January 3, 2021

The Impact of COVID-19 on Fashion

I have felt oddly obligated (in a unique way only those involved in fashion, writing and business can feel) to publish a post with insightful and analytical commentary about the impact of COVID-19 on the fashion industry. But then again, there are a plethora of articles written by individuals far more qualified than I available for your perusal on the Internet. I’ll leave the serious business inquiry to those among the likes of BoF, BNN and HBR, and stick with my schtick—which is the view of things through the eyes of an average fashion lover. We may not all be businesspeople or creative directors, but we are all consumers. And at the end of the day, it is the experience of the consumer that matters. So here are my observations:

Masks as Fashion: Functionality’s Makeover

At first, they were rare. They flew off the shelves along with toilet paper, and for a brief period, we were using anything we could find around the house—scarves, pot lids, menstrual pads—as makeshift alternatives. Now, they’re in oversupply. You can scarcely find a retailer who doesn’t sell them, and mostly everyone has a proper version of it in any colour, pattern and design their heart desires. I am, of course, talking about masks.  

Although already a commonplace accessory in countries like Japan, South Korea and China, North American culture has been uncomfortable with the notion of hiding one’s face day-to-day. Yet when push came to shove, we all adopted the practice. And when something functional becomes necessary, we have a tendency to try and make it look good (see: stylish scrubs and designer PPE for airline cabin crews). The introduction of face masks has opened a whole new realm of fashion. In the same way we analyze what clothing is most flattering on certain body types, I found myself fascinated by what makes face masks suitable for our own face shapes (fit and cutting), what designs look best both up close and from a distance (white masks with floral patterns look a bit like diapers, don’t you think?) and the innovative ways we can make masks fun (luxe lanyards and mask jewellery). Will masks stick around after COVID-19 passes? Probably not. But I hope they remain as an option for those who wish to complement their outfits with a new accessory.  

Digital Drudgery: A Reminder of Why We Gather

The start of COVID-19 led to a flurry of speculation about what the future of fashion would look like. The industry started questioning why everyone wastes resources by travelling so much to attend runway shows, meetings or events when we’ve now proven all of that can be done virtually. From live-streamed performances, to digital audiences, to miniature couture and marionette shows, designers tried their best to convey the magic of fashion—which is so sensorial and physical—through a screen. For a moment, it seemed the interweb advocates were winning. And yet, according to Business of Fashion, the virtual Fashion Weeks over the summer saw reduced online impressions and up to 55% less social media engagement compared to last year, and it’s undeniable people are feeling consumed by wanderlust. 

That brings us to the question of why we gather in the first place. Humans are social creatures, and there is no way virtual viewings will satiate us forever. We gather because we can gain a sense of closeness, community and camaraderie with those we share an experience with. Fashion shows will come back. Travel will return. In-person meetings will still be valued. COVID-19 is a turning point, but it would be a mistake to think of it as a turning point away from everything we have found so fundamentally enriching.

Slowing Down Fast Fashion

Even back when I was an eager newbie to fashion, I struggled to keep up with its frantic pace. If there is one thing I would like to see this pandemic bring about in the industry, it is a more thoughtful approach to what and how we produce. As COVID-19 forced us to catch our breath, we realized our never-ending thirst for newness had worn us out. We looked at all the unsold merchandise hanging in retail stores every season—the several million tons of textile waste we produce annually—and asked ourselves, why? Fashion can nourish our souls, but at what point does it become reckless and wasteful to not encourage better forms of production and longer-lasting apparel? 

Brands can push out up to eight collections a year; in addition to two seasonal ready-to-wear collections across womenswear and menswear, the traditional industry calendar also includes pre-fall, resort and seasonal haute couture. Are pre-season collections really that different from seasonal collections? Does menswear and womenswear really need to be distinguished? New for the sake of new is not creativity. Some designers have already made adjustments to present collections in the season they’re actually designed for (instead of 6 months before), and Gucci is cutting its five shows a year down to two. As we emerge post-COVID-19, I would be happy to see the industry adopt a slower and more sustainable pace. 

