Category Style Inspiration

Ellie’s Favorite Five: Ethical Clothes

Quick note! We are transitioning the blog from ThinkLiz.com to DressWellDoGood.com – please update your blog readers!

As we were brainstorming post ideas for the new year, Beth and I thought it would be fun to share our top five favorite ethical pieces in our personal wardrobes. We have asked some of our friends to join in with us so keep a look out for their posts in the future! I wanted to get the ball rolling with five of the pieces I’ve added to my wardrobe over the last year. These are pieces that I reach for often and make me feel awesome when I wear them!

1. Symbology Jumpsuit

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I’ll admit that this outfit was a total impulse buy at our first ethical pop-up shop but I have never regretted it. I have a long waist so jumpsuits often don’t hit me in the right spot. Putting these separates together for a jumpsuit illusion was a perfect workaround for me and it allows me to style the pants and top separately creating an even more diverse wardrobe!

2. Elegantees Kilee Tunic

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Beth and I both own this Elegantees tunic and agree this it is a closet essential! It comes in several different colors and is the perfect piece to throw on with leggings or skinny jeans. Remember, you can get 10% off any Elegantees purchase with our code ‘DressWellDoGood’!

3. Everlane Air Long-Sleeve Tee

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Everlane* has an array of fabulous basics so it was hard for me to choose which long sleeve top I really wanted. In the end I selected the Air Tee because of the additional length. When it arrived, I was pleasantly surprised with the weight and feel of the fabric. It is very light-weight and ideal for Texas winters. It’s thin enough to tuck into pants or a skirt and I love wearing it with the Symbology pants I mentioned above!

4. Fortress of Inca Victoria Luz Heels

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These showstopping shoes were a splurge for me, but again, no regrets here! I haven’t worn heels very often since having kids and I didn’t realize how much I had missed it. I was surprised to find that I could easily wear these heels when I’m hanging out with my kids because they have a chunkier heel and are very light-weight. And let’s be honest, the compliments I get when wearing these shoes make the extra cost totally worth it!

5. Noonday Collection Rustic Leather Tote

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I used to trade out my bags all the time until my Mom surprised me with this leather tote from Noonday Collection. Now it’s my go-to bag all the time. It fits my laptop and I can also carry all my mom essentials in style. The rustic leather means that everyday wear enhances its beauty over time and I love that it has a zipper and stands up on its own!

Honorable Mention: Fair Indigo Princess Seam Organic Fair Trade Pocket Dress

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I know I’ve talked about the dress I wore for Dressember a lot so I decided not to make it one of my top five, but who am I kidding? I love this dress and I am so glad I chose it for my Dressember dress! I wore it at least 75% of the month and it was always so comfortable and versatile to style.

What are your five favorite ethical finds? We would love to hear what you reach for most in your closet rotation!

Dressember in 7 Dresses

Please read: we are transitioning the blog from ThinkLiz.com to DressWellDoGood.com – please update your blog readers so you can continue to follow along with our ethical fashion journey and company giveaways!

Dressember 2015 is over and our #DWDGDressember team raised over $18,884 for social justice non-profits IJM and A21 and was 3rd in team fundraisers out of 630 teams. Ellie and I are honored and humbled that we got to partner with such amazing women to raise enough money to fund 4 IJM rescue missions. If you are so compelled, you can still give to our team through the end of January.

We love supporting ethical fashion because of the empowerment it gives those making our clothes. The reality is that the global garment industry is a huge source of human trafficking. The synergy between raising money to free people from trafficking/exploitation and the world of ethical fashion was part of the reason we started Dress Well, Do Good.

For my second year of Dressember, I thought it would be fun to take the creative challenge of limiting my wardrobe to 7 dresses, styled differently throughout the month. This was very enjoyable for me and it also reinforced how little I really need in my wardrobe as long as I have versatile pieces that can be worn many different ways. The dresses I selected were either very old, thrifted, or purchased from an ethical brand.

Thrifted Blue Dress

I ordered this dress from ThredUP* in anticipation of Dressember. The main motivation was the sleeves, basic style, and solid color.

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Thrifted Chambray Shirt Dress

This is another ThredUp* purchase that I reached for the most out of all my dresses for the month. This basic chambray dress was easy to style many different ways and is one of the most versatile dresses in my wardrobe. I still had 2-3 more ideas for wearing it even after the 10 times I wore it in December.  And I know I will be wearing it with my hand knit Miranda sweater again in the future – that was my favorite combination!

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Fair Indigo Shirt Dress

Fair Indigo is definitely a favorite around here. Their simple styling allows for much versatility in making the piece fit your own personal style. Ellie wore her princess seam pocket dress almost every day for Dressember!

