As some of you might recall, I’ve got a four-month old milk monster at home. A benevolent monster, but still. Last week I went through my closet and removed from it all of the pieces of clothing that are decidedly not breast-feeding (or monster-) friendly. I carefully folded them up and put them into my bottom dresser drawer, to be revisited in another year when quick access to my breasts is not a prerequisite for getting dressed.
As I begin to think about what I might be able wear this summer, I’m contemplating the skirt more than ever. A simple combination of plain cotton tank + skirt, tucked in or out (pulled up or down) would make for a two-piece solution with plenty of lifespan after the milk monster has had his fill.
Of course, more than only being helpful for the breast-feeding among us, a skirt can be a breezy, summer-friendly item for anyone to embrace. Whether you wear yours loose and romantic, or tight and curve-hugging, a skirt could be a welcome alternative to pants or shorts in the middle of a heat wave.
Here are a few options, from ethically minded companies doing good work:
Ace & Jig: Ra Ra Midi
Founded in 2009 with the mission to create seasonless, textile-rich collections, Ace & Jig’s airy fabrics inspire even this pattern-phobe to get on board with a little something lively. The elastic waist of the Ra Ra Midi lends itself to being worn either high-waisted or low-waisted, depending on your mood. The yarn-dyed fabric is dotted with a woven black and gold pattern. In other words: Fancy! Ethically made in India.
Alabama Chanin: The Rib Skirt
Alabama Chanin has been a frontrunner in reviving American textile manufacturing, artisan tradition, and transparent supply chains since the early 2000s. All of their clothes are made from American-grown organic cotton in Florence, Alabama. Their lightweight Rib Skirt (pictured) is part of their newly launched Core Club and, it’s lovely. I love the slim fit and contrasting stitching. For folks who prefer their skirts with a bit more heft (and pockets!), the Mid-Length Skirt has wide slash pockets and a slit in the front for ease of movement. 100% organic cotton; seed-to-shelf made in the USA.
Ali Golden: Silk Midi Skirt
Ali Golden began as a one-woman operation in Oakland, California and has branched out to include a women-owned coop in Peru and a fair-trade facility in India. The line focuses on designed elevated basics that feel special, but not too special to wear every day. The elastic-waist Silk Midi Skirt is made from 100% silk crepe de chine that should give the skirt a bit of durability while still feeling delicate. Slit at the side. Made in a Certified Fair-Trade™ facility in India.
Black Crane: Wrap Skirt
This 100% lightweight linen skirt has an apron-style front panel and an adjustable tie at the waist; the result is a skirt that looks breezy and romantic. Bonus: Hidden pockets behind the front panel are ideal for practicality and…posing. If you’re in the mood for a little color, look no further. Made in Los Angeles.
Calder Blake: O’Keefe Wrap Skirt
Designer Amanda Blake created Calder Blake with an eye toward creating beautiful, simple things, made to last. For anyone hoping for a skirt with a classic A-line silhouette, her cotton/linen O’Keefe Wrap skirt with patch pockets might be just the right thing. The wrap belt with nickel D-rings puts a modern twist on traditional wrap skirts. The skirt can be worn high- or low-waisted. Designed and made in California.
Elizabeth Suzann: Bel Skirt
For hot summer days, I’m not sure there’s a better fabric choice than linen gauze. The lightweight, yarn-dyed gray fabric is the first gray fabric available from Nashville-based Elizabeth Suzann, known for their thoughtfully designed essentials. The stretchy fabric paired with a stretchy waistband make it sound like wearing this, you’d be the most comfortable one in the crowd at just about any occasion. Made in the USA.
Han Starnes: Color Grown Skirt
For folks who are after a slightly shorter design, the organic cotton Color Grown Skirt from Nashville-based designer Han Starnes falls just above the knee. A pleated front gives it a classic, youthful shape and, they say, the simple design allows the subtlety of the undyed, natural fibers to stand out. Sounds perfect to me. Made in North Carolina.
Kordal Knitwear: Alma Skirt
Kordal Knitwear is a women-run business based here in New York. In 2014 they became venture fellows at Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator, an initiative of the Pratt Institute devoted to helping NYC designers “grow their start-ups into viable businesses, integrating local manufacturing and an ethical supply chain into their bottom line.” It’s currently sold out, but I love the long A-line shape of this clove-colored skirt, made from 50% mulberry silk and 50% royal alpaca. Ethically made in Lima, Peru.
PS. For anyone currently pregnant and looking for a perfect skirt to wear over or under your belly. I loved this one.
What about you guys? Any favorites to add to the mix? Strong feelings about skirts?