summer

Inside an Ethical Wardrobe: Summer 2017

an ethical capsule wardrobe for summer, stylewise-blog.com

Hey! I actually managed to photograph two seasons of wardrobe items in a row.


I actually wanted to do my first video now that I have a camera with recording capabilities, but I couldn't figure out how to get the sound going (maybe I need a microphone?), so photos it is.

As I always mention, I don't do capsule wardrobes because I'm a big believer in versatility and layering. My style is cohesive enough across seasons that a lot of basics, like t-shirts, can be worn year round. This, however, doesn't represent everything I own. I focused on the things I've actually been wearing throughout the summer and disregarded those aspirational items that don't suit my lifestyle.

I've linked to items that are currently available for purchase. This post contains some affiliate links.

an ethical capsule wardrobe for summer, stylewise-blog.com
Left to Right: Thrifted Shorts | NeoThread Co. Tee | GlobeIn Hat | Mawu Lolo Suborsubor Sandals | Elegantees Giselle Top | Thrifted Skirt

New this season: Shorts, Tee, Sandals, Skirt

an ethical capsule wardrobe for summer, stylewise-blog.com
Clockwise from Top Left: Everlane V-neck | United by Blue Tank | Thrifted | Everlane V-neck | Everlane Striped Crew | Logo Tee from Retreat Center (not ethical) | Thrifted Stripes (similar) | Everlane V-neck | Everlane Linen (similar) | Old Tee

New this season: Logo tee, bought to commemorate my time at my favorite retreat center

an ethical capsule wardrobe for summer, stylewise-blog.com
Thrifted Skirt | Thrifted Shorts | Thrifted and Cropped Shorts | Krochet Kids Prescott Maxi Skirt

New this season: Skirts and one pair of shorts
  an ethical capsule wardrobe for summer, stylewise-blog.com

New this season: Pyne & Smith Dress

an ethical capsule wardrobe for summer, stylewise-blog.com

New this season: All items
   an ethical capsule wardrobe for summer, stylewise-blog.com

New this season: Live the Give Tank and Songa Designs Sarong

Not shown: YSTR Jumpsuit, Vintage Sunflower Dress, Live the Give Vintage Tee, Wide Leg Cropped Jeans, Thrifted Denim Skirt

My Favorite Pieces: Deux Mains Sandals, Smockwalker Vintage Romper, Love Justly Kimono Jacket

What I Learned About Style This Season

I am a creature of habit and will almost always choose ease over a perfectly crafted outfit. Tees and simple accessories are the basis of my wardrobe, and I'm ok with that. I do like an interesting or unusual dress, though, and summer is the perfect time to wear printed and embroidered dresses. To my surprise, I haven't been as into skirts this year. I've been relying instead on wide cut pants that provide some airflow while allowing me to bend over, sit on the ground, and do whatever else I need to do at work.

More than anything, I'm enjoying wearing sandals every single day.

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See other seasons here. 

Review: MATTER Sideswept Dhoti in Organic Cotton

MATTER Sideswept Dhoti Review, ethical fashion
This post was sponsored by MATTER Prints and I received a pair of Sideswept Dhoti pants to review.

I'm a Florida girl at heart and maybe I always will be. I live for long, hot, humid summer days. As I type this post, I'm sitting in my backyard enjoying 93 degree temps and drinking hot tea.

Summer means there's no need for formality, no need for constricting layers and multiple wool socks. I feel free because I don't have to cocoon myself in so much fabric. My toes get to stretch out in sandals, my shoulders can make full rotations without my pesky wool coat getting in the way. At the same time, these lethargic days make me nostalgic for all those other sunny days growing up: sleeping in then taking a dip in a cool pool, bike rides and walks through woods, family trips with my sister and I playing "news anchor and weatherman" in the back seat (my parents were always the witnesses and the foreign correspondents).

MATTER and I are a good match, because there's something special about the freedom of their clothing, linked to the past but not tethered there, intentional but never fussy, made with outdoor exploration in mind.


MATTER Sideswept Dhoti Review, ethical fashion

MATTER sent me the Sideswept Dhoti in Kangura Charcoal ($139), part of their new Organic Cotton line, to review.

