When we think of natural fibers in clothing, four come to mind: cotton, linen, silk, and wool. Cotton is perfect for everything, and we mean everything, from socks to lightweight jackets, from simple tees to classic blue jeans. Linen, which is derived from flax, is light and breezy. Worn as tunics, dusters, trousers, and dresses this fabric keeps you cool in the warm months. Silk is the most elegant of the natural fibers, and is typically associated with formal wear: gowns, trousers, jackets, and blouses … put on a silk and you feel lux. Thanks to sheep, goats, and alpacas, we’re cozy in the winter with wool and cashmere sweaters, cardigans, scarves, and hats.
We’re branching out to discuss other “natural” fibers. And while some may say they are not “natural” fibers, they are derived from natural sources. We’ll discuss the background and benefits of cellulose-based fibers, bamboo, and hemp.
Trees. Not only do they provide shade, they're used to make fabric as well. Let’s look at the three generations of fibers … rayon, modal, lyocell.
First there was rayon. Rayon and its descendants such as cupro and viscose, are cellulose-based fabrics. Once hailed as artificial silk, rayon has a similar weight, texture, and overall flow of silk. It’s usually derived from pine, spruce, and hemlock, although cotton waste is also used in production. The downside of rayon is that it has a low wet strength. It can shrink or be pulled out of shape if not carefully washed (dry cleaning is often recommended). Also, the manufacturing of rayon involves chemicals, and chemical waste. If you are looking for an eco-friendly fabric, this isn’t it.
Then came modal. The manufacturing technique was improved, and the product was too. Modal is derived from beech trees. Modal is generally known for its softness and durability. Don’t you just love a modal top? Garments made with modal are always super soft. The good news? Modal has a high wet strength. Wash it, dry it, and it’ll behave. It doesn’t shrink or get pulled out of shape like rayon. And modal production uses an eco-friendly bleaching method for the beech pulp.
Next in our lineup of cellulose-based fabrics is lyocell, which is referred to as the 3rd generation of the three fabrics. Lyocell has everything going for it. Like modal, lyocell has a high wet strength, making it a durable fabric. It also absorbs perspiration and allows it to evaporate quickly, all while being resistant to developing odors. Great, right? The lyocell brand, Tencel is even better. Derived from sustainable eucalyptus tree farms, it is hailed as an extremely eco-friendly fabric. There is no tree waste in the manufacturing process. But the big kick is this: A “closed-loop process” is used to produce Tencel. This process completely recovers or decomposes all the solvents involved in the manufacturing process. And to top it all off, Tencel is completely biodegradable. So, when its life is over, it will decompose. Until then, our garments that are made of Tencel are lightweight, durable, will keep us cool, and will hold up with repeated laundering.
Although bamboo sometimes graces clothing and accessories in the form of hardware, like bamboo buttons or toggles, it’s also processed as a fabric. Bamboo has become popular because of its eco-friendliness. It can be grown without pesticides and has a rapid growth and replenishment rate. Fabric made from bamboo is light and strong, and a good insulator. Bamboo has also been hailed as anti-bacterial, and a natural odor repellent. Plus, bamboo is biodegradable. However, it loses some of its eco-friendly status with its initial processing. Some of the chemical components used at this stage are toxic.
Bamboo is extremely versatile -- the range of fabric types that bamboo can be made into is astounding. Bamboo fabrics include velvets, knits, wovens, smoother silk-like fabrics, linen textured fabrics, and even denim!
Bamboo fabrics are made in two ways: in the first, the stalks are crushed and then the fibers combed out. This method is very similar to the way flax is processed into linen. The second method involves breaking down the fibers themselves with chemicals, and then spinning them out as thread. If you're searching for an eco-friendly fabric involving bamboo, try a fabric made from the former method rather than the latter. Fewer chemicals are used in manufacturing and the bamboo is closer to its original state. Some governments require that bamboo fabrics from the second "rayon method" be listed as rayon made from bamboo, instead of natural bamboo fabric.
