When Does Comfort Wear Turn Into Frump?

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Comfort wear; We love it, we need it and sometimes – we live in it. But when does it become a bit too much…frump?

I’ve been binge watching ‘What Not To Wear’ and it seems that the one thing everyone has in common is that comfort wear turns into everything wear. It is very easy for this to happen, and I can easily see how. I love my comfortable clothing at home. But even then, I feel guilty for not looking my best for my husband. Isn’t that the most important person to look amazing for?!

Remember this?

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Now, before you riot, I am not requesting that anyone take themselves back to this. What I am wondering though is how did we go from this – making an effort with our appearance just because we woke up in the morning – to paint covered college pants that should have been discarded long ago? You may not be guilty of this. If it’s so, you are a better person than I.

With the relatively recent appearance of athleisure, the line has blurred even further. Now it seems that college-type pants/shirts are in fashion to wear everywhere. (Even with something looking remarkably similar to a sports bra as a top?!?) Perhaps I am showing my age, but I just cannot make myself wear it out of the house unless I’m in a gym.

I know that there is a line somewhere with this and that somehow we’ve just allowed ourselves to get so comfortable being comfortable that some people seem to no longer be bothered by their own frump (yours truly, included) until someone reminds us of it and then we are mortified. I mean, has this habit of frump become so commonplace that it’s now a happening that to look well put together makes one stand out? I can tell you that I feel that way sometimes. I love feeling that I look good. That you can see that I put thought into my appearance before going out in the world. But as fashions get more casual, I feel … out of place when I am in a dress and heels. That is such a strange feeling. To feel at least somewhat confident in my outfit, but then to be overwhelmed with self-consciousness about it at the same time. However, when I just throw on something comfortable that fits and keeps me warm and don’t think much else about it, I don’t feel confident in that either. (I do feel cozy though!) *That just went a bit off topic*

I was talking about frump. I don’t know, maybe it’s me. You see, I don’t really have a grey area with fashion. I either look like I put in some effort, or I look like I slept in my clothes. So maybe that’s why this is nagging at me so much. Some miraculous people can look perfectly coifed in comfort clothes. Me? Not so much.

I don’t know where you are on this spectrum, but for me, it has gotten my attention. After this post, at least I myself will be making more of an effort at home (as that is where I have gotten too comfortable being a slob) to look nice for the person who I truly want to impress. I mean, why should he get the mess when the rest of the world sees my best (or at least my ‘It’ll do’)? It just doesn’t seem logical, does it.

I do love being comfortable though.  Hmmm… What about you?

-Mliae

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Sharing My Favourite January Sales!

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Hello all 🙂

Okei, I’m first going to apologize for posting a blog post full of affiliate banners. I would roll my eyes if I saw this, so I’m certain you probably are as well. I hope this apology manages to take away some of the creepy. Speaking the truth, I wasn’t sure how else to do this. As an affiliate, I get advance notice of really good sales. Apparently, everyone is having a really good sale at the moment. As much as I love luxury everything, I never pay full price for it. I always wait for a sale, and I know that many of you are the same way. So I wanted to share these if any of the companies are companies that you like and have been waiting for a good deal to come your way. So that’s what this is about. I can promise you that this will not be a frequent occurrence on this blog.

Please also note that I am very selective about who I affiliate with. I only affiliate myself with those products or companies that I truly believe in myself. If I wouldn’t buy it myself,  I most definitely am not going to promote it  to you 😉

Because we are a world audience, I have opted to categorise my sales info according to geographical availability. And yes, I am placing banners instead of individual products because there are just so many that it will devour my entire years’ worth of storage. Sorry, you have to sort out what you like yourselves! ;D

Here we go, awesome January sales!

Global:

Mix & Match

John Robshaw is famous for his hand made, handcut, and hand painted or block printed textiles. They are gorgeous and I am waiting for the moment that I can fill my home with his pieces. He is currently having a 50% off winter sale and you DO NOT WANT TO MISS THIS! Sales happen rarely and I suggest you take advantage when the opportunity arises!

Subscribe Now

Free Shipping on 1st Box of GlobeIn Artisan Box subscriptions

All sustainable & free trade items at Globein 😀 I genuinely love this place.
USA:


Ok, Kitchen Aid is actually having a 50% off sale with just about everything right now! Attachments, countertop appliances, ovens, fridges, stand mixers (both reg & mini in fun colours) which is insane because I really really want a stand mixer in the ice colour! (yeah, I’m doing the 50’s themed kitchen) Anyway, hubby has wanted one of these for sooo long and it’s actually affordable now! Kitchen Aid does have an international site and I suggest you check that also for January sales!


Winter Clearance- Up to 40% off Select Gear that Outworks Winter  

For a lady who spends a lot of time outdoors & in quite heavy weather, Carhartt workgear is my go-to. This stuff lasts forever!

Trendy Ethical Styles

 

AHAVA | Buy More, Save More $25 OFF $100 With Code: BUY25OFF | Shop Now!


subphantis

Life and Home Storage and Bin items

This start-up is a 1 stop shopping for

all home repair & reno items. You’re welcome 🙂

 

 

 

Available to EU only: 


 

*Cosme-DE has every skincare product imaginable, including La Mer and SK II

Thank you so much for checking out this post. I hope you manage to snag a great deal on something you’ve been stalking for awhile!

-Mliae

*Feature photo sourced via Pixabay

Window Shopping Day

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What do you do when you’re feeling blah? Well, window shop, of course!

I am not feeling so pretty or sexy today. It’s cold out and I’m wearing so many layers that I look like a marshmallow. I am dreaming of clothes that make me feel….feminine. With heels of course! So I hit the net in search of all the things I would purchase for myself to uplift my mood. Because let’s face it, days are just much better when you feel…pretty 🙂

Since I am currently unable to indulge in the January sales, the only way I am able to ‘purchase’ pretty things and show them off …. is here. This gives a whole new meaning to living vicariously through the internet.

So here is my virtual outfit for the day (please excuse the formatting, I am always learning…):
Tribal-Inspired Beaded Necklace

Thompson Tote - Darby Scott

 

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

*Post contains affiliate links. That only means that if you decide to browse or purchase items, I may make a small commission at no additional charge to you.

*Feature photo sourced via Pixabay

Sustainable Clothing Spotlight: Love Justly

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I am really excited to publish a feature sustainable company spotlight on Love Justly! As you well know, if you’ve been following the blog for awhile, I am a firm believer in voting with our wallets. By that I mean, that by each of us making conscientious purchasing decisions, we do hold the power to create change. We are, after all, the driving force in consumerism/consumption. If our purchasing decisions were not at all important, companies would not spend such insane amounts of money trying to make us believe we need their items. The mantra ‘purchase better, purchase less’ is something I truly believe in. If we begin a paradigm shift with this mantra in mind, the fashion industry will follow. This is why I have chosen Love Justly to write a feature on. Their items are beautiful, fashion-forward, ethically sourced and made to last! In my mind, that checks every box I need in order to make a positive, guilt-free purchasing decision. I know that many of my awesome friends and readers feel the same way, and so I am happy to share a great place to bookmark and revisit again and again. 🙂

I did have a few questions:

Q- The fashion industry is severely competitive and there seems to be a lingering mistrust of good-hearted ethical companies due to the ‘green-washing’ phenom. What made you want to go into the sustainable fashion business?

A- I started Love Justly because I always wanted a place where I could go and get a good deal, but know that people on the other end of that product didn’t suffer. Often items are less expensive because people are paid poorly and treated harshly.

I partner with companies and buy excess stock or past season items at a discount and then sell those items at a discount. The companies I partner with are doing amazing work around the world, so when you buy from Love Justly you know your purchases truly make a difference!

 

Q- How long has Love Justly been in business?

A- A little more than 2 years.

 

Q- How does Love Justly define ethical fashion, as it relates to you?

A- For Love Justly, ethical fashion means the people who made the item are paid a living wage and treated fairly. All too often in fashion, this doesn’t happen.

 

Q- Sustainable/ethical fashion can mean a great many things to a great many people. What is Love Justly’s main focus? (Fair employment, creating little waste – if any, sustainable materials, long-lasting items, using sustainable shipping methods, et al)

A- Love Justly partners with a variety of companies and each of those has a different mission, but the heart behind all of them is a desire to provide hope and economic opportunity to people by giving them reliable income.

 

Q- How do you select the items you sell on your site?

A- The companies I partner with often will let me know what they have to sell and then I select from that. I also take feedback from customers and buy based on what they want to see on the site!

 

Q- Fast-fashion driven consumption has forced the fashion industry to go from 2 seasons per year to 12-52 seasons per year. This seems to me to be absurd. No entity can crank out reliable, sustainable fashion that is long wearing and fair at that pace. How many seasons (or seasonal updates) does Love Justly add per annum?

A- Love Justly doesn’t follow a set seasonal update. We just added many new products before the holidays and add more based on customer demand and areas we’re starting to run low.

 

Q- More often than not, ethical fashion can understandably be quite expensive when compared to fast-fashion prices. I think this why so many people hesitate to purchase ethically made items. How do you manage to offer such fair prices on your site?

A- I typically buy items at a discount from companies, which then allows me to sell them at a discount. Due to this structure, I have a more limited selection to choose from, but it helps introduce more people to ethical fashion, where price may have been a barrier before.

 

Q- How do you ensure the manufacturing standards of those companies whose items are sold on Love Justly?

A- I do research on each of the companies based on what is available on their site and through conversations with them and then go from there in determining whether they would make a good partner for Love Justly.

 

Q- We have all heard horror stories of companies who destroy their remaining merchandise and send it to the rubbish heap. What do you do with any un-sold merchandise? Or do you order low quantities and keep them for sale until they are sold?

A- We order low quantities at Love Justly, so things are more likely to sell out quicker than they would with other companies.

 

Q- If a beloved item is sold out, do you offer any way that a person could be placed on a waiting list for that item? Or is it gone forever once it is sold out?

A- Some items we can reorder and if an item is sold out there is a spot where people can enter their email. If that item can be re-ordered we typically will, but sometimes we’ve taken the last items and the company we bought it from may be sold out as well.

 

Q- I have noticed that you offer international shipping (Yay!). Does Love Justly offer the possibility of basic shipping in order to keep the postal price low?

A- International shipping isn’t realistic for most people, so this is very limited. Since Love Justly is a discount site the high shipping costs of international shipping often don’t make sense. We’re happy to ship internationally, but the shipping costs often make it prohibitive.

Some of my fave products:

holiday giving plate love justly

This incredible Holiday Plate that’s perfect for sharing leftovers and holiday goodies with those you love!

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Gold Cashmere Scarf by Komodo.

LJ home-candy-cane-soap-1_600x

For the person that loves all things peppermint-y (uh-hum, me.) this handcrafted candy cane soap is the perfect stocking stuffer!

LJ-dresses-kimono-sleeve-v-neck-dress-2_600x

Kimono Sleeve V-Neck Dress by Liz Alig.  This cool and comfy looking dress is made from 100% recycled T-shirts!

LJ-bags-mini-clutch-2_600x

Mini clutch from woven buriti palm fibre.

LJ-dresses-peacock-party-dress-1_600x

Peacock Party Dress by Symbology. Beautiful and 100% cotton!

See? I told you they have pretty items! And yes, to answer your question – I would never promote a company that I wouldn’t use myself. I purchased the following gorgeous Liz Alig cotton maxi dress from Love Justly that I love:

IMG_E8849

If you are interested, each item tells in the description which company it is from and what good things that company is doing with your purchase. Love that!

Get 15% off any order now!

-Mliae
Trendy Ethical Styles

*Photos sourced with full permissions via Love Justly

 

 

 

Dressember: Ladies and Gentleman, Please Give This a Glance!

Has anyone here heard of Dressember? I had not. Not until I went on a Ted talk binge watch and heard from the founder of Dressember. It is a fantastic idea and this year, I will be participating!

The central idea behind Dressember is to raise awareness, as well as donations to combat modern day slavery. Yes, slavery still exists and in many forms throughout the world. The point is to wear a dress for women, or a tie for men, every day for the 31 days of December. Why? Because people take notice and its a conversation starter. This gives one the opportunity to tell about Dressember and all the good things you are hoping to do!

The Dressember website has published their research, as well as a thorough accounting for each step of the process. Because of this, I have selected to raise $7,000. This is a huge amount, and I’m not sure that I can do it. However, this amount will cover the entire process for 1 person. That process includes paying for the actual rescue and recovery, plus housing, aftercare funds, and what is necessary to get this rescued person back into life. Their life. A life of freedom. And all the help, psychological and otherwise, that this person may need. So, after knowing all that, it seems worth it to really work hard to raise this money.

