loafers

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!

reviews: the shoes blues

For the past couple years, I've relied on thrifting for most of my shoe purchases. It's challenging to find a good pair of shoes and it's even worse when you've spent a lot of money on a pair just to realize they aren't meeting your expectations. But I want to support ethical brands when I can, so when I got a new job, I saved up some money and bought a few new pairs of shoes for the first time in a long time.

Unfortunately, I wasn't pleased with the results.

The Sseko Designs Flats - so beautiful, so disappointing

Item 1: TOMS Flats


I actually found these secondhand online and thought it was the perfect opportunity to get a pair of TOMS. The brand is still working out kinks with production standards and transparency, but I consider them a better option than your standard department store brand. I bought these in a size 7, my usual size, and found them to be both unusually wide and shallow at the heel. As a result, my feet are constantly flopping out of the back and getting shoved to one side or the other.

Item 2: Sseko Designs Lalibella Flats


The website suggests sizing down one size, so I opted for a 6.5 instead of my usual 7. When I got them, I found them to be too small, with the left shoe feeling slightly tighter than the right (my right foot is a bit bigger, so it's not a matter of foot inconsistency). I ordered the next size up and found that the left shoe fit the same if not tighter than the 6.5 and the right shoe fit fine. What?! To their credit, they have incredible customer service and free returns.

I'm terribly disappointed that the Sseko flats are a no-go because I love the style and the company. It sucks because fair trade and small scale are the best ways to ensure fair labor and greater sustainability, but the quality control is (often) lacking. I take my time on making more expensive ethical purchases because, on my budget, these things are investment pieces. They've got to hold up.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the necessary price differences between fast fashion items and ethical/artisanal ones. I get it, but it's hard not to hold items you've spent more than a day's wages on to a high standard. It's a struggle with every new purchase and it makes ethical fashion blogging a bit more challenging because I can't feature tons of ethical brands in personal style posts. Still, important things are often the hardest things to achieve and it's worth it to keep having these discussions, to keep saving up, and to keep discovering and featuring brands that change the industry for the better.

sseko designs' fall footwear


I bought my first pair of Sseko sandals earlier this year and wore them all through the summer. Their model is great because it provides both jobs and scholarships to Ugandan women. And the quality and community can't be beat. I wrote about them in more detail here

I got early access to the fall lookbook a couple months ago and flipped out when I realized they were coming out with loafers! I waited and waited and they're finally available online. The price is steep when you're used to thrifting, but they're made of quality materials sourced at fair prices from Ethiopia.

When it comes to conscientious consumerism, leather goods are a tricky subject. I'm not a vegetarian, though I don't typically eat meat at home, but leather production requires a rather inefficient use of resources. On the other hand, leather goods can withstand years of use and abuse, which makes them a good choice when you're trying to buy smarter. Buying from a small scale production line is a middle ground I'm ok with.

I haven't gotten my pair in the mail yet, but I'll review them in a post as soon as I can. Click the links below the photo collage to browse.

tradesy: secondhand shoes galore


I know that the thought of wearing used shoes makes some people nauseous, but I've never taken issue with it. In fact, probably 1/3 of the shoes I own are secondhand. In a consumer culture dominated by 5-week trend cycles, people are doomed to impulse buy, which leaves a lot of gently used stuff on the secondhand market to trawl through.

I've typically thrifted or searched ebay to find secondhand shoes, but the popularity of online shopping has resulted in all sorts of new places to shop for secondhand goods.

I discovered Tradesy over the weekend. It's a mashup between the Ebay/Etsy, direct-from-the-seller approach and more curated sites like thredup and Twice. Basically, an individual lists items, which are placed both within their personal shop and within the larger marketplace. Once an item sells, the Tradesy team processes the order and sends the seller packaging materials, which the seller then uses to ship the item to the customer. Items ship free and returns are free, as well.

Tradesy's setup isn't perfect. Items that sell out are delayed from removal while the site waits to confirm the order with the seller, which means the customer has to scroll through a lot of extraneous listings to find something she can actually buy. But they're the best I've found when it comes to shoes. Prices tend to fall in ebay ranges with the advantage of avoiding the auction and having your item ship free.

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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the moral wardrobe: any day now

people tree preppy styleye3

Since the weather still hasn't decided if it'd like to become spring, I have to constantly check the forecast. On colder days, I just want to wear something easy; it's too annoying at this point in the season to obsess over layers and details.

I got myself a pair of Levi's with a 6pm giveaway credit after discovering that they're reasonably ranked for ethics and values on GoodGuide. I bought a couple more pairs of jeans using ThredUp credit (thanks to those of you who used my referral link). It's always more difficult to shop ethically for basic items that require a good fit, but I think I'm doing alright.

Ethical choices are bolded below. Retailers taking steps to become more ethical are bolded in gray.

  • Sweater - H&M

  • Top - People Tree

  • Jeans - Levi's

  • Earrings - handmade via Fab

  • Loafers - vintage, for sale at Platinum & Rust


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