5 Ways To Find Success As A Working Mother

Happy Mother’s Day to all you incredible, awe-inspiring, dedicated mothers out there! Thank you for everything you do for your children, families, and communities. Every day,  you contribute to the growth of our future as a society. Moms are the fulcrum of all we know about love, support, and growth.  

Moms aren’t just the framework of the family. They’re linchpins of the economy as well. Today, I’m taking some time to especially look at the beauty that is the working mother

Working moms have become the norm in our society. Back in 1965, moms were working about 9 hours per week on average. In 2016, moms report working a minimum of 25 hours per week. Nearly 70% of mothers with children under age 18 participate in the labor force, and 70% of those moms work full-time. (We acknowledge the other 30% of mothers, too, who are holding up the forts to keep our kids and communities running efficiently!)

If you’re a working mom, you wear so many hats that they don’t all fit on your head! So what can you do to “have it all” and find success as a working mother? I’m here to give you some tips to make your life easier while celebrating yourself the way you deserve!

1. Separate home and work. 

It sounds a lot easier than it is, and we’re sure you’ve heard it a hundred times over. But the ability to be completely and totally present wherever you are is an integral part to making it work as a working mom. Research shows that you actually lose time by switching between tasks, even mental tasks (like trying to think about your kids and work projects at the same time). 

The best way create this barrier to employ two (or more) separate to do lists. If you’re at work and think about something that needs to be accomplished at home, write it down on your “home” to do list. If you’re about to fall asleep and can’t stop thinking about something you have to accomplish at work, write it down on your “work” to do list. This allows you to acknowledge the thought and still keep it “top of mind,” while freeing your mind to continue focusing on the important task at hand. 

“Nothing is more precious than being in the present moment. Fully alive, fully aware.” – Thich Nhat Hanh 

2. Make time for you. 

You don’t just deserve “you” time—you need it! Taking a few minutes every day can help you reboot and recharge, so you can return to your family and work with more vitality.

It’s especially important to take time to exercise. Getting your body moving will help keep you healthy and energetic, which will show positive ripple effects in every area of your life. 

Other awesome self-care tips:

  • Find a relaxing hobby that you love, like knitting, reading, stargazing—or anything!
  • Volunteer. Bonus points if you volunteer with friends. 
  • Enjoy outdoor yoga. 
  • Go for a walk in the sun. 
  • Lock yourself in the bathroom to do a face mask and hair mask in a lavender-scented bubble bath. 
  • Go out with your gal pals.
  • Write in a journal. 
  • Meditate, sleep, and relax. 

Don’t skimp on your vacation days at work, either. Vacation—even a staycation—can actually improve your physical and mental health. So don’t worry what people think when you take your vacation days. You earned those days—so take the time off for your mind, body, and spirit. 

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” – Anne Lamott

3. Gather your village. 

“It takes a village” is as true a concept now as it always has been. Whether you’re in a relationship or a single mom, there are always people you can gather around you to help you raise your children. Pull together your support system whom you can rely on when work runs late or your child needs to stay home from school one day. Have family and friends you can call on to ease the burden of having to care for work and home all at once.

You’ll also want to employ a few on-call babysitters so there’s always someone to cover in case of an unexpected scenario. Care.com is a good place to start searching for local sitters, but make sure you do thorough screening and interviewing before inviting anyone into your home. 

Work village

Create a village at work too! Building a work family is a great way to ease the work-life balance burden. Find friends and colleagues at work who will be there to support you and back you up, whether they’re coworkers in your department or outside of it. You want people who are willing to pick up the slack if you need to run home to take care of your child or you’re feeling run down. They’ll do it for you if you would do the same for them! 

If you don’t have a support system around you at home or at work, it might be time to make a change. For your home life, maybe you’ll want to find new mom groups or hobbies to get involved in to make some new friends. For your work life, you might consider talking to your boss or changing to a different type of working environment or industry that is more accessible to working moms.  

“I’m every woman. It takes a village to make me who I am.” – Katy Perry

4. Organize, organize, organize. 

Heard of “meal prep”? I’m all about “life prep”! Anything that you can organize and plan in advance will help you save time and headache during the week. Organization is one of the best ways to save time on little mental distractions that take up your time during the week. 

So plan out your meals, grocery lists, to do lists, and even your outfits at the beginning of the week. This actually frees up your mind, so you can focus on what’s really important (like your work and family) when you’re in the midst of the storm. 

Check out this awesome Lifehack article with the 10 habits of really organized people.  

“For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.” – Benjamin Franklin 

5. Plan for distraction time. 

How much time are you wasting? It can feel like everything feel like a blur, because, when you really look at it, a good portion of your day is lost to mindless social media scrolling or daydreaming. 

