i like the color gray?

my boyfriend of all people (i say that because he’s not one for fashion and gets confused when my clothes become too trendy) pointed out to me the other day that i like gray in my wardrobe.  then i thought of some of my favorite pieces – gray cardigan, gray long sweater, gray jeans, gray dress, gray t-shirt – and realized he’s right!  i really don’t like khaki and white and black could get boring, so i buy gray pieces as my neutrals and layering pieces.

and apparently i’m not alone. rachel mcadams wore a gray jacket and bag, jessica simpson wore a gray maxi dress with a pink cardigan, rachel bilson has been carrying around a new gray bag, jessica alba wore a gray tunic, and rihanna wore a gray sweater.  what are your thoughts on the color gray?  drab or daring?

celebrities like the color gray

all images from people.com

25% discount to the clothing menu readers!

terra plana shoes image

Terra Plana (featured here during my eco-friendly fashion week) is offering the clothing menu readers a 25% discount on their Terra Plana classics shoes.  this is an amazing deal – thank you to Terra Plana!

just enter CLOTHINGMENU25 at checkout – expires august 15.

happy 4th of july!

here’s a sweet, simple outfit for your (hopefully) sunny 4th of july bbq!

outfit for 4th of july imagered leather bag by brooklyn designer nam kim designs. white bamboo silk top by new zealand designer karen walker. blue striped shorts by nyc designer built by wendy.

style inspiration: nicole richie

last week on the cut i read that the stylish nicole richie is going to be expanding her house of harlow jewelry line to include clothes and shoes.  such a great idea and i’m super-excited for it because i’ve been loving her post-the simple life style!  so to hold us over until the clothing line comes out, here are some ways to get nicole richie’s style:

1) silver party dress by Cristina David

silver party dress nicole richie

2) tie dye bag by The Style Rules

ps – this bag looks just like nicole richie’s, right?  that’s because it was made after The Style Rules saw nicole richie’s bag, but couldn’t afford it.  so she designed her own!

tie dye bag nicole richie

3) paisley maxi dress by Daytrip

paisley maxi dress nicole richie

loving lemon

this post on the makool loves you blog was my inspiration for this post.  ice cold lemonade in the summer is the best and it’s my summer crush too!  here are some dresses and tops inspired by lemonade to brighten up your day!

lemon inspired fashion image

Gina Michele : makool loves you : Cori Jean : ccdoodle : holly stalder

cause sharing is caring

i’ll admit, i don’t know a whole lot about eco-friendly fashion, but this whole week of posts dedicated to it has taught me a lot.  it really amazes me all the steps passionate designers take to find materials and manufacture clothes from beginning to end in an ethical way.  if only every fashion designer had that dedication!

i hope you all enjoyed learning a little bit this week too!  and for more on “green,” ethical, sustainable, eco-friendly fashion, stop by these sites:

i’m gonna take this description right from cosa verde’s site: it’s a new marketplace connecting independent and emerging artists with environmentally-conscious consumers.

Mallory, the blogger for missmalaprop.com, always finds such great eco-friendly clothing designers and products.

this is the blog from Heidi & Seek, an ethical fashion line from Australia.  she posts about all things “green” and ethical, along with updates on her own line.

Modish is a great blog with an aim to bring awareness to emerging independent artists.  they often post about eco-friendly products too.

Big Green Purse is a shopping guide dedicated to environmentally-friendly and socially responsible products.

Greenzer is a shopping engine that only promotes products that meet the sites “green” qualifications.

i know Patagonia is not an emerging brand, which is what i usually write about at this blog, but i was surprised to find such a large collection of clothes from them.

i’m sure there are ton more great sites out there, so please share!

eco-friendly wardrobe essentials you didn't think you could find

on tuesday i posted some really cute ethical and sustainable clothing lines.  and yesterday i posted an interview with Gaia Conceptions, a line of comfortable eco-friendly clothing in some really great colors.  but what about wardrobe essentials besides everyday clothes?  are there eco-friendly shoes, bags, and bathing suits?  luckily, thanks to some really smart and passionate designers, the answer is yes!

Terra Plana makes shoes out of materials like recycled memory foam and natural latex.  i was really pleasantly surprised by the large selection of super cute shoes!  Deux FM makes “eco chic” clothes, like stylish bikinis made of recycled linen, organic cotton, and soy.  and Pansy Maiden makes colorful bags out of organic cotton twill.  so if you’re looking to finish off your wardrobe with eco-friendly items, these collections have you covered!

UPDATE: Terra Plana is offering the clothing menu readers a 25% discount on their Terra Plana classics shoes!  just enter CLOTHINGMENU25 at checkout – expires august 15.

eco friendly shoes bags and bathing suits image

interview: Gaia Conceptions

Gaia Conceptions opened my eyes to the concept of ethical and sustainable fashion.  reading about the process the designer, Andrea, takes in making the clothes really made me think about what goes into the clothes i wear everyday.  all of the clothes in the Gaia Conceptions collection are made of certified organic and eco-friendly fabrics, like certified organic cotton and raw silk.  each piece is hand dyed in low impact and natural dyes and each item is made just for you based on your size and color choice.  love it!  check out my q&a with Andrea here:

How did you get started creating clothes?