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Green A-Line Dress

This dress is an oldie by a goodie. I have owned this dress since 2006 and it is from Target long before the idea of ethical fashion entered my mind. I hold to this as ethical because I will keep wearing this dress until it falls apart – it is a color and style that I love! Livia Firth of People Tree has issued a #30wears challenge to never buy something you can’t see yourself wearing less than 30 times which goes directly against our ‘never be seeing wearing the same thing twice’ culture. I think this is a helpful way to look at clothing shopping because it has the long term usage in mind which will save you money and make getting dressed easier.

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People Tree Striped Dress

This simple People Tree dress was a lot of fun to style in multiple ways! The stripes worked layered like a mini skirt, or a striped tee, or simply as a dress.

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Thrifted Striped Maxi Dress

I felt like I needed a maxi dress in the rotation because they feel almost like you are wearing pajamas! Since this ThredUp* Thrifted maxi was so casual, I wore this mainly on the weekends when I felt the need to slum around a bit.

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Synergy Striped Dress

I bought this Synergy dress on sale for a steal to replace a teal polka dot dress that I thrifted many years ago. I know I will be reaching for this cozy dress this summer as I feel very put together when wearing it.

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I walked away from this year’s Dressember with a new sense of hope. This world we live in is infinitely complicated, but I am encouraged by seeing women band together with the common cause of ending modern day slavery and social injustice. The team element has changed the experience for me. I am so encouraged by the hearts of these women, the words of wisdom they have, their willingness to be a part of a team and to celebrate each other’s successes and talk through the challenges. Joining together as a team for Dressember has built an unexpectedly beautiful sense of community and the sense of being part of something much, much bigger than ourselves. And for that, I will be grateful.

Ethical Workout Gear for the New Year

Please read: we are transitioning the blog from ThinkLiz.com to DressWellDoGood.com – please update your blog readers so you can continue to follow along with our ethical fashion journey and company giveaways!

We know that a lot of you are making workout resolutions for the New Year and with those resolutions often comes the realization that new gear is needed! We wanted to give you a list of some of our favorite ethical workout brands to check out as you are shopping with your new resolutions in mind. We were particularly happy to find an ethical sports bra that is suitable for up to a C/D cup that is made from recycled materials, and TWO different running sneaker options! Be sure to dig around on each vendor’s website to see the full offerings of their activewear – you may be surprised at the fun variety each brand has to offer!

Ethical Workout Brand Options

Also, our friends over at Purse & Clutch did a ‘This not That’ workout edition that you may find helpful!

Stitch Fix Style = Ethical Style?

We get a lot of questions about using Stitch Fix to try to create an ethical wardrobe. The strength of using Stitch Fix is that you can ask your stylist to look for ethical items made in the USA or Canada if you don’t have the time to do the research and searching on your own. They do carry several ethical brands for jewelry and accessories, favorites like 31Bits, Sseko, Soko, and Nakamol. If you have been dabbling in the ethical fashion market long enough, you know that when it comes to ethical clothing the options are fewer and the prices are higher and that is true with Stitch Fix as well. It is worth noting that not all items at Stitch Fix are made ethically, or made in the US, so if you follow them on social media, the items they post may not fit your personal criteria of ethics.

As you may know, Beth and I have both used Stitch Fix in the past and I recently received a fix focused primarily on Made in the USA items. Here’s what I got!

(A quick note: if you see an item marked with an asterisk *, it is an affiliate link. We love these ethical items so much that we feel confident recommending them to you. Clicking on those links and placing an order may generate a commission for Dress Well Do Good. Thanks for your support!)

Stitch Fix – Outfit 1


Fair Indigo Princess Seam Organic Fair Trade Pocket Dress / From Stitch Fix* – Lysse Jylyn Ponte Legging, Made in USA /From Stitch Fix* – 31 Bits Spiced Strands Beaded Necklace /From Stitch Fix* – BC Footwear Society D’Orsay Flats 

I’ve been having a lot of fun styling my Fair Indigo Dressember dress so it was easy to start my flat styling by pairing it with made in the USA Lysse leggings, BC Footwear flats, and the 31 Bits necklace. These leggings are so thick and flattering – they are high waisted and suck your tummy in for a smooth look under tunics. And the burgundy color is perfect for fall. The beautiful and versatile 31Bits necklace is made out of 100% recycled paper by women in Northern Uganda who were paid a living wage. The shoes are the BC Footwear Society D’Orsay flats. (Side note: I have not received a clear answer on whether the shoes are ethically made; we DO know that BC Footwear cares a lot about animal rights and being eco-friendly. We would love to know more about this company’s production ethics and will keep you posted on any news we receive!)

Stitch Fix – Outfit 2


Roxy Jeans purchased locally at ATown / Old Navy tee, but similar available at Everlane* / From Stitch Fix* – Absolutely Landa Open Cardigan / From Stitch Fix* – BC Footwear Society D’Orsay Flats 

Cardigans are the perfect layering piece for fall and winter in Texas and buffalo plaid is so much fun. Although this is a fun piece, a word of warning – the sleeves fit a bit tight (might want to ask for a size up if you request this) and it is 100% acrylic so it doesn’t have a great hand feel. It is still a fun, on trend piece that feels very festive this time of year!

