A Week Of Outfits With
Artist & Designer Élan Byrd
The Good Trade's Week of Outfits Series highlights women that have personally inspired us to shop and live with intention. Each woman takes her own unique approach to slow fashion and demonstrates how beautifully sustainable fashion can come to life. Today we're excited to share a week of outfits from Élan Byrd, the artist and designer behind Bleu Byrdie!
// ABOUT ÉLAN //
My relationship with fashion started at a young age. Going shopping was usually a bonding experience between my mother and me. While I’ve never been huge shopper, the way I shop has tremendously evolved over time.
One of the most important concepts that I’ve implemented into my shopping habits is to be intentional and shop with a purpose. This allows me to pause before I buy anything and ask myself a series of questions: why am I buying this? What purpose does this serve? Will this item become a part of my daily life or will it sit in my closest and go unworn?
Another way I try to be intentional with my shopping is by making a wishlist of items I need and want. I’ve stopped aimlessly shopping and buying things on whim. I realized over time that I ended up returning or reselling most purchases I made spontaneously or rashly.
Now, I let items stay on my wishlist until I find exactly what I’m looking for.
I try to avoid buying things that are “almost” right, because they never fully meet the criteria for me to cross them off my list. Instead, I practice patience, because there’s no rush when trying to curate the perfect wardrobe.
Thrifting, for me, is not only sustainable but intentional. I first go to a thrift or secondhand shop before any other kind of store. I don’t just buy something because it looks nice and is cheap—my fashion design background has taught me to look at the quality, fit, and fiber content of a garment. I apply those same principles when shopping, no matter the cost. The majority of my wardrobe is filled with thrifted pieces or items that have been passed down from loved ones. There is such a good feeling in giving new life to vintage items that may not have gotten much use from previous owners.
While I wouldn’t consider myself a minimalist, I use the principles of minimalism to curate my wardrobe and create a year-round capsule. I find that having a smaller wardrobe, filled with pieces I absolutely love and feel my best in, makes getting dressed so much easier. In addition, it gives me more time to focus my energy on other aspects of my life, like growing my business. My capsule wardrobe is not about having a specific amount of items, but more about being content with what I already own.
My Mondays are simple. It’s my day to ship out weekend orders, plan my work week ahead, run errands, and pick up materials. This outfit has become one of my go-to looks for spring, thus far. I’ve found that this outfit works for so many different occasions in my life. It’s a great basic foundation for me to swap and show off my accessories. These vintage Gap jeans, which I found at the beginning of the year, have been one of my greatest thrift finds. To make them a bit more modern, I cut the hems, so that they hit the right part of my ankles.
Vintage Gap jeans
Vintage Bally shoulder bag
Thrifted Naturalizer Western shoes
Most work weeks, I’ll choose a few items from my capsule wardrobe to wear consistently throughout the week. This week, I chose these silk trousers since most of my work was done from a computer. I love the concept of taking a luxurious fabric, such as silk, and using it as everyday wear. The combination of the silk trousers and denim top makes for a more practical look. Ever since I bought the Madewell shirt (three years ago), it’s been a core item in my year-round capsule that gets worn on a weekly basis.
Thrifted August Silk trousers
Lola Cruz sandals from yoox
Thrifted L.B.S. collection bag
Sometimes you go thrifting and stumble across exactly what you’re looking for. Like this blouse. It’s something I had on my list for a few months. I try to only buy natural fibers regardless of shopping new or secondhand. However, coming across silk blouses that fit and don’t have stains is becoming harder to find when thrifting. When I tried on this vintage top, I immediately knew this would get a lot of wear in my wardrobe. It reminds me of the blouses from Reformation and Realisation Par, but for only a fraction of the price.
August Silk trousers
Free People flats
I got this jacket from my mom’s closet about five years ago. After that, it sat in my closet unworn for quite some time. That is, until two summers ago, when I finally decided to wear it. And it has now become one of my most worn jackets. It’s lightweight, breathable, and the silhouette flatters most garments in my wardrobe. My vintage straw bag comes out every spring and summer. However, it’s rather delicate so I try not to wear it on a daily basis. I paired it with this outfit because I love the matching look and color combination of tan and pink.
I’ve worn these trousers most of the week. So far, they’ve held up great. What I love most about them is that they can easily be dressed up when necessary. This wrap top is also very versatile, making this outfit great to wear from day to night. Rarely do I buy shoes that are colorful because I usually don’t end up wearing them—I tend to stick to buying black and brown shoes, because I know they’ll get the most use. Surprisingly, I’ve worn these shoes way more than I expected. They help elevate a basic outfit and inject a bit of fun into this look.
Top from local boutique
August Silk trousers
Free People flats
A New Day earrings
L.B.S. collection bag
I bought this jacket from Urban Outfitters’ urban renewal range, which is their reworked vintage clothing line. When shopping at a large retailer, I try to buy garments from the sustainable section or ones that will be in my wardrobe for long periods of time. For me, that means buying clothes that are made of natural fibers but also may have a looser fit silhouette, like this dress. This allows me to wear the piece for a longer period of time, in case my body fluctuates in size. These sandals, are also one of my favorite pairs of shoes. I’ve had them for 2 years now, and I can say they were definitely worth the investment.
Urban Renewal jacket
Lola Cruz sandals from yoox
Vintage Helen Kaminski Raffia bag
Sundays are for living my best life and spending the day out with family. I like to take the time to put a little more effort into my outfit, as a part of my self-care Sunday routine. This top is a piece that will have a long lifespan in my wardrobe. When it no longer fit my mother, she passed it down to me. However, this linen wrap top used to have a collar and long sleeve cuffs. I reworked it by cutting off the collar and shortening the sleeves. Now it’s more my style and has a casual vibe. The skirt I’m wearing is from American Apparel, and it’s one of the oldest items in my wardrobe. Due to its classic style and durability, I’ll have it in my wardrobe for many years to come.