas last year, which has also gotten a lot of wear this winter. And of course is great for whenever I don’t want to bother washing my hair. Which is every day.

What are your favourite tricks to stay warm and stylish in the colder months? Anyone else begrudgingly waiting indoors for summer to hit? Or are you one of the lucky one’s who lives near the equator and have perfect weather year round? (If so, can I come visit?)


  • Long sleeve: Hand me down
  • Sweatervest: Baja Rosi’s ($18)
  • Sweater: Value Village ($8)
  • Skirt: Value Village ($6)
  • Toque: Hand Made by M ❤
  • Scarf: Hand me down
  • Shoes: Wish, Want, Wear ($38)
  • Photography: E ❤

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4 thoughts on “all the clothes

  1. AMG says:

    SOOOOO wish I had your flair for putting outfits together Sarah…..I’m one of those people you mentioned who just sticks to basic black WAY too often because I have NO idea what else to do. Really enjoy reading your ideas….keep them coming……A


  2. Sarah says:

    If I had not been there to experience it for myself I would have thought the photos were from some God and warmth forsaken outpost like Edmonton or Saskatoon – not Vancouver.


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