My plea to you is this: Please consider joining this movement for the month December. I have set up a team page (I have linked to it below). I would love to have you join my team, or at the very least, check out the Dressember website and make your own mind about it. I feel as if we make a team effort of this, we may actually reach this goal!

Please, I would love for you to join me in this! I have a team page set up here and would love for you to join my team!

So, I will be promoting Dressember and participating in by wearing my dress every day in December (yes, I will take pics)! I have also donated, of course.

I am tagging some good friends in the blogosphere here, in hopes that we can conquer this together! Please forgive me if I am overstepping here. This is the 1st post I have ever done of this kind in 3+ years of blogging and I would never go so far as to plead unless it was a cause that I truly believe in. And in this, I do!

I hope that these friends will join me in this endeavor and I hope that you do too!

Jess at Grubbing with Jess

Leggy Peggy

Antonio at The Struggle

Jennie at a Teacher’s Reflections

S R Bottch at S’amusing

MSW blog

Bobbi Blogger

Brigid at Watching the Daisies

Spiritual Journey Blog

Derrick Knight from Ramblings

I will be posting regular updates throughout the month of December which will include photographic evidence of my daily dress as well as possibly spotlighting some ethical, sustainable and slow fashion items from companies around the world.

I do hope you will all give this challenge some thought. I wish you a magical December and a great day!

Let’s go Lifexperiment team for Dressember! Hope to see you there!

-Mliae

*My feature photo dress from Love Justly sustainable fashion

Guest post: Ten blasts from the past that are making a comeback

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There are some things that fade in our memories, only to come back from time to time when we are reminded with a chuckle and a shake of the head. Then there are some things that come back in the kind of way that can’t be ignored – coming to real popularity once again. These ten things might send you deep down memory lane, but they’re also making a big comeback right now!

1. Resort shirts

Fashion right now is returning to the 80s and 90s, big style. Resort shirts are one of the select pieces that are coming back for the upcoming season, and they’re going to be everywhere really fast. Even if you haven’t been anywhere exciting, pick up one of these quirky, kitsch shirts to rock the style with straight-leg jeans and boots.

2. All-natural furniture

Wicker and rattan were materials you most likely associated with your granny’s house, but these days, you can expect to see them popping up in the homes of your peers instead. All-natural furniture is making a comeback, and that means these plant-sourced styles are going to be seen in a lot of modern homes.

3. Conversation pits

You might never have seen a conversation pit in person, as this 70s home design trend was short-lived – and quickly became so much of a turn-off that many homeowners did away with them in order to sell the house.  Now, they’re coming back: a recessed pit in the centre of your living area with connected couches facing one another, so you can’t do anything but chat.

4. Brutalist design

Brutalism came about after WWII in the first place, and uses the textures and colours of metal and concrete to make the home seem cold, stark, and even almost dirty. It’s a bit of a rebellious look, and it comes about for a second time now as homeowners go against the mid-century modernist trend we’ve been seeing in recent years.

5. Scarf dresses

Do you remember the scarf dress? Made from a mixture of textiles, often actually looking like pieces of cut-up scarves, the shape often includes a jagged hem that continues the theme. This style is back in for the season ahead, hitting on the gypsy trend as well as the current penchant for asymmetry in design.

6. Yellow

It’s funny to say it, but colours really do have a big rise and fall in the world of fashion. Sometimes they’re in, and sometimes they’re out. Rising hugely this season is yellow, coming on the coattails of the infamous Gen Z Yellow. For this trend, however, mellower tones are also acceptable.

7. 90s windbreakers

Those oh-so-stylish windbreakers that your mother made you wear in the 90s are actually now a thing again. It’s just a shame that your child-sized jacket will no longer fit!

8. Dad sneakers

Again, we have the 90s to thank for this one. Dad sneakers are so uncool that they’re cool again. Normally we’d tell you to avoid this type of shoe for looking so ungainly and unchic, but now they’re back in vogue for a while.

9. Crazy heels

Stick a few weird shapes into the heel of your shoe and you’re good to go with this trend. You saw those crazy heels in the 90s and again in the 2000s – and this decade’s turn has come at last.

pexels-heels-aa

10. Western trends

We’re going all the way back to the Wild West for this trend: think cowboy-style boots, fringed jackets, and prairie chic with a vintage air.

All these trends are back in style, which really makes us wonder. Maybe we’d better hang on to everything we ever buy just in case it comes back!

Regards,

Anna

Anna Ashmore.jpg

AUTHOR BIO: Anna Ashmore is a woman of many talents. She is passionate about literature, sports, travel and education among many other things. She is also an amateur writer who hopes to make it big in the blog world. Professionally, Anna is a market research analyst at http://businesscheck.co.nz/ and loves her job.

*Photos sourced via Pexels & Anna’s own biographical photo

A Few Words About the ‘Haul’ Trend

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Aaaahhh, the haul trend. This has been going on for too long now.

Sephora Haul, Topshop Haul, H&M Haul…. We’ve all heard it, seen it, thought about it. But I have to ask. I mean…WHY? Some of these hauls are the size of my entire working wardrobe. Now, I understand only if you have found yourself in a larger size and have nothing but pajama’s to wear to the market – then by all means, go get what you need to get through the week! Or perhaps, if you go shopping once a year. But if you already have a fully functioning wardrobe; why go buy more cheap fast fashion to toss in and then complain about 8 months from now that its taking up too much room, you don’t wear it & now are embarking on a minimalism challenge. I just don’t get it.

A little while ago, on our way back from Dublin, my seat mate handed me her fashion magazine if I wanted to read it. I think this was a British edition – which made my shocked face all the more obvious when I happened upon an article citing ‘Maximalist fashion’. REALLY?! WTF is that about? In a world where people are trying to make conscious purchasing decisions. When I have to walk the market from the far back up (I studied marketing, I know that the layout is quite purposeful to fill your cart with all things un-necessary) so I run the gauntlet backwards in order to avoid impulse buys as much as possible. Where we are bombarded with marketing 24/7. Is it really so that the next big movement is to have as much as possible hanging in our closets, crowding our vanities, piled in our homes – as opposed to the nice, tidy, thoughtful – possibly even being considerate of the other people/animals/ecosystems involved in creating our easily accessible belongings – that we are currently doing so well trying to adapt and making mainstream?

I think that my biggest issue with the ‘haul’ trend is that soooo many influencers seem to be doing it. Bloggers, Instagrammers and Youtubers are called ‘influencers’ for a reason. With that comes social responsibility. And I, personally, think that we should use our stations to try and encourage thoughtful consumption, not mindless consumption. But then again, that’s just me.

What do you think?

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay

Introducing Baginning!

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This is the time of the year when us ladies have a tendency to find ourselves searching for the perfect gala look, and the perfect accessories to compliment that look for a special night out.

For these accessories, Baginning.com is website specialising in ladies handbags and purses. They have a huge selection of handbags, shoppers, straw vacation bags and evening bags.

Here are a few of my choices for Summer 2018:

leather

This gorgeous all leather handbag with bracelet strap.

raffia

This gorgeous raffia bag, which I really want for this summer. Best part about it is, I’ve seen these going for an average of 200€. On Baginning they run about $50. Great savings!

And now, for our evening bags selection! (specially chosen by me, of course):

blue clutch

This streamlined blue clutch purse is something I think would go great with some of the formal dance dresses I have seen around recently. A perfect size for a bit of money, lipstick and a cell phone.

vintage.jpg

For our vintage lovers out there, I think this green floral bracelet bag is perfect. The neutral colours basically go well with everything if you’re dressing it up for an evening out.

If you are anything like me, and prefer gold evening bags that goes with everything, they have a really great selection of those!

gold

This simple, yet elegant gold beaded clutch purse will basically go with any dress you wear. It is formal, yet understated. So, you don’t have to worry that your bag is upstaging your outfit.

These 5 items were some of my faves. (That Raffia bag though….that will be mine!) However, there are many hundred’s of great options on the website. One of the best things though about Baginning is that they offer FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING! Yay!

I wish all the best for your gala season!

-Mliae

*All photos sourced from the Baginning website with their express permission given.

*Sponsored Post

Avoiding Impulse Buys: Why You Should Practice Shopping

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Sound weird, right? It is. But, it WORKS! Please, just hear me out.

The reason I am suggesting that you expose yourself to the environment you are trying to control is simply that of experience and numbness. Please, allow me to explain.

You see, I’ve been doing a somewhat twisted version of the minimalist challenge. Currently, this challenge extends only to my wardrobe. Many months ago, I cleared out a large majority of my wardrobe. I donated almost everything that doesn’t currently fit (Classic pieces and a few faves remain, because although fashions do change, some pieces never go out of style and are too expensive to replace). I also gifted to friends or donated every piece of clothing that wasn’t made out of my preferred fabrics. Believe it to not, there were too many items in that category. I only wear 100% natural fabrics. I hate man-made fabrics. Not only do they look cheap, but they make me sweat. And that is never a good look. This massive overhaul left me with many empty hangars. Too many for my taste.

I don’t bore of my favourite pieces quickly – most of my wardrobe has been with me for at least 5 years. But, I do bore! Finding myself with 3 pair of pants that fit and none that I really love made me crazy. And what do we do when frumpy stares back at us from the mirror? We SHOP. And that’s exactly what I did.

First, I started stopping in to some of my favorites stores. But then I realized, that I can’t really find items in the fabrics I prefer. True, finding the odd blouse or sweater isn’t that difficult to achieve. But, pants? A dress? Borderline impossible!

Then I hit a few of my favourite online stores. I found what I was looking for with only a major investment of my time. However, I am on a budget. A very tight budget. So although my wishlist is bulging at the seams with a few items that might work, my cart remained empty. I had to wait. I had to eliminate. I couldn’t purchase an item until I was certain that it would work. And then I found….the flash sale site. This was one of the biggest mistakes ….EVER! 48 hours to purchase and then its gone. But if someone else got to it first… gone forever. The clincher is that you have 20 mins to purchase or they empty your cart. Now, from a marketing standpoint, this is pure genius. From a consumer standpoint, it SUCKS! At first, the urge to ‘buy now!’ was too much to bear. Even for this person who is in possession of her facilities and more than fully aware of the marketing scheme behind the sites. I spent hours saving my items in the cart while trying to decide if the purchase was well and truly worth spending my hard earned and even harder saved money.

I made a couple purchases. A silk blouse from SET and pair of snow pants that fit. Both of these purchases will be with me for as long as they last.

I did learn something from these experiences though and its that the items that you love, truly love and will wear until its falling apart; those items will stand out from the start. All the other stuff, the fluff, the ‘well, that might work’ items, the ‘it’s on sale and I need …’ items, the ‘I’m not sure, but the ones I like are too expensive’ items need to be left where you found them. These are the items that are a waste of money. These are the things that will be worn 2-3 times and then relegated to the abyss in your closet. THESE are the items you wonder about when you finally start donating your unworn clothes. And that fluff, is the stuff you should try to avoid purchasing. However, if you find something that fits you, your lifestyle and your tastes (NOW) that you absolutely love – Buy it!

But do you know what the coolest thing that happened after spending so much time ‘browsing’? I realized the other day that I’m just not into shopping so much. It’s a bit discouraging, but not really. See, I still love to shop but my tastes have gotten sharper. Meaning, that I’ve spent so much time comparing, looking over all the little details throughout my decision making process, that my brain is somehow magically able to recognize cheaply made, fast produced crap just by looking at it. (Not to mention the fact that I do 100’s of hours worth of research before I write about things here on the blog) To test out this theory, I visited some of my previously favourite sites. A shop that sells mainstream designer footwear at reduced prices, a few fave online lingerie stores, and even a couple sites dedicated to higher end mainstream fashion. I was disappointed by almost all of them. It kind of took the fun out of it for me, that it all looks like cheap junk. Toss away items. Shoes that you can see will fall apart after 1 season. It was a disappointment.

I went to look at a few truly high-end sites (just to see if I had developed a distaste for shopping in general) and I found that I could tell immediately the difference in quality, fabric choices, etc. I could purchase underwear in the fabrics I love, 100% leather shoes (soles included) and when I took the time to research the manufacturing reputations of some of these labels, I was not disappointed. I had found my new clothing havens. Only thing is, you have to pay for quality. I don’t mind saving 3 months for a dress I can wear for years to come. Quite the contrary, actually – as I have always said ‘ I would rather have 3 outfits that make me look & feel Ah-mazing, as opposed to 10 that make me feel meh!’ However, I do mind saving for a dress that I won’t wear.

