With Fall's nippy breezes, hot toddies and layered dressing comes a new formality to evening events. While in the Summer you can add a pair of glittery sandals and sparkly earrings to a simple sundress for a warm-weather appropriate fiesta outfit, Autumn is definitely dress-up time. Investing in a great party dress or blouse that you can wear to more than one event will carry you through the season in style.
This strapless dress from Habitude can be worn loose and free as shown here (with jacket), or cinched with a thick belt to give you a more feminine shape. The combination of tough hemp fabric on the bottom with a soft and light silk sash on the top makes this dress easy on the Earth and your figure.
Grace and Cello
Grace and Cello's floaty layered top is made of 100% Tencel (a low-impact fabric made from sustainable wood pulp that's also wrinkle-resistant), and is perfect for those evenings when you want to be comfortable but still look a little sexy. Pair with a loose jacket and dark skinny jeans for a very of-the-moment look.
A night of dancing would be the perfect place to wear this full-skirted dress by Passenger Pigeon, and the halter top is almost universally flattering. The adjustable top is made of Lyocell, the sash is a silk, soy and bamboo blend, and the skirt is soft and easy (and low-impact) bamboo.
For a party dress that will grab all the attention, check out Linda Loudermilk's Autumn collection. This high-fashion line is rightly called eco-couture, and Loudermilk has even established her own research group called the Loudermilk Institute for Sustainability to document and establish agreed-upon low-impact standards for fabrics, dye processes, and clothing manufacture.
Edun's grey-and-blue Fleur dress just needs a pair of strappy heels and a vintage wrap to make a subtle splash at your next black-tie event. If you're looking for an LBD (Little Black Dress), check out the Flora shift, a super-versatile frock you can wear from Halloween until Christmas and beyond. Edun was started by Ali Hewson and her husband, U2 frontman Bono, to bring sustainable and fair-trade produced high fashion to the world. They're hoping that Edun's example will encourage fashionistas and designers alike to think of the impact of clothing on the people who make it and the Earth.
If you want to keep covered up but still want to exude a little sex appeal, this tunic from Ciel (made from whisper-thin organic cotton) is a versatile piece that can go with black jeans, a miniskirt and tights, or even just a pair of extra-thick cabled or textured leggings. Funk it up by layering a ruby-red or shiny gold tank underneath.
Another entry in the LBD category is this simple, elegant dress from NaturevsFuture, which is made from cotton and Seacell, a fabric derived from seaweed that's low-impact and biodegradable. This dress would look super-chic with a pair of jewel-tone tights in verdigris or aquamarine and black patent-leather heels
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