Stitch Fix – Outfit 3


From Stitch Fix* – Le Lis Annalise Textured Knit Top / Symbology High Waisted Stylized Feather Trousers / From Stitch Fix* – 31 Bits Spiced Strands Beaded Necklace / Fortress of Inca Victoria Luz Heels 

I’m always looking for more ways to wear my High Waisted Stylized Feather Trousers and this slouchy sweater was a perfect match. This is the one piece that I decided to keep from my Fix. It is so soft and just slightly oversized for the perfect slouchy fit. It is also technically a jersey knit top which makes it ideal for Texas winters because we don’t need our sweaters to be overly chunky! The 31Bits necklace rounds out this look with a tiny bit of color. Even though I didn’t keep it from this Fix I’m putting it on my Christmas wishlist!

Overall, I really enjoyed this Fix full of cute and on-trend ethical pieces. If you are interested in trying Stitch Fix, make sure you let your stylist know that shopping ethically is very important to you. Be clear that you would like pieces made by ethical companies or made in the USA or Canada. Enjoy the experience of receiving a box of clothes curated for you on your doorstep!

Haven’t used Stitch Fix yet but would like to sign up? Please use our affiliate link here!

Prepping for Dressember: Layering

imageWe have been doing a lot of strategizing and planning about the upcoming Dressember campaign because we put together a group of women that are passionate about participating in everyday advocacy and we want everyone to succeed in their campaigns. Of course, we are also excited about the creative challenge of styling our dresses for the December weather!

I recently went through my closet and noticed that almost all of my dresses are summer styles and I didn’t have a lot of winter options. Of course, I can layer outerwear with some of those summer dresses but I decided to purchase a more versatile dress for cooler weather. In the spirit of ethical fashion, I did not want to go out and buy a bunch of dresses for Dressember, so I decided to pick out one dress that I could wear for the majority of the month and use the few dresses already in my closet to help me out on laundry days and for holiday parties.

One of our favorite brands, Elegantees, came out with a great versatile dress specifically for Dressember and I highly recommend it if you are looking for something versatile. (Psst – you can get it for 10% off if you use our ‘DressWellDoGood’ code!) While, that dress is great, I had already had my eye on this dress from ethical brand, Fair Indigo! It is made fairly in Peru of organic cotton. It’s so soft and comfy! And it has pockets!

Since receiving it I’ve been thinking through the different ways that I can style it throughout the month. Here are some of the different ways I brainstormed how to wear it with simple layers.

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If you follow us on Instagram, you know how in love I am with my olive cargo jacket that I thrifted from Savers. I had been searching for a cargo jacket for a while and patience paid off when I found this one for $4.99! I’ve already worn it several times and I think it will be an easy layer to throw on over my dress. Of course, I added my new Fortress of Inca Victoria Luz shoes because they look good with everything! Add a few Noonday Collection accessories and I will be ready to go.

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I have not been able to afford an actual leather jacket, especially an ethically made one, but I bought this faux leather jacket from Stitch Fix* last year before starting my ethical journey and I know that I will continue to get a lot of use out of it. It’s casual and comfortable but also provides a bit of a statement with the Aztec print on the arms. Styled with leggings and boots this is perfect for running errands or a casual night out.

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I already wore this outfit for Halloween and it was incredibly comfortable. The denim vest was thrifted from Thred Up* and I have already worn it a lot. It’s such an easy layering piece and I appreciate how it helps define the waist of this dress to make it a little more flattering and less boxy. I stayed cozy by layering on a Noonday scarf, easy-to-wear Toms flats, some additional accessories and it was perfect for hanging with my kids.

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I mentioned before that I’m in love with my cargo jacket, but I’m also quite partial to my cargo vest! I scored this one on Thred Up* and it’s my go to layering piece to complete an outfit. A great benefit to this style is that it hides my midsection if I am feeling self-conscious. I paired this look with my booties and I think this will be another great outfit for being active with my kids.

Do you feel inspired?

We hope that you do! Would you to consider joining or contributing to our #DressWellDoGood Dressember team? This creative challenge is an easy way to bring attention to the social injustices of human trafficking and slave labor this December AND contribute to the solution through non-profits International Justice Mission and A21. By wearing a dress for 31 days you can advocate for the inherent dignity of all women. Consider doing it with only a few dresses and challenge yourself to style them differently every day! E-mail us at hello@thinkliz.com if you do sign up for our team so we can send you information about DWDG team challenges, complete with weekly prizes from some of our favorite ethical vendors!

