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Shop Small Today for Small Business Saturday

From adding jobs, reinvesting in communities, environmental sustainability, and (my favorite) offering a selection of unique items – there are many benefits from shopping with small businesses. Some of my favorite women-owned and designed fashion brands are having sales this week. Support a small business today and regularly patronize the companies that are an essential piece to building our economy. Check out my  fashion picks for Small Business Saturday below and catch some great sales for your holiday shopping this weekend!

Love, Cortnie

I am a long-time fan of Love, Cortnie’s selection of statement handmade bags. She offers everything from her signature over-sized clutches to funky purses made with Mongolian fur. Cortnie learned to sew in her grandmother’s kitchen in 2011 and today she has made over 200 styles of purses. My go-to bag style is the clutch and the “Color Me Roll-Down Leather Statement Clutch” is my favorite – a classic piece with a twist. It’s $20 off through Tuesday!

Love, Cortnie Leather Clutch

 

Fe Noel

Every piece at  Fe Noel is feminine and beautiful. Inspired by the founder’s Caribbean roots, you will likely fall for the prints and flowy pieces like I did. The “Swallow Bralette Top” is my top pick. You won’t find the fast fashion prices with this company, so the 30% off sale is the perfect opportunity to purchase something for yourself.

Fe Noel

 

Dazey LA

I recently discovered this brand and you only need to read the background on how this company was created to be inspired. The brand features colorful pieces and art apparel designed and made in Los Angeles, California. You will find t-shirts, bomber jackets, and other garments with statements, like “Strength in Sisterhood” that align with their mission to empower women. They are having a buy 2 get 1 sale using the code “SMALLBIZBOGO”. The “Mustard Ruffle Sweater” is one of my favorites, though the “Sisterhood Bomber” is also at the top of my list.

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Sammy B

Last, but not least is Sammy B., whose label is no stranger to my blog. Samantha Black’s designs have been worn by celebrities, like Beyonce. Her statement tees are still among my favorites, along with her flounce sleeve tops. She creates magic with sleeves. Although her Black Friday sale ended, her current collection is still worth checking out for your Small Business Saturday shopping or other shopping plans in the future. My top pick from the current collection is the “Round About T-Shirt”.

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I hope you enjoyed this post and discovered some new small businesses to shop with! Are you doing any holiday shopping this weekend? Who are your favorite small business fashion brands?

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3D Printed: A Look into the Next Fashion Revolution with Designer, Danit Peleg

Imagine waking up in the morning and printing your outfit from a desktop printer to wear for the day. You come home later and need something to wear for an outing. Instead of looking through your closet, you select another design to print. Within minutes you have your evening look. With 3D printing, the idea of creating a customizable wardrobe from home may not be as far off as you imagine.

If you have ever heard of 3D printed fashion, you likely have also heard the name Danit Peleg. Danit was recognized recently by Forbes as one of Europe’s top 50 women in tech. A few years ago, she was a student studying fashion design at the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design in Israel when she created her 3D printed clothing line. Technology innovations are influencing every industry, including fashion. It is, in fact, technology that allowed Danit and I to chat one October morning by video from different parts of world, as she discussed all things related to 3D printed clothing and what’s next in her career. Her background, her studio in Israel, was filled with gorgeous 3D printed tops and dresses. Danit is a new mom as well, balancing a blossoming career and motherhood, taking a moment to nurse her son as we began our interview.

So, just how did Danit get started with 3D printed fashion? She explained that as a student she loved creating fashion using technology, incorporating things like laser cutting and silk printing into her work. It was during her internship in New York where she first saw clothing constructed with industrial printers, each dress priced at about $20,000. She was inspired by that experience to create her own collection and to push the boundaries in 3D printed fashion. The result was her graduate project, the first 3D printed fashion collection entirely created from home.

