Pants in the Summertime (It Can Be Done)

If you ask anyone who lives in Arkansas what they most frequently wear in the summertime, we’ll bet you anything that their answer is not “pants.” The blistering heat combined with the unbelievable humidity makes it difficult to wear anything except shorts and sundresses without having heat stroke.

red silk scarfYet, as two people who don’t want to wear shorts and sundresses 24/7, we’ve had to find some tricks to wearing this article of clothing without instantly regretting it as soon as we step out of the house.

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I am the self-proclaimed pants master. When I bought these pants from Goodwill, they were loose and straight-legged, which wasn’t exactly flattering, but because of the high waist and the lovely print, I saw potential in them. The first time I tailored a pair of pants, it took me 9+ hours of watching seamstresses’ tutorials on YouTube and trying out different techniques before I ended up with a pair of pants with which I was satisfied. This time? Maybe an hour.

After tightening the fit and slightly cropping the legs, these pants have become one of my favorites because they look like something I would find at Reformation. I like to mix up my summer pants repertoire with a pair that has a little character, like these, instead of only wearing jeans or black jogger pants. The fabric of these pants isn’t particularly breezy, but I actually felt fine while we were out and about because the cropped length + sandals ensured that my feet and ankles stayed cool.

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I don’t necessarily dislike wearing shorts, but it’s a struggle for me to find shorts that I love because I am very particular about them. I used to love low-rise, super-short cutoffs when I was in college, but I’m over that phase. Now, for me to buy a pair of shorts, they have to be high-waisted, a little bit longer, and be something more than a plain jane pair of Daisy Dukes. Shorts are just not as chic as pants to me, so they have to be really intriguing for me to want to spend money on them.

-S

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To wear jeans or not to wear jeans, that is the question. I am the kind of girl who loves jeans (ask anyone who knows me; they wouldn’t be able to pick my legs out of a lineup because I so rarely wear anything but pants or jeans), but when Arkansas’ humidity is at its peak, trying to squeeze into a pair of denim skinnies is literally impossible. Even I at some point have to retire my jeans in favor of something more breathable and lightweight.

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Instead of trying to survive in denim, I flock to patterned joggers, or sometimes even a pair of wide-leg pants because they are airy, appropriate for a 9-to-5 job, or for even after hours when paired with some stilettos. I don’t mind wearing shorts, but I’d much rather wear a flattering pair of pants, so when I hop from freezing coffee shop to coffee shop I don’t in turn into an icicle. Opting for airy fabrics–cotton, linen, mesh–provides a way to look polished in public while not roasting to death because of your friggin’ pants.

So will I be wearing pants this summer? Hell yeah- no sweat (literally).

-H

 

 

What are some ways you’ve found to comfortably wear pants in the summertime? Let us know in the comments!

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Hannah’s Outfit Details:

Pants: Old Navy

Tank Top: Target–similar here

Shoes: Forever 21

Scarf: Goodwill– similar here

Sunglasses: Rue 21– similar here

Earrings: Earthbound Trading Company– similar here

 

Sabrina’s Outfit Details:

Top: Target– similar here

Pants: Goodwill– similar here

Sandals: Forever 21

Sunglasses: Amazon

Earrings: Amazon

Hat: Kroger– similar here

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Dress With Purpose

To us, dress with purpose means to present yourself to the world with intention.

Intention to freely express your true self.

To empower yourself and inspire those around you.

And to shine a light on the issues that are near to your heart.

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For me, one of the biggest issues I want to work towards resolving is the disastrous effect that fast fashion has had on the environment and garment workers in developing countries.

When you buy a brand-new shirt for $4, do you ever think about how little the person who made that shirt is being paid? Or the effect of those harsh chemicals on the land and water sources of the countries where it is being produced? As someone who’s working to develop a fashion brand, I know you cannot do what is right and also sell clothing for less than the price of a sandwich.

-S

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I used to not care about where my clothing came from, and I never thought twice about what it did to the environment around me or to other families, but now that my eyes have been opened to the heartache it can bestow on others, I can never go back. The more I learned about fast fashion, the more I realized how deeply it collided with my values.

But I still love fashion, and I can’t give it up. I knew there had to be a way to continue buying clothing on a regular basis without sacrificing my principles.

-H

We feel passionately about conserving the environment because, well, it’s the only home we’ve got. We were worried about taking a strong stance on this issue because we do buy clothing from H&M and Forever 21 and feature it on our blog, so on the surface, some people could say we’re part of the problem.

We’ve considered abstaining from purchasing anything from fast fashion retailers and only buying from companies that use ethical and sustainable practices, but we thought about it, and it would simply not be feasible for us.

Each of us only have about $100 a month (or less) to buy clothing, so we wouldn’t be able to buy even a single pair of jeans from Reformation or one pair of flats from Nisolo. It goes without saying that we definitely would not be able to run a fashion blog if we stuck to only those types of stores! We greatly admire those brands, and we think they’re doing amazing, game-changing things for the world of fashion, but they’re catering to a demographic that is a little more affluent than those of us who are still in school full-time.

We cannot wait until the day we can be like Emma Watson and have the money to fill our closets with only ethically, sustainably-produced clothing, but we’re not there yet. Call us hypocrites if you want, but there are more of us out there who are in the same boat than you might think.

DSC_1805 2This is exactly why we purchase clothing from Goodwill and transform those unappealing, outdated pieces into new ones that are fresh and stylish.

Millions of clothing items (that have a lot of potential!) are already in existence, so it’s incredibly wasteful to continue producing new clothing at our current rate while allowing those pieces to sit on a shelf or be turned into rags. It’s overwhelming to think about completely overhauling your buying habits to make your wardrobe 100% sustainable, and we think that’s why a lot of women avoid it. It’s difficult, it’s expensive, and at the end of the day, there aren’t nearly as many options to choose from.

This is precisely the reason we’re working to launch a brand that brings those unwanted pieces back into the mainstream by altering small details of them to make them fashionable again. We want other women like us to have the option to buy negative-waste clothing that falls into the same pricing category as Zara or the higher end of H&M.

Our brand, Awaken Atelier, which launches within the next few months, will feature pieces from thrift stores that have been updated to reflect modern trends like raw hems on jeans, embroidery on jackets, and low-backs on one piece swimsuits. Just know it’s okay if you haven’t boycotted Forever 21 completely. Make small changes in your life to make it more sustainable, like shopping at Goodwill when you’re looking for your summer wardrobe (or shopping at Awaken Atelier when it opens!). As you start to make more money, transition towards brands like Reformation when you’re shopping for an evening dress or a new pair of jeans. But don’t get discouraged if you can’t do everything you want to do when it comes to sustainability.

Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something- do your something.

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Sabrina’s Outfit Details:

Top: Goodwill- Refashioned by Awaken Atelier

Jeans: H&M

Jacket: Goodwill- Refashioned by Awaken Atelier

Shoes: Steve Madden

Earrings: H&M

Hannah’s Outfit Details:

Jeans: Target

Top: Goodwill- Refashioned by Awaken Atelier

Jacket: TJ Maxx

Shoes: Forever 21

Necklace: Rue 21

Glasses: EyeGlasses Direct