Fall 2016 Women's Outerwear Lookbook - Our YouTube Debut!

Hello everyone!

To those I haven't met yet -let me say an extra special hello! My name Courtney and I am one of the newest members of the team here at Grey Rock Clothing Co. Today I am taking over the blog for a very specific reason - YouTube! Most of you probably don't know, but I am a little YouTube obsessed. I have my own channel called Courtney's Vlog, where I make videos on Green Living, Natural Beauty, Heath, Wellness, and my own life journey. 

Ever since I first met Beth and joined the Grey Rock team, I have been bursting with video ideas for the store. So, I am very proud to announce not only the launch of our YouTube Channel, but also our very first video debut! 

Beth and I recently put together a Fall 2016 Outerwear Lookbook with some of our favourite pieces for the season, especially now that the weather is starting to get a little cooler. It will help give you some inspiration for how to style and wear clothing that you already own, as well as give you a chance to check out some of the goodies that we currently have in store. 

This video is going to be the first of many, and we're hoping that you can give us some ideas on what sort of topics you would like us to cover! What type of videos would you find helpful? Is there anything that you struggle with when putting together an outfit? What type of questions would you love to be able to ask a style consultant, if you could? We are going to try to do a men's and women's video lookbook for each season moving forward and we're also thinking of making some educational videos about the brands that we carry, how to wear certain key pieces, or sharing some info about our team and the amazing city of Guelph. 

Let us know which look in the video was your favourite!  

Thank you so much for watching and make sure to say hi next time you visit the shop. :)

- Courtney


Who Made My... Mata

Mata Traders’ items are recognizable by their bright prints and colours found on some of our dresses, skirts and shirts, and they are also the source of much of our jewelry.  Behind every lovely printed garment or glimmering piece of jewelry is the story of a women who was given the chance to empower herself and aid in the sustainability of her community. By purchasing something from Mata, you are connecting yourself to the positive change in many women’s lives who were involved in the process of creating that item, whether it’s a necklace to match your dress for a wedding or a skirt to wear whe n you travel for the summer.

"Our mission is to work with organizations that educate, employ, and empower women. Spending time with these groups has helped us realize that even the most traditional women, when given the opportunity, thrive in a sphere of meaningful work that is outside their homes and families. We have also learned that equality in the workplace is possible in a country as socially stratified as India."- Maureen Dunn, Founder of Mata Traders

Mata cares about delivering a final product that is not only stylish and modern but also brings in traditional methods, like block stamping and embroidery, into the production. By using these methods, Mata can encourage local artisans in India to continue their traditions while introducing them to the modern day market of retail fashion.

The vision for Mata Traders was created by Maureen Dunn after she traveled around India with 2 friends; Michelle and Joni, on a round the world trip. She began importing various products from suppliers in India to build a business based around the beauties of Indian fashion and art.This eventually led to Mata Traders only working with suppliers that practice the principles of fair trade such as; paying their workers fairly and having safe working conditions.

With the aid of the women’s co-operatives that Mata works with, they are able to give many working women the income they need to send their children to schools, and in a particular 17 year old named Harshali’s case, her siblings. Harshali started working at a co-operative partnered with Mata at the age of 17 in order to earn enough money to send her 3 younger siblings to school as well attend post-secondary herself. Both of her parents died earlier in her life, leaving Harshali’s grandmother to raise the 4 siblings. By moving to the city, her grandmother hoped to find work to take care of them all.

After Harshali finishes work at the co-operative every day, she returns home to aid her grandmother and sister in selling fish on the side of the road until around 9 pm. Through her hard work and dedication, Harshali was able to send her 3 siblings to school as well as begin a college economics course.

Mata Traders and the women’s co-operatives were able to make this happen by giving the support and work that many women, like Harshali, need to raise and take care of their families. However, none of it would be possible without the help of the customers who decide to shop fair trade.

Beth, owner of Grey Rock Clothing Co., visiting with two of Mata Trader's founders at their head office in Chicago. 

Beth, owner of Grey Rock Clothing Co., visiting with two of Mata Trader's founders at their head office in Chicago. 

Photos of their employees and processes have been provided by Mata Traders. If you would like more information on Mata, leave us a comment and we’d be happy to answer your questions or find out the answer for you!

What to Wear to a Photo Shoot

One of the things I love about owning a clothing store is helping people look their best, especially for a special event or occasion. These kinds of events are what tend to bring customers in feeling unsure of what to wear to them.

I’ve found one of the things that brings people in to get help putting an outfit together for is a photo shoot. It can be a photo shoot for anything but tends to be more engagement photos.

So with that in mind we decided to pair up with McCormick Photography to come up with some tips for choosing the right photo shoot outfits for you:

  1. Don’t dress too “matchy”- You want to look like you belong in the same picture as the other person/people, but not like you’re part of a pop group. So no jeans with everyone in the same coloured top.You can do this by choosing clothing in similar colour tones/families. To simplify everyone should either wear warm colours (ex. cream, brown, rust, berry) or cool colours (ex. white, black, red, teal).  You should also have the same level of “dressiness” to your outfit.  If you look like you’ve just stepped out of the same clothing ad in a magazine you’ve nailed this part of it.  

  2. Go for timeless not trendy- What may seem on trend now probably won’t seem that way in say 10 years. Try to choose neutral and classic colours (ex. cream, grey, white, black, brown, denim, navy blue and red). Then add some pops of colour and style with accessories. This could be some fun socks for men or a statement necklace or belt for women. Following these guidelines will mean you’ll be happier with your outfit choices for longer.

  3. Bring 2 different outfits to the shoot- You’ll probably have at least two different locations or backgrounds for your shoot, so having a couple outfit choices to pair with each is a good idea. Choose outfits you can change into easily and that won’t wreck your hair or makeup while you’re changing. Women should have 2 different shoe choices, one pair of flats and one pair of heels are good choices and will leave you ready for a variety of situations.

  4. Don’t match your background- You are the star of the show at your photo shoot. Choosing clothes that pop against your background will make that apparent. For example if you’re planning some amazing fall leaves in the background don’t wear reds and oranges. You want to stand out against your background, not blend into it. Instead choose other warm colours like creams and browns. 

  5. Don’t forget the basics- They can either make an outfit look polished or not. Your clothing should be in great shape.This means no stains, holes or wrinkles. You can prevent wrinkles by not putting on your photo shoot outfit until you arrive at your location.  Make sure your shoes are clean and scuff free. Under no circumstances should men wear white socks. If men are wearing a nice shirt it should be tucked in with a belt.

  6. Choose something you’re comfortable in- This is probably the most important point. These pictures should show your personality. That won’t come through if you’re wearing something you just don’t feel comfortable in. That means if you never/rarely wear heels or a dress for example, don’t start now. Your outfits should be clothes you love and a representation of who you are.

The overall experience should be an enjoyable one. The more you can relax and be yourselves the more your personality will come through in your pictures.

We'd like to give a huge thanks to our models, and to McCormick Photography for working with us on these tips and taking some great pictures to go with them. 

engagement photo shoot outfit
what to wear to a photo shoot