Tag Archives: Crystalyn Kae

Bermuda Shorts and Basket-weave Top

Seattle’s summer is showing no signs of slowing down—and I’m not complaining! I love the warm weather. In summer I gravitate toward dresses, but shorts are a nice change.

Bermuda shorts

Top: Damselfly Seattle
Shorts: Saltworks via swapped
Shoes: Aerosoles
Purse: Crystalyn Kae
Bracelet: Brooklyn flea market

Shorts are usually too short and casual for work, but Bermuda-length shorts are fine in creative and/or casual environments.

woven-pattern top

I wore these to work with a loose top. I was drawn to this pattern because it looked like a thick, woven fabric. It’s an illusion—the pattern is printed on the fabric.

I like the dark background and how the top incorporates so many colors. It means I can wear this with almost anything. I like it with denim (so the denim shorts are a good fit), but it will look great with any solid pant or short.

shorts and sandals

I met up with Crystalyn Kae at Urban Craft Uprising this past July and I ended up with a cute lime green cross-body purse. Adorable, isn’t it?

Crystalyn Kae purse

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Filed under Ethical, Fashion, Thrifty

Fashion Revolution: Who Made My Clothes?

Today is Fashion Revolution Day. This day marks the second anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, which killed over eleven hundred people and injured thousands more.

I’m joining others as we ask, “Who made my clothes?” Check out Instagram hashtags for #fashrev, #whomademyclothes, #fashionrevolutionday, and #whomadeyourclothes for lots of inspiring photos. You might see photos of people wearing their clothes inside out to show the labels–transparency in fashion!

who made my clothes?

I know who made my clothes!

Lois Eastlund label

Lois Eastlund made my dress. It looks fantastic (even inside out) because it’s handmade and she paid a lot of attention to detail. She’s a NY-based fashion designer and one of the founders of La Fashionista Compassionista–an awesome (and free) online magazine that you should get your hands on!

Lois Eastlund dress

Moses made my boots. They’re handmade in a factory in LA. The company, Nicora Johns, is helping to keep the US shoemaking industry alive. When I bought my boots, I got a photo of Moses in the shop where he made these. They’re also vegan–no animals or humans harmed!

Nicora Johns boots

Crystalyn Kae made my purse. It’s glazed fabric. Another great leather alternative. I met Crystalyn when she was located in Seattle. She’s based in NYC now, but you can find her amazing bags in stores nationwide and on her website.

Crystalyn Kae purse

Roque from Get Hell Bent made my cuff. It’s made from recycled bicycle tires. I have three of her cuffs. They’re so edgy and tough!

accessories

I made my earrings! It’s fun to create. My simple drop-chain earrings were easy to make and have become my go-to pair. They match everything!

I don’t know who made my tights. So it’s not a perfect outfit. But thinking about where my clothing comes from has opened my eyes. I heard 1 in 6 people is employed in fashion. But who are they? What are their working conditions like? How environmentally friendly is the factory? Animal skins require so many chemicals to turn them into leather and not decompose.

Fashion isn’t perfect, but I love knowing where my clothes came from and who made them. My goal is to buy exclusively from sustainable ethical companies. Sometimes that means things cost more. But do I really need thirty $8 tank tops? What if I had eight $30 tanks? They’d last longer, and I’d be putting my dollars where my values are.

Let’s start a revolution!

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Filed under Ethical, Fashion

Safari Jacket with Scarf and Jeans

No, I’m not heading out on safari, but I am wearing a handy safari-style jacket. I found this in Vancouver, and as soon as I checked to make sure the sleeves were faux leather, I bought it.safari jacket

Jacket: Bedo
Jeans: Suzy Shier
Sweater: Express
Scarf: Bebenoir
Boots: Novacas
Tote: Crystalyn Kae

It works well with lots of outfits, but this time, I paired it with a bright sweater and scarf with a bird motif (Put a bird on it!).

bird scarf

I’ve been trying to shop locally, buy sustainably, and support fair trade brands. I find these types of articles last longer, even though they often cost more–so it evens out. Of course it will take a while to convert my wardrobe to the ethical closet I want it to be, but with each outfit, I try to incorporate such pieces.

For this outfit, my Novacas boots fit the bill. Made in Portugal, from green (non-leather) materials, the company prides itself in good working conditions and fair wages.

jeans and a sweater

My tote is glazed fabric and handmade by Crystalyn Kae, so it counts too (made in the USA, small business, sustainable, and ethical). I love her work and I’d encourage you to check out the line. She was one of the first brands to reach out to me to review a product, and I fell in love with her bags.

I’m joining the Penniless Socialite, Rachel the Hat, and Happiness at Mid-Life for link-ups. See what everyone else is wearing!

