black and white

the moral wardrobe: wearing sunshine

black and white ethical outfit stripes with bright cardigan sam edelman petty booties turquoise j crew cashmere Ethical Details: Top - thrifted; Cardigan - J. Crew Warehouse; Boots - thrifted

These photos were taken a couple weeks ago, but it might as well be today. Last week felt like summer with a warm, moist breeze and temps in the high 70s, but we're back to reality now and the sunshine is on a break again. I love this cardigan because it's abrasively bright. If it glows this much during cloud cover, imagine how bright it looks on a sunny day! I realized about halfway through my first winter here that everyone's typical black and gray uniform was not going to work for me. If I can't see the sun, I want to wear something bright to cheer me up. 

Speaking of bright, I bought some very red henna and am planning on dyeing my hair again within the next few days. I'm also thinking about growing it out! 


the moral wardrobe: thrift score

sam edelman outfit
sam edelman petty booties review
thrifted style
Ethical Details: Top - thrifted; Dress (worn as skirt) - c/o Synergy Organic Clothing; Necklace - c/o Bought Beautifully; Boots - thrifted Sam Edelman

I always take a final lap around the thrift store before checking out just to make sure I didn't miss anything. It was my lucky day a couple months ago at Valley Thrift in Cincinnati, because the final lap revealed a practically new pair of Sam Edelman Petty Booties (retail price: $140.00) for $4.00! I'm pretty sure the shop attendant who priced them didn't realize what they had, because they aren't shy about pricing nice things in the $10-20 range at least.

They're a perfect fit and really comfortable despite having such a low toe box and angled toe. I like that they're an alternative to ballet flats and a great option under flared jeans. I know bloggers have been raving about this style for awhile now, but I don't put much stock in the opinions of people who actually like wearing heels - I just assume that everything they wear is uncomfortable - but these are awesome. If you like this style, maybe try your luck on ebay?

second hand challenge: outfit 1, black and white stripes

second hand outfit
low back top
strappy flats
black and white outfit
Ethical Details: Top - thrifted; Skirt - secondhand via Thredup; Shoes - upcycled

I take it for granted how much of my wardrobe belonged to someone else before it got to me. Working at a thrift shop, you can lose track of how much you're taking home with you. When I bought this blouse (for $3.50), I remember thinking it wasn't quite my style and wondering if I'd actually get around to wearing it, but I love the plunging back and the fit of it so much that it's become one of my favorite pieces. 

That's not always the case, though. I've made a lot of terrible impulse buys that I end up re-donating. Still, I've had pretty good luck getting things I love at second hand shops. In the past month alone, I've purchased a cashmere cardigan ($3.50), practically new Urban Outfitters duster ($3.50), Sam Edelman Petty Booties ($3.99!), and a current season J. Crew top ($10.00) from thrift shops and ebay. (You may be asking, "But what about your capsule wardrobe?" at this point, and to be honest with you, that's up in the air; that project really helped me figure out my style and narrow down my purchases, but the seasons here are so unpredictable that I haven't been ready to start it.)

I know a lot of people find no thrill in sorting through poorly organized racks of second hand clothes (I can't imagine why! JK), but it's definitely worth your while to take a quick look around a second hand shop before splurging on a new item. You'll save money and give old things another chance to see the light of day. 

the moral wardrobe: tree mourning

black and white striped outfit
aline skirt outfit
personal style black and white
Ethical Details: Skirt - secondhand via thredup*; Sandals - Betula; Earrings - c/o Bario Neal

About a month ago, the land lady emailed us to let us know she would be hiring an arborist to do some "tree work" on the property. I didn't think much of it; I knew we had some overgrown bushes and a tree on the side of the house that was growing dangerously close to the foundation. But when I got home from work on the day the arborist came, I found they'd taken down the lovely, sprawling, flowering tree that had lived in the center of our yard. I was devastated; in fact, I cried. And I didn't feel like spending time in the back yard being constantly reminded of what used to be. 

Over the years, I'd made a habit of observing the way the light shone through its leaves and branches every time I walked to and from my car, and for days after it was gone, I kept glancing over expecting to see something beautiful, instead seeing only a scattering of orange dirt. One can grow quite attached to something and not realize how important it was until it's gone. 