The Brick & Mortar Website

Online shopping has shown itself to be extremely handy. Established businesses that didn’t have a robust e-commerce service in place prior to the pandemic were clearly already falling behind the times. So you may be surprised to learn that despite how unparalleled the accessibility and variety of goods online are, Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company jointly report that more than 80% of transactions in the fashion industry still happen in brick-and-mortar stores. The industry is actually largely dependent on physical retail—and I believe there is a reason for that. 

Fashion is meant to be a 3-D experience. When it comes to clothing, I don’t trust any image online until I see the item in real life. Only in person are you able to verify the colour and design, feel the quality of the fabric, see how the cutting hangs and moves on your body, and scrutinize the item from every angle (including inside and/or underneath, which are not often shown online). And, most importantly, you can judge how a piece makes you feel once you have it on. You might have a positive emotional response when you see an image of a piece online, but that response is a weak predictor of whether you will actually feel confident once you put the piece on. For these reasons, online shopping is an injustice to what the fashion experience is truly meant to be. 

However, I’m not woebegone over the “good ol’ days.” I refuse to purchase clothing online (unless I’ve already tried it on in store), but I am aware of the limited selection available with physical shopping. I think we are facing a great opportunity for businesses to merge digital and physical shopping by establishing both an online presence and a lower-cost physical presence through “try-on” boutiques. Retailers need only maintain all sizes of each item at bare minimum quantities for customers to try on before they make the purchase online at self-service computer terminals in the boutique. I also hope this lower-cost option might encourage online-only brands to set up a physical presence, thus introducing more variety to the retail space and allowing those businesses to expand their customer base. Brick-and-mortar shopping is not dead; it just needs to be reborn. 

Don’t Sweat It—For Now

With nearly 40% of the Canadian labour force working from home since the pandemic, as per Statistics Canada, the way we dress on a daily basis has changed. There is simply no reason to don our office attire anymore. I’ve been in my house clothes looking like a schlep for a good 90% of my existence lately. And I’m not alone—loungewear sales are up, with sweatsuits, yoga pants and slippers becoming 2020’s most coveted items. Entireworld, a line of wardrobe basics similar to American Apparel or Uniqlo, saw its colourful sweatsuits fly off the shelves, landing the brand its highest grossing months since it was conceived by Scott Sternberg, former founder of Band of Outsiders, in 2018. On the flip side, Le Château recently announced its bankruptcy, citing the dwindling need for party dresses as a contributing factor (I’ve waited patiently for this brand to be defunct anyway, but that’s a rant for another time). 

Does this signal changing tides in the way we dress? I doubt it. Fashion is fickle that way. Sooner or later, we will yearn for a chance to dress up again. Why else would The Strawberry Dress, a frothy tulle confection embellished with sequined strawberries designed by Lirika Matoshi, have become a viral sensation despite having practically nowhere to wear it? Dressing in sweats all the time doesn’t do wonders for my mental health, and I’m sure others would agree. A global initiative called “End PJ Paralysis” encourages hospital patients to get up, get dressed in their own clothes and move around to aid in quicker recovery and overall patient experience. I’m glad for the acknowledgement that fashion can play a role in emotional health, and post-COVID-19, I expect we will have newfound pleasure in the act of dressing again. One day, we’ll be grateful for the freedom to do the things we once took for granted before we realized how precious they were. So don’t sweat it—one day, things will return to normal. 

November 15, 2020

Why I Don't Understand Patten Shoe Covers

As I was mindlessly scrolling through social media one day, I came across a sponsored ad for Patten Place, a brand that sells rubber shoe covers for high heels. At first glance, I was excited about a possible solution to a problem I have faced many times: the heartache of walking through unexpected rain or snow in a pair of shoes that were most definitely not made for it. And yet, the more I looked into Patten covers, the more bewildered I became about the concept.

Patten shoe covers are marketed towards the “heel lover” and are designed to work only with high heels. So…you’re telling me these are for people who love wearing heels so much they not only want to wear high heels at the main event, they also want to experience the agony of wearing torture devices on the way to the event? No one is even going to see how fabulous-looking your torture devices are if they’re concealed underneath a shoe cover—so you’d be wearing heels on the way to an event for the pure sake of wearing heels. Look, I know there are people who love their stilettos, but does anyone willingly squish their feet atop two sticks without being able to show off the beauty behind their pain?