Austin Fall vs. Regular Fall Styling

Ellie and I joke that as the rest of the country is getting ready for fall, Texans are buckling down for the worst of the summer. People are talking about pumpkin spice lattes and sweaters while we are sweating in our shorts and tank tops! Well, even though it is still very hot (read: triple digits), we still get swept up in the fall fever! Since we are yearning for fall temperatures, we thought we would style some outfits for fall, Austin style! Don’t worry, if you are lucky enough to already be enjoying cooler weather, we have you covered too! So you’re getting a two-in-one here.

This post really goes along with what we have been talking about in choosing clothing that is versatile and can transition between seasons so you can buy fewer items! Remember, we aren’t about buying tons of clothes. Less is more here folks.

A quick note: if you see an item marked with an asterisk *, it is an affiliate link. We love these ethical items so much that we feel confident recommending them to you. Clicking on those links and placing an order may generate a commission for Dress Well Do Good. Thanks for your support!

Fall in ATX – Chambray Shirt Dress

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Thrifted Chambray Shirtdress* / Black Gingham Button-Up  / Vintage Noonday Acai Necklace / Noonday Cow Horn Hoops / Raven + Lily Clutch (similar) / Raven + Lily Bracelets (similar) / Vintage Noonday Artillery Metal Bracelet (similar) / Thrifted Tan Flats*

Oh chambray, we could wax poetic about your versatility and comfort. This chambray dress is such a staple of versatility: you could style this so many different ways. Sidenote: you have to roll up the sleeves here because otherwise you will sweat. The button-up tied around the waist brings us back to the 90s, but it’s such a handy trend. Let’s be honest, we’ve been doing this even when it wasn’t trendy! It gives a nice nod to fall without having to truly WEAR the layers!

Fall Elsewhere – Chambray Shirt Dress


Thrifted Chambray Shirt Dress / Vintage Noonday Collection Arched Arrow Earring / Noonday Collection Goldrush Necklace (similar) / StitchFix Renee C Rayna Graphic Knit Drape Front Cardigan* (made in US) / Navy Tights (Similar) / Booties (Similar)

To ward off that fall chill, a drapey sweater layered over the dress is the way to go. Paired with some tights and booties, you are ready for that fall weather! Go roll around in your beautifully colored fall leaves, why don’t ya? We will admire your pictures… from the swimming pool. Don’t have a chambray shirtdress? This check out this one that was handmade in Sausalto, CA!

Fall in ATX – Tunic Style

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Elegantees Kilee Tunic / Thrifted Leggings from ThredUp* / Noonday Collection Bib Necklace / Noonday Collection Talisman Earrings / Noonday Collection Metallic Pearls Necklace as a Bracelet / Root Collective Peep Toe Flats

Leggings are a great way to add interest to a basic tunic. A bright necklace and a bright purse make this a fun fall combination. Boots are probably a little too hot for ATX fall, but some colorful peep toes, are just the ticket. And if you think this tunic is for you, you’re in luck because we will have these for sale at our pop up shop this September!

Fall Elsewhere – Tunic Style

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Elegantees Kilee Tunic / Vintage Noonday Collection Alpaca Scarf / Noonday Collection Feathered Fringe Earrings / Vintage Luxe Horns Necklace (Similar) / Jean Jacket / Grey Leggings (Similar) / Black Booties (Similar)

Bust out your warm scarf and jean jacket from high school to layer this simple tunic into true fall fashion. Don’t be afraid to wear a necklace with that scarf! It adds another element of interest to have a necklace down below a scarf at your neck.

Fall in ATX – Burgundy Shirt Dress

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Fair Indigo Organic Cotton Burgundy Shirt Dress / Noonday Collection Octagon Hoops / Vintage Noonday Collection Beaded Bracelet / Vintage Noonday Collection Gatsby Necklace / Lightweight Scarf / Sseko Vintage Gold Lalibella Loafer* / Mustard Purse Thrifted from eBay

We are obviously sweet on the shirt dress for fall! This fall-hued dress is versatile enough to make it from fall to Texas winter. Pair it with a Texas-weight scarf and you’ve got the fall style that can stand up to the heat!

Fall Elsewhere – Burgundy Shirt Dress

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Fair Indigo Organic Cotton Burgundy Shirt Dress / Marled Sweater Jacket / Noonday Collection Empress Earrings / Noonday Collection Bib Necklace (Similar) / Leather Boots 

Embrace those layers for fall! A marled sweater jacket layers beautifully over this shirt dress and adds textural interest. A colorful necklace at the neck brings variety and boots finish off the look.

Fall in ATX – The Graphic Tee

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Krochet Kids UGMonk Graphic Tee* / The Giving Keys Necklace / Vintage Noonday Collection Earrings / Noonday Collection Underground Cuff Bracelet / Vintage Noonday Tote / Tom’s Taupe Suede Desert Wedges

A graphic tee and boyfriend jeans are the picture of comfort as we pretend we are experiencing fall weather! Adding some wedge booties and a large striped tote and we can pretend that it’s not 100 degrees together!