Danit Peleg - Birth of Venus Collection

Dress by Danit Peleg, “The Birth of Venus” collection

Making Clothing using 3D Printing

I asked Danit, who is currently working on her third collection, about the process of creating 3D printed clothing. She uses Filaflex, a type of filament used in 3D printing. She holds up a piece and it looks like nothing more than a plastic tube. It is fascinating that this piece of material is used to create dresses, like pictured above. Filaflex is very flexible, but Danit believes the material will evolve and will feel more like fabric in the future. She explained that three years ago it took 300 hours to make one dress. The process has improved over time, however, due to technological advancements in the printers and now it takes about 80 hours. “I think it’s only a matter of time before it takes a few minutes to print a dress.” – Danit adds. Danit also shared that she uses multiple printers to print different parts of the garment, which allows her to print an entire garment within one day.

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Danit Peleg – “Liberty Leading the People” Collection

A Zero Waste Process

With 3D printing, every piece printed is used, “There are no left overs.” – Danit says “Every piece is meant to be something… So, when I make a dress there is zero waste”. When we donate clothing, we hope it makes it to someone in need. However, a lot of unwanted clothing ends up in landfills. Even more exciting is that all the 3D printed garments can be recycled using a special machine that works like a blender and breaks the garment down into the building material. The filaments can then be used again for another design. With 3D printing, the potential for creating and recreating using this process seem endless – It’s like having a never-ending wardrobe!

Danit also noted that she does not keep any inventory, which prevents potentially wasted products as well.

It’s Personalized and Customizable

“You can be a part of the design process and style it for yourself.” – Danit. Danit explained that it is easy to personalize the garment for every customer. She holds up one of her bomber jackets, available online, as an example and explains that customers can choose the color for the textile and for the lining (I played around with customizing my own bomber jacket in the picture below). In the future she imagines customers will be able to select the material for printing their garment as well, like cotton or wool.

3D Printed Bomber by Danit Peleg

Using an app called Nettelo, customers can take two pictures of themselves, from which Danit is able to obtain their measurements for a dress, shirt, or whatever design is purchased. The result is a perfectly tailored garment to fit your specific measurements,

Benefits, Challenges and the Future of Fashion through the 3D Lens

Additional Benefits

Danit described other benefits, which include the elimination of the shipping process, including the monetary and environmental costs, as well as, shipping time. “With this technology, we don’t need to ship garments from one side of the world to the other side.”Danit. She also explained that for fast fashion companies like, H&M and Zara, for example, 3D printed designs could be used to reduce excess inventory. “They are producing these huge amounts of clothing that sometimes people don’t want to buy” – Danit. She explains that by using 3D printed designs, companies would be able to see exactly how many downloads they have for a piece of clothing.

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Dress by Danit Peleg,  “Liberty Leading the People” Collection

Challenges

When asked about the challenges in making this technology more accessible and mainstream in the fashion industry, Danit responded, “I think the biggest change will be when we have more diversity in the materials [used for 3D printed fashion]”. She also said that more education is needed on what 3D printing is, the benefits of using this type of technology, and how to use it. In the future, she predicts that 3D printers will be as common as microwaves. “Everyone will have them in their house and they will know exactly what to do with them” -Danit.

Danit also noted that printers should be faster and cheaper, which can cost up to $3000. The material on the other hand is not that expensive and will cost about $30-$40 for a dress, for example. Still, the most expensive aspect, she adds, is the time it takes to print.

A Look to the Future

Danit believes traditional ways of purchasing clothing (e.g. at clothing stores) will not disappear completely, but 3D printing will provide another way to buy and produce fashion. “Everything in our life is becoming digital and it’s only a matter of time before it happens with fashion a well.”– Danit explains.

I was interested in hearing Danit’s thoughts on how 3D printing might shift the jobs in the fashion industry, since a large portion of jobs in this industry are currently held by the individuals who make the clothing. Danit described that 3D printing could be a part of the fashion revolution, reducing the burden on employees, so many of whom aren’t paid fair wages and/or work in potentially hazardous environments. “The clothes we buy are so cheap and the people who make them are miserable… I think [3D printing] could be a good alternative.”

