News

  • Happy Shopping! Is That Even a Thing?

    Published May 07 2019 in appointment, bamboo, body positive, confidence, design, ethical, fashion, happy, local, Made in Canada, Proper fit, shopping

    There is so much negativity around shopping, body image and fashion in general. How about Happy Shopping? What if you could shop for clothes that were designed by people who not only understood your body shape and how to fit it properly but also really GOT you? How often do you have a happy shopping experience? The truth is, there are companies that exist right now run by women just like you, who want to give you a positive experience every time you shop. They do exist!

    Models wearing Diane Kennedy clothing

    Staying in the moment.

    When I had my own retail store that catered to sizes 10-24 you wouldn't believe how many people would spend their time, in my shop, that catered to them, talking about how there was nothing out there for them. That may be true but right then, at that moment they were standing in a space that was inspired by their wants and needs. A safe, happy space with quality clothing and lots of choices IN THEIR SIZE. It's kind of like going on a date with someone for the first time and spending the whole time talking about all the bad dates you've been on. I don't blame them at all, it's like being triggered by a trauma or something. One of the reasons I love working at Diane Kennedy is that I find it so easy to help create a happy, positive experience for our shoppers AND we have the goods to back it up.

    Shopping at Diane Kennedy's Vancouver Studio

    They totally get me!

    What a wonderful feeling it is to enter a space that honours who you are. In many cases, it's because the people who created that space are a lot like you. Or maybe they just possess the empathy needed to make you feel welcome and comfortable when you enter their space, whether that's a retail store or an online store. Those are the businesses you want to support.

    You do You.

    This year I turn 53. So far my 50's have been pretty great. At this time in my life I have a pretty clear idea about the battles I want to fight. Shopping isn't one of them. There are so many different types of folks out there and everyone has their own shape, size, and story. I'm done with being pissed off because a store doesn't carry my size. They aren't after my dollar and I'm not their customer. That's okay. I'm sure they are filling a need for someone out there or they would have gone out of business long ago. I do think that cheaply made fast fashion is bad for everyone and there's no excuse for badly cut and poorly fitted clothing, but that hasn't made me immune to it. We're all just doing our best to get dressed in the morning without regretting what we are wearing all day. Right?

    Look, fashion and clothing isn't everything, but it is something. All I know is when I feel well dressed I find it pretty darned easy to feel good about myself. It gives me confidence. It's one less thing to worry about.

    I will leave you with this story...

    I ordered some cotton underpants online. You know the type that comes in all sizes and 5 in a package. They fit ok but not great. I didn't want to return them and they were a good price but they ended up being second stringers right away. Never the first ones out of the drawer and only worn when it was laundry day. I decided to order a different style the next time and also to go up a size. When I got my package I unrolled the first pair and they were just enormous looking, full coverage, what I might call a granny panty. My first thought was to send them straight back but then I decided to try them on for a laugh. The laugh was on me because omg, these are the most comfortable underwear I've ever owned. They cover everything that needs covering, and a bit more, and they stay put, no riding up. I never would have bought them if I'd seen them in a store but now I'm so glad to have them. They make me happy!

    panties

    There's no real moral to this story except sometimes your bum is a bit bigger than you think it is. As long as someone makes the size that fits YOUR bum, life is pretty good! Sometimes it's the little things and the slightly bigger things...

    Find out more about happy shopping at Diane Kennedy here.

    Warm Regards,

    Barb

  • Why you should choose Natural Fibers

    Published May 03 2019 in bamboo, design, eco, eco friendly, environmentally friendly, ethical, ethical fashion, fabric, green living, local, Made in Canada, natural, nature, slow fashion, spring, sustainable

    There's always a story about the latest thing we shouldn't eat or product not to use. But as conscious consumers, we can't help but want to make the best choices. Now that microbeads (found in our toothpaste and beauty products) have been listed as a toxic substance (and already banned in the US), they've found an even more pervasive problem— fibers shedding from synthetic clothing. These microfibers get released in the clothes washer and make their way into our oceans. Washing just one synthetic fleece garment can release approximately 1.7 grams of microfibers with each wash. So choosing organic, sustainable and biodegradable fibers may be even more important than previously thought.

