A Few of The Style Line's Favorite Things

A Few of The Style Line's Favorite Things

By Rachel Schwartzmann of The Style Line

'Tis the season for holiday gifting. And it's important to remember that when you're shopping for presents, the best way to go is to opt for staples with a twist. Winter fashion is all about layering, so if you can find good high-quality basics, then you've already fought half the battle. You can then turn your attention to details–whether it's fabric, pattern or silhouette. Use what you know about your loved ones to help tailor your choices when shopping for them. Below, you'll find my top five pieces that are not only essential winter staples, but also have a little bit of character stitched into every seam.

1. A STATEMENT JACKET: You can't go wrong with a classic bomber. The houndstooth print on this Ace & Jig jacket gives a little seasonal flair!

2. A COZY HAT: The texture on this hat by Kordal is great, but you can't beat the warm wool and neutral color. It'll go with everything.

3. A WHIMSICAL SCARF: No matter where you are, a scarf is an essential accessory to complete any outfit. Add on a cute print like the rhinos on this Sophia Costas scarf, and you've got something that's sure to turn heads.

4. A FESTIVE BLOUSE: To me, this Awaveawake top is the epitome of the perfect holiday blouse: a great color, flattering silhouette and a perfect feminine touch with the bow.

5. TAILORED TROUSERS: You can never do without a pair of tailored pants, and this pair by Study is the perfect example of an item that can be dressed up or down.

December 06, 2013
A Tour of the Nation's Capital With D.C.'s Most Stylish Eco Blogger

A Tour of the Nation's Capital With D.C.'s Most Stylish Eco Blogger

We have a soft spot for Washington, D.C.-based blogger Rachel Mlinarchik. Mere days after our quiet beta launch, she'd already populated her pretty Pinterest boards with products from Ethica. Coming across her pins was a fantastic "We're real!" moment for us–and it also let us know that this is a woman who's seriously on top of the ethical fashion scene.

More than a year later, her site, My Fair Vanity, still tops our bookmark list. Full of personal style snaps, ethical sale alerts and gorgeous moodboards, it's got everything we look for in a blog. But beyond a shared aesthetic, there's also a smarter–dare we say, D.C.-esque–point of view at work. "On My Fair Vanity, I celebrate style that is kind to the earth and the people on it," Mlinarchik says.

Read on to get to know her–and her favorite spots in the nation's capital.

What first drew you to ethical and sustainable fashion? Probably reading Upton Sinclair's The Jungle in seventh grade. Once I started wondering where our families' meat products came from and how they got to our plates, I was an eco girl for life. As an adult, I chose to work for organizations that address the inequities and injustices that are often (not always) created by the type of world markets we've established. Starting My Fair Vanity was my way of doing less harm in the world, and helping others to do the same.

When I saw the explosion of fashion blogs in the mid-2000s, I felt like there was an elephant in the room that wasn't being addressed. While so many young women were being empowered by this new platform, there were also many times when they were unknowingly contributing to the oppression of their counterparts in lower-income countries by helping to sell goods made by unethical manufacturers. I felt like if I could create a style blog that was interesting and relevant to the women who were reading these blogs, then perhaps my voice and perspective could make some small difference in their awareness as consumers, while I tried to increase my own awareness and understanding of the fashion industry.

What have been the most rewarding and challenging parts of your journey with My Fair Vanity so far? One of the most challenging aspects of My Fair Vanity, at first, was finding brands and retailers that were offering high-quality, on-trend apparel that was ethical. Finding Ethica was like receiving manna from the heavens, and I'm happy to report that over the last year I've found many more wonderful labels to report on, with more and more popping up each day.

The most rewarding part of blogging is having friends or readers tell me that they've purchased something I wrote about–knowing that I've helped just one person to invest in ethical clothing they love makes me so, so happy! It tells me that what I am doing is making a difference in some small way, and that feels good.

Knowing that I've helped just one person to invest in ethical clothing they love makes me so, so happy! It tells me that what I am doing is making a difference in some small way, and that feels good.