So, what is next for Danit?

When asked about her next steps, Danit replied “…Continuing in creating my vision into reality”. A few things in store include experimenting with new 3D printers to explore their benefits and limitations, creating new filaments, combining colors in textiles, and also uploading her designs so people can download them.

I appreciate Danit’s openness in sharing her process as well. In addition to providing workshops and talks for companies, like Adidas, Danit is now offering a course where she teaches everything thing she learned in three years about 3D printed fashion over the course of three days. During the course, which she describes as “3D printed fashion for beginners”, participants learn about the benefits of using 3D printing technology, the different types of technology that can be used, materials for creating 3D printed clothing, and an introduction to 3D modeling. Participants in the course also create 3D printed textile swatches and receive digital copies of Danit’s designs to practice with. The next course takes place November 27th-29th!

Danit Peleg is a visionary in fashion and our conversation was quite inspirational, so I will end with this quote:

“Your only limitation is your imagination when it comes to 3D printing.” – Danit

To learn more about her upcoming 3DP online course and to sign up, visit the link here. Visit her website where you can subscribe to her newsletter to stay update on the latest news.

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Conscious Parenting and Conscious Consumerism: Children’s Clothing Brands to Explore

A short time ago, I posted an excerpt on my Instagram account from “The Conscious Parent” by psychologist, Shefali Tsabary, Ph.D. So much of the information in this book resonated with me and transformed some views I had on parenting, even in what seems to be mundane experiences. For example, I let my 10 year old dress herself and I encourage her to feel free to express herself through fashion, as in other areas.  Providing this liberty doesn’t mean that I don’t shop for her clothes when she is not with me and there are still rules to dressing (e.g. age appropriateness and cleanliness). It means releasing my desire to be so controlling over her “image” and also understanding that excepting her way of self expression through fashion is part of excepting who she is and encouraging her to express herself freely.

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This story is just one example of how parenting ideologies translate to decision-making. Like other values we hold, parenting consciously or mindfully relates to other aspects of our lives, like the types products we purchase for our children, including the clothing we buy. Here are a few children’s clothing brands to add to your list for conscious consumerism.

BeyaMade Clothes

With sizes like 12-18 months, 18-24 months, and so on, parents are constantly purchasing clothes to keep up with the rapidly growing bodies of younger children. BeyaMade, designed by a former fashion fashion designer, came up with a solution to reduce textile waste and also save parents money by designing clothes that expand as children grow over time. It is a pretty genius idea. You simply order the clothes in the size your child is currently wearing and the clothing can be expanded as your child grows, through the design which incorporates functional drawstrings and hems. The pinstripe jumpsuit below, for example, can be expanded for up to six seasons.

BeyaMade

Photo by BeyaMade

Indi

As stated on their website, Indi was started “as a way to offer beautiful clothes for our little ones that represent the values we stand for—and the world we want them to grow up in.” The garments are made using natural indigo dyeing techniques, so it is definitely a brand to explore when you are looking for blue hues and also for your bohemian child fashion looks. The company also invests 20% of the product costs into their artisan communities.

Indi

Photo by Indi

Imps & Elfs

Imps & Elfs  is a baby, toddler, and children’s clothing brand that was among the first brands to join Made By. The products are produced by workers who are paid a fair wage and work in safe environmental conditions. Also of note, the products by Imps & Elfs are free from harmful chemicals, including pesticides and hormone disruptors like flame retardants and phthalates. Their complete “Restricted Substance List” document is  available on their website. I love the intentionality they describe in creating a brand of clothing for children, with children-appropriate silhouettes, chic designs, and accents to showcase their personality. There is also a unisex collection.

