Journal

  • Q & A with The Garment Life

    Posted: Oct 12 2016

    We chatted with Morgan Hamel, a ethicist, capsule wardrober, and founder of The Garment Life.

     

     *Morgan is wearing the Discover Trench


    1. What exactly is a capsule wardrobe?

    A capsule wardrobe is a core collection of clothing that doesn’t go out of style, such as shirts, pants, skirts, etc. which can then be supplemented with seasonal pieces. The term was coined in the 1970’s and then popularized by Donna Karan, who in 1985, created a line of seven classic pieces of work wear that could be mixed and matched. The modern capsule includes outerwear and shoes, but not undergarments, accessories, loungewear/ or workout clothes.


    2. What inspired you to create a capsule wardrobe for yourself and then inspire others to do the same?

    When I was on maternity leave with our first daughter, I took a sewing class. In that class, I sewed her a little dress, and in doing so experienced first-hand the effort it takes to create a single garment. The choosing of the pattern, the tracing, the cutting, the sewing, the pinning, the stitching – I couldn’t believe the work involved. And yet I loved it. I loved the ‘slowing down’, and seeing my daughter wear something that I made with my own two hands. At the same time, I recognized that I was spending a lot of time and money shopping. Yet I didn’t love many of my clothes. Nor did I have a true sense of my own style. I learnt about the Capsule Wardrobe concept through the blog Unfancy, and it just felt like a natural fit.


    3. How many pieces define a capsule wardrobe?

    I think the capsule concept can get too bogged down with rules. Each person needs to come up with a number that feels right for them. That said, the process can feel daunting when you’re just starting out! What I have seen is that it depends mostly on how you spend your days. For example, if you’re a full time mom, you can likely get away with 35-40 items (remember this includes shoes and coatsJ). If you spend your days doing activities that are quite different (e.g. bank teller by day, waitress by night) that number might be closer to 45-50.

    4. Where do you get your style and/or inspiration from?

    While I love looking at style blogs, I’d have to say that the person who has most significantly influenced my style is my mom.  She has a classic sense of style that hasn’t changed much over the years – think striped shirts and green pants for the weekend, and classic trousers and blazers over a t-shirt for work.


    5. What resources do you use to find out what pieces one would need in their capsule collection?

    For this, I have found Capsule Wardrobe blogs tremendously helpful. Some of my favourites are Stylebee (a more ‘ lean’ wardrobe than capsule), Truncation Blog, Seasons and Salt, and Unfancy. What has been amazing for me is to experience the community that has come with this capsule wardrobe journey. I have found people (including the women above) to be welcoming, generous, and authentic.

    *Morgan is wearing the Keen Dress

    6. Have you started to see a shift in companies promoting slow fashion or the ‘less is more’ ideology?

    Definitely. What’s interesting is that I see fast fashion companies appealing to the desire they see on the part of their customers to have a connection to the items they own. They market the concept of “essentials” and “the only ----- you’ll ever need.” But the reality is that many of these items aren’t very good quality and don’t stand the test of time. Pair that with the fact that the majority of these companies are not transparent about who makes their clothes, and you’re left with customers that have closets overflowing with “essentials” but without the connection for which they yearn.

    That’s where companies like Nicole Bridger and other independent brands come in. They create classic, quality garments whose creation story customers can be proud of. And people are getting onboard. I can’t wait to see what’s next.


    You can find more about Morgan at http://www.thegarment.ca

  • SS16 Inspiration-Comfort in the Not Knowing

    Posted: Jun 08 2016

    How does one find comfort in the not knowing?
    We have a false sense of security and ownership. We take things for granted almost expecting that they will always be there until they are not. Then we feel a great injustice or unfair punishment has been given. 
    It could all be taken away. We own nothing.
    The point is not to live in fear but to live in gratitude. Never taking anything for granted. When it is gone, to still be grateful and adapt to change with ease and grace.
    When we were creating this collection we were going through a lot of changes and facing a lot of unknowns. Moving our retail store and closing our garment factory. Now recovering from that and building a solid foundation for the business to grow. Personally, I was also going through a lot of change and facing many unknowns. What has helped me learn is to really connect with my true self. Making decisions that feel right and just do my best. That’s all we can do.
    Xo NB

     

  • Mother's Day Gift Guide

    Posted: May 04 2016

     Celebrate Mom with special and thoughtful gifts this year. Here are our top 5 picks:

    1.  Heather Braun Dahl created dahlhaus out of a love of creating beautiful objects to be cherished and used in the home. Heather Braun Dahl's artwork- whether it be ceramics or painting, has been exhibited and sold through galleries and retailers all over North America. Her work has graced the pages of magazines such as Bon Appétit Magazine, Canadian House & Home Magazine, Style at Home, InStyle, Atomic Ranch, Studio Magazine, and more. 

