The Dorkiest Thing I’ve Ever Written, or, How I Became an Everlane Ambassador

Back in September of 2015, without any real understanding of the role but with enthusiasm and gusto, I applied for an unpaid position with Everlane. I wasn’t too sure about what being an ambassador would entail, but I was extremely intrigued. At this point in time I had not yet been to their office in the mission, nor had I any clue about their monthly events; I was simply and genuinely their biggest and dorkiest fan.

 My fandom never once mirrored the company’s cool aesthetic, oh no -  instead of maintaining a collected and chic exterior, I outwardly expressed ridiculous levels of excitement for their new launches, singing their praises on as many platforms as my fingertips would reach. As I false-started my way through the beginning of my ethical fashion journey, Everlane became a beacon of ease and clarity. Here was this brand that was ethical, and affordable, and just so happened to be headquartered about three miles from my apartment. In a matter of months, I immersed myself in their ethos so much that I became not just a groupie; nay, I became a mother ‘effin Everlane band aid. Apologies to Penny Lane.

But I digress. Back in September, Everlane let the world know that they were looking for SF ambassadors via Instagram. You’d better believe, my application was submit with the quickness. After pressing the send button, and tweeting out that I had done so (as you do), I quickly and secretly crossed my fingers before erasing all hope and optimism from my mind. I wasn’t actually going to get this position – that would be too much. All my unbridled enthusiasm was sure to grant me a seat on the bench, not a spot among the starters.

Well, to my surprise a mere 10 months after submitting my application I woke to find an email waiting in my inbox from none other than an unnamed Everlane employee herself. My 10 month old application had earned me a phone interview, in which I would be asked to describe my interest in the ambassador position. My jaw dropped. My heart raced. WTF was happening, I thought quietly to myself and did not, in fact, exclaim aloud to our cat.

A few chats later and low and behold, I was invited to participate in a six month stint as an ambassador. So far it has been a pretty neat experience – while still painfully uncool, I occasionally feel like an insider, and my style has certainly been elevated, both from the Everlane products I’ve received but also in the sense that I feel like I actually need to try when I head to their offices. The ambassador role is really what you make it. There is room for creativity and flexibility, and at the end of the day, I can affirm that their mission of ethical and transparent fashion drives everything that they do, even though sometimes it feels like it’s hidden under a few layers of cool-girl sheen.  

Most importantly, I am having fun. A lot it, actually. And I mostly wanted to write this to let you all know that I’m out here, in all my dorky glory, available for questions and pretending to know stuff about fashion. If I can do it, you all can definitely do it.  So go forth and be bold, reach out to brands you love, apply for random positions – sometimes the quirky dreams are the best dreams. 

Xo,

Harben

P.S. If you happen to share any of my love and affection for Everlane, I'd so appreciate a click on my referral link: https://www.everlane.com/r/harbenporter . Thanks, friends! 

One Pant, Five Ways

Hi There Friends! 

As you may remember, I recently wrote about feeling uninspired by my current wardrobe and options. Things were feeling stale, and my whole closet was soured by a lack of ingenuity and creativity. Well, luckily for me (and maybe for you), a few weeks back I was asked to participate in a "one piece, five looks" challenge with some extremely talented and stylish blogger friends. Being asked to participate in this challenge, and finding myself in the company of Andrea, Natalie, Paige and Lizzy, was just the boost I needed to find my second wind with this season's capsule. It's amazing how connecting with others around a common project can breath new life into your day to day. 

For this challenge I chose to style my navy blue Everlane slim trousers for five different occasions. I opted to style these trousers because they are the type of item I have seen beautifully dressed up and down by street stylers and fashion bloggers alike, and yet I tend to reach for them only in professional settings. Rather than style something I consider blatantly versatile, I decided to approach this challenge as, well, a challenge. And the result? Let's just say that I will no longer be relegating these pants to professional occasions. Not only are they comfy, but I feel like they add a sort of polish to whatever they're paired with. 

Look 1: Navy and black! After searching some street style for inspiration, I paired the navy trousers with black heeled boots and a chunky black knit sweater for an edgier combo.  Maybe it's not that edgy, actually, but black and navy still feel bold to me. 

Look 2: A white blazer, tee, Natalie Borton necklace and pumps for color. Sassy and classy, friends. 