Imps & Elfs

Photo by Imps & Elfs

 

All of the brands in this post feature clothing created with care for the earth and/or care for the children that are wearing them, while maintaining stylish and trendy fashion. One of my goals in parenting is to create a safe and healthy environment in which my daughter can grow and thrive, including the products she’s exposed to in our home environment. Have you ever considered how chemicals in clothing or other products can affect children’s health? Children’s Environmental Health Day is this week. You can learn more about how every day toxicant, or chemical, exposure relates to health and simple tips for reducing exposure through this project.

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Spice up Your Fall Wardrobe with Leopard Print

It is officially fall! Even as a lover of all prints, leopard print remains my favorite print to wear. It’s another versatile statement piece that is playful and can create a fun look, but can also be appropriate  for the work place. You can incorporate leopard print into every aspect of your outfit, from dresses and tops to shoes and coats. For this post, I am sharing my favorite leopard print pieces from around the web right now. First, a few looks that show how I’ve styled leopard print in the past.

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Photo by Kristin Fields

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Here are a few of my favorite leopard print looks out right now and tips on how to style them.

 

Leopard Print Flats 

If I am not wearing a loafer, my preferred style of flats is a pointed toe. Roxy is an eco-friendly, sustainable company that creates their shoes from 100% post-consumer plastic water bottles. So far, they’ve repurposed over 16 million water bottles to create their products. Customers rave about about the comfort of these shoes as well. Who knew recycled plastic could be so soft? This shoe is made for every day wear, so pair it with your slacks or jeans. It will also add a nice accent to a casual dress.

Rothys Leopard Print flats

Leopard Print Pencil Skirt

Leopard Print Pencil Skirt

Push the envelope a little in this leopard print pencil skirt by J. Crew. It’s on my fall fashion wish list. This high waist pencil skirt will look great with a black, red, white, or brown top (as pictured). Style it for the work place with a blouse or sweater, simple black or brown pumps, and pearls for a classic look.

 

Faux Fur Coat

H&M Faux Fur Coat

I’ve seen a variety of leopard coats this season, but this faux fur coat by H&M is one of my favorites. The print is gorgeous. Wear it with jeans and a t-shirt to add some glam to a casual look or wear it with cocktail attire for a more formal occasion.

 

Velvet, Leopard Print Blazer

Velvet Leopard Print Blazer

There is something about velvet that is so luxurious. My last pick is a perfect combination of fall prints and fall fabrics. Another look by J. Crew, this velvet blazer will pair wonderfully with jeans and strappy black sandals for an evening girl’s night or date night look.

What is your favorite look? Don’t forget to subscribe for regular updates and more fall fashion!

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Fair-Trade, Indie Fashion: Music in Motion

The end of summer in Atlanta is marked by several annual music festivals. One event I look forward to attending every year is the One Music Fest, a two-day outdoor music festival that features hip-hop, alternative rock and soul, Reggae, and a variety of other music genres. Past performing artists include The Internet, Janelle Monae, and SZA and this year’s headliners included Miguel, H.E.R., Big Sean, and Nas. The fashion scene at these types of festivals is usually bursting with creativity, and for this post, I am sharing the fun festival look I wore to the event.

I fell in love with this quirky piano pleated skirt at first sight. It is made by Samantha Pleet, a Brooklyn-based independent fashion label, whose garments are produced using natural materials at fair trade factories abroad, in addition to, a women owned factory in NYC.IMG_2491

Since the skirt is a statement piece and focal point of this look, I styled the rest of my outfit simply.

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My earrings were handmade in Atlanta by a local artist and reminded me of the musical symbol, a treble clef. I added a pop of color to my black and white color scheme with my multi-colored beaded necklace and pink sandals. I completed the look with retro and aviator-inspired sunglasses.

IMG_2468 (2)IMG_2508 (2)IMG_2502 (3)The piano skirt is a perfect look for a music festival and also a reminder to myself to always walk to the beat of my own music.

Love this look and want to discover more indie fashion? Subscribe to my newsletter and receive regular updates and style inspiration. You can also check out the fall collection by Samantha Pleet here.

