Conscious Shopping

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It’s easy to get caught up with the latest trends. I’m guilty of this too. With all of the street style photos out there, everyone purchasing the same things. Lately I’ve noticed that we, as a society, are unconsciously shopping. We’re coveting whatever the latest this or that is, but we no longer think about where it came from and its sustainability.

Call me a farmer’s-market-shopping-borderline-vegan-Brooklyn-hippie, but I’m all about conscious clothing and accessories. Just as much as I’ve been scouring packages for GMO’s, locally sourced products and at the very least organic, I’ve been trying to incorporate pieces in my wardrobe that are not just another fast fashion find as much as I can.

Now it’s easier than ever when there’s some cute pieces on the market that also will make you feel good about your purchase when you shop from brands like these:

Plume

Brooklyn-based designer, Kate Collins, designs all of her collection locally, but sources her manufacturing internationally by working with artisans from all over the world to create her designs. Beautifully woven chunky knits include a photograph and name of the woman who made your scarf, blanket or sweater. There’s even a gold beaded necklace that’s actually made from recycled paper rolled up. These artisans can show off their craftsmanship outside of their communities for the first time and supporting these women’s economic independence.

Sorial

This handbag line is locally run here in NYC by a family, but they’re selling at major retailers and often spotted on celebs. They design bags that are vegan-friendly but look like leather and without sacrificing quality. They also support many charitable foundations, so they’re also giving back when you make this feel-good purchase.

Toms

While Toms has been around for quite some time and you probably already know that they’re all about giving back a pair of shoes to a child in need for every purchase. Now they’re also giving the gift of sight. For every pair of glasses sold, they’re helping children see with medical treatment or even glasses.

If that didn’t convince you enough to take a break from your usual designer or discount shopping—whatever your bag may be—check out my favorite products from these brands below.

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Free People top // James jeans (similar) // Plume scarf and necklace (c/o) // Toms sunglasses // Sorial tote (c/o) // 3.1 Phillip Lim mules (sample sale) // Nissa rings (c/o)

Anything But Basic

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As New York Magazine stated last week, To dress “normal” is the height of chic, yet to call someone “basic” is the chicest put-down. Even major stores are telling us to dress “normal,” but there seems to be a fine line between normal and basic when it comes to wardrobe.

The word “basic” equates to a woman who fails to surprise us, according to New York Magazine. I’ve always cringed at the thought of looking “basic” in that case. Yes, I too was once guilty of wearing a North Face fleece like everyone else in my college sorority days because that’s what you wore in Syracuse. Even then I rebelled and bought mine in a beautiful creme color to stand out from the sea of basic black fleeces on my campus. It was—and still is—my mission to not have a style that’s the norm and do my own thing.

Yet, I found myself recently wanting to blend in while prepping at a suburban mall for an advertising job I styled, especially when the cashier asked if my assistant and I were from New York City because we “just look like we’re not” from around there. Was I over-doing it with my fashion, or are they just all blending in? Even my assistant remarked we should wear sweatpants next time around.

After years of possibly over-styling myself, I’ve paired back my wardrobe this past year to more chic and easy basics that can be interchangeable and chic without adding too much. This classic and simple Ann Taylor turtleneck dress speaks for itself and when paired with a classic red lip, booties and some clean lines like this Sorial backpack, it doesn’t look like a score from a suburban mall (with a coupon I might add).

I don’t mind wearing things that everyone else may own or do” basic” things that all other females around me are doing. I’m just going to keep on doing it my way so I don’t look like everyone else. Sorry Jezebel, this Brooklyn girl is still going to enjoy her Brooklyn Flea reclaimed wood coffee table and weekends of roaming vintage stores.

This season, I challenge you to be more than just “basic” with your wardrobe. Find ways to stand out from all of the other “basic b*tches” out there. Most importantly do what you enjoy, not because everyone else is doing it, even if that is the norm.

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Ann Taylor turtleneck sweater dress // Tibi boots (sample via Shopbop store in Madison) // Sorial backpack (c/o) // Karen Walker sunglasses (similar style)  // Nissa ring (c/o) // all other jewelry, vintage and from Vietnam

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