So, in order to display my delusion of expertise on the matter,  I have put together a little step-by-step on how to practice shopping in order to help control your impulse purchases. And some ideas on how to calculate if your desired purchase is really worth the cash you’re throwing down.

Here we go!:

  • Practice shopping online. Preferably on a site that doesn’t have your current payment information saved.
  • Go through & fill up your wishlist (cart if there is none – hence not having your payment info on file…accidents do happen!) with all the things you love or would normally gravitate towards.
  • Don’t go just a little bit through. Go through it like you would normally.
    • For huge sites, this sometimes takes days. Works well if your PC has sleep mode, you can just revisit later.
  • Now, go through your wishlist/cart based on certain criteria. Eliminate items based on 1 criteria at a time.

These are my personal criteria (and in this order):

  • Will it fit me now? (You might be shocked at how many items are eliminated based solely on this!)
  • Fabric content. If you like only 100% natural fabrics like I do, this will cut out like 80% of your wishlist.
  • Does it fit my lifestyle? Do I have a place to wear it? – Imaginary romantic cruises be damned! If you don’t have the tickets, don’t make the purchase.
  • Do I LOVE IT? Now, I’m not Mari Kondo’ing you. She takes it to a whole other level. I’m saying, if you can’t see yourself wearing it to death then you don’t love it.
  • How much do you already have? If you already have enough clothing to wear something different every day of the month, you don’t really need any more. Same goes if you have 5 items you could wear the same way to the same functions. OR this especially applies if you already have similar items.
  • Can I afford it? This doesn’t mean that you have to buy with what you currently have in your wallet. This means that if you can’t afford it, is it worth saving for? Do you really love it that much?
  • What is the Cost/per wear? (C/PW I started talking about this 2 years ago and I swear by this equation. It has saved me from more than a few bad wardrobe investments.) C/PW is exactly what it sounds like. Personally, I prefer my C/PW to be = or > 1€. So, if I purchase a dress worth €144, then I need to wear it at least 144 times.
  • Will it hold up long enough for me to get my desired C/PW out of it?
    • Example: DVF silk dress on sale for €300. As you know, I like my C/PW to be > or = 1€. That means, I have to wear that dress 300 times – or, approximately 1x weekly for the next 6 years. It’s not suitable for our harsh winter environment, but it will work for the other 3 seasons. So, say 8 months. 8×4=32. Soooo… around 9 years. Will I wear this item 1x per week for the next 9 years during the suitable months? (Probably not) Would it stand that kind of wear and care? It may, and you may. But I do have more than 6 combined outfits in my wardrobe, so I may not wear it that often. You can work this out for yourself, but this is just my process. I have to admit though that handbags are a different story. I have consistently invested in high quality leather handbags and I have not purchased a new one in 3 years! I still have one I purchased 8 years ago and it looks like I bought it last month.
  • Will you repair it? If you have gotten your wishlist down to just an item or a few, and you love the selected item to sew it, or take it to a cobbler then I say – Buy it!

This is the thought process I drag myself through each and every time I want to make a purchase. And you know what? It really works! After awhile it becomes quite automatic. And you really wouldn’t believe that once your brain becomes adapted to this thought process, you will begin to recognize that you have managed to just scroll over quite a few purchases that your former self would’ve taken home in a shopping bag.

Now that I have revealed how my inner shopper copes with a world full of perceived must-haves, feel free to recommend a therapist. Hehe 😉

Thank you for reading! What are your techniques for battling the impulse?

-Mliae

*Photo source via Pixabay

The 2 Types of Shoes Women Should Never Buy

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Hi there 🙂

Today, I’m on a mission to save your money and your ankles.

I’m sure that this will most likely result in a loss of any possible affiliate connections with fashionable shoe companies for the foreseeable future. But, to be quite honest with you, having a bit of dignity and a good reputation for honesty here, far outweighs any monetary advances. After all, this is what I seek to do…right?

As I am always browsing blogs, fashion archives and the like – the other day, I was astonished to find an article by a fashionable young woman, telling me that I should wear (exactly one of the items that I’m about to rant against) and nothing else. I could not believe what I was reading. But it continued. And so did my desire to correct it. So, here I am!

As someone who has spent a good portion of my life investing in quality purchases (and quite a few trends), I’m here to do you a service…one which I wish someone had done for me, years ago. That service is to tell you, you are wasting your time with these two types of shoe purchase… and WHY.

  • Mules. I love a slim-lined shoe more than anyone! There is really only 1 reason to stay away from mules and that is….
    • Your ankles. Shoes need ankle support of some kind. True, flip-flops and sandals…I get it. But mules always have a bit of a heel. Meaning that A) you can only shuffle forward and B) One tiny misstep and you’re in the ER with a fractured or twisted ankle.

 

  • Translucent plastic of any kind on a shoe. Don’t do it! Kardashians be damned. Remember that marketing is exactly that…marketing. Don’t believe for a moment that these women are actually walking around in these shoes. Here’s a few reasons why:
    • Plastic acts like a green house for your feet. Trust me, 1 hour in and your shoes will be fogged up and dripping down. (Eeeewwww!)
    • The get gunky so fast! Feet, people. No matter how clean we keep them, if we’re sweating in plastic, its going to get nasty.
    • It’s virtually impossible to clean the plastic bits. For one, plastic absorbs ick and you can never get it out 100%.
    • If the bacteria doesn’t bother you, the toe marks might. There’s nothing more horrid than taking off your fashionable shoes only to have marks of the tops of your toes remaining – and some dirt thrown in. Translucent shoes have to be kept immaculate in order to look ad-ready. That kind of immaculate means daily upkeep. Are you ready to invest that kind of time into a pair of kicks? Yeah, me neither.

 

Anyone else have a ‘No-Go’ shoe type? Please let us know!

Thanks for reading

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pexels

Introducing Hiperion Brand!

14

Hello everyone 🙂

I love design. I’m also a business nerd and I have a soft spot in my heart for start-ups. This created a deadly combination for me when I stumbled upon Hiperion. This new label appeals to both hemispheres of my brain and so I kind of HAD to learn more and do a write-up. This was an opportunity I could not allow to pass me by.

Hiperion is a new , MADE IN ITALY high-fashion label (registered in 27/09/2017 with the Milan Chamber of Commerce). Three young gentleman in their 20’s founded, co-own and design for Hiperion.

 

Simone, Alessandro and Giacomo met during their studies at NABA (New Academy of Fine Arts) in Milan. These 3 men work, live and party together in a (divided?) 3 level English-style home. They say it’s a den of artists. Judging by the mental picture that was given to me, I am inclined to agree! In all honesty, it sounds like they have it all working out well!

 

I was curious as to how these talented young men found themselves together and taking the giant leap into a very deep pool of business and design. Simone explained to me that ‘Giacomo’s mother has an ironing and finishing company. Her passion for art & fashion being so great that it took her away from her hometown of Modena. Alessandro has always been a fashion enthusiast, and decided to pursue his dreams.’ And Simone himself stopped playing professional football (Soccer, for the Americans) after several disappointments and decided to ‘hearten & drown in art, to follow what has always been a passion for him, fashion.’

 

I’m going to highlight a few of my favourite designs for you, so that you can see the level of craftsmanship that goes into each piece.

hiperion hf

Each piece has its own unique style. I really love the way that the Hiperion brand has the ability to take inspiration from the every day and transform it into something luxurious.

hiperion velvet.jpeg

I am so drawn to this velvet and silk suit. This piece would be fitting for both man and woman (with different tailoring, of course). But the real reason I wanted to highlight this suit is the detail. I mean, just look at the buttons! Every detail has been made to compliment the outfit as a whole. This is the kind of thing that we really don’t see anymore and I am so happy that attention to detail is coming back!

hiperion fireballs

These designs are not your typical suit. Therefore, one must be creative in the way one wears it. I love that this man wore a regular Tee-shirt with his firecracker designed suit. Hiperion has collaborated with an impressive amount of Italian celebrities in the past year. Some of these collaborations include: Paolo Ruffini for Colorado (Hiperion created 2 dresses for this campaign), Music First (a record company in Milan), and for the tour of Eman. Earlier in February, they held their Hiperion launch show in Milan.

hiperion jester 2

hiperion jester

I really like this suit. Hiperion does not use man-made fabrics. They use silks, velvets, satin and now linen (for the festivals). I wanted to post 2 pictures of this because you can see how the duality blends nicely together in different light and from varying angles.

hiperion daffodil

My favourite part of this suit is the green buttons on the lapel. This tiny detail screams mad-hatter at me and I can’t get enough of it!

Hiperion butterfly

This final shot is to display usage in real life. Plus, I think the butterfly design is cool …especially on the luxury denim-like jacket. This is one of the things I admire about the brands’ mission. Hiperion wants that people feel comfortable wearing luxury every day, not just for special occasions. I could not agree more with this! I have been saying it myself for years, especially when wondering out loud what happened to the days when people took time and made an effort with their appearance! How did we go from every day luxury, well designed clothes that were made to last, to yoga/sweat pants and Tee-shirts? I am so SO happy to have discovered a design house that agrees with me. And THAT is the biggest reason I want to share it with you.

I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity for a bit of Question/answer with Simone. Please read it below:

 

Q – What made the 3 of you decide to take the big jump into starting your own design label?

A – The decision to launch our clothing brand at 22 is mainly due to the strong personality that characterizes us. We are resourceful, courageous, sincere, and we believe in ourselves. We young people are capable of great things, we just have to wake up.

 

Q – How have you found it, being a start-up in such a competitive industry?

A – Being so young and alone as a start-up in such a difficult sector is not easy. Being taken into consideration is not easy, there is a lot of skepticism due to the young age. However, we do not pay attention to these things, we work, we share our love and step by step we will get some satisfaction. However, we also realize that there is a lot of admiration from experts in the sector, given that despite everything we try!

 

Q – I adore your designs. So chic, so different! From where do you take your inspiration this season?

A – Thanks for the compliment! Our inspiration derives from our daily life. We live together, study together, eat and sleep together. Ideas are born in our heads and meet spontaneously without even having to talk about it. It’s amazing it’s fantastic at the same time.

 

Q – You do mainly Menswear, but also Women’s wear. Correct?

A – The collection was born mainly for men, but we had numerous requests from the female public. We tried some clothes on girls and it was really fantastic. The man style worn by a woman is something totally out of the box that is already beautiful for this reason. We must break the pre-set balances. We are currently working on a collection solely dedicated to women.

 

Q – Do you also make any kind of accessories?

A – As accessories we made some rings on request for special customers, like some Italian singers but I can not mention them yet. In the projects there are accessories, like rings, bracelets and cologne but above all the hats, in Borsalino style.

 

Q – If I wanted to purchase an item, what is the process? (Are they made custom to order or is there a selection from which to choose, and then tailored according to size?) What if you have a customer that lives outside of Italy?

A – We currently expect it to take a couple of months to sell. We are structuring the website from where it will be possible to purchase our products. The only project we are facing now is to be able to see the stuff directly on site in Dubai, but for this we must proceed calmly. We are very followed by abroad, I do not deny that it would not surprise me if we initially became more popular abroad than in Italy. Let’s say that for now we are trying to give value to the brand, through collaborations with Italian TV, actors and singers.

 

Q – About what is the price range?

A – The price will have an average range between € 800 and € 1500 initially. The dress made for Paolo Ruffini is totally in velvet, lined internally in silk, embroidered in lamé and with more than 200 Swarovski positioned by hand. Those who buy Hiperion certainly buy a lot of quality, beyond our passion.

 

Q – Where should we look for you? Any future showings that you know of, where you will be?

A – We hope in two years to be at the top, and to share our passion with the whole world. We are very active on instagram and we interact a lot with our followers. We are open to any kind of collaboration, especially with foreign countries. We had an interesting proposal for the Coachella Festival, but maybe it’s not the right time yet. Surely we will affirm a lot in the world of entertainment in Italy, so look at a lot of tv ahaha ! We recently made the first fashion show in Milan and we would like to do two a year! We will send you the invitation and you can share it with all your friends and followers, we are waiting for you!

 

Q – Thank you so much for your time. Are there any words which you would like to leave with us?