 

Outfit Details: Skirt by Samantha Pleet (found here) || Top: Urban Outfitters (similar look here) || Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters (found here)

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Empowering Women Through Fashion: Shop with ABLE

If there is any Labor Day sale worth shopping, it is one that continues to support and empower the population that makes up the majority of the fashion industry workers, yet bears the burnt of economic inequality experienced worldwide and within the fashion industry, itself: Women. From ABLE:  “Fashion employs over 60 million people around the world, and 98% of them are not paid wages that meet their basic needs.” ABLE is working to bring change to the fashion industry by investing in the women that make their products and providing livable wages, fair treatment, and safe working conditions.

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Photo by Fancycrave.com on Pexels.com

Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity to speak with Jen Milam, Director of Merchandise Planning at ABLE, and we discussed how ABLE was started and what it takes to run and sustain this type of social enterprise. With origins in Ethiopia that began with artisan-made scarves, ABLE now employs workers in Ethiopia, Mexico, and Peru to make their products. ABLE has expanded over the years from scarves to offer other products including clothing, bags, accessories and shoes. They aspire to be a one-stop-shop where people can buy everything ethically. When asked about their biggest challenges in running this type of social enterprise, Jen noted that “If it was easy, everyone would be doing it”. However, at the end of the day their goal is to make a difference and that is exactly what this company is doing. As for aspiring social entrepreneurs who wish to work with artisans in other countries, Jen offered the following advice: “Believe that you can do well by doing good. You can be successful in business by doing good”.

The ABLE collections are filled with wardrobe staples. Here are my top picks currently at ABLE, including my picks from the Labor Day sale.

Merly Wash Jean Jacket

Merly Wash Jean Jacket (Photo by ABLE at livefashionable.com)

The perfect denim jacket should be a part of everyone’s wardrobe essentials. Made in Mexico, I love that the Merly Wash denim jacket has a vintage feel and is versatile enough for casual or dressed-up looks.

Mirella Circle Bag

Mirella Circle Bag (Photo by ABLE at livefashionable.com)

Circle bags are among my favorite at the moment, and the Mirella Circle Bag is on trend with its shape and the deep red color makes this purse perfect for fall.  It’s also a part of the Labor Day sale.

Galaxy Earrings

Galaxy Earrings (Photo by ABLE at livefashionable.com)

ABLE has a beautiful collection of jewelry that is handmade in Nashville. They offer a personalized collection of jewelry as well. The Galaxy Earrings, pictured above, are my favorite and they are available in gold, silver, and rose gold.

Rosario Jumpsuit

Rosario Jumpsuit (Photo by ABLE at livefashionable.com)

“Made from mini-jacquard jersey crepe, this fabric contains a combination of plain and satin yarns, creating the most luxurious fabric.”  – ABLE. I ordered the Rosario Jumpsuit today. This jumpsuit is also a part of the Labor Day sale and is another versatile staple that can be styled casually and also dressed up for more formal occasions.

I hope you are enjoying your Labor Day! Receive an additional 15% off of sale items at ABLE when you shop today with the code “LABORDAY15”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Playful Puff Sleeves by Petersyn

If there is one trend that I love with no signs of fading out soon, it is exaggerated sleeves. From ruffles, to bells, to puffs – I believe that fashion should be fun and creative. For this post, I am featuring a chic look that incorporates puff sleeves from an indie label I recently discovered. It is appropriate for the work place, so get ready to add some flare to your work place uniform.

Puff Sleeve Close View

The top is made by Petersyn, an indie label based in New York, whose designs are inspired by the “European travels of the “All-American Girl””. The Petersyn collection embodies beautiful silhouettes with a polished flare. I like that this top adds excitement and playfulness to the otherwise mundane white button down shirt. I purchased the blouse from a boutique in my home town of Cincinnati, Ohio, which features new and emerging designers. Since items in this store are stocked in limited quantities, you are likely to find items that will not see anywhere else.