Okay, even if we assume an unwavering commitment to footwear that would make your podiatrist deeply disappointed, what advantage does a Patten cover have over simply bringing another pair of shoes? You could buy your own set of wedged rainboots and change into them before/after an event, or just as easily store them in a drawer at the office or in the trunk of your car in case of flash floods. Pattens still take up the same amount of space as a regular pair of shoes, and you still have to find a way of carrying them around once you take them off, so functionally, I struggle to see a significant advantage of using a shoe cover. At $98 a pop, Pattens are practically the price of another pair of shoes anyway—and yet you can’t actually wear them as another pair of shoes. 

The only marginal benefit I can ascertain is Pattens may be a tad lighter than a normal pair of shoes, and they may save you the time, hassle and possible embarrassing awkwardness of switching between shoes. And I do acknowledge shoe covers allow you to “free up” shoes that would otherwise be relegated to the drawer in the office or trunk of your car, thus saving you from “wasting” a perfectly good pair of shoes by needing to assign it to backup duty.  

Of course, I am only remarking on the concept of Patten covers, and cannot comment on their quality or comfort. For covers designed to fit over heels ranging from 2.5-4.5 inches, I do wonder if there would be the possibility of blisters or scuffing in areas where it may not fit quite right. Aside from that concern, I would be interested in seeing Patten Place come out with more practical covers for flat shoes, or even a regular, wearable pair of rainboots in a design similar to its Pattens. With relatively sleek lines and buttons with its cursive logo in gold, I do think Patten covers—particularly in the camel colour—look chic compared to most galoshes out there.

As it stands though, I can’t sufficiently rationalize the value-add of Patten covers. Can you?

Image Source: Patten Place, Kickstarter

July 12, 2020

Product Review: Tissardi

I've always had more of an affinity for shoes than handbags. Regretfully, when I look at my collection of purses, I see this neglect quite clearly. I rotate between a selection of crossbody mini-bags (not practical), a studded faux-leather backpack (starting to fall apart) and a shoulder bag (bad for posture). What I feel like I've been missing is a larger crossbody bag that will enable me to carry my essentials around relatively comfortably and hands-free. 

As a result, I was thrilled when I was given the opportunity by Tissardi to review its designer-inspired Santio Leather Saddle Bag. Tissardi is an online shop offering affordable access to fashion and luxury products inspired by the most emblematic brands.

The Santio comes in seven colours and two sizes. I picked out the medium size bag in red.

I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the genuine cowhide leather. I was afraid it would come with a stiff sheen, but the leather is smooth, matte and satisfying to the touch—definitely this bag's winning feature. The cherry red colour is also true to what is advertised on the website, and is a fantastic hue to complement the bold shape. My only concern is the hardware appears to be plated in a slightly duller brushed gold, and while it is hefty, it will likely be the first area to show wear and tear, especially if constantly rubbing against the lobster clasps on the shoulder straps. Brighter, more solid gold hardware would have further elevated the well-constructed leather.

Dress: Marie Saint Pierre | Tights: Unknown | Handbag: Tissardi

In terms of functionality, I adore that not one, but two, adjustable and removable crossbody shoulder straps are included: one in leather and one in fabric with metal medallions. This kind of versatility is exactly what a modern woman needs! Additionally, an outer pocket with a magnetic closure along the back of the handbag is convenient for slipping a phone into when in a rush and/or for easy access. A head's up though, the unique saddle shape will pose some limitations in terms of what you can carry. Although I selected the medium size, this purse carries only slightly more than my usual mini-bags. But if you're curious whether the slanted bottom will cause items to slide down to the corner, rest assured the design is narrow enough for something like a wallet or a pair of sunglasses to stay put inside the shorter edge.

Overall, I am happy with the look of this Tissardi bag and will definitely be using it to fill the gap in my purse collection. The impressive quality of leather and stitching build a firm foundation for the shape, colour and cheeky hardware to make an utterly fashionable statement.


Handbag courtesy of Tissardi in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

July 5, 2020

I Like That

K-pop is having a growing influence on the international music scene, but despite going crazy for BTS, I haven’t found myself interested in other K-pop groups. I am, however, aware that BLACKPINK has risen to the top among girl groups, and while it took some time to warm up to, I did jam briefly to “Sour Candy”, their song with Lady Gaga in her latest Chromatica album. So when I saw BLACKPINK made a comeback with their pre-release song, “How You Like That”, I decided to check it out.