Made responsibly with azo-free dyes (azo dyes, which are common in the fashion industry, have been found to be potentially carcinogenic), the pants were block printed in Jaipur and stitched in Delhi, India. One of MATTER's missions is to help their customers appreciate process and provenance, linking people like you and me to the people who developed artisan processes long ago and the people who keep them alive against all odds in a modernized world. MATTER seeks to make rural textile industries sustainable. I love this, because I think that the best work-life balance comes when we're able to stay in our own communities and work in disciplines that connect us to the beauty of humanity.
  MATTER Sideswept Dhoti Review, ethical fashionMATTER Sideswept Dhoti Review, ethical fashion

The Sideswept Dhoti is designed just like a wrap skirt, which means a single size can accommodate about 2-3 standard sizes (I'm wearing a size 1). This design means there's no need for any hardware: simply slip the tie through a slit at the waist and knot it on the other side. The fabric is draped precisely on the right side to create a pocket without any additional tailoring.

As I've mentioned before, MATTER is truly wearable art. That makes me excited, and slightly intimidated, to review their pieces. I'm so encouraged by ethical companies that innovate in this way. They ensure that the industry won't be seen as tired or crunchy.

MATTER Sideswept Dhoti Review, ethical fashion
Ethical Details: Sideswept Dhoti Pants - c/o MATTER; Sandals - Deux Mains

MATTER's organic line features a few different silhouettes and prints, which you can peruse here. They recently released two types (one, two) of dresses, too. 

I have one more post with MATTER coming up, so check back for that in a few weeks. 

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Shop MATTER.


Social Media: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

MATTER is offering 40% off shorts with code, WEEKEND40, through July 30th.

Giveaway: OESH Artemis 3-D Printed Sandals (Closed)

OESH Artemis sandals giveaway

If you missed yesterday's brand profile on OESH shoes, make sure to check it out. OESH is a Charlottesville, Virginia based, 3-D printed, woman owned, podiatrist approved, all-around innovative company that specializes in active footwear for women.

What I forgot to mention yesterday is that the 3-D print process allows them to build a honeycomb design into the sole that disburses pressure evenly on the foot and helps prevent injury. My ankles typically roll inward when I walk and somehow the design of these soles helps prevent that.

OESH just came out with the Artemis, a new version of their sandal that wraps around the toe, and they're giving away one pair in the color and size of your choice! Simply follow the prompts in the widget below.

  OESH Artemis sandals giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For an additional entry, find the Giveaway announcement on my Instagram profile!

Contest runs through August 10 at 12:00 am EST. Must be 18 years old or older to enter. Contest is open to international readers. Winner will be selected randomly 1-3 business days after giveaway ends and notified via email. 


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Shop OESH here. Read my review here.


Follow OESH on social media: Instagram // Twitter // Facebook

The Moral Wardrobe: Lazy Summer with Sseko Designs + Mata Traders

ethical summer outfit Sseko Designs T-Strap sandals with Carnival Accent ethical summer outfit with everlane and mata traderssseko designs t-strap sandals Ethical Details: Top - Everlane; Shorts - thrifted; Layered Amulet Necklace - c/o Mata Traders; T-Strap Sandals* - Sseko Designs (worn with Carnival accents*)

I love the super hot days of summer that make it suddenly acceptable to wear cut offs and sandals everywhere you go. I love driving in my hot car with the windows down and letting the sun seep into my bones. I love feeling good with minimal effort and minimal clothing required.

If you follow me on Instagram (and are also paying a lot of attention), I recently sold my Sseko Designs' Ribbon Sandals and replaced them with the T-Straps. I have a condition called Raynaud's Syndrome that causes me to have circulation issues in my extremities and the constriction of the ribbon strap around my ankle had become a growing concern. The T-Straps are the perfect replacement, because they still have interchangeable pieces, but the straps hit lower on my foot and don't require that I secure them as tightly. I had really wanted to go with the black Nisolo Serena sandals, but the fit wasn't right, so I went with the neutral Caramel Sseko sandals instead.

In unrelated news, I decided to do an Ask Me Anything post on Instagram this week. Feel free to participate either there or in the comments section of this post.

The Moral Wardrobe: The Decadence of Fabric

vintage ethical outfit with everlanevintage ralph lauren skirtvintage ethical outfit with everlanevintage ralph lauren skirt Ethical Details: Top - Everlane; Skirt - thrifted vintage Ralph Lauren; Sandals - Betula via Ebay; Necklace - old Greenola Style c/o American Nomad

A couple months ago, I went on my annual, pre-summer skirt hunt at the local thrift stores and found this one at my first stop for $3.75. It's vintage Ralph Lauren Country, made in the USA from yards and yards of medium weight woven cotton. The sheer amount of fabric on this makes it feel decadent, and it falls beautifully because it's quite heavy. If you were to buy this much by the yard at a fabric store, you'd probably spend more than $50 before you'd even begun sewing. 