     

    2.  Azura Bay just joined us for a month long pop up and we're in love with everything. Made from eco-friendly fabrics and ethically produced, we think mom would love the Organic Cotton Long Sleeve Pajama Set. Comfy and playful, the organic knit button down and shorts come in a sexy body skimming cut with a dynamic contrast piping and button placket. Shorts slip on with a soft elastic waist. Made of 100% organic supima cotton. Made ethically in Peru. 

     

    3. We manufacture the Balance Cardi  at a fair trade factory in Nepal. Made from a cotton cashmere blend this light weight style is perfect for Spring Summer nights. Mom would approve. 

     

    4. Dana Mooney  is a local, Vancouver based artist who's work we've been lusting after for a while now. Dana's goal with her art is to create something beautiful and personal for the client and their space, combining elements of fine art and interior design while creating a seamless integration of something fresh, original, and dynamic to the interior space. We love her piece 'Dripping in Diamonds' Arylic sliver leaf on canvas. 24'' by 36''

     

    5. Ever since we've been carrying House of Alaia we've been selling out of Travellers Coins. These necklaces are worn to protect and safely guide you on your life's journey.  Each coin features a symbol inspired by nature and is imbued with protective significance. House of Alaia employs 7-10 local Indonesian wax carvers and silver smiths in Bali. 

  • Loving Myself is Hard - By Samantha Skelly

    Posted: Feb 11 2016

    We are thrilled to introduce guest blogger and new brand ambassador, Samantha Skelly founder of Hungry for Happiness. A keynote speaker, Samantha specializes in empowering men and women to seek inner peace through health and fitness. 
    "Loving myself is hard."
    "It’s hard to love myself."
    To which I answer. 
    “The hardest in the world my dear, is not to love yourself” 
    The journey back into the body, the journey back to self love, where we came - from requires an element of strength, courage and bravery. It’s that place that is the home to all of our lack and limitations, it’s this place where we find our suppressed emotion. It’s the home all of our darkness, and all of our light. 
    The ‘hard’ or resistance is the knowing that you now have a responsibility to show up for yourself. Show up in a profound way and integrate new stories of empowerment into your subconscious. It means you now have the divine responsibility to ingrate new stories in the same beds that were previously home to your stories of lack and limitation. 
    This is where the ‘hard’ comes in. 
    It’s the shift, the bridge, the gap. It’s the letting go into the attracting new. It’s the space and container that is susceptible to the doubt, the fear and the ‘what if’ 
    This is a vulnerable space that we ruthlessly fight to not be in, this is the space we defend. We refuse to consciously be submerged into the uncertainty. We fear this place, we avoid it like the plague.
    The small defense part of us sticks up for the stories we’ve been creating, nursing and growing for the entirety of our lives. We know, at a fundamental level these stories are not conducive to the reality we want to create, therein lies the energetic discrepancy of our intentions. 
    Having the courage to be in the ‘shit’, in the dark, in the unknown, will only give us more access to our light, to the divinity of your souls, to the magic of our beings. This simply isn’t accessible by not experiencing all of us. Experience your darkness for that too, is love. 
    You are love. 
    You are more than love. 
    For no other reason than, just because. 
    A small infant does not need to prove it’s worth to it’s mother, it’s worthy just because. It’s loveable, just because. What makes you any different? You are a divine child of the universe, worthy of unconditional abundance.
    Just because.
    Becoming love able is simple a choice, a decision and internal agreement you make with yourself, a soul contract.  
    Explore and get curious about your darkness, for it is beautiful and therein lies the light. 
  • Love Cure

    Posted: Feb 05 2016

    Welcome to the Love Cure. Every other day leading up to Valentine’s Day I will be posting inspiring ideas of how to invite more Love into your life.

    I believe that our true essence, our soul, spirit whichever term you prefer to use… is pure Love. And that the point of this earthly existence is to figure out a way to come from that place of love in all that we do, in all the facets of our lives. Not an easy task when modern life has become filled with so many pressures.

