Posts Categorized: shopping

This Week I Love …

… all things olive green.

Working with a palette that is virtually all neutrals, I rely on quasi-neutrals like burgundy, navy, and olive to keep things from getting too drab. (No pun intended.) Olive green in particular has proven versatile and fun, and I’m always on the lookout for new pieces. Here are a few that I’ve been eyeing lately.

olive green fair trade dress

Fair Indigo Pleated Front Fair Trade Organic Dress – $54.99

100% organic cotton in a super versatile shape, with just enough detailing to make it eye-catching. I’d use a denim jacket and rugged boots to toughen it up a bit. Available in sizes XS – XL, and also comes in black, red, or purple. Also eyeing this Fair Indigo t-shirt dress in olive. (Sustainable pick – fair trade and organic)

olive leather tote bag

Distressed Olive Green Tote Bag by ChicLeather– $145

Mmmmm, a tote with a shoulder strap. In distressed olive leather. I’m drooling a little bit over here. Handmade by French expats living in Morocco, and they’ve got several other olive green styles that are affordable and laptop-friendly. Need a vegan option? This olive canvas tote looks amazing. (Sustainable pick – handmade)


Mynt 1792 Cascade Crepe Skirt – $148

Not cheap, I know, but what a GORGEOUS shape. That notch might make it a little too sexy for some offices, but with tights and boots it will be considerably more subdued. Fully lined and machine washable. Available in sizes 12W – 26W.
olive suede ankle boot

Lucky Brand Basel Boot$93.20 – $155.88
with code 20VETERANS

Suede can be a bit dicey for wet winter wear, but with a waterproofing treatment it’ll work in all but the sloppiest weather. Especially in a sturdy ankle boot shape like this. Available in U.S. sizes 5 – 11, including C/D widths.

olive printed scarf

Lucky Twins Koi Scarf – $44

A bright but still versatile olive, this 40% silk, 60% viscose scarf is hand-printed with water-based pigments. Elegant and funky at the same time. (Sustainable pick – handmade) Need 100% silk? This hand-dyed scarf is spendy but exquisite.


Talbots Italian Flannel Double Button Blazer – $199

A great option if you prefer a higher vamp blazer, and gets high marks from customers. This darker olive is a great alternative to grays and blacks. Available in regular, petite, plus, and petite plus sizes. Wanna make a suit of it? Talbots also has three styles of pants and two skirts in this same olive melange.

olive soft pants

Old Navy Olive Soft Pants – $12.97

A super bargain and ideal for fall and winter lounging. Medium-weight and made from a super soft rayon blend. Available in regular, petite, and tall sizes. (Smaller sizes sold out online, but check your local stores.)

olive necklace

Geo Terrarium Necklace – $24

This hand-crafted necklace features bright green reindeer moss and flecks of silver leaf preserved in eco-friendly resin. Each pendant will be slightly different, all hung on a 18″ chain. (Sustainable pick – handmade, eco-friendly materials)

olive ballet flats 2

BaliELF Muse – $110

Handmade – and made to order if you need customizations – these ankle-strap flats are so pretty and ever so slightly edgy. Available in U.S. sizes 4 – 13. (They might be able to do widths, too … not sure.) Not a fan of the ankle strap? BaliELF also makes a plain olive ballet flat. (Sustainable pick – handmade)


Everlane The French Terry – $40

I haven’t ordered from Everlane yet and am trying to decide between a striped shirt and this dusty olive super-soft lightweight sweatshirt. I love that this top has a slightly thinner band than is typical in sweatshirts. Available in sizes XS – L, though sizes run small. (Sustainable pick – made in the U.S., transparent production chain)

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details. Sustainable options are either used, handmade, made in the U.S., artisan made in non-sweatshop conditions, or made using sustainable/fair trade practices.

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Reader Request: Designer Inspired Items and Knockoffs


Reader Jane Jetson emailed me with this fascinating question:

I am wondering about knock offs. I am not referring to counterfeit or “replicas”. Those are illegal and look terrible anyway. My friend bought a huge “Prada” bag downtown and I cannot imagine people think it is real. There is no way she or anyone I know can purchase bags in the thousands of dollars.

I was looking for a tote bag for a long flight. I bought this bag and liked it very much.

I later read a reviewer say she liked it better than the “original.” The original is a Longchamp bag which costs over $100 more. I just cannot see paying that much for a nylon bag. I was vaguely aware of the Longchamp bag and was not looking for something similar at a lower price. I just wanted an attractive bag. I do not like wearing labels and realize that many designers simply license their names to lower quality products and do not have much involvement with the actual production. I am OK with that too but something about showy labels rubs me the wrong way. I have labeled goods such as ray ban and northface so I am not completely opposed. My question is, what about knock offs? Will someone see my bag and presume I bought a lower grade (and perfectly legal) Longchamp copy or that I have a nice bag? I don’t know where this begins and ends. I am not seeking out copies but I am not that familiar with all the handbags in the expensive, fashionable handbag universe. I also think that certain styles just become popular and are part of the general look and not necessarily a knock off.

