Styleboards

The Ethical Closet: Summer Closet Update + Spring Changes

summer

In March, I shared my Spring Closet Update, but I made a few changes as time went on and it became clear that a few things I thought would be perfect didn't quite measure up.

Firstly, the lovely Mata Traders knit dress I shared dyed not only my purse, but my body, even after several washes, so I had to send that one back as a defective item. It was easy to replace it with the National Picnic dress I reviewed in April. Secondly, I realized that the TEVA sandals I bought occupied the same super-casual niche in my wardrobe as my black Birkenstocks, but were more challenging to wear in an outfit, so I donated those to a local thrift shop. To replace them, I ordered the Nisolo Serena Sandals, as they're more streamlined and dressy than the sandals currently in my closet.

My Summer Closet Update includes:
(clockwise from left)

LA Relaxed Jade Off the Shoulder Top, $58


This top is truly perfect. Soft, flowy, and lightweight with tiny stripes. I had been on the hunt for an off the shoulder top and I ultimately chose this one because the elastic at the neckline allows me to wear it more like a boat neck top if I want extra coverage. Made in LA of ecofriendly Modal.

Everlane Cotton Striped Dress, $38 (purchased with store credit)


This is definitely more of a beach dress, but the swingy shape and dropped shoulder make it feel retro 1980s, which is sort of cool. I like pairing it with my Sseko Designs D'orsays*. Made with transparent manufacturing practices in Vietnam. Shop via my referral link.

Everlane Cotton Tank, $15


This tank has a slightly oversized, long fit without being slouchy or sloppy. It looks great tucked into skirts and high waist pants. Made in LA. Shop via my referral link.

Eileen Fisher Cropped Boyfriend Jeans, purchased with thredUP credit


I scored these secondhand, but they're still available at Neiman Marcus. I like loose fit jeans for the summer, because they provide better aeration. Made with organic cotton in the USA. Shop thredUP via my referral link for $10 off your first purchase.

Nisolo Serena Sandals, $73.00 (received $25 off through referral link)


Thanks for your feedback on my Ethical Black Sandals post. You all helped me narrow down the selection to something that feels classic and versatile. Made ethically in Peru. Shop via my referral link for $25 off.

For some reason, it's been more difficult than usual to transition into summer dressing. I had developed a dependable uniform of tees, jeans, and sweaters over the winter. Since everything was relatively neutral, it was super easy to get dressed in the morning. But I enjoy wearing patterned skirts and quirky items when it's warm and sunny, so I've had to get back into the swing of planning outfits ahead of time. These easy-to-wear additions are making the transition less intimidating.


the ethical closet: spring closet update

ethical capsule wardrobe madefair thredup This post contains affiliate links.

Though I swore off doing a rigid capsule wardrobe last fall, I'm finding that my personal taste is narrowing in on particular colors and silhouettes that work well together anyway, and that things inadvertently look a bit capsule-y around here.

I used to find simplicity unbearable, but I'm learning that a well-cut garment that fits me correctly can be more beautiful than an unusual print or style. This season, I've updated my closet with a few things that will carry me through summer and into fall. I love knowing that what I'm buying can be worn for months and even years and still look good. Some of my pieces have become like security blankets, things I can fall back on when I'm not up to the task of putting together a complicated look.


MY PICKS THIS SPRING:

(clockwise from top left) 

1. Mata Traders Here and There Dress via MadeFAIR, $64.99
It's not spring without Mata Traders! I was thrilled when the brand introduced cotton jersey to their collection last year, but the colors didn't quite work with my complexion. I'm loving this red for spring and summer. Hand block printed, fairly made in India.

2. National Picnic Organic Cotton Skirt via MadeFAIR, $59.99
I didn't purchase this particular skirt, but the style and print are what I look for in spring skirts. I always hit up the thrift stores for vintage midi skirts and recently found a polka dot chambray one at the shop where I work. I'll be featuring National Picnic on the blog soon, so make sure to come back and learn about the brand. Organic cotton, handmade in the USA.

3. Sseko Designs' D'orsay Flat in Caramel, $89.99
I have poor circulation in my toes, which leaves them feeling cold even when the weather's warm, so I'm betting on these beautiful flats to keep my feet comfortable. The style is perfect for both casual and more formal looks, so I think I'll get a lot of use out of them. Leather sourced from small scale meat industry, fairly made in Ethiopia.

