Tulips in the City

Tulips are my favorite flower. I’ve always dreamed of frolicking through the enormous tulip farms in Holland. When in the middle of Oklahoma City, unexpectedly stumbling upon a planter of the beautiful bulbs does my heart just as well. I’m learning to bask in the glimpses of beauty around me, taking them for what they are without stealing my own wonder with comparison.

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This outfit gives me serious Madeline vibes because of the hat and tie. If you did not grow up watching or reading Madeline, you seriously missed out. She is the tiny, fierce, French little girls’ empowerment icon we all deserve. This outfit has a school girl feel but with a little more adventure.

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This spring I am fully embracing color. I am going to get as close as humanly possible to dressing like a clown while still feeling cute. A lot of people are scared to wear too much color because it is gaudy or attention grabbing, but it makes me feel vibrant and alive. Life is short; play dress-up as your favorite flower.

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My neck tie, previously debuted on this blog as a hair tie, is a vintage piece I bought along with this super unique button down from a thrift store in Springfield, MO. (I just have to brag for a moment that they each only cost me a dollar.) My mother’s impeccable taste strikes again, as she gifted me this sunny yellow beret. The jeans are old news, but the metallic is a lot of fun and makes up for the fact that this outfit is lacking any print. Interesting textures, such as my jeans, and interesting structures, such as this scalloped collar, can add a lot to an outfit that is solely color-blocked.

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My spring break was for friends, coffee, exploration of my city, and packing my heart extra full to last the rest of the semester. Once again, I have my talented friend Andrea to thank for taking these pictures and taking me to coffee shops. (This one is Clarity Coffee in OKC.)

Here is to finding our miniature tulip fields all around us.

Fashion and the Environment (2 of 3)

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In the first part of my ethical fashion series, I tackled how the fashion industry affects humanity. Today I’ll be explaining the fashion industry’s effect on the earth (which also, in turn, affects humanity). If you want a little bit of background on this topic before diving in, click here to read my first post. This issue is fairly complex, having different facets such as the production, materials, and us– the consumers. I am no professional, but we are all capable of educating ourselves, so read on if you’d like to raise your awareness with me.

Production & Materials

Every item of clothing produced uses up resources and, since we are buying more clothes than ever, companies are producing more than ever, and using up resources at a vastly unsustainable rate. One of the most prominent examples of this is the disappearance of the Aral Sea due to the vast amount of water necessary in cotton farming. The amount of water it takes to produce one cotton shirt is enough for a person to drink in over two years (about 27,000 liters) according the World Resources Institute. In the process of drying up the Aral Sea, around 60,000 people lost jobs in fishing. Not to mention the water and air pollution caused by pesticides used in cotton farming which release carcinogens and toxins, causing sickness and death in the surrounding areas. Humanity cannot afford to farm cotton at the rate that fast fashion companies are producing items.

(Other materials, such as leather and fur, have a big impact on the environment, but for the sake of this article’s length and the fact that most of us are more likely to be consumers of cotton, I left them them out.)

Although the creation of synthetic fibers can reduce the use of natural resources in the process of making clothing, it ends up negatively affecting the earth toward the end, or lack thereof, of the clothing item’s life. Synthetic products, such as polyester, do not biodegrade. So, when it gets tossed out, it sits in a landfill basically forever. When all human life, animal life, and the earth itself have passed away, there will just be millions of transcendent polyester mini-dresses floating throughout space. (Okay, that was definitely not scientific, but I was worried you stopped paying attention.)

Now what?

I know what you are thinking, “If natural fibers are bad and synthetic fibers are bad, are we just supposed to become nudists?” And the answer is no (or, yes, if you feel so inclined). Natural fibers, such as cotton, are definitely the best option, we just need to make sure we are supporting companies which source products that are organic (leaving out all those bad chemicals) and sustainable (paying attention to how they are using resources). The issue is not that we need to stop growing natural materials, we just need to grow less of it and grow it responsibly. This may sounds impossible, but if companies such as Patagonia can do a fantastic job of this, I believe other companies can follow suit.

