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“Outerwear is key”: The guide to being fashionable in the Fall

By Mehnaz Abdulrahman

Cold is one way many Edmontonians describe their city. Fall is when the cold gets colder. To transition, people tend to start shopping for clothes once they see what is in for this season. But, understandably, not everyone can make that choice and have to wear whatever is left in their closet, where they may have some timeless hidden pieces that are yet to be discovered.

Karly Polkosnik, also known as YourGirlKarly, an Edmonton-based influencer and the owner of the clothing brand Confidence Club, says, “Fall is the best season for fashion!” Edmonton is a diverse city full of people with diverse tastes in fashion and lifestyle. “There is a divide when it comes to fashion in Edmonton.” Says Polkosnik.

When asked about style specifically in downtown Edmonton, she said, “I love downtown. The downtown core is my favourite place to be.” Polkosnik says that many people downtown are expected to “look like the money they make,” but being high-profile doesn’t mean the clothes have to be expensive. But, in downtown’s case, that’s sometimes the reality.

“That’s why I love Downtown core fashion but also hate it at the same time,” says Polkosnik. “Because it is not accessible to regular people.”

Clean fashion advocate and MacEwan student Madison Krupa had a slightly different view of what Karly Polkosnik said.

“I love spotting people wearing local brands. I think most of the Edmonton fashion brands receive great support from their local community,” said Krupa. “The vintage and second-hand communities are pretty strong here too.”

When it comes to trends, Krupa says she tends to stay away from them. “It is becoming increasingly apparent that the constant introduction of new trends is problematic. It’s troubling to the industry, to the environment, and to consumers,” said Krupa, who likes to wait until the trend has passed to buy the pieces – making sure that she actually likes them and is not just in it for the movement.

“I’m a lot pickier than I was before COVID hit. I find it harder to justify clothing purchases,” says Krupa. “I work from home now, so dressing up specifically for work isn’t a part of my daily routine anymore. When I do make clothing purchases, I opt for really classic pieces that I am certain I will wear for years to come.”

A black turtle neck with a tweed skirt and a lapel coat are no-brainers for fall. Shown modelled by author Mehnaz Abdulrahman

When it comes to essentials one should own for the Edmonton weather, look for good quality outerwear like classic coats – some colourful and some architectural – and puffer jackets that you can wear with jeans. Also, a black turtle neck as suggested by Krupa. She also added that it is crucial to make room for layering, as Edmonton can have many cold days.

Polkosnik agrees with Krupa. “I’m an advocate for turtle necks,” said Krupa, and she recommends denim jackets, plaids and structured lapel jackets. “For pants, I love split legs pants because they show off the shoes I’m wearing.” She also suggested various types of boots, such as Doc Martens, black booties and Chelsea boots for a fall look.

“This season I’m really liking Shackets, which are sweater jacket hybrid, but with thicker jacket material with button embellishments, they come in different lengths. I love a shacket moment right now!” says Polkosnik as she laughs.

Author Mehnaz Abdulrahman shows the versatility of a good jacket and a pair of tights for beating those cold-weather blues.

Fashion in Edmonton still needs a lot of change in many aspects, says Polkosnik. Not everyone is wearing what they feel as it is not the “norm.”

“I often find that if you wear something that is a little more out of the box or fashion-forward, it is seen as quite bold and maybe even a little out of place,” says Krupa. “I still hesitate from time to time as I check my outfit before I head out the door, but I actively try not to let it stop me. So, whenever a bold outfit catches my eye in Edmonton, I instantly give props to the wearer for being confident enough to embrace their personal style.”

As fashion is constantly changing with new local brands, especially in Edmonton, Polkosnik believes that the brands hop on to what is best in the public eye. “I want to see brands come up with those values from the start,” says Polkosnik.  She wants the people of Edmonton to be accepted in places they shop through the message the brand gives out.

“Edmonton does a great job of it now in aspects, but I want it to take over even more,” says Polkosnik. “Fashion is so individual and self-identifying and self-expressed, and I want more outlets for people to feel like that.”


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