Hemp is a long fiber, much like ramie or cotton. It's a dense plant, growing quickly, without any need for herbicides or fertilizers. Also, hemp has no adverse effects on the soil in which it is grown, meaning it can be planted in the same field year after year. Currently, China is the world's largest producer of hemp. Federal and state laws regulate growing hemp in the U.S., due to the similitude it bears to marijuana -- the two plants are almost identical, although hemp contains minimal amounts of the narcotic component found in marijuana.
The hemp fiber is incredibly durable: three times more so than cotton. It also is more lustrous. Hemp clothing is lightweight, absorbent, and has UV qualities. Hemp is easy to grow, sustainable, and incredibly versatile -- it can be used to make anything from knit to denim. If you're searching for an eco-friendly fiber, hemp might be just right for you!
Are you new to consignment shopping? Or has consignment shopping been “your thing” for a long time?
There are many reasons to love shopping preowned treasures including: building a multi-brand outfit to make your own complete look, continually changing store inventory, affordability, and the thrill of treasure hunting. Queue the multi-brand outfit of the day showcase. It’s time for a bit of eclectic fashion fun.
Mixing Up Brands
Have you ever treated yourself to a complete designer ensemble? Jacket, blouse, trousers, handbag, shoes, jewelry, all from the same designer? Buying an entire ensemble from one designer can be pretty amazing. It’s definitely a polished and tailored look.
Think of an entire Gucci ensemble … you can just imagine the look would be over-the-top designer awesomeness. If you prefer a more casual look, reaching for an entire tip-to-toe ensemble from Free People would be boho chic epic.
Consignment shopping provides a different twist in the fashion world: Buying preowned clothing and accessories that are all from different designers, and that make your own complete look. While it’s an eclectic collection of brands, the look is still spot-on style; fashion fun!
Continually Changing Store Inventory
Shopping consignment means there are new pieces to see every day. Traditional retailers change their inventory on a monthly or even a seasonal basis. Shopping pre-owned treasures at a consignment shop means there are new items every day.
If you shop with ReRun on a weekly basis, there are 300-450 new items to see each time you come into the Boutique. Of course, if you see something that you love, don’t wait to buy it … usually there is only one of the items available, and you don’t want to miss it.
Saying good-bye to one style and hello to another doesn’t have to be expensive. A lady can change her mind … am I right? We may have a timeless Anne Fontaine blouse or a treasured Chanel little black dress. The rest of the wardrobe changes over time, just because our personal style changes. Maybe there’s a look that you favored in the past, and it’s just “not you” anymore. Or, there’s a particular style this season that resonates with you, and you want to incorporate that look into your wardrobe. Shopping preowned fashion treasures makes it affordable to change up your style. With consignment prices at a fraction of retail prices, changing up your style fits the budget.
Hunting For Treasures
There’s that one ensemble that needs just one more “something” to be complete. You’re on the hunt for a particular piece to finish that outfit. Consignment shopping to the rescue. A Boutique filled with preowned treasures means there are a lot of options from a lot of different consignors who all have their own distinctive styles. Chances are you’ll be able to find something that’s “just right” when you shop consignment, because you’re in a shop that’s filled with many unique and often one-of-a-kind pieces. Whether you prefer the polished St. John look, or your style is similar to the relaxed and feminine look of Soft Surroundings, shopping consignment gives you fashion options.
Capsule wardrobes … think of them as a form of fashion conservation. You can build a capsule wardrobe for any length of time, and for any reason. Are you a minimalist at heart with a 30-day complete capsule wardrobe? Or do you prefer to use the concept of a capsule wardrobe for a temporary purpose, such as a quick weekend getaway? Either way, capsule wardrobes conserve on space by maximizing the number of outfits you can make with a minimal number of pieces.
As states begin their post-COVID-19 open-up processes, many people are thinking of “getting back to normal.” This includes summer weekend getaways. If you are planning a quick visit to family that you haven’t seen in months and months, time is of the essence. Your packing space for your weekend clothing and accessories is too. You will want to take clothing that is light, cool, and comfortable. You will want to have options that are casual as well as dressier, just in case you decide on an evening out.
