Build a Sustainable Closet #3: A Sustainable Way to Wear Trends

“Build a Sustainable Closet” is a blog series about slow fashion, minimalism and building a closet that you actually wear and cherish. Each blog post offers tips and tricks on how to discover your style, buy less and buy better. If you’ve ever cared about curating a high quality wardrobe, check out this blog series on Styles For Thought.

Previous Posts:

First: Building a Sustainable Closet #1 – Create a User Journey

Second: Build a Sustainable Closet #2: Create a Style Guide

So far in the series, we have only talked about buying clothes that fit your style. But I have to admit, part of the fun about fashion is the trends! It’s exciting to try on new clothes to look and feel different. And that’s exactly why we shop at fast fashion stores: they offer trendy clothes at a very cheap price. Fast fashion doesn’t have the best qualities, but it works because most of us don’t wear outdated trends as soon as the novelty wears off and most trends only lasts for a year or two. Even though we all know that fast fashion is not sustainable, it is economical and practical. But I believe there is a more sustainable way to wear trends.

Clothing Subscription – A Sustainable Way to Wear Trends

Clothing subscription is a great way to explore the latest trends and reduce our clothing waste. From a financial perspective, some may not think clothing subscription is a great deal because you don’t own the clothes, but I have a different opinion. When you think about your clothes, you wear them for as long as the trends last. After the novelty wears off, you just put away the clothes and never wear them again. Given that used clothes have almost zero resale value, I think clothing subscriptions offer way more value than buying. For a set amount of money I spend on clothes, clothing subscriptions allow me to try way more trends. Also, with clothing subscriptions, I don’t ever have to worry about dry-cleaning, having a congested closet or selling used clothes. I believe that clothing subscription is not only economical, but it’s also a very sustainable way to wear trends. There are a couple clothing subscription services that I personally like:

Unlimited

Rent The Runway Clothing Subscription Sustainable Way to Wear Trends

Rent the Runway offers “Unlimited” where you can rent up to 3 designer pieces at a time for roughly $151 (tax included) a month. I personally love this service because they offer mostly high-end design clothes, and they take care of the dry-cleaning part. What makes Unlimited different from other clothing subscription is that you also get to choose what you want to rent. You can also keep the clothes for however long you want as long as you have an active subscription. When you find a piece that you love and want to keep, Rent the Runway gives you a steep discount (up to 80%). Personally, I still buy clothes on the side, but the clothes I decide to buy are going to be classic essentials such as jeans and white shirts. For trendy clothes and special event items, Rent the Runway is way more sustainable and practical than buying.

Stitch Fix

stitch Fix Clothing Subscription Sustainable Way to Wear Trends

Stitch Fix is another popular clothing subscription option. But what makes Stitch Fix really different from Rent the Runway is that a stylist picks your clothes rather than you. This is good for people with a more busy schedule and people that want professional styling services. Stitch Fix is also way cheaper ($20 a month). You are essentially paying $20 a month to rent 5 items that are sold for $50 apiece. Isn’t this way more economical than buying clothes yourself?

Update: Instead of a rental clothing company, Stitch Fix is actually a try-before-you-buy marketplace. When the box arrives, you have 3 days to try on the clothes at home. All tags must remain on the clothes before you can ship them back. However, if you are too busy to go shopping, this is a great shopping alternative. From my friend’s experience, she said that fitting is her biggest concern when she online shops, but Stitch Fix always manages to find her well-fitted clothes.

Le Tote

Clothing Subscription Sustainable way to wear trends Le tote build a sustainable closet

Le Tote is a cheaper clothing rental subscription. The way it works is similar to Unlimited, but it provides different tier options. For those who like Anthropologie and Shopbop, Le Tote may be a more fitted option because it carries similar brands. I personally find that Le Tote has more classic, basic clothes, while Unlimited has more designer, unique clothes.

Switch

Build a sustainable closet jewelry rental subscription a sustainable way to wear trends Switch

Switch is a designer jewelry rental subscription. They carry high end brands such as Chanel, and the monthly subscription rate starts at USD $29 a month. You can keep your pieces for however long you want as long as your subscription is active.

Rocksbox

Rocksbox Build a Sustainable Closet #3: Clothing Subscription - A Sustainable Way to Wear Trends

I have actually used Rocksbox before, and I highly recommend it to people who likes to wear fashion jewelries. Personally, I am not much a jewelry person, but this is a good way to explore trendy accessories without having to commit. Plus generally, fashion jewelries wear out fast so I don’t think buying is a wise choice. For roughly $20 a month, you get rent up to 3 pieces at a time.

Besides the 3 mentioned above, here are more clothing subscription options that you may be interested in:

Clothing Subscription V.S. Buying

Clothing subscription is definitely something to consider for short-lived fashion items such as special event dresses, trendy clothes and jewelries. I personally think it’s best for maternity clothes because the body change is only temporary. But for wardrobe essentials and classic pieces, I still think it’s worth buying and keeping.

What do you think about clothing subscription? Will you give it a try? Please comment below to let me know what you think!