4. Everlane Micro Striped Tee, $18.00
I love Everlane's new pima tees and I can't wait for this one to arrive in the mail. I plan on pairing this subtle pattern with my printed vintage skirts. Milled and ethically made in Los Angeles.

5. Jean Jacket via thredUP, purchased with store credit
I've had this jacket since early fall, but I have a feeling I'll be wearing it all spring. As I explained here, it looks like denim, but it's actually a woven, stretch cotton, so it's super comfortable. Secondhand.

6. Teva Sandals via thredUP, purchased with store credit
These aren't an exact version of the pair I purchased, but I'm glad I took the plunge into slightly ugly footwear, because these are quite comfortable and fully adjustable for the perfect fit. Check out ebay for a better selection of secondhand Tevas. Secondhand.


What are your spring picks? I'd love to know about new ethical brands you've discovered recently, as well.


an ethical outfit: afternoon lecture


outfit



Details: People Tree Dress, Mata Traders Earrings, Malia Designs Bag, Ruby Dust Vintage Loafers

(Click the styleboard to be redirected to polyvore)

I don't have any lectures to attend, though I did go to a special talk given by one of Daniel's professors a couple weeks ago. It's important to me that I'm still connected to the academic community. I enjoy living outside of it while keeping up with the conversations within it; it's the best of both worlds. Being married to a grad student has its perks.

I love this People Tree Dress, but the conversion rate makes it pretty far out of my reach. Sad face. The Malia Designs bag, however, comes at a reasonable price at $38.00. It's made from a cement bag and has the most adorable graphic elephant print!

The weather is inching down to fall temps. I'm not excited for the winter, but Charlottesville is really meant for fall. It's a fireworks display of changing leaves and mountain breezes in October and November.

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an ethical outfit: dinner outdoors

downtown dinner
downtown dinner by fracturedradiance featuring genuine leather handbags

The weather's gotten noticeably milder since the first of the month and it worries me. Last year's winter started too early and ended too late, which left us with barely a spring and a short summer. Having grown up in Florida, I have a difficult time adjusting to the cold, dark days and long nights of winter and I'm not quite prepared to live through another extended season.

But it's still pretty warm and the nights are pleasant, perfect for a drive over to the Downtown Mall for dinner outdoors. Maybe I'll bring a cardigan just in case. I just ordered a pair of floral print Betula by Birkenstock sandals off of ebay and I plan to get as much use out of them as possible before cold weather hits. I think they'll look great with skinny jeans and long cardigans. I don't know how you Northerners successfully live your lives with all the cold weather you get.

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fair finds august

faves
faves by fracturedradiance featuring gold dipped jewelry

I'm anxiously awaiting the unveiling of fall arrivals from my favorite ethical retailers, but there are still plenty of things to enjoy. I know Birkenstocks have been a big deal this spring/summer season, but I only really decided they were cool again when Dakota Fanning said they were in the September issue of InStyle (yes, I realize that's lame). I like the black triple strap style. I've also been obsessing over Dogeared jewelry for several months and plan on buying myself their Eye Ring for my birthday (or I could let Daniel purchase it for me).

Speaking of birthdays, Daniel's is tomorrow! Hooray!

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an ethical outfit: everyday


everyday


 everyday by fracturedradiance featuring earrings

Since, as of noon today, I no longer work in the food service industry, I can wear pretty much anything I want, including tank tops (my boss had a very reasonable aversion to employees wearing tank tops while serving coffee and pastries). This outfit is very representative of what I like to wear when I'm not in the mood for a midi skirt or skater dress.

All items are fair trade, secondhand, or handmade in a well regulated environment. The earrings are from a UK based fair trade company called Made that makes really fashion forward metal jewelry; I found this particular item on ASOS, but they also have their own website.
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illustrated favorites: mid-summer

favescanedfinal2

Illustrated favorites take awhile to complete, but they always turn out so cute. This is about the limit of my drawing skills, in case you wondered.

