Friday, February 19, 2016

a new season of "What I Wore" // pt 3

Here we go. Diving into some mighty deep waters. This is the post on sources for ethical fashion.

A quick reminder that when I say ethical fashion I mean, ideally: 1) the sources of the fabrics and dyes and what-have-you are purchased from suppliers fairly and 2) the people employed to create and produce the pieces of clothing are paid and treated fairly. 

This isnt just about not shopping at stores that are big name brands, supplied by sweatshops overseas, made of cheap products. Ultimately this whole shift is about changing the way you shop, not just the where. This infographic provides a nifty visual:

I enjoy shopping second hand for gently-used gems. This is the thing though, for me, I still look for brand names I know and "trust" like H&M, Old Navy, or Forever 21 when Im sifting through the racks, and while purchasing these second-hand means you arent supporting the businesses with your cash, ultimately youre still supporting the brands by wearing them. You know? I would rather go at this thing radically than half-way. The whole point is to use your purchasing power to stand for the worth of the people every step of the way. This is going to expose some shadowy places. We want to do it with bright light! So here is where I am at with this... 
Second-Hand: Absolutely go for it, as long as you read the label and know for sure that the brand champions human worth at every step of the way. 
New: Buy it ethically-sourced or not at all. Sure, to buy something not ethically-sourced as a once-in-a-lifetime purchase, or "to last", means youre not dumping money over and over into the compromising companies, but lets not even do it once. 


Ive been doing just a bit of research. Its overwhelming to tell you the truth, but in a good way. There is more consciousness and therefore more real options for ethical purchasing than I imagined. For my own journey Im going to focus on finding brands that are ALL about valuing human life and supporting communities (ex. when buying a pair of shoes I dont want to settle for them simply being vegan and eco-friendly, I want them to be made with products produced by diligent suppliers, stitched together by skillful craftsmen, giving another pair to someone who needs shoes with every purchase). It will narrow the options down a bit and I am thankful for that. Enjoy uncovering all the gems out there that are about what you love to support with your purchasing power, in the styles that youre all about. Its fun!

Taking another look at my vision board, there are some obvious categories of items to find brands to supply: accessories, undergarments, basics, knit-wear, denim, shoes, bags, etc. Here are some goodies Ive discovered for sources. >> Note: When my wardrobe has made its complete transformation I'll be sure to share all the items and their source details. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

a new season of "What I Wore" // pt 2

"the Look"
Its seems a little silly I suppose for me to be making this wardrobe list in the dead of Midwest winter when Im dreaming of summertime... everything on here looks pretty summery I realize... but actually being in the reality of the cold right now helped balance this list out. With the options for pairing here, I should comfortably cover every season's needs -- here in the Midwest or in warmer climates (where I am heading in the future).

A breakdown: There is a plethora of neutral crop tops -- both tank and tee, fitted and flowy -- to choose from as basic pieces. I will also have a few tees that are long and loose and neutral colored, for the winter days when none of my abdomen will want to be exposed in the least. These will all pair great with any of the shorts (various patterns and textures), maxi skirts (neutral, color, or print, in various fits), or pants (boyfriend jeans, dark wash skinnies). For chilly days just layer on a sweater and swap sandals for boots instead. Even the shorts can transition into cool weather. I put a pair of leggings or tights on under them and boots with socks and we're set. I actually just did that last week and the temp was in the low 20's. The slip dresses and shirt dresses are great as-is for summer and can be transitioned to cool weather in the same general way as the shorts -- add a sweater and some tights and boots. Ive also added a pair of black pointy-toe heels -- because I adore them -- as well as a minimalist grey wool overcoat for winter (when Im not wearing my down jacket with the fur-lined hood, not pictured). A nice selection of neutral colored sandals and boots, all going for a boho chic look, should cover all occasions that will arise for me. Bralettes galore, as they are my simple pleasure, will work well with all the options for outfits. As for accessories, my list is minimal. A sun hat and beanie, as well as a headband or two. Ive also arranged a selection of bags for my travel-happy self: a weekend trip duffel, a market bag, a nice leather backpack/satchel, and a simple shoulder bag (to double as my pop of color in most of the outfits). Add one trusty pair of shades, and the look is complete.
I know myself too well not to make an exception to this overall look by adding the aside that I will certainly have lounge wear (read: sweats) to cozy up in at home. I just want to hold myself to more of an actually-dressed image, even as a nanny in the dead of winter, and these looks really are just as comfortable and easy to achieve as throwing on a pair of sweats is.

A note on pattern: Im really loving the bold and classy large floral print lately. Also the tribal designs. And a classic horizontal stripe, as seen on one of the shirt dresses. Pattern on pattern should be done sparingly, and if at all it should be done tastefully. I wouldnt put any of the patterned sweaters on with the floral maxi skirts or floral shorts.

In regards to wanting to be able to travel light... I could pack five tops, three skirts, two sweaters, two pairs of shorts, a dress, a pair of pants, tights, three pairs of shoes and a hat easily in a carry-on bag. If I launch into a lifestyle of truly trotting the globe and not having a home base, I could cut back to just that many items to my name. There would still be a load of options for creating outfits in all seasons and climates.

If you'd like more visuals of how these outfits could look put together check out this board of mine on Pinterest. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Your Reasonable Service //

Because five years this ago this was the seed, the small start of this heart's meditations and life posture, and its good to reflect afresh and to rejoice in the obvious fruit of that seed unfolding on all the pages of this site. Glory!

ROMANS 12 >>
Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].

3 For by the grace [of God] given to me I say to everyone of you not to think more highly of himself [and of his importance and ability] than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has apportioned to each a degree of faith [and a purpose designed for service]. 4 For just as in one [physical] body we have many parts, and these parts do not all have the same function or special use, 5 so we, who are many, are [nevertheless just] one body in Christ, and individually [we are] parts one of another [mutually dependent on each other]. 6 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to use them accordingly: if [someone has the gift of] prophecy, [let him speak a new message from God to His people] in proportion to the faith-possessed; 7 if service, in the act of serving; or he who teaches, in the act of teaching; 8 or he who encourages, in the act of encouragement; he who gives, with generosity; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy [in caring for others], with cheerfulness.

9 Love is to be sincere and active [the real thing—without guile and hypocrisy]. Hate what is evil [detest all ungodliness, do not tolerate wickedness]; hold on tightly to what is good.10 Be devoted to one another with [authentic] brotherly affection [as members of one family], give preference to one another in honor; 11 never lagging behind in diligence; aglow in the Spirit, enthusiastically serving the Lord; 12 constantly rejoicing in hope [because of our confidence in Christ], steadfast and patient in distress, devoted to prayer [continually seeking wisdom, guidance, and strength], 13 contributing to the needs of God’s people, pursuing [the practice of] hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you [who cause you harm or hardship]; bless and do not curse [them]. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing others’ joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others’ grief]. 16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty [conceited, self-important, exclusive], but associate with humble people [those with a realistic self-view]. Do not overestimate yourself. 17 Never repay anyone evil for evil. Take thought for what is right and gracious and proper in the sight of everyone. 18 If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for God’s wrath [and His judicial righteousness]; for it is written [in Scripture], “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome and conquered by evil, but overcome evil with good.