Us

We cannot entirely place the blame on the industry, as we all have a shared responsibility in what and how we consume. According to the World Resources Institute, a regular shopper is buying 60% more clothing than they were less than twenty years ago, while only holding on to it for half of the time. A byproduct of inexpensively made and mass-produced clothing is the lack of quality. When the clothing we buy falls apart because it was cheaply made, we just toss it in the trash and head back to the mall, knowing that it won’t leave too big of a dent in our wallets.  If we throw away synthetic items, they will just take up space in landfills and even natural fibers will sit in landfills for a while before degrading, “due to lack of sunlight and oxygen,” according to EcoGoodz. The best way for us to partake in fashion responsibly is to wear our clothing for longer, reuse it when we can, and recycle it when we can’t.

I know I just dumped a ton of information on you, but the crazy thing is that I just barely scratched the surface. If you want to know even more about this topic, I recommend clicking on some of the articles that I sourced throughout. More than anything, my goal was to get the conversation started so you might begin thinking about your personal impact on the world. My next and last post in this series is going to focus more on what we can do to make our fashion choices more ethical, so stay tuned for that. I hope that we will all continue educating ourselves to the best of our abilities so that we might care for one another, and our earth, better.

Sister Style – Fall Fashion

Today I am introducing my sister, Lauren, who is entirely opposite of me and yet still my best friend. I wanted to feature her Thanksgiving outfit alongside mine to showcase how different styles can still compliment one another.

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My sister’s outfit is almost entirely thrifted. Like me, she is also pretty concerned with where all the clothes she owns were made. Her outfit passes the ethics test. I am really into the top she is wearing. It is a little hard to see from the pictures, but it is kind of shiny and iridescent. My outfit is second-hand besides the overalls which are from the Gap.

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Lauren and I have vastly different styles. I am very girly and playful, bordering on childish at times. She is always earth-toned and cool – a little dark, even. But I have always admired her style and, even if she rolls her eyes every once in a while, she loves mine too.

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Today I am at my grandparents’ cattle ranch, surrounded by the joyful hearts of family, friends, and even a few strangers. In the midst of all of this, I am thankful for my hospitable family who love and appreciate the quirks in me. I am thankful that I have grown up in a family, immediate and extended, that has always cultivated creativity.

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I am not giving as many details because I just felt like keeping it simple and focusing on the pictures today. (Pictures which were, once again, taken by my dear friend Julie Montoya.)

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I also wanted to show-off my fierce older sister, her epic bangs and butt-kickin’ mom jeans.

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I hope that this Thanksgiving day leaves your belly full of food and your heart full of love. If this holiday season is hard for you, I pray that you are able to hold on through it and know that you are deserving of love even if it feels far away.

 

 

100% Thrifted Fall Layers – Fall Fashion

Contrary to these deceivingly sunny pictures, it was a fairly chilly day when I wore this outfit. The key to getting away with wearing dresses in the brisk fall weather is layers.
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This outfit brought to you 100% by thrift shops. I have layered a black collared blouse beneath a yellow long-sleeved shirt and threw my favorite 90s’ overall dress over the top. One of the best ways to transition your wardrobe into fall is to keep all of your short-sleeved, collared blouses around to wear under sweaters and long sleeved tops.

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Okay, so I may have lied slightly. My outfit is more like 99% thrifted. The pin I am wearing, my all-time favorite pin, is from the Sparkle Collective’s Etsy shop. It says “baby cats” around the edges, which are a little rust-stained because it has been through the wash a few too many times. (It hardly ever leaves this dress.)

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My good friend Ryan from Ryality blog took these pictures for me. She was a huge help and inspiration in the process of setting up this blog, so check her out if you have a second.

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Per request, I will be working on a thrift-shopping guide full of all my tips and tricks, so sign up to receive my email alerts if you want to know when that comes out. Or don’t if you hate knowing how to find inexpensive, ethical, stylish clothing. That’s cool too.

Peace and blessings.