Sustainable Holiday Party Style 

Guest Post by Jenni at ‘I on Image

About Jenni

Jenni Ryynänen is  a Finnish Image & Style Expert, Blogger and Speaker living in The Netherlands who wants to help you to develop your personal style and confidence through image consulting services that include wardrobe edits and personal shopping. Wild about accessories and fabulous basics. Believes that fashion belongs to everyone. Fascinated about the hidden messages we give with our style. Owns too many brocade coats. Must be caffeinated at all times. Loves autumn, sushi and Netflix.

Social Media Links

Blog: https://ionimage.nl

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/IonImage

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/IonImage

Pinterest https://nl.pinterest.com/IonImage

Twitter https://twitter.com/I_on_Image

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenniryynanenionimage

Sustainable Holiday Party Style 

There is not a soul who doesn’t know by now that sooner or later we will be drowning in fast fashion. Or will its toxic side product, pollution, get to us first. I haven’t quite decided which way I want to go down but let’s assume that on a long run people would still choose a healthy life over a glitter-bombed one-night stand with an outfit that cost less than a proper meal in a restaurant. 

Please don’t think that I am a saint. I too have an array of fashion skeletons in my well-curated closet. There are clear traces of online sale shopping out of boredom. Evidence of high street prowls after liquid lunches. Discarded victims of fashion haul culture that serves literally just 1% of the population. 

I am far from perfect but I strive to be better, and I would like you to do the same this holiday party season. In this guest blog I am sharing some stylish ideas on how to look amazing at every party without torturing the already overworked planet. 

  1. Shop your closet

If you are like me, your closet is probably bursting out of it’s seams but oddly you feel like you have nothing to wear. In this situation the answer is not to shop for new, but to sort out what you already own. 

I offer this as a popular service called “Wardrobe Edits” but with the step-by-step free guide in my blog you can also do the work on your own. Get started in here.

The idea is to have fun and to discover new ways to wear what you have. My clients are always amazed how much they can actually get from so very little. You too can achieve that with just a little patience and some organizing skills. 

I am sure you will find outfits to wear throughout the entire holiday season just by taking a deep look in your own closet. Remember that the most sustainable outfit is the one hanging in your closet. 

  1. Buy a second hand outfit

I have recently rediscovered second hand shopping. When I was young and had no money I was forced to drift shop. Going through racks of donated clothing in charity shops developed my style sense and showed me what a well-made garment really looked like. I am thankful for those style lessons that preceded my formal fashion education years later. 

I forgot the habit for years but to my delight I am vintage shopping again. Nowadays there is more selection than ever before. You won’t believe the amount of almost new –or even brand new- items in second hand shops. 

People simply buy more than they can possibly handle. As a result, you can profit from amazing finds for a fracture of their original price. I have also found second hand items that I missed for their original price, which was a thrilling experience for a fashion nerd like me. 

  1. Rent your holiday party dress

Sharing economy is big news right now. If we are already our renting homes and cars, then why not our fashion too. I recommend fashion rental services for people who have either a once-in-a-lifetime event, limited storage space or so many events that buying new would bankrupt them in no time.

Look for a local service to minimize transportation because your dress will have at least two trips. Check what type of dry-cleaning services they use. Opt for one that use exclusively eco-friendly dry-cleaners. Some fashion rental shops offer you the option to buy the items you really fell in love with. It’s like test driving a car before buying. 

Think also if you want to rent from a curated collection at a central location rather than from someone’s personal wardrobe. One of the advantages is that their dresses come in multiple sizes. This way you don’t have to search for your fashionable body twin. 

  1. Swap frocks with your most stylish BFF

The advantage of having stylish friends is that they will always be happy to spill the fashion beans. If you have a good reputation, and the same dress size, they might be open to a clothes swap too. 

I am often lending items to my friends, if not a dress, then at least accessories. My walk-in-closet is like the shop that opens when all the other shops are closed. Just a bit more interesting! 

Dive in your friend’s closet but remember to be nice. Return the items in pristine condition and offer to replace damaged goods. If your partying can’t take a vintage Versace, don’t swap a vintage Versace. Go a few price brackets down. The idea is to keep this good thing going on for years. 

  1. Wear what you wore last year

This is a tough one and almost unthinkable. Who in their right mind would wear the very same outfit they wore to the last year’s party? In reality nobody will remember what you wore last year. Especially, if in every single photo some in that aforementioned glitter-bomb stands in front of you. 

I have been to many events in one and the same Little Black Dress and, while it’s painstakingly stylish, it’s also kind of invisible. People tend to remember me and not what I wore. Coco Chanel said: “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman”. I think she was really onto something!

