Street style or “style in its natural habitat” as Givhan of the Washington Post calls it, is exactly what the name suggests. Fashion derived from the streets rather than from empires like Coco Chanel and Ralph Lauren. And what better time to take a look at street style than at Fall Fashion Week.
Street style has always been around but has evolved with the times and trends. Shell (Shell N’s founder for you newbies) calls it a way of expression- or how people want to be seen when they’re out and about. Sometimes that means you’re decked out in a colorful array of neon pink and blue trainers while other times you’re Parisian chic in a black dress and a beret. Okay I admit- I instantly think of beret when I think Parisian. It just depends on what message you’re trying to send.
In big cities like New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, or Seoul even- the street style scene is huge. Probably because people actually take the time to walk around the city and be seen. A lot of the time the style represents a blend of the culture along with an expression of the person’s individuality.
In Korea, a culture quite fond of the fashion scene, women would go hiking in pink lace and high heels. And mini skirts were a thing even if the temperatures hit the negatives! I’m totally not bashing these girls- Korea is the reason I have any fashion sense! In New York, the styles range from urban to hippie to classy-chic. In Los Angeles, shirred dress, oversized sunglasses and strappy sandals are the norm.
Maybe you want to give off an image of femininity or maybe you’re going for a more eclectic vibe. Your clothes can portray all this.
Regardless of your style preferences, street style gives us the freedom to express ourselves and our personalities visually.
Here in suburbia- we’re HIGHLY lacking in the street style scene.
But just because the scene is lacking doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress to express! That’s why we’re sharing street style from fashion weeks from NY to Milan to Paris in hopes of giving you all a little inspiration from the fashionistas in fashion forward cities.
Here are some of our favorite street styles that were of course selected with our petite readers in mind.
Go minimalist with a contrasting color for that pop, top off with a statement coat.
You flick through a rack of old, tattered pieces that have been out of style for at least a decade before suddenly your eyes catch on a white blouse that might just be the one.
But then you pull it off the racks only to see that it’s stained with what looks like grease and some kind of crusted yellow stuff that could either be coffee or alfredo. You hope to God it’s coffee or Alfredo.
Effort wasted. Time wasted. You leave the store annoyed and adamant that you’ll never set foot in a second-hand shop again.
This is what most people imagine when they think of second-hand shopping. It’s a myth that’s been ingrained in us since childhood. When I was a kid (It’s so sad that I’ve become one of those grown-ups that say that…) it was practically a SIN to walk into school wearing hand me downs. (Yeah I wore hand-me-downs… what?!)
It was all about getting the newest and latest.
Nowadays, with the rise of the slow fashion movement, second-hand and vintage items are gaining steam. And that brings me to the reason for this post!
This month is Second-hand September which means that it’s the perfect opportunity for you to be sustainable while being stylish. As a petite girl, I know that a lot of you hate shopping. So I DEFINITELY wouldn’t be surprised if I found out that none of y’all like thrift shopping. At 5’2, I completely understand.
BUT It’s a misconception that a lot of people (including me until recently) have that thrift store clothes are just stained, oversized sacks- or another person’s garbage.
The thing is what people don’t understand is that second-hand doesn’t equate to trash.
There is a vast variety of thrift stores. Sure there are ones that are lower end where you have to do a little bit more hunting, but there are also medium range thrift shops like the buffalo exchange. Or if you want something higher end there are places like the RealReal that are more upscale and much more expensive.
So no- not EVERYTHING second-hand is unfashionable or out of fashion. A lot of it can not only be fashionable but in great condition to boot.
Thrifting, of course, is by no means easy peasy but it’s not supposed to be! It’s a treasure hunt and that’s the beauty of it. In an industry where there are more seasons than I have shoes (I don’t have that many…) clothes are discarded often for the latest trend. But we all know that not everything fully goes out of style! Some trends come back, i.e. puffy 80’s sleeves, cut off jeans, chokers- yes CHOKERS (who would have thought?)
Clothes not only come back in style but some clothes NEVER go out of style. Classic white Ts, cashmere sweaters, silk blouses, turtle necks, little black dresses… and all this CAN be found at thrift stores. And one more great reason to thrift? You’re not contributing to the fast fashion industry. Don’t know what fast fashion is? Learn about it here. Most of our donated goods go unused and get shipped to third world countries where they undermine the local economy. In this way you’re actually helping reduce textile waste by buying second-hand.
To show you guys how fun, sustainable, and thrifty thrifting is (that was not on purpose, I swear) we went on our own thrifting adventure for you guys.
Our Thrifting Venture
We sorted through rows of clothing and in this treasure trove we found a plethora of clothing that could be turn into our next halloween costumes or our next date outfits and had some pretty great finds!
Check it out!
