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Class to Night Out: Shirtdress

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Asos pink shirt dressAsos white shirt dress with beltAsos black and white polka dot shirt dress
Shirtdresses from ASOS: 1, 2, 3

Do you struggle with transforming your outfits from day to night? Don’t worry, CF is here to help turn that daily annoyance into a fun challenge. Class to Night Out focuses on one piece per week, and aims to help you take your look from study sessions in the library to dancing the night away.

Classic, slightly menswear-inspired fashions were all over the spring runways, and the shirtdress is such a cute take on the trend. No matter what you wear it with, this piece always looks polished and put-together. Some may think that shirtdresses are boring or hard to style, but with a few feminine touches, this piece is anything but boring.

Read on and I’ll show you how to style an adorable seersucker shirtdress for both class and a night out!

Shirtdress: Class

how to wear a shirtdress to class
Product Information: Shirtdress, Flats, Tote, Earrings, Bracelet, Nail Polish, Lip Gloss

Style this blue-and-white seersucker shirtdress for class by pairing it with printed pointed-toe flats. The floral print of the flats and the seersucker of the dress is a great way to subtly mix prints! Play off the red in the flats by adding red accessories, like these stone earrings and studded wrap bracelet.

Throw all of your books into a spring-appropriate off-white tote. Finish the look with a ladylike nail color and a pop of bright pink on your lips.

Shirtdress: Night Out

how to wear a shirtdress on a night out
Product Information: Shirtdress, Sandals, Bag, Necklace, Eye Shadow, Mascara

This shirtdress looks perfectly pulled-together for a night out when paired with trendy metallic block-heeled sandals, a glittery gold clutch, and a stone statement necklace. These glam touches really help to take this prim and proper shirtdress from day to night.

Don’t forget about switching up your makeup, too! A rose gold smoky eye and big, black lashes are ideal for a night on the town.

Your thoughts?

Would you ever wear a shirtdress? How would you style this shirtdress? Let me know what you think of the outfits in the comments, and tell me what other pieces you’d like to see featured on Class to Night Out!

Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , , , ,

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Fashionably Informed: 5 Ethical Fashion Companies

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Wind Turbines
Source: Flickr

Last time, Fashionably Informed delved into some of the issues associated with popular “socially conscious” fashion brands and the buy one, give one model.

In the conclusion, I briefly touched on some alternatives, and today I’m going to talk about five more ethical fashion companies to check out. Before we get to that though, read on to learn a bit more about ethical fashion:

Socially Conscious Consumers

First off, what is ethical fashion and why does it matter? In 2010, the global clothing and textile industry was worth nearly $2,560 trillion dollars, making it one of the largest and most expansive industries in the world. As a result, what happens in fashion has tangible and wide-reaching effects.

Sadly, these results are not always positive. From labor exploitation to environmentally harmful production and distribution practices, the fashion industry is wrought with issues. But as more and more consumers are seeking out companies that align with their personal beliefs, a new field has emerged: ethical fashion.

Ethical fashion aims to provide consumers with stylish items produced using ethical labor practices and environmentally sustainable methods. This includes everything from paying workers livable wages and abstaining from using forced labor, to utilizing locally sourced and organic materials.

The consumer demand for ethical goods is increasing. For example, 2 out of 3 Americans think it’s important to buy from socially conscious companies and nearly half would be willing to spend more on a product that is environmentally and socially sustainable. As the base of socially conscious consumers grows, we hope to see more and more companies implementing socially responsible policies.

In the meantime, here are five fashion companies that are already committed to ethical fashion:

1. Alternative Apparel

Alternative Apparel
Photo: Alternative Apparel Peru Collection

As the most widely known ethical fashion brand, Alternative Apparel‘s mission is to provide comfortable yet stylish clothing that also respects people and the environment. Their focus on both form and function manifests itself in their clothing line, which features soft, comfortable basics in classic silhouettes.