Track your time with a journal. Write down exactly what you did for every minute of the day. At the end of the week, see where you’re losing the most time. (The average internet user spends an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes on social networking every day… That’s a lot of time spent on something that isn’t usually productive.)

Once you acknowledge where you’re wasting time, you can make a strategy to minimize these time wasters and fill it instead with fruitful time (like self care or exercising). 

You may even want to plan in “mindless” time. You don’t need to completely release your social media—because it can be fun and productive in some cases! But planning it into your schedule actually ensures you don’t use it mindlessly or as a time filler, and you’ll hold yourself more accountable during the rest of the day because you know you have a 10-minute time scheduled in to check your social media. 

“Always remember, your focus determines your reality.” – George Lucas

You got this, mama! 

Tina Fey said it well: “I think every working mom probably feels the same thing. You go through big chunks of time where you’re just thinking, ‘This is impossible—Oh, this is impossible.’ And then you just keep going and keep going, and you sort of do the impossible.”

You’re making possible what seems impossible to everyone else. You’re filled with success each and every day. 

Thank you to all the incredible mothers out there for all you do for your families, your companies, and your communities. To say that you are the lifeblood of our society and economy is an understatement!

The 5 Best Websites To Sell Your Designer Clothes Online

More and more ladies are starting to sell their unwanted items in an effort to promote sustainabilityclean out the closet, and make a little extra money (to buy new preloved clothes and accessories, of course)! 

But there are a lot of different places to sell your clothing and accessories online…so how do you know which platform and company will work best for you? 

We’ve made it easy for you! We’ve curated a list of the 5 most reputable websites to sell your clothes, including both consignment and marketplaces. Make sure to note convenience, commission fees, pay rate, and ease of selling. 

ReadTop 15 Brands You Can Make Money By Reselling

1. Current Boutique 

Online and storefront consignment for designer clothing

Current Boutique is one of the highest rated among women who consistently sell their clothes online. There are four major reasons ladies love selling with Current Boutique so much: 

  1. We make it incredibly easy to give us your clothes. Just drop it off, send it in, or schedule a pick up. Little effort with lots of reward.
  2. We provide fast payment. While a lot of other companies take weeks to process clothing, we can do it on the spot for drop offs and within 48 hours for send-ins. 
  3. We offer one of the most competitive commissions in the business. We make it easy to collect your money without fees, so you can use your cash for whatever you need (like shopping through Current Boutique’s gorgeous selection of preloved clothing). 
  4. We live by a mission of clothing and textile sustainability. Any items we can’t accept, we’ll donate or recycle to maintain and extend the lifecycle of your clothes. 

There are three ways you can sell your clothes to Current Boutique: 

  • Drop it off. You simply walk in one of our Current Boutique locations and fill out some paperwork. We’ll review your clothing on the spot and get you paid then and there! 
  • Send it in. You can request a pre-paid shipping label so you can just drop your items in the mail for free! We’ll process your payment within 48 hours of receiving your clothes. 
  • Schedule a pickup. If you have at least 50 items to sell with the majority high-end brands, you may qualify for our home pickup service. 

We’re not just the best in convenience and price, though. We understand that it’s not always easy to part with some of your favorite pieces that have treated you so well for so long. You love your clothes and accessories. So we make the process fun and engaging, and we invite you to find new and more pieces to upgrade your wardrobe

Selling and buying with Current Boutique invites you into our community of incredible ladies who believe in stunning fashion, high-quality clothing, sustainable pieces, and lots of women empowerment. Once you sell your pieces with Current Boutique, we guarantee you’ll never go to another service! 

Start selling with Current Boutique.

P.S. Learn more about how we discover and buy quality, designer clothing items (and how you can do the same) here

2. Poshmark 

Buy-and-sell marketplace

Poshmark is one of the most popular apps to sell apparel online. You are responsible for listing and selling your own items, so you may or may not make a sale. Although it takes a little bit of work, though, it can show some strong results with a high payout. 

You just take a photo and upload it to your Poshmark closet right from your phone. Then you want to share it as much as possible to gain visibility and boost your sales. 

Poshmark requires a little bit of marketing and finesse. You typically need at least five items in your closet, and your closet should be “styled” to attract customers. Essentially,  you need to create your own mini clothing store on your Poshmark account. This kind of creativity can be a lot of fun, but it also takes a lot of work. 

For sales under $15, they charge a flat commission of $2.95. For sales over $15, you pay 20% rate. This is a little on the pricier side considering all the work you put into making sales, but you have greater control over the list price of your items. 