What says fall like orange florals? Or are those leaves…? You can turn something old into something completely new and fashionable with a little creativity.
You can’t go wrong with a basic top that bares the shoulders.
This top was an awesome basic but the sleeves are too long. Easily solved! Just fold the sleeves in.
While it’s true that things can be a bit too big, don’t let that stop you! If something doesn’t fit you can easily do minor alterations or get a friend to help you.
Stripes never go out of style and the twist detail is so on trend lately.
A great summer cotton dress that fits like a glove!
Pair this houndstooth dress with a nice blouse to up your fashion game!
Great jacket for work or play!
This two tone silk dress can go from the office to dinner.
The lightest silk shirt dress ever (that’s not a stain, it’s a light reflection).
Cozy merino and angora wool sweater!
So after all that if you still don’t really see why you should shop at the thrift store let me give you the number one reason you should try thrifting.
Yep. What you’re thinking is exactly right. Most of these clothes were only $1 each.
Quick Thrifting Tips
Here are my quick tips to get started if you’re a newbie to thrifting.
1. Look for clothes that are made of silk, wool, and linen because they tend to be in better condition.
2. Check everything over carefully before buying and look for stains or tears, if it’s bad pass on it.
3. Don’t feel you have to go through the whole store. Most thrift stores are sectioned off into categories like dresses, pants, tops, etc. Shop for what you want as to not get overwhelmed by everything in the store.
Overpriced pumpkin spiced lattes that taste just like regular lattes with nutmeg. Hundreds of drunkards guzzling beer at Oktoberfest. Bobbing for apples at your grandmas Halloween part. Regardless of what comes to mind for you, fall is a time for change and letting go. Or in the words of the wise Marie Kondo letting go of what doesn’t “spark joy”.
As this September 23rd is the first day of all, I’m taking this to mean Kondo your closet and rotate in that fall fashion. You could do a lot worse than three months of sweater weather and boots. Just think of the endless outfit possibilities!
If you don’t know what fashion week is give me a high five! (Just kidding, I don’t live under a rock). Fall/winter collections are showed during fashion week throughout the months of February and March of each year depending on the city.
The forecast is out for this fall season’s trend. I.E, we’ve seen, we’ve evaluated, we’ve judged and the outlook is GOOD. We selected our favorites and want to share them with you. Don’t worry through, we kept our core values in min: petite, sustainable fashion.
To suit of not to suit
We know that power suits are a total thing in the office but you can totally pull this off and look hot while you’re off duty as well. Using suiting material with fun silhouettes is a great way to look chic without looking like you’re a stick in the mud that takes work with you to ladies night. Check out the amalgam of masculine material and feminine, chic touch. So take that suit out of the office and have some fun with it (or at least take the material)!
I’m not one for power suits. That being said I’d totally wear this. To work, to a lounge, on a date right before I seduce said guy with my bond girl gear. (This totally screams bond girl doesn’t it? Is that just me?!)
Tweed is the epitome of fall and this fall is no different. Think outside the Chanel tweed suit box and get inspired by tweed everything else.
Think you can’t dress warmly and be sexy? The babe above says think again ladies.
Dark floral romance
Think “Interview with the Vampire” meets the modern day woman for an updated look with deep and rich colors of floral prints. Go bold or be safe, either way, florals always works.
Me-ow! We usually think bright summer colors when we think florals but cooler, darker and rich colors totally work for fall too! You’d totally see me sporting this a fall/winter wedding. Someone get married so I’ll have an excuse to buy this! (Or not, it’s probably wayy over my budget).
Boss babe suits
The power suit with a modern twist for an lady who’s ready to take on the day. We love these inspirations because they show different shapes and the versatility of a suit. Go for a fitted cinched waist, a long jacket or an oversized jacket to add some spark to your work wear. Suits do not have to be black. Purple is for royalty and this model is definitely a queen.
We can’t wait for the weather to cool down (which will be awhile here in Texas) to sport these fall looks.
Hopefully, we were able to give you some inspiration for your fall wardrobe this season.
What are some trends you’ll be rocking this season?
Who doesn’t love fall? The blazing heat gradually decreases as we FINALLY reach the midway point between way too chilly and way too hot. The leaves form vibrant florets of color that is nothing short of selfie worthy.
While the nip in the air is just the right amount of cool before skirts just stop being an option, it does require a wardrobe change if you want to keep warm.
Fall and winter basically require you to sort through your clothes for warmer fabrics if you want to stay warm. While we’d all like to look cute in our tanks, minis, and high heels, it just doesn’t make sense to catch a cold just because you want to show off some skin (Unless you’re that one chick I saw attempting to hike a mountain in the winter wearing high heels and a skirt just because you’re on a date- I hope you tripped). And the fact is, you CAN look cute and dress warm. It’s all about fabric.