A – Hiperion has a very specific mission. Break the patterns. Make people wear something exclusive in everyday life, without people feeling out of place. Hiperion goes beyond mere fashion, what is created has the same care as a work of art. Hiperion is not a clothing and stop brand, it’s something more. Something that wants to live with people, that needs continuous passion and love, to give and receive, without emotions, things die.

Hiperion label

And with those beautiful words, I will wrap up this post. The Hiperion brand website is currently in the launching phase.

The best way to make contact is via:

INSTAGRAM: @hiperion_brand

VERO: @SimonePellegrini

And EMAIL: info@hiperionbrand.com

 

Thank you for reading!

-Mliae

 

I Respectfully Disagree.

8

I was reading up on chemicals in clothing and I found this article by Who What Wear. Now, I know that Who What Wear has like a zillion readers and an enormous fan base. I am aware that I will most likely be lynched on the internet for disagreeing – respectfully or not. But there are some ‘facts’ here that leave me scratching my head.

In this post, its stated that she will reveal the WORST fabrics for you. This is what she reveals, and in the same order:

  • Bamboo
  • Wool
  • Synthetic Fabrics

Uuuummm…WHAT?! I’m sorry, but…no.

I have to defend bamboo. Even though I don’t wear so much of it (I have 2 bamboo items of clothing). Agreed, there are some byproducts of turning Bamboo into the bamboo-rayon fabric we can wear. However, It is not near as bad as synthetic fabric.  Bamboo and bamboo fabric has naturally occurring antiseptic properties. Even after washing. That’s part of the whole appeal! Not to mention, bamboo is one of the most sustainable – alongside hemp – because it grows at an alarming rate. Because the regrowth is so speedy, the need for sprawling land mass to grow it, reduces drastically. I am not just pretending like I know what I’m talking about here. I’ve spent months of my life researching bamboo fabric and its anti-allergen, sustainable, antiseptic properties for a business related project.

I would also not put wool as the 2nd on this list. I mean, really??? ‘Triggering eczema flare-ups’ is the reason cited. Now, I understand the kernel of truth behind this. I also used to be under the impression that all but merino wool is super itchy and dries out the skin. Some of it does, I’ll give her that. But I have more to say on the matter. In my opinion, and personal experience, it is the cheaper wool clothing and yarn which will kill your skin. I have higher quality wool (i.e.; Aran wool sweater) and less expensive wool which doesn’t annihilate my skin. I have a few unbelievably affordable wool options that I had to buy, that I can’t wear because its so uncomfortable (thus the sale price, I assume.) I also have wool gloves that I suspect as the culprit that turn my knuckles red and make my skin bleed. In my mind, this is purely an issue of quality. The softer wool is much more gentle, agreed. But I would not strike out all wool but merino because some heavy wool is needed to keep warm in arctic temps – and does its job very well, and some wool can be so buttery soft and light that it makes your skin sing. And I would hate for anyone to miss out on that experience!

Now, please understand that disagreeing respectfully with what a blogger who has a following larger than some countries, is not a declaration of war. I just see things a bit differently and the urge to say something was too strong to smile and keep quiet. Especially when it is inevitable that some of the followers of a blog that size will blindly believe whatever is written.

What are your thoughts on this? I’m interested to know!

-Mliae

*Photo sourced via Pixabay

Halloween: The best excuse to buy fun shoes!

8

Hello my fellow shoe junkies! 🙂

OK, so I’m admittedly having a difficult time not wanting to hoard incredibly sexy shoes while doing my minimalist thing. But it doesn’t mean I can’t look…right? Besides, our Halloween party is coming up and I have the witches outfit but nothing to wear on my toesies. Until now, that is. And before you remind me that I am being wary of what I buy – I’ll let you know that I’ve been incredibly good so far and as a sexy heel fanatic, I actually do not have an overflowing variety of shoes. So let’s just consider my chosen pair to be an … investment. 😉

FSJ shoes is offering some very cool Halloween – worthy, super sexy heels right now. The price is right too AND it’s an international shop so you can find everything in your currency & shipping isn’t problem. I love that 😉

These Harley Quinn (featured) boots really got my attention & the price is actually not what you would think. Win-Sexy-Win! I also found these dark magenta stiletto ankle boots that are exactly what I would wear with my favourite skinny jeans! I have these categorized under the colour of red so you can see them together, found by clicking here.

ws1907799

Now – this was the most difficult page of the online catalogue to get through. ‘Why’ you ask? Well, because they’re black. A basic colour for a non-basic shoe. I had to toss out my beloved black heels this past summer and I’ve yet to buy a replacement pair. So, I found myself with 20 pair of black heels in my cart. Hmmm… These 2 pairs are in the running for my witchy shoes. Which pair do you think will go best under a satin black wicked looking dress, but can also be used on a daily basis?

3218583013_265546387__ws1905516_01

They have a variety of heels – basically, anything you’re looking for. Like these stiletto boots, I love this grey pair for daily use! How cute would these be with a tailored pair of black trousers and a white button down shirt?

grey_vintage_boots_stiletto_heel_ankle_booties_with_platform

What’s your Halloween shoe situation?

Have you tried FSJ shoes? If so, please share your experience with us!

-Mliae

*Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. Those shoes are rad, tho. 😉

 

 

The Minimalist Closet: An Intro

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Hello there 🙂

This is my closet. You’ve seen this pic a few times, especially after I decided to keep only my natural fibre or sustainable clothing options.

I’ve decided to start a new experiment series regarding the minimalist wardrobe.

I browse the internet… A LOT. I’ve noticed that minimalism and the capsule wardrobe have garnered a ton of attention as the new trend. I hate to admit it, but I have to laugh when reading about the ‘French Wardrobe’ or the 33 items for 3 months – trend. You see, in my mind, it seems to be more a case of people wanting what they don’t have (i.e.; time, space, clean lines, easy decisions) than a case of really taking stock of what they have and using it to its full potential. This isn’t always the case, but it seems to be more so than not. People who have, want less. People who have not, want more. Welcome to the vicious cycle called Trends in Consumerism.

I live in Europe. It’s true that the storage space is minimal here, and also that the clothes cost a small fortune. (Especially when you have mentally/physically or age-wise outgrown H&M and all the other fast fashion warehouses.) It’s also true that basics need to be of good quality, since you will get the most wear out of them & that trendy items should be kept to a minimum. (The rules to the French Capsule Wardrobe state that you can buy unlimited basic, but purchase only 5 trendy items per fashion season: Spring/Summer & Autumn/Winter) This seems normal. I’m not sure who is able to buy an entire wardrobe of items every few months. (Basics or not) I go months without buying anything sometimes, but I guess that’s because I have more pressing financial priorities. I have a difficult time with refraining from purchases sometimes because I go ga-ga over items that are different. If the sleeves are different on an otherwise normal cashmere sweater or silk blouse, it will be mine. Fortunately for me, this is a rare occurrence when it means the item in question must also be 100% natural fabric. Unfortunately, there are 2 such items at the moment which are waiting patiently for my purchase. Hmmmm….

I see people going all Mari Kondo crazed. No, I have not read the book. Yes, I do know how to fold. How could I not, after spending the years of my youth working in retail? (Whew! Sure am glad to be done with that job…) I’m sure that Kondo is a wiz at what she does. But, I mean really, do you only have things in your home that ‘spark joy’? My cleaning supplies do not overjoy me when I hold them. It’s more of an ‘Uggghhhh…do I have to?’ My empty nondescript flower pots in storage don’t make me smile. But they are a necessary part of my life when spring comes for sprouting. The piles of bills, tax forms and papers on my desk don’t make me happy, but I would be S.O.L. without them. I think its the same with your wardrobe. Of course, we NEED to have things that make us happy, feel sexy, feel great! But wouldn’t we be missing something if that’s all we had? I mean, don’t get me wrong. If I could wear what I felt best in all day, every day – I totally would! But if I’m going to drop 100€+ on a pair of trousers, you better believe I won’t be wearing them to clean the house, run the dog, or netflix & chill with my guy. I’m going to wear the shittiest uniform I own to clean, sweats to run, and something pretty – yet at least mildly comfortable to hang in with babes. However, I do get the basic premise of Kondo’s method, and I agree. She is correct in that if you love the items you own (clothes, for our purposes) then you will be happy in your space. You will take care of your special items, and you will get the maximum amount of wear out of an item that makes you happy when you slip into it. Absolutely! I always say that I would rather have 5 items of clothing that make me feel Ah-Mazing instead of 20 that are ‘Meh’. The fact remains though, that most of us aren’t models. We have active and demanding daily lives and we need clothes that can cater to that aspect of us. So the question (1 of many) is: How do we make this work with a ‘minimalist wardrobe’.

I like this post by Susie Faux, who’s been an advocate of the Capsule Wardrobe for the past 30 years. She outlines the practical reasons why a Capsule Wardrobe is recommended and does not lay out rules.

I have to use the term ‘Minimalist’ or ‘French Capsule’ wardrobe loosely here. For our purposes, there are no rules except for one. I’m not going to count my sweaters and then deny myself a few faves because somewhere someone said I should only have 2. Not gonna happen. Although, speaking the truth, it seems that the internet is telling me that my wardrobe – the one I have now, IS a minimalist wardrobe. How did this happen?

The only rule I am giving myself for the next 12 months is that whatever I buy needs to be:

– 100% natural fabric (I’ve already done this for more than the past year & I love it)

– Of good quality

– Something that fits the size I actually am

– Versatile

– Well researched & thoughtfully considered (So…no impulse buys)

– An investment. Ie; Something that I can see myself using for the next 5 years.

So, to get to the point, I’m taking on this challenge for the next 12 months. I will be posting regularly about my wardrobe, my progress, my insanity and my purchases. I do hope you will follow the journey with me.

Have any of you tried any of the minimalist wardrobe challenges? If so, please tell us about it in the comment section below!

-Mliae

Requiem For a Sweater

15

My old friend.

How happy I was to pull you from the wardrobe today.

It was my horror to find a hole in the front of you.

We discussed sweater surgery,

but you were beyond repair.

So it was my sad news

to have to throw you in the refuse.

I will miss you my old, brown friend.

The warm embrace of your cashmere,

wrapped around me on a cold winters day.

The comfort of being stretched-out just ‘so’

as to rival the most comfy college Tee.

I will miss having a sweater that matches everything

My wardrobe ‘go-to’,

now a footnote in my style notebook.

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to replace you,

my favourite cashmere sweater.

A sad day in closet land,

-Mliae

Getting to know you 15.06.2017: Fashion

6

Why is it that even horrible fashion eras like the 80’s, keep repeating themselves in modern day trends? I mean, the whole Victorian era – gothic repeat, I totally get that. But I don’t understand, when those of us who managed to survive the 80’s nearly unscathed are still among the living to bear witness to the shoulder pad – hairspray nightmare, how this possibly continues to rear its head in modern day fashion.

You know what they say: ‘If you lived through a fashion trend once, you can’t rock it the second time around.’

What do you think? What fashions make you cringe?

-Mliae

Louis Vuitton RTW Spring 2017 Best Looks

Since we are embarking on Spring, which is always an exciting time of year for those in love with high fashion, I wanted to share this post highlighting some great looks from the Louis Vuitton Runway for the Spring/Summer 2017 season. Enjoy!

Desperately Seeking Sustainable Style

4

I had to share this post on sustainable style by www.hautemind.com There are so many of us, searching for sustainable fashion & beautiful pieces. We should support each other! Enjoy this post 🙂

Super Sustainable Wardrobe Clean-out!

7

OK, I did it. And you would not BELIEVE the size of the discard pile!

Many of you know that I have made a promise to myself, and to you, that I would not purchase any items this year that are not made of 95%(difficult to find elastin-free items)-100% natural fibre. That means: Cotton (the top at this moment because I can wash it), Alpaca, Wool, Cashmere, Silk, Bamboo, Cupro, leather, fur or linen. This has been anything but easy!

I got super frustrated searching the labels of everything I put on and made a drastic decision: Fill the wardrobe with only your natural fibre clothing. Then sort out the rest and get rid of most of it since you aren’t really wearing it at this point anyway.

I have a male friend who decided one New Year’s to get rid of everything in his closet. Read: EVERYTHING. Then he was to go out and purchase items that he really loved. When he ran out of money (as he didn’t have a fortune to begin with) he was done, and would only then add needed pieces as the need arose. Although this is an extreme measure to take, I was sooooo tempted to do the same. But alas, that would be quite wasteful and that is counter-intuitive to my task. So I did not.

When I did the closet clean-out, it was such a mammoth task that I didn’t really want to even start it. I knew that there would be no breaks from start to finish, since everything I currently own was piled on my bed.

