#100wears: Bik Bok parka

March 2005 – Rīga, Latvia.

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#100wears is the most beloved garment section where I show off the longevity of items I’ve worn at least 100 times and urge to elevate the rather low #30wears aspiration. Basically, a love song, a poem, a “there are some garments so good I can’t stop wearing them”… My Bik Bok parka is one of them.

The oldest photos I have of it are from October 2003, so I should have got it in winter 2002/2003 sales. At the ripe age of 15! It’s one of my oldest garments still in use. Similar to the red denim jacket, it was one of my first fast fashion garments with a ‘label’ that marked class mobility of my family away from second-hand and pirate fast fashion from Gariunai market in Vilnius. Yes, in the early 2000s fast fashion stores in shopping malls felt very cool!

Although I’ve wore it very little during last ten years, this parka was my everyday staple for five winters from 2002 till 2007. Then I moved countries and this garment is too warm for Brussels, Ciudad Real, Salamanca or Barcelona. So since 2007 it lives at the back of my mother’s wardrobe in Rīga, patiently waiting for the occasional true winter day when I happen to be there.

New Year’s Eve 2003 to 2004 – Lielupe, Latvia.

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March 2005 – Rīga, Latvia.

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November 2005 – Rīga, Latvia.

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March 2006 – Rīga, Latvia.

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January 2017 – Rīga, Latvia.

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This parka has thought me a couple of things, most important of them being that, while garments might look the same, their functional capacities can be very different. There is a gradient in winter clothing. and ‘parkas’ that people wear in the Mediterranean are very different from those that people wear up North.

Another lesson is that under extreme conditions function trumps aesthetics. It’s a hard one to learn for a city dweller that has chosen her country of residence partly because of the weather… but this parka – and Latvian weather – have been educating me for ~15 years now. When the temperatures drop, I forget all my stupid ideas about a ‘flattering silhouette’ and celebrate having a big parka that is (a) very warm (with a fluffy carpet-like lining and double closure), (b) in a light color (seems superfluous but it really helps in the darkest of seasons, both to improve my safety in traffic and to just feel better), has an (c) impressive hood and (d) all the pockets in the world.

The outer shell of my park is removable – for maximum versatility and easier cleaning – so this winter I got the possibility to wear it but without the fluffy lining:


January 2018 – Rīga, Latvia.

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Is there a type of garment that you have keep wearing throughout the years? What pieces easily reach #100wears in your wardrobe? What are the items or materials whose functional superiority you have had to admit despite your genuine preferences pointing you in another direction? When does ‘practical’ trumps ‘pretty’ in your wardrobe?

#whatiwore 2018w02 + Sunday links (the 100th post!)

This post marks a blogging achievement unlocked: it’s the 100th post on this blog! It has been almost a year and I’ve cared enough throughout these 50 weeks to make myself write two posts per week every week. I’m still not sure how many of my friends have unfollowed me on Facebook because of the continuous sharing of new posts, but I feel very proud of myself! Exactly proud enough to keep calm and carry on.

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And… brain-food, brain-food, who asked for an extra helping of brain-food?

$20 Jeans, $800 Tees: In Fashion, Prices Are Out of Control: Well, yes, yes, they are! We live in an absurd world where the same functional item may cost 1$ and 950$… and even that high price-tag does not assure you that people who made it were paid a living wage, mind you!

Continuing with the price topic – If Your Jeans Are Cheaper Than This, You’ve Got A Problem – in a nutshell: “if you find a pair of jeans that is selling full retail price for below $100 — and especially $20, do your sisters in Bangladesh, China, and India a solid and walk away”.

Why You Should Embrace (Genuine) Materialism & Buy Less Stuff This Year: the author differentiates between consumerism and materialism, reclaiming the latter as genuinely caring for your things, their origin, etc. This is obviously bending philosophy backwards as materialism already has a meaning – “a form of philosophical monism which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental aspects and consciousness, are results of material interactions” – but this low-brow reframing for the millennials who supposedly don’t know better is cute. Would be even cuter if we’d take it seriously and stop buying the stupid shit we don’t need.