This is where a capsule wardrobe will help. The concept is simple; using the minimum number of clothing pieces that are interchangeable for a maximum number of outfits. The key is choosing one basic, overarching color scheme – it makes the planning and packing that much easier.
First, pick a color scheme. Identify the top three-five colors that you normally wear, and that dominate your wardrobe. Our color scheme for a weekend getaway includes: cream, charcoal, blue, terracotta, and orange.
The key to a capsule wardrobe is to make sure that every single top you pack will coordinate with every pair of bottoms, whether they are shorts, trousers, or a skirt.
There may be that one patterned skirt or brightly colored pair of shorts that will only work with two or three shirts, so there is an element of wiggle room. But a good rule of thumb is to ensure that each pair of bottoms matches all the shirts you pack. Just by doing that, you have increased your outfit options! For example, if you pack five pairs of bottoms and five tops, you already have 25 different outfit combinations!
Accessories are more critical: make sure that every pair of shoes you pack works with every outfit combination. Even if you only pack two pairs of shoes, you double your outfit combo possibilities.
The same rule applies to jewelry. Pack two or three jewelry sets that will each work with every single outfit. Packing one or two scarves increases your outfit combinations even more.
The concept is simple. But the hard part is establishing a versatile color scheme and coordinating everything with everything else.
Jeans, crops, and shorts are the foundation pieces for the weekend capsule wardrobe.
Skinny jeans are the favorite component to a capsule wardrobe. Extremely versatile, skinny jeans can be dressed up or dressed down, making them appropriate for the evening as well as the daytime. A solid, dark wash skinny jean is classy and dressy. Leave them long or cuff them up into crops for a more casual look, skinny jeans are a definite staple.
Add in shorts, and a pair of cropped pants if you prefer, to balance out the foundation pieces.
Tomorrow we’ll add in tops and accessories and pull the capsule wardrobe all together.
It’s post-COVID-19 life for the summer 2020. We’ve been sheltered in for weeks and weeks and weeks. Life has been upside down and inside out. And deep down inside, we just want to get back to normal. Including visiting with relatives and friends that we haven’t seen since the wintertime.
Whether we travel to another city or just out to the country, the most important aspect of our trip is visiting with our loved ones. Maybe we’ll go out for a patio brunch at a local restaurant, or take a walk on a local trail, or attend a concert in the park. It’ll be a quick trip. A low key and casual weekend, spending time outdoors with family sounds delightful.
Our foundation pieces include dark-wash skinny jeans, cropped jeans, and charcoal shorts. Four different tops provide ample mix and match possibilities for the jeans, crops, and shorts. Add in a simple khaki skirt and dress it up with a linen top and accessories, for an optional, dressier outfit.
We’ve selected two scarves that will coordinate with all the tops and bottoms. Queue a sweet cream lace and an orange abstract stripe. They increase the outfit combo power exponentially! For cooler days and evenings out, a wide scarf doubles as a lovely wrap.
The jewelry is a mix of silver and gold. These two sets give plenty of options for all the outfits.
We selected a cream leather tote as the main bag for the weekend. It is light weight, durable, and holds everything!
Distressed gold wedge sandals and cream strappy slides give us enough options for our quick weekend away. Whether sight-seeing, light walks, or an afternoon on the patio, these sandals coordinate with all outfit options, plus they are comfortable and adorable too.
One capsule wardrobe bonus … everything fits into one small weekend travel bag. It is an easy in and out of the car, or if you choose to fly, you can skip baggage claim and be out of the airport in no time! Super easy! Hooray for the minimization of packing!
Summertime ... and all the stains. Is it just us, or does summer seem to attract more stains? Maybe it's just that there are a lot more fruit smoothies and barbecue dinners in the summertime. Maybe we’re wearing lighter color clothing, so stains are more noticeable. Maybe we’re just outdoors more; more activities bring more opportunities for stains. Whatever the case, the bottom line is this … stains are so annoying! It’s time to focus in on our favorite stain-busting garment care techniques.