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Puff Sleeve and Pants 2 (2)

I paired the blouse with a pair of poplin tie waist pants, which created a very polished look. I kept it neutral with my accessories, my circle woven bag and simple flat sandals, both from my trip to Morocco.

Puff Sleeve and Pants Profile

Share your thoughts on this look below. Don’t forget to subscribe for regular updates!

Outfit Details: Blouse – Zadle White Shirt by Petersyn || Pants – H&M (old), Similar look here || Purse – Similar look here

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Thrift Like a Pro!

Shopping at a thrift store is like going on a treasure hunt and I have found some gems during my thrifting adventures. I shop at thrift stores, in addition to shopping at chain stores and boutiques, because I enjoy finding unique items for a great deal. For this post, I am sharing my tips on getting the most out of your thrifting experience, including what to buy and the best times to shop.

When to Shop

The earlier the better is my motto when it comes to thrift shopping. Second-hand stores, like Buffalo Exchange, place new items out daily. However, in my experience, it is best to shop earlier in the day before the racks have been rummaged through by customers. Earlier during the week is usually better as well, when the racks are newly stocked after the weekend influx.

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Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

What I Buy at Thrift Stores

Two words: Occasion Wear. Consider the number of times you’ve worn that wedding guest dress. Unfortunately, people tend to wear dresses purchased for special occasions only a few times before they end up in the section of their closet with all of the clothes that haven’t been worn in years. Fortunately for thrift shopping, this means that when purchasing occasion wear you are likely to find dresses and other formal wear next to new. For example, I spent days searching for the perfect graduation dress without success. I couldn’t find anything I liked and everything looked the same. I decided to look in some thrift stores and found the dress below at a fraction of the cost for dresses in other stores I frequent. It was completely different from everything I was finding in stores and online as well, so thrift stores are also great for finding unique items.

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On the other hand, I do not typically purchase t-shirts at thrift stores. It has to be a pretty special find for me to buy it. T-shirts show signs of wear over time and it is easy to find brand new quality t-shirts at a low cost. Sweaters, however, hold up nicely, as well as, jackets/blazers, so these are items I look for in thrift stores as well.

How to Save More

Be sure to bring your unwanted clothes. Stores that allow you to sell your clothes will offer a higher trade-in value for your clothes than they offer in cash (For example, you may be offered 30% of the selling price for your items in cash, versus 50% of the selling price when you are applying the credit towards an in-store purchase). This is the perfect opportunity to clean out our closet (See previous post on spring cleaning your wardrobe). Finally, something along the lines of a broken zipper is an easy fix, so don’t count minor repairs out. In fact, let the store clerk know about the issue and you will more than likely be offered an additional discount for that item.

What tips do you have for shopping at thrift stores? Share them below. Happy Thrifting!

 

Outfit Details|| Both dresses featured in this post were purchased at Buffalo Exchange in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

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Marrakesh, Morocco – What to Buy and Tips for Shopping the Souks

Morocco has been on my travel list for a while now and a flight to Marrakesh, Morocco is just a few hours from Barcelona. While I was in Spain, I could not pass up the opportunity to see Morocco as well. I enjoyed every moment of my time in Morocco – getting lost in the old Medina, drinking endless amounts of mint tea, hiking the Atlas mountains, enjoying a relaxing spa treatment at a hammam, going on a camel ride, and of course, shopping in the souks.

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The souks are the outdoor markets in Morocco, featuring all types of Moroccan crafts, goods, foods, and spices. One of the many things I love about travelling abroad is shopping for unique items to bring back home. I make it a point to buy items that I cannot easily find at home, especially hand-made artisan goods, and items that represent the culture of the place I’m visiting. For this post, I am sharing my favorite items brought back from Morocco and some simple tips for shopping the souks.

