Shop the Holiday Velvet Trend at American Eagle Outfitters

It’s that time of year again, when temperatures get cooler, people get cozier, and parties bring out the glitz. Luxe fabrics always flood the market this time of year for Christmas and New Years parties, or whatever holiday you might celebrate. Velvet has been a trend every holiday season for the past few years, and I love it. I admit I don’t really have many velvet pieces, but my red velvet flares from BLANKNYC is one of my favorite items in my closet!

Every time the velvet trend rolls around each year, I usually see the prices reflect the luxe factor. Because of this, I usually enjoy admiring everything from afar. However, just like with any high end trend, the less costly retailers have picked it up and offered their own take. American Eagle Outfitters is my absolute favorite out of all of them, due to the fact that they’ve been able to successfully keep their heads far above water in this competitive apparel industry, adapting to changes, growing their appeal to a wider age group and doing quite a good job at brushing up to the border of the premium apparel world. That’s my take at least, as several of their jeans have joined their premium counterparts in my denim collection over the last several years and I love them just as much! My wish list is always pretty full with that brand, and I had originally decided to make this post about that before I realized how huge their current variety of velvet items is.

So, if you’ve been eyeing this flood of velvet apparel in the market every holiday season but haven’t yet been sure because of the price, or maybe you just haven’t seen something that’s right for you, here are some super cute, well-priced items that might just fit your tastes! Whether you are looking for something soft and shimmery for a holiday party or to stay cozy in while bundled up in front of the fireplace, American Eagle Outfitters has got your back. Here are some of my favorite velvet items from the brand!

Shop more velvet items (including footwear, pillows and even blankets) from AEO here!

Natural Leather Tote Bags for Fall from Etsy

Just like shoes (or jeans, in my case), almost every girl loves to have an assortment of bags for every occasion. It’s hard for someone fashionably creative to settle on just one or two, right? However, as full as a wardrobe may get with bags of every color, style or even brand, one thing holds basically true: just about everyone desires that one solid, quality bag that lasts through years and years, and possibly even gets better with use. As fun as it is to go crazy with collecting multiple styles, sometimes going back to basics is a tasteful move. I personally have my everyday bag (with a few alternatives if I feel like switching it up), a few evening bags to fit different occasions or moods, and some that are best suited for day trips or outdoor adventures like hiking, festivals or the beach.

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Shop Vintage Inspired Glamour with Nasty Gal Studio

I still have absolutely no idea why I’ve never bought anything from Nasty Gal…considering I’ve been a fan of Sophia Amoruso and her story of rising from the ashes (despite recent unfortunate events), and the fact that almost everything there fits my taste. I really have no good explanation for it. I mean, I’ve already written three posts about this popular shop—beautiful pieces from their holiday collection three years ago, their collaboration with Courtney Love last year, and some of my favorite picks from their 40% off sale earlier this year. Everything Nasty Gal carries is either fun and spunky or ornate and detailed. All of it is eye candy, for sure.

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Mitscoots Outfitters Launches Blankets and Pillows for the Homeless

Mitscoots Outfitters Launches Blankets and Pillows for the Homeless

Image: Mitscoots

All of the charitable brands I’ve written about here have warmed my heart. In a crazy world full of anger and hate, it’s so nice to focus on the good of humanity from time to time. Among my favorites of all the charities I’ve discovered while running this blog is Mitscoots, an Austin-based brand born in 2012 after its founders witnessed first hand the fundamental needs of the homeless while on volunteer work in the city, in 2008. Quality gear and a clean pair of socks were the most requested items, and with that in mind, the Mitscoots brand began. Mitscoots works with local and national charities to send an equal pair of one of their high quality socks, beanies, tees and more to someone in need with every purchase. The brand also employs the transitioning homeless to help package up and ship your purchased items to you! This helps develop confidence, skills, motivation and network building for these individuals to began building better lives. Everything Mitscoots creates is also manufactured in the United States.

I have several pairs of Mitscoots socks and have bought them as gifts for others! Everyone has been very receptive to both the brand mission and the quality of the socks themselves, and I’ve even inspired others to load up the website and grab a few pairs themselves. My first Mitscoots socks was a pair of boot socks last Fall, which fit so comfortably in my Frye Melissa boots! I still purchase some every now and then—my latest purchase is a pair of athletic socks for the gym, which definitely have helped with a few blister issues when running on the treadmill. Everything has lasted wonderfully through several washes.

