Sep
27

Written by Claire Gérin-Lajoie

Whatever it is. Fall ? Elections ? One too many plastic straws ? Whatever. All of it. Well, whatever it is, I took a moment to step back as I chose my outfit this morning. What emerging solutions am I taking part in ? What conversations am I having with myself right now ? What am I saying to others as I wear this dress ?  It’s dark blue with three different floral motifs that come together. Yes, this feels ‘just right’. I’m taking a moment to tie things together.

What is so magic about an outfit that feels ‘just right’ ?

Meet Katrin Leblond, Montréal designer on 4647 Boul. Saint-Laurent. She has some insight about this. As I enter the boutique, I am greeted by an array of cinnamons, greens and dusty pinks. A client comes in looking for a 40th anniversary gift for herself. Let’s call her Linda. A black wool IVKO coat with colourful floral motifs catches her eye. She tries it on and her faces glows with delight at the sight of herself. It feels ‘just right’.

The only issue Linda says is that the coat isn’t adjusted to her hips. And that is where the wonders of an in-store alterations service comes in (for clothing bought at the store only, mind you). There is more to it than simply shortening pants or taking in the waist. In this particular case, the coat was completely re-adjusted adding patchwork panels to the side and black trimming at the bottom. Upon receiving her coat, Linda was enchanted; her shoulders, heart and hips all aligned to greet the world with style.

Delighted by her new IVKO Jacket. 

“There is no real medium or large” Katrin says. “As woman, our body take on different shapes and curves throughout our lives. An older woman shouldn’t feel like the only option she has is to wear loose clothing, for example. Tailoring her clothes will add to her sense of dignity and well-being.”  Sometimes the changes can be very subtle. In any case, it is a matter of working with the designer to find the right adjustments. For example, another customer wanted her jacket to be fitting just so at the bust and scooping in the back. A solution was found. It felt easy. “After all, this is what we do” Katrin chimed in.

Miu Me Jacket. Katrin Leblond design. 

Finding solutions together feels ‘just right’. Especially in these moments that feel chaotic. Let’s figure this out, we say. Let’s lend our vulnerability to the process. Let’s open up and let their ideas pollinate ours.

On that note, lately I’ve been very inspired by Montreal author Michelle Holliday and her book The age of Thrivability: Vital perspectives and practices for a better world.  She writes about what makes living organisms thrive, be it a person, a team or a cell. As stewards, we cultivate a space where thriving unfolds. Drawing from her work, I think about how we are stewards of our own body and how our clothes are part of the conversation we have with ourselves. Through the outfits we choose we tell our story to the world.

Whatever the story may be. Fall ? Elections ? A new kind of straw ? All of it. 

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