Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Fashion in Orléans, Plus Some Thoughts on Responsible Buying

I've read some wonderful posts lately regarding wardrobe expectations. I'm thinking of Zoe's blog, for example. I heartily agree that people in general (especially in "developed" nations) need to reexamine and change our consumer habits and expectations. And I cannot express this any better than people already have. I only want to reiterate that every choice we make is an opportunity.

I read sometimes that people feel powerless in the face of global manufacturing processes, the fact that everything seems to be made in China (or Taiwan, Bangladesh, etc.) under sub-par environmental and working conditions, and we can't escape it. But we are not powerless. Every single purchase we make is important and gives feedback to companies regarding our expectations for quality, manufacturing processes, etc.

I absolutely do not write this to judge people on their decisions. Everybody has budget and time constraints and desires! I only want to encourage people to look at every purchase as an opportunity. Do I want to shop local this time or do I want to favor environmentally friendly? Can I do both? Can I support local businesses on my budget? What about fair-trade products, etc? I certainly shop at big-box stores and buy non-environmentally friendly products sometimes...maybe even most of the time. That's something I need to examine!

But I try to make a special effort when it comes to sewing because I view this as a good opportunity to break out of my typical cycle. It's already different because I'm making the finished product myself! Often, I can't have it all, and I have to order my fair-trade, environmentally fabric from England, or pay out the nose in Paris. But at least I take those things into consideration before deciding.

And, I have to say, I think we do have a variety of options out there in terms of fabric. Not necessarily cheap options (and not necessarily locally but the internet is wonderful for that), but price is another element that we should be questioning - what is the reasonable price of something? (See The Slapdash Sewist on what a wedding dress is worth). And if I'm going to keep (and wear) this garment for 3 to 5 years (or longer), is it excessive to spend 30$ or 30 euros per yard/meter? I say, no, this is a good price, if I'm getting what I want out of the fabric. Moreover, I think we should be keeping our clothes this long and not changing them every year or every season.

Anyways, all of this is really a reminder to me that I should look at what I CAN do rather than what I CAN'T do. Feel free to chime in though! :)

OK, here's the part of the blog post about fashion in Orléans. I thought it might be fun to share with you the recent fashion spread that our free local "feminine" magazine published. All photos are taken from Edith magazine and you can leaf through the entire magazine at their website; you just need to click on the front cover of the magazine (on the right-hand side).

Their fashion spread was supposed to give ideas about what 30-something-women wear in the springtime. My favorite outfit was definitely the one on the cover, although I'm not sure I'd wear the flashy pink tights myself. Maybe...


I like the skirt and blazer combo. I also like the pink and brown together, but my version of the pink would be toned down a smidge.

Here's an overview of all the looks:


I'm not sure why these outfits are only for thirty-somethings. To me, they seem perfectly appropriate for twenty-year-olds too! Maybe even teenagers, if they don't wear heels. I only like kids (and I include teens in this category until they are in college) to wear heels on special occasions.

Here's my second favorite look:


I definitely like women's clothing that is inspired by menswear. But again, I wouldn't wear such dramatic heels with it! I'm a wussy when it comes to heels.

So, what do you think? Do these styles seem especially "French" to you?

5 comments:

  1. I like the first one as well, but I'd go with black tights. And I totally agree that heals should only be special occasion for anyone under the age of 16. Though my Mom made me practice walking around in them in the house. She wanted me to be "ladylike" not "tramp walk".

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  2. I like the blue jeans version, and the one that looks like a black lather jacket, black leggings and raspberry dress/tunic? too. Some nice inspirations there... I think it is great that your city has a special fashion magazine for local women!

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  3. Even though I have several pairs, I am kind of a wuss about high heels too. I am actually wearing some heels today, but have some flats in my purse for later. :)

    I especially like the menswear inspiration mixed with the feminine touches, very chic.

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  4. Cool magazine, I really like the garcon look! :) How nice that Orléans actually has a free magazine for women. Good thoughts about conscientious buying. I really think I need to think more about my fabric purchases...

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