I always scoop up Ralph Lauren pieces from secondhand shops when I find them, because the cut, proportions, and fabric quality can't be beat. I'm a bit of a quality snob these days, but it's just because my experience working at a thrift shop has made me aware of the quality that used to be present in mainstream garments and is now virtually impossible to find unless you buy from a high end designer who still cares about these things. 

inspiration board: May Edition, featuring Veja, Everlane, Mata Traders


A SERIES OF DREAM OUTFITS FOR THE WARM DAYS AHEAD...


Meanwhile, the gray skies persist here in Charlottesville for the foreseeable future. My SAD is fighting with me this week, but I'm determined to remain hopeful, get stuff done, and enjoy the little things.

All items are ethical, sustainable, and/or domestically sourced. Click on the images to be redirected.*
Notes: For busy days at work or couch hunting around town on a day off.
Notes: For Sunday afternoons at the winery.
Notes: For vacationing in historic towns this summer.

the moral wardrobe: Elegantees Hayley Top

elegantees fair trade blog

I heard about Elegantees on instagram a few months ago and was intrigued by their business model. Founded by fashion designer, Katie Martinez, Elegantees works closely with anti-trafficking agency, The Nepali Rescue Project, to provide consistent, gratifying employment to survivors of sex trafficking in Nepal. 

Elegantees focuses on dressed up basics because they want women to feel stylish, comfortable, and empowered. Designs are created and tweaked both by head designers in the US and, more recently, by Nepali staff, and sewn by a team of less than a dozen women in Nepal. Elegantees hopes to triple their sewing staff by this fall!

made in nepal elegantees
elegantees hayley
elegantees outfit post
Ethical Details: Top - Elegantees Hayley Top; Skirt - vintage; Sandals - Sseko Designs (select items* 25% off); Earrings - Mata Traders

I bought the Hayley Top in my new favorite muted pink, Rosewood, because of the cool sleeve detail. I've already received a compliment on it by a customer at work who makes her own clothing! Though it has an over-sized fit, it's cut well with slight contouring at the lower hem and a nice breast pocket. If you like t-shirts but aren't ready to go full on #normcore, Elegantees may be just the thing for you. 


Click here and get free shipping on your Elegantees order with code, STYLEWISE.


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Shop the Hayley top here. Visit Elegantees on facebook, instagram, and twitter.

I received discounted product in exchange for writing this post.

*denotes affiliate link

the moral wardrobe: Synergy Organic Clothing Beatrice Dress

synergy beatrice dress review
synergy organic clothing

Synergy Organic Clothing started out as a yoga wear company, but quickly expanded to include comfortable, versatile stretch cotton looks for almost any occasion. They've committed to using organic textiles, low-impact nontoxic dyes, and fair labor practices for all of their products and they still manage to offer fashionable, affordable, figure flattering clothing!

Jules at Synergy sent me the Beatrice Dress to review. I own one other piece from Synergy since I walked in a fashion show featuring their products at Floyd Fest last summer, so I had an idea of what size and styles would suit me best. Because I'm pear shaped, I opted to go one size up in this dress so that the super stretchy fabric wouldn't pull at the hip. When I pulled the dress out of the bag, it looked a bit too big up top, but it quickly conformed to my body, so I think I made the right choice when all is said and done. I'd say Synergy clothes best fit a straight figure, so if you have a few curves, pay careful attention to the size chart. Petite people may want to size down.

spotted in synergy

I wore this dress to explore the quaint little mountain town of Crozet and do a wine tasting at King Family Vineyards last weekend. It looks a bit dressy, but it feels like pajamas, which means perfection. 

synergy organic clothing tank dress
My face is ridiculous.

The Beatrice Dress is priced at $66.00 and is available on Synergy's online shop. Synergy Organic Clothing is offering a $50.00 gift card to one lucky Style Wise Blog reader, so check back Wednesday to enter the giveaway!

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Check out Synergy Organic Clothing on facebook, twitter, and instagram. Visit their website here

introducing Ikwetta


Ikwetta is a fair trade, sustainable accessories brand based in Kenya. Co-founders Varsheeni Raghupathy and her husband Leela, a Kenya native, were honeymooning in his home country when they happened upon beautiful, handcrafted sandals at a local market. When they realized that the artisans were not able to make a livable income due to competition and a relatively small consumer market they decided to partner with them to bring their goods to a wider audience.

