Clothes Stories: Bright and Bold Prints from Amani Ya Juu

Today I'd like to introduce Amani Ya Juu, a holistic women's development organization which operates in Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Liberia, and Uganda! Amani Ya Juu means "peace from above" in Swahili, and one of the organization's major goals is to facilitate peacefulness in the communities they connect with by offering the women of those communities an opportunity to not only earn a sustainable wage but to come together and care for one another.

Amani Ya Juu offers a variety of household items and decor (I'm eyeing these cute oven mitts and the pamoja quilt) kids' items, jewelry, handbags and more, in addition to their clothing line. Heads up, brides, they even have a wedding registry incorporated into their site!

If you're eyeing something on the site but have a tight budget, never fear! I'm partnering with Amani later this month, and they have graciously decided to offer readers an AWESOME discount- I'll share details here and on instagram and twitter soon.

Anyway, on to todays ethical outfit! I'm smitten with my first Amani dress- beautiful craftsmanship and the colors are even more vivid in person!

As soon as I got the Hawa pocket dress in the mail, I ripped open the package and slipped it on...  I tugged up the zipper and- voila- it's like the dress was made for me!  Because of the way it's made, I'd venture to guess that the cut is quite flattering for all body types... you can't go wrong with  a nipped-in-waist, conservative neckline and long, tapered skirt! My favorite thing about this piece, though, isn't the fit- it's the details. The contrasting fabric, the lining, the structured waistline... The tiny little pleats on the neckline are just too much. Adorable. The women at Amani are so talented!

If you've read this blog for any length of time at all, you probably know that I have a deep love for anything with pockets. Especially dresses with pockets. Pleats and pockets are even better!

Andrew loves the back of this dress (making it totally fancy-date-night approved ;-)) and so do I! The low-cut style contrasts with the high neckline in front for just the perfect touch of feminine edge.

As far as fit- if you're between sizes, I'd recommend sizing up... I usually wear  a 4 but I measured right in between the 4 and 6. Ended up going with the 6 and it's perfect! Since I'm so short I might eventually hem it up just a tad...

I paired the dress with a thrifted skinny belt, hand-me-down heels, and a funky pair of earrings from Ember Arts. I'm not usually a fan of big earrings- I love the look, but they tend to tug on my ears with their weight and get uncomfortable quickly. Because Ember Arts earrings are made with recycled paper and wire only, They are as light as they are bold. I can wear them all day and forget they're on my ears! Right now, Ember Arts has quite a few pieces using the "library bead"- you can see the words on each little rolled-up bead- wouldn't they make a cute gift for a book-lover?

Where to Shop:
Shoes and Belt: thrifted/hand me down