3. ThredUp

Online consignment store 

ThredUp is most similar in style to Current Boutique, but they emphasize convenience over compensation. They make it easy to send in your stuff. They’ll send you a clean-out bag or you can use your own box. You just fill up the bag, drop it off, and it’s out of your hands. They accept over 35,000 brands, so your gently-worn or new items are likely to get purchased. 

However, you usually get a much lower cut on your items than comparable services. They claim you can earn 5-90% of the listing price, depending on how high-end the designer is, but it usually averages on the lower end of that. 

Also, standard processing is about 3 weeks (or more). If you’re looking to use your cash soon, ThredUp won’t have it available to you. If you want expedited service, you’ll be charged a $16 fee. 

ThredUp is awesome about donations, though. You can choose to donate your items directly, so all of the money goes to charities—and you’ll get a donation tax receipt. Any items that they don’t accept, they’ll donate or responsibly recycle as well (like Current Boutique).  

ThredUp doesn’t pay out as competitively as other consignment shops, because you’re paying for convenience. But this is a great option if you don’t have access to Current Boutique (which is equally convenient and generally has a more competitive pay out). 

4. Tradesy 

Buy-and-sell marketplace

Tradesy is a buy-and-sell marketplace with millions of members. Like Poshmark, you are responsible for listing and selling your items on the Tradesy app.

What we really like about Tradesy is that they provide a lot of guidance and tips to make sure you are marketing your clothing effectively. After you take pictures of your items, the Tradesy app will actually enhance the photo and remove background distractions. They’ll walk you through the process of writing product descriptions, even providing examples to help you sell like a pro. They’ll also give you exclusive tips to help you sell, and you can opt in to their Sales and Promotions plan to gain more visibility. 

They have a decently competitive pay rate. For items under $50, they charge a flat fee of $7.50. Over $50, they charge a 19.8% rate. This is comparable with other companies, but it’s a little high considering you still have to do the majority of the work selling your products. They also charge a 2.9% transfer fee if you want to withdraw it from Tradesy. You can also use your earnings to buy more goods on Tradesy.

The buyer covers shipping costs with the price they see on your item. You can use Tradesy’s professional shipping kit or you can print a free USPS priority label. 

They’ll also handle returns for you. If the customer no longer wants the item, they will send the return back to Tradesy. You’ll get to keep your earnings if your item is eligible for the Returns Policy. This offers a lot of security and safety when selling to an unknown customer. 

Tip: Handbags sell the best on Tradesy. 

5. Social media 

A lot of women are seeing success selling their items on social media platforms, like Facebook Marketplace. You can blast out some pictures of your item with a catchy description, and nearby people (or your social media friends) may be interested in buying it. 

This is about the same amount of work as Poshmark or Tradesy, but you usually get to keep a higher percentage of the list price. However, you’re not as protected on social media, so you have to be careful about who you’re selling to and taking money from. Always protect yourself when on social media or selling through an insecure channel! 

Start selling 

Do you have clothing or accessories you want to sell? Try out Current Boutique! We have one of the most competitive commission rates in the business, and we make it super easy and convenient to get your clothes in our hands—plus we have an incredibly fast turnaround when it comes to payment! Best yet, selling with us brings you deeper into our awesome community of women gathered together around fashion and sustainability! 

We look forward to getting your items! Start selling with Current Boutique here

Save The Earth, Save Your Closet: How Sustainable Fashion Is Changing The World

Fashion is, and always has been, a cornerstone of our society and economy. For centuries, people have been using fashion to demonstrate their status and personal style while tracking with the trends of the age. 

Thankfully, the newest trend in fashion is sustainability—and I have a feeling this trend is going to stick. Fast fashion is showing a lot of negative impacts on the environment, our society, our health, and the quality of our clothing. And women like you and me are getting tired of it! Our generation is becoming more socially and environmentally conscious, which means the movement towards increased sustainability is only just beginning.

What are the concerns with fast fashion, and what can you do to change your world with sustainable fashion? 

What are the implications of fast fashion? 

Our society is highly materialistic. People are buying clothing just for the act of shopping or to wear once, and then they throw away the clothes. Retailers are constantly changing trends in order to get consumers to keep buying more, which keeps retailers in business but ends up severely damaging the environment. 

Compared to 15 years ago, the average personbuys 60% more clothing pieces—and keeps them for half as long. People keep buying, which is quickly ramping up the waste produced by the fashion industry.

Fast fashion is doing a serious dent in our environment and way of life. The apparel industry is responsible for 8% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions. If it persists at the rate it’s going now, the CO2 emissions from the fashion industry are expected to increase to 2.8 billion tons per year by 2030. That’s the equivalent of 230 million passenger vehicles driven for a year.   

How does fast fashion negatively impact the environment and our society? 