Where did you grow up, and what's your favorite part about living in D.C.? I was born in Alexandria, Va. Even though I've lived in Australia, England, Japan and Thailand, I still somehow found my way right back to where I started by settling in Washington, D.C. There are so many things I have come to love about D.C.! I love that we have so many trees lining our streets. I love that it's a very walkable city, and when you can't walk, there's always a bus or metro line that can get you where you want to go. I love our local consignment stores and our free museums, but most of all, I love the restaurants. In the downtown area and lining 14th Street, there are so many wonderful local restaurants that I could eat at a different place for months without ever visiting a chain, and there has been an explosion in attention to using fresh, local ingredients.

I live in Dupont Circle, which is an important stop to make in any D.C. tour, and great place to stay if you want to be within walking distance of (or a brief cab ride to) all of the awesome bars and restaurants on 14th Street, the White House and Georgetown. Grab a gelato from Dolcezza and people-watch from the fountain. Then, stop into Kramerbooks to browse for good reads, but be sure to finish up with a gigantic slice of their homemade pie–and feel free to wash it down with a glass of wine at the bar!

For dinner, head to Founding Farmers for local, organic fare housed in a gold-LEED-certified building. Or check out their sister restaurant, Farmers Fishers Bakers, on the Georgetown waterfront. You’ll dine in a silver-LEED-certified building and choose from a menu that incorporates only fresh, locally farmed and seasonal ingredients. Even the tequila is local–you won’t find any Patron here, but you will find that all elixirs, infusions and simple syrups are made in-house, which makes for amazing sodas and cocktails.

For eco-friendly shopping, I recommend Secondi for well-edited and well-priced consignment, and The Proper Topper for a unique selection of hats, jewelry, clothing and gifts with a strong contingent of local designers and sustainable materials on offer by the knowledgeable staff.

Last but not least, no trip to D.C. would be complete without visiting our free museums! No matter what era or genre of art you prefer, you can see the very best at no cost via the Smithsonian Institution Museums.

November 26, 2013
Welcome to The Gift Shop

Welcome to The Gift Shop

In a season of seemingly compulsory consumption, it feels good to give a gift (or gift-to-self) with a story behind it. Whether you're crossing items off your gift list or your wish list, the wares in our gift shop are all dotingly made–most by hand, and all with an eye toward our greater social and environmental wellbeing.

As you browse our editors' picks for the weeks ahead, we invite you to also click over to our designer and feature pages to get to know the people behind these products, and discover what motivates them to approach fashion in the ways that they do.

As always, we've worked toward creating a different, more reflective type of shopping experience. We hope you'll feel, as we do, that beautiful things made for love of craft, love of the planet and love for other people truly reflect the spirit of the season. Happy holidays!

November 15, 2013
Morgan Bogle to the (Animal!) Rescue

Morgan Bogle to the (Animal!) Rescue

Somewhere between racking up degrees from Central Saint Martins and SCAD, interning for Marc Jacobs, working a series of high-profile gigs, and launching her new line of sustainable vegan handbags, Morgan Bogle has consistently found time to lend a hand to animals in need. Alongside boyfriend and business partner Scott MacDonough, the Freedom Of Animals designer has logged countless hours volunteering for animal rescue and wildlife conservation groups. And we mean countless–she's labored on behalf of tortoises in the Galapagos Islands, tended to orphaned cheetahs in South Africa, and rescued 10 pitbulls and counting.

"We've been to and volunteered with a bunch of organizations that are poorly run and have very little funding. It's hard to give them credit when there is not even a website to check out," Bogle explains. "The one exception was an organization that really stuck in our heads–a circus and entertainment animal retirement sanctuary out in Northern Cali named PAWS." The group–whose name stands for Performing Animal Welfare Society–rescues animals from the entertainment industry and exotic animal trade, creating and maintaining natural habitats where formerly abused, injured and abandoned animals can live out the rest of their days.

