I’m delighted to share the Stylish Thoughts of Vancouver, Canada based blogger Melanie of Bag and a Beret.
What is the secret to great style?
Acceptance of yourself.
What is the one thing you wouldn’t spend a lot of money on?
Clothes. I’m a thrifter and nothing beats the joy of paying almost nothing for a unique designer piece crafted decades ago and in mint condition.
What are your top tips for looking stylish when travelling?
Whenever possible, ship your clothes to your destination in advance, preferably by Louis Vuitton steamer trunks, so you will have an entire wardrobe at your disposal when you arrive. But seriously, don’t slack in your style at the airport. I once got bumped into First Class for a long-haul flight because I was dressed as an International Woman of Mystery.
Who inspires you?
People who have passion inspire me. They might not wear fancy clothes, style-wise or budget-wise, but nothing beats the radiance spewing from someone who has a talent for living.
The one piece of advice most women need but don’t get?
Dressing up has the same effect as taking a happy pill. If you are timid about wearing something you love, try this exercise. Put on the scary garment, and when you go out, think of at least one compliment for each person you see. Really focus. Or play a game of I Spy – how many red things can you spot? Blue? The key is to lose your self-consciousness through distraction; direct your focus outwards rather than inwards. Soon you’ll be wearing tiaras, lederhosen, and tutus to the office without batting an eye.
What’s the best piece of style wisdom you’ve ever received?
The best style wisdom came from a vivacious woman I style-eyed for a street style blog. Her mother told her over and over when she was growing up: “Nobody ever crossed the street to meet a personality.” Rough translation: personal styling is the most visible and efficient means of attracting people.
What’s the worst current trend?
The normcore trend, characterized by outdoorsy trousers, flannel shirts, T-shirts, and facial hair on men, is supposed to represent a conscious rejection of the fashion treadmill and the metrosexual male. I think this trend is in fact a reflection of widespread unease about our future and an extension of popular survivalist reality television shows, such as Swamp Monsters, Yukon Gold, and Mountain Men. While the mechanics of this non-fashion fashion trend are no different than any other trend marketed by industry, what it says about the bigger picture is more frightening. Me, Tarzan; you, Jane.
What are your favourite websites?
The weather channel.
How would you describe your personal style?
I can’t describe it. I could sing it or maybe paint it, but words fail me.
She is amazing. Wow. Something about her reminds me a bit of Kate Bush (not KB’s clothes per se, but her personality).
That is one of the best compliments I have ever received. Thank you!
Melanie is a schtar! I love her advice and her outlook, and well, everything. Thanks for featuring her!
I love Melanie. Her unique style is fantastic but it is her wonderful sense of humour that gets me every time.
Thanks for including me in your lineup, Imogen. I am honoured!
Oh Gosh this is great. I love Melanie although she is so different from me. I am far more conservative and she is an artist. But I love her words and kindness. And quirkyness.
That yellow trousersuit or the dress in the last picture, are new to me and I really like them.
Thanks for featuring her.
Melanie is one of the most inspiring women I’ve connected with through my blog. She’s not afraid to push the envelope as far as it will go with regards to her outfits, and she doesn’t take herself too seriously. Her creativity and wicked sense of humour shine through every ensemble she puts together.
What an amazing woman! Love her style.
This is put together so well and I love all the photos you chose for this interview. Melanie is truly authentic and talented to boot!
Ooh, I adore Melanie and have met her a couple of times when in Vancouver – she is even more amazing in person! A great choice for a feature, Imogen! So glad to see her outre style at the fore!
Thank you for featuring the effervescent Melanie! She has been a style icon of mine … since I found her blog years ago! It was Melanie who helped me realize … true fashion and style influences are everywhere … more so than the normal channel of mainstream media and ‘marketed fashion’ … She has an ability to intellectualize style and fashion … in a way that transcends the subject … from the frivolous!
Kudos to you my dear … for this fabulous feature!
Great interview! I love Melanie’s blog and your questions here give us a slightly different view of her, so nice to read. Thank you both!