Inspired by: Knits

9 Oct

With October in full swing and summer officially turning its last page for 2014 in a brief warm spell last week, we thought there could be no greater time than now to share our forever inspiration for autumn: knits! During a normal week in our blogging life, we search all corners of the internet for the best fashion inspiration to share with you guys and seriously, for the last few weeks, we keep gravitating towards more of the same: knits, knits and more knits.

So, rather than staying distracted and spending countless hours just dreaming about what our new favourite sweater for this fall and winter will be, we thought it would be best to lean into the obsession and bring some of our favourites over here.

We’re talking about chunky knits, cropped knits, small knits and oversized knits, sweaters, cardigans, ponchos and capes! Basically, we’re into anything that will keep us dry and warm for the next several months. In fact, as soon as we finish with this post, we may head right out to find some of these inspired looks to add to our own wardrobes!

  

Often disregarded as just a comfort piece, knit sweaters are constantly in the process of being reinvented every Fall/Winter season, it seems. This year, we have seen enough sweaters, ponchos and capes to convince us that they are no longer just about comfort (though that is a huge perk, if you ask us!); knits are street-style and office-day ready in the same breath and at the same time, are the first thing we can’t wait to slip into on the weekend.

Without sounding dramatic, we are really unsure if we could make it through a week in the fall or winter without our knits.

But before we start filling your mind with all things cozy, now’s a great time to remind you that knits are fussy to clean, so please bring them to us and we will make sure that they look their best. At Parkers, you can probably already see that we care about clothing and it shows in our work as clothing care specialists in Toronto.

  
Fashiony, The Style Mission


Her New Tribe

  
OhWhyWy, Who What Wear


A Pocket Full of Posies

And, just because it is tiny knitted perfection, how about this darling tot-sized poncho?


Children With Swag

We find many people love knitted wear, but hate the extra TLC many garments or fabrics require. “Hand wash”, “delicate cycle”, “lay flat to dry”, and “dry clean only” – these are terms that turn a lot of people off of really wonderful knit pieces, but we are in the business of changing that!

As clothing care specialists we want to make it possible for you to enjoy your clothes – and not just worry about them. This fall and winter, bring your knits in to us and we will make sure they come back to you in pristine wearing condition.

Flowers in Fall?

7 Oct

Sometimes, heading down the road less travelled and embracing the unexpected brings about the greatest results in life. For instance, when thinking about a fall wedding, what comes to mind? Probably bridesmaid dresses in deep jewel tones, perhaps bouquets filled with berries or dried grasses, and maybe the idea of photos taken amongst the golden leaves. But, how about florals?

Florals may not be the first thing to leap into your mind for an autumn wedding, but you will trust us on this one after seeing the photos below! We think florals are great beyond just spring and summer; in the right palette and the right cut of dress, they transition beautifully into autumn. They are an unexpected pop of colour when people so often gravitate towards darker tones, more neutral colours and, at times, a more muted feel in the fall.

Steve Gerrard

We like the idea of these floral patterns standing in contrast to the bright leaves, crisp days and the all around bundle-up-to-get-warm mentality that goes hand in hand with the season. While it may not be the look for everyone, we hope to see more bridesmaids dressed up this year in looks inspired by flowers!

Style Me Pretty

  

SoFeminine, Neiman Marcus

  

Asos, Green Wedding Shoes

Here are some ready-to-wear inspiration pieces, perfect walking down the aisle and to keep in your closet afterwards. Talk about a bridesmaid dress that you really can wear after the wedding!

Julia Archibald

No matter what the pattern, if you have a dress from all of the weddings you attended this summer or one that is going to need some extra TLC after an event in the coming months, we offer eco-friendly and easy-to-access dry cleaning service in six different locations throughout the GTA. Come check us out at parkersdrycleaners.com or on Twitter: @ParkersCleaners.

Home fabric care: all about pillows!

29 Sep


Etsy

Ah, pillows.  Yes, those lovely, fluffy, comforting, welcoming, room-brightening, bed-making, and altogether thrown-about pillows. Sometimes overlooked by people who see them in a somewhat utilitarian sense (these people are easily identified by comments such as: “Why do we need another pillow?” or “My wife always has so many pillows on the bed! We don’t even sleep on them all!”), we prefer to view pillows in what we feel is their true light: always necessary.

We happen to think that pillows are the best! That’s right. Pillows are the best. There’s the simple comfort factor: sitting on a couch, chair, bench, or the ground is made infinitely better with the addition of a pillow or cushion. Secondly, as we have shared before, adding, removing, or changing-up pillows in a room can dramatically change the entire look and feel of a room. They are some of the easiest transition pieces to move your home’s atmosphere from spring to summer, to fall, to winter, then back to spring again.

And then, there is the homey factor. Personally, we feel a bedroom or living room without pillows looks a bit barren. The addition of our soft friends can quickly make a house feel much more like a home. Isn’t one of the best parts of any long day coming home to a nicely made bed and sinking deep into perfectly fluffed pillows?

It’s a bit surprising, then, that while we use pillows every day, most of us don’t really know how to take care of them. If you’re honest about it, when was the last time you washed your pillows? If it has been 6 months or more, it’s time to consider how to get your pillows looking and feeling their best again!

