I remember being a little girl, watching my mom put on her makeup, throw on even the most casual of outfits, and thinking "someday, I want to be as beautiful as she is".
Children are blessed with the ability to see raw beauty, unfiltered by bias or expectation, and to strive for what they see. Now, a mother myself, I'm keenly aware of the way my self-image affects my two daughters. Mara, my youngest, loves putting on "pretties", wearing my shoes, and rubbing my blush all over her face. Evie, soon to be four, is more self-aware, individualistic, and tomboy-ish, but she notices (oh, how she notices) every look I give myself in the mirror, and every piece of clothing I decide to wear, often complimenting me with a "mommy, you look BEAUTIFUL today."
As a self-proclaimed non-sentimentalist, I rarely think about the longevity of my closet. Sure, I think about fabric quality, and whether or not my pieces will deteriorate after a few wears (as most fast-fashion pieces do,) but words like "heirloom" and "life-time" don't usually enter my line of thought. As strange as it sounds, until I read that it was part of this brand's mission, I wouldn't have even considered the fact that portions of my closet can (and should) be worn for the rest of my life, and then, maybe, passed down to my daughters one day.
Tradlands, who sponsored this post and sent me several pieces for me to review, however, is miles ahead of my frame of mind.
One of their goals, other than creating pieces reminiscent of traditional menswear, is to design lasting pieces for the real woman. The woman who ascribes to multiple roles. The woman who is mom, CEO, beautician, experimenter, and also has dish duty at the end of the day. The woman who is aware of her own beauty, but prefers to celebrate herself in other ways.
Their pieces give "quality" a new definition. After testing out three different pieces from their newly released Fall/Winter line, I've put them to the "real life" test. I need clothes that withstand toddler tears, coffee spills, dinner clean-up, make-up smears, car rides, and constant wears. Clothes that, unwittingly, I'll be able to share with my girls as they grow up, and maybe one day, pass on to them, still in mint condition.
First up, the Ashland in white.
I chose this long sleeve button-up primarily based on the fabric. It's a tencel/rayon blend, and I have a hard time turning anything made of tencel down. Unlike 100% cotton, tencel has drape and softness to it. It isn't rigid or frumpy, and feels as soft as silk, but with a bit of added weight. I'll admit that adding my first fully white shirt to my wardrobe scared me to death. Toddlers and crisp, white button-downs don't mix well. But, out of sheer obsession for tencel and curiosity, I took the leap and, of course, I'm so glad I did. Perfect for layering or wearing alone, the Ashland has already become a staple that I'm ready to care for for years to come.
Next, the Organic Field Shirt in olive.
I mentioned before that I'm typically turned away by 100% cotton shirts because they feel too formal for my lifestyle and I prefer not to look like I'm heading to a board meeting. But, obviously, my resolve on the subject was weak and I was smitten with the olive green color of the shirt, which I thought I could more easily style than a crisp white shirt. Turns out, I was 100% right, and this mid-weight cotton shirt is versatile and fresh a piece as I could have dreamed. The influence from menswear is clear in this piece- it's tailored, with clean, barely stiff lines, more common in masculine pieces as opposed to a women's button up shirt. However, I think the olive color softens the shirt and gives it a more relaxed potential.
Paired with: MyFight Silver Bar Necklace (code: SIMPLYLIV15), Handmade hat, VETTA Capsule Stretch Ankle Pants
Finally, the Transit Chino in olive
Although I haven't owned a pair of women's chino pants since my days following a strict high school dress code, I couldn't stop imagining the outfits including these olive pants in my mind. Tradlands' first pant, these chinos are crafted with menswear detailing (hello, deep pockets and easy cuffing), made with a mid-weight cotton twill blend, and a decent amount of stretch. I stuck with my normal size (4) for these pants, and as you can tell, they're fairly oversized on me. Although I love the baggy, casual look, I'm planning to exchange them for one size down to see if I can get even more versatility out of a smaller, tighter size.
Paired with IMBY pullover and Fortress of Inca booties.
Why buy Tradlands:
A quick peek at the price tag on these pieces makes it clear that "investment piece" is definitely what Tradlands aims for. Each button-up, jacket, tee shirt, and pair of pants that they offer is meticulously crafted, slowly planned months, even years, in advance.
I know I rave about the quality of many of the brands I get the chance to review, but if there were a word to explain the sheer, beautiful quality of Tradlands' pieces other than "quality,' I would use it instead. Their pieces are versatile, ready to wear, and perfect for women of quite literally any life stage, style, age or body type - pieces that, I hope I can one day teach my daughters to value as well.
***Use the code inspiringsimplicity for 15% off your entire order from today until 11/29/17!***