You may recognize that floral dress from yesterday's The Moral Wardrobe post. It, along with a matching set I'm waiting to receive from The Floral Prince, are my two statement items for the season. I've been getting a lot of use out of my Leah Goren tote and various casual shoes that are suitable for work. I'm also anxiously awaiting new glasses from BonLook (they're not particularly ethical, but their production chain is roughly equivalent to Warby Parker).

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an ethical outfit: casual date


date


date by fracturedradiance featuring a woven bag

Hannah of Lifestyle: Justice posted her date night outfit this week, which inspired me to come up with an ethical date night outfit of my own. Daniel and I rarely go on intentional dates, but we do have Chinese Food Thursday, which consists of ordering takeout and pigging out after I get off work on Thursday evenings. I've been really into Tofu with Mixed Vegetables with an eggroll or egg drop soup (yum, eggs).

I'm really hungry, if you can't tell. I'm going to convince Daniel to order Chinese food.

Oh, and Meg Ryan came into the coffee shop this morning! I made her a double shot soy cappuccino. I was starstruck the rest of my shift. It was exhausting.

If you would like a discount code for thredup, you can access my affiliate link here.

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an ethical outfit: flea market


summer



summer by fracturedradiance featuring a stripe skirt

I would wear this outfit to brunch at Bluegrass Grill followed by a meandering walk around the FleaVille flea market that runs once a month downtown. Then I could walk over to midtown for samples at Feast and lunch at one of the many local restaurants. Then I would go home and take a nap in the back yard. A perfect day.

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may favorites


favorites



favorites by fracturedradiance featuring a blue cardigan

Remember how I used to draw my monthly favorites? I ran out of drawing paper and didn't bother to buy another pad, so I temporarily removed this feature. But polyvore is also a great medium for product lists and its styleboards are shoppable, which makes life easier for me by ensuring proper credit is given to the companies and retailers that sell listed products.

It's been quite hot in Charlottesville, but last night's rain brought cooler temperatures, which means I can wear the cute varsity cardigan my friend gave me earlier this week! Other recent favorites include Mel by Melissa jelly sandals, a domestically produced eye ring, an upcycled vintage dress by ASOS, Leah Goren's Girls tote (I bought one with slight imperfections for half price!), and pretty purple eyeshadow from Clinique.

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an ethical outfit: farmers' market


newlook



newlook by fracturedradiance featuring Clinique

The one good thing about winter (besides the temporary thrill of snow) is that it makes warm weather feel like paradise. I'm having fun creating virtual outfits fit for all kinds of outdoor activities.

I don't attend the Saturday Farmers' Market as often as I should, but I want to make sure to go when my friend from Florida comes to town in a couple weeks. Local produce, food trucks, flowers, people watching, a guy who makes "Australian" pies - even if we don't buy anything, it's fun to look around.

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an ethical outfit: weekend sightseeing


sightseeing


sightseeing by fracturedradiance featuring stud earrings

Simple, feminine, and comfortable for a quick weekend away. Daniel and I plan to make frequent weekend trips this summer. Richmond, Williamsburg, Virginia Beach - I'm excited for the time and freedom to explore the state more and revisit favorite places. Of course, our car doesn't have air conditioning, so we'll have to take several gallons of cold water with us to make it work.

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style: simple sandals


sandals



sandals by fracturedradiance featuring black velvet shoes

This season's turn toward "minimalist" style is an interesting development because, for the most part, it doesn't really embrace minimalism. The blogging world is saturated with posts endorsing minimalist dressing by getting rid of a whole bunch of stuff you already own and replacing it with simpler garments, which in the end really just endorses over-consumption as usual.

That being said, I do like the classic shapes and understated styles, and there's something to be said for buying a pair of sandals that look like the ones featured above instead of knee high gladiators or bedazzled flip flops certain to be out of style in a couple of years. So, hooray for minimalism embraced responsibly. If you're hankering for a pair of sandals, maybe go with a classic silhouette you can wear for years, but don't go crazy and buy a different pair of "minimalist" sandals for every day of the week.
All sandals shown above are domestically produced, handmade, fair trade, responsibly manufactured, or vintage. Click on the styleboard to be redirected to product sources.

