A Week Of Outfits With Tennille Murphy
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 Tennille Murphy, the blogger behind The Tennille Life!
// ABOUT TENNILLE //
Age | 40
Location | Los Angeles, CA
Occupation | Interior Designer turned Corporate Flight Attendant for Magic Johnson Enterprises
Where To Find Her | Her blog The Tennille Life and Instagram
Favorite Brand | Reformation, Super Thrift, and Vintage Flea Markets like Pasadena Rose Bowl
My sustainable fashion roots lay in thrift store shopping. What began as a means to dress for cheap has transformed into a meaningful lifelong passion. For more than 25 years I have shopped secondhand clothes, drawn to the uniqueness of garments from years past. I love the thrill of hitting the non-curated racks of our neighborhood thrift shops, never concerned with fashion trends. Instead, my idea of poetic fashion is a delicate balance of classic conservative with a touch of modern, sexy, and edgy. It seems fitting that such an artistic expression can only be achieved by curating timeless pieces through kind acts of recycling.
I started my blog series, “Something Old, Something New” to showcase the unexpected pairings of vintage and modern fashion. To inspire others to sprinkle in thrifted or pre-owned pieces into their wardrobe. To encourage others to be more thoughtful about purchasing new pieces and only buy pieces they absolutely love. And to help others think in terms of quality and sustainability over quantity. Beyond that, I hope to offer a new perspective on buying secondhand. Although it has gotten better over the years, there’s still a negative stigma and shame attached to buying used clothing. I also want people to know that thrifting is not just for hippies or eccentric fashion lovers. In reality, you can find all types of fashion at thrift stores. It’s all about where you shop. It’s so important to change any misconceptions on thrifting because at the end of the day, sustainability is a group effort.
Over the years I have broadened my mind on ways to live a thoughtful sustainable life beyond fashion. We all have a choice on the goods we purchase, how they are made, and what the impact will be long after we’re gone. For the last 8 years or so, my husband and I have been remodeling our home using salvaged architectural elements, repurposed materials, and refurbishing second hand furniture. We use our grey water to water the trees and plants on our two-acre property. We line dry our clothes and use ECOS, a plant based, vegan laundry detergent. All of the lights on the property are LED. All of our appliances are upcycled commercial grade units. The wood flooring throughout the house has been milled from a flooded hotel stair railing. And on and on. With only one small change at a time, you’d be surprised how effortless it becomes to find everyday practical ways to lessen your footprint on the earth.
On any given Sunday in Los Angeles you’re sure to find a local Farmers Market selling everything from locally grown produce, to fresh eggs or flowers. Traveling as much as I do, when I’m in town it’s something I totally look forward to. Recently I’ve been hitting up the market in Malibu. My go-to outfits are stylish yet comfy so wearing denim is an obvious choice.
I stopped buying newly made denim a few years ago. If I do buy denim I try to get thrifted pairs or shop sustainable brands like this pair from Reformation. Ref is my ultimate ride-or-die sustainable brand! This relaxed-cut deadstock denim is made in Los Angeles with a seam detail down the back tapered pant leg. I identify with Ref’s desire to celebrate women’s figures, while keeping sustainability at the heart of everything they produce. I paired my comfy faded denim with a black Ref smocked ruffle tank.
I recently bought this super cute vintage Ferragamo belt bag via Vestiaire Collective. Gently used, the mini bag features Ferragamo’s iconic grosgrain detail and gold Gancini hardware. Vestiaire, a French premium online marketplace, is a fantastic source to buy or sell previously owned items. As I continue to be thoughtful about the designer pieces I buy, I love that Vestiaire is a secure source selling carefully curated goods from sellers all over the world. I’d much rather buy a gently used designer piece than purchase brand new.
Market day comes to an end when my Lace Straw bag gets too heavy to carry! I use this General Store fair trade hand woven Ghanaian basket when I know I’ll be doing a lot of shopping. Holds pretty much everything I’ll buy and then some
Vintage Ferragamo Belt Bag via Vestiaire
Call me crazy but I don’t need a reason to have a picnic! By far and away my best find this year is a thrifted, but new, Picnic Time basket. All I need is a warm sunny day and a couple hours to kill to put me in the picnic mood. I kinda cheat because I generally just find a spot on our property or in this case drive 15 minutes to my Mother-in-Law's ranch to indulge my whim. To be honest, I’m not an outdoorsy kinda girl, but put me in the right outfit and I’ll play along.
This Posse black linen playsuit aka overalls is PERFECTION! So much love for this sustainable Australian brand making handcrafted pieces by craftswomen in Bali working from home enabling them to be available for their families! The linen is light and airy while maintaining its durability. The pinafore style ruffle straps are my absolute weakness! I so love the thoughtful modern cut of the cropped culottes and the wrap tie belt...such a specially designed garment!
Shopping online is always a bit tricky. Fortunately, Posse hits a homerun every time, the quality and fit is fabulous! I like to wear it shirtless paired with my patent slides, just a little bit of glam for the rustic occasion. In case picnicking gets dull, I can throw a few things in this darling little multipurpose Abaca lunch style basket and go wandering. Abaca is another beautiful sustainable brand making and sourcing very unique bags and objects. This Kahun Basket is handwoven from buri leaves found in the Philippines. I love the weave of the delicate eyelet lid, and the square shape keeps it very modern and quite utilitarian.