Fall Elsewhere – The Graphic Tee

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Krochet Kids UGMonk Graphic Tee* / Vintage Noonday Collection Earrings / Bracelets / Striped Cardigan / Thrifted Mustard Corduroy Pants / Scarf from Italy / Boots 

Don’t put away those graphics tees just because fall is here! They are great to layer with with warmer items. Here, we paired the tee with warm mustard corduroy pants and a striped cardigan to bring it into the cooler fall weather. A scarf and boots finish off this casual fall look!

We hope that this will encourage you to play with items that are already in your closet and try new combinations to extend the life of your clothes! And if this post makes you put together some new combinations, we want to hear about it! Comment here or tag us on Instagram at #DressWellDoGood.

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10 Ways to Style Summer Shorts – Part 2

We know you all have been waiting with baited breath for part 2 of our shorts styling post! See part 1 here if you want to see the first five ideas. Let’s get to it!

(A quick note: if you see an item marked with an asterisk *, it is an affiliate link. We love these ethical items so much that we feel confident recommending them to you. Clicking on those links and placing an order may generate a commission for Dress Well Do Good. Thanks for your support!)

Boho Summer Shorts

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Thrifted Kimono (similar) / Tank from ThredUp* (similar) / Thrifted Shorts (similar) / Noonday Collection Velocity Necklace / Crocheted Earrings / Noonday Collection Delta Rivers Bangles / Raven + Lily Bangle / Raven + Lily Clutch and Wallet (similar) / Toms Sandals (similar)

Fringe is very popular right now and it is a quick way to give a boho feel to any outfit. The ikat paired with some basic stripes is an easy way to do some pattern mixing. The shorts add a pop of color with the otherwise neutral colors.

Patterned Shorts & Chambray

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Thrifted Chambray Button Up (similar & similar) / Thrifted Shorts (similar) / Vintage Noonday Collection Paper Bead Necklace / Vintage Noonday Collection Gold Hoop Earrings / Noonday Collection Entwined Bracelet / Tom’s Sunglasses / Clutch from DSW Shoes / Thrifted Green Wedges (similar)/ Recycled Coffee Mug*

Chambray really does go with everything. For a fun summer twist, a tie at the waist and some cuffed sleeves can go from office attire to a hot summer night out for dinner.

Edgy Shorts

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Thrifted Tank (similar) / Thrifted Shorts (these would be a fun alternative!) / Noonday Collection Necklace / Noonday Collection Empress Earrings / Noonday Collection Woven Bracelet / Wearing God by Lauren Winner*  / Passion Planner / Clutch (similar) / Sseko Ribbon Sandles*

Don’t think shorts can be ‘edgy’? Think again! It’s all in the pleather details of this thrifted tank top. Paired with some simple black sandals and black shorts, this look screams edgy but keeps you cool.

Summer Neutrals

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Thred Up* Thrifted Tank / Shorts (similar) / Thred Up* Thrifted Cargo Vest / Raven + Lily Printed Tote (similar) / Vintage Noonday Collection Bracelets (similar) / Noonday Collection Earrings / Vintage Noonday (Similar at Fair Indigo) / Root Collective Neon Yellow Peep Toes* /  Zoya Nail Polish Wednesday* / Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans* / Chasers of the Light by Tyler Knott Gregson* 

It’s aways easy to fall back on neutrals. The classic pairings of navy and white or black and cream are easy go to combinations during any time of year. We love to see neutrals with bright pops of color, like this neon yellow!

Fun in the Sun!

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Nannette Lepore Swimsuit* / Fair Indigo Tee / Madewell Shorts / Noonday Collection Octagon Hoop Earring / Noonday Headband / Tom’s Sunglasses / Sseko T-Strap Sandals* / Project 7 Gum* / Kiss My Face Sunscreen* / Zoya Nail Polish America*

Summer is the time for lazy days at the pool, and if you’re like us, a black swimsuit is a must. But so are bright colors. Fair Indigo is a great fair trade and organic clothing company that has great basic tees. Their turquoise gathered tee is perfect for poolside lounging.

Some of Our Favorite Ethically Sourced Shorts

Ethically made shorts are sometimes difficult to find, but here are a few of our favorites (and now is the time for summer sales, so take advantage!):

We hope that this will encourage you to play with items that are already in your closet and try new combinations to extend the life of your clothes! And if this post makes you put together some new combinations, we want to hear about it! Comment here or tag us on Instagram at #DressWellDoGood.

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10 Ways to Style Summer Shorts – Part 1

10-ways-to-wear-shortsIt’s summer in Texas, which means it is shorts season. The length and style of your shorts may vary, but it’s almost imperative that you own a couple pairs of shorts when the temperature climbs to the triple digits for extended lengths of time!

