If you've lived in Edmonton as long as we have (that's 24 years, in case you were wondering), then chances are that you'll have heard about Sandy Karpetz before. One of Edmonton's OG fashion bloggers, Sandy is also a veteran thrifter and all around cool gal whose presence makes Edmonton even cooler. Scroll down below for our complete interview with Sandy and check out how she styled some of her favourite pieces from New Classics.

PS: Is this is your first time reading a Local Portrait article? Head over to to our first post to catch up and check out what this series is all about! Click here.

New Classics Studios: Tell us a bit about yourself!
Sandy Karpetz: I'm an OG Edmontonian born and raised. I grew up in the local music scene and was punk well into my twenties. For a brief moment I called Toronto home, long enough to acquire a degree in Fashion Communications at Ryerson University. Shortly after that I ran away to Europe which only made me realize the awesome life I had left behind in Canada. I've written in my journal nearly every single day of my life since I was 6, I love dogs but haven't been able to commit to one, and I still have my Polly Pocket collection in its entirety.

NC: You probably get asked this question A TON, but when did you start your blog, The Pretty Secrets, and why?
SK:
 I originally started it in 2009 while I was on exchange in Europe interning at British Vogue. It was supposed to be a travel diary for my sister to read and see what I was up to; Skype was new to me at that time so a blog seemed more reliable. Thus The Pretty Secrets was born and slowly began transforming into the fashion and lifestyle blog it is today.

NC: What's your favourite thing about Edmonton?
SK:
Is it cliché to say the green space? We are so fortunate for the abundance of public outdoor spaces in Edmonton!

NC: Favourite travel destination?
SK:
I can't say for sure but I'm pretty positive Japan will be my favourite. I'll have a more definitive answer in a couple of months. Right now Joshua Tree is high on that list.

NC: As a veteran style blogger, what advice would you give to those who have just started a blog or are interested in doing so?
SK:
Knowing what audience you want to reach and what will make you stand out in a sea of sameness is important. The market is saturated at this point so having a unique point of view is always refreshing and people will take notice.



NC: What does a typical day as a full-time blogger look like for you?
SK: I think I have cultivated a plethora of bad habits such as checking my email first thing on my phone from bed in the morning, followed by Instagram and Snapchat. Then I move to my computer (still in robe) to answer all emails which often turns into a weird time vortex that I don't escape from till 11 am. If I have a post that day, I will share it. The afternoon is spent photographing beauty products, generating new ideas, and going a little stir crazy in my fortress of solitude. In the early evening I try to shoot outfit photos if I have something new I want to style.

NC: Who are your biggest style icons?
SK:
My all time top 5 style icons are (in no particular order): 1) Pamela Des Barres & the Girls Together Outrageously, 2) The Olsen Twins, 3) Jane Birkin, 4) Stevie Nicks, and 5) Chloe Sevigny.

NC: If you could only eat at one Edmonton restaurant for the rest of your life, which eatery would you choose?
SK: Japonais Bistro

NC: Edmonton isn't necessarily the most fashion-forward city in the world, so where do you find yourself turning for style inspiration?
SK:
Old movies have always been my greatest resource for inspiration but I suppose I have nostalgic sensibilities when it comes to fashion choices.

NC: What are your top closet staples?
SK:
Ray-Ban sunglasses, a vintage denim jacket, a black wool coat from the 70s, Alexander Wang Anouck boots (they go with everything), thrifted plaid flannel shirts, and high waisted black denim jeans.

NC: After creeping you on your blog, we can tell that you're thrifting skills are top-notch. Can you give us any tips for thrifting in Edmonton?
SK:
Go often. Regularity is the key to finding the ultimate scores. When I was at my best, I was going around 3 times a week and I had developed a rhythm through my favourite stores. It felt like I could read the racks! Patience coupled with enthusiasm is a winning combination too. Lastly, don't judge a garment by how it looks on the hanger; most of my favourite pieces looked like a shapeless rag before they had a body in them.

NC: As you probably know, sustainable fashion is all about reducing our impact on the world, and thrifting is a great way to recycle our clothes and prevent them from entering our landfills. Can you tell us about any other ways you try to keep your wardrobe sustainable?
SK:
Vintage is definitely a large part of my wardrobe other than that I mostly avoid low cost mass produced clothing when I shop. In addition to that, I try and launder my clothes less frequently. Unless something is desperately in need of a wash, I keep my laundry down to one load of the absolute necessary  - socks, underwear, gym clothes, etc and using a cold rinse cycle to save energy as well.

NC: What does sustainable fashion mean to you?
SK:
Living within your means and not buying excessively for sport but rather for necessity - which may seem contradictory coming from a fashion blogger. It also means making a concerted effort to purchase things that will service you for many years to come.

NC: And lastly, how to you plan to #WearTheChange?
SK:
I have a really nice outdoor space that I'm planning on putting to use as a place to air dry my laundry this summer. My love of nostalgia only seems to be growing so I'm positive vintage clothing will continue to be a staple in my wardrobe.

Visit Sandy on her blog or Instagram.

SHOP SANDY'S PICKS BELOW