Chemicals

Cotton only covers 3% of the planet’s agricultural land, but it generates 16% of all insecticides and 7% of all herbicides. Conventional cotton requires 1/3 of a pound of chemicals to make one T-shirt, and 3/4 of a pound to make a pair of jeans. These chemicals are bad for the environment—and bad for your health and skin too!

Social

The fashion industry is notorious for its poor working conditions. Over 50% of workers in the fashion industry are not paid the minimum wage, and there are a number of child laborers forced to work in sweatshops. People are literally dying for our fast fashion. 

Resources

Agriculture takes up a lot of land and natural resources, especially water. It takes about 2,720 L of water to produce one cotton shirt—which is the equivalent of one person’s water consumption for three yearsThe Global Fashion Agenda predicts that the fashion industry will use 35% more land for cotton, forest for cellulose fibers, and grassland for livestock by 2030. This means we’ll be using up even more of our natural resources—and the materials just end up wasted in landfills! 

Pollution

Garment manufacturing accounts for 20% of the global water pollution because of microfibers and dyes used in water treatment, which drain off into our waterways and oceans. This is polluting our water, which damages our water supply and kills marine life (which also impacts our food supply). 

Waste

Nearly 60% of all clothing ends up in landfills or incinerators within a year of being made. This ends up costing about $100 billion. Considering how much goes into making these clothing, that waste is even harder to swallow. 

Health

There are over 2,400 substances and chemicals used in clothing manufacturing—30% of which pose a serious risk to human health. The materials you put on your body every day matter. The chemicals can soak into your skin to impact your cells and lead to long-term health concerns. 

Not to mention… fast fashion is expensive! You’re constantly buying and throwing out clothing, which can put a serious dent in your wallet. When you consider that these goods have chemicals that could be damaging your health, you have to factor in healthcare costs as well. 

Fast fashion isn’t worth the damage it causes. 

What is sustainable fashion? 

Sustainable fashion has a lot of moving parts, and it encompasses a wide range of “friendly” clothing options. “Sustainable” refers to clothing that is well made and lasts awhile, which helps to reduce the turnover coming from fast fashion that’s damaging our environment and health.  

The goal of sustainable fashion is to prolong the lifecycle of materials, reduce the amount of waste, and increase the value of timeless garments. The main purpose of sustainable fashion is to produce ecological clothing that stands the test of time

There are seven key factors of sustainable fashion: 

  1. Clean & green
  2. Quality & timeless
  3. Fair & ethical
  4. Secondhand & vintage
  5. Repair & upcycle
  6. Rent & swap
  7. Custom & tailored

Let’s dive into these methods of sustainable fashion to see how they impact our environment, our society, and your wardrobe. 

1. Clean and green 

Production is the foundation of sustainability. How are the clothing goods actually made? 

Sustainable fashion focuses on environmentally friendly practices from start to finish. The material and textiles are eco-friendly and organic, made without chemicals or pesticides. The growing techniques are healthy and natural, with low or minimal carbon emissions. Even shipment is local and low-emission, like using trains as opposed to trucks.

When purchasing, opt for organic cotton—since the majority of chemicals come from cotton growing. You should also consider organic fibers and fabrics like bamboo or hemp. Look for locally made goods that aren’t shipped long distances from countries with fewer regulations. 

2. Quality and timeless

When you purchase high-quality and ageless clothing, it will persist through the seasons and numerous wears. You’re not wasting money and materials on a trend that lasts only a season. You’re investing in timeless pieces that will continue to make your wardrobe look and feel high-value.

The more classic the piece, the longer you can keep it and rock it. This reduces waste and textile turnover, while upgrading your wardrobe and maintaining your budget. These pieces also tend to have fewer chemicals, so they’re safer and healthier for your body.

Check out these 11 classic wardrobe essentials you need to own

3. Fair and ethical 

Sustainability also refers to socialsustainability. Are the working conditions safe and fair? The best clothing is labeled under the Fair Trade Act, which means that the goods are sweatshop free, in healthy working environments, produced by individuals who earn a fair wage.  

Every consumer decision we make is global. What you wear has a direct impact on the lives of hundreds of others across the world. Focusing on ethically produced and traded goods ensures you don’t contribute to the harmful and corrupt practices of a lot of companies in the fashion industry. Do research into your designers and fashion companies to see where and how they source. 

Learn how to buy quality clothing like an expert designer here

4. Secondhand and vintage

There’s a reason (actually, there are six reasons) why pre-loved fashion is the hottest craze in fashion now. You know the clothes you get on consignment are high quality, because they’ve made it through the rigorous cleaning and selection process of top consignment designers. It also reduces waste, because you’re buying clothes that have already lived a life—and would otherwise end up in landfills! 