Ellie and I thought the onset of these triple digit temperatures would be a good time to explore different ways to style shorts that we already own. Generally, when we are wearing shorts, we don’t put a lot of thought into ‘style’. It’s a defense against the heat. However, we think there can be some fun, unexpected ways to style shorts during the hot summer months that can go from work, to date night, to play-dates with your children!

Some of the items featured below were bought long before we ever considered who makes our clothing and the condition in which the clothes are produced. But we will continue to wear these items because it is practical to wear them until they fall apart, getting the most use out of them, and it is a way of remembering that we are on a journey that takes a LONG time. There is so much grace as we learn more about the topic of ethical fashion.

(A quick note: if you see an item marked with an asterisk *, it is an affiliate link. We love these ethical items so much that we feel confident recommending them to you. Clicking on those links and placing an order may generate a commission for Dress Well, Do Good. Thanks for your support!)

Shorts for Work

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Raven + Lily Printed Tee (similar) / Zara Blazer / Thrifted Shorts / Noonday Collection Empress Earrings /Noonday Collection Bethe Rope Necklace worn as Bracelet / Vintage Noonday Collection Tagua Bracelet (similar) / Madewell Pointy Toe Flats / CauseGear Laptop Case 

You may not work in an office where shorts are considered appropriate, but in Austin, many offices allow shorts during the blazing summer months. If this is the case for you, we think pairing a neutral blazer with brightly colored shorts and work appropriate flats is a perfect way to bring shorts into the office!

One thing to note about the laptop case in this outfit: it is made by a company called CauseGear and it is donating 25% of sales for 60 days (started on 7/1/15) to Refuge for Women, an organization rehabilitating survivors of sex trafficking that is working to open a home in Las Vegas (they have a successful home in Kentucky already). CauseGear is a Fair Trade company that works with the poorest people on earth to empower them to get out of poverty. When you buy from them, you can change the lives of the poor across the world, and women right here in the United States. Visit CauseGear.com and enter RFWLV code at checkout.

Summer Date Nights

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Hand Me Down Banana Republic Blouse / Thrifted Shorts (similar) / Noonday Collection Sunburst Necklace / Noonday Collection Taj Earrings / Vintage Noonday Collection Bracelet / Raven + Lily Wallet (similar) / Purse & Clutch Indigo Clutch / Thrifted Tom’s Sandals (similar)

We think that shorts can even be appropriate for the dog days of summer date nights! Pair a silky shirt with some sparkly jewelry, wedges and a fun clutch and you’re ready for a night out. Don’t forget to enter to win the Purse & Clutch Indigo Clutch that is shown in this outfit!

Black and Khaki

summer-basic-reenvisioned
Everlane Black Tee* / Thrifted shorts (similar) /  Noonday Collection Paper Jungle Necklace / Noonday Collection Feathered Fringe Earrings / Zoya Nail Polish Ziv* / Restless by Jennie Allen* / Noonday Bag – If:Gathering (similar) / Modcloth – Neon Yellow Sandals (similar)

For many, black and khaki are their uniform colors of choice. They’re classic and polished. Everlane’s black tees are ethically made and very high quality! Paired with some thrifted shorts and some bright accessories, you can freshen up this uniform to add some style to your next trip to the grocery store!

Breezy Casual

summer-tunic-shorts
Symbology Block Printed Tunic / Noonday Collection Seastone Necklace (on sale!) / Noonday Collection Entwined Bracelet / Noonday Collection Safari Stack Bracelet / Thrifted Shorts / Vintage Noonday Collection Bracelets / Pixi Lip Balm Coral Crush* / Sseko Gold Loafers / Hat / Sunglasses

This hand-printed Symbology tunic has been a favorite ethical purchase since this blog was started. It’s versatile, well made, and classic. Pair it with navy shorts, a simple necklace and classic loafers, and you look polished and feel comfortable.

Jean Vest Up Top, Bright Colors on Bottom

"summer-vest-shorts/

White Tank (similar) / ThredUp Thrifted Jean Vest* / Vintage Noonday Collection Gatsby Necklace / Locally Made Earrings / Noonday Collection Bethe Rope Necklace worn as Bracelet / Noonday Collection Lovebird Bracelet / Noonday Collection Orchid Rope Bracelet / Vintage Noonday Collection Bracelet / Thrifted Shorts / Thrifted Hat / Birchbox* / Sseko Ribbon Sandals in Gold * / Savor by Shauna Niequist*

Pairing a bright pattern with a neutral is a go-to move. The jean jacket with the white tank brings a more neutral feel to the top, balancing the pop of color and pattern on the shorts. This fun, summery look is completed by adding some gold jewelry and a hat to shade the summer sun from your eyes.

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Stay tuned for part 2 of this post, with 5 more styling ideas and some of our suggestions for ethical options for shorts!

Inaugural #DressWellDoGood Clothing Swap

austin-clothing-swap-rackEllie and I recently hosted our Inaugural #DressWellDoGood clothing swap and it was a great success!