Though she has yet to personally work with them, Bogle's also "a huge fan of the David Sheldrick foundation over in Kenya." In addition to pioneering wildlife and habitat protection efforts in East Africa, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust runs what has been recognized as the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world. The late Sheldrick's wife, celebrated conservationist and author Daphne Sheldrick, heads up the trust and is a particular source of inspiration to Bogle. "I've seen all her documentaries and read all her books and articles," she says. "What they are doing is really incredible!"

To learn more about these Bogle-approved rescue groups, check out and

November 06, 2013
A Free-Spirited Tour of NYC With Jaclyn Hodes

A Free-Spirited Tour of NYC With Jaclyn Hodes

WIth just three seasons under her belt, designer Jaclyn Hodes is known as much for her luminous slip dresses as for putting "Kundalini on the catwalk" in the form of her conscious womenswear label, AWAVEAWAKE. Demonstrating a clear penchant for steering clear of the beaten path, the native New Yorker has carved out a city life that is all her own. Follow along as she points out her favorite haunts in downtown Manhattan–you won't find this kind of East and West Village tour in a guidebook.

8:30 a.m. On a weekend morning, I would venture over to the Union Square Greenmarket to drop off my compost and get local produce for the week. Then I'd swing over to Live Live (261 E. 10th St.) for raw food provisions, where I can also pick up RMS Beauty products.

10 a.m. I get monthly Ayurvedic facials and skin products from Pratima Spa (110 Greene St., #701).

12 p.m. Kombucha is on tap at Pure Food and Wine (54 Irving Place), and I get great raw treats at the takeaway around the corner.  

1:30 p.m. The community garden on either side of 9th Street and Avenue C is an amazing wild green refuge–a great place to go with a book and tune in. 

3 p.m. My favorite meeting spot is Cha-An (230 E. 9th St.), a Japanese tea house down the street from my apartment.

4:30 p.m. I might get a late afternoon pick me up in the form of the Superfood Chai Chocolate Latte drink at Caravan of Dreams (405 E. 6th St.), and then go across the street to the Indian grocery Dual (91 1st Ave.). Dual has an amazing range of wildcrafted dried flowers and roots and lots of other yummy Eastern food ingredients.

5:15 p.m. In need of tinctures and flower essences, I swing by Flower Power (406 E. 9th St.).

9 p.m. If I go out at night, it's to my friend's place, Cafe Dancer (96 Orchard St.), for a delightful hibiscus drink.

9:30 a.m. I'm off to see my beloved teacher, Hari Kaur Khalsa, at her Kundalini yoga studio, Hari NYC (140 W. 30th St., #3W).

11: 30 a.m. I head to Stick, Stone and Bone (111 Christopher St.) for crystals, incense and some sage counsel.

2 p.m. On a Thursday, Friday or Saturday, I'd go for a New York-style sound bath at the Dream House (275 Church St.).

8 p.m. On Wednesday nights, I go to a 5Rhythms "Gate Waves" dance class with Julia Wolfermann at the Joffrey Ballet School (434 6th Ave.).

October 26, 2013
Spring 2014: An Ethical Fashion Runway Report

Spring 2014: An Ethical Fashion Runway Report

By Natasha McGowan

We surveyed the SS14 runways well past the point of Fashion Month Fatigue, and there's no denying that the events, coverage and social media play-by-plays can all feel like too much. That said, there are bright spots in this consumption-driven frenzy, as emerging ethical fashion labels come into their own and eco-fashion pioneers continue to hold court in high-fashion circles. Once the deep chill of winter sets in, these are the looks we'll be seeing in our warm-weather dreams.

Head-to-toe achromatic styling dominated the catwalks for spring. Some designers played it simple–we loved AWAVEAWAKE’s sweeping dress and cape, as well as Osklen’s minimalist top-and-trouser pairing. Australian label Ginger & Smart offered a more elaborate, characteristically playful take with a white dress featuring sheer panels and floral cutouts. Suno topped off an all-white outfit with a garland-like necklace that added dimension to the look, while the finishing touch at Zero + Maria Cornejo was a slender strip of black.

