outfit

The Moral Wardrobe: a Whole Lotta Mata (Traders)

mata traders maxwell midi skirt reviewmata traders maxwell midi skirt review
Mata Traders works with women's co-ops in India to produce their line of festive, feminine dresses, skirts, blouses, and jewelry. They sent me the Maxwell Midi Skirt and the Layered Amulet Necklace from their Spring 2016 line to wear and review. I love the updated designs and the versatility of these items.

First, the hand block printed geometric design on the skirt is graphic without being too busy, and it pairs well with my overabundance of Everlane tees. The length is great for work, where I often have to lift boxes and pick up dust bunnies, and the necklace adds a thoughtful touch to basic tops. I imagine it would look great layered with other jewelry, as well.
  mata traders maxwell midi skirt reviewmata traders maxwell midi skirt reviewEthical Details: Maxwell Midi Skirt and Layered Amulet Necklace - c/o Mata Traders; Tee - Everlane; Sandals - secondhand via Thredup

Now for the downsides: I always have trouble getting the right fit in Mata Traders items, particularly with their woven, non-stretch fabrics. The skirt is too big in the waist by several inches even though I followed their size chart (definitely size down). As a result, it's a bit awkward to fit evenly at mid-rise, as I'm wearing it here. The skirt also lacks a back or side slit, which limits my stride when I'm walking, though they did add enough fabric near the knee and calves to provide reasonable walking comfort if you're not a fast walker, like I am.

I'd definitely still recommend the skirt, but you may want to reach out to Mata Traders for specific details before ordering. The necklace is lovely, as well.

I took these photos on the only sunny day we've had in, like, 14 days. I'm back in sweaters for now, but I enjoyed the brief respite.

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Mata Traders is featuring artisan stories and running a giveaway until May 16th! Check out this post to learn more. 

the moral wardrobe: an epic ten thousand villages review + giveaway

ten thousand villages outfitten thousand villages giveaway
When Ten Thousand Villages reached out to me to see if I'd be interested in a collaboration, I was delighted. Ten Thousand Villages holds a special place in my heart as one of the first fair trade shops I ever visited, long before I even knew what fair trade was. They're also credited with inventing the fair trade model as we know it back in the late 1940s when Edna Ruth Byler came back from a trip to Puerto Rico determined to expand the market for artisans there.

Ten Thousand Villages works with hundreds of artisan partners around the world with a mission to empower women, build relationships, preserve cultural arts, sustain livelihoods, and show dignity. In my experience buying from Ten Thousand Villages for several years, the products are well made, with attention given to detail and consistency. Plus, they make great gifts and their Christmas ornaments are lovely.
  ten thousand villages outfitEthical Details: Top and Skirt - thrifted; Shoes - Sseko Designs c/o MadeFAIR; Necklace and Earrings - c/o Ten Thousand Villages

Ten Thousand Villages sent me the Honeycomb Blossom Necklace and Earring Set made by Tara Projects in India. The pendant pieces are made from dyed bone sourced as a byproduct from animals that have either died of natural causes or are killed for food production. My position on material sourced from animals is that it must be a byproduct of a preexisting industry so that as much of the animal is used as possible, so I'm glad to hear that. The bone makes these delicate and super lightweight, so sensitive ears will have no issue wearing the earrings. I also appreciate the unexpected way the tri-flower necklace pendant is attached to the chain. It feels very contemporary.

ten thousand villages outfit
The spring-time exuberance of this set inspired me to get out and take photos on one of those perfect, breezy, warm-in-the-sun, cool-in-the-shade early spring days. And now that the Northern Hemisphere is hurdling toward warmer weather, I'm excited to be giving away not one, but THREE Honeycomb Blossom Necklace and Earring sets. Details below.
  ten thousand villages charlottesville
I'm honored to not only be working with Ten Thousand Villages Corporate, but to be collaborating with my local Ten Thousand Villages store (Sallie and her team are the bomb!) to offer two ways to enter the giveaway.

Option 1: Enter to win one set at the Charlottesville Store. 


