Green Work Wardrobe Dos and Don’ts

Mon, Nov 19, 2012

6. Misc.

When it comes to building a wardrobe that embodies both your employer’s standards for appropriate office attire and your own green ideals, you might be struggling to find enough pieces to flesh out your closet. While there are plenty of outlets for casual clothing that is sustainably made, you might have a much harder time finding suitable suits and such. However, there are options for the busy working women who want to look their best at the office while doing less harm to the planet. So here are just a few dos and don’ts to consider when seeking a green work wardrobe.

You’ll want to start by selecting timeless trends. You might be surprised to learn that there are all kinds of wardrobe standbys that are now made in eco-friendly fabrics or with greener processes. Most women need work-appropriate staples like slacks, skirts, blouses, a suit, a trench coat, and extras like a bag or briefcase and of course, some suitable footwear. And while some people labor under the misconception that the only options in green clothing entail scratchy fabrics and textiles that appear to be hand-woven, this is far from true. For the working woman looking to adopt a timeless appeal with her office wardrobe, there are all kinds of options that will look great while doing less harm to the environment. For suiting, try Nanette Lepore and Pendleton, both of which are made in the USA, and for business casual pieces to mix in, check out ethical labels like Juno and Jove, Stella McCartney, and shoes by Beyond Skin.

Of course, you don’t want to dress like your grandma. Some women confuse the term “classic” with clothing worn by their mother or grandmother, but this is hardly the case. Of course, even classics could end up looking boring and, yes, old if you don’t do something to spice them up. So for a modern green twist, try adding recycled jewelry made from antiques that have been updated (there are a few companies doing such refurbishing), second-hand scarves, and bags and boots that are sustainably manufactured. And remember that no matter what kind of setting you’re dressing for, fit and flatter are the two most important factors. Well, they may come after the green factor in your estimation, but the point is not to buy a garment just because it lives up to your eco-sensibilities. You have to make sure it also suits your body.

Finally, don’t be afraid to buy a few pieces from non-green sources. You don’t have to confine yourself to stores that sell only green clothing in your quest for appropriate work outfits. If you find something that isn’t necessarily manufactured in a sustainable or eco-friendly manner, you can still feel okay about getting it provided you’re going to get plenty of use out of it and it’s going to last you for quite a while (unlike many modern garments that fall apart after just a few washes). So whether you just found out that the latest express.com page is here or you’re looking for sites that specifically cater to women seeking green clothing alternatives, keep in mind that there are varying levels of eco-friendliness when it comes to your wardrobe. As long as you’re aware of what you’re buying and the use value you’ll get, you’re sure to make informed decisions that meet your green standards.

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