Smile and Style On!
SK

Sustainable jeans Reformation black skinny jeans

Reformation Jeans Review & Other Sustainable Jeans Options

Embroideries and zippers are trending up in the denim world, but I always find myself going back to the basics. When it comes to shopping for sustainable jeans, I am a very simple person. I prefer classic styles and solid colors, and I prioritize the fit and softness over anything else. If you have a similar taste and are looking for sustainable jeans, I hope you find today’s post helpful. In this blog post, I will be reviewing Reformation jeans and talking about sustainable jeans & 2017 jeans trends. Enjoy!

Reformation Jeans Review

These Reformation black skinny jeans have become my favorite pair since they arrived at my door step. Recently, I took these jeans to Europe, and I traveled in them to every city. These sustainable jeans are incredibly versatile. I wore them in both warm (Barcelona) and cold climate (Copenhagen), and I also wore them to a biking tour and fancy cocktail bars in London.

I have reviewed other Reformation clothes before, and you can find them here:

Sustainable Linen: Care Instructions and Reformation Linen Dress Review

Sustainable jeans Reformation black jeans
Reformation High & Skinny Jeans

 

Sustainable jeans Reformation jeans
Reformation High & Skinny Jeans

Material

These Reformation jeans was made of an incredibly soft and elastic fabric. In my option, they feel more like jeggings than actual jeans. They are super comfortable and flattering. With a high-waisted cut, these jeans are also extremely versatile. I can pair them with anything ranging from a crop top to a long tunic. The denim material is also thick enough for west coast winter, and I can tug in a thin sweater with no problem.

Fit

These Reformation black skinny jeans are very skin-tight but elastic. Unlike the ankle length shown on the website, these jeans are full length for me (I am 5’6”, 168cm),

Price

As a sustainable fashion brand, Reformation jeans are very reasonably priced. Typically, I spend around $150-200 on a pair of good quality jeans (7 for All Mankind), but I spend $118 on these.

Sustainable Jeans Alternatives

Are you tired of me raving about Reformation jeans yet? Here are other sustainable jeans, listed from the least to the most expensive.

MUJI

MUJI is a Japanese household label, and they sell sustainable jeans that are made out of organic cotton. I owned a pair from them, but unfortunately lost them during apartment moves. Since the material is made out of 91% cotton, MUJI jeans don’t feel as stretchy and soft as the Reformation jeans. But what I love about the higher percentage of cotton is that the jeans are more structured and substantial.  As a bonus, MUJI jeans are also super affordable. They are only US$39!

Sustainable jeans MUJI jeans
MUJI Organic Cotton Skinny Jeans

Everlane

Everlane just came out with their sustainable denim line. I haven’t gotten anything yet, but I plan on replacing my broken white jeans. So a review coming soon.  In the meantime, their sustainable jeans are also affordable (US$68) and classic.

I am slowly becoming a big fan of Everlane. Here are two Everlane reviews:

Read before You Buy: Everlane Micro Rib Tee Dress Review

Sustainable Fashion Review: Should You Buy Everlane Cashmere Sweaters?

Sustainable jeans Everlane skinny ankle jeans
Everlane High-Rise Skinny Jean (Ankle)

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 11.45.10 AM
Everlane High-Rise Skinny Jean (Ankle)

DL1961

If you are looking for premium sustainable jeans that sculpt your body, DL1961 is your best bet! I love DL1961 because they are one of the rare sustainable denim brands you can find in department stores. You can go try on the jeans before buying them.

Sustainable Jeans DL1961 Bella Vintage Ankle Skinny Jeans
DL1961 Lara Crop Flare Jeans

Rag & Bone

Many premium denim brands are ethically made in the US with imported fabrics, and Rag & Bone is one of them. I love their jeans because they are very soft and flattering. I tried them on at Nordstrom, and I am in love. On the downside, they are on the pricer side, and you may want to check back when they become on sale.

Sustainable jeans Rag & Bone jeans
Rag & Bone High Rise Skinny Jeans 

2017 Jeans Trends

Jeans are classic essentials in everyone’s closets. I personally gravitate toward classic styles, but many of you love to have more fun with jeans. Here are some of my favorite 2017 jeans trends.

Anti-Skinny Fit

Skinny jeans are still my favorite denim look, but I have to admit, loose-fitting jeans are way more comfortable. In 2017, we see a lot of denim brands carry crop-and-flare, wide legs, and boyfriends. This anti skinny trend is definitely worth investing in, especially boyfriend jeans.

Everlane Modern Boyfriend Jeans
Everlane Modern Boyfriend Jeans

Raw hems

Of all the creative jeans trends out there, ‘raw hems’ is my favorite. I specially like the ‘step hem’ look, aka ‘hi-lo hem’ and ’split-leg’.  I like this jeans trend because it looks subtle yet tastefully different. And the best part? You can do it yourself at home, and it’s more economical and sustainable to DIY too! Simply cut the front portion of the hems shorter, and Viola! But if you want to invest in a new pair of jeans, here are my favorite step hem jeans:

Rag and Bone Ripped Step Hem Skinny Jeans
Rag & Bone Ripped Step Hem Skinny Jeans

 

Sustainable Jeans Frame Step Hem Jeans
Frame Step Hem Jeans (On Sale for $93)

 

Sustainable Jeans Paige Step Hem Jeans
Paige Step Hem Jeans

 

Jeans are something that I don’t mind spending more money on because I wear them so much. I only own 3 pairs of jeans, and yet I wear them almost every week. Considering the cost per wear, a pair of premium sustainable jeans is definitely worth the investment. I hope you enjoy this post and find yourself a perfect pair of sustainable jeans as well!

