fall style

The Moral Wardrobe: Menswear-Inspired with Ethos Collection's Versatile LBD

Ethos Collection Little Black Dress, fair trade and sustainable
This post was sponsored by Ethos Collection and I received product for review. All opinions are my own.

A few months ago, I received an email from a reader who had recently discovered that we lived in the same town. She asked if we could meet up just to chat about shared interests, including community organizing, progressive Christianity, and, of course, ethical fashion. She mentioned in passing that her cousin was starting an ethical boutique and - long story short - here we are today. I've enjoyed being able to give some initial feedback on the brand over the last few months and I'm happy to be able to feature Ethos Collection today.

Sara, founder of Ethos Collection, is determined to get it right when it comes to curating ethical brands. And in a market that's increasingly crowded with a whole bunch of stuff - some good, some bad, some ugly - claiming to be "ethical," I find the clean layout and aesthetic extremely refreshing, especially as I continue to work on decluttering my house, my office, and my stylistic point of view this season. Ethos Collection is also the only domestic boutique that carries People Tree, which means Americans now (finally) have access to VAT free, hassle free fair trade goods from the hugely influential brand.

Ethos Collection Little Black Dress, fair trade and sustainable
I'm particularly interested in adding pieces to my wardrobe that are truly versatile, not just in terms of the setting I can appropriately wear them in, but in terms of styling. The Luxe Tank Dress from Indigenous felt like the perfect base for lots of outfits, dressed up with tights, worn by itself when the weather's warm, layered over various t-shirts and blouses like a pinafore, and, as shown here, worn over jeans as a tunic.

I went for a menswear-inspired look here by wearing the dress over denim with a pair of oxfords. I've admired the menswear look for a long time, but I shied away from it when my hair was short because I didn't want to look too masculine, as ridiculous as that may sound. I'm enjoying experimenting with it now that I have a bit more confidence that I can balance the feminine and masculine elements. I paired the dress with a thrifted top that I dip-dyed with indigo.

Frye Tracy Oxfords in GrayEthos Collection Little Black Dress, fair trade and sustainable
Ethical Details: Luxe Tank Dress (worn as tunic) - c/o Ethos Collection; Turtleneck - thrifted and indigo dip-dyed; Jeans - old, redyed with indigo; Shoes - Frye

The Luxe Tank Dress is made of silky soft, low-impact dyed organic cotton and produced under fair trade conditions in Peru. The fabric is medium weight, which means it holds its shape and provides a more flattering fit than thinner cotton, and the wide v-neck provides the right look for layering without being too low cut to be worn alone.

Since I'm participating in Dressember this year, I'll be road testing the Luxe Tank Dress more in December and highlighting my outfits on Instagram as often as possible. I'll let you know how it holds up!


Shop Ethos Collection here. 

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The Moral Wardrobe: Ethical Fashion is Not the New Black

A Beautiful Refuge Ethical Fashion TeeA Beautiful Refuge Ethical Fashion TeeEtiko Fair Trade Converse High TopsEthical Fashion is NOT the new black
Ethical Details: Tee - A Beautiful Refuge; Purse - c/o FashionABLE; Sneakers - Etiko; Ring - Alex & Ani

I got this t-shirt way back in May when A Beautiful Refuge premiered its very first line of graphic tees and totes. My friend, Hannah, of Life Style Justice and members of the Ethical Blogger Network teamed up to raise funds for this new social enterprise that benefits marginalized women in the Philippines while providing well made, ethically sourced goods for conscious consumer geeks and anyone else who likes inspiring messages.

The shirt reads: 

Ethical fashion is not the new black. It's Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

It's a necessary reminder, I think. While it's freaking amazing that ethical manufacturing and social enterprises are in right now, it's imperative that it's not seen as a short term trend to be tried and forgotten when next season's trends come around. Ethical fashion should be a given. 

I paired the tee with my new-to-me Etiko fair trade, sustainable sneakers, which I purchased on ebay. They're just as comfortable as Converse, which is to say that there's a bit of a break in period. I love the look, though. I've always been a high tops lover.


A Beautiful Refuge is having a big sale right now to generate more cashflow for the benefit of their partner organization, Safe Refuge, which provides essentials to women in need. 

Shop A Beautiful Refuge here.

fall favorites '14

fall favorites featuring mata traders, thredup, and everlane

I'm suddenly really into Dusty Rose, which is essentially mauve. I'm noticing it everywhere, but especially at the thrift shop, where we seem to get in another Dusty Rose item every day. The volunteers always ask me if we should save it for spring inventory, but I insist that it's totally in for fall. Am I making it up?

My closet is well packed with clothing, but I envision my alternate wardrobe with soft Everlane basic shirts paired with muted prints, cozy tights, and cognac loafers or boots.

I've hit this point in my fair trade journey where my style has had to change to suit the ethical options available to me. Things have gotten a bit more hippie and I don't mind, but I'm having a hard time even defining my personal style within the constraints. It's likely not normal to be so worried about it, but I'm learning that I'm an extreme perfectionist that has to have everything sorted out and defined.

simple but significant

Make it simple but significant. - Don Draper

For all my scoffing at the whole capsule wardrobe talk, I obviously have my own signature style. I was compiling this set as inspiration for the upcoming season, but I realized almost immediately that, 1. my wardrobe already consists of items like the ones pictured and 2. if I'd created this set years ago, it would look basically the same.

I stick pretty closely to a uniform of printed vintage skirts, knit tops, and striped dresses. The waistlines and lengths have ebbed and flowed over the years, but I've always been drawn to simple silhouettes with unexpected details in the patterns, cuts, and seaming. It's nice to see that consistency and to be reminded that my natural preferences do create a recognizable look - no need to seek out flash trends.

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