This option will save you loads of time, money and effort. Just repeat what was fabulous last year. Simple as that.

Get more sustainable style in I on Image’s blog:

How to Be a Sustainable Fashion Consumer?  

10 Sustainable Fashion Myths Explained

Share your best sustainable holiday party styling tips in comments! I am curious to hear how you manage to look so amazing!

Stay stylish everyone!

-Jenni

Your image consultant with an eye for detail



Autumn Styling

Quick Coffee Read

I haven’t done a fashion post in a while so I thought I would put a little piece together, which has a look at what I’m wearing this Autumn. Let’s get right into it shall we…

Browns & Burnt Oranges

A classic palette right here, it’s not Autumn without burnt oranges & browns. One of these tops is from a charity shop and the other I’ve literally had for about 3 years. Autumn is my favourite time of the year, I only ever really buy new clothes for it, but also hang onto pieces that I’ve had years gone by (if they still fit!)

Shout out to Megan Hess for one of my favourite books, I’ve shown it some love on Twitter before & highly recommend this for some serious inspo!

Deep Green & Pisatchio

Green is literally a colour that suits everyone from epic brights to muted olive, I love having it in my wardrobe. I think it’s such a versatile colour that has a bit of a stigma. I’ve been wearing my green jumper over a brown leopard print turtle neck a lot recently, which not only keeps me warm but looks fab. Pisatchio is also one of the colour trends for Autumn so get stocking up!

Nudes & Browns

Nude is a colour I’ve started wearing more of recently and I’ve found it quite easy to tranisition into. When it comes to what I want to wear, I take trends into account but also like to make my outfits a little bit different in some way.

Introducing the scarf I have been obsessed with this past month, mainly on a nude base with pops of bright colour and a mix of pattern, which shouldn’t work but they do!

White & Pale Blue

This is more of a winter based palette yes, but we are heading in that direction guys & galz. I am all over my favourite pair of trousers, a high waist, wide leg check print with that light blue weaved in there. I love pairing a fun pair of bottoms with a simpler top, I bought this Tommy Hilfiger from eBay about a year ago. Because the design isn’t complicated, it compliments the patterned trousers well.

I don’t think ripped jeans are gonna go away anytime soon but they will not be wearable for winter without freezing your legs off, but don’t you fret. I’m not quite ready to put them on the back burner yet so keep yourself warm by putting a pair of tights on underneath.

The magic of denim is that it’s just such a perfect base to build on, keep it simple with a black pair or add some jazz with patterns or glitter for that special occasion.

Make sure when doing this to consider the top half of you, fashion is always changing as more and more people start to break the ‘rules with clashing pattern being acceptable for example, but it has to be done right. For example, because there is so much going on with that jumper I would stick to just black tights here.

Another shout to Victoria Harrison (she recently got married, you will know her as @inthefrow) the author of the book here ‘The New Fashion Rules’. One of my favourite influencers and inspirations as she is from Manchester and started out doing a fashion degree!

Thanks for reading, let me know what you’re wearing this Autumn in the comments!🍁

The Best Looks From Paris Fashion Week S/S ’20

PFW – The Good, The Tat & The Anchovy Hat.

I’ve also included some simpler collections and some downright crazy pieces, just for your entertainment…

I know what you’re thinking, “oh, I wish all the best looks from Paris Fashion Week were all in one place, with some style notes and background on the collection…

Well, how did I know? Don’t you worry honey, I decided to do a full version and cover all of my favourite looks from Paris Fashion Week! All those amazing garments & styles in one place, some more average pieces and some amusing looks at the end just for a bit of fun!

I hope you guys love these looks as much as me! As always if you want full collections, the lovely people down at NOWFASHION have got you covered, all images used are from here. In between projects, I plan on doing a post that replicates some of the Paris Fashion Week S/S’20 styles with sustainable fashion. It’s 100% not an excuse to shop, not at all.

Y/Project

Incorporating the past into the future (well, at least until spring next year), Glen Martens collection for S/S ’20 managed to jump elegantly through various points in time. Pieces that didn’t all conform to the shape of the body, but all still flattering and well put together. Style notes – buttons sewn on the bias, raw edge seams and metallic touches, I love that pistachio blazer!

Alexander McQueen

A true sense of community went into this collection. Sarah Burton had a vision of designs that had been made as a result of people having the time to work together. The entire McQueen staff including HR, completely hand embroidered two of the fabulous dresses on show. Not only this, she upcycled lace, organza & tulle from previous seasons for these pieces, I am feeling it! Style notes – a neutral palette with muted colour pops in a few pieces, gorgeously soft leather, and exaggerated sleeves.