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a few favorites


afew


afew by fracturedradiance featuring home decor

Just a small assortment of images and things worthy of pinning this week: fair trade moccasins, a sporty midi dress, superb American Apparel flats, and a beautiful forest scene. Click on the styleboard to be redirected to image sources or check out my pinterest page by clicking the P. button below.

Happy Easter Weekend! I'm looking forward to my church's Easter Vigil this evening. If you've never gone to one, I encourage you to find your nearest liturgical church (Lutheran, Episcopalian, Catholic, etc.) and go! It's my favorite service of the year, as it moves through the despair of suffering and death to uncompromised joy by the end of the service. The Lenten season is all about looking our brokenness square in the face and learning how to forgive, repent, and find contentment in its midst. I believe that facing the hard truths of reality and moving forward with a heart of hope and compassion is one of the most important - and perhaps most difficult - steps we take in life. And now that we've seen despair, and now that we know "it is finished" (in the long run) in the sacrifice of Christ, we have cause for hope. We continue the year with new understanding, with a sympathetic spirit, with love to give.

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spring favorites


springfaves


springfaves by fracturedradiance featuring flat shoes

I'm ready for novelty print sundresses, swingy skirts, and breathable flats. It's funny how much the weather can affect style preferences. This stuff looks so cutesy in comparison to my fall wardrobe.

Desired wardrobe updates for spring include:

  • Sunflower Dress from Francesca's Collections, made in USA (I get to wear this dress in the fashion show this weekend!)

  • Blogging Merit Badge from the Boy Scout Store

  • Loly in the Sky Flats, handmade in Mexico

  • Mata Traders House Print Dress, fair trade

  • American Apparel Strappy Flats

  • Seamly.co Skirt


I like the idea of creating virtual capsule collections of things I like for each season. It helps me narrow down my tastes and perceived needs. What have you had your eye on?
*Click the styleboard to be redirected to product sources.

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style recipe: knit tee + vintage skirt + jellies

stylerecipe

look



look by fracturedradiance featuring stripe tops

knit tee + mini skirt + rustic bag + jelly flats


I suppose I was inspired by the warm weather this week when creating these looks. The weather outside is perfect, but it can get a bit toasty behind the counter at the coffee shop. I should have gone bare legged today!

Each look includes a domestically produced top, fair trade bag, vintage skirt, and UK made sandals. Click on the styleboard for links to products.

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conscientious copycat: emma watson at the oscars


emma watson


emma watson by fracturedradiance featuring a grey dress

Though Emma Watson's Oscars look may have been a bit too casual for the event, I really appreciated the minimalist style with a formal twist. I also loved the dress over pants thing she did at the Golden Globes. Both looks are unique and original, and probably a great deal more comfortable than what most female attendees wore.

I copied her look by pairing a sparkly bodycon dress (made in the usa) with a vintage mermaid maxi skirt. The earrings are fair trade via Ten Thousand Villages, the shoes and clutch are handmade, and the lipstick is fair trade, organic. For a few hundred dollars, you can get an ethical outfit that looks pretty similar to red carpet couture.

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spring favorites


springfaves


springfaves by fracturedradiance featuring leather bags

Charlottesville had its first taste of spring last week and now I'm totally and completely over winter. I've been enjoying watching wildlife reemerge and birds take flight, flocks zig-zagging across the sky hypnotically. I can't stop looking up.

If I had an unlimited wardrobe budget, I'd update my closet with:

  1. Everlane U-neck tee in Pine

  2. Bookhou Day Bag in Bure

  3. Dogeared L ring

  4. Orla Kiely for People Tree Collar Dress

  5. TOMS Black Woven Correa Sandals

  6. Everlane Sandals


But alas, I'll be thrifting or not shopping at all. It's tax season after all.
*Click the styleboard to view product sources.

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sunday styleboard

spring fashion styleboard
sources (clockwise from top left): unknown; 6pm; recent settlers on flickr; Adored Vintage; thetimeisgrey

A few recent favorites: thick strap sandals, flatform shoes from France, a chunky knit blanket, a beautiful 1970s dress, and the composition of thetimeisgrey's outfit photo.

I'm savoring the beautiful weather we've been having in Charlottesville because I know it won't last long. But spring will come eventually and I'll go outside with bare legs and it will be wonderful.

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