My Existential Style Crisis | A Conversation

Lately, I’ve had a difficult time style wise. I look around at the clothes in my closet and am totally uninspired. I don’t feel like my clothes represent who I am at this point in my life and I don’t want to wear anything in there. I’ve heard it said that personal style tends to change every 3-4 years, and I feel like I am on the cusp of change.

What’s driving this?

I think part of the reason why I feel like this is my desire to purchase more ethical/sustainable brands and the majority of items in my closet are not ethical or sustainable. I stopped buying “fast fashion” brands a few years ago in favor of higher quality items, but J. Crew which was my former “go to”, is neither ethical nor sustainable. It’s not as bad as some other retailers, but still…  I plan to keep wearing the items that I purchased from there until they give out. Getting rid of something that is perfectly fine doesn’t make much sense and just puts more clothing out there in the waste stream. I always donate clothes to our church for rummage sales, but there is no guarantee that stuff will sell.

How did I get to this point?

Honestly, I’m a total Pollyanna. I feel badly knowing that many brands have relationships with factories that treat their workers poorly, pay them terribly, and have them working in unsafe conditions. I also feel badly knowing that the environment is being harmed. I don’t want to support those brands. It affects me. It makes me feel like a bad person. I can’t blissfully ignore it anymore.

What am I going to do?

I’m going to throw my money at brands who are known to be ethical/sustainable. I realize that I am very fortunate that I am able to make this choice. Many people cannot afford to support ethical brands. There are certainly affordable options out there, but I have found that you are less apt to get many sales/deals. Perhaps this is for the best. Instead of mindless consumption, this will force me (us) to make more thoughtful choices.

What about work?

I’m not going to lie… Dressing professionally while trying to support ethical brands is going to be a challenge. I push the limits as it is when it comes to “business casual”. I think my strategy will be to focus on simple but good. Pick basic items that are well made that I can wear for both work and play. I’d appreciate any suggestions of where to shop. Do you know where to find an ethically made blazer? That’s the purple squirrel for me at the moment.

Am I going to dress like an earth muffin now?

I really hope not. The thought of that REALLY scares me. I’m going to try to avoid dresses that make me look like a potato, or a high school pottery teacher who tells you that you may not make pipes, bongs, or any other drug paraphernalia on day one of class. True story. I’ve been doing a bit of research and have found options that are stylish, such as:

Who inspires me?

There are a lot of bloggers that focus on ethical fashion/style. The following appeal to my sense of style. Check them out.

So. That’s where my brain is lately…

Thanks for stopping by. I hope I haven’t scared you off. I’d love it if you continue along on this journey with me. I don’t plan to preach to you. I just plan on trying to walk the walk.

XOXO,

Ashley

Everlane Stretch Ponte Crop Pants and Nisolo Mariella Mules

In my quest for the perfect pair of black pants I decided to give the Everlane Stretch Ponte Crop pants a try. They were taunting me for months. I read multiple posts from Everlane review bloggers who did not love these pants. One of the complaints was the length, but most of those people are a lot shorter than I am. Another complaint was that they felt they would have to wear something over the pants. I rarely air the derrière, so I hit add to cart and had them sent my way. Of course, they didn’t fit. Honestly, I get the sizing wrong almost every time that I order something from Everlane. I read the reviews, I refer to the size chart, I measure stuff. It just doesn’t matter. I’m still going to have to send it back for another size. Is it just me? Why is this so hard?

After trying on the first pair, I opted to try again. I liked the pants. I saw promise. These could work. I did the return and repurchase swaperooni and finally got the correct size. Just as an FYI, I am wearing a size 8. I originally thought that I would need a size 10, but nope…  Those were too big. There was a lot of gaping at the waist. You guys…  I really like these. I’ve worn them to work and I’ve worn them casually with sneakers, a tee shirt and light (long) jacket. I’m contemplating buying them in grey and buying a second pair of black ones. I foresee wearing these a lot. Two thumbs up from me on the Everlane Stretch Ponte Pants!

Recently, I discovered another ethical shoe brand: Nisolo. Let me rephrase that…  I rediscovered this brand. I learned of Nisolo about a year or so ago, and I thought their options were a bit too hippie dippy for my personal style, so I promptly forgot about them. Then one day I was scrolling through my Instagram feed, as one does, and saw the cutest mules EVER on Andrea Hartman from Seasons + Salt. She’s an ethical fashion blogger, whom I really enjoy. I did some digging and found out that the mules were made by Nisolo.

I purchased the Nisolo Mariella Mule in sand and really, really like them. I love that mules are back, and had been on the look out for a pair that I could wear this Spring/Summer. The style and color of these were what drew me in, and the fact that these are ethically made helped to seal the deal. FYI: The leather is sort of a combination between smooth leather and Nubuck. They are comfortable and took no breaking in. It took me a bit to relearn how to walk in mules, but I think I have it down again. Two thumbs up on these as well.

Wearing: Blazer – J. Crew, Tee – Grana, Pants – Everlane, Necklace – J. Crew (old), Bag – Celine, Shoes – Nisolo.

If you are interested in trying out Nisolo, I have a referral link for you. Click here to save $25.00 on your first purchase. Full disclosure: If you buy something, I get a $25 credit.

 
I hope your week is treating you kindly. Thanks so much for stopping by.

XOXO,

Ashley

Everlane Collarless Shirt Dress Worn as a Tunic

I feel like all I ever do is apologize for my infrequent posting these days. Life, man…  It’s super busy. Between work, family and everyone’s activities it’s just been crazy. I’ve also been doing a lot of traveling for work lately and I’m ready for a long stretch of time when I’m home. My workout schedule and health are severely lacking. I have to make it through this week and then I may actually get my wish. I’ll be in the Toronto, Canada area this week then I don’t have any other trips booked on the calendar. YAY! Those of you who follow me on Instagram know that I was Paris a week ago. While that was travel, that was personal travel and doesn’t count. My personal travel bug is already itching for our next adventure.

Spring has finally arrived here in Michigan. Thank the good, sweet Lord! I packed away all of my heavy sweaters and boots this weekend. We will likely still have some chilly days, but the worst is over. I’m fully enjoying the warmer temperatures, and longer days. How about you?

Have you ever liked something so much, but you just couldn’t get the sizing right? That’s this Everlane dress. I bought this dress three times. THREE TIMES. I could not for the life of me get the sizing right. I’m not a patient person, so the return and repurchase process was killing me. Good gravy. Finally, I got it figured it out. Of course, I couldn’t wait until it was warm enough to wear it alone, so I decided to wear it over jeans like a tunic. It’s fun, right?

Everlane cotton poplin collarless shirt dress, J. Crew matchstick jeans, over 40 style blogger, over 40 style blogger How to wear a shirtdress as a tunic over jeans, 40 + styleblogger, 40 + fashion blogger Everlane cotton poplin shirt dress, COS shoes, over 40 style blogger, over 40 fashion blogger Spring outfit featuring Everlane cotton poplin collarless shirt dress, J. Crew matchstick jeans, 40 + blogger, 40 + blogger how to wear a dress over jeans, 40 + style blogger, 40 + fashion blogger, Everlane Everlane cotton poplin collarless shirt dress, J. Crew matchstick jeans, over 40 style blogger, over 40 style bloggerWearing: Dress – Everlane, Jeans – J. Crew, Shoes – COS, Necklace – J. Crew, Sunnies – SEE, Bag – Celine.

Thanks for still stopping by, friends. Here’s hoping to more consistent posting. I hope things are going well in your part of the world.

XOXO,

Ashley