Not only are clothing swaps a fun excuse to get together and spend time with friends, they are an economical, ethical, and eco-friendly way to expand your wardrobe. They’re like thrifting for free!

Here’s what we did for our swap:

We asked our friends to clean out their closets and bring any clothing, shoes or accessories that were in good condition. We borrowed several garment racks and had our friends hang up their clothes as they arrived. (Next time, we will ask our guests to bring their clothes on hangers! We ran out of them very quickly!)

We had 12 people attend, which seemed like a good number. More than that would have been harder to organize and direct. But by having 12 people, we ended up with a great variety of sizes and styles!

Once all of the clothing was laid out or hung up, we set people loose to ‘shop’. Folks grabbed anything that looked interesting to them and tried it on. We saw a lot of handoffs: “Oh, this didn’t fit me quite right but it would look great on you!” and “This looks like your style. Here try, it on!” which made the event very encouraging. It feels good to have your friends suggest clothing items for you!

We had a couple different areas available for changing and provided a full-length mirror so everyone could clearly see how things fit them. As people claimed items, they put them in a bag they brought with them so they wouldn’t be grabbed by another swapper by mistake.

rachel-heather-clothing-swap

When the swapping was complete and everyone had something they liked to take home, Ellie and I went through all of the remaining clothing, sorting into two piles: send to ThredUp (*referral link) and donate to Goodwill. We ended up with two ThredUp (* referral link) clean out bags very full of barely worn clothing, and 4 trash bags full of clothing to donate to Goodwill.

If you don’t want to organize a swap on your own, there are many clothing swaps that are already happening! You may be surprised what you find if you search for “<the name of your city> clothing swap”! In Austin, even our library system hosts a clothing swap!

Tell us if you have participated in a swap or if you are planning on hosting a swap! If you already have, share a photo of something you swapped on Instagram with the hashtag #DressWellDoGood! We would love to have you join us in this ethical fashion conversation! And of course, don’t forget to follow us over on Instagram at @DressWellDoGood and subscribe to receive blog posts via e-mail.

Finding Your Style

How to find your style. A lot of people have told us that they don’t know how to use the clothes in their closets to put together outfits that they like, or how to buy items that they will actually wear and enjoy. We want to help! One way to start is to identify your individual style. If you have an idea of what your style is, you can make more purposeful purchasing decisions, which is important to our conversation around ethical fashion. What is the point of purchasing an ethically made piece of clothing if you don’t enjoy wearing it?

These are some of the things that have helped us determine our styles:

Create a Pinterest board.

About the time my son Jude was born, Pinterest really took off. One of the ways I used it was to pin outfit ideas. I have never been one to flip through the pages of Vogue or InStyle, so this new exposure to fashion really changed how I dressed myself. I began to learn what clothing was suitable for my body type, find new ways to style clothing I already owned, and identify a couple key pieces of clothing that would make my wardrobe stretch much further.

If you feel lost when it comes to style, we suggest that you start a board on Pinterest and pin things you are drawn to. (If you don’t have/want Pinterest, just start to pay attention to clothing items that catch your eye, and colors that you are drawn to.) Start to identify common looks in the clothing you pin. Then see if you can create any of them using clothing you already own, or by adding a couple key pieces to your wardrobe. For example, I noticed early on that I was pinning a lot of striped tops paired with brightly colored skirts and pants. I already owned the skirts and pants, so I went out and thrifted a stripped tank top and a stripped t-shirt! Those two items made me more excited about the clothes that were already in my closet. Later on, I realized that I was pinning high waisted skirts with tucked-in tops. I began to try tucking in shirts I already owned to skirts I already owned (or made) and felt much more put together and better about my figure!

By identifying the ‘key pieces’ of clothing that I was attracted to, I could thrift one or two identified items to get more wear out of what I already owned. Some common items that can really help make your wardrobe more versatile could be items like a chambray button-up, a tailored blazer, a certain color of t-shirt, a pair of slacks, or a piece of jewelry.

Think about your style profile.

Maybe you started a pinterest board but you can’t identify what type of styles you gravitate towards from your pins. Most people like more than one specific style category but we all tend to feel most comfortable in one or two particular styles. Another resource for you could be Stitch Fix (* affiliate link). This company has done a lot to help women figure out what their personal styles are. If you look them up on Pinterest you will find boards dedicated to the seven style categories they use – classic, preppy, romantic, glam, boho, edgy, and casual. Each board has a description of that style and lots of pins to give you an idea of what that style might include. Look through the boards, pick out your favorite pictures, and add those pins to your own fashion boards. This will give you a clearer sense of how to describe your style and what pieces and outfits you would enjoy wearing.

Find your ‘uniform’.