Visiting A Friend
Summertime is that time of year for pool parties, bbq’s, and hanging out with friends and family. Not cliché at all, warm weather begs us to come together and simply chill. Except, the word “chill” for me means “look cute without looking like you’re trying.” A simple black knit dress paired with a casual pair of sneakers is “chill”—or at least as chill as I get. Worn with my new go to summer fave, vintage Ferragamo belt bag and all the outfit needs is a light sweater for the cool LA evenings.
When I’m in town, I love thrifting with my oldest daughter. We have a rotation of shops that have weekly discount days and we maximize our money by only shopping on those days. Treasures like this wonderful lightweight cream sweater with capped sleeves and pearl buttons was found on such a visit. The ribbing of this super cute vintage sweater works so well with the ribbing of this knit bodycon dress. Black and white is an absolute classic pairing even for this everyday casual look. The dainty pearl buttons are the pretty understated detail that puts a “bow” on the whole modern-vintage look.
Thrifted Vintage Sweater with pearl buttons
Vintage Ferragamo Belt Bag via Vestiaire
Bodycon Midi Dress
Shopping & Running Errands
I live for high-waisted anything!!! It’s my favorite style because it flatters my body shape and generally looks polished. All my trousers, skirts and even workout pants are high-waisted. Shopping lovely high waist pieces is so accessible now. I am so happy that brands are on the bandwagon designing high waist pieces.
Finding my favorite style use to mean I’d have to hunt down a skirt or trousers secondhand. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the thrill of the hunt...indeed I find it exhilarating. On a good day of thrifting I can find a treasure like these wide leg high waisted trousers that literally fit me to a T! I am especially attracted to these trousers because they are easy to style and downright comfortable to wear while running errands or grabbing lunch. This black pair of pocketless trousers are lightweight, too—right in time for summer. The cut and fit is so good I like to pair them with simple cropped tanks and tops like this white triangle top. This summer I’m sure to pack these flattering trousers into my suitcase for every trip...better than a pair of jeans if you ask me!
Belt bag you ask?? ...why YES! Again wearing my Ferragamo belt bag, which is ideal for running errands, as the gold chain sets off the whole look. This outfit could easily be dressed up or down based on shoe selection. Here wearing my sneakers on repeat because they just add that casual comfy vibe that I love for my everyday life.
Thrifted Vintage High-Waisted Pants
Vintage Ferragamo Belt Bag via Vestiaire
From city to city and country to country I live for teatime! I organize my day around where I plan on having tea...even if it’s in my home. I say this so often to those who know me, I am drawn to the ritual of drinking tea because it allows me quiet time to savor the lovely flavor AND to savor myself. A small and meaningful indulgence of self love.
I have loads of places all over LA to satisfy my tea addiction. Recently, I find myself looking forward to being in town so I can stop by Mansur Gavriel’s Cafe Flora for a pot of green tea and polenta cake. Warm summer mornings make the ideal time to wear this feminine vintage high waist wrap skirt I got from Rose Bowl Flea Market via Hot Cocoa Vintage. The caramel color wears as a nude next to my mocha skin tone, I LOVE it. I paired this full A-lined wrap skirt with a very minimal yet striking black ribbed strappy-back bodysuit.
The chic simplicity of the outfit works beautifully with my versatile black patent slides and mini black acrylic Cult Gaia Ark Bag. I love hoop earrings and I particularly love these distinctive brass Laura Lombardi Curve earrings. Her uniquely modern designs are made from raw or recycled materials.
Traveling for a living gives me the opportunity to “go out and grab the world by the lapels,” like Maya Angelou said. My unique lifestyle affords me the opportunity to live my days waking up in one city and going to sleep in another. Along the way it is my utter pleasure to play dress-up for each backdrop.
Running the streets of Chicago or exploring the micro burrows of Miami have become my norm. It’s no different when traveling to a divine city like Roma. My summer days in Rome will look much like this. A decidedly un-touristy outfit wearing a thrifted vintage Christian Dior front and rear paneled pleated skirt in butterscotch cotton, cropped triangle tank, once again my sleek-yet-comfy slides, a brass metal detail skinny belt, and a vintage 1960’s black pleated satin chain bag. I feel quite at home in Italy having spent every summer there for the last 7 years. This year will be no different—the welcoming arms of Rome await me.
Thrifted Vintage Christian Dior High Waist Pleated Skirt
Vintage Bag via Etsy
In a classic, timeless city like Rome I feel inspired to wear outfits that reflect the emotions I feel when I walk through the ruin-filled capital. Roman summer days are very, very hot...basically just like home in the San Fernando Valley.
Airy linen skirts, like this gorgeous handmade one by Posse, are perfectly suited for the 90+ degree afternoons. The crisp white high waist full A-line skirt pairs perfectly with this one-strap bodysuit also by Posse. I love the juxtaposition of the billowy skirt to black fitted bodysuit...seriously a 10/10 on the design of each piece.
The outfit begs for minimal accessories like this black acrylic Cult Gaia Lilleth Bag and, again, the polished patent slides which are practically a matching set. I feel the simplicity of the outfits is the ideal backdrop for the sculptural Cult Gaia bag. It’s a really sweet play on the architectural elements that are inherent to a city like Rome.
My final accessory, thrifted vintage gold C clip-on earrings which I don’t wear often because they pinch terribly but for a lunch date in Rome...it's worth it!!