When I dress for work, my goal is to look chic and feel comfortable. But, because I’m a conscious consumer, I make sure to buy clothes that I intend to have during my entire career.
My Elevenses velvet joggers from Anthropologie have been with me for years and are perfect for work. They feel comfortable like sweatpants, but they’re also professional because of the fabric. You can find a similar style on sale here!
To match my patterned velvet joggers, I opted for my burnt orange blouse from Handle with Care, a boutique in the Old Town neighborhood of Chicago. I love purchasing my clothes from local businesses like Handle with Care. Not only do they have adorable clothes and accessories, but they have the sweetest associates, too! This blouse is a wardrobe staple because I can dress it up for work and dress it down with distressed jeans and Superga sneakers.
Since my blouse and joggers were so colorful, I kept my footwear simple with my nude BP. open toe heels. Over accumulating clothes is something I avoid, so I only own one pair of nude open toe heels. Getting dressed has become so much easier since minimizing the amount of options I have in my closet!
This J. Crew coat has kept me toasty this winter. I needed a classic professional coat I would have for a long time. This coat by J. Crew has been ideal!
But, don’t knock it till you try it. I was inspired to rock this perfect partnership by the designers behind Mimu Maxi. These sister-in-laws and fashionistas make simple and chic dresses, skirts and blouses for the fashion lover who prefers dressing modestly. I stalk check out their Instagram daily for style inspiration. The dress and jeans look is one they wear flawlessly.
I love wearing dresses with jeans for many reason. First, it looks awesome- plain and simple. Second, the look can be dressed up and down. The look I’m wearing is perfect for a day running errands, a workplace with a lax dress code, or classes for you students out there. At night, swap in a silk dress, black skinny jeans, and pumps.
The dress I’m wearing is from Anthropologie and by Dolan Left Coast, which was made in the U.S.A! The jeans are by J Brand, which were made in the U.S. of imported fabric. The jacket is by Eileen Fisher, which is produced by workers being treated with compassion and with organic fibers and natural dyes. The beanie is by Krochet Kids, which is hand-signed by the person who made it in Northern Uganda! The ankle boots are by Free People and backpack is by Fjällräven.
Cousinly love and a mutual passion for positive change built Ways of Change into a jewelry brand that hires refugees living in camps and villages on the Thailand Burma border. These refugees use their inherited craftsmanship to create jewelry inspired by their traditions. I had the opportunity to speak via email with Lauren Baird, co-founder and creative director of Ways of Change, about the jewelry brand she and her cousin Cara Boccieri created and what we can expect from the duo.
Ways of Change has become one of my favorite accessories brands. Explain why you started the company.
Lauren: Ways of Change was more than inspired by it was directly asked for by people on the Thailand Burma border when co-founder Cara Boccieri was carrying out research in 2011. During interviews and conversations she was repeatedly hearing, “You know we are talented artisans, we have many skills, but we have no access to any market place.” So we created a global marketplace through our website and began working with the talented refugee artisans who already had the skills to make beautiful pieces of jewelry but tweaking them with a more modern design approach to reach a broader market and to create a truly unique collection.
I’m obsessed with the Kan Bo Choker! What inspired the creation of the piece?
L: That is one of my favorite pieces too! The coil rings that many Kayan women wear around their necks directly inspired the Kan Bo Choker and the pointed ends come from the kan tan bo. These wooden poles are have during the largest celebration in the Kayan culture and represent the sun at the peak and the moon in the middle, these elements are embodied in the hand crafted points at the end of the choker.
Who designs and manufactures your chic jewelry?
L: All of our designs are a collaboration between the artisans we work with and my inspirations and ideas as creative director. Each piece is 100% handmade using traditional techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation.
What’s next for Ways of Change?
We are currently working on completing our second collection, which will add an element of vintage upcycled chains and will be launching soon. We are also in the beginning stages of our first big community development project, so stay tuned to learn more about what we are working on.
Oh, we will, Lauren!
Outfit: Top by Shaina Mote; reclaimed Levi’s jeans from Urban Outfitters; shoes by TOMS; glasses by DIFF; necklace by Ways of Change.