In their own words:
"While my wife and I fell in love with the products, it was the people behind them that we feel the most for. We realized that African artisans definitely have the talent and their passion shows in the products they make, but what they lack is an avenue through which they could make a decent living through their skills and hard work. We want your support to help us create that avenue …. we want your help to build Ikwetta."



Ikwetta launched a Kickstarter campaign today to get the company off the ground. It's a great opportunity to help some talented people and get some lovely fair trade goods. I really love the Flower Power and Jewelled Peacocks styles shown above.

the moral wardrobe: after the storm

Ethical Details: Top - thrifted; Skirt - secondhand via ebay; Sandals - thrifted; Earrings - handmade by Hannah Naomi via Ash & Rose

Man, the past couple of weeks have been rough. So much being-a-grown-up required at every turn. Difficulties at work, last minute deadlines, flights to schedule, complicated talks with the duplex mates. It's one thing after another. When it all piles up at once like this, I often do two things: shop and have a crisis of self esteem. Though, as expected, these things did happen, I managed them a little better. Instead of spending money on fast fashion (or even slow fashion), I bought myself some Chik-Fil-A and got a hair cut. Instead of angrily picking my pimples, I put on a little extra makeup and got on with the week. I'm trying to go easy on myself without throwing in the towel and it's helped immensely to just simplify my routine and put on things that make me feel comfortable.

I know I've been an adult for several years now, but 26 has been the transformative year of actually feeling like one. It's not always good, but I am managing. And I think, more than anything, it's the confidence that I can manage it that makes me feel grown up.

the moral wardrobe: madras

thrifted outfit at stylewiseguide.com warm day outfit, stylewiseguide.comsummer outfit, madras, stylewiseguide.comDespite having had a busy week, I don't have much to say. Happy that the weather is cooling down after a few brutally hot days.

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

  • Top - H&M

  • Skirt - thrifted (my favorite!)

  • Shoes - Sseko Designs

  • Earrings - c/o Mata Traders


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the moral wardrobe: community

anthro skirt outfit thredup outfitmodern clothing outfit

This week has been inexplicably stressful. Maybe it was the weighty theological discussion that went on too long. The flea bites from petting a couple outdoor cats. The allergies. The people, ugh, people everywhere - asking questions, ranting, confused.

But the funny thing is that all the annoyances are just small parts of the beautiful life I get to experience. Dinner on the porch; affectionate neighborhood pets; flowers and green leaves; enthusiastic customers and thoughtful friends. A community enamored with the opportunity to linger outdoors after a winter that lasted too long.

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

  • Top - H&M

  • Skirt - secondhand via thredup

  • Shoes - vintage Minnetonka

  • Earrings - handmade via etsy


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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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the moral wardrobe: evening light

cg2 cg6cg3Today was hot, so-hot-you-can't-breathe hot. But the evening light was beautiful, so I took my outfit photos then spent a few minutes photographing light through leaves, berries hidden on trees, and exuberant branches, heavy with new life.

May has been a busy month and it looks like the days aren't slowing down. Daniel and I went to Appomattox to tour the Civil War museum yesterday. It takes a little over an hour to get there and we don't have air conditioning in our car, but luckily the sky was overcast and the breeze never stopped blowing over the narrow country roads. The air here smells like greenery, onions, and honey when it's warm.

This weekend I'm modeling for a local salon! Hopefully I'll get some real photos to share with you this time (the fashion show photos were a bit of a disappointment).

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

  • Top - very old

  • Skirt - vintage

  • Shoes - MIA

  • Necklace - J. Crew Factory


summer leaves in fog

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the moral wardrobe: simple black & gray

seamly.co look vintage baseball tee sh3 looking outside
^ I was looking at a bird

This week has alternated between humid, intense heat and summer-like storms. I love it! Reminds me of Florida. Since all my grad student friends, including my husband, are finally free of their academic duties, we've been doing lots of celebrating: dinner parties, Mexican food, horror movie night. It makes me feel like I'm on vacation, too.

I'm happy to have a flexible schedule so I can hang out with everyone. This time last year I had just started a full time job with an evening shift that really limited social activities. I feel so fortunate to have an opportunity to enjoy this summer to its fullest potential. One of my friends just booked her flight up to C-Ville, so I'll get to show her around town in less than a month!

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

  • Top - American Apparel

  • Skirt - Seamly.co

  • Shoes - Sseko

  • Belt - thrifted


macro berries

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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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