The Expressionists - featuring Thrift Connoisseur Shardé

The Expressionists - featuring Thrift Connoisseur Shardé

There is something about Shardé's style that stuns me. That makes me smile and stare in awe. Initially, I thought it was the delicious cocktail of confidence, charisma and cool, but as I weaved my way through her fashion fairytale, I uncovered a deeply encouraging message of self love. Shardé doesn't just dress for fun, although that is definitely part of it, she dresses for empowerment. The power of self love is woven through each and every detail of each and every incredible outfit. This is where I found awe.

Her style is a bold expression of who she is. Strong, sexy, confident, creative, fearless. As she celebrates herself through her style, you cannot help but be drawn in. Like any celebration, its joyous, uplifting and full of positive energy.

Shardé's style story isn't just about her, it's about you too. As she lifts herself up, she lifts you up as well. As she boldly steps forward in her creativity, you want to do the same. You may be a little nervous at first, but you know, not only is this the adventure you need, this adventure is going to be absolutely glorious.


The Expressionists - An interview series celebrating amazing individuals who express themselves through fashion, uncovering their connection to their clothing and discovering their inspiration.

At Billie Boots we believe style is creativity, a way to experiment and play with what it is to be you. It has little to do with trends and even good taste. As Diana Vreeland said 'Too much good taste can be boring, independent style on the other hand, can be very inspiring'.

We hope this series inspires you to express your authentic self through your wardrobe. Why? Because it's a daily opportunity to be yourself on purpose and unapologetically share that with the world. Step into your skin and stand in your style.

Let's join Shardé's fashion adventure......

1/ How did your love of clothes start?

For as long as I can remember, in my days of childhood and looking back at old photos, I’ve always loved clothes and playing dress up. That’s how I came up with my name VintagexNature. I was that kid that changed their clothes multiple times a day because I was trying to look like one of the characters from my favourite TV show. I loved going through my Mom's closet, wearing her heels and layering on all her jewellery. I was also that child that took fabric from the house and constructed it into clothes (pictured below is a Christmas gift sack I turned into my prom dress and my wedding dress which I made).

 2/ How would you describe your style?

I don’t like to limit or label myself or my style as one particular thing. My style depends on my mood, the occasion or even the weather. I’m inspired by so many things but I love to be androgynous, bold, eclectic and a risk taker when it comes to fashion.

3/ What is your philosophy when it comes to style?

Style is so vast and open to interpretation by so many, like art. But my rule of thumb when it comes to style is, clothes and your appearance is the first impression people have of you, so you always want to make the right representation of who you are. Style is an expression of freedom and builds confidence. Getting dressed shouldn’t feel like a uniform or chore. Clothes are meant to be worn and to be fun. Oh and when all else fails, more is more. 

4/ Who/what influences your style and why?

Growing up, I loved reading fashion magazines. I was too young to get my own fashion subscription so while waiting to be picked up from work I would hang out for hours at the local bookstore. I would grab a handful of magazines, coffee and a croissant and study the pages, from the models to the clothes they were adorned in and how they were styled. My favorites were Vogue, especially the Italian ones and Harpers Bazaar. The photographers had a way of telling a story through the models and their clothes. When I wasn’t studying magazines, I was watching old Hollywood glam movies. Everyday was a glamorous occasion to get dressed. I can recall being in such awe and admiration the first time I saw Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Eating a croissant with gloves and pearls while window shopping, so fabulous. At that moment I fell in love and knew that this is the type of class I wanted to have once I came into womanhood. 

5/ How does dressing make you feel?

Getting dressed for me is an art form, like poetry. It’s always drawn from some sort of inspiration, whether that’s a movie or show and it evokes a story, there’s layers to it.  Because 99% of my clothes are vintage that have been sourced from all over the world, I try to imagine what the original owner's life was like, what countries and cafes did they travel to. Getting dressed makes me feel empowered, it makes me feel happy and invincible. Consequently, if I’m uninspired, a bad outfit can also make me feel out of place.

6/ How do people respond to your style?

One of the reasons I started selling clothes and the inspiration behind my Instagram is due to how my clothes made others feel. I’m frequently stopped and people will comment or ask me about my clothes. They’re always surprised to learn that it’s vintage or some other uncommon article of fabric like a table runner or bed sheet that I’m wearing. 

7/ Where do you search for clothes?

My go to for sourcing clothes is thrift stores and estate sales always. I have found some of the most unique pieces that you’re not going to find in retail stores. Then when I’m searching for something specific, I go to second hand websites like Mercari, Depop, or Poshmark. I also make my clothes, usually for special occasions. 

8/ Do you follow trends?

I’m not one to follow trends. But it’s good for inspiration or if you’re trying to identify your style. However, I find it redundant, it’s like watching commercials. You know you’re going to see the same thing worn three different ways for the next several months. I don’t like how it makes people feel, like they’re not cool unless they wear it because all the “It people” are wearing it. Trends can also be bad for the environment because when you think about it, something is mass produced for people to wear for a specific period of time. Once that trend is over, that piece is then thrown out and collects in thrift stores or trash. Trends also come back every 3-5 years. I like items that fit my aesthetics, that I truly love and can see myself wearing forever. 

9/ What does your style say about who you are? What do you hope to communicate through your wardrobe?

My style says I’m creative and resourceful. I’m confident in who I am and am not shaken by the opinions of others. This woman isn’t afraid to walk into a room and have a head full of stares. She’s not afraid of looking and being different. 

10/ How does your style fit into your lifestyle?

My style, like my life, is free spirited and nurturing. I love doing things with my hands, such as gardening and sewing. I love traveling and if I’m not jet setting, then my clothes are reminiscent of the places I’ve been or hope to go. I’m a dental hygienist so I wear a uniform (ughhh) but I find ways to make it fun and still me. When I’m not working I’ll find any excuse to get dressed up. Sweats are not an option 😂

11/ What pushes your style boundaries? What would you love to wear but haven't quite plucked up the courage?

My style boundaries are pushed every time I get dressed by my confidence. There isn’t anything I haven’t or wouldn’t wear. Life is too short to wear boring clothes and my life is like a runway. 

12/ What advice would you give someone who is wanting to express themselves more fully through their wardrobe but feeling insecure?

Take a sip of confidence and wear what makes you happy. Getting dressed releases serotonin, so if you look good you’ll feel good too. Stop worrying about other people’s opinions and trying to keep up with trends because that’ll leave a feeling of never ending dissatisfaction. If you’re drawn to certain textures or if you have a favourite colour, then start there. But make sure to also dress for your body type. What looks good on one person may not look good on you and vice versa. 

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