Alternative’s items are produced in a number of countries (while 25% of them are made in the United States) but all vendors are required to meet the same socially responsible guidelines: vendors must not use any forced labor (including child labor), the working environment must be safe and free of any health hazards, and employees must be paid fair and livable wages.

In addition to having socially responsible guidelines when it comes to production, Alternative Apparel also ensures that their products are as eco-friendly as possible. At a bare minimum, vendors must comply with local laws and regulations regarding the environment, but Alternative Apparel proactively selects vendors that employ higher standards than what is locally required.

Additionally, their Alternative Earth line, which makes up 30% of the company’s total clothing, uses low-impact dyes that don’t contain any toxic substances, organic cotton grown without pesticides, and fleece made with recycled polyester and rayon.

Alternative Apparel Picks:

Alternative apparel picks

This racerback tank comes in so many colors and would be perfect either as a layering piece or on its own. These relaxed rayon pants look comfy enough to wear around the house, yet the fabric and cut make them polished enough to wear to class.

Finally, I’m in love with this eco-fleece wrap. Made from a fleece knit that uses recycled fabrics, this hoodie’s abundant waterfall opening makes it a cute twist on a basic – throw it on before you hit the gym!

2. One Mango Tree

One Mango Tree
Photo: One Mango Tree

Started in Northern Uganda, One Mango Tree is now a DC-based company that sells ethical and sustainable fashion worldwide.The company was founded by Halle Butvin when she met her business partner Auma Lucy while shopping in a market in Gulu. There she noticed an abundance of textile vendors, but a lack of viable consumers.

Inspired by this experience, Butvin and Lucy established a company whose mission is to provide employment opportunities for local artisans under the belief that economic empowerment plays a key role in promoting ongoing peace in post-conflict regions.

In addition to selling artisans’ work on the website, they provide wholesale products to retail partners (including Target and Whole Foods) and connect artisans with private labels seeking collaboration on ethical artisan production.

The company uses a holistic approach to development; in addition to employment opportunities, they provide their employees with bicycles to commute to work, free on-site daycare for infants and children, and daily hot lunches.

One Mango Tree Picks:

One mango tree picks

Their cloth everyday hobo bags feature bright and unique prints, which is a great way to add an interesting splash of color to any outfit. Use one as your everyday purse or as a reusable eco-friendly shopping bag!

I also love their Kitenge pencil skirts. Made in Uganda with hand-dyed, locally-sourced fabrics, this stylish skirt would be perfect for an internship. Added bonus? One Mango Tree’s free exchange policy, which lets you trade the color or size without any additional shipping costs.

3. Raven + Lily

Raven + Lily
Photo: Raven + Lily

Jewelry, accessory, and apparel company Raven + Lily provides items made by marginalized women in Ethiopia, Kenya, India, Cambodia, and the United States. Co-founders Kirsten Dickerson and Sophia Lin wanted to capitalize on the work of other non-profits that offered training and job programs in jewelry or textile design, but then left women without access to markets where they could sell their work.

In total, Raven + Lily employs over 800 women. They work with a variety of at-risk groups, including former trafficking victims, HIV-positive women, and women living in extreme poverty, all with the goal of “economic empowerment through design.”

In addition to employment opportunities, Raven + Lily also partners with local nonprofits to provide healthcare and education services for their employees. The ultimate goal of their employment partnerships, Dickerson says, is to provide women with the entrepreneurship skills needed for self-sustainable employment without the help of Raven + Lily.

Be sure to check out their gorgeous Spring/Summer 2014 lookbook, which was shot in Kenya celebrating their new partnership with women in the Maasai tribe.

Raven + Lily Picks:

Raven + lily picks

It’s truly hard to pick favorites from this company because all of the items are so beautiful! I love this wrap bracelet (left) from the Ethiopia collection, which was made using melted-down bullet casings leftover from recent conflicts.