I did the initial checking and separating, and then I went through several more times to get it to the point it is now. The initial checking had nothing to do with whether or not I actually liked the garment, it went purely by the fabric.

So here’s what I did:

  • I took EVERYTHING hanging in my wardrobe, and hanging or folded in my closet – out.
  • I laid it all in a pile (hangers and everything) on the bed. I was a mountain of stuff.
  • I went through, piece by piece, and checked the fabric content tags.
  • If it was 95-100% natural fiber, it was hung back into the wardrobe.
  • Items were hung to only 1 piece per hanger. (I formerly had entire outfits on the hanger, but I wanted to be able to SEE what I have)
  • All items that were made of artificial fabrics went into a pile elsewhere.
  • Once I had completely gone through and separated out my natural fabric clothing, I got a (new, clean) big trash bag to use as a ‘going out’ pile.
  • I contacted several of my girlfriends to see who might be interested in sorting through some of my stuff, so I knew the types of items (and fit) that my girlfriends might snag. This is really a great thing if you have a closet full of 2-sizes too small designer items that you spent a fortune for and can’t bear to get rid of, but you know you will never be that size again.
  • The calls were a success, and now that discard pile didn’t look so big. I went through the discard pile and made several smaller piles for each friend, her taste and her size. Now I had my friends set, and didn’t have to feel bad about sharing basically new, very nice items of clothing.
  • There wasn’t actually too much left. A few faves, which I had worn the life out of over the course of several years. Must of these were no longer in nice shape, so donating was out of the question. But I didn’t exactly want to toss them in the rubbish pile either. So…I started looking into what my possibilities were. Turns out, H&M has a recycle programme for polyester.
  • I went back through the discard pile and looked at the fabric tags again. Anything that was polyester, I put in a bag to donate to H&M’s recycle programme.
  • And then, there were like 3 grubby items that I really just had to discard. So I did, and it wasn’t easy. I felt like a hoarder. I no longer wear it, but because I loved it for so long, I couldn’t bear the thought of throwing it out. Holes and all. But I did.
  • Then, I sat back and looked at my nice, clean, extremely well organized wardrobe and smiled. The feature pic shows my view.
  • Turns out my love of all things cashmere and linen has really helped me out as I had enough tops to wear for 2 weeks before repeating. Jeans, linen pants, 1 pair wool pants, leather pants,  1 pair cotton suit pants & 2 leather skirts help me to be able to dress for any occasion. 3 summer silk shirts and one gold special occasion blouse mix and match perfectly with my selection of pants and skirts. And 2 leather jackets, 1 matching cotton blazer & a denim jacket to complete the looks. I was all set and much better off in the versatility department than I have ever expected!

I have to tell you that I feel like a huge weight has been taken off me. Not only do I no longer have to dig my through my clothes to find the few things that fit my self-challenge for this year of only wearing/buying sustainable clothing and made from natural fabric clothing, but choosing my daily outfits is SO MUCH EASIER!

To anyone who is standing in front of a packed wardrobe saying you have nothing to wear, or that wants to go cold-turkey onto a sustainable or capsule wardrobe, I strongly suggest sorting out your closet using these methods. And doing it step by step, as just tossing items out can be overwhelming and might easily result in a mosh-mash of items that don’t really go together.

How did your last closet clean-out go?

-Mliae

My Lust list

9

I’m not sure why, but I felt the need to share some of my faves for this season. I try to stick to a simple capsule wardrobe, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t spend boo-koodles of time on the net drooling over fashions I would love to see hanging in my closet.

Here are a few of the items I would buy in a heartbeat if I was able:

cotton-dress

Verdusa Women’s Casual V Neck Side Split Beach Long Maxi Dress Grey L

I’ve really been into super comfy dresses, especially since I have surgery coming up and like to look nice, even though I’ll be hanging in around the house. This, I’m in love with! So simple, comfy, yet will look super sleek with a thick belt.

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Retro Wide Metal Interlock Buckle Womens Elastic Waist Belt Cinch (Black 1)

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Parker Women’s Annie Blouse, Argentella, L

A great silk blouse with leather pants or a leather skirt for an edgy look.

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Jessica London Women’s Plus Size Leather Pants Black,12

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Lark & Ro Women’s 100 Percent Cashmere 2 Ply Slouchy Turtleneck Sweater, Light Grey, X-Large

Starting to see a pattern here? I love items that can mix and match easily with each other. It makes it possible to create a variety of looks with minimal effort (and expense).

Now for accessories and home, which I am really digging right now because I want to feel comfy and luxurious, and I want to look like I spent hours on my look, when I only threw on some bangles and earrings 😉

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Kate Spade New York Womens Idiom Bangles Solid Gold Gold One Size

I am loving this bangle right now. It can be worn with basically every kind of outfit to kick it up a notch.

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14k Yellow Gold Hoop Earrings (2″ Diameter)

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TexereSilk Women’s Luxury Long Silk Bathrobe (Beautibliss, Mulberry, Large/X-Large) Unique Bath Robes for Her WS0102-MUL-LXL

This Mulberry silk robe is one of my must-haves. Super soft, cozy and WASHABLE 🙂

Thanks for checking out my online window shopping wish-list!

-Mliae

Best Milan Secondhand/Designer Shopping: Bivio!

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Ladies and gentlemen, if you find yourself in Italy, you should visit this store. I HAD to reblog this post from www.stylejinx.com as I’ve been searching for a high-end consignment store. I was so excited when I saw her post! Thank you, Style jinx, for allowing the reblog 🙂

Fit for Friday! From Work to Weekend; A Transitional Clothing Collab with T.M. Lewin #fitforfriday @TMLewin

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Hello all 🙂 It’s Friday after work and the perfect time for this Fit for Friday feature!

Today, I am super-excited about this post! When the opportunity to create a Men’s/Women’s versatile office wear collaboration with T.M. Lewin UK presented itself, I jumped on it! As many of you know, I am a bit conservative in my fashion choices, preferring classic pieces with a modern twist that can be used for a variety of different circumstances. I do love fashion, and trends. However, I have found that people get more use for their money with a few highly tailored, versatile pieces than with say… a closet full of clothes that can only be designated for certain social situations. (i.e.; Club clothes, funeral wear, ‘meet the parents’ gear, etc.).

I am very excited about T.M. Lewin because they have really made all of my dreams come true in the fabric department. As most of you know, I only purchase products made of 100% natural fibres. And almost ALL, yes you heard me right…basically ALL of their items are 100% cotton, 100% Leather, 100% Merino wool, 100% mixed wool, 100% Egyptian cotton or 100% silk! YES!!! You really have to work to find something that is a mixed fabric. And that is such a happy thing. Also (drumroll please) their products are affordable. Stylish, affordable and natural fibre?! You really can’t get better than that! You can do the happy dance now, I have been too 😉

I have 2 Fit for Friday looks for men, and 2 for women. Due to the fact that many offices are opting for a Casual Friday look, I wanted to make sure to create a versatile look for both Casual Friday offices and Business Formal offices. All of the items in these looks are from T.M. Lewin. Some of the accessories in the women’s looks are from additional sources.

The following is the Men’s more Casual Friday versatile look to help you go from meeting to pub in no time flat, without having to carry a travel bag with you.

I love this casual look for the Friday office. Versatile, comfortable and easy to go straight from work to meet the guys. All you really need to do is shed the jacket and you are all set!

Outfit contents: Burgundy multi-check Royal Oxford slim-fit shirt (100% Egyptian Cotton…oh, yes, love that!), Brown contemporary belt (100% Leather), Milton brown tweed check jacket (100% Wool with lining), Relaxed fit burgundy cords (100% Cotton) and Regent brown Chelsea boots  (Leather with anti-bacterial heel cushion) are all found from T.M. Lewin. Each product name is directly linked to product, so click away!

T.M. Lewin has many specialties, but their 100% Cotton Slim-fit shirts are an area in which they excel. The modern day working man likes to look fashionable as well as respectable. Gone are the days when gentlemen look as though they are traipsing around in their father’s suits.

I am adding two lust-worthy accessories that can really personalize this look:

 This burgundy velvet bowtie from T.M. Lewin is a real attention grabber. We love bowties! Not just for formal wear anymore. They add a trendy, youthful addition to any men’s outfit. You may opt for a tie free day, but if you are going the tie route, I would suggest adding this one  or these Burgundy braces for a ton of flair!

As a woman, I can tell you quite honestly that I enjoy the look of a man who takes care with his appearance and who can make a little go a long way. This outfit is incredibly versatile. It suits for a casual meeting, a day on the go and an evening of dinner and laughter. Enjoy! And leave that change of clothes at home!

For the next Men’s Formal Office Fit to Friday look, we have the following:

Outfit contents: Harman Blue Mohair Slim-fit Suit (100% Wool & Mohair) , Non-Iron (You know you love that) White Oxford Slim Fit Shirt (100% Cotton), Newbury Waistcoat (Merino wool with lining), Dark Blue bow tie (100% silk) , Brown Contemporary belt (100% leather), Regent Brown Chelsea Boots (leather with antibacterial heel cushion)

Fashion spends an inordinate amount of time considering how people dress in varying circumstances and the rule still holds true: The tailored look is ALWAYS a win.

Now, to transition this into a Fit for Friday evening look. Remember that less is more.  Nobody really wants to have to change pants in the office WC or go full-on gymnast trying to swap out, so keep it as minimal as possible. I suggest shedding the jacket, bow tie and waistcoat. You can either keep the shirt (it is no iron) or, I would recommend changing into this super Noland Grey Merino Long-Sleeve Polo (100% Merino Wool). Top it off with the Burgundy Grey Double-Faced Scarf (100% Merino Wool) as seen below:

Easy-peasy and very sharp looking!

Ladies, now it’s our turn…Goodie Goodie!

For the  ladies semi-casual Fit to Friday look I want to tone down the shirt and took it to a short sleeve floral which is light and comfy. For the rest of the look, I keep it office worthy with a nice grey pencil skirt and professional jacket.

Outfit contents: Suzie Yellow Floral Print Short Sleeve Voile Shirt (100% cotton), Dita Grey Sharkskin Jacket (100% wool with lining), Leona Puppytooth Skirt (mixed fibres), Vivienne Pumps (leather, by Tiger of Sweden – shown as an accessory).

The transition in this outfit is rather straightforward. Shed the jacket for evening, and to add a bit of ‘Umph’ to your night out, take down that pony tail, un button the top of the shirt and put on a bib necklace flirty showing of the neckline of your shirt, such as the ones below to add some pizzaz!

Adding just a bit of extra colour or architecture in your accessories is really all a lady needs to make a dramatic difference in her transitional clothing. Remember: If you are wearing a bold statement piece, let it speak for itself. Too many pieces will make the outfit look cluttered and not well thought out. Cotton & Silk Cordon from etsy, Kendra Scott ‘Ginger’ Graduated Oval Stone Necklace from Nordstrom.

For the next Women’s Formal Office Fit to Friday, we have the following:

Outfit contents: Megan Green Debby Spot Shirt (100% cotton and an awesome statement colour!), Alameda Black Weave Jacket (mixed fibres), Charcoal Wide Leg Trousers (Wool/Cashmere blend), Vivienne Pumps (leather, Tiger of Sweden – shown as a basic accessory).

Transitioning this outfit for a nice dinner or drinks is quite simple because the look is already complete. Shed the office jacket and opt instead for a dainty architecture bib necklace (pictured below). In this amazing green colour shirt, you will already be shining. A statement piece will complete the look without being overbearing. If you are feeling adventurous, untuck that shirt and use an obi belt! Obi belts are awesome in that they create an even more flattering figure by accenting the waistline in all the right places and making that hourglass figure we all swoon for. Wider Obi belts are recommended because they cover a multitude of sins if you have a heavy meal ahead of you. 😉

Kenneth Jay Lane Branch Statement Bib Necklace found from Saks Fifth Avenue, Black Sash Leather Obi Belt found from Once Upon a Belt.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is your Fit to Friday transition from paperwork to pub in only a few minutes!

If you would like to see more of T.M. Lewin’s collections, you can find them on the web by clicking here, follow them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. They do offer international shipping at a reasonable rate, as well as free returns in-store or by post which is always great to have.

It has been a pleasure working on the Fit for Friday collaboration and I thank you for joining me.

What did you think about this post: Would you use these transitional pieces?

Thank you for reading!

-Mliae

 *All looks are from the T.M. Lewin UK website unless otherwise stated.

