Fall 2015 Sustainable Style Report

While I do lament the end of a sultry Summer season (in which I ate ice cream and wore as little clothing as possible), I find myself looking forward with excitement towards Fall, a season for reinvention and getting back to business. Fall has always been the season for fashion, with New York, Paris, London and Milan all gearing up for the insanity known as Fashion Week. With all of this excitement around new trends and the changing of the season, it is easy to get sucked into making a few purchases. While Fall may be a great time to refresh and update your wardrobe, that does not necessitate straying from a sustainable fashion lifestyle. Check out my Pinterest board for everything sustainable on my Fall Wishlist and keep reading for my take on the season’s best styles!

Faye Lessler's Fall 2015 Sustainable Style Report from fashion wishlist, fall outfit ideas from sustainable fashion brand trends for the season.

This Fall, I’m looking at classic punk elements done in an elevated, sophisticated way. Plaid, stripes and black leather are Fall staples, and this year they are looking best on silky wide-leg pants and sleek, menswear inspired shoes. Just being present in NYC makes a girl feel the need to dress up, so I am choosing to pair these seasonal pieces with basic work staples. The tried and true black camisole or white button up shirt are perfect paired back to a statement pant and punk-esque shoe. My favorite trick for dressing up classic and punk pieces alike is to add sleek gold jewelry, this year's standout piece being the choker.

A perfect work outfit with pants by  Ace&Jig , camisole by  Everlane , shoes by  Freda Salvador  &  Coclico , bag by  Cuyana , necklace & earrings by  Soko , bracelets by  J. Hannah  &  Another Feather .

A perfect work outfit with pants by Ace&Jig, camisole by Everlane, shoes by Freda Salvador & Coclico, bag by Cuyana, necklace & earrings by Soko, bracelets by J. Hannah & Another Feather.

 

For a more casual take on things, this Fall is all about roomy silhouettes, warm colors and subtle textures. Simple dresses, easy-to-wear jumpsuits and floaty tops can easily transition from Summer into Fall with a few great accessories! Lightweight cotton scarves and autumn-toned leather booties are the best way to warm up those Summer staples.

Two stylishly comfortable weekend outfits with jumper by  Ilana Kohn , dress by  Kowtow , bag by  Baggu , shoes by  Freda Salvador  &  Coclico , scarf by  Malena , rings by  J. Hannah  &  Soko .

Two stylishly comfortable weekend outfits with jumper by Ilana Kohn, dress by Kowtow, bag by Baggu, shoes by Freda Salvador & Coclico, scarf by Malena, rings by J. Hannah & Soko.

 

Even when shopping sustainable brands, do keep in mind that a true sustainable closet will stand the test of time. Remember to always ask yourself before you buy: Do I love this? Do I need this? Does this fit and look flattering on me? While Fall may be a great time to scope out new trends, be mindful of falling into impulse purchases that will end up sitting in the back of your closet, awaiting their demise come Spring cleaning. I may be eyeing hundreds of styles, but realistically, I will purchase maybe five of them! Tell me in the comments below; what are you lusting after this Fall?

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On the Road

If there isn't a market nearby, there is certainly a side-of-the-road cafe, complete with red plastic tables and hammocks. If we are riding in the hot afternoon, we stop to relax and drink ca phe da (iced coffee) before continuing on our way. 

When we have bike troubles on the road - we need a kick start or I somehow let my bike fall over - we don't need to look far for help. A very skilled and equally scrappy mechanic is surely nearby. Or a flip-flop wearing Vietnamese man will drive up on his scooter and stop to help out. I think they were born with the ability to quick-fix a motorbike.

The roads between the tourist cities are long and sometimes rough. We could spend one long day on HWY 1 and reach the next popular place by night, but instead we choose to spend three long days on the smaller, less hectic roads. We experience much more this way. Those little towns between the tourist spots are much more exciting and real than any beach town covered in Russian and English signage. 

Besides, it is always better to be on any road but HWY 1. I'll take dirt and hills over honking trucks and diesel fumes any day. The scenery off of HWY 1 is infinitely better, too. When you round a corner and suddenly the ocean is sparkling beside you, it's hard not to smile. When you go up a small hill and the agriculture turns into a heavily fogged jungle, it's scary but so awesome. A bit more frightening is the moment the pavement turns into sand and gravel (these small roads are constantly under construction it seems). I just hold on tight to my clutch and my handlebars and then celebrate when the pavement returns.

Still, the dirt, gravel, hairpin turns, and hilly terrain are much better than HWY 1 where buses honk in my ear as they whiz past. Going from pavement to gravel is much less frightening than dealing with trucks that come barreling towards my face as they pass the motorbikes on their own side of the road. The three day rides are totally worth not riding on that death trap.

Really, those long three day rides that make us so tired and so smelly are what allow us to actually see Vietnam. A lot of people live here and there are so many incredible sights to see. If you are into the great outdoors - whether your thing is the beach, the desert, the mountain, the river or the jungle - there's sure to be an eyeful of it right around the corner. Vietnam has incredible terrain, and seeing it from the back of a buzzing motorbike is exhilarating. You couldn't convince me to get on one more charter bus with overzealous honking and air conditioning ever again. 

On the road, it is hard not to stop every 15 minutes and pull out my camera. I've managed to capture a few moments for you, but I've taken so many more mental images that I hope will never leave me.

The Places Between the Places

When we set out in the morning we are sure that we'll make our next destination today. It's a good thing that Vietnam is so densely populated - otherwise our consistently bad sense of time would leave us stranded on most nights. As darkness falls and we are still 100+ kilometers from our intended destination, the glowing Nha Nghi signs save us again.

These little roadside guest houses are cheap and perfect for the weary traveler. We get a pleasant room and a hot shower, and in the morning we are back on the road after a quick stop at the local market for breakfast.

Every town that lines the road is much the same. They are no more than half an hour from each other and they all have at least one Nha Nghi, one place for pho, and one central market - that's all we really need anyway. As we drive through, the activity always centers around the markets. Fresh fruits and vegetables, vibrant flowers, dried goods, live fish and not so fresh looking meats are ubiquitous. Each town reliably sells bread, avocadoes, cilantro and tomatoes to satisfy our California style cravings.

At the markets, people are surprised to see us. They smile or scoff at us and the excited children always shout "Hello!" Some over charge us but others bestow us with gifts of limes and watermelons. Very few people here speak English, so we end up conversing in sign language mixed with our terrible Vietnamese. They love to listen to our attempts! When Jeremia expertly says "hen gap lai!" (see you later) it puts everyone in a fit of laughter. When we wander the markets at night, the middle aged men want to be photographed with Jeremia while the women reach out to pat my cheek and tug on my nose ring. At one sweet cafe, on Tet (Vietnamese New Year), I was even gifted with 30,000 Vietnamese Dong (a bit more than a dollar) as good luck money.