It looks like Jenji Kohan was onto something beyond comic genius when she created Orange Is the New Black, as the spring 2014 season will bring an influx of this bold color. Costello Tagliapietra doubled up on the hue with three-piece suiting featuring shades of melon and papaya. Ivana Helsinki, Osklen and Daniel Silverstein all stuck with a single iteration of the color, playing with fabric and texture instead. For those wary of going all out on the color du jour, Stella Jean's voluminous printed skirt is yet another way to work this statement.

Appliquéd or embroided details, dresses fastened with rope, strips of material pinned onto otherwise simple garments—designers seemingly looked to their arts-and-crafts boxes for inspiration this season. Quirky embellishments in the form of lips, palm trees and avocados were popular with Stella McCartney, Osklen’s Oskar Metsavaht and Libertine’s Johnson Hartig. Maiyet’s Kristy Caylor and Ivana Helsinki finished garments with fabric panels and 3D details, transforming camisoles and cropped sweaters into avant-garde pieces.

Whether the vibe is prim or hipster, designers are buttoning up for spring. For an urban-preppy take, turn to Stella McCartney and Costello Tagliapietra, who modernize the aesthetic with oversized and military touches respectively. If your style is sweet and ladylike, look no further Beautiful Soul London's lilac flower-print blouse, which was made all the more feminine by a pleated knee-length skirt. If eclecticism is your speed, Suzanne Rae's button-up blouse features a head-turning abstract print, and Stella Jean takes it over the top with a prints-and-gingham ensemble featuring a statement necklace fastened tightly beneath the shirt collar.

Wide-leg pants were everywhere for spring, suited to both work and play. Organic by John Patrick’s pale blue trousers transition seamlessly from an office to a leisurely seaside setting, and there's a similar resort quality to the styles we spotted in Maiyet and AWAVEAWAKE's SS14 presentations. For evening, Costello Tagliapietra offers a low-key metallic sheen, while Suno elevates the aesthetic with its embellished palazzo pants.

Summertime and skimpy clothing go together like ice cream and cones, but there's a more elegant way to bare it all for 2014. Designers seemed determined to see the sheer trend through, especially for evening. Ginger & Smart, Stella McCartney and Daniel Silverstein all availed themselves of miniscule but strategically placed linings or decorative elements to keep their dresses and tops PG-rated. But the look was decidedly more daring at AWAVEAWAKE and Organic by John Patrick, where Jaclyn Hodes and John Patrick went for full transparency. Patrick, however, paired his skirt with an opaque sweater–you know, for shy types.

As always, don't forget to join us on Pinterest for some ethical SS14-themed pinning.


October 15, 2013
5 Questions for Freedom Of Animals Designer Morgan Bogle

5 Questions for Freedom Of Animals Designer Morgan Bogle

It takes considerable design chops to dream up the versatile, eye-catching bags that have made shoppers fall hard for Freedom Of Animals. And it takes considerable commitment to ensure that the accessories line is entirely vegan, eco-friendly and made in the U.S.A. Clearly blessed with both skill and soul, Morgan Bogle is high on our designer radar. Hear what she has to say about her inspirations, adventures in animal rescuing, and when Freedom Of Animals might expand into footwear.

Did you naturally gravitate to designing accessories over clothing, or was it a deliberate choice? When my boyfriend/business partner and I founded Freedom Of Animals and were in the first stages of developing products, it felt clear that the accessory world needed sustainable and ethical options. So we made the decision to start with bags, and later include shoes and other accessories. 

What can you tell us about Freedom Of Animals’ forthcoming shoe line? We are in the early stages, but we are sourcing materials and finding the U.S. factories. We hope to have a small collection launching for spring 2015.

You’ve said that Freedom Of Animals was born out of a desire to reconcile your love of fashion with your vegan lifestyle. What tips do you have for fashion-obsessed animal lovers? We're fortunate to have so many incredible online sites with a focus on sustainability. Finding sustainable, ethical and cruelty-free fashion is not as difficult as it used to be. Designers are shifting their perspective because the customer is asking for it.