Cooler Fabrics for Cooler Weather
A problem when it comes to winter clothing is access to ethically produced sources. While there are a ton of companies that crank out fibers for mass production it is possible to find companies that hold themselves to higher standards and produce ethically.
As we strive to be sustainable these are our favorite sustainable options for the cold weather:
Wool- Who hasn’t heard of wool? This is a fantastic fabric for the cooler months as they keep you super warm! And not only that, it’s also completely natural. Wool mainly comes from sheep and goats, but what I bet y’all didn’t know was that it can also come from a ton of other animals! Think camels, llamas, and Angora rabbits.
That means it’s also renewable since- think about it, if you shave them bald, they’ll just grow the fleece right back in 6 weeks!
This sustainable fiber doesn’t have to be washed as much and uses lower temperatures so it’s better for the environment as well. AKA go wool or go home!
Cashmere- I know, I know. When we think of cashmere, we think expensive. And I’ll be honest with you. I’ve never owned a piece of cashmere in my life. BUT that doesn’t mean that I won’t in the future.
Cashmere wool comes from goats. Pashmina goats. Cashmere goats. All kinds of goats from Kashmir basically (for those of you who don’t know this is a state in India that’s the center of a tug of war between India, China and Pakistan).
Sustainable cashmere is animal-friendly, non-allergenic, AND it doesn’t WRINKLE! It also tends to get softer the longer you have it so do yourself a favor and invest in some cashmere.
One thing to note however, is to stay away from the cheap stuff. You know- the too good to be true, on sale for some ridiculous price stuff.
The fast fashion industry manufactures way more of this than the planet is capable of producing. What this means is that instead of waiting for the goats to shed naturally, they get shaved before they get warm, and essentially freeze to death.
In layman’s terms, cheap cashmere = dead goats.
Down- Down is great for keeping warm. It not only creates a bubble around you that keeps wind away, it’s also natural and biodegradable. It has a low carbon footprint compared to synthetic materials. According to Apparelmag.com, down and feathers are a byproduct of the food industry. AKA it’s not known to be the most ethical. Most of us (including me) never stop to think about how down is harvested but the research has left me shell-shocked.
Let me help you imagine it. Imagine that you’re chilling on a lake, minding your own darn business when some jerk kidnaps you, throws you- alive- in a pot of boiling water for 3 minutes before taking you out and proceeding to forcefully pull all your hair out.
Replace that hair with feathers.
That’s EXACTLY what happens. If you don’t believe me go take a look for yourself.
Fortunately, however, there are companies working to create better standards for how down is harvested, such as Patagonia and The North Face. If you must buy down (because let’s face it- it’s necessary for hikers and the like) do your research.
Alpacas- Ever see a 5 year old girl in a giant fur coat and shades and think how adorable? That’s exactly how I feel when I look at this creature. And if he (or she) looks that cute, just how awesome would you look wearing his (or her) clothes?! (Work that Alpaca girl!)
But back to the point… Alpaca fleece is a fiber harvested from an alpaca (the cutie above). It’s super soft and durable, plus it can be as light or heavy as you want.
It’s not that different from sheep’s wool- just warmer, more comfortable and hypoallergenic to boot. In other words, it’s wool with a hint of chic.
One more reason to invest in Alpaca? It helps the Peruvian farming industry. You can be classy, comfortable, and sustainable.
Organic cotton- I’ve mentioned the perks of cotton before but it never hurts to reiterate. Cotton is weatherproof, hypoallergenic and durable. It provides insulation in the blazing heat of summer and the cool of winter, essentially making it great for any season.
In addition, organic cotton also has a low impact on the environment due to production systems that reduce the usage of toxic pesticides and chemicals.
Silk- Silk is great for layering under wool and other fibers. You can still look chic without all the heavy chunky knits. It also works great as undergarments for cold nights (Think silk long johns- Sexy!).
These fibers aren’t just one and done type fabrics- they last through multiple winters so they’re well worth the investment. Opt for a blend of different fibers such as cotton/wool, etc if you don’t want to overspend for a single item of clothing.
And think about that poor goose in scalding hot water the next time you go shopping. Your choice of fabrics doesn’t just affect you, it affects the animals and the people around you.
Textile pollution is one of the largest (and least known) sources of in the world. In a time where we’re reaching all time heights in terms of the environmental crises (the Amazon is literally burning down people!) it’s important to start considering how to make our planet more livable.
We’re not superheroes. One person can’t reverse global warming or take on human rights. But it does start with one person. Think about your choices. Think about the damage. Think about what you can do and start making conscious decisions.
Read the clothing tags to know what fibers your clothes are made of and how to take better care of them, and learn about the company/brands you’re buying from to know how they are outsourcing their materials and labor.
It’s just as much our responsibility as consumers to be aware as it is for companies to be transparent.