This long necklace (right) also perfectly embodies the natural and organic style with the distinct ethnic twist that’s pervasive in Raven + Lily’s designs.

4. Light Gives Heat

Light Gives Heat
Photo: Vimeo

Light Gives Heat describe themselves as a global marketplace for local artisans. Their SUUBI and EPOH projects employ local Ugandan artisans to make necklaces and other goods, providing steady, sustainable income and employment for over 120 families throughout the past seven years.

They have since expanded to provide opportunities to artisans around the world, in countries including Zambia, Cambodia, Haiti, and Thailand. It’s an incredible way for talented local artisans, who otherwise might be restricted by local supply chains, to access the global consumer base and thus increase their profits.

Light Gives Heat Picks:

Light gives heat picks

The classic SUUBI necklace (left) is a 48″ necklace made of colorful beads, and is 100% handmade in Uganda. It can be worn alone, or wrapped and knotted to create different styles. The bright but natural beads are also made of recycled paper, which adds an earthy vibe to any outfit.

I also love this long pendant necklace (right) from their Spring/Summer 2014 collection! Handmade in India, the necklace features intricate metal leaves and circles, as well as multiple beads of varying sizes covered in the fabric used to make saris.

5. Sole Rebels

Sole Rebels
Photo: Sole Rebels

Last week I discussed the negative impact TOMS’ buy one give one model can potentially have on local production and employment in the garment industry, and suggested buying locally produced products as an alternative. Let me introduce you to Sole Rebels. Founded by Ethiopian businesswoman Bethleham Tilahun Alemu in 2004, Sole Rebels has quickly become Africa’s largest footwear brand. Alemu has been featured on Forbes’ January 2012 cover and received the 2011 World Economic Forum’s “Young Global Leader” award.

The company focuses on promoting development through the creation of jobs with fair wages and medical benefits. In addition to being the world’s only Fair Trade-compliant footwear producer, Sole Rebels pays employees four times the minimum wage in Ethiopia and three times the industry standard while also offering 100% medical coverage for employees and their families.

In addition to sound employment principles, Sole Rebels also uses locally-sourced materials, including recycled car tires for the soles, as well as handspun organic cotton and natural fibers. The company also offers free international delivery and a 100% happiness guarantee.

Sole Rebels Picks:

Sole rebels picks

Sole Rebels’ tooToos collection is similar in price and style to TOMS shoes. My favorites are the tAlent pair (top), which are a basic canvas flat with fun, brightly colored stripes.

For a more formal shoe, these holEEEEE [ess] shoes (bottom) are perfect. The leather, which comes in a multitude of colors, adds an earthy feel to the otherwise delicate and feminine cutouts.

Your Thoughts?

Do you consider a company’s values when you buy their products? Would you ever buy from one of these brands? What are some other ethical fashion brands you know? Let us know in the comments below!

Filed Under: Fashion News / Tags: , , , , ,

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Coupons & Sales: Week of 4/18/14

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Coupon codes, sales, and online shopping deals

* Aeropostale is having a flash sale, with 50 to 70% off everything through 4/26. Plus take 10% off $50+. 20% off 75+, or 30% off with $100+ when you use code STOCKUP through 4/20.

* Ann Taylor will give you 40% off your entire purchase through 10 AM EST on 4/20. Enter promo code SPRING4IT at checkout.

* Anthropologie is offering 20% off regular priced shoes through 4/24.

* ASOS is offering 20% off their ASOS label, plus free express shipping on orders with code EXPRESSUSA. Offer valid through 4/22.

* The Body Shop has everything 40% off through 4/20. Prices as marked.

* Boohoo.com is having an Easter sale, with up to 70% off through 4/21.

* Calvin Klein will give you 25% off new denim with code DENIM25. Deal ends 5/4.

* dELiA*s is offering 20% off plus get free shipping over $50 with code DHD50. Offer excludes clearance items. Hurry, deal ends today 4/18!