And my goodness, that song is tight.

I am far from being a Blink, but “How You Like That” has been on repeat lately. And it seems I’m not the only one: the music video for “How You Like That” scored the biggest premiere in YouTube history with a record-breaking 86.3 million views in the first 24 hours. I found the styling overall impressively punctuated the song and dance; nevertheless, there were a few parts where it could have been refined to give more punch. Let’s break it down.

0:07 – Lisa gives grandeur to the opening in a black sequined gown from Celine Fall/Winter 2020 RTW, strutting down the stairway to deliver the signature line, “BLACKPINK in your area.”

0:13 – Jennie in an aquatic dream scene with a jewelled teardrop, AREA crystal headpiece and Bell & Nouveau embellished cape to leave her smooth vocals dripping with glamour. I also love how the crystal strands in her ponytail accentuate her blonde bangs, a trend I learned of through YouTuber Edvasian’s latest hairstyle video and a trend which Jennie is absolutely slaying.

0:20 – Jisoo tugging a floral embellished, chiffon blindfold from her doe eyes. The aesthetic…need I say more?

0:58 – Lisa in an embroidered Celine bolero, Stussy bralette, unforgiving manicure and gold tooth, serving up ‘boss b*tch’ attitude to retort, “Look at you / now look at me / look at you / now look at me.”

1:12 – Lisa alternating between a heavily embellished Dolce & Gabbana bustier crop top accompanied by a cascading Bell & Nouveau waterfall necklace, and a straight-off-the-runway asymmetrical ensemble from Off-White Fall/Winter 2020 RTW, looking like an Egyptian empress with swagger in spades. “What’s up, I’m right back / 방아쇠를 (trigger) cock back,” hits the spot with precision.

1:27 – Jennie’s cherry red bodysuit with a crystal chain slip dress has potential, although it falls short for me because it would have more dramatic elegance in a longer length. I want to like it, but as it stands, it resembles too much an elevated child’s dance costume. The jewelled eyepiece, on the other hand, is perfect. It reminds me of the humorously offbeat accessories in Schiaparelli Fall 2019 Couture, and when she tosses her head back at 2:08, the swing of the strands heightens the act. “ 미소를 띠며 (With a smile on my face) I’ll kiss you goodbye.” Powerful.

1:35 – On its own, this pointelle lace dress on Jisoo from Alexander McQueen Resort 2020 looks like a presentable prêt-à-porter runway piece (Alexander McQueen has been killing it lately), but for a music video, it lacks lustre. This is the kind of dress suited for the red carpet or worn by fashion editors to the front row, not as a theatrical showpiece for a K-pop music video.

1:40 – Nothing particularly exceptional about these looks, besides that Jennie’s chest pops and Lisa’s body rolls are given the chance to shine in the abbreviated tops.

2:12 – Unfortunately, from here on, I think the music video loses its steam. Rosé looks like a mother-of-the-bride in a feathery dress that is simply trying too hard to fit the avian theme when she lifts her arms to declare, “그때쯤에 끝내야 했어 (You should’ve ended me when you had the chance).” I also don’t understand why this series of black evening gowns barely make an appearance in the video. The most consistent screen time they get is for a few seconds at the beginning in dim lighting, and yet, the dresses are also so underwhelming they should have been chopped out entirely. The empire waist on Jennie’s Chanel Spring/Summer 2020 RTW frock makes her look more juvenile than sophisticated, and whilst Lisa had her moment in the opening scene, her full body shot reveals how the Celine could be shapelier. Jisoo’s heavily embellished number is most promising, but again, what’s the point?

2:27 – I appreciate the display of modernized hanbok from the brand Danha, though I wish the music video allowed us to admire these pieces more. In between the pulsating lights, background dancers, frequent cuts in editing and energetic choreography, the details of the outfits are lost—a shame because the embroidery, pattern and material are intriguing.

Regardless of the wins and wanes of the music video, the song itself is a commanding comeback that demonstrates full force how BLACKPINK can inspire girls of today and tomorrow. It’s a song by women, for women—and that’s what I like.