    New studies indicate that synthetics like polyester could be poisoning our lakes and oceans and therefore our food supply on a massive scale. Synthetic fibers have been found in the gastrointestinal tracts of fish! These tiny threads shed from fabrics could ultimately be of huge concern as they enter the food chain and have the potential to accumulate in the bodies of larger mammals. We, at the top of the food chain, are, of course, eating these fibers when we consume the fish.

    Microfibers

    Tiny fibers emitted from synthetic clothing when washed are entering our oceans and waterways at an alarming rate. 

    While this is a problem without an easy solution, if you're already a consumer of natural fibers, you're obviously doing the right thing. Aside from the many other obvious advantages of bamboo, it's 100% biodegradable. So once it's no longer wearable, in as little as a year, it will have decomposed back into the soil or ocean without the production of any pollutants.

    Choose bamboo and other natural fiber clothing over synthetics

    While very few fabrics and methods of dying fabrics can get a 100% clean bill of health, bamboo has many impressive ecological credentials. By nature bamboo as a plant is fast growing and requires no pesticides or additional fertilizers. Another key benefit of bamboo is that it requires one-third of the amount of water required to grow cotton. One of the other benefits is that, in comparison to an equivalent area of trees, bamboo takes in five times as much carbon dioxide and releases 35% more oxygen. One of the drawbacks of bamboo processing has been the chemicals used, but new mechanical methods of processing have been devised in where the crushed bamboo is treated with biological enzymes. This breaks the bamboo into a mushy mass and individual fibers are then combed out. Although expensive, this process is eco-friendly.

    While not the ultimate solution, every step helps. We're suggesting that you keep choosing the most natural products possible for inside and outside your body.

     

    Diane Kennedy, eco-fashion, plus size clothing, made in canada,

     

     

     

     

  • Fabulous Heritage Homes and Gardens of Queen's Park

    Published Apr 26 2019 in blooms, cottages, flowers, garden tour, gardening, inspiration, local, New Westminster, painted ladies, plants, Queen's Park, walking

    It's Spring and there's no excuse to not get out walking. Thanks to a pedestrian overpass, my route takes me up 5 sets of stairs and into the trails and gardens of Queens Park. In about a month, I'm predicting an explosion of rose blooms to enjoy on this walk. Past the park is the neighbourhood of Queens Park; featuring so many lovely heritage homes and more beautiful, well-tended gardens to pass.  Bursting peonies, flags of iris and the delicious scents of mock orange and honeysuckle brightened this journey. Join me on this trip through this beautiful neighbourhood in my city of New Westminster.

    Bright orange Geum and Brick Red Hens and chicks echo the vibrant colours of the paint

    Bodacious Azaleas in salmon and pink complement or clash? I love it!

    Beautiful Heritage house in the Queen's Park district of New Westminster BC

    A pretty wrought iron gate and punchy red door jazz up this tasteful beige beauty

    Beautiful Heritage house in the Queen's Park district of New Westminster BC

    No shy paint colours here! I love how the graceful Japanese Maple accents the trim 

    Heritage Home in the neighbourhood of Queen's Park, New Westminster BC

    Shade Garden with Corydalis "Blue Panda'

    The gorgeous blue flower is called Corydalis 'Blue Panda'. It is native to China and likes shade and quite moist soil. Here with other shade lovers like Astilbe and Variegated Astrantia

    Who wouldn't want to sit and enjoy the neighbourhood from this inviting chair?

    Campanula Persifolia

    Campanula Persifolia or "Peach Bells"

    Campanula Persifolia or "Peach Bells"

    I love how the campanula is growing up into the boxwood here!

     Heritage Home in the neighbourhood of Queen's Park, New Westminster BC

    I hope you enjoyed joining me on this pictorial journey through New Westminster's Queen's Park neighbourhood to enjoy the enchanting blooms of my favourite flowers and these charming gingerbread cottages.......