What to Buy

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Rattan and Other Woven Bags. I always find unique bags abroad and purchasing a purse was at the top of my list. These bags are super trendy right now, but I absolutely love them. I had the opportunity to watch a woman making the bags by hand in the souks.

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Moroccan sandals. You can get unbelievable prices on hand-made sandals in Morocco. The sandals are comfortable and well-made. I actually hiked on the Atlas Mountains in these shoes

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Berber scarf. I bought this shawl from a Berber Village while touring the Atlas Mountains. I was happy to make this purchase because it supported a co-operative of women from one of the neighboring Berber villages. Although my dress in Morocco was modest, it is also helpful to have a scarf handy when visiting the Mosques.

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Other Handmade Goods. Wallets, purses, and other handmade leather goods are abundant in Morocco. I bought a few back as gifts.

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The process for making argan oil

Argan Oil. How could I travel to Morocco without purchasing authentic Moroccan argan oil? Argan is a more expensive oil and after watching the process to make it, both in Marrakech and during a visit to a cooperative where women make and sell the oil, I understand why.  In Morocco, you can purchase the oil made for cooking or for cosmetic use. I am excited to add this to my skin and hair care routine. There are a lot of places selling “argan oil”. We bought ours from a specialty shop that sold argan products and spices, which I recommend.

3 Tips for Shopping in the Souks

1. Take it slow. 

My first full day in Marrakech was spent exploring the souks in the Medina. I initially booked a tour to explore the souks with a guide, but it was cancelled.  As luck would have it, I befriended another traveller and we explored the souks together. It was nice to get acclimated to the area and become familiar with the different parts of the souks. Have some fresh juice in the square and try the foods (like the delicious olives). There is a lot to take in, so take it slow.

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Olive Souk in Marrakech

2. Have a Plan

Between the calls from shopkeepers, the amount of people, and the shear volume of items, the souks can also be overwhelming. A little preparation goes a long way, so do some research and decide what types of items you are most interested in finding. It is helpful to ask your hostess, if you are staying in a riad in the medina, for advice on where to purchase those items as well. I also met a few Moroccans who let me know how much I should pay for different items.

3. Never Settle for the First Price

…or second, or third. Though you do want to pay a fair price, bartering, like in many other parts of the world is welcomed and expected. Have a price in mind that you want to spend on the item and don’t be swayed to increase it. Though I badly wanted a rattan bag, it wasn’t until my last day in Marrakech that I purchased one because the prices were above my limit. Even during that last exchange, I walked away several times before the shopkeeper agreed on my final price. So, say “No. Thank you.” and walk away if you have to. You can’t be too eager to purchase when shopping in the souks.

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Jemaa el-Fnaa Square in the Old Medina

If you have never visited Morocco, I hope you have an opportunity to experience this magical place one day. You can see more of my summer travels on Instagram, @ayannainbloom.

Thank you for stopping by!

 

Outfit Details: Dress: Nasty Gal || Purse: H&M (old) || Sandals: Purchased in Morocco (featured in Post)

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Travel OOTD: A Day Trip through Northern Spain

I vacationed in Spain over the past week spending most of my time in Barcelona, but also visiting the neighboring cities of Girona, Pals, and a small town in Costa Brava. For this post, I am sharing a travel look and few of my favorite photos from my visit to these charming Spanish cities.

Although, the weather was a bit milder along the beach, the weather in Spain, for the most part, was hot. For this long travel day, I wanted to wear something light and flowy, that would work well for a day spent exploring and also for the beach. I settled on this yellow crop top and matching skirt set, purchased here, which was perfect for my day of explorations. My sunglasses were purchased at Urban Outfitters (not available online) and my sandals were a souk find in Morocco. Girona

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I received many compliments on this look as a travelled throughout the day. My first stop was Girona, a romantic city filled with stone roads and walls, where I explored medieval ruins that are centuries old.

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You may recognize the Cathedral of Girona (pictured above) and the Arab Baths (Banys Àrabs), which dates back to the 12th century, from a popular television series. Girona is one of the filming locations for Game of Thrones.

