A Dress Protest

A Dress Protest

When I was seven my mother put me in a floral dress for a day of sightseeing while on a family holiday in the Saskatchewan Prairies. It was 40 odd degrees out, no breeze, no cloud in sight, just heatwaves radiating from the dry, flat land. My Uncle had rented an 11-seater van from a budget company called Wheat Country Van Rentals. The air conditioning didn’t work, the radio was patchy, and the windows opened outwards instead of down. Every seat was accounted for between our two families and our grandmother – who, despite the Saharan heat levels inside that vehicle, sat with her trench coat on and complained.

In retrospect my mother’s outfit choice for me was purely practical, an act of heat survival really. I however felt victimized.

How could she force me to wear this? She knew I had a strict ‘pants only’ policy. Coerced to conform to the female gender role I so adamantly rejected there was only one thing I could do. Protest.

After four stifling hours in the sauna on wheels we pulled up to a park for lunch. My ten family members scampered out of the van to freedom but I, anchored by my own morals, would not budge. I would stay in that miserable vehicle until they worried for my safety. I would show them how they had oppressed me, ruined my day and compromised my identity. I would make them pay for the floral nightmare I’d been straight jacketed into. 

Unsurprisingly the protest wasn’t the success I’d imagined. After what I believed to be an eye-roll, my mother simply shrugged her shoulders, popped a window and left me there, in the hell of my own making. 

I have thought about this day a lot over the years. How upset that dress made me. I think it’s my first real memory of feeling like I didn’t want to be a girl. Not from an anatomical standpoint, but rather a systemic one. As far as I understood, being a girl was synonymous with sacrifice. It meant being cut from the boy’s hockey team, not because I wasn’t good enough but because I was taking a spot away from someone’s son. It meant staying in to help my Mum wash dishes after dinner while my brothers got to help Dad outside. It meant being called ‘obstinate’ by my teacher for standing up to him in class while my male classmate was referred to as ‘confident’.        

I wanted to dress, act and look like a boy so that perhaps I may be treated like one. I even tried peeing standing up once, which quickly backfired and showed me there were practical limitations to my rejections. Nonetheless, I stayed the course.

When I’ve told this story to friends I’ve been asked when it was that I stopped wanting to be a boy. But that is an antiquated question. I haven’t ‘stopped’ wanting to be a boy so much as I’ve learned that gender isn’t binary, it’s a spectrum. What I was rejecting as a child was not the floral dress, not my gender but the social constructs surrounding them. I had to unlearn these traditional roles and renegotiate my own gender identity, a journey I’ve been on ever since.

It’s crazy to think that at the age of seven I had such a deep impression of male privilege within society and that I so strongly associated that floral dress with female oppression. I think about what it will mean to put my own daughter in a dress one day and can only hope that she will look down and simply see clothing.

In collaboration with Farfetch.

Wearing: Galvan Dress

Photo Diary: NYFW x Farfetch

Photo Diary: NYFW x Farfetch

In collaboration with Farfetch for NYFW ’20. Shot by Coastal Flicks

Shop the looks:

“Comfydent” in 2019

“Comfydent” in 2019

I’m lucky to have a job that allows me to travel so much, but that also means I’m always on the move – and sometimes in uncomfortable places. From airports to airplanes to Ubers to hotel rooms there’s one thing that remains constant – I have to be comfortable.  

As the new year begins and we set our sights on new goals, I’ve once again partnered with Hanes and our friends at Kohl’s to spread the Comfydence message that “confidence starts with comfort”. Hanes wants to help give you the confidence you need to achieve these goals by providing the most comfortable foundation for your looks. Whether your goal is career-related, social life-oriented, or smashing an entire pizza from the comfort of your own couch — Hanes has you covered. Here, I’m feeling confident wearing the Hanes Ultimate Cotton Stretch Cool Comfort in the Bikini cut and the Hipster cut the Soft Natural Lift Foam T-Shirt Bra, all available at Kohls.com. The Nano-T T-shirt I’m wearing is available at Hanes.com.

For me, if I’m in front of the camera or networking at events it’s important that I feel my best in order to look my best. I find that what I’m wearing seriously dictates my mood and energy throughout the day. So whether I’m dressed up, dressed down or barely dressed at all, Hanes keeps me comfortable and confident from the inside out.

Shop Hanes available at Kohl’s here

 

Being ‘Comfydent’ With Yourself

Being ‘Comfydent’ With Yourself

*This post is in partnership with Hanes*

Well it officially snowed. So naturally here I am in my cold weather clothing…

There is a reason for that….

(Wearing the Hanes x Karla The Crop tee with the Stretch Jersey Leggings.)

I’ve partnered with Hanes once again to chat about why they are all about “Comfydence” – that is, focusing on self-expression and dressing for your lifestyle.

(Wearing the Perfect Coverage ComfortFlex Fit Wirefree Bra with Hanes Ultimate Comfort Cotton Hi-Cut Panties.)

I work for myself in an ever-evolving industry that didn’t exist a decade ago. No two days are the same, no two projects alike, and that’s one of my favourite things about this career.

