(Almost) Sweater Weather

 

Loomis sweater, c/o Addison (available here). Slouchy pants, TJMaxx (similar). Tote bag, Madewell (free gift with purchase). Steve Madden Galleria platform.

 

     In Tennessee, it isn't truly sweater weather until late October. Yes, we will get teaser days of sixty degree weather. I bask in those. I've finally come to the realization that I might be better suited for somewhere with weather akin to the Pacific Northwest...rainy and cool most of the time. Instead, I'm graced with temperatures in the seventies well into what is considered fall.

     On one of the cooler mornings recently, I was pleased to be able to pull out this sweater from New York based contemporary brand Addison. As with their entire collection, the sweater is a more luxurious twist on a simple cream colored number. While I chose to dress it up a bit with slouchy trousers and heels, I can just as easily see this paired with lace up boots and jeans.

     I know I'll probably rue the day when actual winter finally rolls around, but there are so many separates in my wardrobe that beg for cooler temperatures. Changing favorite seasons with age is an interesting phenomenon; after all, as I get closer to entering a world where summers aren't all vacation, I prefer fall and winter (and especially the clothes that come with those seasons).

American Spirit

 

Women's Cardigan Sweater, Target. BDG Twig High-Rise Jean, Urban Outfitters. J Crew denim popover (similar). R. Riveter Reveille collection crossbody, c/o. Trask Madison boots, c/o.

 

     My mother was in town for just one weekend until I get to see her again for the holidays. She came to my last cross country race on this great campus and afterwards, I got to show her one of my favorite spots in the world. It's a bit rough around the edges, this old wood shed. But the walk we took to get there reminded me of what a good life it is. We swung our hands together and sang along to country music while the last few hours of autumn light lit my memories on fire. We talked about what we wanted, what we had, and mostly how proud we were of each other.

     This instance, more so than any over hyped media scandal or bloated statistic about how wrong America is at something, encapsulates the American spirit to me. It's a sense of optimism about where we are going and pride for where we came from. It's a new version of the old American dream, where instead of a white picket fence and a two car garage, people want to create companies, content, and lives that contribute something.

     R. Riveter is one such company. I first spotted the bags at shopSCAD on vacation about three years ago. What caught my eye was the earthy tones and sturdy construction of the bags. No nonsense attitude but with beautiful aesthetics. After leaving the store empty handed, I did my research and became even more determined to own a bag. You see, not only are R. Riveter bags made in the US, but every employee is a military spouse.

     The name, as you probably guessed, stems from Rosie the Riveter. Despite Rosie being a fictionalization of so many women during the WWII era, I grew up considering her something of a role model. R. Riveter was founded on the "We can do it!" attitude and seeks to allow military spouses meaningful and gainful employment despite being relocated so often. The handbags themselves are made from recycled military materials such as duffel bags and shelter halves.

     In 2014, they've been finalists in the Martha Stewart American Made awards as well as the West Elm Local grant (you can vote for them here). I'm pleased to be collaborating them to promote their Kickstarter campaign. There's a week left to donate and with some seriously killer pledge rewards, I highly recommend checking out the campaign. After all, isn't supporting the American spirit in others part of the spirit itself?

The Boots are Back Home

     It's been a week since I touched down at LaGuardia and stomped around the city for a few days. As much fun as I had, there's really no feeling like coming back home. An interesting dichotomy emerged from my travels, though. At home, I tend to go for a more relaxed, bohemian approach to style. After being in NYC for a few days and being surrounded by arguably some of the best street style out there, I realized that my love for all black ensembles and a more city slicker, minimal look will be worked into a lot of my new fall looks.

      While my first look featuring my Ariat boots was distinctly inspired by the energy of SoHo, this outfit is more inspired by how the women of Knoxville might wear them. It's a more modern prep vibe than I might typically go for, but it's accessible and easy for fall. The boots add more polish than a pair of flat riding boots would. Overall, I think what's really working for me here is the color palette. I'll always be happy in oxblood and emerald.

     As the temperatures dip further and further (however painfully slow that might come in East Tennessee), I know I'll be reaching for these boots often. I like that they are a bit different than the typical knee high leather boot that are ubiquitous on college campuses, but that I can still style similar outfits around them.