Plus, secondhand clothing gives you gorgeous, sustainable pieces—at a fraction of the cost! 

If you’re looking to be more sustainable, shopping on consignment is the simplest and most effective way to get started! 

5. Repair and upcycle

A lot of clothing is wasted because it’s thrown out when there’s a small rip or pull. Damage is especially common in lower-quality clothing, like fast fashion. But when you invest in high-quality, timeless pieces, repairing your items can extend their lifespan, reduce waste, and keep your wardrobe flawless.

See these 10 easy hacks to make your clothes last longer

If the damage is too much, like your pants ripped in half, then consider upcycling them! There are a lot of awesome fashion bloggersout there that focus on DIY fashion, taking old clothing items and giving them new life. 

6. Rent and swap

There are a lot of services and subscription services that allow you to rent clothing for a set period of time, or you can swap out old clothing for newer styles. This gets a number of wears and uses out of high quality pieces, while allowing you to get the feeling of fast fashion with hot trends and an “ever-changing wardrobe.” 

Learn more about clothing rental services with The Good Trade

7. Custom and tailored 

People tend to spend more money on custom, tailored clothing. This higher price point generally means a higher quality material and cut, and the clothing owner is less willing to toss it in the trash. 

Although it reduces waste, custom clothing can be a bit on the pricier side. Plus, you can find gorgeous tailor-fit clothing from top designers on consignment. 

Keep in mind that the clothing you wear actually impacts your mindset. Feeling gorgeous in your outfit can actually change your thoughts and behaviors. So throw on clothes that make you look and feel incredible!

Conclusion

Sustainable fashion is about reducing waste and choosing high-quality, well-made pieces. 

Buying secondhand is the best way to get involved in sustainable fashion. You’re getting quality pieces and saving them from landfills, while upgrading your wardrobe! Plus, it costs a fraction of what you’d pay to go direct to designers. 

Start shopping sustainably with Current Boutique here

Spring 2019 Fashion Trends You Already Have In Your Closet

We love being fashionable, trendy, and in-season…But we don’t love blowing our budgets or generating lots of waste with fast fashion. 

At Current Boutique, we’ve made it our mission to create the perfect closet, so each and every piece is timeless enough to stay and trendy enough for today. We believe in high quality pieces made to last that also let you indulge in the latest trends and make your own personal fashion statement. 

So how can you make your closet work for you with the hottest spring 2019 fashion trends? 

Let’s go through some of the top spring 2019 fashions we’ve seen on the runway, and how you can make them with the pieces you already have in your wardrobe! 

Psst…If you don’t have these pieces in your closet, it’s time to start browsing Current Boutique to find some incredible secondhand pieces that will take your closet to the next level!

Read11 Classic Wardrobe Essentials You Need To Own  

1. Polka dots

Polka dots are an outfit’s best friend, and they’re a timeless staple that will always persist within feminine fashion trends. Kate Spade put it best, “You can’t have a bad day in polka dots!”

This spring, large black and white polka dots are especially chic. The larger the dot, the more eye-catching it is–and this 2019 is all about catching the eye! Black and white are easy to match with, so you can make the outfit totally yours based on your own style.

A white top with black polka dots works gorgeously with brightly colored shorts or skirts. Or even get bold and indulge in polka dot pants or shoes to really “wow” the runway (aka the shopping center downtown).

2. Beige everything  

Neutrals are a classic, and they never really go out of style. But this season, beige is being bumped up a notch from timeless to trendy, and it’s taking over the entire outfit. Almost every designer showed at least one head-to-toe beige outfit on the runways for spring 2019.

We’re obsessed with beige for spring, because it’s a light and cool color that looks good on almost everyone. It’s the perfect transition color from the heftier winter patterns and fabrics into the airiness of summer clothing.  

Awesome idea:Try out a beige sundress with a beige jacket for a casually elegant look. 

Monochromatic ensembles have been trending almost every season for the past few years. In fall 2018, monochromatic red was hot. This spring, beige is turning monochrome. It’s especially popular (and exciting) to experiment with different tan fabrics like leather, silk, cotton, and linen. 

If you’re not feeling the head-to-toe beige, use pops of pastel to break it up. This keeps the outfit light and springy, while incorporating another spring 2019 trend…

3. Pastels (especially blue) 

Beige isn’t the only hot color for this season. Pastels are a spring classic, but they’re especially making a splash this year. We saw a lot of gorgeous pastels mixed together on this season’s runways. Pastel outwear and accessories particularly made a splash.

