Summer arrived early this year, and with a vengeance! My trees are blooming a full month ahead of schedule, and this stylish marketer is struggling with the humidity more than usual. You’d think that after this many seasons in the greenhouse that passes for a DC summer I would be accustomed to this weather, but apparently not. Still working out my summer style strategy . . .
Where is all the comfortable summer clothing?
I’m constantly on the lookout for clothing that will accommodate this heat and humidity comfortably, without sacrificing style. And for me that means natural fibers like cotton and linen, cut to allow air movement and comfort when the temperatures rise. What is surprising is how difficult this these items are to find in the regular retail stores. Given that at least 2/3 of the United States is subject to either very high temperatures, high humidity, or both, I find it perplexing that the shops are not full of cool, cotton styles. Perhaps that is a reflection of how much time those 2/3 of the United States citizens are spending in air-conditioned spaces, but even still, just the thought of walking to my car in a lined summer dress during most of July and August makes me uncomfortable. (Also discussed in my previous post: Staying Cool and Professional.)
A Good Option for Sustainable Summer Fashion
I inadvertently stumbled across a good source for unique pieces that fit my summer wearability criteria when I met Stephanie Hepburn of Good Cloth last year. Not only is her apparel perfect for my summer clothing needs, but she is a woman business owner building a socially responsible business that is doing good things for other women around the world. Wins all around!
Stephanie’s online retail business sells only ethically sourced and produced items with a transparent supply chain; sustainable fashion in other words. As she says, “Style, workers' rights, and the environment are the heart of Good Cloth. The company includes product journeys for each item, so that consumers can read how products are made, from beginning to end.” Which is all good, especially in today's disposable fashion world.
Even better is that most of her items are made from natural fibers and are really attractive, while also being eco-friendly. That makes them perfect for inclusion in my summer wardrobe.
Here’s what’s catching my eye on these sultry days when it’s even too hot to enjoy the baseball game:
What a cute little number! Perfect for casual offices, nights out with friends, and every weekend activity. Flattering for nearly every figure and made from 100% cotton.
Good Cloth chambray shirt dress
I also really like this combination for a smart-casual weekend look. Or even for some offices during the summer. Jersey dresses like this are definitely one of my favorite things because I like to be able to move! How about a little pattern play too? Pick your favorite scarf for some added fun.
For those of you who need to be a bit more polished in the office, you can still be comfortable and stylish AND do good while purchasing your wardrobe items. Good Cloth also stocks this office ready outfit - the dress is a hemp/lyocell blend with a rayon lining. Which has got to be less adhesive than polyester on those super sticky days. Plus, this is the perfect go anywhere, dress up, dress (slightly) down style that works for most figures. Pick the scarf that most appeals to your style sense, and you're ready to handle the indoor AC and the outdoor sun.
You can tell how much I like the idea of clothing that can work for the office and the weekend. It just makes sense to me. But what I really love about all these pieces, apart from their versatility and comfortable style, is that I can buy them all in good conscience. Everything featured here is produced in a way that won't make me cringe or feel guilty. And actually, that's something we should probably all be asking ourselves when we shop. How has this garment been produced? Were the workers fairly compensated? Are they working in suitable conditions? Because the fashion industry hasn't exactly been exemplary in these areas. And the more we demand fast fashion, for the cheapest possible price, the more the production process is going to be compromised.
I love what Stephanie is doing to help change that. If you think what she's doing makes sense too, please support her business by doing a little shopping. Full disclosure: she's giving me credit as a thank you for helping spread the word about what she's doing, so please use this link to browse and make any purchases. That way I can get my hands on that cute chambray dress I like so much!
Everything featured here today is available on Shop Good Cloth.