A Just-Enough Warm Weather Wardrobe

I'm posting this on the tenth anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse. Since that tragedy, April 24th has become known as Fashion Revolution Day.

Most of the clothes that most of us wear, most of the time, are products of the global garment industry. Unless you raise sheep or weave your own cotton, there aren't too many ways around that. Even buying mostly-thrifted clothes doesn't exempt us from needing to care about worker abuse, or chemical processes that damage rivers and soil. The fact that technology has now advanced to spray-on dresses is also beside the point. It's only when we stop thinking of the fashion industry as a big anonymous entity, and ask "Who made my clothes?" that we can begin to care about things like the well-being of employees. And that leads us to ask further questions, like "What plants or animals were used to make the fabrics for these clothes, and how were they processed and handled?" "How can we use the clothes we have well?" And finally, "Where will they go afterwards?"

Giving donated clothes a reprieve from that final destination seems to be something I'm good at, and I'm happy to pass on anything that I've learned. But there are a lot of clothes out there (literally tons of them) that the earth and our closets would have been better off without. And (sermon's almost over, I promise), we need to remember that we're humans living our lives in clothes, not mannequins, not subjects to be photographed. That doesn't mean "wear ugly clothes"; we still have choices about colours and styles. But when we've got enough things to wear--let's let that be enough.

Enough, she said

Our summer travels are mostly day trips, maybe to the beach, walking in the woods, or visiting flea markets and small towns. Although I'm not packing for summer at a cottage, or even an extended trip, I'm planning a small-sized wardrobe anyway. That makes it easy if I do need to pull a few things together for a night or two away. 

Filling in a gap (something new)

I wear a lot of grey in the fall and winter, and by spring I'm ready to switch over to navy blue. Navy is easy to find in thrift stores, almost too easy; it can also end up looking like a uniform if you overdo it. One thing I thought would help pull my navy things together was a pair of everyday sandals. I chose a pair of Keens in the same style I bought a couple of years ago.

Old ones, new ones


Everything navy

Sleeveless top with embroidery

Pants with embroidery similar to the top

T-shirt, cap sleeves

Medium-length shorts 

Blue jeans, dark wash

Sleeveless dress

Cotton jacket, white with navy print

All the rest

If I didn't mind repeating navy, that could be enough by itself for a weekend away. But let's add a few neutral things to mix it up.

White crewneck t-shirt

White linen button-up shirt        

White linen pullover

Greige cardigan (short, fitted)

Greige cotton pants

That comes to 12 items of clothing. Kind of a Vivienne Files Whatever's-Clean-13

A few accent-colour tops for variety, and one fancier dress:

Crewneck t-shirt,  navy/pink/white stripe

Purple t-shirt with crocheted yoke 

Light purple sleeveless button-up shirt   

Floral sleeveless top

Silk maxi dress, blue floral print

(17 items)

And because it's not sleeveless-and-shorts weather quite yet, I'll add a few warmer things.

Lightweight navy pullover    

Jade green t-shirt dress (bought from Duffield Design four years ago)

V-neck blue top, plus a pink tank top for layering

Bright jade t-shirt, long sleeves

Zippered sweatshirt, purple

(23 items. Plus jean jacket, 24.)



On my thrifting wish list: a navy purse. But since I don't have one yet, I'm mixing and matching from what I have. Update: found one!

Satchel I found recently

Bflairs PU leather purse
Straw-type handbag

Scarves and Hats and Other Things

Crocheted-look sun hat, bought several years ago at a dollar store

Four scarves

Update: and an extra one!

 Nail lacquer



Have a good summer!

Last updated May 11, 2023

1 comment:

The Vivenne Files said...

Your wardrobe and your outfits are lovely (which is no surprise!), but your writing about our responsibilities to the people who make our clothing, and to the planet, are the really beautiful part of today's post.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and your hard work on your wonderful wardrobe!