Image Source: Regard News, Vogue, hellokpop

June 28, 2020

Product Review: PaintByNumbers.shop

Last month, I collaborated with PaintByNumbers.shop to host a giveaway for a paint by numbers kit. PaintByNumbers.shop is an online shop that sells art canvasses with small numbers indicating a corresponding colour for a certain area, making painting a masterpiece a piece of cake. In addition to sponsoring the giveaway, they also graciously offered to send me a kit to try for myself. After perusing their varied collection, I landed on Magnolia Blossoms, a beautifully serene and simple floral painting.

Shipping for my kit took 9 business days, exactly as advertised on the website. What I really appreciate about PaintByNumbers.shop is their paintings come with the canvas already stretched on a wooden frame—something many other companies do not offer as a default. Also included in the kit are varnish, canvas hangers and even a level for when you're putting your finished piece up on the wall. The attention to detail in providing a thoroughly complete kit helps make paint by numbers less daunting for those who are new to it (such as myself).

Despite having done art throughout high school and taken private acrylic painting lessons, I don't consider myself either an experienced or talented artist. I can't comment with certainty on the quality of the brushes and paint, but both of them did their job, which is really all I'm looking for. The paint was not dried out, and despite some splitting on the wide brush, I did not encounter any issues with the brushes shedding hairs. There are definitely higher quality brushes out there, but the ones provided were adequate for the task at hand. Although this painting did require at least two coats in areas with lighter colours to fully cover the numbers and lines, there was a sufficient amount of paint provided to complete the piece.

Left: Picture on website | Right: Picture on kit

The only drawback with this particular painting is the colours and composition do not closely match the picture on the website or even the picture on the kit. The paint provided for the blossoms are pinker than expected, and I could tell many areas—particularly the background—require much more finessing to be as subtle as what is depicted in the original picture. However, I have seen reviews of other paintings from PaintByNumbers.shop come out exactly as advertised, so the discrepancy I'm experiencing is just a lesson in how not all artwork is suited to the paint by numbers method. As you can see, I decided to take some artistic liberty and blend the colours together, using the numbers and lines as more of a guide than a strict science.

Overall, the hours flew by doing this activity. I normally don't end up painting artwork appealing enough to hang on the walls, so it was refreshing to be able to enjoy both the process of painting and of seeing the finished product come together nicely into something I actually look forward to displaying.

Discount Code

If you'd like to pick up a kit for yourself or someone you know, be sure to use the promo code REDSOLED at checkout for a 15% discount!


Kit courtesy of PaintByNumbers.shop in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

June 4, 2020

7 Impractical Fashion Trends

Quarantine got me like…trying on my own clothes at home so I have new outfits to wear once I emerge from the cave and look like a civilized human being again. Things going well for you too?

All jokes aside, I did unearth a yellow Tommy Hilfiger zip-up windbreaker from my closet to see how I could serve up some ’90s vibes this summer (wow, when you’re so old your childhood trends come cycling back…). As I was voguing in front of the mirror, I decided to zip up the jacket halfway and pull down the sleeves so they sat across my upper arms in that off-the-shoulder look all the girls we envy are doing nowadays. I loved the concept as soon as I saw it on the runway at Balenciaga Fall/Winter 2016 RTW, and have since wanted so desperately to pull it off myself. But truth be told, it’s not that practical. And that realization got me thinking about all the fashion trends we fall prey to that are just plain impractical…

1. Off-the-Shoulder Jackets

I remember back in junior high when the “oops—I didn’t notice my jacket had slipped off my shoulder” move was a bit try-hard, yet the result of this very deliberate act nowadays appears ironically blasé. While you can choose to bare your shoulders, there’s added appeal when the slight disrobe is done not to expose skin, but rather to give the impression of being vaguely undone. The visual interest of this maneuver rests in the flattering ‘V’ across the chest and the depth achieved by revealing a layer underneath. However, going through life with your jacket off-kilter is more difficult than it looks because…you can’t really move your arms. To maintain optimal positioning, the most you can do with your arms is bend them at the elbow. You’ll risk your jacket slipping on (?) if you lift your arms any higher. And using a shoulder bag can easily ruin the effect—top-handle purses or fanny packs only. But I guess as long as you don’t try reaching the top shelf, straitjackets are stylish, right?

