It’s always so amazing to me how different each pair of jeans are when the majority of the population still sees a pair of jeans like a typical blue piece of workwear. Premium denim has definitely come a long way since they emerged on the market and blew up in the early 2000s, and of course creativity is one of the major factors that keeps competition real and the best brands on top. Racing stripes are one of those cool designs that I’ve had my eyes on for a long time—I can’t really recall exactly when they became popular but I know it was a few years ago sometime. I’m going to make an educated guess that they came to be around the time activewear as streetwear grabbed hold of the market and gave denim a bit of extra competition! I failed to add a pair of jeans with side stripes for quite awhile, until I got to review the above pair for Mavi. I absolutely love this sporty looking style! It also reminds me of my days in high school marching band…which came to mind when I was coming up with the concept of writing about 21 side stripe skinny jeans to march you through the summer!
Being as obsessed with denim as I am, and having reviewed denim for Denimology and this blog since 2014, I have many denim styles. Of course, the classic blue jean takes up most of them since it’s the most common (and let me say, there’s still a ton of variety), as well as my all time absolute favorite wash, faded black. However, sometimes it’s fun to shake it up a little with a statement piece! Usually the thought of a chunky piece of sparkly jewelry pops up when thinking of such a thing, or maybe some eye catching heels. For me though, I often opt for a fun pair of printed jeans as something different to spice up an outfit when I feel like I’m in a style rut!
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.