If you have down or other fill pillows, and are brave enough to try washing them at home in your own machine, here are a few tips:

  • Read the labels carefully! If you have clipped these off, stick with warm water and a gentle cycle.
  • Do two pillows at once to balance out the wash load in your machine – you don’t want to throw it off kilter.
  • Make sure to tumble dry the pillows on low, fluffing and turning them often.
  • Even if you are not washing your pillows every few months, make sure to wash their cases at least once a week – especially the ones on your bed!

If you are not so brave, or simply do not have the time or energy for cleaning your pillows at home, don’t fret! Many of our clients always bring their pillows to us for cleaning to avoid wrecking them in their home washer.

We offer a gentle household fabric cleaning service in large washers and moisture sensitive dryers, ensuring a softer, fluffier appearance and promoting even distribution of the fill material. And if packing your car full of all of your household pillows doesn’t sound like fun, please make use of our pickup service. We won’t even charge you extra to do it!

Slow Factory: Star struck scarves

17 Sep

As we start looking forward to bundling ourselves up to embrace the crisp days of autumn, leave it to our friends at Ecouterre to offer up some beautiful and ethical inspiration. We aren’t in the least bit discouraged about cooler weather if it means wearing something as gorgeous as what we’re sharing with you today!

Jasmin Chou, of Ecouterre, recently showcased designer and founder of Slow Factory, Celine Semaan Vernon’s newest collection of celestial-inspired scarves – and, at the risk of sounding cheesy, we were star-struck. Vernon’s newest collection draws directly from the public-domain imagery of Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center, using satellite and telescope images to colour these beautiful, ethically sourced silk and modal scarves.

Based in New York, Slow Factory is a marriage of science and art, bringing what is light years away intimately close to those of us still grounded on earth. Sourcing their materials from Italy and India, and employing local craftspeople, Slow Factory is connecting threads globally and working towards a much more attractive, sustainable future for fashion. The results of their work are absolutely stunning!

    

“We build sustainable essentials that are built to last. We believe in creating timeless pieces with the world in mind. Our sustainable essentials are handcrafted and consciously made with craftspeople all around the world. Slow Factory is the link between our world and galaxies whose distance reaches places beyond our imagination. Today, we are here, and we are all inherently connected. We are the cosmos. We are Slow Factory.” (“Our Story”, as told on Slow Factory)

  

  

It was incredibly difficult to pick and choose which images to share here, so we encourage you to head over to their website and see the entire collection for yourself – not to mention their previous designs!

We believe in and support ideas like Slow Factory’s at Parkers because as we’ve said in many posts before, we want to see more and more people taking responsibility for the impact of the fashion industry on the environment. This is why we offer multiple green clothing care options for our customers. Please take a minute and familiarize yourself with these eco-friendly dry cleaning options for the next time you need something cleaned.

All images from the Slow Factory website.

Looking Forward to Autumn Fashion!

8 Sep

As you well know by now, from all our waxing on about long summer evenings, dinner parties with loved ones, and all of the fantastic summer fashion we have been taking full advantage of for the past couple of months, we truly love summer. We do. But when you live in the True North (strong and free), you have to learn to appreciate every season for what it offers – and it’s really easy to do so when the sun is shining. However, may we suggest that the beautiful province of Ontario is perhaps at its best in early autumn, when the maples explode into fiery brilliance and the air turns a little crisp? And having said that…WE CANNOT WAIT FOR AUTUMN!

Oh, think of all of the scarves, the boots, the bundled up sweaters, the jackets and the hats! We can’t wait for the layering of warm clothing to start again, to wrap ourselves up in colourful fabric as we walk through the leaves scattered on the ground or take a weekend drive around the lake. Dressed up, dressed down, running errands or out with friends for lunch, here are some of the things we are most excited for this autumn:

 

A slight excess of denim

  

Honestly WTF, Madewell

So, we know not everyone will be on board with this trend –  and you don’t have to sport a Canadian tuxedo to get the denim point across – but we can’t wait to wear denim on a more frequent basis once again.  During summer, we felt a bit relegated to cut-offs and are looking forward to jeans, chambray shirts, and denim jackets.

 
 

Sweater weather

    

P8 Fashion, Instant Vintage, What I wore

Long sweaters, mohair sweaters, sweaters over buttoned shirts, sweaters over jeans, and sweaters over leggings. We want sweaters in any variation you can throw at us. Because what is better than a warm sweater on a cool, fall day?

 

The Mop Top 

 
 

Boots, scarves and coats

Some of our favourite accessories are best worn come the fall. Yes, you can throw a scarf on in the summer or put on a pair of boots, but we all know they look best (and serve their best purposes) as the days get a little cooler.

  

Harpers, Madewell

 

One of our priorities every year living here in Toronto is to find outerwear that is both warm and beautiful. Fabrics like tweed and wool are some of our favourites and we are getting really excited to find new ways to bundle up in the next couple of months!

  

Jack Willis, The Woven Nest

 

  

Madewell, Vogue

What are some of the trends you are most excited about seeing come back into rotation this autumn? Tweet us your favourite looks at @ParkersCleaners.