I FOUND MY WEDDING DRESS!

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Wooohooo! I found it! I found it!!! You are now looking at the proud owner of a beautiful wedding dress…and just in time, too!

For those of you reading who haven’t been following the wedding saga, I realized last week that ‘OMG! If I don’t pick a dress soon, I’m not going to have one AT ALL!’. My panic was well expressed in this post. I seriously thought that I could have my dress in-hand in 3 months time. My, my…how wrong I was. Apparently, the time frame is 6 months! Hurry! Hurry!

So this is what I did: I went back to the original boutique. All the others I visited were a bit ‘Meh’ for me. High prices for inferior fabrics, or waaayyyy too focused on the princess story. Being in my late 30’s, I really have no need to re-inact a disney movie and look quite preposterous in some of the ballgowns. Bigger is not always better. Not for me anyway.

At this boutique, I had fallen in love with a few gowns and had to leave without trying some of them on due to time constraints. So I went back, and I picked my dress loves and we all went into the fitting room together. There is truly nothing quite like having a wall of  wedding dresses waiting for your opinion. I love it. Champagne helps.

Here are some that I absolutely adore (I wasn’t able to include all of them, as some look like a solid wall of veil – which I’m guessing nobody wants to see).

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I was swooning for this gown. We did have a battle over undergarments. I’m sorry, but I will NOT be wearing a hoop! Let it hang… 🙂

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Feeling a bit ‘Peggy Sue Got Married’ but it is age-appropriate.

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Flow-y makes my heart sing 🙂 Don’t mind the mess in the back, that was for sizing purposes.

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Oh…Glamour, detail and gold…how I love thee! A bit cozy around the hips, but just look at it!

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Ah…the romance of lace! I love it, like really love it. But I fear my fiancé will tell me I look like a table cloth. And then I will have to use it against him for the rest of his life.

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Aaaand throw in a bit of Old Hollywood in the mix for good measure 😉

A few things. I know I said I didn’t want strapless. And I tried, I really did! These 2 strapless dresses are the only strapless ones I tried. And the reason being? The bodice is so tight, it’s not going A-N-Y-W-H-E-R-E, possibly not even a comfortable sitting position if I don’t do a emergency slim down of 1-2 cm’s.

I did, in fact, have The Moment! I cried. Not crocodile tears, but enough to know that ‘this is my dress’! It’s so hard to explain. I tried on a coordinating veil with each dress I loved. But when I looked in the mirror and saw myself in The Dress with the veil, it was like I knew that this dress would be carrying me down the aisle. I was so lucky to have my mother with me who was helping me by taking photos and I heard, can’t you smile? Why can’t you smile? And I just couldn’t say anything. My eyes welled up with tears while I stared at myself in the mirror and thought about walking down the aisle to the man I love. It was…surreal.

Ironically, the dress I chose (or that chose me) is not something I would normally go for. So I’m really glad I went in with an open mind and looked for dresses outside of my comfort zone. Otherwise, I never would have found this beauty. And I did not want to take the dress off. When the associate asked me if this was the dress I wanted, I said that the tears spoke for themselves and that is a clear sign to me that you need this dress. THIS ONE! She was a real doll, by the way, the sales associate. When I cried, she cried too. And then we all laughed about how overtly emotional we got.

So what do you think? Any favourites?

Which one do you think is The One?

-Mliae

P.S.- The feature photo (hanging dress I’m not in) is a diversion tactic in case fiancé finds himself scrolling through the blog. He’ll think thats the one and will be so surprised when the big day comes! 😉

*Feature photo by Sharla Stenersen Photography

My Sustainable Fashion Crush is Now Offering FREE Shipping Worldwide!!

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Yeah, Baby…YEAH! Thanks to Twitter, I’ve been made aware that Shift to Nature is now offering FREE GLOBAL SHIPPING on a trail basis. As most of you know, international shipping is a real bug in my brain sometimes. So, as you can well imagine, I’m hanging from the chandeliers over this deal!

If you haven’t yet read my sustainable fashion feature on Shift to Nature, you can read it by clicking here. I love this company! 🙂

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Please check out Shift to Nature, and make sure to use the promo code M15 at check-out for 15% off and a giveaway bottle of vegan Noa Lane nail polish!

Wooohooo! I guess you know what I’ll be doing this afternoon 😉

-Mliae

Sustainable Fashion Feature: Shift to Nature

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Greetings all!

As many of you know already, I have been on the hunt for friendly, fashionable, sustainable, fashion houses with great customer service which utilize sustainable business practices. And I found a great eco-fashion start-up that goes by the name of Shift to Nature, in Australia. They are awesome! Truly, super-cool and incredibly friendly and cooperative people! So much so, and I have to tell you this because it just never happens, that I was put in contact with the owner and personality of Shift to Nature and she is the one who made sure that every single one of my questions were answered, that I had all the facts, and went WAY above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that we have everything we need to make our own evaluations of the company! (and she returned all 8 million of my emails) This fact, in and of itself, really made me acquire a fashion crush on this company. I wish that more companies were able to understand the true value of incredible customer relations. As this can either make or break a sale, or a lifelong of sales, regardless of how pretty the item on the hanger is.

How I came to contact Shift to Nature

I have spent countless hours researching fashion houses. I’ve even spent loads of time searching brand names woven within massive e-commerce sites, in the search for a handful of businesses that offer fashionable sustainable clothing that I feel confident are the crème de la crème. However, even though sustainable and eco-clothing seems to be gaining in popularity, there are some boxes that need to be ticked for me to contact a company in the first place:

  • A majority of the products must be natural fabrics (I say majority because some of the businesses are doing good things by upcycling non-natural fabrics to avoid creating waste)
  • Fashionable items. I want to feel beautiful in my clothes at work, on a date and at home. I know you do too.
  • Fair trade (it doesn’t have to be registered fair trade. Using local artisans and product or helping those in need by paying fair wages IS Fair Trade…with or without the label.)
  • Sustainable business practices
  • Transparency in business practices
  • A non-market based orientation for their products. (Unfortunately, so many eco-fashion houses are mis-using the identity as more of a marketing strategy and less of a genuine concern)
  • Good customer service
  • Reasonable international shipping. (You know this is a MUST for me. I’m neurotic about shipping…not sure why.)

Shift to Nature has far exceeded my wish list.

To show you some of the 100% natural fabric women’s items I fell in lust with, I’ve created a virtual capsule wardrobe for ladies from some of Shift to Nature’s product line! Even the sunglasses are bamboo!

  1. Bamboo Wide Yoga Pants,  2. Bamboo Long Sleeve Crew Neck Shirt,  3. Merino Wool Eco Snood, 4. Aurora Black Scarf, 5. Tortoise Ethical Eyewear

1A. Black Stripe Bra and Underpants, 2A.  Long Sleeved Organic Cotton Stretch Dress in Charcoal Grey 3A. Bamboo Wrap  4A. Celestial Nightie, 5A. Bamboo House Dress

A bit about Shift to Nature

Shift to Nature does work with designers, some are smaller than others, which creates a great opportunity for new designer discovery as well as for the consumer to find an item they go ga-ga over without having to pay the usually astronomical designer price. (Hello Virtual Capsule Wardrobe…you will be MINE!)  New items from different designers are added monthly, as well as keeping with some of the continuous favourites. They do re-order stocks of the best-selling items, so if there is something you love that currently isn’t in stock, ask about it and wait whilst daydreaming. It will be back!
Product pricing is affordable compared to many of the eco-fashion stores, but it is not cheap. It is quite clear that they go to great lengths to provide fair pricing and to take into account the customers relative sticker shock when making the move to eco-clothing. They also offer very reasonable international shipping (Yay! Happy me 🙂 🙂 )

I’m doing something a bit different in this feature. I hope it works out. While I was looking over some of the answers to my questions I received, I wasn’t exactly sure how to put it into narrative. You see, my problem was this: The answers just ooze personality. If I were to reformat that into my words it would….lose something. I think that the personality is so important to a brand, especially when it is the owner speaking and you can hear the passion and excitement in your mind while reading. I don’t want to take that away because it is so important! So for the first time ever, I am leaving it in Question (me)/Answer (Shift to Nature) format.

Q – Does Shift to Nature work with any designers?

A – Shift to Nature is a really large collaboration with designers and brands for their own products as well as new in-house Shift Collaboration such as Faite, Noa Lane Nail Polish and Lily & Leo organic cotton kids range coming soon! Designers with their own brands are featured such as Alas the label with Sleepwear, Eleven44 hot yoga wear and more. All of the designers work on a small scale and have chosen to make the shift to eco fabrics. While this has been in no way limiting their designs, as each designer brings the wearability and softness of eco fabrics into a contemporary colour, lines, prints and fits. Our “in-house” designers are actually wonderful collaborations with notable freelancer designers around the world. Aude in France, Tess in Perth, Project Change collaboration in Cambodia, eco designers in Sydney. For me this promotes alternate economies for people. Lovely and creative women, often mothers can work at home, managing their own time and also having fun with the process. It’s one of my favourite parts of the Shift to nature process – there is now a community of very talented creatives around it – including Bloggers 😉

Q – I see that you also include Lenzig Tencel, any thoughts as to eventually incorporating Cupro into your catalogue?

A – Yes I would love to include Cupro which is a regenerated cellulose fiber derived from cotton linter (the ultrafine, silky fibers that stick to the seeds of the cotton plant after it’s been ginned) creating a silk like cotton fabric. However as this is a new fabric it is still very expensive to make it into reasonably priced eco garments. I noticed that high end designers such as Donna Karen are using it. This raises the question of cost in the fashion industry – hopefully as the new eco fabrics are developed and become widely available a drop in their prices can make them available to smaller designers who can find the balance between eco and acceptable purchase prices for the consumer. There is a tension here. While customers move toward ethical and eco purchases there is difficulty often to justify the higher prices. The higher prices are ethical and related to the real transparent cost of eco fabrics, fair wages and ethical business. However due to fast fashion companies producing incredibly cheap and plastic clothes, consumers are now used to purchasing leggings for $5. This makes the shift to eco very difficult, unfortunately. For designers and makers we are limited to reasonably priced organic cotton, bamboo, lenzig tencel and other such more available fabrics to keep the costs reasonable.

Q – Approximately how many farmers, artisans, etc can you say that your Fair Trade practices help worldwide?
A – Goodness, that is very difficult to say. It takes a lot of minds, hands and hearts to make quality products. Possibly 100’s of families are helped through the activities of Shift to Nature designers and makers. This is probably unique as Shift is a collective with people making lovely items across the world – from Estonia, Bali, Germany, India, Cambodia, Denmark, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Peru – rather than having a limited place of making. As we search for newly unique items everyday we find some wonderful items – and manage it all online, so as carbon neutral as possible in terms of business operation. And we are not limited to English – we love to stretch ourselves and make connections really finding the most unique products.

Q – Do your sustainable practices extend to logistics as well?

A – Yes so for items that come to us as stock, we use sea freight if international. For packaging and posting to our customers we use Australia Post who have good quality assurance and standards. We also believe in public shared economy – so it is important to utilise the international postal systems in each country – keeping them alive and serving all. Based in Adelaide Australia, we have recycle policies of our local council. We remove as much plastic wrapping as we can and then hand wrap the items with recycled tissue paper. We then recycle or reuse as much as we possibly can.

Q – Is there transparency in Shift to Nature’s business practices?

A – Yes there is as much as possible. We will be applying for B-Corp status such that, this certification will require reports. However we are a startup and so I am partly still self-funding the business. We do not make a profit because all of the funds go back toward research and development of new designs and eco products. We are hoping that this will carry us into the future. Our business aims is to create a self-sustainable business – meaning that it can survive as a business stand alone, without additional investment, and that its income is reinvested back into itself to create better products. We spend much much more on R&D than on marketing, for example.

Q – Any new product lines we can look forward to?

A – 🙂 Big smile – yes! Without giving everything away, we think eco and fair products should start with kids. Kids have a big sense of fairness and care and childhood is where a sense of wonder and concern for the planet is sometimes at its strongest. They also want fun and comfortable clothes. Lily & Leo is just around the corner – but no peaking!

Here are some of the items for Home, Kids and Men available:

1B. Luxury Organic Cotton Sheets  2B. Bells Beach Turkish Style Cotton Towels 3B. Men’s Tailored Hemp Linen Shorts 4B. Dino Quilt Cover Set

And this is where it gets even better! 😀

Shift to Nature has very generously offered us a 15% off discount promo code (M15) AND is giving away a bottle of Noa Lane vegan nail polish* with purchase (remember promo code: M15)! *While supplies last, colours may vary.

