So for those who followed me through my last post, you know why I’ve been MIA for three weeks: I was at that little party in the desert. You know, that one that’s actually a temporary city built by 70,000 people, and also known as Burning Man! What an experience! Since my blog doesn’t focus on such things, I won’t get into details, but I’ll just say it was the most transformative experience of my life. It tested my mental strength several times, and gave me some clarity to some of the things I wanted to improve in my “default” daily life. This event also encourages everyone to be participants rather than spectators, so the collaboration we had giving back to our camp (building, bartending, helping with workshops, etc) was also extremely fulfilling considering that teamwork is not always so easy in the real world! Yeah, there was plenty of partying, but it went way deeper than that—there’s something so liberating and inspiring seeing so many people letting loose with their creativity, and doing good for others without expecting anything in return.
Life has been pretty ridiculously busy lately (how does that seem to automatically happen as you get older? We may never really know) as I’m sure you’ve noticed, which has reduced my posts to about once a week. Every now and then, I still have to drop the ball due to life obligations, but I still love what this blog has brought me and having the platform to voice what is important to me: sustainable and eco-friendly fashion (and denim, of course), so I’m not going anywhere!! I just have to write when I can, nowadays. On that note, I’m finally leaving for another much-needed two-week vacation tomorrow! It’s been a year since my last one, when my husband and I rushed off to the Global Eclipse Gathering in Oregon to see the full solar eclipse and party our happy butts off with about 40,000 other hippies and hippies at heart. This year, we’re lucky enough to solidify our presence at Black Rock City…otherwise known as Burning Man! We are part of an established theme camp, Stellar Dusty Moon, and I’ll be one of the camp DJs. I also have a couple of opportunities to provide tunes elsewhere, including art cars! I can’t wait to experience this next level of free expression and “radical self reliance” in what’s meant to be a purely participatory culture (since it is pretty much a temporary city after all).
Since people often ask me about jeans that fit curvier body types, I thought I would continue on the subject with this post! Joe’s often comes up in conversations on this topic, for good reason. This brand was formed in 2001, which was around the time premium denim was really starting to take hold of the market. Most of the big name denim brands at the time were all about a good fit and accentuating your assets, but unlike most, Joe’s wasn’t really about the flashy name as much as they were about the fit. They’ve always been a bit more on the revolutionary side, and gained a quick following from those who weren’t so interested in showing off a recognizable logo on their bums wherever they went. Because of this, along with their attention to market demands and willingness to evolve, Joe’s established roots that gave them a strong staying power in the game!
I have to say that American Eagle Outfitters is the only big brand that has stood the test of time and stuck with me since my college years. Among all of the others, they’ve been pretty darn successful due to their willingness to evolve with the market and improve not only in quality but in their appeal to a wider demographic. Within my premium denim collection, I have several jeans from them, and they are always the brand I recommend to those who ask me for advice on a pair of well-fitting, quality jeans that won’t break the bank! I’m always impressed by how well made and comfortable these jeans are. Some of the washes are gorgeous, as well as the detailing, and they fit so well over my curves. I’m more on the muscular side, as I work out a lot and lift weights, so I always suggest American Eagle jeans to those who ask about jeans that fit fuller bodies.
It’s still pretty hard to find anything in the sustainable and/or ethical realm when shopping for premium apparel. Even though awareness has grown tremendously over the years, it still takes a little research to truly know what you are consuming. I am always writing a lot about independent, lesser-known (and very underrated) designers I find at music festivals or just while browsing the web (like ZhenNymph from my last post), but I try to keep things balanced and show options from the more mainstream market as well. Shopbop and Revolve are two of the most popular (if not THE most popular) shopping destinations online for premium contemporary apparel and accessories. I highlighted five sustainable or ethical brands found on the former last year, but sustainable brands tend to come and go, mostly because it’s still expensive to produce sustainably and unfortunately hard to get consumers on board with conscious spending in today’s fleeting fast-fashion market. One brand that has permeated the household name treshold to hold its longevity along with its other premium name counterparts is Mara Hoffman.
