Ethical Fashion Obsession of the summer: Christy Dawn

Hey there. This is one of the many blog posts I wrote in bits and pieces over the summer and never published. So I’m gonna do that now. It’s mostly about Christy Dawn dresses, which I became obsessed with, wore all summer, and ultimately learned how to make myself. Enjoy, but before going nuts purchasing expensive dresses just know these are fairly easy to sew. I’m an absolute beginner seamstress; now with a closet full of Christy Dawn style dresses in fabrics of my own choosing.

Actual old blog post starting now:

So, a few things have happened since I’ve last posted here, ha ha! Just to update you all, we have been quarantining and social distancing since March (as I’m sure all of you have). I’ve gone back to working from home these past months, which has been a big shift in some ways but not so much in others.

As those of you who have read my earlier posts know, I used to primarily work from home back in 2016 (remember when working from home was relatively uncommon?). Needless to say, I feel incredibly fortunate to have the ability to do so during these turbulent times.

I added embroidered wildflowers to this Bianca dress.

There have been a few changes to my work from home routine this time around, not the least of which is having my 10-year-old here with me (and of course the home schooling thing). It’s been an adjustment but I feel like we’re finally getting the hang of it, uh, now that the school year is over. 😣 I’m still struggling to get her away from video games during the day, but I think that would be a battle even if things were back to normal.

Another thing I’ve been doing differently and the point of this post, has to do with wardrobe. I’ve kinda inadvertently re-hauled mine (without getting rid of stuff I need to first—getting to that someday but there is never enough time 😩)! I’ve changed up my everyday jeans for everyday flowey, comfortable, day dresses. They are mostly long, floral, maxi dresses—not quite office appropriate.

Wearing them feels liberating in a weird way. Quarantine has let me explore my style. It’s allowed me to wear things solely because I like wearing them without dressing for others or fearing their judgment. Before these past few bizarre months I’m not sure I completely knew what I actually liked.

The Dawn Dress in Tea Rose print

In my 20s I dressed for attention/fashion/boys/the approval of my (mostly) female peers. In my 30s I dressed for work—always struggling to find a look that would make others take me seriously (while avoiding suits as much as possible—I’ve always known I hated suits). I’ve never had the chance to dress completely how I want to, until now.

My favorite CD Theo dress.

Most of the dresses I’ve been living in are comfortable enough to sleep in but somehow make me feel dressed up and beautiful at the same time. A couple also border on nightgown-ish, which makes me a bit self conscious whilst walking my dog—but still so comfortable!

Most of the many (too many) dresses I’ve acquired over the past few months are vintage finds or from the brand Christy Dawn. I found out after reading an article about stylish masks actually in stock in April. If you recall, nothing was in stock mask-wise at that time so I placed an order for some cute fabric ones for myself and my daughter. It turned out that they were not actually in stock and cost a fortune for what they were. I started checking the Christy Dawn site to see when we would get them, fairly miffed.

Another Theo.

I also started to notice CD’s dress selection. Their quite expensive dress selection. At first I thought they looked way overpriced. A simple dress selling for over $200? Not really in my budget. But eventually, because I wanted to see what the hype was about, I ordered one. They were all 20%-30% off during the first few months of quarantine, so that helped. I never wanted to take it off. Some others followed after that; stretching my budget a bit too much, but that’s what happens when your window to the outside world is the internet—in all its shop-able glory. I went a little overboard.

Now, a bit about the Christy Dawn brand. They are a proponent of ethical fashion—basically the opposite of fast fashion. What that means is they use either deadstock fabric or sustainably grown and produced cotton, they pay their garment workers a living wage (around $20 an hour), and they support very worthwhile causes. Most recently they have been working to promote the Black Lives Matter movement, working with Black models (which they did before, but they admit, not enough), donating, and spreading awareness of the cause.

Feeling floaty and ethereal in Elodie.

Side note: I used to have an Anthropologie addiction, but after learning of their racist practices which they’ve done next to nothing to address, I’m done with all URBN Corp. brands. Plus, I’ve come across some articles from around 2015 where Anthro higher-ups identify their target customer base—they were more than a little insulting, to say the least.

CD dresses are also produced in small batches that tend to sell out quickly, leading to some, ahem, impulse buys. But for the most part I’ve been really pleased with everything I’ve purchased from them. I have been living in these dresses during quarantine and really never want to stop. They are comfortable enough to sleep in yet dressy enough to wear on a date night (like that’s going to happen anytime soon).

Some styles from Christy Dawn that I have been into lately (only some of which I actually own) have been their Bianca, Claire, Theo, Basil, and Benny dresses. Their main Dawn dress is also lovely. I regularly wear one of mine, made of the softest pink and white floral cotton gauze. The other one I have has coarser material, but is more office appropriate, so I’m saving that one.

Dirty mirror selfie sans makeup in the mint paisley Bianca. I think Ludo and I were watching Game of Thrones again at the time.

The only downside I’ve found with this brand (other than the impulse buy factor) is with their fabric selection. Most have been lovely, but occasionally one will be made of a fabric I wouldn’t normally go for. Because they are made of deadstock, they do not state the fabric content on their site or individual garments. So far I’ve been going mostly for those described as feeling like cotton, none of which have disappointed. Size can also be a bit tricky since it varies from dress to dress, even when the dresses are the same style. It’s important to look at the measurements for each to make sure to get the right fit.

But overall, I definitely recommend this company, and have to admit I’ve become more than a little enamored/obsessed! What have you been wearing lately? Has anyone else become house dress obsessed during the quarantine?

The lovely Aimee. This one is currently for sale on my Poshmark. It’s too big for me, but I’m really tempted to alter it.

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Busy professional and parent (to 1 human, 3 cats, 2 guinea pigs, and a Shih Tzu. I enjoy blogging about this and that, generally in the wee hours of morning. I’m also a ballet dancer, competitive roller figure skater, and portrait artist. Current obsessions include: horror films, shopping for things vintage and handmade, experimenting with essential oils, and slowly restoring our big old house by the beach.

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