Valentino

A truly stunning S/S ’20 collection, full of colourful fabrics & floaty silhouettes. It screamed Mediterranean summer, jungle print mixed with neon flashes adorned the runway after the first 12 garments presented were all white. Positive vibes only kinda show, that blew away the audience and filled guests with joy. Pierpaolo Piccioli gained himself a standing ovation for Valentino at Paris Fashion Week (are you surprised?) Style notes – blocks of neon, flowing long-sleeved pieces and a dash of sparkle, I couldn’t just pick three!

Oliver Theyskens

A few things are apparent for S/S ’20, underwear as outerwear is back and as much as I’m obsessed with glitter and colour, we can’t ignore the fact that black is going to be a key addition in your palette. Girls everywhere are losing their shit, who doesn’t love black and who doesn’t it suit? Switch yours up with a bright statement piece among all that sexy darkness guys and gals.

Theyskens gave us 90’s silhouettes, lining fabric and exposed darts for these pieces, and as much as they embody a gentle and feminine form, I was thinking one thing. “One way that he’s missing the current moment is with his quite narrow view of womanhood. To cast and cut for different-size women might push him forward.” I have to agree with Vogue on this one.

Givenchy

Simple silhouettes and only a couple of distinct necklines, Clare Waight Keller’s Paris Fashion Week collection embodied minimalism and a toned-down palette. A random element of the show, which was widely discussed, was the jeans. Although we have to give credit to these as they were crafted with upcycled fabrics and if that means next time more collections are sustainable but confusing as hell, I’m all for it. Style notes – ripped jeans (just in case you weren’t sure) midi skirts, deep colours & high necks.

Balmain

A bright and slightly confusing display, Olivier Rousteing explored many different avenues for this S/S ’20 collection. It starting with monochrome pieces designed to show off the eye shadow and makeup by Kylie Jenner, who last minute couldn’t make the show. The pieces decided to do a 180 and turned into an ode to naughties pop culture, with palettes that had been inspired by Beyonce & Britney. Balmain is a brand that isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, rarely following trends but creating it’s own. Rousteing wanted to encourage people to own who they are, but in doing so, ironically ended up throwing the collection into a sea of different directions…that orange blazer though.

Style notes – ‘Crazy in Love’ music video colours, pleated fabrics, strong and extravagant shoulders. A LOT was going on in this collection, check out the rest for the full spectrum of styles.

Leonard

Christine Phungs collection for Leonard may have not been what is usually expected on the classy and sophisticated runways of Paris Fashion Week. But gym leggings aside, I can’t help but feel drawn to the homage of the female empowerment of the ’70s. Although this is the era that the pieces are based upon, I can’t help but feel those 80’s Miami Vice colours, but what do I know? Style notes – jersey, effortlessly flawless silhouettes, and floral print.

Saint Laurent

Out in the open, for everyone to see, Saint Laurent’s collection was displayed opposite the Eiffel Tower, with bright lights drawing attention for onlookers to sit and marvel in its glory…what I would give. Anthony Vaccarello’s pieces gave off hippie glam vibes with a soft look, but also made sure to include classic chic black evening pieces, with tailored jackets of course!

Style notes – knee-high boots, unreal gold embroidery & print and delicate fabrics. Another collection I couldn’t just pick 3 images of, that off the shoulder dress is simply stunning.

Christian Siriano

What a breath of fresh, fun & new air this collection was! Siriano brought his colourful pop-art inspired pieces, and a load of diversity, with him across the seas to do his first Paris Fashion Week. The Project Runway season 4 winner and season 17 mentor has come along way, and it’s great to see such a positive designer get his well-deserved space at this iconic week. Style notes – pop art print, tassels, pleats, sequins & an abundance of colour.

Redemption

Inspired by the kids of 1968, Moratti’s collection is not only sustainable (something he’s been passionate about for years) but also pays homage to a generation that got shit done, to put it bluntly. He notes, “that generation helped make the world a better place, fighting for human rights, racial equality, and reproductive rights, and against the war in Vietnam”. He makes comparisons to the younger generation now and rightly so, as Generation Z steps in where others have failed calling them our ‘only hope’.

With garments made from vegan, biodegradable ‘leather’, organic cotton, recycled denim and lycra made from reclaimed fishnet, you can’t say that he hasn’t tried! Style notes – relaxed silhouettes with plenty of room to move, animal print & an earthy palette. A sustainable collection allows for more images out of respect, my friends.

