When sponsored content, affiliate linking, and gifted products first started becoming common in the world of blogging, I made a conscious decision not to engage. Blogging isn’t my actual business, minimalist personal styling is, and with very little childcare, I didn’t have the extra time to devote to it.
Even more than that, I had a philosophical objection. There’s a big difference between having a “minimalist” style and actually *being* minimalist. If someone is constantly receiving new items from brands to review, can they really be maintaining a minimalist wardrobe?
I also don’t want to perpetrate the societal norm of always needing new things. It may be boring to wear the same things all the time, but it is the most ethical, frugal, and environmentally friendly way to dress.
Disclaimer: this does *not* mean that I don’t think people should get paid for blogging. I think of blogs as akin to magazines. Bloggers give us great content to read and enjoy, and they make money for their time by selling products in different ways. That’s just not what *my* business is, and it doesn’t align with the message of my business (basically: less is more).
Now that I’m expanding my business, I wanted to explore that avenue of revenue (hey that rhymes), but in a minimalist way. I also recommend products to my clients all the time, and having the ability to try things serves my clients’ needs.
When creating my fall capsule wardrobe, I made a list of things I could use for fall. One of the items on my wishlist was a pair of not-so-skinny jeans.
I tried the 90’s Cheeky jean from Everlane, the Mom jean from Mott & Bow, and with my own money, I purchased the Classic Straight from Madewell (via Nordstrom). These items were “gifted”, which means they were given to me free of charge, but I was not paid to write this post (that would be “sponsored” content). I am now an affiliate for Everlane and Mott & Bow, which means that I have specific links to products I share about, and I get paid a commission if a purchase is made. If you’re curious about the official designations, it’s all here.
On to the honest review! (Note on sizing: never go by size, go by measurements! My measurements are 31” at my natural waist, 33” at my belly button, and 39” at my hips)
First up, I honestly don’t think I’m cool enough for the Everlane Cheeky jean. The cut is really unique, but a little too close to the SNL mom jeans skit on me. I’m wearing a size 28 in Medium Blue here, and it’s possible I could have gone down a size. I always recommend squeezing into the smallest size of denim you can, since they’re always give a little after wearing. Another deal breaker is the button fly. Thanks to two pregnancies, I don’t have time to spare when getting to the bathroom ;)
The Mom jean from Mott & Bow in Ridge, Medium/Dark blue was my second favorite. The fit was great and they’re super comfortable. The 26” inseam length is right where I like my hem to hit, above the boot shaft. I’m wearing a size 27. Ultimately, I just wanted a slightly lighter wash. Mott & Bow also sent me the fitted v-neck Marcy t-shirt to try, which I’m wearing in all these photos. This is possibly the softest tee I’ve ever touched. The fit is incredible, a little slouchy, but not baggy. I’m wearing a size medium. My only wish is that it was slightly thicker fabric. It’s fine with a nude bra, and is definitely not as sheer as most tees seem to be these days, but it’s not completely opaque either. I highly recommend it, and am adding it to my minimalist wardrobe.
For me, the Classic Straight from Madewell is the best option. Often, you find a denim brand that works for you, and Madewell has for me. They’re the right mix of mom jean and wearable, and the wash is what I was looking for. Often the more relaxed styles from Madewell run really big, and that’s true for these, I’m wearing a 26 (I wear a 28 in the High Rise Skinny).
Since I only need one pair of jeans to fill this need in my wardrobe, and even though they were free to me, I returned the other two pairs. I kept the pair that was best, even though it cost me money. However, they may still work for you, and you can still support me as an affiliate of Everlane and Mott & Bow by shopping through the links in this post. The great thing about both of these retailers is that their products are ethically made (Madewell’s are not). In addition, even though the Madewell jeans weren’t gifted, the link to the jeans is an affiliate link, so I get a few cents when you click through to that one too.
What do you think? How do you feel about sponsored content and gifted items? Is it possible to do it in a minimalist way? In addition to the Mott & Bow tee, I also kept a pair of boots from Everlane, so stay tuned for that review!