By no means am I alone in this. There are more entrepreneurs now than ever before, more people building their empires, carving their own path, living their best life… I’m really throwing out the metaphors here but you know, such is the millennial dream. And with this comes a huge range of different lifestyles, which our friends over at Hanes are working hard to support. 

Hanes, and myself, believe that comfortable pieces are the basis of an always reliable “ootd”, and a reliable outfit is a big contributor to your daily confidence. We all know that when you feel good, you do well.

(Wearing the Hanes x Karla The Crop tee with Hanes Ultimate Comfort Cotton Hi-Cut Panties.)

My life consists of shooting campaigns, creating content, going to events, networking and of course travelling wherever and whenever this job takes me. On top of that, I’m trying to learn how to cook, get my workouts in, actually date and sustain a social life. Oh and read (cause I joined a book club and it’s so great). Needless to say, comfort is everything.   

Hanes meshes comfort and confidence to give you all the “comfydence” you need to tackle the day whether you’re dropping the kids off at school, running your own business or taking over the world. They’ve got you covered for life inside and out.

Feeling inspired? I’m excited to share that from now until 11/28/18 you can get $10 off your $60 purchase of comfy Hanes pieces on Hanes.com with my code LFTEN.*

* $10 off $60 or more excludes Donated Styles, Champion Life, Europe, and Limited Edition Collections. These products do not count towards the qualifier. Will not stack with other promos. U.S. deliveries only. Valid 11/16 – 11/28.

 

 

Hanes: The Key to Comfydence

Hanes: The Key to Comfydence

Thanks to Hanes for sponsoring this post.

A girlfriend of mine recently told me she’s given up wearing thongs for good which not only deepened my respect for her but directly resulted in a feng shui attack on my own underwear drawer. Obviously there is a time and place for certain styles, but day to day I’m on her same page  – comfort FTW.

Fortunately for us, we live in a time where comfortable underwear is not synonymous with parachute pants. Where cute cotton briefs are actually cute and wire-free bras are not just for sport.  We’re in an era of active wear being worn to nightclubs, so why on earth would one subject themselves to anything less when it comes to their underwear? As Hanessays, “Comydence starts from the inside out – literally.”

In continuing my partnership with Hanes, we’re again focusing on more of their pieces that start your day off right, are made to live in and that make a difference in how you feel.

In this post I’m wearing the Hanes Ultimate ComfortBlend T-Shirt Unlined Wirefree Bra paired with the Hanes Ultimate Comfort Cotton Hipster Panties. 

Rise & Shine With Melitta

Rise & Shine With Melitta

It’s 7am, my alarm goes off, I’m immediately confused as to why anyone would deem this an appropriate start time to the day. My cheek is suctioned cupped to my pillowcase, only one of my eyelids is working and I’ve briefly considered that I might have the flu. As I filter through my list of excuses not to rise and shine (lolz to whoever came up with that term) one comforting thought, a beacon of hope, surfaces…
 
Coffee.
 
After decades of research, I have deduced that one of life’s simple pleasures is waking up to a freshly brewed cup of coffee. The way it makes your home smell as it drifts throughout the rooms, the way it warms your hands as you lift it to your lips and the way it retrieves your eyeballs from the back of your skull and whispers encouragingly to them “you can do it.”
 
A few weeks ago, Melitta invited me to trial and learn about their Pour-Over coffee maker and in staying committed to my lifelong research, I was all-hands-on-deck.
 
Interesting Fact:
 
The original Pour-Over came to life when Melitta Bentz, a German housewife, grew tired of the bitter coffee that was full of grounds and prevalent in the early 20th century. Her search for a better coffee experience eventually led her to punch holes in a brass pot, line it with a piece of her son’s notebook paper, and invent the two-part filtration system we use in today’s Pour-Over and drip coffee worldwide.
 
My verdict…
 
It makes one good cup of coffee.
 
My scale of measurement is simple on this front – do I like the taste, or am I enduring it for the caffeine? When I read the above blurb I was most interested to see if, in fact, the coffee would ever be bitter. I was sure this had more to do with the beans than the maker, so I tried multiple brands, including ones I’ve pegged as ‘bitter’ in the past. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t suddenly love the brands I previously disliked, but I will say I support Melitta’s anti-bitter claim. Their Pour-Over method is effective in making a smooth, flavourful cup and I have enjoyed each one I’ve brewed.
 
Another winning feature for me is how environmentally friendly this coffee maker is. With no pods, the only waste is the filter which made from bamboo is 100% compostable, keeping filters out of the landfill. Reducing landfill waste, as I’ve spoken about before, is a real issue we all need to be thinking about.
 
To wrap things up I must also add that I love this coffee maker for its look. I know this has absolutely nothing to do with good coffee or taste but whatever, I like having cute things on my counter. And this thing is adorable.
 
Check out Melitta’s new online store and shop the Pour-Over maker here using my discount code Laurie15% for 15% off Melitta products.
 
This blog post was sponsored by Melitta, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

© Laurie Ferraro 2018