The most common response I get to posts like How To Curb Your Fast Fashion Addiction (and something I struggle with myself) is how hard it can be to shop more consciously/ethically on a budget. Sometimes it seems like the there are the $10 dresses at Forever 21, the $300 handmade, indie designer dresses at upscale boutiques…and not much in between. But alternatives do exist! You just have to know where to look. In addition to responsible (and reasonably priced) brands like Karen Kane and Levi’s, Etsy is a great source for handmade items at accessible prices. Case in point: this on-trend, striped pencil skirt custom made out of soft jersey fabric to match your measurements. For about the same price as you’d pay for a mass-produced pencil skirt at Target. Now that’s compassionate fashion you and your wallet can feel good about. [$32, Inspired By Tess]
The boutique where I work on weekends has some pretty crazy ear cuffs in our jewelry section, big ol’ things blinged out with rhinestones and crystal feathers. True statement pieces. A couple weeks ago, this little old lady came in. She was a classic southern lady, probably close to 90, decked out in Ferragamo heels, a fur bolero, and bright pink rouge. She picked up one of the ear cuffs and asked, “What is this?” I showed her how to put it on, and she looked in the mirror and gasped, “I look … badass.” “Yes you do!” I said, because she totally did, and she ended up buying it. So rad. I’m not sure I have what it takes to pull off a huge ear cuff like that lady, but I love the look of a dainty ear pin that extends up the ear a bit. This triple star design is so cool. Maybe not badass, but definitely cool. [$18.36, Arajera]
In honor of Amelia’s current obsession with Neil deGrasse Tyson’s “Cosmos,” this week’s Etsy Spotlight is a space-tastic galaxy print flask. Because hey, when your mind is blown by quotes like, “The cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself,” no one’s going to blame you for needing a sip of something strong to help you recover. Science: we’ll drink to that! [$19.50, RK Grace]
If there’s any three-word phrase that can instantly calm my control freak, perfectionist self, it’s “Let it be.” I love the sentiment. I love the song. And I really love this beautiful pendant necklace, made with hand-drawn chalk art. Isn’t that lettering dreamy? If you like the necklace but hate The Beatles (I met someone once who hated The Beatles, so I know you weirdos exist), check out the rest of this Etsy shop’s gorgeous chalkboard art jewelry. There’s definitely something for everyone! [$30, CuffLoves]
Scientific studies have shown that looking at original art activates the rewards system in your brain. My personal studies have shown that eating a donut does too. So I can only imagine what kind of happy-making cerebral fireworks would be set off by looking at this 18×24 inch original oil painting of a box of donuts. Delicious and artistic? Don’t mind if I do! [$225, Roz Art]
Jessica is turning 30 next week and her husband is gifting her with a Kindle Paperwhite, which really is the perfect gift for a book nerd like her. Naturally, she’s in the market for a cute cover/sleeve/case, so I volunteered to peruse Etsy for her and any other tablet owners who want their gadgets to be protected and well-dressed.