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.
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’m not really one to wear bright colors, unless I’m at a festival or themed party (and even then, I prefer to darken it with a little black). However, it doesn’t mean I dislike color—I am a creative and started off as a graphic designer, after all. When the warmer summer days come around, I enjoy being around or looking at brighter colors to up my mood after the cooler months and look forward to fun in the sun and the parties that come along with it. I don’t need a closet that’s all black (although about half of it is), and I like mixing in some other super creative pieces in to have fun with building outfits for fun occasions. I opened my usual REVOLVE newsletter a few days ago and noticed they put together yet another edit I enjoyed browsing through, titled The Rainbow Edit, which features all the colors of the rainbow. Yesterday’s newsletter featured another one under “Looks We Love.” Seems to be a thing!
After all these posts I’ve been making pouring out my love for independent designers usually found at music festivals, I would be lying if I said I didn’t still peruse major retailers from time to time. Shopbop and Revolve are the top favorites, but because of being exposed to the little guys and the importance of more sustainable “slow fashion” efforts, I do my best to be conscious about what ethical brands might be available from those websites. Fortunately, there are several in the designer market that do care about humanitarian and earth-friendly practices. Last year I wrote about five sustainable brands found at Shopbop, one of them being Cleobella. I revisited this brand recently and figured it was worth highlighting them again!
In case you haven’t yet noticed, I’m usually not all that partial to the more mainstream “festival style” or “boho fashion,” and usually opt for more independent designers and artists (I like to call them “artisans”) found at transformational or conscious festivals like Lucidity or Lightning In A Bottle. Every time I see a more mainstream ad for festival fashion I often cringe a little, since so many of them to me seem fairly unoriginal and cookie cutter. Plus, I love supporting the small, struggling artists a whole lot more! However, I’d be lying to myself if I said I didn’t appreciate art in all its forms, and I also understand that my style of festival apparel may not appeal to everyone. So, when I received a newsletter from Revolve, one of the best online retailers for upscale contemporary style, about their latest Festival Vibes edit, I decided to give it a look and share my favorite pieces for those of you who may not connect with me on all of the hippie, nomadic stuff I love to share!
I love dressing up to go out. Honestly though, I haven’t been out much lately, due in part to being so exhausted from the work week. When I do go out nowadays, it’s because I have a DJ gig, am supporting a friend’s gig or I’m somewhere seeing a favorite musician or band perform. In any circumstance where I find an opportunity to hit the town, I always like dressing on the darker side. Black is my taste, along with other dark colors: olive green, burgundy, and other earthy tones. Actually, this is pretty much me all the time, but I like to have a little extra fun when I go out with edgier and more unique pieces that I don’t often see just anywhere else. I also love to see how other people with similar tastes adorn themselves, especially at rock or metal shows, or clubs that cater mostly to the alternative crowd.
Hello again! I hope everyone had a nice holiday season and some great time with family and friends. I am quite blessed during this time of the year to receive paid time off from my 9-5, and although I could spend that time writing more posts for all of you, I always choose it to relax and take a break from everything. It truly is needed as soon as it comes around! It’s also a great time to reflect on the past year and think about how to start fresh after New Years Day. Many people come up with resolutions, whereas I prefer to keep good habits year round. However, I do like to think about what goals and fun events I plan to reach and attend throughout the next twelve months.
Around the time the weather gets a bit colder, my shopping attention starts to shift a little bit away from jeans and onto outerwear! Hoodies and jackets are so much fun to shop for around this time, even if I unfortunately don’t get to use them as much as I’d like here in California. It’s been pretty darn cold at night here though, and I’ve already grabbed a supersoft, faux suede and shearling jacket from American Eagle (one of my favorite places to shop). I also love jackets with faux fur trim, but I’m never all that partial to full shaggy faux fur jackets. The only time I really wear a lot of faux fur is at music festivals when it gets cold at night, like those furry hoods you’ve probably seen floating around the internet over the last few years. But, because of that party spirit, I have thought of grabbing myself a fuzzy jacket to bridge the line between festival and real life, much like a lot of the apparel from independent designers I find at festivals, and on Etsy.