Are you having a great summer so far, dumplings? I have been keeping busy and overall well, thanks to my region staying cool throughout June and most of July. I have been watching warily while historic heat waves swept across Europe and the U.K. And sure enough, it looks like my city is due to have a heat wave next week, recording temperatures around 100°F for four days straight. I live on the top floor of my building, without air conditioning—because you know, gotta take one for the team (as in Team Earth!). All this has been driving up my eco anxiety and making me feel both restless and powerless.
My point in talking about eco summer trends isn’t to encourage everyone to go buy more stuff to distract ourselves from the very real catastrophe we are facing, this summer and actually every day going forward for the rest of our lives. However, I do find that having fun, nurturing joy, and being playful are all important to not losing one’s hope (or sanity). Every time I lose motivation to keep thriving in life, I make an effort to be more interested in earthly pleasures like food, moving my body, and yes, even style.
So without further ado, let’s think of some ways to perk ourselves up! Here are three summer trends that have been popping up—and how to get them with vegan and eco items.
If you haven’t heard of Barbiecore yet, congratulations—you clearly spend not that much time on social media, which is very healthy! Seriously, one day we will look back on 2022 and remember it as a strange season when everyone was suddenly wearing hot pink. I repeat, not a powdery Millennial pink (remember 2016?) but a bold, take-it-or-leave-it pink.
Reformation Lizzi linen top, $128 and Liam linen pants, $158
The best way to wear it is of course, in head to toe pink. Be sure to keep accessories and hair sleek, chic, and grown-up. No costume jewelry please. Think life in gold or silver, NOT life in plastic!
Exhibit 2. Listen, Barbiecore really isn’t about subtlety. If you really want to stay cool in the heat wave, consider the super trendy circle cutouts in the middle of your top. I’m all about embracing and owning your femininity.
Reformation Emilio knit tank, $78
As you can see, there is an overlap with Barbiecore and Y2K, although they are two different movements really. Here you can really lean into cat-eye sunglasses, crop tops and baby tees, tiny hobo bags. I’m not going to lie, I invested in a vegan-leather hobo bag (see below) to celebrate my 35th birthday, and it was one of the best self-gifts ever. No regrets.
Pela Solana Sunglasses, $38.95
These fully UVA/UVB protective sunnies are made with 1/3 less CO2, 1/3 less water, and over 80% less waste than conventional sunnies. They also give a portion of their proceeds to cleaning up ocean plastic. These pointy cat-eye shades remind me so much of the sassy ones I wore in high school. Aww.
Senreve Belt Bag in Vegan Terra, in desert, $475
Here is the best self-gift ever for my milestone birthday. You can wear this sustainable, 100% traceable vegan leather made from 100% plant-based proteins and bio-PU in 5 different ways. My favorite (and so far only) way to wear it? As a little shoulder bag. I was worried about spending so much money on a vegan leather item without touching it, and I’m very happy with the quality overall. It’s water- and stain-resistant, and the style truly does go with all your existing outfits while adding that subtle Y2K touch. Really heals all the wounds from being jealous of rich high school classmates who went around carrying Coach and Louis Vuitton shoulder bags. Hmm!
What is Coastal Grandma? It’s sitting on a beach chair in a wide-brimmed hat, drinking a chilled glass of Chardonnay. It’s feet-friendly sandals. It’s wearing sunblock and reapplying every 2 hours. It’s breezy white linen dresses and pants. It’s a beach house with superb beds and an excellent, chef-quality kitchen. You get the idea?
Madewell Linen and Better Cotton Initiative cotton dress, $74.99
Madewell straw hat with scarf tie, $48.50
I want to tie this tie under my chin and feel so crotchety about the UV rays—in the best way. Anyone else?
Stay cool and stay well, dumplings!
Photo: Respective brands