Stella McCartney

From a king of sustainability to an actual queen, Stella McCartney for S/S’20 boasts her most sustainable collection yet, with 75% of materials being eco- friendly. True to her brand, tailored & practical pieces were showcased to the crowd, including a selection of stunning floral print summer dresses. Style notes – stripes in all directions, tightly packed floral print & piping. Again, eco-friendly gets 6 pics…I’m kinda just making up rules as I go.

Miu Miu

What I love about this collection is some pieces are sooo easy to replicate with a bit of thrift shopping! Simple and elegant 1940/50’s styling with pops of colourful print and garments made from raw materials such as linen, canvas & wood. In her own words, the ‘tacky’ collection celebrated the art of layering and embodied what our great grandmothers would sew together with limited resources. It may be a little rough and messy around the edges, but it works and shows the creativity one can have by minding what they throw away. Style notes – mismatched buttons, paint splatter & ruffled edges.

Chanel

Virginie Viard’s first collection since Karl Lagerfeld’s passing, truly embodies Chanel style and does not disapoint, you can’t see that beautiful tweed and think of anything else! Classy, timeless and chic are just a handful of words that can be used to describe this collection, with a theme that is simply just the Parisian girl style. The show was somewhat interrupted at the end when Marie Benoliel, a French YouTuber & comedian jumped in the final showcase. You can’t help but have a giggle however, what is today’s Chanel girl, if not a little bit of fun? Style notes – tweed for days, black, white & pink with tame floral print.

Louis Vuitton

Well my my, a lot going on here. I am taken aback by the sheer amount of themes all merged into one in this collection, referencing the flourishing arts of the Belle Époque era & spanning the vast range of decades that come after. From ’60s to ’90s with the silhouettes, prints & styling that echo ’70s Biba, we even have some Elizabethan details – a truly mesmerizing show.

Bright colours (purple was very prominent), every pattern you could think of from chain to floral, rainbow zigzags to paisley, checks, stripes, LV has it all. Some of the pieces are simply stunning, make sure to look at the whole collection to see the VHS printed bag, a big talking point for this S/S’20 collection. Style notes – long sleeves with exaggerated shoulders, purple rain music video, structured skirts and mismatching print.

Well, that’s all from me guys, this was only a handful of collections from Paris Fashion Week so make sure you check out the other great collections that graced the runway. It was nice to see some big changes this season with attitudes towards sustainability and diversity shifting. Some changes may be small, but they are changes none the less.

Now, time for some fun. Even us fashionistas question what comes down the runway sometimes. As we are approaching Halloween, it seemed right to include some outfits that are fit for creepy dress up! So behold, a collection of the most (in my opinion) amusing pieces from this year’s S/S ’20 in Paris.

Side note: I have total respect for these designers by the way, Vivienne Westwood, Rick Owens & COMME des GARÇONS have my heart, they wouldn’t be true to their brand ethos if they didn’t keep it crazy!

Sustainable Fashion Is What We Want, But How Do We Get It?

We need to teach consumers about sustainable fashion, not just tell them…

It’s December 2018, I’m in my last year at the University of Leeds and I’m nailing down ideas for my final major project. Doing a fashion marketing degree allowed me to explore so many different options for this and in such a creative environment, everyone is full of ideas. Although we are tasked to do in depth trend research beforehand, you already know what the popular choice is going to be.

Sustainability, of course. It’s relevant, important and guaranteed to ensure your hypothetical brand is going to be successful. You can see why we all wanted to cover it, myself included. To put our project brief simply, it was to create an original brand based upon trend research and market this through various channels. But what to do that would stand out? I didn’t want to create another eco-fashion brand that made their collections from factory cut off’s, that’s great but unfortunately not original.

I researched 2019 macro trends and picked three in total for this project, one of these was education. As I started doing my initial research on this, I found not only the perfect USP for my brand (winner) but an interesting issue outside of this project. 

People want to be more sustainable with their clothing choices, but they don’t know how.

They don’t know how? Really? It’s obvious, isn’t it? Or is it just obvious to me? A fashion student with 6 years of education in various aspects of the industry. A study of 1000 British adults found that 53% weren’t aware of the impact fast fashion has on the planet. Some are not even sure what fast fashion is and which brands fall into the category and that’s just 1000 people. It is no wonder they are unsure where to start.

We are a fast paced society. Rushing around, working, looking after children, studying and all the extra hobbies & life admin on top. It’s a struggle for some to find time to watch a little TV sometimes, let alone spend hours of research into sustainable fashion brands.

