A Toronto-based art director shares how she styles her WFH looks, friend dates, and more.
Welcome to Style Diaries, a series where we research the physical manifestations of our closet tours IRL. We're asking friends and tastemakers to show us what they're *actually* wearing during the week and to provide a little insight into their thoughts on the current state of fashion. This week, we follow Toronto-based stylist and art director Katie Merchant as she goes about life working from home, seeing friends, and enjoying the occasional ray of sunshine. Throughout it all, Merchant manages to reinterpret eccentric pieces in a manner that makes them feel more approachable.
What role does fashion play in your life? How does it serve you?
“Fashion serves my mood and is one of my favorite ways to express myself. It also serves as a great distraction, especially during February in Toronto.”
Look 1: Working From Home & Errands
“This outfit was partially inspired by the color palette of the box of Tokyo Banana Kit Kat that I’ve been using as a mousepad. I love Agnes B classic cardigans—the perfect combo of sweatshirt and cardigan—and this butter yellow one makes me so happy. [I added] a vintage Fiorucci T-shirt with a teddy bear on it underneath for fun. I like wearing these Mozh Mozh pants on colder days because the natural rubber really protects against the cold, they are such a beautiful shade of brown, and go with so many things. I wore sneakers when I went out, but at home I’ve been wearing these pink satin Le Monde Beryl mules—they make me feel elegant while sitting at my computer. It’s exciting to wear pink satin mules around the house as slippers.”
Shop the Look:
What does your style look like these days? Do you have a go-to outfit formula or do you prefer to switch it up when getting dressed?
“Generally I like to switch it up based on how I’m feeling that day, or if I’ve seen something that inspires a special combination of pieces or a particular color palette, like a desert or a garden. These days, I am starting to feel a bit more hopeful for spring and my style is starting to reflect that.”
Look 2: Movie Date With Friends
“I love the harlequin print and color of this Babaa sweater—and it is so cozy. I wanted to complete the look with something frilly on the bottom so I went with these CDG bloomers that I got on a trip to NYC in 2019. My winter outerwear recipe this year has mainly been an Amomento puffer—it’s reversible and one side is fake leather—plus the Shrimps Balaclava, a Marimekko bag, and a Mezza Mezza scarf. It’s always fun to wear these CDG bloomers, especially in the winter, and it was nice to wear a little heel after many days of sneakers and boots.”
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What energy are you bringing to your ensembles this season? What are you looking forward to wearing?
“I recently moved and it was nice to unpack my clothes and put them in a new closet. It has felt fun to dress up again in the new space, which has made me feel like putting more energy into getting dressed. I am really looking forward to spring and spring clothes: bare legs with socks and shoes, a light spring jacket, etc.”
Look 3: Enjoying the Sunshine
“Today felt a little bit like a fake spring day so I went and got flowers, had a lunch date, and enjoyed the sunshine. I wanted to wear these Martine Rose floral jeans on this unseasonable warm day, so I started with those and went from there, adding this shirt/dress made by Lessico Familiare, Justine Clenquet earrings, and my pearl signet ring by Beatriz Palacios, which I wear almost daily. I love wearing these floral jeans because they remind me so much of a pair I had when I was little. I also always love wearing the earrings because they remind me of ones my mother would wear when I was growing up. I wore my Prada Sport Mary Janes (I use The Real Real a lot to order shoes in my size and have had pretty good luck there) with a black Agnes B cardigan and Lemaire gabardine coat. This Fane bra bag is perfect for holding my wallet, keys, and phone—I love the shape so much.”
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In terms of beauty, what does your go-to hair and makeup routine look like and how does that change based on what you’re wearing?
“My beauty routine is very minimal, but I do love nice beauty products. I wash my hair once a week and let it air dry overnight. I use a light blue Mason Pearson brush and Buly comb on my hair—both prized possessions. For makeup, I use Glossier lash slick and clear boy brow. I have this Rowse Tangerine Cleansing Balm that is so pleasing to use in the morning. And I love Buly products: their face and body oils, monogrammed lip balm, and perfumes. I like to pair perfume with what I’m wearing that day, too. Currently I’ve been wearing CDG’s Sticky Cake, Chlorophyll Gardenia, or Universal Flowering’s Holy Hell because it reminds me of summer and falling in love. Other favorites are Regime de Fleurs’ Falling Trees and Buly’s Al Kassir.”
Photos: Courtesy of Katie Merchant
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