Summer Staple: Striped Dress

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I love a good striped dress. And this is a good striped dress.

(sorry that I take only the worst mirror selfies.)

There’s something about a nice striped dress that just screams summer, right?

What I like about this dress (the Everlane Gia Mini Dress) is that it’s a heavier cotton, it does not at all feel like a traditional t-shirt dress, so it’s not clingy. I usually prefer dresses that have a defined waist, but this is very comfortable and well-made, works over navy tights in cooler weather and is good during the summer.

It’s a very casual-looking dress (although I think since it’s not a traditional t-shirt material it looks a little nicer), so when I wear it to work I throw a blazer on to make it look professional. It was one of my favorite purchases last year, so I’m pleased to say that  though no longer on the page of dresses, is (as of writing) still available in size small, medium and large on their website, so it’s probably in very low stock. Anyway, if you need a striped dress, I recommend the Gia, but I’ve linked a couple other responsibly-made striped summer dresses if the Gia isn’t your exact style:

Gia Mini Dress – Everlane, $48
Similar:
The Cotton Striped Tee Dress – Everlane, $38
Blake Short-Sleeve Dress – Amour Vert, $98 (made in USA)
Celine Swing Dress – Amour Vert, $98
Teah Dress – Amour Vert, $138

 

How to Hand Wash Silk

When I started researching more ethical clothing brands, I noticed that many of them used fabrics that I always thought of as a fussy. Over the last few years, especially with athletic clothing, I’ve starting amassing more and more items that can’t go in the dryer, so I figured silk might be worth a try since I’m already dealing with so many “fussy” pieces, and especially since it’s a natural textile.

Hand washing was totally new to me though, since I’ve always been a lazy washer and would toss things in the washer anyway… but investing in a high-quality garment is pretty good motivation to take care of it as you should. And actually, hand washing is not that hard. Here’s how I do it:

First I got some Delicate Wash detergent from the Laundress, because it’s specifically designed to be good on silk. I use it for hand washing and in washing a load of delicates that are OK to go in the machine washer. Just a few drops is all you need.

For the actual washing, I place a plastic container in my bathtub and fill it halfway with cold water. Add a couple drops of the detergent, and drop in the silk shirt. Silk should not be soaked for more than a couple minutes, so I swish it around, then run the faucet over it to wash out the detergent and go on to the next shirt. I started washing my Osei Duro shirt first because it’s light, and kept the water for my Everlane shirt, which is a darker dye and does run a bit while being washed (but looks the same afterward). When rinsed, let it drip out excess water but do not wring out.

Lay out a clean towel and place the shirt flat on top. Roll the towel (like you’re rolling a sleeping bag) to get the excess water out. Repeat if necessary.

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Lay flat to air dry.

The whole process takes … about 15 minutes? I definitely put it off and these 2 shirts have been languishing in my delicates laundry bag for about 2 weeks because I am lazy, but it is really simple.

Grana Racerback Tank

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I accumulated a lot of neon athletic clothing while I worked at Athleta after college, and as soon as I stopped working there, realized that a lot of what I had didn’t fit my lifestyle. What I do value in athletic or athleisure clothing is versatility and comfort, and my neon/high performance stuff was not making sense. So I sold a lot of it. Now I tend of wear the same things over and over, but I do pilates every morning so I do rotate through workout clothes pretty often, and a few months ago realized that I was lacking on simple workout tops. (For some reason I have plenty of bottoms? How does that happen?)

Grana is a clothing company based out of Hong Kong with a transparency model similar to Everlane. They came out with an athletic line recently, and I purchased the racerback tank because it looked like a simple and versatile piece.

So what’s so special about it?
When I received it, I was surprised at how soft it was. As you can see in the picture, the cut is pretty severe, which for me is not a big issue because I’m pretty flat chested and I don’t mind showing off a little sports bra. It’s a very simple top, so for doing pilates on a mat, that’s great for me. No bunching/scrunching and minimal adjusting. The fabric is moisture wicking and lightweight.

What’s it for?
My workouts are typically pilates and light cardio, so I’m not usually soaking my clothing with sweat. For my workouts, this is perfect, and I definitely wear it often on weekends just for chilling out.

Is it worth it?
The racerback top is $25 (and get 10% off your first purchase with this link), and though I haven’t bought any other products from their activewear line, I’m pretty enamored with this fabric and would consider buying it in another color or one of their other tops if it made sense to add another work out top to my mix. I think it’s a reasonable price for a quality product.

Ethical Fashion?

I just read a really interesting article about ethical “fast fashion.” 

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So the deal with fast vs. slow fashion is basically that fast fashion is produced at a high speed to keep up with(/create) consumer demand for new things. You know how H&M always seems different even if you visit it after a week or two? It’s because they are actually adding in new stock on a nearly-week basis. Fast-fashion is also generally characterized as being made as cheaply and quickly as possible, so that it stays on-trend and is inexpensive enough for the consumer to keep buying something new every couple of weeks.

Slow fashion, on the other hand, is characterized by an emphasis on quality materials, quality manufacturing (and often ethical manufacturing) and a larger emphasis on curating a smaller line of items that are all high quality.

I work in a non-profit, so Reformation is out of my budget, but it was interesting to read about Yael Aflalo’s approach to keeping up with the trends while also creating ethically and sustainably-made clothing. How should retailers balance consumer demand for trends with a responsibility to the ethical manufacturing?

I’m definitely intrigued by Aflalo’s and Reformation’s approach, although the fast/trend-based aspect makes me nervous (in general, I think the emphasis should be on consuming less), but since fashion is the second-most polluting industry in the world, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

Read for yourself. What do you think?

Winter10x10 part II

Having just finished day 5 of the Winter10x10 challenge I’m thinking maybe I didn’t put enough thought into this. On the other hand, getting dressed in the morning is very fast.

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Continue reading “Winter10x10 part II”

Reselling for a Responsible Closet

It’s inevitable that even well-loved pieces, someday, will no longer fit. Especially when those things were bought in high school. Sometimes, you have to admit to your 27 year old self that… no, you can’t wear that anymore because you can’t breathe when you wear it.

I have sold things at my local Buffalo Exchange in the past, but I’ve never tried any of the reselling websites before. So now I have a few items posted on Tradesy! As I continue my closet cull I may post more, but I’m curious to see how it works and if it’s any better than lugging a big bag to Buffalo Exchange every couple months.

 

To an Ethically and Environmentally Friendly 2017:

At some point last year, I got really grossed out by my spending practices. Maybe it was something I read, or looking at my Mint trends, or just the fact that I would stand in front of my stuffed-to-the-gills closet every morning feeling like there was nothing I wanted to wear. I have been the kind of person, for a long time, who treats shopping as a rewarding experience (whether that reward is for something big or small: a graduation, break up, bad day, good day, start of something, etc.), which unsurprisingly results in a grand accumulation of things. Whatever the reason, I felt like I had reached the apex of my things accumulation and wanted out.  Continue reading “To an Ethically and Environmentally Friendly 2017:”