Thursday, April 17, 2014

Remix Rewear Restyle Link Up: Multiple Ways

Being in a clothing rut is frustrating. Know what I mean? You feel like you've been wearing the same outfits over and over again, and nothing feels fresh and exciting anymore :(

I've been trying to push myself to think outside of the box. Are there new ways that I can wear old pieces? How can I use layering to keep things interesting? Am I making good use of all the clothes in my closet?

Today I'm linking up with Caitlin from Greater Than Rubies and other bloggers to share a versatile piece of clothing and the different ways it can be worn. My piece? A pair of shorts!

cardigan : Gordmans    tee : Target    shorts : Marshalls    tights : Target    booties : Shi by Journeys

While the hems of these shorts extend to around finger tip level and have a 3" inseam, I kind of wish they were just a wee bit longer (Not like bermudas though, since they make my 5'1" frame look kind of stumpy). It's just a matter of personal preference I guess.

While I do wear them in the summer in the more traditional way, I like wearing them during the transitional seasons...with tights! I definitely appreciate a bit of extra coverage, and I like that it's a bit different.

If I could style this outfit again, I would add a feminine piece to complete the look. Maybe a pretty necklace? While I don't hate this ensemble, it reminds me of 90's grunge a bit too much. Not really my style. Ah well, lesson learned.

Do you have any pieces that you like to wear multiple ways? Tell me about it below!

Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

From Fast Fashion to Fair Trade (And Everything in Between)

If you follow me on Pinterest, then you've probably noticed my recent social responsibility craze.

In a previous post, I mentioned that I want to be more intentional in my purchases by supporting retailers who operate ethically, especially when it comes to human rights. I definitely appreciate that the factories producing our clothing are providing jobs to those who really need them; the issue I have is with the horrible working conditions, human trafficking, and slavery within the industry.

I have no crazy notions of single-handedly ending this injustice, and my abstinence on its own is not going to make much of a dent in the system. But it's a start, albeit a small one.

I started by doing a little digging and contacting some of the retailers that I frequent. After hours of research, I almost feel like I know less than I did before. I have more questions than answers:
  • How much do retailers actually know about their vendors and manufacturers? How much can we feasibly expect them to know considering that some of them sell thousands of different brands?
  • What actions are actually being taken? Many retailers claim that they are improving working conditions in their factories, but their social responsibility plans are vague at best and there are no measurable improvements to be seen.
  • With the complexity of many supply chains, how can we as consumers educate ourselves on where our clothes are really coming from?
  • With some articles praising retailers for ethical operations and other articles listing the unethical practices of the same retailers, how do we know which companies are truly operating ethically?

I am so darn frustrated by the lack of transparency in the industry. The world shouldn't be like this, but it is.
It's a mess. I'm a mess. Trying to make concrete decisions in such a gray area has been pretty stressful, and if I'm honest, the selfish part of me is actually feeling a bit sorry for myself. I didn't really go into this expecting to be convicted of my own selfishness, but hey, God works in mysterious ways.

I've had to accept that I'm not going to be perfect at this. I can't afford fair trade goods all of the time, and even fair trade is a controversial topic! There is no clarity in this process, but drawing from what I've learned, here is what I'm currently planning to do:

The principles that this list is founded on are principles that I want to hold fast to, but the list itself may evolve over time. I'm not entirely sure if this is the best way for me to act on the knowledge I've obtained. How do we react when we see such terrible things happening? What is the appropriate response? It's in moments like this that I find myself desperately praying for wisdom.

Ok, enough of me talking. What do you think? How can we as consumers best approach the unethical practices of the fashion industry?

Thank you for reading!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Greetings From Europe!

Ok, ok, so I'm not actually in Europe (I wish!). But a girl can dream, right?

Maybe it's my desire to travel, or the fact that my senior project is inspired by European fashion, or the preppy route my sense of style seems to be taking, but my outfit this morning ended up having an unmistakable European vibe. It's a new look for me, but I kind of like it! 

To be honest, I've been feeling a bit bored with the clothes in my closet lately, but trying out new combinations keeps things interesting :)

earrings : H&M    coat : Forever 21    sweater : Forever 21    lace top : gift    shirt : H&M    pants : H&M    shoes : Kohl's

Where have you been finding your outfit inspiration lately?

Hope you have a wonderful and blessed week, and thank you for reading!