Ethical Fashion By Women For Women

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Women are complex. We have to be. We’re constantly navigating a world that is not designed for us (#patriarchy). We’re supposed to be sweet, but not flirty. Demure, but not a prude. Smart but not smarter than the man we’re talking to. Quiet, talkative, hot, angelic, a good daughter, a wild woman, the madonna whore all at the same time. You know, everything and nothing all at once.

 

I’m exhausted just writing all that. It’s a lot to navigate in a lifetime let alone a single day. And yet we do it every single day. What this means practically for me, is that I change outfits at least three times a day. I’m not kidding.

 

Let’s take last Friday for example. In the morning I wrote. I need to be comfortable and warm so it’s usually a combination of pajamas and sweats. In the afternoon I had a lunch meeting so I wanted to look put together, but still casual. I changed into jeans, heels and sleeveless shirt/cardigan/hat combo. Then I had errands to run so it was back to practicality. I switched to different jeans, a t-shirt, and sneakers. Lastly I had a date with my husband. Back to the first jeans, a different blouse and different heels.

You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it
— Edith Head

That’s a completely ridiculous amount of clothes to wear in one day. If I don’t have time to come home in between things I take everything with me and by the end of the day my car looks like it got hit by a tornado. But each event required a different side of me to take charge.

I like to keep things simple, so why do I have to do this daily fashion show? Because the majority of our clothing is designed by men who have no idea what we as women need. Yes, you read that right. Most designers are men. According to a 2015 study by BOF of the 50 major fashion houses, only 14% are run by women.

Obviously men can design beautiful clothes for women, but doesn’t this seem kind of crazy? It’s one thing to know your who you’re designing for, it’s another to be designing for yourself.

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Our lives as women require a lot from us, and in turn we require a lot from out clothes. In my heart of hearts, I love menswear-inspired clothing. I love the freedom of movement it gives me, but time and time again when I wear it I end up looking like…a man. The clothes are boxy and unflattering. I want clothes that are inspired by menswear not actual menswear. The few times I have found something flattering they came from fast fashion brands with horrific labor practices. No way could I support that.

I want clothes that are tough but feel soft. I want something that looks boyish but designed for a woman. I want something simple but meticulously made. Is that so much to ask for?

 

Apparently, yes.

 

Thank the fashion gods someone came along and heard my prayers. One night scrolling through Instagram I discovered Tradlands. Tradlands was designed by a woman for women who like men’s clothes. HUZZAH! Best of all everything is made with eco-friendly materials like cotton and tencel, and 98% of their fabric is used in production! Yup, you read that right only 2% goes unused and they even have a recycling program for that little bit.

 

The Tradlands website boasts of incredibly soft flannels and superior attention to detail. Man, I was eating this stuff up. It’s like they read my mind. Here was beautiful clothing that actually fit my lifestyle. It’s like someone who knew what my life is like designed my clothes!

*huge eyeroll*

 

Shopping online is scary part because you’re never sure what you’re going to get. Sure it looks beautiful on my screen, but how will it fit? Will it feel as soft as they claim? You can talk a big game on your own website, but the proof is in the clothing.

But I’m nothing if not optimistic.

Girl, Tradlands not only met my incredibly high expectations but surpassed them. The tops are as soft as they claim and the fit is heavenly. The tailoring perfectly follows my curves without being tight or restricting.

I’ve had a flannel, this and this button up and their denim jacket for a few months now and I can tell you they are on very heavy rotation. I can dress them up or down, staying in or going out, with combat boots or heels. And when I want to girl it up a little bit, they work for that too.

 Photo:  Anais Ganouna

 

This is what happens when you have women in control of what goes on women’s bodies. We get what we need. Have you ever considered becoming a designer? Comment below!