If you like this post and want to see more, please leave me a comment below or follow me on Instagram!

Smile and style on~

SK

 

How to Build a Sustainable Closet #2: Create a Style Guide

Build a Sustainable Closet #2: Create a Style Guide

Have you impulse-shopped before? I am sure most of us have. And 9 out of 10 times we regret what we bought when we impulse shopped. One simple way to help yourself buy better is to create a style guide. In a style guide, we write down our style and what we need in the closet. So when we go shopping, we know the right style to look for and the type of clothes to prioritize. Today, I will talk more about this and teach you how to create a style guide.

How to Build a Sustainable Closet: Create a Style Guide
These sneakers are from GREATS. I love them for traveling. Currently wearing them in Paris as we speak!
How to Build a Sustainable Closet: Create a Style Guide
You probably noticed that my favorite color is blue! 

 

“How to Build a Sustainable Fashion” Episode 1 Recap:

This is Episode 2 of “how to build a sustainable closet”. In the 1st episode, we talked about creating a user journey to discover your style. A user journey is an exercise where we examine past outfits we wore in real life and look for patterns to discover our style. Now that you have completed the exercise, you should have a pretty good grip of your style. In today’s episode, we will talk about how to document the results from our user journey and create a style guide.

Build a Sustainable Closet #2: Create a Style Guide

When we go shopping, we often buy clothes that look good on other people but don’t necessarily fit our style. After the novelty wears off, we put aside those clothes and never wear them again. Overtime, we collect a bunch of clothes that we don’t like, and we end up donating them and throwing them away. According to the True Cost, we throw away 11 metric tons of clothes each year in America. This is extremely wasteful, and it also leaves behind many negative impact on the environment!

One way to improve this situation is to shop with a style guide. When we create a style guide, we write down our style and remind ourselves of the clothes our closet needs. This style guide will then help us prioritize shopping and help us buy better.

What is a Style Guide?

In the tech world, UX designers use a style guide to detail specifications such as font styles, font sizes and colors, etc. As a company grows and creates more products, UX designers use this style guide as their point of reference to ensure a consistent look-and-feel across all products. A style guide governs a company’s brand aesthetic, and it’s key to achieving an integrated and memorable brand image. Just think about some of Google products you use in your daily life – Google Plus and Google Map both share a consistent aesthetic.

Similarly, the purpose of a style guide is to remind yourself of your style and fashion preferences as you continue to build your closet. When you go shopping, you will refer back to this style guide and shop for things that you lack in the closet and buy things that make your closet look coherent.

In my personal style guide, I included these elements:

  1. The types of clothes my closet needs:
  2. Within each type of clothes, list out
    1. The overall style I want to project
    2. Categories of clothes I gravitate toward
    3. Primary colors I gravitate toward
    4. Neutral colors I gravitate toward
    5. Textures (fabrics) I gravitate toward
    6. Patterns I gravitate toward
    7. Things that have never worked for me in the past
    8. Clothes that my closet needs.

How to use a Style Guide?

A style guide is informal, and you don’t have to stick to a specific format. But a useful style guide should always include these elements:

  1. The type of clothes your closet needs
  2. The overall style you want to stick to
  3. The look and feel of your wardrobe (governed by your favorite colors, textures, and patterns, etc.)
  4. The styles that never work for you from your past experience
  5. The clothes your closet is lacking (aka the gaps in your closet that you want to fill first)

A great style guide summarizes what you like and what you dislike, and it also points out the gaps in your closet and helps you prioritize your shopping. Here is a style guide template you can download:

Style Guide Template

(This style guide template is free to download. All you need is to subscribe to Styles For Thought :D)

One other fashion blogger I follow is Caroline from Unfancy. She created a wardrobe planner in the past, and I found this worksheet helpful as well!

Once you create a style guide, you want to keep it close to you so you can easily take it out when you go shopping! I suggest making a digital copy of your style guide so you can pull it out on your mobile phone.  You can either upload it to Google Drive or simply take a picture of it with your phone!

How to build a sustainable closet #2: Create A Style Guide. Style Guide by Styles For Thought

Talk to me! Do you already have a style guide? What other information do you include in your style guide that I haven’t mentioned here? I would love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to drop me a message below.

I hope you find this post helpful! See you next time.

Smile and Style on~

SK


Outfit Info:

Jacket: American Eagle (SUPER OLD! I got this since high school!)

Dress: Reformation Beliz Dress (Sold out this pattern)

Shoes: GREATS

(I love this! Super comfy, and they are ethically made in Italy)