2. Bell Sleeves

With my fondness for feminine and romantic styles, bell sleeves are in my toolkit when I’m feeling girly. Although depending on how you style them, they can be pretty, hippie or vampy. What does stay consistent, however, is how bell sleeves bring drama to a sway of the arms. I only wish they didn’t have to attract every single particle in their path when all I’m looking to do is reach over to grab something. It’s like my sleeves go fishing in various sauces and dusting off surfaces as a side job. And don’t think it’s any better when I’m reaching up to grab something; reaching up causes the sleeve to flip back and expose an underside of seams and stitching…as well as feeble, totally-not-toned arms I’m obviously not in the mood to flaunt if I’m wearing long sleeves that day!

3. Mule Flats

We can thank Gucci for making mule flats a must-have in every wardrobe. I actually used to own a pair of embellished, brocade mule flats in high school (clearly I was not démodé; I was just ahead of my time…), but their apparent ease is deceiving: they are far from comfortable when you have to pound the pavement. Like flip flops, your toes are constantly grasping to keep the mules from suddenly deserting you. Once, as my friends and I were running across the street to catch a light, one of my mules completely detached from my foot and landed smack dab in the middle of the crosswalk in front of a line of cars. Bathed in the heat of embarrassment, I stumbled and tottered as I wriggled my foot back in. Not cute. I say mule flats are better left for their originally intended use of making the trip from the fridge to the couch.

4. Shoulder Robing

Shoulder robing is the act of draping a jacket over your shoulders without putting your arms through the sleeves. The term itself already sounds pretentious, doesn’t it? Yet I confess every time I see a woman shoulder robing, I want to be her. Those who have the power to keep a jacket balanced precariously on their shoulders must surely be blessed by the sartorial saints. Because on mere mortals, a slight twitch of a microbladed eyebrow can send the whole contraption crashing down. Do these enviable beings tape the jackets to their shoulders? Hold them impeccably in place by sheer strength of their CrossFit shoulders? Are there secretly straps they have looped around their underarms? Whatever witchcraft it is, I must know.

5. Tiny Sunglasses

Micro shades had their moment…and I’m glad it was only a moment. I was initially charmed by the potential for these vintage, gothy frames to transform me into someone who looks artsy, cool and bearing a hard edge in the form of a constant grievance against the injustices of life. Alas, teeny tiny sunglasses only look good perched literally halfway down my nose. Anywhere higher and I look like someone out of the Matrix or John Lennon—neither of which make me feel remotely like Bella Hadid. I also love the shield of anonymity sunglasses provide (truth be told, I’ve enjoyed walking out with mirrored sunglasses and a face mask), so sliding them down halfway to leave my eyes fully naked strikes me as counterintuitive. Not to mention I can barely see where I’m going when I have to squint against the deadly rays of nature. What’s the point of sunglasses when they don’t even protect you from the sun?

6. Kimono Cardigans

I know kimono cardigans seem fairly innocent and they’re probably not what come to mind when you think of impractical fashion trends: they’re lightweight and airy, easy to put on and take off, and don’t require much styling to make a statement. Yet living in a city that has merciless wind even on summer days when the sun is shining brightly, I wish my silky kimono weren’t such a pushover. Forget draping and floating gracefully around me; half the time my kimono is either flailing frantically like a fish out of water, blowing between my legs when I walk like the tail of a frightened puppy, or flapping perpendicular to my body as I clutch onto it with dear life so it doesn’t fly away completely. Verdict: kimonos only look good indoors.

7. White Sneakers

As someone who once swore off sneakers, I have now admittedly acquired nine pairs of rubber soles—two of which are white. I still fantasize about adding white and green Adidas Stan Smiths to my collection (thanks to Alexander Wang Spring/Summer 2015 RTW), despite the absolute nightmare I know they would be to keep clean. I take five steps in any pair of white sneakers and they already look like I’ve dragged them through the Sahara Desert. Bless the poor unsuspecting soul who once stepped on my newly cleaned white sneakers during a street festival and had to endure the wrath of my internal monologue. If you see someone wearing white sneakers that haven’t yet turned brown, you know they love their shoes because it takes honest commitment to keep those babies clean.

