Most of us, including me, aren’t really in the mood for silly fashion photos given the current rise of fascism in the US and most of the Western world. You might argue that being all the way over in India, I’m hardly affected by this past month’s events. But some of my closest friends very much are, and I’m terrified for them. The fall of American democracy unfortunately affects us all. In case you wanted to take a few minutes off, however, and indulge in some pretties, here are some photos from last week. I know that for a lot of bloggers (and brands) staying ‘on-brand’ is a priority even at times like these, but as a brown woman and a once-immigrant, I don’t see it as an option.
It’s been a month since I’ve posted an outfit, would you believe that! Spring has turned to summer in that time, and only the mornings are pleasant now. For summer ‘17, my primary style goal is to make the shift towards ethical, mindful, slow fashion. Coming from the scarcity mindset that the lack of options in plus sizes inevitably steers you towards, I always felt that ethical fashion sounded wonderful in theory but would be impossible to implement. And yes, I’d probably want to make the occasional purchase on ASOS (for example) but for the foreseeable future, I’m taking advantage of India’s dressmaking culture and getting everything I can tailored.
I went back to tailoring last winter after months of encouragement from Ushshi, for which I’ll be forever grateful because tailoring has fundamentally altered the baseline of how much I can do with clothing. I admit my motivations are rooted in selfishness - more than anything I’m dreaming of finally designing my dream wardrobe - at the same, given my current lifestyle, mindfulness feels natural to who I am. When I’m not working on blog-related stuff, I spend most of my time cooking, gardening, reading, and making things. It would be strange to not at least try to be mindful about the clothes I wear, considering how important they are to me.
Here’s what I’m planning to do this summer (and afterwards!) when it comes to my wardrobe
Shop locally and support local artisans.
Support independent makers with my wallet instead of big brands.
Recycle clothing in my wardrobe, which is to say wear stuff I’ve hardly ever worn instead of buying more. I’m especially guilty of this one because I tend to stick to just 5 or 6 pieces at any given time and then keep on replacing them with new ones.
Shop sustainably whenever possible, like vintage or second hand pieces instead of new. This is actually something I’ve been doing since I first started shopping online (I think about…15 years ago?) Some of my all time favourite pieces are second hand scores off eBay like my Brit Stitch satchel and Anthropologie jacket. Buying second hand clothing might not sound as glamorous as buying, say…organic, fairtrade clothing, but it’s a cheap, easy and useful thing you can do towards building a sustainable wardrobe. Whenever I buy second hand or vintage clothing online, it’s almost always from eBay (or Etsy) UK so I can get it delivered to my fiance and he can bring everything over in one go when he comes over. I would feel pretty awful flying over clothes one at a time halfway around the world even if I could afford to.
Invest more in quality pieces I can wear over and over again, now that I have a core wardrobe to see me through.
There’s also the fact that I can afford to do this now. There haven’t been a lot of times in the past 5 years that I could. Not to mention the question of access to a good tailor and the time needed to go fabric shopping and basically getting whatever I want to wear designed from scratch. Sometimes it takes a fitting session after the clothes are made to ensure that they sit well on my body. It’s time consuming and more expensive than buying the cheapest stuff on sale online and taking advantage of free shipping. It’s only recently that I’ve been able to afford both the budget and the leisure to do so.
I’m so obsessed with smock dresses I rarely wear any other kind these days! This is one of the two midi smocks I’ve gotten tailored recently. Ikat is such a springy and fresh look, and a pattern I’ve always loved. If you’re looking for similar styles in natural fabrics, there might not be a lot of options in retail but Etsy is one place where you’ll find dresses in a similar aesthetic. Sondeflor Shop and OffOn Clothing, both on Etsy, have many bohemian smock styles in custom sizes.
My shoes are also from Etsy, and I’ve gotten quite a few questions about them on Instagram! They’re from a shop called Bonjour Store, who are actually based in Jaipur. Having worn similar pairs in my childhood, I was expecting them to be the hard leather kind that you need to break in. I was pleasantly surprised when these sandals turned out to be really, really soft with padded insoles. I love how they look like clogs but feel so different on my feet. I also got a pair of strappy sandals from Bonjour Store that I’ll planning to style next, and I’m thinking of stocking up on some more styles from them over the summer!
My top is from ASOS, way back in 2011. I’ve styled itmore than onceon the blog and worn it many more times than that, so it exceeded #30wears a long time ago. The vintage purse has been on everydayrotation in my wardrobe since I got it. The pear pin that isn’t quite visible in photos is still a pretty little addition IRL and is salvaged from a dress I bought in 2007. I’ve linked to similar products on the widget below so you can re-create this look for yourself if you like!