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Filed under Ethical, Fashion

Floral Dress for a New York Day

I’m in New York again! I’m having such a fantastic time and I’m so busy that I’m almost forgetting to blog! I’m here with my parents and so far we’ve gone to dance performances, flea markets, jazz concerts, museums, and vegan restaurants–I even got my hair cut here. We still have Shakespeare and comedy on the agenda.

Today we went to a fantastic event in Soho called The Seed. It’s a plant-based experience complete with vegan food, cooking demos, beauty products, clothing, animal rescue organizations, and fabulous speakers. I got to see Lois Eastlund again too–she’s the designer I met last year. You might remember her name from the mint dress I posted. In fact, Lois told me about the event. I’m so glad she did! I wouldn’t have wanted to miss this!

cinnamon snail

Dress: Forever 21
Shoes: Reneu
Purse: Crystalyn Kae

I was in heaven before I even entered the building. The Cinnamon Snail vegan food truck was selling scrumptious sandwiches outside.

food truck

Once inside, I posed on the red carpet before checking out the booths.

the seed

I found one of my favorite handbag companies–Gunas–and they were having a sale!

gunas

I got to meet Jenny Brown of Woodstock Animal Sanctuary, and Tha Vegan Dread, a professional bodybuilder (who’s as nice as he is strong).

jenny and jean

tha vegan dread

After looking at all sorts of products and learning about great animal organizations, we headed over to Mooshoes, a vegan shoe store that happened to be having a shop-up event with baked goods and other vegan product from local vendors.

mooshoes

shop up

The Seed is yet another reason why I love New York!

I’m linking up to Visible Monday today. See what all the other bloggers are up to.

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Filed under Ethical, Events, Fashion

My Holiday Party Outfit

I had a blast at this year’s company holiday party. The theme was a mashup of Alice in Wonderland and masquerade ball. With all the options surrounding both ideas, I knew getting dressed for the party would be fun. I wrote about what I did at the party earlier.

I decided to wear my tiny hat, and I worked in the rest of the outfit around that. This outfit doesn’t scream festive, but the fancy details make it party-appropriate.

holiday outfit

Cape: Target
Skirt: Neodandi
Gloves: Thrifted
Spider brooch: eBay
Clutch: Crystalyn Kae
Boots: John Fluevog

under the cape

Necklace: Miss Michelle’s Family Jewels
Top: Swapped

I am so happy to debut this Neodandi skirt on my blog. I’ve had it for a while and I love it more and more. It’s a pair of men’s pinstripe trousers that have been upcycled into a fabulous fitted skirt. It’s wonderfully stitched together with fancy pleats and tucks and velvet ribbon detailing—and it fits like a glove. Neodandi is a local couture house. And they say Seattle isn’t on the fashion map!

details

Speaking of local artists, I found this cute Mad Hatter necklace at Miss Michelle’s booth at the Bizarre Bazaar in Capitol Hill just hours before the party. I snapped it up—it was a perfect addition for the theme of the party.

And finally, my amazing, glazed fabric clutch by Crystalyn Kae came in handy. This clutch feels like soft, supple leather, but it’s vegan! It’s dressy yet roomy. I put my phone, wallet, keys, lipstick and camera in the bag and had room to spare. I want one in every color. Crystalyn is a local designer who makes unique bags in fabric, glazed fabric, and recycled leather.

The vegan, local, upcycled, hand-made and/or thrifted and swapped items I’m sporting makes this outfit is a perfect candidate for the Ethical Fashion Bloggers December roundup. You can see the other member’s ethical outfits there too.

I hope you hade fun at a few holiday parties too. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and all that sh–tuff!

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Filed under Crafts, Ethical, Fashion

Cool Blue Summer Style

I call this my Urban Craft Uprising outfit because my earrings, skirt, and bag are from my recent adventures at the UCU show. This is a great travel outfit (rollable, packable, wrinkle-free) and it’s so comfortable.

blue outfit

Top: Papaya
Skirt: Erin MacLeod
Shoes: Timberland
Earrings: Designated Dryden
Bag: Crystalyn Kae

earrings

details

The one-size skirt is by Portland designer Erin MacLeod. I have a couple of other skirts by her. They have a row of snaps as a waistband and are fully adjustable.

The bag is my latest Crystalyn Kae, a design collection made right here in Seattle. It holds my laptop but will be a great carry-on piece when I fly. My friends with children thought it would make a stylish diaper bag too.

The earrings are from Designated Dryden, another Portland-area designer. Dryden makes affordable, fun jewelry. I plan to visit her Etsy site soon.

I really enjoy supporting local designers and merchants. I love how these pieces are high-quality, handmade, and one-of-a-kind. Do you have locally made items? What are your favorite local shops?