* e.l.f. Cosmetics has the following deal: get 50% off gifts and new spring items for Mother’s Day. This offer is valid through 4/21 with coupon code FORMOM.

* Express will give you 40% off every single item online through 4/21. No code needed, prices as marked. Deal excludes watches and gift cards.

* Folica is offering 20% off sitewide through 4/19. Plus when you spend $100 or more, you’ll receive a complimentary Sedu Pro Travel Dryer. Enter 20SEDU100 at checkout.

* Garage is offering 30% off denim and fashion, plus free shipping on all orders through 4/22.

* Heels.com has all clearance shoes buy one, get one free with code BOGO.

* J. Crew will give you 30% off select full price styles and up to 50% off select sale items. Use code BIGSALE at checkout through 4/20.

* J.Crew Factory is offering 50% off everything in stores and online through 4/21. Prices as marked.

* JCPenney has the following deal: Save $30 on your purchase of $100 or more or $10 on your purchase of $50 or more with code LEOPARD2 through 4/19.

* Kiehl’s will give you three deluxe samples plus complimentary ground shipping on any order of $40 or more. Enter code SPRING14 at checkout through 4/20.

* Lacoste has a tiered offer: take 20% off $150,  25% off $250, or  30% off $350+ through 4/22.

* Les Nouvelles has an offer that’s good through 4/30: Get 10% off your first purchase of $150 or more at Les Nouvelles with the code APR10.

* LOFT will give you 40% off select full-priced styles with code SPRING. Plus sale items are an extra 50% off. Both deals good through 4/19.

* Macy’s is offering an extra 20% off select items with promo code EASTER through 4/19.

* Madewell has a code that’s good for 20% off all sale styles plus free shipping: enter MOODLIFT at checkout through 4/21.

* MetroPark is offering 20% off sitewide with code EAST20 through 4/19.

* Miss Selfridge is offering 20% off their Festival Shop, from now through 4/22. Enter code LOVEFESTIVAL at checkout.

* Nine West has everything buy one, get one 50% off through 4/21.

* Piperlime has the following offer: Starting 4/17, 20% off dresses, skirts and sandals, at Piperlime. Ends 4/18. Restrictions apply. Starting 4/17, 20% off dresses, skirts and sandals, at Piperlime. Ends 4/18. Restrictions apply. Click here for complete details.

* Puma is offering an additional 20% off sale. Plus when you buy full-priced footwear, get 30% off apparel. These deals are good through 4/21.

* Sears will give you an extra 20% off women’s shoe orders of $40+ with code SHOE2040. Deal ends 4/19.

* Sperry Top Sider is offering over 50% off select styles through 5/10 with code FINALCALL.

* Sunglass Hut is offering up to 50% off select sale items when you enter code LSS14 at checkout through 4/20.

* UrbanOG will give you 20% off shoes and boots with code APRSHOE through 4/30. Plus get free shipping on orders $60+.

* Wet Seal has the following deals, valid through 4/22: all skirts are 2 for $20, all dresses are BOGO for $10, and all tops and shoes are BOGO for $5.

Filed Under: Coupons & Sales / Tags: , ,

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Hautelinks: Week of 4/17/14

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Hautelinks - your weekly source for the best of the web

* With the 2014 Boston Marathon coming up this Monday, survivors of the 2013 bombings returned to the finish line for some truly powerful photos.

* Refinery 29 shares white tees that are anything but plain, and a great roundup of spring 2014 denim looks to try.

* Teen Vogue shares model Jourdan Dunn’s latest high-profile campaign. So excited about this! She’s a great pick.

* Adore this: Buzzfeed lists some animal-friendly and eco-friendly fashion brands.

* From WhoWhatWear: 14 cool spring outfit ideas that transition from day to night.

* Also from WWW, if you love that perfectly effortless J.Crew look, WhoWhatWear has some fab styling tips to help you recreate that J.Crew vibe with pieces you own.