Bonus Items

And then there are the usual offenders we already know of so well they require no further explanation, including…

  • High heelsEminem's 'Love The Way You Lie' ft. Rihanna (#throwback) is an apropos theme song: Just gonna stand there and watch me burn / Well that’s alright because I like the way it hurts.
  • Clutches – Already talked about this here.
  • Jumpsuits – Because we all love stripping down and shivering in the lavatory.
  • Short skirts – I do have to, you know, sit sometimes.
  • Large earrings – Does anyone know if Dumbo has room in his circus? Because I’m a clown for literally dragging my ears through that.
  • Nylons – I swear, those things would have the audacity to snag on a cotton ball.

Lessons Learned

After all this, I came to the gloomy recognition so much effort is spent making ourselves up for our still-frames. Let’s face it—from the wrong angle, we all have three chins. But instead, we adorn and display ourselves in what are essentially costumes for that one snapshot we can share on Instagram. What people don’t see is us tripping over our mule flats as our micro shades slide off the tip of our nose and our shoulder robes disassemble onto the sidewalk. Showing off our edited personas has the unintended consequence of making our followers aspire to the unrealistic…

…But before I fall too far down the hole of contemplating our sociological realities now that I have more time on my hands than I know what to do with, I think I’ve learned two simple lessons: (1) I’m a sucker for fashion, and (2) I need to get out of the house.

A word on recent events: we have made great strides but let us never remain complacent in our fight for a better world. We stand together in defending our right to breathe the gift of life. #BlackLivesMatter

Image Source: Savoir Flair, The Heart's Delight, Who What WearTelegraph, ElleKIM + ONO, Marie Claire

May 6, 2020

PaintByNumbers.shop Giveaway! [Closed]

Edit: Congratulations to our winner, Anita!

With the current pandemic, many individuals and families are finding themselves staying at home more. Some may even be facing stressful uncertainty. Although I write primarily about fashion, I am hoping to use my blog today to share a bit of joy in other waysbecause ultimately, this pandemic affects everyone.

Last year, I discovered paint by numbers. Paint by numbers are art canvasses that have numbered areas which correspond with their respective numbered paint colours, making painting a masterpiece a piece of cake. I find the concept absolutely brilliant for bringing art to those who may otherwise find painting to be daunting. In these times especially, paint by numbers is a wonderful way to relax and be creative at home.

For that reason, I am so happy to announce I am collaborating with PaintByNumbers.shop to give one lucky winner a paint by numbers kit of their choice!


About PaintByNumbers.shop:

PaintByNumbers.shop aims to help bring out the artist in you by selling art canvasses that have small numbers indicating a corresponding colour for a certain area. The numbers serve as a clear guide for you to follow, but still give you room to improvise or add your own touches.

The artworks are sourced from designers dedicated to creating designs that play with varying levels of difficulty. PaintByNumbers.shop offers a number of collections to choose from:

Each paint by numbers kit comes with everything you need:
  • Numbered cotton canvas stretched on a wooden frame (Size: 20" x 16" / 50cm x 40cm)
  • Numbered acrylic-based paint set.
  • Paint brush set - 2 thin, 1 medium, 1 wide.
  • Varnish to add brightness and preserve the finished painting.
  • Hanging kit, including traceless frame hangers, screws and a spirit level.
  • Instruction guide.
  • Reference sheet.

  • One (1) winner will receive a PaintByNumbers.shop kit of their choice. Shipping will be included.


This giveaway is open internationally.


To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter below. The only mandatory entry is to comment below with your favourite painting from PaintByNumbers.shop. For additional entries, simply follow the instructions!

This giveaway will end May 20, 2020 at 11:59pm EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Winners will be selected by Random.org and notified by email. Winners will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. Please note Red-Soled Fashionista is not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes. 

Discount Code

If you aren't a winner this time but still want a great pick-me-up for yourself or someone you know, or you're looking for a last minute Mother's Day gift, be sure to use the promo code REDSOLED at checkout for a 15% discount!

Product Review

PaintByNumbers.shop also graciously offered to send me a kit to try for myself. I perused their varied collection to land on Magnolia Blossoms, a beautifully serene and simple floral painting.

Click here to read my review!


Thank you to PaintByNumbers.shop for sponsoring this giveaway.