Pastel or pale blue is especially big this season. Did you knowthat baby blue used to be the color for girls, not boys? Blue was actually considered a more feminine color! Light blue is gorgeously delicate and so easy to match.  

Every girl should have at least one pastel shirt or dress in the closet. Pastels are a great way to easily dress up for bridal or baby showers, spring parties, or Sunday spring brunch. You’ll feel stunningly feminine with soft, flowing pastels that look beautiful against the fresh flowers of spring. 

4.  Pops of leather 

This is a surprising trend coming out this spring 2019, but we absolutely love it. Leather has traditionally been a fall and winter textile, but it’s actually a breathable and relaxed material. So we’re excited that leather and faux leather are gaining momentum, even as the warm weather approaches. 

Any type of leather accent will get you into the trend. Matte and shiny leather are both in, and a variety of colors from blacks and browns to whites and reds are making their way on the scene. Leather is one of the most versatile materials, easily dressed up or down. Take your leather from the boardroomto happy hour to dancing!

Cool tip: Invest in two leather pieces: one black and one in a light color, like beige or pastel pink. Contrasting leather colors is a gorgeous way to show your style and instantly snazz up any outfit. 

5. Biker short chic  

Biker shorts are everywhere this season, from celebrities to street style to designer runways. This look was especially established for the season when Fendi and Chanel showcased their own biker short styles on the runway. 

Biker shorts are tight shorts, often made of spandex, that are cut off a few inches above the knee. Designers are pairing these with loose-fitted, oversized tops and heels for an elegantly casual feel. 

These can be actual biker shorts that you’d find in a sports store, but designers are creating high-end, upscale versions as well. 

You can buy high-waisted yoga shorts to workout, spend the day, or go out. They’re a decent purchase for your wardrobe if you don’t already have them, because they’re versatile as well as super flattering and slimming.  

Crafty tip:Have a pair of yoga pants or leggings that are starting to get a little baggy around the knees and calves? Cut them a few inches above the knee for DIY biker shorts. If and when biker shorts go out of season, you can cut these pants again to get spandex short-shorts to workout in. Cut waste by cutting your pants!

6. Mix and match prints 

Mixing and matching prints was big in the fall, and this trend is still running hot into spring 2019. The fall saw a lot of pairing bold, big prints like thick stripes. But spring is seeing thin, fine prints for a more delicate look.

We’re also seeing a lot of mixing and matching with floral patterns. 

Pair floral with stripes or polka dots for a fun and flirty spring look! Spring 2019 is especially seeing a matching of floral with animal prints, especially python and leopard. This is a great way to get in the spring mood while indulging in a bold trend!

We think every closet deserves at least one floral— whether it’s a floral sundress, skirt, or blouse—even if this isn’t your typical go-to look. It’s a super easy way to get springy and indulge in your feminine side. 

Tip:Paisley is really big this season as well. Start by throwing a light paisley scarf around your neck, or rock a paisley dress or jacket! Mix and match paisley with other prints for an elegant, fun springtime look.

Learn exactly how to mix and match prints here. It’s easier and more doable than you think!  

Trend to try: crochet

Crochet items aren’t a wardrobe staple, so you may not have one in your closet. But, if you’re looking to try out something new this spring that has a more seasonal aspect to it, we definitely think you should check out the crochet look! 

Large fishnet crochet is the most popular design off the season, and it has a really unique and fresh feel. It’s got a 70s vibe, but in a more modern and sophisticated way. It’s also got a lace vibe, but in a more casual and easygoing way. 

If you’re looking for a unique way to get a little trendy and try out a new side of your style without completely changing your wardrobe, crochet and macraméare a unique look to try on for size! 

Cool tip:Purchase your crochet piece directly from an artisan or from a business that gives back to artisans. For example, you can find a lot of gorgeous pieces from Krochet Kids, which provides jobs and funds to women in the developing world. Plus, your item has the name of your artisan sewed into it, so you can create fashion-based connections across the world!

Fashion forward

Other hot trends for spring 2019 you can try out:

  • Butterfly details, drawn on 90s inspiration
  • Black and white checkerboard pattern, also 90s inspiration
  • Color blocking, especially a single piece with multiple color patches
  • Top handle bags with structured design (learn how to buy an investment bag here)
  • Bright neons 
  • Utility dressing (where function meets fashion), like jumpsuits and safari jackets
  • Loose suiting

This spring 2019, make the most of your wardrobe with neutral beiges, hints of pastels, leather accents, biker shorts, pairing prints, and maybe even a little crochet! Break out the items you haven’t seen in awhile…and get springy!

How do you use your closet to stay trendy? How do you minimize your fast fashion waste while showing off your gorgeous style? 