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Filed under Crafts, Fashion

Urban Craft Uprising

I recently attended Urban Craft Uprising at the Seattle Center. If you think of knitted slippers and quilted tea cosies when you think of crafts, think again. UCU is a very rock ‘n’ roll craft affair. The vendors are young, modern trendsetters and they create wonderful arts and crafts—from handmade soaps and jewelry to one-of-a-kind hats and bags.

I bought a few things that I’ll be showing off in future posts, including two skirts from Erin MacLeod, and an amazing bag from Crystalyn Kae. The funny thing is that the first time I posted about my Crystalyn Kae Clutch, I was wearing my Erin MacLeod skirt. At UCU, I got to meet Erin and Crystalyn.

Krystalyn at work

Meeting Crystalyn was great. She’s so friendly and personable and loves what she does (heck, I love what she does too). It was hard to decide which bag to buy. Can you blame me? There was such a great selection of shoulder bags, clutches in cool new colors, and (what I eventually chose) larger laptop-type bags.

clutches and totes

fabric purses

Her bags are all hand-crafted in Seattle using beautiful vintage fabrics, a surprisingly realistic leather alternative called glazed fabric, and sometimes, reclaimed leather.

Erin MacLeod specializes in amazing one-size-fits-most, wrap-around snap skirts. The skirts are really comfortable and flattering and come in a wide array of colors. Erin spends most of her time making skirts, and not a lot of time building her website (which, if you think about it is preferable to the other way around). You might not find a lot online, but she welcomes email. So if there’s a skirt you’re looking for or you want to know where she’ll be vending next, drop her a line.

erin's fabrics

I’ll model the skirts for you in future posts. I already had a winter-weight plaid skirt, so I bought two lighter fabrics this time. One in cool tones and one in warm tones. I put them in my new tote from Crystalyn, finished shopping at UCU, and grabbed lunch at a Thai restaurant down the street from the Seattle Center.

The next UCU is on December 3rd and 4th, just in time for gift shopping. Mark your calendars. On your way, look for the Space Needle, the monorail, and Experience Music Project. When you see all three, you’re almost there!

space needle, monorail track, and EMP

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Filed under Crafts, Fashion

Red and Blue for Spring

I’m a big fan of the elongating effect of the nude shoe. Matching one’s shoes to one’s skin tone is a good way to add the illusion of height. For me, nude is a light beige color. It’s somewhat of a political issue that nude, in general, refers to a color closely resembling caucasian skin tone. I like that some retailers (Victoria’s Secret and Calvin Klein come to mind) sell nude undergarments in a variety of shades: buff, rose, caramel, coffee, etc. It seems more inclusive. If you’re buying a nude shoe, look for something that matches your skin color.

Well today, I chose a beige shoe (see how beige doesn’t sound as good?) and lengthened my legs, so to speak. I thought I needed the help because this skirt—as much as I like it—hits my leg right at the knee. That’s a tough length; shorter or longer and the effect is lengthening. Chopping my legs in the middle isn’t. But the skirt had a dirndl/Maria von Trapp feel to it and that’s why I bought it.

red, blue and nude

nude shoe

T-shirt: Victoria’s Secret
Skirt: Le Chateau
Scarf: Boutique in Portland
Clutch: Crystalyn Kae
Shoes: Aerosoles

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Cute Caramel Clutch by Crystalyn Kae

I finally got my hands on a caramel-colored clutch by Crystalyn Kae, and I must say, I’m in love. Crystalyn Kae is a line of hand-crafted clutches, hobo bags, and totes made right here in Seattle! If it’s one thing I love, it’s locally made goods. And if you need another reason to love these purses, you’ll be happy to know they are made of vintage fabrics, reclaimed leather, and/or glazed fabrics.

pleated clutch

My pleated clutch is made of glazed fabric, but I swear it looks and feel like leather. This satisfies my need for environmentally conscious and fashionable products. It’s small enough to use in the evening (which I did), but not too “precious” that it looks out of place in the day. I took mine to work (it held my phone, car radio faceplate, lip balm, keys, and wallet just fine).

my clutchI adore the pleats and the patterned fabric that peeks out. Mine is lined with amazing fushia fabric and has three inside pockets. It zips shut, and has a detachable wrist strap. This bag is becoming one of my favorites and I’ll be buying more Crystalyn Kae items soon. I can’t tell you how many compliments I’ve received. People really like it. If you like it, go to the Crystalyn Kae website and order one for yourself.

plaid and caramel

red, brown, and green

Top: Thrifted
Skirt: Erin MacLeod
Clutch: c/o Crystalyn Kae
Earrings: Shirazi
Tights: Nordstrom
Shoes: Frye (via clothing exchange)

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Filed under Fashion, Product Reviews