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Do you have any 2017 routines that are starting to bear fruit? Or new routines you are incorporating in your life this January?

The capsule is dead, long live the spreadsheet!

My new ‘all-in’ spreadsheet (view full here).

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As admitting the truth is the first step towards a better life, I’m finally facing the obvious: all my wardrobe is a capsule. If it’s about “a collection of 30-40 practical and versatile pieces of clothing put together with the intention of being an entire wardrobe [for a season]“, that’s exactly what’s going in on in my wardrobe, except for the seasonal part. I’m currently living with a total of 42 pieces of main clothing + 8 pairs of footwear + lounge wear, accessories, etc. A grand total of 141 items, including every sock and earring.

I’ve realized that the seasonal extraction of the weather-inappropriate subset is pretty superfluous, especially with these fake Mediterranean  winters. And stashing away – in a big plastic box, no less –  things I could be wearing just because the calendar or the spreadsheet  said so (like for the 7 dresses experiment: read here and here) felt unnecessary and forced. While uniforms and super-reduced wardrobes are celebrated for the mind-space they liberate, I love and want my daily decisions. And then I want to track them.

Also, for me having all my stuff hanging (yes, Marie Kondo, almost all my garments look happier on hangers!) is more challenging than having a formal capsule and moving the plastic box back and forth. The implication of this new strategy is that my year-round wardrobe must fit on 30-40 hangers, because we share the wardrobe and that’s all the space there is. So I will still have exogenous limits, tracking, an empty plastic box to re-purpose, and all my joyful garment friends at my fingertips.

Our wardrobe!

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My current wardrobe feels more than abundant… It’s weird how careful pruning works: I have an abundance of exciting outfits and I love them. Never before since my adolescence I’ve had so few garments and never before I’ve been so satisfied with what I have… So, counting only main garments and footwear, I have 50 items but he spreadsheet has more because adornments and some lounge wear for casual days is included. It has been only eleven days of the new order, and:

a) I’m very excited to have all my things ‘available’.

b) Oh, I love my separates!

c) I’ve already worn 55% of what I have.

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The new goal is to maximize wears of those items that, for reason or another, have not received that much attention. In some cases – parka, rubber boots – it’s pretty much weather dependent (and in Riga), but many others just need love sweet love and, maybe, change of wardrobe if it turns out that we are not a match made in heaven. An important caveat when looking at the number is that those reflect last two years while some of the garments in my wardrobe have been there for more than 15 (that parka, my second-hand kaftan). However, even if I know perfectly well that my parka has had more than 100 wears, not having worn it much during last few years is an indicator too.

So these are the current underdogs I’ll be focusing on, weather and life allowing (it does make sense to include stuff from my Riga mini-capsule as I’ll be there for a week in February):

The WAG set (2 and 5 wears for the top and skirt respectively) – 2017: oh, the child of my sartorial weakness! It’s beautiful, flashy and tight (feels much better before dinner than after). I’ll do my best to give it as many wears as possible (beware, all the upcoming weddings!), but I’m still uncertain about it. After all, it’s on trial!

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The pink paisley corduroy skirt (3 wears) ~2006: I wore these a lot in high school. They’ve been hidden away in my Riga semi-capsule for years, but I think it time to bring back their pink sparkly goodness. Already tried them on the bicycle and they survived without getting trapped into the brakes, great! It’s amazing how old stuff can feel so incredibly ‘mine’ after years of scarce use.

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The striped jersey mini (3 wears) – 2017: the little versatile mini I scored at May’s swap got pushed away by the 7 dresses experiment. I actually already had the same model but in black back in 2011-2013 when we had an intense but short-lived relationship. I don’t expect longevity from this one either – thin H&M jersey is what it is. But it will be a beloved staple until it falls apart.

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The Norwegian-Lithuanian wool sweater (4 wears) – 2015: I kept this one in Riga waiting for a cold winter that never came. Now I finally found a function for it: it’s perfect for hanging around home during the cold months as part of my ‘survive the fake winter without any heating’ programme. It’s great for lounging around and running errands. So-incredibly-warm!