How To Buy Quality Clothing Like An Expert Designer

You want to wear quality clothing that’s going to last for more than a season, so you can save your wallet and your wardrobe. But not all clothing is made to last that. Some don’t persist past even one wash or wear. You’ll get a pull in your thread, holes in the crotch, color fading, or a change of shape. The quality of the clothing industry is in decline along with the rise of “fast fashion.”

But you’re a smart consumer. You know that investing in quality clothing is the best thing you can do for your wardrobe.

Why buy quality clothing over disposable fast-fashion?

  • Designer clothing is made with quality in mind, so it looks better and feels better than the cheap stuff.
  • It will fit your body better, which will make you feel more confident and sexy when you wear it.
  • Better quality clothing means it lasts longer in your closet, which saves you a lot of money in the long run.
  • You’re helping to protect the environment by reducing your textile waste, which is a serious problem in the U.S.A.—with the average American throwing out nearly 81 pounds of clothing per year.
  • Quality clothing is also made with fewer chemicals than the disposable stuff, so it’s actually healthier for you. You want to be mindful of the products and garments you’re putting on your skin, which seeps into your body and impacts your health.

But it’s hard to know what quality clothing really looks like. There’s so much more to “quality” than just the price tag.

In this guide, we’ll give you everything to look for in your quality clothing—just like top-notch designers and consigners do.

1. Look at the label.

The fabric of your garment is what matters most. Synthetic (man-made) fabrics are becoming more and more popular, but they also tend to be less durable than the natural stuff. Synthetics also are often made with a lot of plastics and petrochemicals, which you don’t want to expose your body to on a regular basis.

Natural materials hold up better, last longer, and feel healthier. Natural fabrics to look for are made from plants and animals, including cotton, wool, linen, and silk. Synthetics to be aware of are polyester, spandex, rayon, and acrylic.

This doesn’t mean you need to avoid synthetic fabric altogether. A lot of technology is making synthetics have a better texture and fit than in previous years. If there’s a garment you love that has synthetic fabric, get it! For example, some spandex can last for years if you take care of it.

This simply means that when you’re looking at the clothing tag, you want to notice how much is made from natural materials over manmade ones.

However, you do want to try to avoid blended natural with synthetic. Blended fibers can’t be laundered like natural fibers. For example, cotton-polyester blends are common. In the dryer, though, the two materials heat and shrink at different rates. This can alter the shape of the garment after just one wash.

Although natural fabrics are usually better quality, this doesn’t hold true all of the time. Even garments made of 100% cotton or cashmere can have low-grade fibers, be over-washed, or have poor craftsmanship. So make sure you look at the label as the foundation before checking out the other aspects of the garment.

2. Feel the garment.

You can usually feel quality instantly. The garment should have a substantial weight to it. This doesn’t mean it’s heavier, but it does mean that there’s a strong density to the weave. Even lightweight clothing should feel durable and strong. If the garment feels flimsy, weak, itchy, or rough, it’s likely made with a lower quality fabric.

Be mindful, though. Some synthetic chemicals, like starch, are used to make textiles feel more substantial. This is especially common for button-downs, suits, and business clothing. You especially want your professional attire to tell a story of sophistication and high-end value, so make sure you’re paying attention to overly starched skirts, blazers, and slacks.

3. Hold it up to the light.

You can get a better sense of a garment’s density when you hold it up to the light. The light will show how tightly the weaving is. You want the yarns to be tightly spun together, which creates a more substantial weight and greater quality.

Put your hand inside the garment. If you can see your hand through the fabric, it’s likely a thin fabric with low quality. Even lightweight, breathable materials shouldn’t be fully see-through.

If the goal of the garment is to be sheer, this test doesn’t always apply. However, holding it up to the light is still a good way to determine how weighty the fabric is.

4. Stretch the fabric.

On a discreet part of the garment, gently stretch the fabric. It should fall back to its original shape in a few seconds. If it doesn’t return to its original shape, then it’s definitely not going to bounce back after wearing either. You don’t want clothing that will be stretched and misshapen after just one or two wears.

5. Do the wrinkle test.

You can use the same part of the garment to do the wrinkle test. Ball up a section of the fabric in your fist and hold for a few seconds. When you release, does it stay wrinkled or do the wrinkles fall out quickly? If it can’t withstand being wrinkled for a few seconds, it signals a low quality fabric that won’t hold up long term.

Read: 11 Classic Wardrobe Essentials You Need To Own

6. Pull at the seams.

One of the weakest parts of a garment is its stitching. This is where you can determine the craftsmanship of the fabric. Look on both the outside and inside hems (and especially on the inside crotch on a pair of pants). The stitch should be flat on the surface of the garment without any bubbling, pulls, or loose stitches.