We all have types of outfits we wear everyday, or that we grab when we’re in a hurry. Make them play to your advantage! What are you most comfortable wearing? What do you feel best in? What do you feel most put together in? What outfit item do you get most excited about – shoes, tops, pants, skirts, or accessories? If you find outfit ‘formulas’ that you enjoy, you’ll know what to shop for and what to pull on those mornings when you don’t have time to think about style.

Some examples of our daily uniforms:

EllieUniform 1: Crisp button up with shorts/pants; Uniform 2: Casual dress with sandals and accent jewelry

Elizabeth – Uniform 1: Skinny jeans and a half tucked t-shirt with flats and lots of jewelry; Uniform 2: High waisted skirt with a tucked in tank top, flats and big earrings; Uniform 3: A basic dress, statement necklace and sandals.

Identify what you feel best and worst wearing.

This is very personal. For example, I am uncomfortable in wrap tops, cowl necks, and some button-ups. Ellie doesn’t like to wear anything sleeveless. Once you have identified these things, don’t make exceptions! Use your preferences to guide you when you make purchases.

It is also helpful to identify which types of fabric you feel comfortable wearing. I am learning that I really don’t like polyester tops because they have no give, they wick sweat in weird ways, and they can hold odors. Because of this, I am beginning to focus on natural fibers like cotton, linen, and wool. If you are always pulling at something or adjusting it to lay right, it’s likely that fabric is not for you. Avoid buying pieces made of this fabric, and give that piece to someone else or donate it!

Determine what compliments your body.

This can be tricky because we all have such unique shapes; what works on my figure may not work on yours. I have found it helpful to take a picture of myself in clothing that I am considering purchasing. This tells me a lot about what the clothing really looks like on me, and not just how it feels. If you have a friend who you think will really tell you the truth, send her a quick picture of you in the item so she can tell you if she thinks it looks good on you. But even if she says it looks good, if you don’t feel good, don’t buy it!

Figure out what you’re really wearing in your wardrobe.

Holding on to clothing we don’t actually wear clutters our closets and makes it more difficult to put together an outfit we enjoy wearing. Here are two systems we like for figuring out what we actually wear and what we should give away:

Ellie keeps items in her closet in order and generally wears what comes up next in line, skipping over any outfits she’s not excited to wear. After she’s worn something, she moves it to the end of the line. If she finds herself skipping an item several times in a row, she knows it’s time to get rid of it. This system also encourages her to wear each item she owns, which is a great way to tell what you like: after wearing an item all day you know how you feel about it!

Another good system for finding what you are and aren’t wearing in your closet is to turn all of your hangers to face the ‘wrong way’. When you wear something and hang it back up, hang the hanger the ‘correct way’. After a couple of months, any hangers that are still facing the ‘wrong direction’ are clothes you know you can live without.  Both of these systems can be modified for clothing you keep in drawers; for example, you could move through a drawer in a line, moving clothing you’ve skipped to the front of the line. Another option would be to hang up more of your clothing for a month or so while you evaluate what you have, returning it to its usual place when you’re done with the process.

In addition to helping you clean out your closet, both these methods can help you determine what items you gravitate towards and which you don’t really enjoy.  The more you know about what you actully wear, the more you know about your own style preferences and what you should and shouldn’t buy in the future.

Go with your gut.

If you try something on and feel iffy, don’t try to make it work, especially if you would just be buying it because it is inexpensive. Buying something just because it’s cheap is not the answer – especially if it doesn’t fit! Don’t convince yourself, or let others convince you, to purchase something unless your first impression of it is very good. Snap judgments are good here. This is also true of what is already in your closet – do a test day and see how you feel in an item. If you don’t love it, give it away!

Less is more; look for versatility.

The idea of a capsule wardrobe has been floating around a lot lately. If you don’t know what that is, we encourage you to read up on it! Read Capsule Wardrobe 101 here. Ellie and I don’t do capsule wardrobes, mostly because it’s not practical to pack any of our wardrobes away: in Austin the weather changes quickly and you need access to wool sweaters one day and shorts the next. But the idea of a capsule wardrobe has a lot of great concepts embedded in it: less is more, find versatility in what you already own, and purchase items based on how many different ways you can wear them. You can consider these ideas as you are building and adjusting your wardrobe.

It’s about YOU!

Ultimately, what matters is how YOU feel about what you are wearing. Trends come and go, but feeling good about yourself in clothing that you like always matters. We’ve said it before: our clothing is the most visible way that we tell the world who we are. It can communicate emotion (mourning clothes vs a sundress), our intent (workout clothes vs heels), and so much more with just a single glance. It’s worth spending time thinking about what you want your wardrobe to say.

Tell us what you learned about your style, or share a photo of something you love wearing and tell us why you love to wear it on Instagram with the hashtag #DressWellDoGood! We would love to have you join us in conversation as we continue to explore this idea of style and fashion! And of course, don’t forget to follow us over on Instagram at @DressWellDoGood and subscribe to receive blog posts via e-mail.