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Marina’s American Apparel mini skirt (4 wears) – 2017: The skirt so short I can wear them only during the tight season. I’m still on the hedge with this one. On one hand, they look good, help me channel a Sailor Moon vibe, and this 100% polyester hard plastic will last forever unless I set it on fire… but it is extremely short for my standards! I still have a couple of weeks to decide if February’s Swap is the right place for this one.

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My parka (4 wears) ~ 2003: What can I do if there is no winter? The pics below are from the fucking 12 of *March* 2005 in Riga. The weather is clearly not what it used to be… I wore the outer shell as a trench (in January!) last week, and the whole garment is not going anywhere. I still have some hope for seeing white winters again.

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Nokian Hai rubber boots (5 wears) – 2016: A good buy after Latvian summer rain made me wear winter boots in August once! They live in Riga and wait for the rain. They are my Latvian weather insurance!

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Flower ball headband (6 wears) – 2011: My most outrageous headpiece! It leaves in Riga and comes to opera with me. I might be relatively audacious when it come extravagant patterns and adornments, but this is my limit. It’s rather sad to touch the limits… I should wear this one more!

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Floral corduroy bolero (7 wears) – 2011: A bespoke creation of family dead stock for my LBD. Again, we go to opera together…

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Ginta’s purple jersey dress (8 wears) – 2016: The comfy hand-me-down! I use the little summer lace blouse (also a hand-me-down from my mother) as a layering piece and look relaxed yet put together. Win! It stayed in Riga, because I lacked space in my luggage and was too eager to live on my Barcelona separates for a while.

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Swedish military jacket (9 wears) – 2003: Oh, Swedish army surplus, you so sturdy and ultra-casual! I liked it 15 years ago because it pissed off the adults, now I need to find a place for it in my wardrobe again. My clear adolescent inclinations towards military styles (it was all the rage in early-2000s! Remember the combat pants and camouflage everywhere?) led to two functionally similar jackets, this and the Street One military-inspired one (2006) I revived last year. At the moment it’s my only light jacket in Riga, and we’ll see what the future brings.

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So this is the colorful – notice the dominance of purple, red and pink hues – adventure that awaits for the next few months. What are your wardrobe goals for the first quarter of 2018?

#whatiwore 2018w01 + Sunday links

The holidays are over, I’m getting back to my everyday routine and to my thesis… And the ultimate indicator of style change towards slightly more sober choices is that dressing as if Gudrun Sjoden would have chosen my outfit does not bring the same satisfaction as it used to. Oh, well! it will hopefully come back after the next 30 years.

Also, back to brain food, because the little grey cells are starving by now, although all of these make me heart sink exactly as in this Awkward Yeti comic:

If you are feeling too upbeat about future and “a happy new year”, go read some Monbiot. The Unseen World just repeats the basics of how fucked we are and how utterly incapable to address it.

This IPPF boast about the work their member association is doing with garment workers in Cambodia just confirms how exploitation is the new normal: Bringing sexual and reproductive healthcare to garment factory workers in Cambodia. So the efforts go into harm reduction withing the boundaries of the status quo and trying to convince the factory bosses who “are often afraid that letting NGOs or unions into the factories will create problems such as mobilising and inspiring the workers to advocate for better conditions” about the benefits of basic sexuality education and access to services.

The Truth About Outfit Repetition: “There Are Real Issues at Play Here” – Oh, the idiocy of people who have it all (and of the title editor, too): “the pressure to wear a different outfit every time [we] go out”. There is nothing to take apart, we should get our shit together and all follow the superbly crafted advice of Robin Williams:

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Did you feel any style shifts in 2017? Do you think there are any coming in 2018? What are your old-age style fantasies? (Unsurprisingly, I want to be Iris Apfel when I grow up…)

How expensive is an ethical wardrobe? 2017 second half money talk

What can I do? Money is part of the essentials. So let’s talk about it!