If the thread is too tight or loose, it might look fine but it won’t actually be stable. So pull on the seams gently and notice if the threads are thin and pliable or if they’re strong and resolute. The tighter the seam, the higher quality the fabric.

You should also look for “crotch reinforcement.” The crotch is the weakest part of the pants. The best garments will have reinforced crotches with stitches of two different lengths, one run over top of the other. This helps reinforce the seam in such a high-stress area. No ripped pants here!

Tip: If you see one or two stitches that look off, that could actually be a good sign! Hand-sewn garments won’t always be perfect.

7. Look at the hem allowance.

While you’re looking at the seams, check out the hem allowance at the bottom of your pants, skirt, or dress. This is where the garment producer leaves a little extra fabric near the hemline that you can use to lengthen or alter the garment if necessary.

Quality garments will have a hefty hem allowance. For example, a professional pencil skirt should have 1 and 1/2 inch to 2 inch hem allowances, so you can make sure it falls on the right spot on the leg.

If there’s no hem allowance, it’s telling you that the company is cutting corners on fabric and it’s likely not good quality.

8. Check out the zippers.

Exposed zippers can be a sign of low quality, unless it’s a part of the design element. High-end clothes have zippers that lie flat and are covered with a placket (a piece of fabric that hides the zipper). The stitching along the zipper should also match the fabric unless the contrast is specifically used as a design element.

If the zipper is loose or exposed, it was likely added quickly and ineffectively to a low quality textile.

9. Look at the buttons.

Buttons and buttonholes are an instant sign of quality clothing. If a buttonhole is breaking or has fraying threads, there was little craftsmanship in its creation. You want tight stitching, because this area gets a lot of wear and tear from the button movement. The button should also be tightly sewn on and not wobbling around.

10. Check the patterns.

If you have a patterned garment, you want to make sure the pattern matches at the seams. For example, stripes should be going in the same direction and should be aligned. If the pattern is mismatched, it likely means there wasn’t any thought or care into the production of the garment.

Read: 4 Easy Tips To Mixing And Matching Prints

11. Know your fabrics.

Different fabrics have different levels of quality. Here are some basic tips to make sure you know you’re getting the best quality fabric:

  • Cotton: tightness is most important, so do the light test (#3)
  • Linen: wrinkles easily, so do the scrunch test (#5)
  • Denim: weight and durability is key, so look at stitching and seams (#6)
  • Leather: should smell like leather, and the label should say “full grain”
  • Wool: lots of types of wool, so look for the highest quality merino, angora, hogget, camel hair, and cashmere

Pro-tip: Cashmere actually softens with age. So, you don’t want to buy cashmere that is too soft at the time of purchasing. If it’s extremely soft, it could mean the manufacturers over-washed lower-grade wool to make it feel soft like cashmere. You can instead tell the quality of your cashmere based on its tight-knight, heavy, substantial structure.

12. Look at the price tag.

In our fashion world today, you have to pay a premium for good quality. You can count on quality clothing always costing more than cheap clothing.

Inexpensive clothes are cheap for a reason. Factories cut costs by using lower-grade materials, less fiber, and cheap threads and materials. They also cut labor costs by underpaying workers and ignoring basic standards of safety in order to churn out more clothes per hour. When you buy fast fashion, not only are you wasting money on cheap and disposable clothing, you’re also encouraging bad labor practices in unhealthy factories.

Note, though, that while cheap clothing always means cheap quality, expensive clothing doesn’t always mean good quality. Some companies will cut corners and raise prices to try to trick consumers. But if you use the tests on the rest of this list, you’ll be able to tell the good stuff without even looking at the price tag.

13. Buy consignment.

Our culture of constantly wanting more new stuff creates a system of low-quality, disposable clothing. But what if there was a way to constantly buy and update your wardrobe… without killing your closet, your budget, or the environment?

Consignment clothing is the solution. Secondhand clothing is proven to last, because it’s already made it through (at least) one owner, the consignment inspection, and a thorough cleaning. Only the best quality garments can make it through this wear process to reach the hands of the consignment consumer.

Consigners spot good quality, and you get the product of their hard work. So if you want the easiest way to find quality clothing, look no further than your favorite consignment shop.

Conclusion

You can tell a good quality item based on its look, feel, and durability. If it looks clean and finished, it shows the item was made with care. If it looks like there are parts that are slightly off, it’s likely that the entire garment was made cheaply and hastily. A lot of companies cut costs in sneaky ways, like using inexpensive thread and sewing techniques. Quality is in the details.

Look better. Feel better. Save your budget. Save the environment. All by shopping for quality, secondhand clothes.

Learn how to make your high quality clothing last with proper care techniques here!