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A bit about Noa Lane:

Q – I would love to share more about the Noa Lane Vegan Nail polish that you have so generously offered as a bonus to our readers! What makes it vegan?
A – This is so exciting! People often say: ‘but nail polish has no animal products’ but it actually does. Regular nail polish does, in fact, contain fish Scales (usually from Herring) that creates the Sparkle. The iridescent qualities of the scales make them “ideal” for grinding up into glitter. Noa Lane Nail Lacquer does not contain any Fish Scales. The sparkle comes from mineral Micas! Naturally forming mica flakes are from Muscovite mineral rocks which are refined and for safe cosmetic use, the result combined with colour gives the beautiful Opalescent finish. When used in nail polish suspension base the Mica powders distribute freely and evenly leaving a uniform colour saturation. The shine and shimmer of the mica compliments glitter polishes and unlike powder pigments micas do not clump or cause streaking in nail polish. Noa Lane Nail Lacquer also Does Not contain these animal by-products commonly found in regular nail polish: stearic acid, glycerol and cochineal, or crushed bugs. Items from the Noa Lane Mineral Cosmetics range are Vegan and Not Tested on Animals. They are free of Five particularly nasty chemicals including formaldehyde which has been linked to cancer by national research bodies. Noa Lane Mineral Cosmetics is made in Australia with ingredients comply with International standards.

It has truly been a pleasure to work in conjunction with Shift to Nature in order to write this feature on sustainable fashion! They have gained a lifelong customer here and I know that your experience, should you so choose to check out the company, will be as awesome as mine has been!

Thank you so much for reading! And please remember, if you find yourself on the Shift to Nature website  use promo code: M15 at checkout for a 15% discount and a complimentary bottle of Noa Lane vegan nail polish! (*While supplies last, nail colours may vary).

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-Mliae

Capsule Wardrobe Survival: 8 Ideas to make your black dress work overtime for casual, office and evening!

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Hello ladies 🙂 This post is for all my comrades in the eco-fashion, capsule wardrobe journey. As well as those who, like myself, are wiling to invest in an item of clothing that can do triple-time, even if there isn’t exactly available funds for a luxury purchase. (Thus creating the necessity to make your few items work well for you in multiple social circumstances).

Today, I bit the bullet and purchased this dress. (Ok, it was actually a joy, not a chore.) Although I do have a Vince Camuto LBD that I purchased years ago and still get quite a bit of wear out of, its short, low-cut and sleeveless. It’s winter now. I just…can’t. Something about snow, wind and a mini skirt just doesn’t calculate well. I haven’t had a basic black dress for winter in many years. However, I thought long and hard about how I could make this purchase worth my while with the items I currently have available for my winter capsule wardrobe.

As most of you know, I have made myself a promise that I would not buy fast fashion (Which unfortunately, also means affordable for someone with a next to nothing budget) and that I buy only natural fabrics. I went on a long search and found this dress. 95% cotton and 5% elastin. (I prefer zero elastin, but hey, sometimes it’s just there. Like, good luck finding a pair of jeans with no elastin. Am I right?) Then I kept it bookmarked for a few weeks while I weighed the options. Today, I checked out 😉

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The following are the ways I will turn this basic black into a Capsule Wardrobe essential that will work overtime for a variety of occasions!

  • Firstly, you can just wear it like it is with a pair of black flats.

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  • Dress it up for a semi-formal evening  or a hot date, with a glamorous necklace and sexy heels (rose gold, in my case)
  • Accessorize a great look for the office with a big cozy scarf, a light necklace, and thick heeled ankle boots
  • Go boho with a loose cozy poncho and thick heeled ankle boots or wedges
  • For an easy to achieve highly sophisticated look, pair the dress with a brown leather obi belt and brown and black heels
  • For a super casual day, throw on those converse and a denim jacket! (I’m so glad wearing sneakers with dresses is fashionable now!)
  • For another business look, pair with a cashmere cardi, a skinny belt and highly sculpted suede ankle heels
  • If it’s really cold and you just want to be warm, cozy and look super cute; Throw on your favourite boyfriend sweater over top of it and pair with boots or sneakers.

It’s all about accessorizing, ladies! It’s amazing how versatile this one item can be when using items you probably already own to make it go from casual to office to a night out!

What are some of your must-have capsule wardrobe staples?

-Mliae

*Please note: These photos have been taken from pinterest, google and my own items. There are no shopping links contained within.

Black Friday Deals on Amazon

Hi there, and thanks for stopping by!

I’ll be doing 2 online gift idea posts this week: Today and Monday. Of course, the two biggest sale days of the year, so I thought I would share some great gift ideas that I’m lusting over – that are currently on drastic mark-down for Black Friday!

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Awesome 100% goat leather carry bag – marked down from $249 to $59, a savings of $190! (Santa, if you’re reading, I want this!)

Rustic Town Genuine Leather Laptop Bag Leather Messenger bag 15″ gift him her

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This B & D screwdriver with screw holder is marked down from the original $76.88 to $26.99

BLACK+DECKER LI4000 4-Volt Lithium-Ion SmartSelect Screwdriver with Magnetic Screw Holder

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This portable USB charger supposedly holds enough to charge an iPhone 6 or 7 at least 5 times. Yes 🙂 Original price: $109.99, Black Friday deal: $23.99 – for a savings of $86

Uni-Yeap UNI100 11000mAh External Battery Charger Portable Power Bank and Charger in Luxury Style and Polishing Slim Shell with LCD for iPhone7 7Plus 6s 6 Plus, iPad, Samsung Galaxy and More (grey)

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For that special blogger whose computer is melting into oblivion – This Acer laptop is marked down from $299, now $167 😉

2016 NEW Edition Acer Aspire One 11 Cloudbook 11.6-inch Laptop, Intel Dual-Core Processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB EMMC, 1-year Office 365 Personal, 2 years 100GB OneDrive Storage, Bluetooth, HDMI, Windows 10

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14K hoop earrings, original price: $170,  Black Friday price: $45.89 (This item also offers int’l ship)

14k Yellow Gold Square Tube Hoop Earrings

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And these…because they’re pretty 🙂 Also marked down from $20 to $5.99

Decorative Cushion Cover Pillow Cases standard size, Set of 2, 18 x18, Black Friday Sale 2016

There are literally thousands of deals today on amazon alone, not to mention every webstore in existence. These are just some of the items that I thought were the best gift ideas with the best deals and wanted to share them with you.

Enjoy your Black Friday shopping wherever you do it, and stay safe! The evening news is always full of insanity on Black Friday. This is why I prefer to shop online. Seriously. A good sale is not worth being assaulted over!

Happy Friday 🙂

-Mliae

Black Friday Sales Gift Ideas!

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Hi all 🙂

Amazon UK Black Friday sales just started, so I thought this would be a great time to share some awesome gift ideas that are going at a great price!

I love Amazon UK, because they normally ship international (Yay for me! You know I’m a fiend about shipping). Since a majority of my readers are from the states however, I will be posting cool offers and free/reduced international shipping gift idea links from the Amazon US site, just to make things a bit easier. Because thats what online shopping is all about, am I right? 😉

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Black Friday Christmas Gifts Quirky Hand Carved Nose Shaped Wooden Spectacles Sunglasses or Eyeglass Holder Stand

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Mens Black Friday Mega Xmas Deal Mens Woven Lounge Pants Pyjama Bottoms Night Wear WITH FREE BED SOCKS Style 1 Size Medium & Free Bed Socks

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Philips HD9220/20 Healthier Oil Free Airfryer – Black

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(I know a Santa Klaus who deserves this, this year 😉 )

Apple iPad Mini 16GB Wi-Fi – Space Grey

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Oooohhhh…another one of those must-have’s I want for myself! (You know, it’s dangerous doing these gift posts!)

Bella Cook & Serve 3 Pot Slow Cooker With Keep Warm Buffet Setting

Don’t worry USA, I’ve got you covered! Here are some great deals and gift ideas I found on the USA site 🙂

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(I swear by gift cards…best invention since…well, I don’t know -they’ve been around for awhile.)

Amazon.com $25 Gift Card in a Kraft Paper Reveal with Jingle Bells (Classic White Card Design)

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(The blogger must-have 🙂 Aaaand, they have Int’l shipping!)

HOT Sales!!! 2015 New Arrival Monopod Extendable Aluminum Handheld Bluetooth Selfie Stick For Mobile Phones Free Shipping + build in remote control

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(Face care is always a goodie, plus they are offering FREE INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING!)

FREE INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING + Special Price!! Big Sale!!! LANEIGE Power Essential Skin Refiner 200ml + Balancing Emulsion Moisture 120ml + LANEIGE Water Bank Moisture Cream (All Skin / 50ml) + LANEIGE Firming Sleeping Pack (All Skin / 50ml) + LANEIGE Water Bank Essence (All Skin / 60ml)

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(For your Latte loving fashionista)

Starbucks Gift Card $25

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(This would make an awesome table-topper set-up. I want it…)

Happy Sales Teal Gold Color Cast Iron Tea set

Thanks for taking the time to scroll this! That’s it for this weeks’ holiday gift finds that are currently on sale or offering free or dramatically reduced shipping. I seriously wish I could buy one of everything. I could knock out my holiday list in no-time flat! Hmmm..never hurts to dream 🙂

-Mliae

Does my choice to wear natural fabrics, really dictate my fashion options?

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…Sometimes, it really seems that way.

I am frustrated. I spent a large portion of my day doing some Christmas shopping online. Take, Zalando, for example. A website that is full of designer labels, clothing and accessories for the entire family. I scrolled and scrolled through for hours today. Literally, hours. Every time I found something that was stylish and somewhat affordable, it was a poly or acrylic blend. It is so frustrating.

Luckily, those I’m shopping for aren’t as picky about fabrics as I am. Though I would love to be able to get them some nice, soft, pretty items made from natural fabrics. I am starting to presume that this is a luxury wishlist, as it is just so difficult to find anything other than Tee shirts, the occasional college shirt or long sleeve Tee or cotton blend sweaters. I found 1…yes, ONE full cotton dress on the entire site. What is the deal?! I mean, I just don’t understand it. I would LOVE to be able to buy a silk maxi-dress for less than 1,000 ($/€) or wool pants for less than 500. Why is it, the fabrics that are most sustainable and take the least amount of processing, are also used the least and cost the most? Does anyone understand the logic in this?

How did we get here? How do we get the fashion industry’s attention to let them know that we don’t need a closet full of artificial, inexpensively made clothes that will be out of style in 6 months…that we need quality craftsmanship, natural fabrics and beautiful classic, versatile designs that will last years?! THIS I am willing to pay good money for, even save if I have to. Of course! What woman wouldn’t invest in her appearance if she knew she looked fabulous and that she could get her money’s worth out of her garment?!

I am amazed that I am able to find more natural fabrics and nice designs on amazon, than I am on Zalando. I never thought it would be this challenging to go ‘rogue’ when I made a deal with myself that I would only buy natural or sustainable clothing, at least for the year, to start.

Anybody else having this experience?

-Mliae

Say goodbye to your budget, Instagram just made it easier to buy the products you love to love

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As of next week, Instagram will be doing a test run with 20 U.S. retailers, that will enable viewers to shop on instagram. From what I see, this test run will only apply to iOS users in the Continental United States. But I think that you know as well as I do, that this will be an international happening open to all retailers, in just a matter of time.

This is how it’s supposed to go down: Normally, when you see a picture of an item you fall in love with, its easy to practice some self control merely by not being able to hunt down the item that moment. Well, say goodbye to this self control. Now, viewers will be able to expand the picture, see item details such as fabric content, size and price. Some retailers will be allowed to include a ‘shop now’ button on the description which will take the viewer directly to the purchase point. Viola! Instant, Instagram gratification!

In my opinion, this will again change the way that social media is used as we know it. Influencers will have more influence (we all know how gorgeous that glamazon 20-something looks in a sweater that makes most of us look like grannies. Now we can buy it while still on the photo high). Promo code purchases will escalate and our savings will gradually…dwindle. I equate this move to being able to purchase direct while reading Vogue magazine (the actual paper one). Dangerous, dangerous, dangerous… And a potential goldmine for those precious few select retailers and those they employ to market them.

The upside? Shopping with your friends 😉

Who knows? Maybe it will find itself in the same situation as Facebook marketing. More annoying to its users than beneficial. I guess we’ll soon see!