I am happy now to see that Mitscoots has expanded their support and product offerings into a new collection of blankets and pillows! These are like your traditional fleece blankets, but better (apart from the amazing charitable benefits)! These are water resistant with a durable blanket edge stitch, made from thermal micro fleece, at 60 inches wide by 74 inches long. Several beautiful plaid designs are available, as well as two 100% cotton loom-woven versions. Also included in this new collection are waterproof thermal micro fleece traveler blankets with reinforced webbed cotton straps, sized at 50″ wide by 58″ long. The traveler pillows are sized at 9″ wide by 15″ long and have all the same qualities as the blankets.

I’m kind of a sucker for fleece blankets (you never can have enough for the couch or camping trips), and I know with all the festivals I love attending, I’ll be grabbing a new blanket and maybe even a new pillow or two sometime…from none other than Mitscoots!

Shop more blankets and pillows from Mitscoots Outfitters here.

New Dark and Modern Asymmetrical Artistry from Marcellamoda

During my college years, my tastes were changing so often that I experimented with style a lot, to the point where fast, cheap fashion was the focus of my shopping efforts. I think many of us go through this though, because we don’t really know better. We like cheap abundance during that time in our lives, rather than paying more for fewer, quality things. I shopped based on what I saw advertised or in shop windows (as long as I liked it of course), rather than hunting down unique designers online (which I usually couldn’t afford anyway). Nowadays, however, things have changed a lot, both in availability of unique pieces and knowledge of the value of searching them out. However, the only constant with my tastes then and now is that I never really liked heavily patterned items, and usually shopped items without patterns at all.

Two Februaries ago, I wrote about Marcellamoda, a beautiful, dark, modern, minimalistic designer on Etsy which focuses on edgy, clean, asymmetrical apparel for cocktail hour, work or the street. The brand has its roots in Bulgaria, opening in 2009 by sisters and best friends Siyana and Marta, who call themselves “Marcella.” This was the name of their grandmother, who was a famous Bulgarian designer. Both of them are heavily involved in the arts, which definitely shows in everything that Marcellamoda produces! The brand started off as a small family-run boutique, with everyone designing, sewing and modeling everything themselves. Now it’s grown into a team of talented seamstresses and other assistants in Europe! All designs are hand made and inspired by the urban streets of New York City, where the original founders live during most of the year.

Etsy is definitely one of the destinations that has made unique apparel more accessible, and this is one of the amazing brands I’ve had my eyes on for so many years now. These are the statement pieces for your wardrobe that you reach for when you aren’t necessarily trying to make a statement…I believe every closet needs effortless items that speak without being loud, that work for multiple occasions and go with just about anything! Spending a little more for a few quality, classic pieces like this is worth it, since they will last you for years and you tend to take better care of them, too. Marcellamoda is priced pretty well, however—quite a bit less than your typical designer brands!

Of course, I love it when fabulous brands such as Marcellamoda take things a step further into charity…The Marcella sisters grew up in a family that cared deeply about helping marginalized children, so 5% of all profits are donated to UNICEF!

Here are some of the newest and most eye catching pieces from Marcellamoda. I’m definitely drooling over that Tank Top below!

“Marcellamoda started as a small family boutique – designing, sewing, modeling our designs – and now includes our whole family and a great team of talented seamstresses and assistants in Europe.”

“Our grandmother was a famous Bulgarian designer and truly defined our sensibility for clean lines and beautiful fabrics. Although we’re self-taught designers, we have a combination of art, music, and business education that makes us aspire toward building a dream of beauty and aesthetics. “

“One of us, Marta, is an opera singer with a Master’s degree in Opera Performance from The Juilliard School, New York, with an ever-growing love for design. She is excited about the intricacies of making patterns, choosing fabrics, and trimmings, communicating with customers and doing everything possible to make everybody on the team smile with her awesome sense of humor!”

“Siyana is also passionate for design, but her strength is on the entrepreneurial side – the knits and bolts of making sure everything is run smoothly. With a MBA degree from Emory University and a 10-year career in finance in the U.S., Siyana decided that the world of art, design and entrepreneurship, mixed with social work is how she would truly make a difference.”

