Summer Staple: Striped Dress

4ea736de_db1d

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

 

Dressing for Extremely Warm Weather

We just got back from a short trip to Puerto Morelos, Mexico, which is about an hour south of Cancun. Two of my friends got married (!!) at a nearby resort so we just had to make the trip down.

Since my partner and I both work at non-profits, an all-inclusive resort was not really in our budget (or style), so we stayed at a nearby AirBnB that was still beachside and had a pool so we weren’t exactly roughing it.

I think in general I am a pretty good packer, and especially for how hot and humid the Mayan Riviera is, it really doesn’t make sense to feel precious about what you’re wearing because you will sweat right through it. In hindsight, I probably could have packed even less because I just ended up re-wearing sweaty t-shirts when we weren’t out on the beach, but a few pieces I brought really stood out as MVPs.

20170528_174534

 

I wore my Brass Clothing tank maxi to my friends’ wedding, which was on the beach (thankfully) with a bit of breeze. The tank maxi is jersey fabric that feels like pajamas but looks quite fancy. I tied it at the bottom so it wouldn’t get sandy during the ceremony so this picture it looks quite dorky, but it was a good weight and choice for an outdoor, tropical wedding. (My partner wore an Everlane linen shirt, which looked great and probably saved him from heatstroke, although he still felt quite near death from the heat.)

20170527_222811

 

 

I got this Athleta Wailea astra dress off Poshmark about a year after it came out, and boy am I glad I had it.

I wore this to my friends’ cocktail reception the day before the wedding and I believe that truly there is no better fabric for hot temperatures than featherweight stretch because it doesn’t wrinkle, is basically water resistant, quick-drying and lightweight. It’s even better when you can find it secondhand.

As for swimsuits, I brought an Albion Fit top (*that doubles as a sports bra) and a pair of old black bottoms as well as a vintage-inspired suit from Beverly Swimwear. Albion Fit is an ethically-minded fitness and swimwear company based in the US with a factory in Guatemala, and Beverly Swimwear is a one-woman operation in California with materials purchased in the USA.

I really didn’t take too many pictures, since mostly we just relaxed on the beach, read, and then found food in town to stuff our faces with, but it was a lovely trip and I totally recommend the AirBnB route if you’re thinking about going to the Yucatan!

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.

20170514_111335

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.