     

  • Size Means Nothing, Fit Means Everything

    Published Apr 18 2019 in body positive, body shape, confidence, Everywoman, Made in Canada, Proper fit, Size, Size vs Fit, Unique

    Let's talk about the difference between size and fit

    It's time to realize that women, all of us, come in unique shapes and fit different sizes. We are all different and that's a good thing. Clothing companies are often criticized for not showing "real women" modeling their clothing. Understandably we would all love to be able to see clothing we are interested in on a body exactly like ours. Wouldn't that make things so easy?? Take a look at the women around you right now. Every single one of them is a different size, shape, height, and proportion. It's truly impossible to show every body type without creating an entire encyclopedia of women's bodies and show how a garment fits on every single one. Let's move on, shall we?

    The Woman In The Mirror

    Society needs no help when it comes to damaging women's self-esteem regarding body image. There's a lot we can do to change this! Meet the woman in the mirror with a smile. Tell her she looks beautiful, adorable, cute, sexy, and amazing! At the end of the day when it's just you and the mirror, a choice is made about the words used to describe ourselves, to ourselves. Cut yourself some slack and give some words of encouragement and love to that amazing creature looking back at you. It's time to think about your clothing size as you think about your shoe size. It's just a number that corresponds to the length of your feet. Why not?

      All About The Fit

    When you put on your clothes and they fit right, you know it. It's not just about having it go over your body or being able to do up a zipper or a button. It's about pants and sleeves that are the correct length. It's about armholes that don't gap and the way a garment flows over your body. It's about finding the right width of the pant leg that really fits and flatters your body and makes your legs look amazing! When your clothes fit properly you look and feel like you can take on the world. Most of all it's not about waiting until you're the size you want to be, it's about looking and feeling your best Right Now! Give yourself that gift!

    Warm Regards,

    Barb

     

     

  • Diane Kennedy: Proudly Local

    Published Apr 11 2019 in

    Industrial sewing machine close up

    Every aspect of our design, production and garment manufacturing occurs in Canada. Our factories are all local to us, one is literally within waving distance of our Vancouver office. Making the decision to keep our labour here means that we can personally monitor all our production.  This is something that's very important to us as well as the knowledge that no one will ever be exploited while making our clothing. 

    Garment Factory in Vancouver BC

    Vancouver prides itself on being an eco-friendly city and it gives us great pride to be able to contribute to that mission. On top of that, we can happily say that Diane Kennedy reflects quality in both finished product and the employment standards that Canada is known for. Simply put, our ethical manufacturing methods and uncompromising quality make Diane Kennedy an easy choice for those of us who are concerned about our community and our planet.

    Close up of sewing machine at a Vancouver BC garment factory

    Close up of sewing machine at a Vancouver garment factory

    One of the best things about the Diane Kennedy clothing line has got to be our beautiful soft Bamboo fabric. We are proud to say we source about 85% of our fabric from a Montreal-based textile mill. That's right, our fabric is made right here in Canada too.

    Close up of the label on a Diane Kennedy garment

    We do our very best to match the high quality of our fabric and garments with excellent customer service. We are well aware that without happy customers nothing else really matters. We encourage our customers to call us any time they have questions about sizing, colours, fit and anything else they may want to know. When you call the Diane Kennedy office the phone is answered by a real person who wants to help. We want to hear from you and are very interested in hearing your ideas and opinions. Really!

    We are also happy to welcome customers into our studio for private shopping appointments Monday to Friday between 10 am and 4 pm. Give us a call or drop us a line if you are interested in making an appointment for a private shopping experience.

    If you are in the Vancouver area this Friday and Saturday we would love to see you at our Studio Shop! There is no need for an appointment on our shopping weekends. 

    Join us this Fri, Apr 12, 2pm-7pm and Sat, Apr 13, 11am-5pm 
    @ 1635 Powell St. Vancouver, BC (Free parking is available)