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Money is almost always a tricky social issue, especially so when it comes to niches – like ethical fashion blogs – where people tell other people how they should spend their money. Blah-blah-blah, voting with your euros… and then sponsored posts and things-things-things! I already wrote a detailed post in July about my overall money-spending goals, so this one is an itemized update on last six months. The order of preferences has stayed the same: (1) intensively using up what I have, (2) incorporating mainly pre-loved garments, (3) ethically sourcing the ones I have troubles finding second-hand (underwear, hosiery, footwear).

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This is what January-June looked like:

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And these are the last six months in a nutshell:

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Two observations jump at me, and they are connected: (a) despite my July intentions, I’ve spent significantly more money on getting dressed than in the previous six months which already almost twice as in each of the 2016’s six-month chunks, and (b) I allowed myself to buy a set of two new main garments I did not need; without those 160€ my spending list would look much better. Here comes a complete run-down through each item:

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The birks: I was after a pair of vegan birks for a long time, remembering my knock-off footbed sandals ~2007 as the comfiest summer shoe ever. In July my trusty 2014 Crocs broke beyond repair, so now I have a pair of street sandals and the same model in EVA for the swimming pool. I’m very happy with both, despite the fact that the street pair is unfit for both cycling and long walks (Oh, feet blisters!). The swimming pool ones haven’t touched the street, so technically I could even exclude them from this list.

Verdict: Nicely invested 95€. Would repeat.

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SiiL knickers: Liisa made it possible for me to switch from LuvaHuva knickers – extremely comfy and well made but quite pricey – to ones made three street blocks from me. From organic cotton mixes bought in Barcelona and made by a friend = best ethical fashion! Also, these six pieces allowed to retire some worn out knickers, always a good idea. Although this pattern turned out to be better for winter than for Barcelona summer (the rubber band leads to chaffing), they’ve been great from October till now.

Verdict: Great! Mil gracias, Liisa.

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I bought naked “peinetas” – hair combs – to try to repurpose a pair of feather earrings Marina sent me. I re-crafted the feathers but the result was too exuberant even for me! So I passed them back to Marina hoping she could use them for her pre-Burning Men crafting sessions.

Verdict: Oh, well! Not all repair endeavors end up being successes, I tried my best.

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Swedish Stockings hosiery: I finally made the hosiery upgrade from Calzedonia to Swedish Stockings. The cashmere blend tights are ~3 times more expensive than the Calzedonia equivalent… I keep telling myself that that’s the right thing to do, but the price point still feels uncomfortable for me. I opened the tight season in November and so far have basically worn out three pairs of woolen tights: two Calzedonia leftovers I had from the previous winter and the Swedish Stockings one. That would mean a seasonal investment of around 120€ for three pairs of winter tights. The tights themselves are very nice: a generous fit (higher waist than Calzedonia has), very nice feel, but they clearly do not last forever.
I also bought six pairs of their step socks… Well, those are a complete fail! They are too tiny to stay on my feet, (and probably because of that) break very easily. Did not work.

Verdict: Tights yes, socks no! I keep telling myself that there is no way back to high-street hosiery… My new plan is to take full advantage of Swedish Stockings’ recycling initiative. As they promise 30% discount for those who return stockings for recycling, my three pairs of cashmere blend tights would end up costing around 80€. Much better! The only challenge now is to stretch the hosiery I have until the end of the season, and to save them up to send to Sweden. Taking into account that it’s around 16ºC now in Barcelona and I’m getting rid of my short dresses anyway, seems doable.

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The WAG set: Oh, my! I hadn’t bought a *new* main garment since 2015. But ideas about African prints and find something made locally when visiting Cape Town fogged my mind. The attention to the customer was impeccable, we had a great time, I tried on a million things, and ended up paying a small fortune for an unlined set made of conventional cotton.

Verdict: There is no way back, so now my mission is to wear it again, again and again. I’ll do my best!

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Trench repairs: details of my hand-me-down trench needed repairs, and neighborhood repair shops – seamstresses and the cobbler – were able to take care of it.