There is some research to support the idea that a thriving knockoff business is actually GOOD for designer lines. I’m not sure I completely agree, but it’s an interesting alternative to the typical black-and-white response that all of them are bad and evil and no one should buy them.

I read gobs of fashion magazines and blogs so when I’m cruising around Amazon and eBay I see the bags that are clearly knockoffs of the hot styles, and I have to say that I’m not sure I’d be comfortable purchasing one myself. I bought a bag off eBay in the same way Jane bought her Longchamp knockoff – liked the design, price was right, no idea it was a copy – and once I found out I wasn’t thrilled. But I also didn’t stop carrying it.

After a shape or style has been in the mix for a couple of years, I don’t think a designer can reasonably claim that they’re being “knocked off” anymore. Celine introduced the trapeze shape in bags, but they’re everywhere now several years later. Mulberry’s turnlock is distinctive, but also incredibly simple and easy to duplicate and so long as no one is imprinting their logo they don’t have much of a case that it’s being knocked off. Actively seeking out a knockoff of a current-season designer bag allows you to cash in on the talent of the brand’s design team and some of their cachet without supporting them with your dollars. Buying a bag that looks like a nylon Longchamp tote – a style that company has made for decades – is completely harmless in my opinion.

In terms of what people think, to some extent you’ve just gotta let that go. Some people will see it and think it’s real, some people will see it’s a knockoff and judge you, some people will see it’s a knockoff and not care, some people won’t even know it’s a copy. If you like the design enough to buy it, that’s key. You can’t control what other people will or won’t think about you. Especially in this situation because you have no way of knowing who is well-versed in handbags and who isn’t. If it’s something that’s really going to bother you whenever you carry the bag, though, that can certainly take precedence: If knowing it’s a knockoff makes you worry constantly, then all of the fun has been sucked out of the bag and you might feel better moving on to a different style. Totally your call, of course.

Bags are among the most-frequently knocked-off, but I’d say the same of clothing, shoes, and accessories in most cases, too.

What are your thoughts? Do you buy knockoffs and feel like it’s perfectly reasonable to do so? Never buy them and feel the knockoff market is harmful?

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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This Week I Love …

… shoulder-strap totes.

Sounds like an oxymoron, right. Allow me to explain: With winter comes poofy coats. Poofy coats make shoulder bags a tricky proposition, since the straps tend to slide against the slick nylon. So I’ve come to love totes for winter use. BUT. They must have shoulder straps, too. Because I use all of my bags year-round, and need the shoulder option for non-winter. And also occasionally need both hands in winter and risk shoulder-slippage.

Here are a few totes with removable shoulder straps that I’m ogling right now:

the leather shop etsy

Leather Satchel – $145, The Leather Store

I’m pretty sure this bag has been in my Etsy faves for multiple years running, now. Love the shape of those handles, the external pockets, and that nice, wide shoulder strap. I’ve owned bags from The Leather Store and they’re absolutely top-notch hand-made bags.

frye melissa hobo

Frye Melissa Hobo – $387.95

Technically a hobo, but functionally a tote since that short strap is likely a tight fit on many shoulders. This is a narrow bag, but large at 13″ x 13″ and also comes in three gorgeous weathered browns.

steve madden fringe tote

Steve Madden Blucyy – $59.97

A marvelously oversized tote at 12.5″ x 20″ x 5″, on-trend with fringe accents, and vegan-friendly to boot! This might actually be able to double as a super stylish overnight bag. Also love this slightly smaller tassel-adorned brick red tote from Steve Madden.

small cognac tote

Elliott Lucca Iara Midi Tote – $167.95 – $177.95

Far smaller at 10″ x 4″ x 9.5″, this compact tote still has plenty of room for your everyday essentials. Elliott Lucca is a highly underrated bag designer, in my opinion, and you can get this style in cognac as shown here, as well as black, burgundy, slate felt, blush, or blush felt.

snakeskin tote

Street Level Python Print Tote – $28.98

If leopard feels too loud but you love the look of animal prints, give snake print a try. This medium-sized vegan-friendly option will look chic with everything from neutrals to bold brights.

recycled tire tote

Novica Upcycled Cotton Shoulder Bag with Recycled Tire Accents – $62.99

This bag is such a find: Great price, handmade, and crafted from recycled materials. Nice and big at 14.5″ x 19.75″ x 5.5″, and includes a large exterior pocket.

canvas tote

48 North Canvas Tote with Shoulder Strap – $130

Gotta give a shout-out to Minneapolis-based 48 North, whose waxed canvas totes have also lurked on my Etsy favorites for ages. If you’re not a fan of this olive drab, have this bag made custom in black, sage, gray, or another versatile neutral.

harveys seatbelt bag

Harveys Seatbelt Bag Medium Streamline Tote – $128

Reader Pat reminded me that Harveys bags are made in the U.S. from durable, vegan-friendly seatbelt material. I’m not a huge fan of the traditional woven Harveys bags, but this striped one is adorable.

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details. Sustainable options are either used, handmade, made in the U.S., artisan made in non-sweatshop conditions, or made using sustainable/fair trade practices.

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