I’m a little obsessed with ways to contain and organize things, whether it be boxes, bags, drawers, or any of that fun stuff from the organization department of Bed Bath and Beyond. Collecting nice bags, just like shoes and jeans, naturally has been a fun way to entertain that taste—combined with my love for creativity and style, they’re a sure hit, right? I love quality, organization, good design and a fun way to express myself beyond what I’m immediately wearing. I own bags that fit modestly with my day’s outfit, and others that are more like statement pieces for when I’m feeling a little extra funky. I haven’t actually purchased a bag in quite a few years now, but it’s always fun to look! One brand that I recently discovered and has earned a spot in my mind is Susan Alexandra, who makes these super cute woven beaded bags! Not only are they fun, head-turning, conversation-sparking statement pieces, but each bag totally gives me a sense of childhood arts-and-crafty nostalgia.
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.
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.
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!
OK first thing’s first, I know, I went MIA again, and I apologize…but be rest assured that if I was ever going to quit this blog (which aint gonna happen), I’d make a statement. Sometimes life gets in the way and that’s exactly what went down—I basically had three weekends of DJ gigs, work picked up, and I took a little vacation to Lucidity Festival (which yes, involved one of those gigs)! It was nice to take a break, but was also looking forward to picking it up again. Whether I post three times a week or once or not at all, I’m always looking for new things to write about! I thought today’s post should somehow tie into the music festival spirit, so I decided to write about a staple in that community which I’ve noticed gaining traction in the contemporary fashion world: utility belts. You might know them as belt bags, or most commonly, fanny packs. However, this notably tacky piece from the ’80s has totally been reinvented!
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.
It’s obvious I pretty much live in denim…the review for Sonas yoga leggings I did last week was definitely something new for me (although I’m just about always wearing leggings at festivals). When summer comes around and it’s the usual time for weeks-long heat waves here in California, wearing jeans is not always practical. For work hours, I usually opt for knee-length bermuda shorts to satisfy my denim preferences. However, the cool thing about denim is that it comes in so many different forms, and I’ve been seeing some super cute options in the form of denim dresses! Shopbop recently ran a denim dress campaign, and I also found myself swooning over several varieties from Revolve. I’m definitely loving the black denim dresses from Etienne Marcel (above) and DENIM x ALEXANDER WANG (below)! That patchwork number from GRLFRND (also below) is one to add to the wish list as well. I don’t yet have any denim dresses (I know, a surprise) as I usually just prefer to wear denim below the belt, but these are making me think twice. I’m usually into the darker styles, but I tried to get more of a variety of washes and cuts here for everyone to enjoy. Which one is your favorite?
Here are several more styles of denim dresses to choose from:
I guess it appears I’ll be swinging one post a week for a little while here, as things are getting quite slammed over in my neck of the woods…and I have a big vacation in August to look forward to (thank God FINALLY). The summer months are always pretty busy with it being the time I’m preparing new product on a website at work, along with the usual fun events and DJ gigs. With the latter, I love wearing whatever the heck I want and getting creative. Shorty shorts are never out of the question when the sun is blaring! However, for the former, although my job is pretty lax when it comes to personal style, I still prefer a more modest option. When it’s REALLY sweltering I’ll opt for a skirt, but I’m not much of a skirt person. Not every gal has a thigh gap so chafing is always an issue, and I usually prefer the security that a pair of jeans or shorts gives!
Bermuda shorts are a great option for anyone who wants to wear shorts at work or out and about while staying more on the conservative side. Just about every one of my favorite denim companies offers knee-length options in the form of denim or soft twill, and there are definitely a lot of options to choose from out there. Colored, destroyed, cuffed, frayed…it’s just about all out there. Here are some cute styles I’d find myself wearing!
Looking for more options? Here are several more, in a wide assortment of price ranges.