Do you ever think about the fabrics of your clothing? How the garments in your wardrobe make you feel when you wear them? Cozy, itchy, suffocated, or straight up uncomfortable! Fabric and materials play a huge part in how comfortable you feel or how confident you rock your outfit. Let’s face it, if you feel uncomfortable in your clothing, you’re probably worrying about that more than the work you’re trying to focus on, the people you’re with or an event you may be attending. Recently in the past year or so, even before I was committed to shopping ethically and sustainably, I started to look at the materials of my clothing mostly because I wanted to purchase pieces that were long lasting. Just like cooking up a healthy dish, good ingredients equals a good dish. In the same way, good quality, long lasting garments are usually well-made because the ingredients that go into making them strong, are high quality materials.
While preparing for this blog post, I went through my winter capsule, which you can take a look at here, looking at all the tags inside the clothing to see what the pieces were made of. I found lots of wool, cotton, and of course blends. Interestingly enough, I discovered that one of my old fast fashion turtlenecks is 100% wool. It doesn’t surprise me why after all these wears, it’s still in great condition! I also found that one of my oldest knits, though not from an explicitly ethical or sustainable company, is a blend of wool and cashmere. My mom jeans, that you’ve all seen a billion times, guess what material they are? They’re 99% cotton and 1% elastane for a bit of stretch. I encourage you to take a look through your closet and see what kind of fabrics you gravitate to. Let me know below what the majority of your clothes are made of. Is there anything that surprises you?
Let’s get into my top 3 fabrics for the winter. The good, the bad, and why I love to wear these fabrics especially in the winter.
First let’s talk about cotton. Cotton is a natural fibre derived from the cotton plant. I personally love cotton because of it’s breathability and how it feels on my skin. I have always had quite sensitive skin, so cotton is a great fabric choice for me. Specifically in the winter, I find that cotton is a great layering piece because of it’s light-weight quality. Most of my winter capsule cotton pieces are fitted turtlenecks which are great as base layers.
Pros: natural fibre, soft, breathable, machine-washable, biodegradable
Cons: very high pesticide use, fades, wrinkles, shrinks, lots of water and energy used to grow cotton
Alternative: look for organic cotton
See how I styled cotton below:
Who doesn’t love a cozy wool knit in the winter? Wool is the perfect winter fabric because of its warmth and moisture-wicking abilities. Wool is also a natural fibre mainly from sheep, also from alpacas and goals, and other animals. There are so many varieties of wool like merino wool, alpaca wool, angora wool, cashmere wool, and more. When I went through my wardrobe, I discovered just how much I love wool! I even added wool pants to my winter capsule this season. Winter is a great season for wool because it’s the perfect excuse for me to pull out my big knits and cozy up in them while sitting at home with a cup of coffee. Wool is also great for commuting during these brutally cold Canadian winters.
Pros: natural fibre, warm, durable, biodegradable, long-lasting, odour-resistant, moisture-wicking
Cons: pesticide use, shrinks, must be hand-washed or dry-cleaned, can be itchy, possible animal mistreatment/care issues
Alternative: look for organic wool
See how I styled wool below:
Finally, I wanted to talk about cashmere. Cashmere is such a warm and comfortable winter fabric. It’s pros and cons are fairly similar to the ones I mentioned about wool, except I find cashmere wool to be more light-weight without sacrificing warmth. I love cashmere for its softness on my skin and ability to keep me warm during the winter months. I know that traditionally cashmere can be quite a high cost and investment, but what I want to reiterate again is that higher quality materials usually last longer. Remember that old sweater of mine I mentioned in the beginning of this post? To this day, it still looks and feels brand new. See for yourself below!
Pros: soft, warm, biodegradable, light-weight and breathable
Cons: over-farming, pilling, hand wash or dry-cleaned required
See how I styled cashmere below:
These are just a few of my favourite fabrics to wear for the winter season. They help me stay warm and cozy, ready for a day in or a busy day on the road. After all this fabric talk, let me know what your top three winter fabrics are. Did you learn anything new or did I miss anything? Let’s continue the conversation below and hope you stay cozy!
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