You'll have an opportunity to win one Honeycomb Blossom Necklace and Earring Set when you enter at the Charlottesville Ten Thousand Villages on the Downtown Mall. The contest will run for one week at that location, so check the store for details.

The address is:
105 W Main St
Charlottesville, VA 22902

Option 2: Enter to win a set for you and a set for a friend on my Instagram account (@stylewiseblog).


Head over to my instagram account for the opportunity to win 2 necklace and earring sets, one for you and one for a friend you tag in the comments. 

This contest will run for one week. The Charlottesville store will designate its own entry period and rules, and information can be found in store. The Instagram contest, in collaboration with Ten Thousand Villages Corporate, will run until Thursday, April 21st at 11:59 pm EST. Winners will be selected randomly.

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spotlight: Global Goods Partners Wishlist

Many thanks to Global Goods for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own. 

global goods partners wishlist

Global Goods is a well established fair trade accessories brand (and a member of the Fair Trade Federation!) with a mission to alleviate poverty and promote justice in the global south. As its name implies, Global Goods' partnerships are widespread, extending to 20 countries, from Namibia to Bolivia to Afghanistan and dozens of places in between. It's a central marketplace for independently run co-ops, which ensures that each artisan group can operate according to its specific needs and talents. This is the beauty of the fair trade system: it is meant to be small scale, which means any problems that arise are easy to spot and can be addressed quickly and correctly. That's something a giant corporation simply can't do.

From the looks of their product offerings, Global Goods' curators gravitate toward a lot of the things I love, like super saturated jewel tones, statement jewelry, and richly textured bags. I've highlighted a handful of my favorite things here (clockwise from top left):


I also thought it would be fun to accessorize an outfit I already own with Global Goods items. I would wear this to a grad student get together or a casual weekend dinner out with Daniel.
global goods fair trade outfit
Ethical Details: Skirt - eshakti; Lapis Drop Earrings via Global Goods; Ikat Crossbody Bag via Global Goods; Shoes - Sseko Designs

Global Goods items are beautiful things meant to be treasured. I like to invest once a year or so in a nice, fairly sourced bag that will get me through several seasons in style. It's nice to carry something with me everyday that reminds me of the commitment I've made to tread lightly. What I'm really trying to say is that the Ikat Crossbody purse is the bomb. Their smaller trinkets and accessories would make nice gifts, too. 

What items are on your wishlist this fall?


(I'm still trying to sort out exactly what I want my fall wardrobe to look like. This capsule wardrobe thing is hard for an indecisive person!)

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Shop Global Goods Partners here. Follow on facebook, instagram, and twitter



the moral wardrobe: mad men

Ethical Details: Dress - c/o Nomads; Sandals - Sseko Designs

Did you watch Mad Men? It's 1970 in the last season (just ended Sunday) and all the secretaries were wearing itty bitty mini dresses to work. I don't think I'd wear this outfit to work, but it's just fine for a lazy Saturday afternoon. I used to wear short dresses all the time, but as I get older, I just don't feel like I can get away with it anymore. Subtle social pressure paired with greater personal awareness, I suppose.

This week is an exciting one! I drove over to Roanoke to see a friend on Monday, my parents are coming into town Thursday, and I'm going to a book premiere party for Lauren Winner's new book, Wearing God Thursday evening. They're even letting me give a little speech about Style Wise while I'm there. If you're local, you can RSVP on facebook.

an ethical outfit: 9th & Elm giveaway

9th & Elm is a curated marketplace for all things "handmade, independent, or otherwise cool." Their focus on small scale businesses and independent designers makes it easy to find ethical pieces. I made an outfit out of a domestically produced dress, handmade beret, vintage bag, and sustainable espadrilles.

handmade clothing


In celebration of Cyber Monday, 9th & Elm is running a giveaway. Enter to win up to $100.00 in store credit! You could buy more than half of the outfit pictured above with that amount of money.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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This contest is sponsored and run by 9th & Elm. Please read contest rules through the Rafflecopter application. Open to US and Canada residents only.