Outfit: Spring Signs of Life

The fact that I attend(ed) – depending on when you read this – Calvin University should clue you in to a few things right away.

1.) None of us have any sense of humor at all.

2.) We all will gladly pay anything for a cup of coffee in the morning.

3.) We – as a student body – have a generally well-dressed student population.

So imagine my surprise when I started at Calvin and so many of the people that walked with me to class, got coffee with me at The Fish House (R.I.P.) and went climbing with me at the wall sported overalls like it had just come off the runway at Paris Fashion Week. I mean, they were everywhere.

Previously, overalls were exclusively the domain of the redneck, hick, drive-your-tractor-to-school crowd, so the association wasn’t particularly positive.

Students wore them with sweaters and t-shirts, wore them with sandals or skate shoes and pretty much lived in them (especially some of the students who maintained the gardens on campus). There were fashionable pairs, utility pairs and just casual “I don’t feel like putting on real pants today” pairs. It was eye-opening and strange.

So this outfit is generally inspired by spring, gardens and the smell of freshly tilled earth. It uses soft green and pink (aka. Lana Del Ray) alongside black, white and soft grey to bring to mind a garden that’s waking up from a long winter’s sleep. As before, I’m styling this outfit for a guy but the colors and the principles are easily adaptable to anyone who wants to try it out.

As before these pieces are just a proof of concept, feel free to branch out from what I supply here and make the outfit your own. Also like the previous post, it’s going to go from the bottom to the top, giving reasons why the entire way.

These shoes are the basis for the outfit in more ways than just offering a nice color to tie it all together. Since overalls make one think of farming (at least, they make me think of farming), I wanted to find a pair of shoes that stressed environmental care and sustainability.

Unfortunately, many of the incredibly popular shoe/clothing brands have a lot to be desired when it comes to sustainability. That’s what I was so surprised to see this pair of shoes appear on the Converse website. They’re made of 40% recycled cotton canvas and feature a reground rubber sole (which means that leftovers from rubber manufacturing were used to create a moldable rubber, most commonly used for gym mats).

Obviously the best choice would be to thrift, since that keeps new articles of clothing out of landfills, but these shoes are an imperfect solution to a problem that seems daunting and overwhelming.


This is what the outfit is based around. However, they’re probably not the easiest pair of overalls to get your hands on. While they are sold out currently (sorry), they remain the best-fitting pair of overalls I’ve seen that lie within a somewhat reasonable price point. And keep in mind that there are literal tons of overalls out there. I prefer things to hit a slim fit, but a lot of people will have no problem having a pair that’s looser around the legs. It’s really all personal preference.

I just liked the way that these looked the most.

And when you’re wearing them, just do everyone around you a favor and unbutton one of the clasps. They deserve to see the whole ‘fit, and that’s the easiest way to show it off.


Originally I was going to try to find a soft pink shirt (the other, brighter color for this outfit, but I was having some real trouble finding the one that fits the vibe. A friend then came along – as they so often do – at the right moment and pointed me towards Imogene + Willie, which I have promptly fallen in love with.

What’s unique about this company is that they refuse to do anything outside of the continental United States. They refuse to have their garments made overseas (which many companies do to keep costs down), which is a big plus in terms of sustainability. Sure, it might be the most expensive shirt you ever own, but it’s a comfortable, unisex shirt, cut and sewn in the U.S.A. with American-made fabric that features a wonderful graphic (designed by the team within the shop).


This outfit is designed for spring, so there have to be certain allowances when it comes to putting something like this together. Since spring in Michigan can vary wildly from 32 degrees to the high 70’s, there has to be adaptability that’s built in, and that’s built in through this sweater.

It’s a relaxed, oversize fit meaning that the sleeves and torso will hang loose just a touch. The overalls will cover most of the bottom, though the sleeves should be rolled up to about halfway up the forearm.

The other side of this sweater ties back to the Converse pair above. Madewell has partnered with Better Cotton Initiative to improve cotton farming standards and production over the world.


The final piece of this outfit again comes from I+W, bringing in the final pop of color that shows in the palette above. This rose pink bandanna features a hand-designed pattern that looks just as good bunched up and draped around the neck as folded and tucked into a pocket while working in the garden.

Thank you for reading! It’s the second installment of this particular type of blog, but I’m quickly finding out that this is more enjoyable than most other things I could be doing with my free time.

Like before, if you’ve got any questions, comments, concerns or other things you’d like me to address, I’d love to hear it! You’re all blessings.

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