Being exposed to the “transformational” or “conscious” festival circuit has opened me up to such an incredibly awesome new world of independent style. Many people know they should be shopping more sustainably, but aren’t quite sure where to look…and browsing through (and getting to know) the vendors at many of these events has gotten me accustomed to the true benefit of supporting some of these hard working artists—supporting small is always good, but it’s also about the quality (you can tell when there’s real love put into someone’s work), ethical nature (no sweat shops), and unique appeal (the creativity always blows me away)! I’m sure you’ve seen me pouring out my love for plenty of these particular designers over the years, but apart from specifics, this newfound knowledge has been a very useful lead in finding others that I may not find at festivals. One of them being ZhenNymph, one of my absolute favorites!
I’ve been a huge fan of BLANKNYC for quite some time now! My experience writing reviews and content for Denimology.com has been such a great way to become more familiar with several brands I only window shopped in the virtual sense before, and this one has stuck with me strongly since then. I’d say they bridge the gap between the premium market and the more affordable side of contemporary fashion—they aren’t cheap, but the prices are awesome considering the edgy creativity and quality that goes into this super fun brand. So in that sense, I find them very affordable! I have a few of their jeans (the Skinny Classique in Good Vibes being my favorite), but it’s their jackets (especially their embroidered ones) that I seriously want to fill my closet with! The Embroidered Vegan Leather Jacket in As You Wish was a hit last year and is one of my favorites, as is a blue tie dyed piece and the Sea of Flowers jacket (shown below), which I recently acquired! There are so many more still on my wish list, even discontinued ones that I’ve had bookmarked on both Poshmark and eBay for years! I have to avoid looking at their site too much or my list grows longer and longer…
I remember when colored denim first popped up in the premium market, somewhere in the mid to late 2000s. It definitely seemed like a reasonable next step in a trendy sense, but this was still in the relatively early stages of the days of premium denim, when skinny jeans were still working on grasping a hold on the market. The super stretchy fabric technologies used widely today weren’t quite around yet and bootcut styles were still pretty darn popular. At the time, it seemed consumers were more interested in what brand insignia was displayed across their behinds rather than fit, feel or wash, but that’s not to say those weren’t important selling points. From my memory, when celebrities were first seen wearing colored denim, a lot of people weren’t quite ready for it yet. Nowadays, more and more people crave simplicity and well fitting pants regardless of the brand, and seem to be more willing to have fun with color, especially now that a lot of style influences from the ’90s have returned, thanks in part to the booming festival fashion market with the younger crowd.
“’70s chic. It’s a thing.” I’m sure you’ve noticed, vintage styles have come back with a bang over the last few years. It seems the explosion of the popularity of music festivals and “boho style” certainly helped, but I prefer to stick with the idea that these classic styles simply re-emerged due to their versatility and timeless grace. Simplicity is often key in fashion, and less is almost always more. Maybe it’s the yearning for the golden days of yesteryear as we dive into more complex times, or just the realization that many of the fashions back then were definitely worth bringing back. Not only were they rooted in the notion of a free spirit, but they also captured femininity and playfulness. I personally love them, and they feel strangely nostalgic to me even though I wasn’t even around yet. Either way, I absolutely love ’70s style, whether we’re talking fashion or even home decor and architecture.
I know it’s Thursday…and usually my posts have been publishing on Wednesdays lately, but the previous 3-day weekend and busy life kind of threw me off a bit! It sure is nice having a Monday off, even though it often means a lot of catch-up work back in the office. I was just too exhausted yesterday…so I guess today is my “Wednesday,” if you will (although hooray to a shorter week). We’ve been having some weird cold weather here in California, and we’re all feeling fairly sleepy…Summer can’t get here soon enough! Whether your summer prep includes hitting the gym a little more or planning for your upcoming vacation, I’m sure many of you are about to hit the swimwear market, if you haven’t already. Here’s a little tip if you have yet to shop around: if you didn’t already know, Patagonia has a wide range of stylish, quality swim gear for men and women…and it’s all sustainable and fair trade!