RIP, tree. You were my second favorite tree in the world.

*Referral link

the moral wardrobe: frolicking in snow

snow photos
people tree tunic
style wise ethical style blog
thrifted suede coat
Ethical Details: Coat - thrifted; Tunic - People Tree; Leggings - old; Gloves - American Apparel; Vest - thrifted; Boots - thrifted

Another snow day. You know, it's nice to be able to take midday outfit pictures since I'm off work, but it's unsettling to miss so many days. Weather makes a big impact on sales, so I'd like to ask the winter to deal with us more gently. Make it warm, please.

I don't love playing in snow, but forcing myself to act a bit peppier lifted my spirits. My red rain boots are turning out to be the best $3.50 ever spent at the thrift store. In retrospect, I wish I'd spent even more time outside and less time obsessing over the black/blue, white/gold dress controversy. I can't even bring myself to link that for you because I never want to think about it again.

the moral wardrobe: migraine weather

gap moto jacket
black and white outfit personal style
madden girl combat boots
thrifted outfit
Ethical Details: Top - thrifted; Skort - thrifted; Leggings - uber old; Socks - SmartWool

I was inspired by my thrift post to put together a thrifted outfit. With a little more thought, I could have easily gone full thrift, but, you know, I was getting dressed midday after a morning of blogging and it was surprisingly warm outside and I just needed to move forward with the day. 

I got this skort early on in college and am sort of horrified that I used to wear it without leggings underneath, as it's awfully short. Black and white pattern mixing is one of my favorite ways to make an outfit more interesting, but I also wanted to add some color with my jean jacket. 

The light in these photos is pretty crazy! Winter light has arrived, the kind that's so clear and white-bright it threatens to give you a migraine if you stay outside too long. I narrowly averted one this afternoon.

Do you have an old item in your closet that you'd second guess wearing now?

the moral wardrobe: loafer love

loafers and thrifted cashmere cardigan on stylewiseblog.blogspot.com
mata traders earrings and vintage loafers on stylewiseblog.blogspot.com
mata traders earrings and vintage loafers on stylewiseblog.blogspot.com

Outfit Details: Cardigan - thrifted; Shirt - made in USA via Marshall's; Jeans - AE; Loafers - vintage via etsy; Earrings - Mata Traders

I lost my beloved loafers to a day of muddy slush after a heavy snow last winter. I'd been on the lookout for a pair that filled the loafer-shaped hole in my heart and I think I finally found them (after trying on a dozen or more pair). I've been wearing these vintage loafers ever since they arrived in the mail.

These are my new skinny-but-not-too-skinny jeans. It's amazing how much better one feels when one's not suffocating in ill-fitting jeans!

the moral wardrobe: low back

b2 b6b3
Outfit Details: Top - thrifted via the Schoolhouse Thrift Shop; Skirt - Old Navy (old); Shoes - thrifted

I'm emotionally exhausted over the disappearance of local student, Hannah Graham, and spent the week being snippy with people I love. I'm feeling a bit down, but am encouraged by the way the Charlottesville community has stepped up to comfort one another and aid in the search.

This week is birthday week and I'm determined to count my blessings. I have lovely plans for Friday and am going on a hike in Shenandoah National Park on Saturday, so there's a lot to look forward to. I'm also excited to work on some new pieces on my banjo; I'm painfully inexperienced, but I think my guitar basics will transfer well enough for now.

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.
Click the styleboard to be redirected to product sources. 

follow photo


butbl butets butfb butp

the moral wardrobe: old favorites

black and white dress stylewiseguide.com personal style black and white stylewiseguide.comthrifted outfit stylewiseguide.com
Outfit Details: Dress - secondhand via thredup / Shoes - old / Necklace - handmade by someone I can't remember

I got my hair cut today in preparation for my new job (it starts tomorrow!). Gotta look totes profesh (I promise I wouldn't say that out loud). I didn't realize my desired length was going to cut off all the lingering blonde in the back, however, so now my hair color looks pretty interesting.

I rediscovered this necklace in a backpack I use when traveling. It must have been in there for a year or more. It's nice when old things feel new again.

follow photo


butbl butets butfb butp