When I first began my career, I would offset my fashion-focused days by volunteering at shelters whenever I could: walking dogs who needed homes, fostering them, and finding them new homes. My boyfriend and I would even travel around the world to volunteer with animals—South Africa, the Galápagos, a retired circus sanctuary in northern California. All were such incredible experiences!

Morgan Bogle

Freedom Of Animals supports elephant conservation efforts in Africa. What made you choose this project specifically? We are big supporters of conservation and feel incredibly connected to the accomplishments and the system that has been set up for elephant/rhino conservation in particular. I've been a longtime animal activist and have been following these organizations for over a decade, so to have a goal of supporting them in a big way feels so right. Plus, what these organizations are giving back to people, in terms of education and jobs, feels very well-rounded. 

Finally, leopard printsyay or nay? It's not really for me, but that isn't to say that I won't one day source an amazing interpretation of an animal print and use it for a bag or pair of shoes.

October 03, 2013
8 Sustainable Fashion Books To Add To Your Reading List

8 Sustainable Fashion Books To Add To Your Reading List

As a retailer with a mission to not just curate ethical fashion but help people understand it, it heartens us to see shoppers demanding more and more information about the things they buy and the clothes they wear. We know firsthand, however, that there are mountains of constantly evolving information on ethical and sustainable fashion, and that wading through it can be one daunting, dizzying task. Enter this crop of eco-fashion experts, who've devoted years of work to helping you better understand these complex but pressing issues. Whether you're looking to build your own ethical wardrobe or simply on the market for some DIY inspiration, these books are required reading.


1. ReFashioned: Cutting-Edge Clothing from Upcycled Materials by Sass Brown

A name like Sass Brown belongs on book covers—but that’s not the reason F.I.T.’s Assistant Dean of the School of Art and Design penned her second title. Available in October, ReFashioned: Cutting-Edge Clothing from Upcycled Materials takes a look at 46 designers—from emerging talent to names like Christopher Raeburn and From Somewhere—who breathe new life and value into "one man's trash." By showing in beautiful detail how they fashion discarded garments and materials into newly functional and inherently unique pieces, the book is ultimately a celebration of creativity, as well as a source of inspiration for other designers and the public alike.

Brown's first book, Eco Fashion, and its sister blog, Eco Fashion Talk, are also highly recommended reading.

Published by Laurence King in 2013; pre-order Refashioned.

2. Sustainable Luxe: A Guide to Feel-Good Fashion by Jordan Phillips

In Sustainable Luxe, her follow-up to The Lure of Luxe, author Jordan Phillips posits that price points that seem too good to be true likely are, coming at the expense of garment workers, the environment–and our own misspent dollars. To help us use our purchasing power more wisely, Phillips presents a three-prong approach to modern-day shopping: 1) When buying new clothing, choose the labels and retailers you support wisely. 2) Buy vintage, consignment and secondhand clothing. 3) Shop your own closet and take care of what you already have.

At its core, Phillips' message is about self-empowerment. Making conscious fashion choices is not just about valuing the lives of those who are negatively impacted by the fashion industry–it's about valuing ourselves and beginning the process of curating a wardrobe of quality items that will stand the test of time, she writes.

Published in 2013; buy Sustainable Luxe.

3. Fashion Manifesto: The Guide for the Style-Savvy by Sofia Hedstrӧm

Sustainable Fashion Books Fashion Manifesto by Sofia Hedstrom

Fashion journalist Sofia Hedstrӧm’s book is a how-to guide with heart. Disillusioned by a lack of innovation in fashion and overwhelmed by a wardrobe that had taken over her apartment, Hedstrӧm quit shopping for a year in favor of learning how to reinvent her old clothes. Her ensuing 12-month adventure is told via 50 "recipes" for rehabbing old wardrobe staples. With a foreword from designer Vivienne Westwood and the help of photographer Anna Schori, Fashion Manifesto literally illustrates the benefits of slowing down and experimenting with what one already owns, making this our go-to "cookbook" for recycled fashion.

