How Does Fashion Fit In With Self-Care?

To say that Tiara Jackle is the creator of the popular lifestyle blog Raw Fashion is just scratching the surface of what makes her a remarkable individual. Aside from being a fashion connoisseur, Tiara is also an accomplished academic, photographer, model, entrepreneur, wellness warrior, tea devotee, equality advocate, and #catmom. Named as one of Saskatoon’s most ‘Inspiring Women,’ she is a sought after voice for style advice and her perspectives on sustainable living.

We chatted with Tiara about how a love of fashion and a love for oneself overlap, and how looking and feeling great can be a part of living more thoughtfully.

Tiara Jackle - Raw Fashion
 “Self-care is anything that refuels me and leaves me feeling happy and proud of myself.”

From social media and daytime TV to governments and corporations, the concept of taking a moment to check in with your mental and physical state has become a mainstream idea. Yet, despite all the meditation apps and essential oil diffusers on offer, many of us find it hard to pull away from routines and convention. “Growing up, I was taught that taking time for myself was lazy and selfish,” Tiara says, echoing a sentiment that many others struggle with. And like many, it was a health crisis that pushed Tiara to reflect on her wellbeing and take steps to take care of herself more wholly. “In 2016, I was at the lowest point in my life. Out of complete desperation, I attended a workshop at a local Pilates studio. It was at that workshop where I met a naturopath, talked to her afterwards and set up an appointment. This was my light-bulb moment,” she reveals.  “I realized that with my chronic disease, I needed to find a healthy balance between western medicine and holistic care.”

Learning to improve your health is an ongoing process. Tiara’s approach is to start with small, achievable actions to see what makes a difference. “Self-care is taking the time to apply my body oil after a soothing shower, or washing my bedding and reading a book before bed, or taking a whole day to take care of my houseplants,” she says, admitting that some of the actions that she engages in, “might be considered quite mundane.” But that’s just the point. Making time for yourself doesn’t need to be complicated, it just takes a bit of personal awareness. “Self-care is anything that refuels me and leaves me feeling happy and proud of myself,” Tiara affirms.

Tiara Jackle Raw Fashion Blog Hunt Of Hounds Future In My Hands Necklace Success Necklace
Tiara is wearing: Future In My Hands Necklace |  Success Necklace

What you wear is often a reflection of how you feel. But does it work the other way as well? Can clothes affect your psyche? Of course! As a fashion blogger, Tiara understands the relationship that clothes can play in creating a mood and defining a character. “On days that I am depressed, tired, or upset, my outfits will be rushed – or I might not even make it out of my pjs. When I remain in my pjs, I usually have no motivation to accomplish anything,” she acknowledges. “In contrast, when I am wearing an outfit that I feel good in, I feel motivated and empowered to accomplish whatever I set my mind to.” It may be a cliche, but the old saying ‘dress for the job you want, not the one you have’ applies to how you feel as well. 

Getting a start on self-care can be as simple as dressing with intent to help you embody your desired state of mind, and having a go-to piece in your closet can be the perfect stepping stone to building up your style savvy and breaking down those skeptical inner voices. “Five words for you,” Tiara declares. “ High-waisted black skinny jeans. This is such a simple piece in my closet, however I cannot deny how badass I feel in the perfect pair of jeans,” she continues, confirming that you don’t need to be chasing trends or dripping in sequins to feel fabulous.

Just like inner joy, discovering your outer joy takes time and needs both honesty and playfulness. In fact, Tiara champions the term ‘personal style’ to highlight how embracing your individuality is an important part of developing a sense of what outfits work for you. “Trying to understand my unique personal style has been a journey, [and] it has been a journey worth exploring,” she recalls. Even after seven years of writing about fashion, Tiara still surprises herself. “When I put together an outfit and absentmindedly smile when I look in the mirror, feelings of happiness, comfort, and confidence bubble to the surface and help me to feel capable, strong, and fearless.”

Tiara Jackle Raw Fashion Hunt Of Hounds Eos Nyx Dagger Earrings 
Tiara is wearing: Eos Earrings  |  Nyx Earrings  |  Mini Dagger Stud Earrings

It is this spirit of confidence and capability that propels Tiara to merge her expertise in resource sciences with her love for fashion to advocate for more sustainable practices in all areas of life. On her blog and through other advocacy work, Tiara is not shy about discussing the perilousness of chasing the ‘it’ looks of the season at the expense of both our own and the environment’s health. “Not only does fast fashion negatively impact the environment in ways that we cannot restore, it also utilizes human slavery for the creation of the garments. Most of these workers are women. There is no plausible way that anyone can claim to stand for women-empowerment, feminism or justice, while also supporting fast fashion,” she says plainly. However, it’s not all doom and gloom for Tiara. She sees this necessary shift in perspective as an opportunity to step away from the ingrained cycles of consumption and explore a more intentional and supportable lifestyle that can benefit everyone.

So, what can you do to avoid fast fashion and satisfy your personal style? If you follow Tiara on social media, you’ll know she loves vintage. Shopping second-hand and thrifting can help reduce the humanitarian and environmental impact of the fast fashion industry while offering up some classic and one-of-a-kind finds. Buying pieces from independent makers who use materials that are made to last can be a great alternative - and be sure to ask creatives if they offer local pick up or delivery to save on packaging!

Tiara Jackle Raw Fashion
"What matters is the health of the environment, as the health of the environment has a direct impact on our own health, and therefore our happiness.”

Another way to move towards sustainable living is to take care of the things you already own. Tiara suggests adding caring for your personal belongings to your self-care routine. “Learn what the symbols on clothing tags actually mean. Learn how to properly wash items and let them hang to dry. Learn how to hand-wash cashmere, silk, and other delicate fabrics so that you do not have to take them to the dry cleaners. Learn how to repair your clothing,” she beams. Not only will you pick up new skills, but you’ll foster a sense of pride about what you own and a sense of accomplishment in yourself. “Celebrate your clothing. It does not matter if you wear the same jeans all week long or are known for wearing your favourite wool sweater twice a week. What matters is the health of the environment, as the health of the environment has a direct impact on our own health, and therefore our happiness,” she emphasizes.

In 2020, we’ve seen just how interconnected we all are, as we struggle with being too close or too far away from people and places we love (or love to hate). At the same time, allowing for and finding the time and space to reflect on our wellness has become a necessity. As we’ve seen, how we dress can be a simple tool to help calibrate your mood or the energy you wish to project. Learning to care for your clothes and jewellery can extend the life of your items while helping to offset the effects of mass produced goods.  So, hunt for that perfect pair of vintage jeans that makes you feel like a boss, or seek out a fair-trade necklace made by an independent brand and cherish them as medallions of power, of protection, or of comfort.

Be sure to check out all of Tiara's wisdom on fashion, sustainability, thrift, skincare, beauty, plants, cats, and more at Raw Fashion.

Photos & Styling: Tiara Jackle | Text: Hunt Of Hounds