    Valentine’s Day is a time to check in on our journey towards living in alignment with our spirit. I see that there are three stages to aligning to a place of Love; Gratitude, Forgiveness and then Love. And not, Love is not reserved for just those in a happy relationship. Love is available to us all if we choose to see it. For many, Valentine’s has lost it’s special meaning so I invite you to find a new way to celebrate it. I only offer suggestions; it is up to you to do what feels right for you. Hope you enjoy!  Xo NB

    Feb 14: Happy Valentine's Day beautiful soul. Enjoy whatever special things you have planned this month. I hope that the last fifteen days we have had together have helped you see and feel all the love that surrounds you. Keep it up. Continue to be generous to yourself, keep meditating, stay grateful, forgive easily and see through the eyes of compassion. I look forward to sharing this time with you again next year. xo Nicole. 

    Feb 13: List. Make a list of all the things that just make your heart light up. Watching a sunrise, dancing with friends, walking in the rain, painting, cooking, travelling...See if you can get to 25, then 50, 100. Notice the things that you already do regularly and the things you rarely do. The more you focus on the things that inspire you, the more they will show up in your life. This is love. It is in the small, simple moments just as much as it is in the big life changing moments. I feel the same magic staring at the stars as I do cuddling my child or kissing a lover. 

    Feb 11: Forgive yourself. Often in the journey of life we are so focused on things outside ourselves that the idea of forgiving ourselves comes as an afterthought or even a surprise. It is such an important part of the process. I hold myself so responsible for everything. It is so important that I give myself the same grace that I give others, that I allow myself to be human. So, forgive yourself. For anything that you are holding onto that just isn’t serving you anymore. Let that shit go. You are doing your best and that’s all you can do.

     

    Feb 9: Forgiveness heals. When you forgive someone you aren’t condoning their actions or making yourself vulnerable for more hurt. You are simply releasing them, remembering our humanness and the flaws that come along with that. You can have compassion while still having clear boundaries that are healthy for you. Think of someone that is causing you grief or angst right now. Think of one thing about them that you are grateful for. See them through eyes of compassion. Forgive them. Whether it’s in your journal, a letter or in person. Release them and yourself so you can move forward and not stay stuck in that moment of time.

     

    Feb 7: Cards. Send gratitude cards, at least 1 and no limit as long as they stay authentic and from the heart. Think of someone in your life you are really grateful for and why. Here’s a chance to take a moment and let them know. Life is short. Relationships are precious. And appreciating someone is magic. I prefer to make my cards but you can do whatever feels right for you. I really feel there is something special about mailing it. We are out of habit of this and so it makes it extra special when one receives a card in the mail. One of the best ways to bring more love into your life is to give love.

     

     Feb 5: Plan something special. We are jumping ahead into the LOVE phase of the Love Cure because you will need to plan ahead a little bit. It doesn’t need to happen on Feb 14th but plan something this month. Listen to what you need right now; a quiet night in with yourself and a book, a dinner party with your favourite people, a night out dancing with the girls, a fun adventure with your kids, a painting class with friends or a romantic getaway with you special person. Hear what your soul needs to be nurtured and give it to yourself. Celebrate life. Celebrate Love.

     

      

    Feb 3: Decorate. Fill your home with beautiful visual reminders to come from a place of love in your day. I love hearts. Paper Source sells a great paper heart banner or you could easily make one yourself. Copper wire lights always add a bit of sparkle. Buy yourself some flowers, your favourite flowers. You deserve them. And every day this will remind you that love surrounds you if you choose to see it. I like to put a bowl of foil wrapped dark chocolate hearts in the living room. Dark chocolate is healthy, right? You could even take a bowl into the office. This is about being grateful for yourself, your home and all the people that come into it.

     

     

    Feb 1: Mindfulness. You may already have a meditation practice or maybe you’ve never tried it. I have seen that having a regular practice really helps me move through life with a sense of clarity, purpose and grace that I have a harder time connecting to when I’m not meditating. Start with a commitment that is easy for you to keep and grow from there. There are some great apps if you need some guidance. Try Headspace or Insight Timer. If that feels like too much then try a morning check in. Are you judging yourself? Making a mental check list of the things you wish you did better? Instead, try saying I love myself and I am grateful for… my strong body, my cozy bed, my healthy breakfast. This will help you start to shift your mind frame to one of gratitude.