“How about our design and manufacturing processes? We care about how every garment is made – in the most ethical and conscious way!”

“After our designs and patterns are complete, our family and team of talented seamstresses in Europe start making your order with lots of love, care, and the utmost attention to detail and quality.”

“We care about our employees – we believe that if they are happy, you, our customer will be happier!”

“We grew up in a family that is passionate about helping marginalized kids and made us believe that people should strive to be better than themselves! This is why we selected UNICEF as the charity you can support through your purchases – 5% of all profits are donated to UNICEF.”

Shop all available items from Marcellamoda here.

Not So Boring Black Jeans for Fall from Shopbop

There are so many gorgeous variations of your traditional blue or indigo washed jeans out there, but my favorite shade lately has been a washed, or faded, black. Dark denim, especially black, is normally seen as a Fall shade, but I honestly love it year round. When it comes to black jeans, most people don’t think much in terms of variation…black is black, right? This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Last Fall, I published a post featuring my favorite dark grey and faded black jeans out there, and since this last month I found myself drooling over this shade again I decided I’d pay the topic a revisit.

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The Farrah High Waist Pull-On Skinny Jeans by Liverpool

The Farrah High Waist Pull-On Skinny Jeans by Liverpool - Front View

Top: Maddie Moon Knot Top in Gray. Jeans: Liverpool Farrah High Waist Pull-On in Dunmore Dark. Shoes: Michael Michael Kors (similar here). Sunglasses: Rainbow Optx

I’ve been reviewing jeans for my blog and Denimology for several years now…since 2013 I think? I can’t believe it’s been so long! I always seem to get pinned with the dark skinny jeans, but I don’t complain…I always feel they are the best when it comes to flattering my more athletic figure! Even though we’re all familiar with the usual 5-pocket, zipper fly jeans, no skinny jean is alike, which is why even though they might look all the same in my photos, they definitely do not all feel the same. I had heard of something a little different a few years ago: the pull-on skinny jean. Of course, we all think about frumpy sweatpants or “mom jeans” when we think about denim with elastic waistbands, but hear me out here. This month, I got the chance to review a pair of super cute pull-on jeans—the Farrah High Waist Pull-On Skinny Jeans by Liverpool, for Denimology, and I was super exited to finally see what this was all about.

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New Bold Styles of b(air) Denim by 7 For All Mankind

Nearly weightless denim has been a big thing ever since people started to opt for leggings over the years, especially during the hotter summer months. As mentioned many times before, athleisure became a new trend and the denim industry went crazy revamping their fits and fabric content to mimic the popular feel of a yoga legging. 7 For All Mankind came out with their b(air) collection in the summer last year, with the tagline of “feels weightless, looks flawless.” I have one of these jeans and I have to say they definitely live up to the expectation, and fit really well!

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Sustainable Wearable Art by Sacred Geometrix

I always say, for every favorite jean there’s a favorite tee to go with it! I love collecting graphic tees almost as much as I love collecting denim. Another one of my favorite vendors I found at the Global Eclipse Gathering was Sacred Geometrix, a brand that features beautiful designs based on sacred geometry, on tees that are made from bamboo, organic cotton, and/or recycled materials. Since we spent a lot on this trip, I held back on spending any money at the vendor area (a huge accomplishment for me, but then again I did splurge at Lucidity Festival earlier this year). However, I had to get one of their tees: the ‘Manta Rays‘ tee in grey (seen below in black). Too freaking cute! Also cute, were handmade organic cotton crop tops with geometric prints (such as this one) that are great for yoga or festivals, but I’m focusing this post on the beautiful screen printed tees (and scarves) featuring totally unique designs that I found at this vendor’s tent.

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On Trend and Sustainable Denim by Reformation

I am so excited to share yet another new sustainable denim line with all of you! Here’s the spiel again: the clothing industry is quite dirty and wasteful, especially when it comes to denim. Think of the land, water, and pesticides needed to grow the cotton, the water needed to wash the denim and the chemicals used to create those beautiful worn washes and finishes we all love. According to Forbes, 1,500 gallons of water is used just to create one pair of jeans, and a whopping 450 million jeans are sold in one year in the United States. You can do the math.

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