Look 3: Stripes, booties and a camel coat worn on a walking day date through SF. The red lip gave this look a nice punch and I felt pretty pretty pretty good all day. 

Look 4: Trousers paired with a loose fitting boyfriend top, beanie, and sneakers for a casual and comfy vibe. I wore this to run errands and stop by my most favorite trendy coffee shop. 

Look 5: I think of this one as my weekend hustle look. Flats and the tote are perfect for taking care of business, and the hat kept everything feeling young and fresh. 

Now that this fun little project is over, I'm left with the sneaking suspicion that saying yes to a challenge might actually be a cure for a wardrobe rut.  Having four other amazing ladies to collaborate with motivated me to stretch out of my comfort zone, and I have to say, I am pleased with all five looks.  I think I may even adopt a challenge mentality to try and up my accessories game in the future. Looking at these pictures, it's clear that the red lip did something special for the third look. Maybe another antidote when feeling less than inspired is tapping into your makeup and accessories options. I'm feeling pumped, and the possibilities are endless. 

I shared a little sneak peak of how my blogger friends styled their pieces on Instagram, and I highly encourage you to head over to their blogs and read all about their experiences. Check out all the loveliness below and click through to land yourself at their posts.

xo,

Harben

 

Making the Most of Our Buying Power

It's the holiday season! In case the red cups and onslaught of holiday ads haven't tipped you off, we are zooming into the most shopping-heavy season of all seasons, full speed ahead. Truth be told, I have never actually done the wake up at 4am, doorbuster, 10,000-person strong mall thing on black Friday. I remember going to some stores with my mom the day after thanksgiving, sometimes in the mall, sometimes not, but we never lasted long. Even though I have never been completely gung-ho about the whole black Friday thing, my habits have changed so dramatically this year that no part of the whole shop 'till you drop craze appeals to me. That said, I still want things. I still want to buy other people nice things. The difference this year is that rather than feeding into a systemically flawed and often unjust industry, I am excited to put my money where my mouth is and shop slow. And it looks like I might not be the only one

So let's get to it. Here's a first installment of online shopping and gift ideas to treat yourself and your loved ones to this season. 

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1. Orange Harp is my jam. This SF-based, socially conscious app curates ethical, sustainable, social-impact brands and products for your buying pleasure. Think fashion, accessories, jewelry - all of it ethically made and beautifully organized for your convenience. I can't believe how late to the party I am with this app. They seriously have something for everyone. Interested in trying out some all-natural makeup? Orange Harp. Looking for ethical outerwear options? Orange Harp. Want to up your home goods game? Orange Harp! Not only are their values aligned with all that I have come to adopt through my capsule journey this year, but Orange Harp donates 1% of their sales to Not for Sale, a nonprofit hellbent on ending human trafficking. Talk about positive impact! I'm smitten. If you too, are a fan of what Orange Harp is all about, download their app and enter "HARBEN" at checkout to receive 15% off your purchases through December 20th. Also check back in upcoming weeks as I put their collections to good use and highlight some holiday looks to really kick this season off. 

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2. Makers Market is a one-stop-shop for American-made home goods, jewelry and accessories. This is a marketplace where craftsmanship shines, and makers are celebrated. I particularly love their kitchen goods, and their adorable gifts for kiddos. I have a few little ones in my life (cousins), and a very dear friend who is expecting (NOT ME, MOM), and mark my words someone I know will be putting their child in these moccasins sooner than later. 

3. Scoutmob is another online marketplace featuring independent craftsmen and women, but what I like about them is that you can tailor your search to find local makers. From the looks of it, they have makers and products in just about every state, which means buying local is truly attainable for almost all of us. I purchased my favorite bucket bag from Umbrella Collective through Scoutmob, and I have my eye on some of their boozy gifts to get us all into the holiday spirit. 

So there you have it. You're now privy to some of my go-to spots for online shopping and gift-hunting.  It's not an exhaustive list of places, but it's a start. And if you're interested in furthering your ethical and sustainable fashion and gift knowledge, I highly recommend heading over to Seasons and Salt  and Made to Travel to check out all that they have laid out (spoiler alert - it's good). 

Lastly, since it's Thanksgiving, I just want to say how incredibly thankful I am for all of you who stop by and check out this here blog. I love being a part of this incredible community, and your comments and engagement are so special and meaningful for me. Thank you all for your time, and your well-wishes, and your support. I am so grateful.  

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

xo,

Harben