There are a wide variety of household products that may be used to fight clothing stains. Let’s look at different types of stains, and the common household products that may be used to get those stains out. Remember, work on the stain, but always let your garment air dry. Never tumble dry until you know the stain is completely removed.
Some of the best items for removing stains are found right in your own home. A few of our favorite common household Items that fight stains: vinegar, Coke, liquid dish soap, isopropyl alcohol, and sweetener packets.
TIDE STICK: Always pack a Tide Stick, or equivalent spot treatment. These handy gadgets work wonders when it comes to taking care of fresh stains.
WET WIPES: A pocket pack of wet wipes has saved many a coffee-stained shirt. Treat the stain immediately, and it will be easier to launder later. This is especially true for oil stains.
COKE: Whether you’re wanting a unique laundry boost for your whites load, or you need to get a grease stain out of a white top, Coke to the rescue. Pour a full can of Coke in your washing machine, and see the amazing results of this boost.
EGG YOLK: Who would have guessed that egg yolk can remove a coffee stain? Mix an egg yolk with a few drops of isopropyl alcohol and warm water. Apply this mix to the coffee stain with a sponge. Let it sit for a few minutes and then rinse and launder as usual.
ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL: Perfect for removing ink stains. Daub and blot with alcohol until the ink breaks down and disappears. Rinse and launder as usual.
LIQUID DISH SOAP: This is a super powerful stain fighting agent! For food stains, immediately rub dish detergent into the back side of the affected area. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then launder as usual. Liquid dish soap powers through grease on dishes ... so let it work on your clothing too. Dish soap gets lipstick stains out of fabric too.
SCOTCH TAPE: Great for removing a fresh stain from patent leathers. Just apply the tape and remove. A fresh stain should remove with the tape.
SHAVING CREAM and SHAMPOO: Oops! Did you get a bit of make-up foundation on your top? No worries. Daub a bit of shaving cream or shampoo to the spot and then launder.
SWEETENER PACKET: You’re eating out and you spill a little something on your top. Reach for that Splenda packet. Blot the oil or grease spot with the sweetener powder, and then brush it off.
VINEGAR: Moisten a paper towel with a small amount of undiluted white vinegar. Blot the stain and then launder as usual. Vinegar works well on old stains also. Use vinegar as a laundry boost for whitening and brightening your clothing. Just add a cup to your regular laundry cycle.
Oil and Grease Stains
CLOTHING: Oil stains can be tough, but they don't have to ruin your outfit. Just be sure to take care of them immediately, so they don't have time to set in. For fabric, sprinkle some baby powder on the stain, rub it in, and let it sit for 10 minutes before laundering. The powder will absorb the oil.
WHITE TOPS: Grease stains are some of the toughest stains to get out. Can Coca Cola help remove them? We’ve read several recommendations to add a can of Coke, along with your regular laundry soap, to the wash cycle for stain removal. We tried it with three white tops that were stained … and it worked!
LEATHER HANDBAG: If the oil stain is on leather, try sprinkling sprinkle baby powder or corn starch on the stain and let it sit for a few minutes, then brush the powder away. Repeat as needed until the stain has faded, then apply leather conditioner to the whole area to smooth and soften any remaining marks or lines.
Did your kids’ game of touch football get out of touch? Or maybe just an old-fashioned bicycle accident? Removing blood stains from clothing can be tricky. Old stains are more difficult to remove; however, theses common household items will remove a fresh stain.
COCA COLA: Just empty a can of Coke into your laundry cycle (along with regular detergent) and wash.
HAIRSPRAY: Saturate the stain area with hairspray and leave for a few minutes. Wipe off with a damp cloth.
LEMON JUICE: If the blood stain has already dried, soak the garment in cold water. Next, put the garment in a plastic bag with 2 C. lemon juice and 1/2 C. salt. Allow the solution to soak the garment thoroughly. Remove the garment from the bag and hang dry in the sunshine, then launder as usual.