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A visit to Spain is not complete without time at the beach and Costa Brava, which translates to the rugged or wild coast, has some of the most breathtaking beaches in Spain. My favorite beach I visited was Sant Roc, a small beach cove with crystal clear water in Calella de Palafrugell. The views of the beach are postcard worthy and I also enjoyed the most delicious vegetarian paella at a restaurant that overlooked the beach. I ended my day trip here, laying in the sand for a bit and enjoying the sun, before travelling back to Barcelona.E216FF23-F83E-4F5D-B2CD-B2EB15CD7483A954AC5F-2BE2-4DD7-83BF-CC085FFBE4A04506B9A1-955C-422C-95B4-39FF095119E8

I hope you enjoyed this post and seeing some of the beautiful locations I experienced in northern Spain. You can check out more of my travel looks on Instagram (@ayannainbloom). Where are your summer travels taking you?

 

 

 

 

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First of Summer OOTD: Give Them the Bold Shoulder

Summer is officially here! During the summer months, crop tops and high waist shorts are staples, but this post features another style I adore and the outfit I wore to celebrate the beginning of summer.

I cannot imagine summer fashion without one shoulder tops. They have been a guilty fashion pleasure of mine since my high school days, a test of time that this style is always on trend. I appreciate the versatility of asymmetric tops. Whether styled casually, like with jeans, or dressed up with skirts and heels, they add sophistication to an outfit.

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For this look, I paired my top with a blue and white wrap skirt. I chose accessories that matched the color scheme, a striped clutch and beaded necklaces (made in Ghana). I finished the look with red pumps. This outfit is perfect for a date night and the colors make it a perfect option for a fourth of July celebration as well.

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I rounded up a few of my favorite one shoulder tops from the web.

What is your favorite summer style? Share your thoughts below and subscribe to my newsletter to receive regular fashion inspiration. Thank you for reading!

Outfit Details: Blouse, Skirt, and Purse from The Limited

 

 

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Everyday Metallics – Style Tips

Because every day is a disco…

Recently, one of my coworkers asked for some advice on how to incorporate metallics into his wardrobe. It was a timely conversation, as I was brainstorming this post on styling metallic accent pieces into your everyday looks. As a lover of all things embellished and sparkly – from pants, to clutches, to dresses, and shoes  – this post offers some style tips on styling metallic pieces into casual looks.

Wearing metallics is often associated with night time looks or festive occasion-wear, but metallics are appropriate for day time and casual looks as well. In general, a few points to consider when styling metallic pieces are choosing complimentary colors and choosing a single metallic piece to accent your look. I discuss these points in the examples below.

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My general philosophy for casual looks is to choose one accent piece as the focal point of the look.  These metallic oxfords, for example, can be worn in the work place. They look great with business casual looks (e.g. skirts, dresses, and slacks), as well as, jeans. I found the pair pictured above at DSW a few years ago. A similar look can be found here and here.

Another point to consider when styling metallic pieces is the color scheme of your outfit. I like pairing silver metallic pieces with cool colors, like blue. Gold metallics, on the other hand, pair well with neutral tones. Although styling metallic pants may seem a bit more challenging to pull off during the day, when styled appropriately they can still fit seamlessly into a daytime look.

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The silver metallic pants I am wearing, found here, again pair well with blue. Since the pants are the statement piece, I kept the the rest of my outfit simple by pairing the pants with a blue and white tunic (I made this top myself) and a blue crochet duster (an old purchase).  A denim button down top or denim jacket paired with a similar silver metallic bottom would achieve the same effect.

Incorporating metallic pieces into your outfit is a simple way to add some pizzazz to an otherwise ordinary look. I hope these suggestions on styling metallic pieces are helpful. Thank you for reading! You can find more style inspiration on my Instagram account @ayannainbloom.

Have a great weekend!