Verdict: My trench is back in shape, and I feel immensely grateful for living in a place where there is still access to fixers.

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Bra strap fixers for Laura’s dress: I picked up this polyester dress in September swap and wore it 11 times to understand that it’s not for me. Knowing that the main reason that the previous owner had passed it on was a problem with bra straps, I first used safety pins and then gathered all my bravery and precision to make my first bra strap fixers.

Verdict: I’m so proud of myself! And you are very welcome, next wearer of this dress.

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A new pack of hair pins: I came to Riga knowing that my current go-to hairstyle is a pinned-up french braid but didn’t take hair pins with me. D-oh!

Verdict: Even I could use some better planning at times.

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How do you deal with additional time and money investment that ethical fashion implies? Do you fall for some decision-fatigue buys of “I need this and I don’t care” or “oh my gosh, oh my gosh, it’s too beautiful”? What was your most dubious buy of 2017?

Fashion, sustainability and tidying books I read in 2017

For the second year in row I’ve had the ambition to read more books than there are weeks in a year, and for the second year in row I’m failing miserably. I ended 2016 at 42/52, so 81%. At the moment I’m at 37/52, so 71%. Disappointing! However, 12 of those 2017 books were blog-related either touching the whys (sustainability, climate change, consumerism), hows (sustainable fashion) and aesthetic pleasures (style!). Here’s the list in the order I read them:

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Tuite, Rebecca C. 2014. Seven Sisters Style: The All-American Preppy Look.

A pretty look-book explaining the rise of the preppy look which I’ll always eagerly repin despite the class bias. The funniest part is that styles that we now associate with arrogance and careful selection to “look the part”, was born out of quest for comfort and were seen as highly inappropriate and rebellious at their time. What can I say, give me a mix of nice knits and emancipation of women any time!

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Black, Sandy. 2008. Eco-chic: The Fashion Paradox.

A bit outdated and avant-garde focused sustainable fashion book. A reminder that less than ten years ago sustainable fashion was an artsy fringe activity nobody expected to become relevant to the mainstream.

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Carson, Rachel. 1962 [2005]. Silent Spring.

Yes, I hadn’t read the seminal book that launched the environmentalism. And now I have. It still is a very powerful reminder of the arrogant recklessness of the industrial management of nature (that tends to bring unintended consequences of colossal scale). Although the pesticides of today are not exactly as horrible as the organochlorine pesticides that Carson was focusing on, we have more than enough toxic messes around the world continuing the proud tradition of human hubris.

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Sontag, Susan. 1977 [1979]. On Photography.

Aha, another classic that I finally read this year! While not neatly fitting in the overarching theme, a recommended read to everybody taking daily selfies. Somehow I do feel relieved that Sontag did not live to see Instagram… Diagnosis? We are all sick, but that won’t stop us from documenting the illness.

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Gilman, Charlotte P. 1915 [2002]. The Dress of Women: A Critical Introduction to the Symbolism and Sociology of Clothing.

Oh, this was such a treat! Gilman, the ultra-rational feminist hero – read her What Diantha Did for a 1910 (!) answer to the still-relevant housework issue! – charging against the stupidity of fashion. Early social scientists just wrote what they thought, interpreting their participant observations from the armchair (OK, like Bauman and other theorists of postmodernity still do / did until they left us). You cannot trust them as describing a representative reality, but they surely reflect certain stirrings of their time. This one is fascinating! I already mentioned this book here and here.

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Corn, Wanda M. 2017. Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern.

I got this gem thanks to Marina who was willing to cater to my “see an exciting book in a museum shop, decide later” whims. For me this book was just the right mix of art and personal style without entering personal life. Bravo! The argument is very convincing, and more so with O’Keeffe than with others: if the artists has spent decades carefully curating (and making) her wardrobe and surroundings, it makes perfect sense to analyze them alongside her paintings.

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Fletcher, Kate and Lynda Grose. 2012. Fashion and Sustainability: Design for Change.