DEODORANT MARKS: Here are a few easy ways to remove deodorant marks from a black top. Use a section of panty hose to gently rub those marks away. If you don’t have hosiery on hand, reach for denim, coarse canvas, or even a dryer sheet. These are all great options for drawing deodorant marks out of dark colored clothing items.
INK STAINS: Did you know that rubbing alcohol removes ink and sharpie stains? Dilute with water, and gently rub into the stained area. Rinse and repeat as needed. And in a pinch, a pump or two of hand sanitizer can accomplish the same task, because of its alcohol content.
GRASS STAINS: Rubbing alcohol works great on grass stains too. Blot it onto the fresh grass stain. Continue to blot the area with full-strength rubbing alcohol until the stain is removed. Wash, and air dry, and repeat with the rubbing alcohol if needed.
SHOE STAINS: Mr. Clean erasers work wonders on rubber and durable, coated leather! First, use a damp cloth to wipe away any excess dirt or grass. Then use the Mr. Clean eraser to spot treat those set-in stains. This is a great way to refresh your summer sneakers and casual slip-ons.
PINK LAUNDRY: Have you ever had a red clothing item accidentally laundered with a whites load? Ugh! Now everything is pink! Rewash the whites load with a cup of distilled vinegar and regular detergent, immediately. Repeat if necessary.
RED WINE: Have you heard that white wine gets out red wine stains? It’s true! Daub a little white wine on a red wine stain to remove it.
Clothing. We shop for seasons. We wear the clothes that we love. We wear our favorite brands, favorite colors, and favorite styles. Whether we are dressing up for a special occasion, contriving “office wear” that’s suitable for telecommuting and popping into the office, sporting our favorite jeans and tee for running errands, or lounging comfy at home, we wear the clothes that we love.
While our clothing says a lot about our style, our clothing also has a lot to say to us. And we need look no further than the tags on the inside of our clothing.
Clothing labels include brand, size, fabric content, care information, and country of origin. This is what we are used to seeing when we look at clothing labels. Some clothing lines offer distinctive care labels just for fun. There are brands that feature unique messages on their brand tags or are included with their garment care labels. What about those universal care symbols … what do they mean? And speaking of country of origin, if you are on a made in USA kick, there are still clothing brands made here at home.
UNIVERSAL CARE SYMBOLS
Universal care symbols on clothing tags … there are a lot of them. Some clothing tags have just the universal care symbols listed, while other include printed instructions and symbols. Having a symbol guide is handy just in case.
There are several care technique symbols, and then ways to indicate differences within the symbols. A wash tub symbol is for washing, an iron symbol for ironing, a square with variations for drying, and a triangle for bleach instructions. Easy, right? Then you add dots, lines, and letters for more details.
Dots added to symbols give the following meanings: a single dot means low temp, two dots mean medium temp, and three dots mean high temp. Lines added to washing and drying indicate the type of cycle to use: one line added means permanent press cycle, and two lines added indicates the delicate cycle. Squares show drying instructions. A circle within the square is for machine drying. A symbol showing lines within a square indicates: dry flat, dry in the shade, hang dry, or drip dry, based on the way the line is drawn. An X over a symbol, or a symbol completely filled in indicates NO to that care technique. Circles with letters in them are chemical instructions for a dry cleaner.
MADE IN THE USA
There are many clothing brands that are made in the USA. While it’s not the norm, clothing designed and manufactured here at home is available. With the help of a quick internet search for: made in USA clothing brands, you will see many brands listed.
Are you interested in USA-made products? Usually these brands are smaller, lesser known lines, featuring unique styles made from quality fabrics. We have highlighted a few pieces that are available at ReRun. These items are also available on our Shop page.
Some clothing lines offer distinctive care labels just for fun. These are brands that feature unique messages on their brand tags or are included with their garment care labels. When we think of a good luck charm, a four-leaf clover may come to mind. Unique messages in clothing labels are their own kind of talismans; not that they do anything special for us, but they are fun to read.
Are you a straight up “Jesus Loves You” kind of person or do you prefer “positive vibes only” type of messages? Either way, there are some great brands out there with unique and even entertaining labeling.