5 Essentials Items for Your Wardrobe, Ethical Fashion Edition
A recent New York Times article blew the lid on the fast fashion giant, Fashion Nova. It spoke about dark side of fast fashion and social media trends that keep companies like Fashion Nova in business. The company was recently found to be paying Los Angeles factory workers illegally low wages to meet the pressing demands of never-repeat-an-outfit in your #Instagram feed. The impacts of fast fashion are felt on a human level but also environmentally. This got me thinking about my addiction to fashion and what the true cost of shopping at online stores like Pretty Little Thing, Fashion Nova, and of course, the global giant, Zara.
I am guilty of buying fast fashion because of what is on trend, but I do tend to have a preference for classic items such as my Ralph Lauren trench coat or brown suede Via Spiga boots, but these are above fast fashion prices and I cannot always afford to spend that much. What is the solution, do I start making my own clothes? I assure you, NO ONE wants to see that. Fortunately, I recently came across a sustainable and ethical company called, Everlane. Their commitment to fashion is simple: Exceptional quality. Ethical factories. Radical Transparency. Everlane is not concerned with what is trending, rather they create classic items that are meant to last. Alas, not all of my clothes will be purchased from Everlane, but I am going to give them a chance for their more classic pieces. I have gathered 5 essential items that are staples to my wardrobe and I hope you find some of these items helpful.
1. The Cheeky Straight Jean, $78
Available in 5 washes and in sizes 23 - 33 these jeans would normally retail for $160. Made from Japanese denim, these are made to enhance your cheeks 🍑 . Everlane recommends sizing up for a looser fit, but that these generally run true to size.
How to wear
These are perfect for any day of the week, but especially for the weekend and can be worn in all seasons. In the winter I would pair these with an ankle boot and a high-neck sweater. In the summer, a cute nautical top and a pair of white sneakers would be perfect for running Saturday errands or a visit to the farmer's market.
2. Cashmere Turtleneck Sweater, $130
The turtleneck sweater is a classic piece that can be paired with just about anything and is perfect for layering. This piece is available in 5 colors and comes in sizes XXS - XL. Cashmere wool is an exceptional fabric that comes from Kashmir or Pashmina goats and is considered one of the most luxurious types of wool that won't leave you feeling itchy like traditional wool.
How to wear
For date night, pair a black cashmere sweater with a leopard-print skirt and pair of knee-high leather boots, tuck in the sweater and add a designer or embellished belt for a little edge. Running to pick up the kids from a play date, throw the turtleneck on with the cheeky straight jeans and a pair of Nike Air Max 90s.
3. The Japanese Oxford Shirt, $58
Traditionally retailing at $130, this classic silhouette is made with Japanese cotton for a relaxed fit. Available in 3 colors - white, blue, and white and navy stripes - it comes in sizes 00 - 16.
How to wear
Nothing says classic to me like an oxford shirt, it is truly versatile and can be worn to the office or for lazy days. For work, you can pair the oxford with a straight-leg trousers and wear the shirt tucked in and paired with a sensible loafer. For the weekend, you can throw the oxford shirt on over a t-shirt with a pair of khakis and if you get a little warm, tie it around your waist.
4. The Oversized Blazer, $180
That price point may be a bit exorbitant, but when you consider that this is a piece that never goes out of style and won't burst at the seams at the sight of a washing machine, it makes the return on investment worthwhile. The blazer comes in a solid black, herringbone, houndstooth, or plaid and is available is sizes 00 - 16. Made from Italian wool - some of the best in the game - this menswear inspired piece is a definite wardrobe staple.
How to wear
This is by no means a boring piece! I would pair this oversized blazer with leather/faux-leather pants and a graphic t-shirt and drape the blazer over my shoulders with a black cross body purse and faux snakeskin heels or boots.
5. The Day Market Tote, $175
The Day Market Tote is available in 4 colors, black, navy, cognac, and light taupe and retails at $370. The tote is made in Italy from Italian leather and is comparable to designer tote bags.
How to wear
You cannot go wrong with a tote bag, it is so versatile and can be used for everything from work and school to travel. I would use this as my personal item when traveling so that I could fit all of my travel necessities in here and then use as a tote bag for shopping once I arrive to my destination.
Think of these pieces as investments into your wardrobe and they are items you can feel good about because they are sustainable and ethically sourced. Let me know if you have tried anything from #Everlane and what your favorite pieces are.