'Exploring my style and a new city': The life of a Toronto-based Irish blogger
Moving to a new country can be incredibly difficult.
It can impact every aspect of your life – even your style.
One person who is proof of that is now Toronto-based Irish writer and blogger who says a new city has given her wardrobe a new lease on life.
Dublin-based until earlier this year, Cynthia Bifolchi Soikans flew the nest for pastures new in Toronto, Canada.
Leaving the country with mostly fluffy socks and warm jumpers in her suitcase, style was the last thing on this writer’s mind.
“When I arrived in Toronto I wasn’t thinking about style; I was terrified I was going to freeze my arse off,” Cynthia told Her.
“Packing that case was HARD, but I told myself that buckling down and getting my life sorted out was more important than looking nice.
“Oh, the naivety!”
Leaving behind vintage gems and high street finds, Cynthia admits that they were some of her most upsetting goodbyes.
However, with an empty wardrobe came the amazing opportunity to rebuild it.
“Pretty soon I forgot all about the clothes I had left behind in Ireland (I’m sorry babies!) and I set about building up my wardrobe again.
“In a way, I felt like I was on holidays, so I didn’t feel the usual guilt about spending money on clothes,” she told us.
“It helped that I also used the tack, ‘I arrived with but a lone suitcase, I need more stuff!’ conveniently forgetting about the rails of clothes I had abandoned in Ireland.
“But I think it was the start of a shift in my style. I was building up a new wardrobe from scratch really, so I took my time and was very careful with my choices.”
Like many of us, Cynthia said she found herself in a bit of a style rut in Ireland.
Not short of inspiration, she revealed that while she loved fashion, she would save her best outfits for nights out and otherwise resort to the jeans, jumpers and her comfiest runners.
“I was explaining this to someone recently and they suggested that when you live somewhere all your life your identity can seem set in stone, but when you go somewhere new you can get a bit of perspective, and you start to think hold on, why am I putting these limitations on myself?”
Now, every day is an opportunity to both explore her city and her style.
“On any given day I could be vintage shopping in Kensington Market, having a picnic on Toronto Island, or strolling around the quirky shops on Queen Street West.
“The move has definitely inspired me to make more of an effort with my clothes.”
And Cynthia’s new life in a new city has given rise to a new passion – blogging.
“Aside from finishing my first novel, I want to set up a fashion and lifestyle blog and keep on evolving my style.
“It’s just another fun, creative way to express myself.
“I always thought a fashion blog was something ‘other people’ did, but you know what, now I'm saying feck it!”