Summer is a time for relaxation and fun. It’s also generally a time when the temperature, and sometimes the humidity, soars. You probably spend more time outside where you get hot, and dare I say, sweaty which begs the question…what do you wear? Continue reading…
If you’re like many women, you have a mortal fear of prints. You look in your closet and what greets you? A sea of solid colors. There’s not a print in sight except for the striped button down you bought (but rarely wear) and an old animal print/floral/plaid/geometric sweater you’ve had since the 1990’s. Continue reading…
Dresses are so easy to wear, can be light and comfortable and feel perfect for everything from work to a warm summer evening get-together. Continue reading…
Every spring, as the temperatures rise, the question of white pants comes up. Either you live in them all summer or you are intimidated by them and keep them firmly at bay. Continue reading…
Every time you look in the mirror to get dressed you wonder who the woman is staring back. You shake your head in disbelief. When did you let your wardrobe dwindle to a handful of outfits that are easy and safe—none of which makes you feel fabulous? You sadly acknowledge that you have learned to settle for passable! Continue reading…
After a long, cold winter, spring fashion designers have a tendency to get a little crazy with floral mania, explosions of color and a variety of exposed body parts. While it is certainly a welcomed relief from the bleak winter doldrums, it can also be a bit of a shock! How do you make sense of it all? No worries. That’s what the “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” seasonal trend update is all about. Continue reading…
You are beautiful no matter what your size or shape. Yes, I know, society wants to dictate a particular standard of beauty and that’s what you see day in and day out in the media. It is also what you use to compare your body to see if it measures up. Perhaps you’ve already noticed that this only makes you feel frustrated and deflated. Very few women, if any, actually achieve and maintain this standard. Instead, why not embrace your natural beauty and use a few styling tools for creating balance and harmony. Continue reading…
It’s your differences that make you unique and beautiful not how well you fit a prescribed standard of beauty. Shefinds.com, an online shopping guide, clearly missed this point and the results made me fume!
I subscribe to all kinds of online fashion newsletters to keep up with what’s going on in the world of fashion. Recently, I saw a message from shefinds.com entitled, “H&M’s Huge Facebook Mistake.” Their marketing is brilliant and I was hooked. I couldn’t click to the site fast enough to read more. Continue reading…
Every morning when you get dressed and stand for what seems like an hour in front of your closet trying to find something to wear, you dream of being able to grab a uniform and go. Your mind goes to a fantasy of reaching into your closet while still half asleep and pulling on something fabulous without having to try on ten or twenty things. Then, your mind snaps back to reality and you think, “Sure, I already have a ‘uniform’ and it’s so boring I can hardly stand it!”
While your mind is intrigued at the thought of wearing a uniform, your heart says no because it sounds so dull and limiting and holds out for something more exciting.
Before you give up on the idea altogether, let’s rethink the concept of a uniform. It can run from firefighters’ and police officers’ mode of dress to your Catholic school outfit or what you and every other girl in your girl scout troop wore. In these cases it identifies you with a particular group. The problem is that none of those is appropriate to your every day dress now. While that’s true, you don’t have to give up entirely. You can create your own group uniform with a membership of one: you. Continue reading…
It’s that time of year — winter — and who doesn’t want to be warm! When I first became vegan I was so concerned I wouldn’t be able to find warm clothes and I’d go through the entire winter freezing — but 8 years later, I can safely say it’s just not true. And even better I realized that I don’t have to sacrifice ANYTHING to be vegan. In this day and age, we can have it all without ever hurting a defenseless animal again — and that feels great.
To be honest, up until eight years ago I had no idea that any choices I made were hurting animals. It wasn’t something anyone I knew ever talked about and, as a result, it never entered my consciousness. I’m sure the same is true for you. I know you don’t set out to cause misery and suffering to animals when you go shopping. But, if you are purchasing anything made of wool, silk, fur, leather or down, then you are. I know. I know. It was an eye-opener for me, too!
Nearly 20 years ago, I vaguely remember someone pointing out to me that although I didn’t eat red meat, I did wear leather. At the time, I thought, “Well, of course I do. What is the alternative? And, besides, leather is a byproduct of the meat industry so it’s not like they are killing the animals just for the leather.”* Oh, dear. Can I tell you how much I WISH he had continued the conversation with me! I had no idea how misguided I was and how just a little more information would have changed my life (and saved the lives of so many animals). Sadly, I do not even remember who this phantom person was or why we were on that particular subject in general. I just know that I dismissed the notion that I was contributing to animal suffering because I didn’t know any better and thought there were no alternatives.