Published by Skyhorse in 2013; buy The Fashion Manifesto.


4. Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth Cline 

An instant classic when it was published last year, Overdressed struck a cultural cord for a reason—many an eco-fashion journey has begun with pile upon pile of fast-fashion purchases that have fallen apart or lost their luster after a handful of wears. Author Elizabeth Cline goes beyond relatability, however, and offers a laboriously researched analysis of the industry. Cline's antidote to apathy is a roster of hard-hitting facts, the implications of which can't credibly be denied by even the most ardent fast fashion addicts. 

Published by Penguin USA in 2012; buy Overdressed.

5. The Sustainable Fashion Handbook by Sandy Black 

If you're seeking an ultra-comprehensive look at the sustainable fashion world, The Sustainable Fashion Handbook is it. A professor at the London College of Fashion's Centre for Sustainable Fashion, Sandy Brown brings together wide-ranging perspectives, essays and interviews that illuminate the issues facing the fashion industry today. Dive deep with case studies on fair trade projects or denim lifecycles; hear from the likes of Stella McCartney and Dries Van Noten; and even read the stories of regular shoppers who've owned and loved items in their closet for years.

Published by Thames & Hudson in 2012; buy The Sustainable Fashion Handbook.

6. Naked Fashion: The New Sustainable Fashion Revolution by Safia Minney

Hooking us with a foreword by sustainable fashion activist Livia Firth, Naked Fashion provides an insightful glimpse at the eco-fashion industry across the pond–it's written by Safia Minney, founder of London-based ethical label People Tree. Open this book for everything from Emma Watson's take on Fair Trade fashion to style guides, images and stats on why socially and environmentally friendly fashion matters. A lot.

Published by New Internationalist in 2011; buy Naked Fashion.


7. E Is for Environment: Stories to Help Children Care for Their Worldat Home, at School, and at Play by Ian James Corlett

Your little ones may be too young to be schooled in ethical fashion, but it's never too early to instill respect for the planet. Ian James Corlett, a father and award-winning children's television writer, tackles the topic through the loveable Elliot and Lucy. In a series of stories, the aspiring environmentalists commit hopefully memorable mistakes, such as leaving the water running and forgetting to switch off the lights when leaving a room. The lessons may stick with parents, too!

Published by Atria Books in 2011; buy E Is for Environment.


8. Wear No Evil: How to Change the World With Your Wardrobe by Greta Eagan

Full disclosure: This book isn’t out yet, so we can’t promise it’s worth a spot on your shelf. But we're not expecting anything other than a compelling read from Fashion Me Green blogger Greta Eagan. Due to be published next May, Wear No Evil is a three-part resource that will introduce the problems with our current shopping patterns, guide readers through a closet-cleansing exercise, and close with real-world examples of sustainable fashion in action, the publishers tell us. 

To be published by Running Press in 2014; pre-order Wear No Evil.

September 16, 2013
September Issues: Update Your Wardrobe for Fall

September Issues: Update Your Wardrobe for Fall

Some call it pre-fall. We call it a September issue–vacillating between the allure of autumn styles and a reluctance to stash our summer favorites, as fluctuating temperatures point in either direction.

For us, these seasonless pieces are the answer. During the transitional month ahead, we'll turn to finely crafted handbags with divine textures; corduroy velvet minis that can be pulled over bare legs or translucent tights; flowy dresses made from thermostatic silk (translation: this eco-friendly fabric keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter); a few fantastic jackets that work as standalone statements or as eye-catching layers; and exquisite jewelry that sparkles year-round.

Click through our lookbook for a peek at the season to come.

September 03, 2013
Green City Guide: Dublin

Green City Guide: Dublin

For travelers with a taste for all things eco- and indie-luxe, this is your must-see Dublin itinerary.
August 18, 2013