Another sustainable fashion textbook, better than Black’s, worse than revised 2014 Fletcher below. In 2017 I was eager to build up an adequate knowledge base to start with, now I think I’m good, thanks! But I have to agree that in the last decade the sustainable fashion industry has moved with an incredible speed.

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Fletcher, Kate. 2008 [2014]. Sustainable Fashion and Textiles: Design Journey.

For a still-relevant overview of the sustainable fashion industry from the point of view of design (and lots of optimistic hope about the designer’s power to be an influence for good), read this one! Fletcher is the fashion philosopher of NOW (of, the notion of “craft of use” is irresistible), but if you have other favorites, let me know in the comments.

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And then I went on a Marie Kondo binge you can read about here

Kondo, Marie. 2010 [2014]. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.

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Kondo, Marie. 2017. Spark Joy.

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Kondo, Marie and Yuko Uramoto. 2017. The Life-changing Manga of Tidying Up: A Magical Story.

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Monbiot, George. 2006 [2007]. Heat: How Can We Stop the Planet Burning.

I read Heat for the first time in 2008, and it was a game-changer for me. I took several small, individual steps to reduce my carbon footprint but didn’t stop flying (bad, bad me…). Not being a home- or business-owner, those were really tiny, but the book cemented my convictions that (1) climate change is happening (I know that in the USA “climate change” is understood to be the doubting term vs. much stronger “global warming”; however, assuming that words have meaning, not only spin, the shit storm that has already started goes beyond warming and is changing the climate in a multitude of ways, for example, when the Gulf stream stops, we won’t see much warming happening)  and we made it happen, obviously; (2) we have enough knowledge since long ago about the causes, so in principle we could have stopped it; (3) but we are shitty animals, our brains cannot deal with gradual and impersonal danger, so deserve to die and leave it to lizard-people to build the next civilization. That third part is not Monbiot’s, he really tries to be optimistic about the whole thing, but re-reading ten years later and knowing that we are even more fucked now, oh, well! Monbiot’s book started my climate change education and nothing has changed my climate pessimism since I read it for the first time.

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What were your sources of wisdom and brain-food in 2017? Do you have any information-consumption goals for 2018? How about less screens and more books?

#whatiwore 2017w51

Here, in the land of darkness, I’ve been reminded about a couple of Nordic winter realities even when the temperatures are above 0ºC:

(a) Tall boots have a function even in absence of snow – they protect your tights from mud splashes. So ankle boots only for those ready to hand-wash their tights after every use (well, on the other hand, here you can wash them at night, put on the central heating radiators, and they will be perfectly toasty in the morning; that’s not the case in radiator-less Barcelona).

(b) The layering is more complex than in the Mediterranean as the contrast between inside and outside temperatures is much greater. Especially if you run errands on foot and using public transportation, it’s a never-ending cycle of sweating and shivering.

(c) And the darkness, oh, the darkness… Just bought a SAD lamp, not for me, but as a gift. The people of Latvia need help!

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How is your winter going? Are you giving your wardrobes any winter contrasts? How are they keeping up?

7 dresses x 3 months: lessons learnt

Intrigued by the idea of dresses-only capsule (or wardrobe in general), in October I set out to give it a try with seven dresses of varying warmth that should have carried me from the still very warm October till December. Now comfortably in my Riga capsule lounge wear and under a blanket, here are the main lessons learnt from this little experiment:

1) I was bored and missed my separates.

2) Most of them (4/7) were sub-optimal and will be sent upstate for a better life.

3) However, I love that each of them came from a person I know, so they have actual names.

Boom! Now what? Well, let me tell you about them, both those who have proved to be my wardrobe champions and those that will be up for grabs in the next swap:

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My loves

Ginta’s blue dress: the dark blue silk dress made and worn ~20 years ago by my mom is the winner. It feels amazing on skin, is just the right size, and I feel artsy and fierce when wearing it. I started wearing it only this summer and it already has 33 wears. And, being the perfect summer dress to look put together even in Barcelona heat, will get many more.

