Beija Flor: Super Comfortable, Strongly Scented

I hate pants shopping so much.  Nothing makes me feel like I have a weirder body: everything’s too long, everything fits wrong in the waist or the hip or the rise, nothing’s comfortable.  I avoid doing it.  Then, last month, I finally took stock of what jeans I owned, and this was it:

  • 1 pair jeggings covered with runs
  • 1 pair jeggings covered with pills
  • 1 pair jeans a size too small
  • 1 pair jeans that give me plumber’s butt

I was still wearing each and every pair of those jeans, and feeling unhappy every time I did.  Clearly, I needed new jeans.  But I put it off for another month, because I wanted to find a pair of jeans that could replace the function of all of those pants.  I wanted them to be more durable and breathable than the jeggings; I wanted them to be stretchier and more comfortable than the too-small jeans; I wanted them to fit better than Plumber’s Butt Jeans™;  and I didn’t want to agonize about what pants would fit me.  I also wanted to be comfortable with my jeans’ ethics, not just their fabrics.

The combination of those factors led me to Beija Flor, a company well known for their ethical, comfortable, and flattering jeans.  


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Secret Blankets: Staying Warm

Warm sweaters are on sale because for some reason people don’t want to buy them right now!  And offices are often extra-freezing in the summer!  Serendipity?

Slightly embarrassing story: in college, I had a fuzzy purple bathrobe I liked so much I wore it outside, as if it were a coat instead of obviously a bathrobe.  Now that I am doing a better job pretending to be an adult I do not wear my bathrobe outside, but as I get cold a lot, I still look for things that are as cozy as that bathrobe.  Outdoors, this means I have an excuse for fancy coats.  Indoors is harder, because I resist wearing: button-up cardigans (too fussy-looking), pullover sweaters (too hard to take off), blazers (too stiff and corporate).  If you do want those things, I make recommendations near the end of the post.  Otherwise, here is a sampling of the secret blankets of various weights I have left available to myself.

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Ethical Fashion Supporting Actual Native American Artists

I was upset last week to hear that the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico does not think that the Navajo Nation, the second-largest Native American tribe in the United States, is famous enough for Urban Outfitters “Navajo”-branded stuff to legally qualify as trademark dilution.  Not a total loss for the Navajo, since they have a pretty compelling case (nonsense language like ‘tribal print’ exists because it’s illegal to pretend that you are selling the products of a particular Native American tribe unless you actually are).   But it’s certainly a blow to, you know, basically any tribe that trademarks their name to prevent exactly this kind of thing from happening, because if the Navajo can’t win that argument about their name, then who can?

There’s not much I can do as a private citizen, but I decided I can do these three things:

  1. Suggest that you do not buy stuff from Urban Outfitters or their other brands, Free People and Anthropologie, if you care about human beings.  Urban Outfitters has a long history of doing this sort of thing and also not making clothes in ethical conditions.
  2. Tell you a little about the Navajo and why they should be famous, even if the U.S. District Court does not believe this;
  3. Share with you some actual Native American / First Nations artists whose cool clothing and accessories you can buy

For a more comprehensive list of Native American fashion and accessory designers, check out Beyond Buckskin Boutique’s Buy Native list.  This list is just a curated version of the ones I like the most: I personally tend to like simple things, and a lot of Native art is too intricate for my taste. If you have different taste than me, please do check out Beyond Buckskin’s Buy Native list.

I’ve tried to include options at a variety of price points.


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Awesome, Extremely Expensive Coats: The Ethics Edition

Sorry for the lack of new content lately.  Contract work has been taking up a lot of my time!

But I do have a few things lined up.  Namely: I have a hobby of Internets-staring at beautiful, expensive coats.  There’s something so expressive and dramatic about them.   Through this hobby, obviously I’ve come up with a few different favorite coats for different reasons!  Today I’m going to introduce you to one: the most universally ethical fancy coat maker on the market.  Vaute Couture is a manufacturer and designer of vegan, eco-friendly, made-in-the-USA dress coats.

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Ureshii Design: A Love Letter

I… I mean review.

When I bought my first shirt from Ureshii Design, the intention was to get a few versatile well-fitting basics to make my wardrobe more cohesive.  What I ended up doing instead was entirely replacing half my wardrobe.  Their clothes are so comfortable and so well-fitting that I couldn’t bring myself to wear anything else.

As I’ve gotten to know the brand, I’ve only gotten to like Ureshii Design more.  The prices Emily and Amanda charge for their clothing are absurdly low for a made-to-measure service, especially one that only works with sustainable fabrics.  But they do all the sewing themselves, so you can be sure no one’s getting paid unfair wages.   Not only that, they do made-to-measure well: they consider measurements other companies don’t, and they use (optional!) self-submitted photographs to make sure your clothing really fits right.

They’ve got a wide range of designs, colors, fits, and fabrics.  They’re constantly adding more, and they’re happy to make tweaks to their designs for you.  Heck, they actually invented a design for me just because I wanted to dress like the inferior Batman.  The main reason I haven’t reviewed Ureshii already is, honestly, I had no idea how to coalesce infinite fangirling and half my wardrobe into a review.  This is my best effort.

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