It was many years later before I learned the truth. I would like to share with you some of the information I waited so long to hear and understand, because I suspect that you might not know either, and I don’t want you to have the same regrets I do. Plus, let me share a little secret, it’s SO much easier now!
Two things are keeping you from making clothing choices that are cruelty-free:
- You aren’t aware that traditional, beloved fabrics like wool, silk, down and leather come with a very high price tag. Whether the actual monetary value is high or low, the one thing that is true across the board — they all cause immeasurable suffering. Yes, even wool production causes misery and ends in the death of the lambs and sheep (maybe not immediately, but always way before their natural life would end). You can read more about it here. Those pretty, delicate, soft, cozy sweaters are covering up a lot of pain and suffering. Believe me, I, too, was so sad to hear this.
- You think you will have to sacrifice beauty and comfort if you don’t wear clothes made from those fabrics.
I was in exactly your situation eight years ago. I had just learned about the horror these animals endured to make it to my plate (even though I hadn’t eaten red meat for over 25 years, I still ate chicken, eggs, fish and dairy) and then the full realization hit me! Animals didn’t just suffer to be on my dinner plate — some of the clothes I was wearing were fraught with that same pain. This was such a source of sadness for me and at the same time I had this awareness that it could dramatically impact my livelihood! I am, after all, in the business of helping women choose clothing they love and that they feel good wearing. Not only that, but I like to feel good in my clothes. I quickly realized that I had to find a way to do both — feel good about how I looked AND not cause any more animals to suffer so I could still look good and be a good representation of my business. Wow! I had a few moments of abject fear when I thought maybe it wasn’t possible. Could I really have a cruelty-free wardrobe and still feel stylish? Yes! I was determined to make it work and, even more importantly, I committed to making it an adventure, and that’s exactly what I did.
Lucky for you, though, times have changed. Since then, as awareness is growing and people like you and me are choosing cruelty-free fabrics — the options are exploding. Just today I took a client shopping and, without even looking (she’s not vegan…yet) the sweaters she purchased were soft and lovely and unless you looked at the tag you would have had no idea they were not cashmere. I have watched this happen over and over this fall and it is so heartening to see. Eight years ago you were hard pressed to find anything like those sweaters. The best you could do was cotton or a scratchy acrylic. Thankfully, that is no longer the case. Yes, unfortunately, there is still plenty of wool, cashmere, alpaca, mohair and angora in the world, but if you want to find the other options, they are there, too and the choices are growing daily!
Are you ready for a change but not sure how to begin?
- Read labels. Everything you need to know is on the garment’s label. If it says wool, silk, fur, leather or down, it is not cruelty-free.
- Layer. This is good advice no matter what you are wearing since temperatures vary everywhere you go. Recover offers great layering pieces in 28 different colors and at a great price point. I’m especially fond of the long sleeve scoop neck top. They are one size fits all (pretty much a size 2 to 16) and I take the sleeves in a bit at the wrist since I like them more fitted. I mention another layer piece below.
- Speak up. If you don’t see what you want … ask. It is easy to miss something that could work AND it is important for the stores to know that you are looking for something they might not have. If they know there is a demand for cruelty-free garments, they are more likely to consider including them in future seasons.
Not sure where to look? While you will certainly find some alternatives at the major department stores (Lord & Taylor and Nordstrom carry Nic+Zoe, for instance), you can find options everywhere from smaller chain stores like Ann Taylor Loft to boutiques and from all price points (Bloomingdale’s to Kohls).
Here are just a few examples:
Texture Top from Nic+Zoe
(55% Cotton/35% Acrylic/10% Rayon).
Add this 3/4 sleeve layer piece for extra warmth.
Cowl Neck Sweater from Ann Taylor Loft
(60% Acrylic, 40% Nylon)
Flame Stitch Chelsea Pullover from Chico’s
(76% acrylic, 12% nylon, 6% rayon, 6% polyester)
Lurex Cardigan from Kohl’s
(acrylic and polyester)
* In case you are wondering, leather is not a by-product of the meat industry. It is a co-product and helps keep the selling of meat economically viable. By buying leather you are supporting the meat industry. (I’ll share another article about leather and non-leather alternatives soon.) You can learn more right here.