So, what is the solution? Do we give consumers another small, ethical start-up clothing company they can shop from? Do fast fashion retailers just keep announcing more sustainable clothing collections at slightly higher prices? Do influencers promote an eco-clothing product to convert their fans, just for a sale? I’m not knocking any efforts, but is any of this a long term solution? Are we teaching consumers anything substantial or just forcing it in their face?

An article by Fashionista back in June discussed areas of this subject with Maxine Bédat, the co-founder of Zady, a fashion brand that started 4 years ago on an ethical clothing mission. But then one day, Bédat bounced. The website & Instagram stopped getting updated and there had been no responses to unanswered questions on social media, what gives? They hadn’t struggled financially and she hadn’t given up on her mission, she had instead decided on a different approach.

“We can’t buy ourselves out of the problem”

Maxine Bédat

A quote from Bédat in the article nails it on the head, “we can’t buy ourselves out of the problem”. Starting up another online ethical fashion brand is great, but does it show people what to look for in a high street charity shop? Creating a collection from factory cut off’s helps, but does it teach someone how to up-cycle a garment they already own? This isn’t showing people a long-term solution, it’s giving them a short-term answer.

Consumers want shopping for sustainable fashion to be easy and on a budget. A 2019 report by e-commerce platform Nosto shows that 2,000 US & UK based shoppers who are aware of the impacts of throw away fashion, want to buy sustainable clothing but without the extra cost. An article by Kayleigh Moore over at Forbes covering this report says that although 52% of consumers do want the fashion industry to be more sustainable, only 29% are willing to pay the price.

Another recent study claims that 70% of workers in Britain are “chronically broke” and it doesn’t help with fears surrounding the outcome of Brexit and the impact this will have on people’s wallets. We are being careful with how we spend our money, if it’s cheap and easy then that’s the way to go. Feeding the family and paying the bills becomes a priority over 100% organic cotton t-shirts at £60 a pop, I don’t need any research to back that up.

I don’t believe another online eco-fashion brand consumers can spend money on is the answer.

So, for those of us in and around the fashion industry, the brands, the students, the designers, the bloggers, the writers, the stylists, the academics & the little people like me. We have an awareness of how to be more sustainable with our fashion choices, we have an understanding of best practices. We understand the impact, we have the knowledge and the skills to pass on, we are informed.

So, I ask you to take some time to teach people what you know. If you have a friend who is “unsure” about charity shops, take them to one of your favourties and show them where to find the best garments. If you know someone that doesn’t understand the effects of that £3 t-shirt, make a conversation about it and suggest an alternative. If your partner is buying new clothes a few times a week from fast fashion retailers, just mention the impacts it can have on the planet. If you know how to use a sewing machine, offer to teach your family & friends how to upcycle old clothes into something new.

If people want to make a difference, they will and If they don’t act straight away, don’t worry. By offering your knowledge and skills, you have planted the seed of thought.

I am not perfect, but I am actively working on making my clothing more sustainable, here are some tips:

  • Charity shops – This is an obvious one. Especially in more affluent areas, these can be full of brand names at bargain prices. Whilst we are in Second Hand September, this would be the best time to start, but make sure you try and stick to it.
  • Up-Cycling – Not as hard as you may think. I understand not everyone knows how to use a sewing machine, let alone the luxury of owning one. But there are tonnes of online tutorials, guides & blogs that teach you how to up cycle with other methods & materials, no stitching required.
  • Depop – The number of people that I’ve mentioned to about Depop that haven’t heard of it, surprises me. This little app is what you would get if Instagram & eBay had a baby. An online store for new & used items all marketed with eye catching images. Make sure you get yourself something second hand, there are so many items in great condition. I’ve got half a wardrobe from here and I can tell you, you won’t miss out on your favourite brands.
  • Only buy clothes monthly – I’m only addressing the shopping addicts out there with this one. If you, like me, love to update your wardrobe on the regular then at the very least, take something out and do a swap. Take it to your local charity shop, and then buy something in there to replace it is one way to go about it.

This can seem daunting to those who have only ever shopped on the high street buying fast fashion, but it’s an easier transition than you think and you just take it one step at a time. We need to erase the stigma about all second-hand clothes being gross or tatty looking. Get rid of the idea that you can’t up cycle clothing without a sewing machine. I’m not saying that for the rest of your life, you can only buy from a second-hand shop. But if this post makes you think, makes you open your wardrobe or even come up with a change you can make to your shopping habits, I’ve done my bit.