As any fashion lover knows, accessories are just as important as the clothes themselves when it comes to putting together a chic, finished look. Often, it’s those small additions that make or break your outfit. From handbags to jewelry, scarves, headwear, and shoes, accessories are a crucial component of any wardrobe. And with an increasing number of designers adopting cruelty-free practices, finding those supplemental staples is easier than ever. For that perfect finishing touch, add these earth-friendly designer accessories to your fall wardrobe.
Matt & Nat Handbag
If there’s one handbag you add to your arsenal this fall, let it be one from Matt & Nat’s latest collection. From mini backpacks to compact crossbody bags to the classic hobo, the brand’s offerings span virtually every aesthetic and purse preference. As Eluxe Magazine notes, the brand is strongly inspired by the textures and hues found in nature and, as a natural progression, is committed to not using leather or any other animal-based materials in their designs. Their simplistic motto, “live beautifully,” captures both their seriously gorgeous pieces and their appreciation for humanity.
Stella McCartney Faux Patent Leather Loafers
Equal parts stylish, versatile, and practical, it’s no wonder that Lyst says the flat has arguably taken over heels as the new must-have shoe. From luxurious slipper slides to summery sandals and espadrilles, there is no shortage of flat variations available. However, this season, it’s all about the menswear-inspired loafer. Stella McCartney offers a modern take on this classic style with her black faux patent leather loafer, which features gold hardware, a glossy finish, and a glove-like fit. Balance the more masculine silhouette by pairing with a midi dress or pleated skirt (both also key pieces for fall).
Alabama Chanin Boa
With an emphasis on thoughtful design, responsible production, good business, and quality that lasts, Alabama Chanin is a brand that specialises in fashion created with earth-friendly practices. Even better, their pieces are absolutely swoon-worthy. Case in point: their boa, made of 100% organic cotton jersey (which means softness is all but guaranteed). The fringed threads of the boa capitalise on the current '70s fashion revival, while the slim width makes it ideal for wrapping once around the neck to create a choker vibe.
Olsen Haus Frequency Boot
Fall just wouldn’t be the same without a new pair (or two) of ankle boots. Ideal for pairing with everything from skinny jeans to pencil skirts and dresses, booties are one of the most versatile styles you can have at the ready when the temps begin to dip. This season, add the Frequency boot from the 100% vegan Olsen Haus to your lineup. The warm grey shade makes for an unexpected twist on the usual neutral and the chunky heel is right on-trend (not to mention great for keeping your balance on the occasional rain-dampened sidewalk).
Based in Los Angeles, Della is a woman-owned and woman-run fashion line that works directly with a community in West Africa to create socially responsible, and super-cute, pieces. As Buzzfeed points out, they aren’t just earth-friendly; they also provide jobs, education, and skills training to the talented people that create Della’s line. Their latest offerings feature everything from classic shift dresses to MacBook cases, but the true standout is their colourful headwrap collection. Wear with any hairstyle, any outfit, for any occasion—you cannot go wrong when you’re rocking one of these.
OK, look. Momentarily, I debated whether to risk the chance of being stereotyped as trying too hard by keyboard warriors and IRL onlookers, but I swiftly continued living my life and swiped that plastic baby through Topshop's EFTPOS machine. Imagine if I had missed out on this gem? What else could I have paired with my faux shearling H&M jacket??? I'd have nobody but myself to blame.
As I mentioned in my L.A travel diary a few months back, I started listening to Tupac at a young age. I'll be honest, by no means did I venture out and buy or play his records myself (I was only 4 when he died in 1996, so sue me) but having brothers who are 10+ years older than me, I was exposed to it constantly (among some type of German house music my brother tries to convince me is good, and of course, traditional Balkan music (which is actually good)).
Posters adorned their teen bedroom walls, and the conversations he sparked and findings he expounded influenced their lives greatly. What music did I buy through my teenage years? I happily listened to Hilary Duff and the Jonas Brothers (who's dusty CDs I rediscovered in the garage and have been shamelessly playing all this week). But when I think about the many people that genuinely interest me, and spark me to further my intellect and understanding of the world, I'd be doing a disservice to pretend he's not one of them purely because of an irrelevant "fear."
I know who I am and who I want to be. What I listen to. What I want to wear. Who and what inspires me. Who I feel is authentic and resonates with whatever mess of thoughts I have which I don't know how to articulate myself just yet. I can back myself up. So to base my style choice on someone else's opinion cannot be in my nature (sorry but not sorry to my brother's girlfriend who pretends my array of grunge boots do not exist). I aggressively espouse living, dressing and talking for yourself - and pushing that advice to anyone who happens to believe I'm in a position to give it - so why wouldn't I listen to it myself?
Coincidentally, it was, what would have been, Tupac's 45th birthday on Thursday. A teaser of his biopic was released that day as well. A few months ago I was in a local mainstream music store and asked an employee if they had any of his albums lying around, when I saw a guy chirp up next to me. Arms full of said albums, he turned and excitedly started showing me all of the titles he held, sans one he was desperately trying to find. What an incredible legacy to leave behind. To still be a profoundly relevant and influential force in the world, continue to create communities around music, and spark a group of people to creatively conceive projects in his honour, 20 years after his death. We need more of these people.
I guess what I learned in writing this post is, I know it can sometimes take me a while to convince myself I'm making the right choices on style, career, what I want to do on a Saturday night (should I stay home and write this post or drive to my parent's house an hour away to watch movies and eat snacks??? was my dilemma between 6pm and 7pm tonight. I stayed home FYI). But I can eliminate my self doubt and second guessing. Just give me a minute. In the meantime, I'll continue to hashtag ####thuglyf, wear my shirt on a daily basis and obnoxiously rap every word to Tupac songs.*
(Only alone, at home or in the car, just above a whisper..)