It’s officially two weeks before the big move to Connecticut.
Right now I’m in vigorous getting-rid-of-things mode, because we’ll be downsizing from 2.5 bedrooms to one. We’ll also be going from five closets to one, which is totally overwhelming as a concept to me. So far, I’ve managed to offload 10 boxes of books, throw out all my college notes (they were mostly just fashion doodles anyway), donate five bags of Daniel’s clothing, and consign a plastic bin full of my own clothing and shoes. I’ve sorted through sheets, made a start on toiletries, and double checked that all my winter coats still fit and are in good shape.
Friday was my last day of work, and this week I feel a bit unmoored. You get used to the constant obligation of brainstorming, troubleshooting, and checking emails – and when none of this is your responsibility anymore, there’s a hollowness. It’s not bad or good – it’s just there.
I’m also on week 3 of a sinus infection that has turned into a bacterial infection, so there’s a lot going on right now.
All that to say that summer sweaters are – and really emotionally, I need them to be – a thing:
It is cold in my house because we don’t control the thermostat.
Virginia evenings can be surprisingly mild.
I’m about to move to the frigid north.
I am siiiiick.
My whole life is about to change.
I wear a sweater every day during the summer – mostly when I’m indoors – and I really don’t see why they shouldn’t be considered an all-season item. MANTARI – which produces handmade alpaca wool sweaters in Peru – is officially launching in the US this fall, but they sent a sweater along ahead of time for me to try out.
I’ve waxed poetic about the value of alpaca wool several times before, so I won’t go back into detail about it (though, after recently getting to know some alpacas, I love them even more).
I’ve tried alpaca wool items from Everlane, a startup called PAKA, and Solo Six, but I like this MANTARI Marcellina sweater because it’s midweight and closely knit to offer a more substantial over-layer, and I don’t find it as itchy as my other luxury alpaca sweater (if you are sensitive to sheep’s wool, you may still want to avoid turtleneck styles in alpaca).
What’s more, this sweater has a true design to it – it’s more than just a standard sweater – and this silhouette in particular has a vintage vibe – sort of early 80s – that really speaks to the sartorial zeitgeist (*cough* Stranger Things) while maintaining a sense of timelessness due to the quality. I’m wearing a Medium, and I have a 34” bust and 29” waist.
MANTARI is a family run, fair trade certified company that’s been operating in Peru for over ten years. Sweaters are hand knit by mothers who work from their homes in the Junín region of the Peruvian Amazon, and products in the collection are named after the artisans. MANTARI also supports a regional literacy program for women. Items in the forthcoming Natural Instinct collection will retail from $250-350. Learn more here.
Welp, off to go shred some old bills and clean mildew off the bathroom ceiling.
Leah Wise is the founder of StyleWise Blog. She has been writing, speaking, and consulting on sustainable fashion, the fair trade and secondhand supply chain, and digital marketing for over ten years. An Episcopal priest, Leah holds a B.A. in Religion from Florida State University and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. When not working, you can find her looking for treasures at the thrift store.