* Speaking of which, we heart the brain behind J.Crew, Jenna Lyons, almost as much we love their clothes. Keep roaring, Lyons.

* Perfect for busy girls: Cosmo lists 13 eye makeup looks you can pull off in 5 minutes flat.

* Also from Cosmo, some cool beauty hacks to try. (Just please be careful with the ones involving heat!)

* And another one for busy ladies: Genius hairstyles that will last two full days, from Buzzfeed.

* Also from Buzzfeed, Which ’90s Cartoon Series Are You? (I got Dexter’s Laboratory.)

* Since we couldn’t brave the desert ourselves, we’re admiring Coachella’s Best Dressed from afar, in our air-conditioned apartment blasting Ellie Goulding. (Who should have made it onto this list, BTW).

* AMAZING: This season’s best wedding planner talks “Rain of Castamere” and assassin DJs with a soon-to-be happy couple.

* Wow, this is big news: Walmart is going to start selling organic food at very low prices. What do you think about this change?

* Glamour’s top ten college women of 2014 are so inspiring!

* Speaking of inspiring, Hilary Clinton has some great advice for young women.

* 10 Habits of Highly Creative People, from Buzzfeed.

* The Atlantic discusses what they call “the confidence gap”, and how women can overcome it to become more self-assured and successful in the workplace.

* Lupita Nyong’o shows the perfect nude blush and lip look for dark skin. So gorgeous!

* Aww, this is a great idea: Everyday occasions we should start celebrating, from Thought Catalog.

* Combining our love of Harry Potter and Disney, Buzzfeed has Disney Characters Reimagined As Hogwarts Students.

* Slate examines the rise of the no-makeup trend, helped along by The Man Repeller and the #nomakeupselfie movement.

* Ooh, so excited: The first clip from “The Fault in Our Stars” has been released!

* Too funny: “Let It Go”, Rewritten for College Students, via Total Sorority Move.

* Aw! What Boys Look For In Girls via vlogbrothers on YouTube. (It has a great message!)

* Implications for workplaces and study spaces: New study shows you’re probably listening to the wrong music while working.

* Hmm, this is an interesting take on artists (Christina Perri, here) imitating the Lana del Rey sound.

* The Beauty Department shows you how to use a brow brush. I don’t have one of these but now I want one!

* Also movie-related and exciting: Why this summer is an amazing time for female-driven movies! Remember: If we want to see more female-driven movies getting made, we have to vote with our dollars and go see them.

* From Distractify (perfect site name), 60 powerful photos that capture the human experience.

* Eee, this DIY dreamy fort is the stuff of, well, dreams.

* Too cool: Wish I had one of these machines for my office!

* Not sure how this all works but interesting nonetheless: National Geographic Concludes What Americans Will Look Like in 2050, and It’s Beautiful.

* FabSugar has a DIY ear cuff that’s super cute and simple enough to make.

* Top 10 Models to Follow on Instagram, via Vogue.

* Another reason to join that a capella group on campus: Group singing may lower stress levels. Who knew?

* Game of Thrones costume designers and hair people spill deets on all of the “Purple Wedding” looks over at Fashionista.

* Lucky Mag has a first glimpse at the upcoming Yves Saint Laurent biopic.

* From The Muse, 99 Sites That Every Professional Should Know & Use. So many great links here!

* Cute Easter DIY alert: Tattooed eggs, from Clementine Daily.

* Lauren Conrad shows you how to fight jet lag.

* Having trouble deciding between keep or donate with some winter duds? StyleCaster has a 10-point guide to deciding when to get rid of clothes.

* Aw, the ways teens are asking each other to prom these days are so cute.

* So cool: Ever wonder what Venice would look like if it froze?

* 64 Thoughts Everyone Has Before Going to the Gym. Haha!

* For those seeking summer positions, anatomy of an outstanding resume from Daily Infographic.

* And finally, French Bulldog puppy argues over bedtime! <3

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