Today's Everyday Fashion: The Sequin Cardigan

 Inspiration:  Banana Republic

Inspiration: Banana Republic

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Sequins + sequins = too much of a good thing? Monochromatic ivory = totally out of season? I'll leave that up to you guys to decide for yourself, but personally I can't get enough of either! Would you ever wear two layers of sequins? How about monochromatic ivory in the winter?

Cardigan: Limited, $20 (BR version)
Top: Arden B, $25 
Jeans: Limited, $37 (similar)
Shoes: Banana Republic, $75 (similar, pointy)
Purse: Sole Society, $30
Necklace: J.Crew, $40 (similarsimilar, similar)
Approx. dates: Top is 7 years old, shoes are 5 years old, necklace is 4 years old, cardigan and jeans are last year, purse is this summer.

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ps. As promised, voting is now open - go to Fashion Indie to vote for your favorite Abercrombie look! 

Also – I wanted to address the comments from Monday’s post. Can I first just say how inspiring you guys are though? Your passion and willingness to speak out for your beliefs was so exciting, it bowled me over. Thank you for voicing your thoughts – I value your feedback immensely. I have been feeling hopeless about my mission/dream for different beauty standards in the fashion world and had all but given up, so your enthusiasm for this topic provided me with a much-needed renewed sense of purpose and mission. I can’t thank you enough!

After a few days of reflection, here’s my plan of action:

1.     All of the money from the post will be donated to charity. This money will be specifically earmarked for a charity that is appropriately the opposite of AF CEO Mr. Jeffries remarks. Please leave your suggestions for deserving charities in the comment section.

2.     With a renewed sense of purpose, I will be working towards providing more content along the lines of fair trade, campaigns that represent real women, and plus size fashion. Your positive feedback is just as valuable as your negative feedback if not more, so please be sure to speak up if these posts are the kind of inclusive content you are looking for.

3.     Editorial decisions will continue to be my top priority. What keeps me up at night is making sure I never promote a clothing item that I don’t really like or want to wear. (Just a few examples of the crazy pressure to feature things - if the person is a friend, a giant company you are scared of burning a bridge with, they are waving a million dollars in front of you, or they have asked 83 times and you just feel like a horrible, miserable person for saying no.) I don’t feel comfortable wearing something just because someone is paying me. I don’t feel comfortable wearing something just because it is fair trade but I don’t actually like the item. And I’m not going to start wearing head-to-toe Wet Seal, even though I love (love!) that they hired this teenage girl with Down syndrome as a model. Having a blog that is completely dedicated to ethical fashion would be seriously amazing. (If you know of one, please share – I would love to read it.) But please know that this is not that blog, and I’m sorry if I ever gave you that impression. I get really excited when my values and cute fashion intersect (here are some examples: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), but ultimately my editorial eye (or whatever in the world you want to call it) is the guiding force here. My purpose is to help women feel amazing in clothes that they love, and the ethics of the companies that make them feel amazing is always going to be second string (please note I said second string, not “completely overlooked”).

4.     I am 100% dedicated to my mission to be a fashion publication that is inclusive and welcomes any age, race, gender, body type, budget, or ability to mix prints – you name it. Where I failed to make the connection, is that while I personally may be inclusive, putting a brand into the mix that is not inclusive, makes the whole website feel hostile. I consulted a psychic (not really) and I think the real reason the post struck a nerve is simply that AF doesn’t fit the mission statement. (Out of 50 girls in this campaign, I'm told only 3 received similar comments.) My optimist views were that AF was courting us as a group and isn’t that sweet (yes they do work with plus size bloggers, see here), but I get it - you guys aren’t ready to accept any kind of apology yet. AF is not invited to our party, I hear that, point taken, and consider them uninvited. (Note: If I wear the items again, I won’t be listing the brand name.)

So that’s the easy part. There is one point I don’t have a plan for yet though. It’s when to know a company should be uninvited. I did not expect this kind of response about AF, and I’m not sure I trust my instincts to know when a company is off limits. From my point of view, AF values are no different than many retail companies – they want to make money, and they want cool people to wear their clothes. I don’t need the CEO to to make offensive comments to communicate that they are not inclusive, when I can look at their branding to learn what they value. Victoria’s Secret is not even a little bit shy about using one very distinct type of woman (and an unfortunate amount of smoke and mirrors) as their “ideal customer,” models regularly wear padding to make themselves plus size, and Ralph Lauren eventually apologized for this Photoshop disaster. It’s not a black and white issue and the gray areas are quite messy. I'm not sure how to judge one without judging them all.  

So that’s all for now. A few plans to execute, and lots more thinking to do! Thanks again, as always, for sharing your thoughts.