What do you think about this little marketing test?

-Mliae

People Tree: A glimpse into the sustainable fashion web store

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Hi everyone and thanks for stopping in! Todays article kicks off my happily anticipated series on sustainable fashion. I have been on the hunt… high and low, searching for the best, coolest and friendliest homes of sustainable fashion.

Here’s how it went down: I think I spent at least 30 hours doing internet search on top of internet search for sustainable fashion businesses. I then compiled a list and went through each site that I had found (another several days of solid researching). Many were sadly no longer active. Another large group was those that specialized in like…socks. And then, THEN we have the massive conglomerates that marketed sustainable and ethical fashion, but in all honesty, it was just for marketing. I’ve worked in business; I know a marketing ploy when I see one. So once I was able to categorize these business even further, it left me with only a handful of genuine fair trade practicing, sustainable processing, natural fiber using fashion companies who have some really nice modern day designs. Works for me! I’ve been on the search for the best and now it seems like I’ve found a tiny group of them.

Now I must tell you, that these people at People Tree are some of the most co-operative people I have spoken to. I understand, of course, that when a blogger contacts a company the immediate thought is ‘freebie request’. Now, I love freebies, it’s like Christmas when something that you really love arrives! That said, I merely wrote to request information. They not only understood my request for information and permission, they made sure I was well stocked in all the information I could possibly need and were at hand for any questions I might have. How awesome is that for this humble blogger??!

Now, a large part of the reason I developed a clothing crush on this company is because their designs are nice. They are comfortable and beautiful; suitable for office, home and a night out. Two of their featured designers this collection are Peter Jensen and Zandra Rhodes. They have worked with Thakoon, Laura Ashley, and Vivienne Westwood (to name a few). Having designer options at a reasonable price, in natural fabrics all the while incorporating Fair Trade and sustainable business practices, is what really made me find myself going ga-ga.

Some of this information is in the form of a social review, which is conducted every other year in order to ensure that The People Tree is maintaining or exceeding their fair trade practices. This was fascinating reading, as so many companies do not truly practice any form of transparency in their sourcing and business practices.

People Tree utilizes fair trade practices in every step of their production process. From Cradle to Cradle. Most of their cotton is certified organic and fair trade. They use safe, azo-free dyes for their clothing, they source locally and use recycled where they can. Even down to their natural buttons which use either shell, coconut, corozo ( a natural grain which resembles resin), horn or wood. All of the woven items are hand woven, and in many cases, People Tree uses recycled material so as not to create or contribute to any additional waste. Logistically speaking, they are brilliant – utilizing sea transport as opposed to air. They even take sustainability so far as to use solar panels in as many possible places as they can.

Safia Minney founded People Tree in 1990. People Tree is said to be the ‘first international clothing company to be awarded the World Fair Trade Organisation Fair Trade product label’. In the past 25 years, they have been able to perfect a supply chain, which positively affects in excess of 3,700 farmers, tailors, weavers, dyers and management due to Fair Trade practices. They employ some of the persons from castes which truly struggle and need a fair opportunity. Including as stated ‘Indigenous, disabled, refugees and people living in poverty’ from the Countries India, Bangladesh and Nepal. In total, they work with  34 Fair Trade producers who employ approximately 15,000 people. The numbers I was able to get my hands on states that there are approx 4,500 artisans & farmers in 13 countries (India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Laos & The Philippines). That’s a lot of Fair Trade going around!

Some of their Fair Trade practices include training, the possibility of advance pay without interest for business development, fair wages (which is why you won’t find a €5 garment here), good working conditions and market exposure. Ladies, you will love this; HALF of the leadership positions throughout People Tree’s production chain are filled by Women! Yeah, Baby! Yeah!

People Tree has two seasonal collections per annum, and these are some of the stand out items from the Autumn/Winter collection. I could not do a business feature without displaying some of my favourite lust-worthy products, of course!

Some of the items I love at People Tree:

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The Lara Pencil Skirt

95% organic cotton, 5% elastin

€65

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The Imara Top

95% organic cotton, 5% elastin

Formerly priced at €65, now €33,04

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Hesper Striped Skirt in Black

100% Organic Cotton

€99

&

May Turtleneck

95% Organic Cotton, 5% Elastin

€35

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Fisherman’s Jumper in Unbleached

100% Wool

€250

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Swallows Tee

100% Organic Cotton

€39

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Peter Jensen Jewel Tie Waist Dress in Multicolour

100% Organic Certified Cotton

Now €55.44

Another cool little thing they do on the website is that under the photo of the particular item you are looking at, there is a statement which informs you where the item was sourced and the Fair Trade aspects of it. Nice 🙂

Now here’s the icing on the cake: FREE delivery in UK on all orders, and an INTERNATIONAL delivery fee of only 5 British Pounds for ALL orders over 70 British Pounds. THAT is SUPER! You know me, I’m a sucker for affordable international postage! J

They have loads of fashionable items to choose from in both Women’s and Men’s. If you are interested in sustainable fashion, this is a great place to check out!

http://www.peopletree.co.uk

After so much time reading up on this company, the mantra that will remain ringing in my head is ‘slow fashion, not fast fashion.’ From here forth, every time I see a clothing shop which turns over their trends on a bi-weekly or monthly basis and are selling man-made fabric must-have’s on me for the price of €5-€7, I will mentally equate it to McFashion – the pre-processed, rubbery burger that you can get for €1 and regret for much longer.

I would love to hear your thoughts about this business, please share!

-Mliae

*Photos & permission provided by People Tree

Feeling Fashionable: my #ootd

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Today, I feel pretty good about my #ootd so I felt like sharing with you. The great thing about autumn is that one can wear her suede over the knee boots and a nice cashmere sweater to dress up her favorite skinny jeans and look and feel great!

Sorry, I hate taking selfies and they always come out just awful looking, so I found the products themselves to show you.

So here’s what I’m rocking today :

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Miuk Women’s Basic Slim Turtle-neck Long Sleeve 100% Cashmere Pullover Sweater

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Levi’s Women’s Revel Demi Curve Skinny Jeans, Blue (Hight Storm 0032), 29W x 32L

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Sam Edelman Women’s Bernadette Boot, Grey Frost, 8.5 M US

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Bohemia Chandelier Fringe Women Long Pierced Dangle Multi-Chain Linear Drop Chain Tassel Earring Golden

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Dazzle Flash Gold Tassle Necklace Chic Tassel Necklace Halo Long Tassel,NAG159

My necklace & earrings are basically identical to these, except it’s an antique set from my grandmother 🙂 I love them!

…And now, I’m off to do some wedding dress shopping!

-Mliae

 

*Feature image credit: Oh Fiddle Dee Dee Blog

Upcoming Experiments & Series on Lifexperiment Blog

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Hi there! Thanks for stopping by today 🙂

This is one of those occasional posts to discuss future posts. I know it seems kind of weird maybe. However, it is your valuable time that you spend reading here, and my valuable time writing – so I like to make sure that my experiments are something we would all like to spend our time exploring.

That said, here are some of the new experiments & bi-monthyl/monthly blog series I would like do here on Lifexperiment Blog.

  • Getting to know you! I’ve made so many golden friendships here and I love meeting new people and getting to know better the friends I already have! So I was thinking that we could do a once monthly discussion on – say – one question. I will post my answer in the post, so you can get to know me too 🙂
  • Quirky Quotes 😀 I love fun, weird, somewhat strange & sometimes inspiring quotes. I was thinking that I could share some of these, maybe, say… bi-monthly?
  • Sustainable fashion. I posted about this earlier and I have put a lot of time and research into it and I think that sharing my findings on this when I am able would be great fun and spread the word a bit.

As for the experiments I have been blogging about all along: wedding, home reno, garden, the hunt for the perfect beauty products, travel, food, books, fashion, product reviews and my occasional blab about whatever has me cross-eyed that day – these will all still continue. And the Recycled Book Reading Challenge on the first of every month…of course! 😉

Any thoughts on the matter?

-Mliae

A Word About Sustainable Fashion

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Good day, everyone 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

Today I’d like to discuss a topic which is becoming more and more of a priority for not only myself, but also for many fashion forward men and women. The words of the day are ‘sustainable’, ‘eco’, ‘fair trade’, ‘organic’ and ‘natural fibers’. The reason I would like to talk with you about it is because I am seriously considering launching yet another experiment here on lifexperiment blog.

As most of you already well know, I am a huge proponent of natural fabrics. There are several reasons for this, some are as follows:

  • Studies have shown that linen is the most hygienic fabric for sheets, and that bamboo is naturally antibacterial
  • Chemical processing. Fabrics like polyester, rayon and acrylic are treated with various acids and chemical processes. What’s the use in leading a healthy lifestyle if you are absorbing these chemicals through your skin? Of course, you aren’t going to get a ton of it, but some of these have been said to cause cancer and I’m thinking that 5 minutes of saved ironing, isn’t worth it.
  • It’s basically plastic. I don’t eat plastic and I don’t want to wear plastic. However, I do eat flax, so linen is ok 😉
  • Money. If I am going to invest in a gorgeous piece of clothing, I want to feel gorgeous in it! Also, if I can buy a poly dress for €5, why would I pay €300 for the same thing? This is a major bone of contention with me.
  • Natural fibers feel better. Ever notice how you always get hot in that poly blend shirt, but never in organic cotton or silk? It’s back to the plastic thing. Natural fibers breathe better. Personally, I’m in love with the way silks, linens, cotton (especially organic, for some reason), cashmere, wools and leather feel on my skin.

In searching for these beloved fabrics of mine, I have made some interesting discoveries. There are actually tons of companies that now specialize in sustainable, natural or eco-friendly clothing. And it’s not like it used to be! Remember 10 -12 years ago when basically all the sustainable clothing was only in stores that also carried candles and incense? When the first thing that came into your mind at the sound of ‘organic cotton’ was bicycle Tee’s and cargo pants? Totally not the case anymore…much to my delight! 🙂 Some of the online shops I found actually had some really fabulous business wear, daily wear and I even saw a few wedding dresses! Now here’s the rub: Although most places are very upfront about which branch of eco, sustainable, organic they are on – sometimes, you just have to find what you like, click and hope the fabrics are what you’re looking for. Here are some of the differences I’ve noticed:

  • Fair Trade: This usually refers to locally or regionally sources fibre, and it also refers to the labor. Fair Trade labor is always better because you don’t have to worry about sweatshops, under payment or child labor. Fair Trade is awesome 🙂
  • Sustainable: This can represent a multitude. But the main meaning behind it is that either the fabrics, production methods or business are done in such a way to drastically reduce waste, pollution and over-use of resources. For example: I have found several companies which use recycled bottles, recycled polyester or recycled cotton and cashmere to make their clothing items. Some of them are really cool too 🙂 This drastically reduces waste as the fabric contents are recycled, so no new production there (apart from the recycling process, of course). Also, another example, is companies who do not make the item until it is ordered, in order to reduce the waste of over-production. Sustainable is good 🙂
  • Eco: Eco is kind of ‘all-encompassing’. It can mean using recycled material, fair trade, organics, or not using the harsh chemical component to some of their textiles. Eco is good, but can be confusing.
  • Organic: No pesticides used on the crops (including silk, because the silk worms can eat natural – non chemical filled – whatever silk worms eat. Leaves?) which go into your natural fabrics. If it’s organic, it’s natural. This is great, and might explain why organic cotton feels so much fluffier than regular cotton. (I don’t know, I’m still trying to figure out why that is…)
  • Natural fibers: Yeah, Ba-by – Now you have my full attention! Linen, silk, cotton, hemp, soy, mohair, rabbit hair (I actually found a place that combs and shears their own rabbits to make rabbit hair products – with no harm to the bunnies!), bamboo, leather, wool, cashmere. Love this. When I find a place with great natural fiber clothing – as a general product line, not a diamond floating in a sea of acrylic sweaters – I will be a customer for life.

What I’m proposing is this: Since I’m already on a constant search for natural fiber, eco friendly and sustainable clothing anyway on my own time, what if I just share the experience with you? Let you know when I find a company I like and what their specialization’s are, or share when I find an outfit or two that I totally fall in love with. Or rant when I get totally feed-up and frustrated with the search. What do you think?

Since it is our time that I am taking, I would really like to hear your thoughts and feedback. Would you be interested in continuing the search with me for highly fashionable, natural fiber, eco-friendly and sustainable clothing?

Thanks for reading and taking part! I’m really looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

-Mliae