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Ginta’s plaid dress: The plaid Wizard of Oz reminding “we’re not in Kansas anymore” is a fast-fashion hand-me-down from my mom I adopted in 2016 and have worn 43 times. It’s a great summer semi-formal (again, very few items manage not to kill you and still look smart in Barcelona summer) and can be worn year-round, has pockets and whirls. This is one of those paradoxical dresses that looks like an effort while feels like pajamas. A gem!

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Inga’s PhD dress: The plastic fake wrap dress was a random hand-me-down from my aunt in 2014. She had got in a second-hand raffle of sorts, it looked meh on her and great on me, so I got it with a suggestion to defend my thesis in this one. More than 40 wears later, it’s the perfect no-wrinkle cold weather dress that I might actually defend my thesis in.

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My bye-byes

Laura’s polka dot dress: I fell for this one during the September swap. Oh, the color, the dots, the flow! I felt like figure skater while wearing it… But it’s 100% polyester and can feel rather suffocating (I’m still not really getting the whole “let’s make summer dresses from plastic” logic), plus the top kept slipping down my shoulders together with the bra straps. And just when I was really proud of having put in the bra-strap fixers, the rubber giving shape to the waist snapped. The dress is now queuing at the seamstress’ for a fix and then will be looking for a new home. I understand that the slipping top was the main issue why Laura gave it away, so now she can come get it!

I’m incredibly proud for having done this!

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Marina’s bow dress: I adopted this one from Marina’s wardrobe a bit too hastily. I get excited, what can I say! It’s 100% poly and ultra-short. Despite the melting polyester (already two visits to seamstress), this dress is clearly keen on travel. As Marina said: “I bought it on ASOS on sale in April 2011 when I lived in London. She had many outings and came with me on vacations to Italy and Egypt. She made a couple appearances in New York but after hanging in the closet for a year, it earned a new life with you!” Add to that life in Barcelona and a trip to South Africa. So, if you’d like a short semi-formal with lust for travel, this might be just the right dress for you!

Taking the dress out for two vegan ice creams in Cape Town.

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Liisa’s lace dress: Liisa brought this M&S dress to January’s swap and I picked it up, because who could resist dressing like a bridesmaid for work? Not me, clearly. And only in this autumn – after 20 wears – it showed that everyday life is not what this dress was made for. I’ve literally (and accidentally) felted on it a whole layer of pink pills from my pink cardigan, and that’s just not OK. So bye-bye it goes…

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Marina’s blue bodycon: Oh, the tight winter bodycon! We’ve loved each other for 20 wears, but have to admit that you need somebody that either sweats less or lives somewhere colder than Barcelona. Good luck, my little plastic friend!

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What garment lessons have you learnt in the last few months? What are your plans for 2018? Have you ever thought of a uniform or capsule containing only one type of garments?

#whatiwore 2017w50 + Sunday links

And here we go with a plate full of fashion brain-food and inspiration:

The Secret to Vintage Jeans – Tells you the mechanics behind denim weaving and documents the last death in the once famed American denim industry. For me the most exciting part is how the whole industry have turned defects – machine hiccups and shaking – into effects, plus the longevity of the old machines and “despite their simplicity, the newer shuttle looms are often more trouble to operate than the old Drapers”.

(In Spanish) Moda sostenible con sello vasco – A success story of the turn Basque brand Skunkfunk took towards sustainability and ethical fashion. Having started as a little artisanal endeavor of funky designs, expanding using the typical irresponsible fast-fashion outsourcing and then having an a-ha! moment and looking for alternatives in certified manufacturers, material selection, waste reduction, etc. Truly sweet, if you are looking for virgin textiles!

However, my garment ideals and interests are turning more and more towards reuse. There is so much textile already laying around that purchasing virgin fabric seems rather absurd for most uses. One of my greatest eye-openers for this has been the blog of Jillian Owens where she documents refashioning of thrift shop finds (including the funniest “before” and “after”pics).

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Which of the ethical fashion branches is the most exciting for you these days? Reducing the amount owned, swapping for better alternatives, diving into second-hand and upcycling?