When I was a young girl my aunt taught me how to sew clothing for my dolls. Then I grew to be 6 feet tall and needed to always alter or make things for myself. I started out as a Fashion Design Major in college and learned the fundamentals of sewing and patternmaking. Then switched my major to fibers where I learned how to dye and began thinking about fibers in a more sculptural way, which led me to finally complete a degree in Sculpture. However, I continued to design and sell my clothing at festivals while I was finishing up my degree in Sculpture. Just as I was about to graduate I put my clothing on ETSY….Right about the same time I heard back from the schools I got into ETSY had me as a featured seller and I all of a sudden had a full time job doing what I love to do most.

gaia conceptions tank

What three words would you use to describe your current collection?

Comfortable, Multi-functional, Sustainable

gaia conceptions dress

What do you think makes your designs different?

My designs are simple, functional, and easy to wear. They layer well with each other and make a subtle statement. I want them to bring out the beauty in a woman without overpowering it. However, I would say it is the environmental ethos combined with the designs that really sets Gaia Conceptions apart from the rest. Continuing to make great clothes that are as sustainable as possible is the fundamental goal. We have installed water-catchment systems, a natural dye garden and studio, and are always searching for new organic and humanly cultivated fabrics.

gaia conceptions wrap dress

What do you see in the future for your collection?

I definitely want to bring in more natural dyes and I’m also interested in finding a way to turn my scraps into something that I can sell for charity. I’m thinking quilts and dolls would be nice. At some point it would also be great to build a Living Machine to clean all our wastewater and solar panels to provide energy for all the sewing equipment.

gaia conceptions jacket with hood

Why should people buy clothes from an independent designer instead of a mass-market store?

Well the coolest thing about buying directly from the artist is it helps people like me support themselves and do what they love each day. However, there are so many other benefits to the community and perks to you as a buyer as well. Each independent designer is different, but hear are some of the things that make Gaia Conceptions good for the client and the planet:
- All garments are made to order so each piece is made specific to your size and needs and it also means there isn’t any Gaia Gear clothing sitting on a rack somewhere hoping to be loved one day. It also saves a ton of resources and energy.
- Because everything is made in-house and I’m super picky about the sustainability and human friendliness of each garment from seed to shipping. Everyone involved with the creation of your garment was paid a fair wage and had a healthy work environment.

fashion that's good for you

one thing that’s great about the popularity of ethical and sustainable fashion is that there are now so many innovative designers who are creating clothes that are good for you, their workers, and the environment, but are also very fashionable and unique.  here is a small selection of the many great clothing lines:

stewartandbrown ethical fashion

Stewart + Brown is an ethical fashion line with a full collection of everything you would need for your wardrobe – including dresses, shorts, sweaters, and blouses – that are made using a variety of organic and sustainable fabrics.  Stewart + Brown’s mission is to apply the wisdom of sustainability to everything they do while inspiring others, just as they have been inspired, to do the same. 

ecoskin sustainable fashion image

ecoSkin uses only environmentally sustainable luxury fabrics that are woven, dyed, and sewn in the US. the designer, Sandy, oversees the design and production of her entire line from making sure the manufacturing facilities are meeting her demanding environmental and labor standards to ensuring the design of green hangtags and labels.  and she does all of this with one key thing in mind – eco-conscious women also want to dress sexy and chic!

elroy apparel socially responsible clothing

Leanne, the designer for Elroy Apparel, has been designing clothes since she was a teenager.  when she graduated school, she noticed there were a lot of casual clothes made out of organic and sustainable products, but that was it.  so she started a socially responsible clothing line made of organic and sustainable materials that’s fashionable and can be worn outside of the gym.  she’s clearly done a good job of merging fashion and social responsibility!

why should you buy "green?"

image of green grass

yes, i know – “going green” is the thing to do these days and you’re hearing about it everywhere, but what does that mean?  why should you buy eco-friendly, sustainable, recycled products?  here are just 3 of the many great reasons why:

1) the future is now

“I buy ‘green’ products because I want this country to be safe for my future children to grow up in.  If we support green products, the waste and chemicals that are so prevalent now will be in smaller amounts.” ~ belovedinc.etsy.com

2) support your local businesses and artists

“Lately, when I have been thinking about buying green or sustainable products, I have been thinking about local.  I live in a small town (happily with almost ZERO chains!) and it’s important to me to support small independent businesses.  Yes, some of their products may come from across the country or even a different country, but the money and the support still stays nearby.  Bonus if the product is local or regional!” ~ Erica www.lab208.com

3) know the products are made under ethical circumstances – especially when buying indie

“Mass-market stores find it much easier to have unethical business practices. They employ so many people and there are so many different layers to the organisation that the public can’t tell what’s going on inside, unless they do something so terrible that it comes out in the media. It’s kind of like buying blind because you don’t know what your money is supporting. I think that independent designers are much more transparent and much less likely to be unethical. Especially with those who have blogs, you can get a real sense of what you’re supporting with your purchases. They’re more likely to be loyal to customers and employees, if they have any.” ~ Heidi & Seek

**and this week is i’ll be focusing on the “healthy” menu here at the clothing menu, so stop by every day this week for some great info and indie buys on ethical, sustainable fashion!