1. Who is Erin Houston?
I’m co-founder of wearwell, an online membership to kick-start your sustainable wardrobe. When I’m not building wearwell, I’m taking my pup Ruby for walks, reading a novel (currently reading The Vanishing Half) in the park, and practicing my amateur cooking and yogi skills. I live in Philly, have spent a good chunk of my life in DC and Virginia, and am looking forward to getting back to traveling in a post-pandemic world!
2. How do you define fashion and or style?
Style is one of the many ways we choose to express ourselves to people we interact with throughout our daily moments in life. Without saying a word, your outfit can communicate your personality, energy, and how you choose to spend your time. I believe that the choices we put into the clothing that we buy can also reflect our values. In addition to self-expression, your clothing can also tell a story about how to support fair wages or minimize one’s impact on the environment. I love how more and more people and brands are choosing to blend fashion with activism, proving that sustainability is stylish!
3. What influences your style? ie travel, work, movies, magazines, social media trends, celebrities, color, etc...
I tend to adapt my style based on my geography. For example, Philadelphia, where I live, is a very laid back city with an anything-goes attitude, so you’ll likely spot me dressed down. But if I’m in another city, I always take the opportunity to spice things up and choose an outfit that goes with that location. Although I adapt to my surroundings, I am obsessed with French aesthetics and follow many accounts on Instagram that fuel my love of trench coats, romantic florals, boatneck striped sweaters, and gorgeous shoes – all the shoes.
4. How has your style evolved?
My style has become more laid back over the years! Several years ago, I would always choose outfits that looked very buttoned up and put together e.g. a white blazer was an absolute wardrobe essential. My style choices were more a reflection of the work I was doing at the time and the city I lived in. Now, I gravitate towards what I feel good in and what I need that day. That might mean comfy athleisure or putting on a dress and heels if I need a little more pep in my step! I’ve also been into adding pieces to my wardrobe that are more unique. The most recent addition is a multi-colored beaded and sequined jacket I found in my grandmother’s closet. It’s a one-of-a-kind piece and unlike anything else I own, but what I love most is that the moment I put it on, I feel fun, buoyant, and full of energy.
5. What does your dream wardrobe consist of?
My dream wardrobe has serious French vibes – staples in neutrals, some stripes, and an effortlessly laid back look. I also have a thing for gold shoes. Gold sandals, heels, sneakers? I’ll take one of each!
6. If you were to give fashion advice to your younger self what would it be?
Stop wearing uncomfortable things! I remember choosing to buy clothes that just didn’t fit right only to achieve some outfit I saw in a magazine or an ad. You absolutely do not need to sacrifice what feels good on your body for a trend.
7. How important is it to be body positive and to appreciate the skin that you're in?
I grew up in the 90s when much of the content young girls consumed glorified a single body type: tall and extra thin. As someone who is about 5 feet tall, that look was never achievable for me, and, like many women, I spent a lot of energy in my teens and 20s chasing something that’s not meant for me, and that mindset frankly isn’t healthy. And for who? Something I’ve learned is that no one else is paying attention to the parts of your body you fret over. When you learn to love your curves, stretch marks, and wobbly bits, you shine. It also can give you the confidence to make style and fashion choices that are fantastic for your unique body, rather than trying to shoehorn yourself into someone else’s look.
8. What do you love about jewelry? What is your absolute favorite is it earrings, necklaces, etc.
Earrings are a must for me. I feel naked leaving the house without them! Of course, I have my daily go-to pairs, but when I’m pulling together an outfit for a night out or an event I’m looking forward to, I’ll often build my entire outfit around which pair of statement earrings I want to wear.
9. How do you incorporate accessories and jewelry into your daily looks?
I hold onto jewelry and accessories for a long time. I choose to invest in pieces that I know I’ll wear for a while because they feel authentic to my style. Since I don’t necessarily follow accessory and jewelry trends with my wardrobe, the pieces I choose often go with many of my daily looks and make a single outfit look completely different depending on what I choose to pair with it!
10. What are your non-negotiables... What must you have / wear / do? and what are your, “I’m never ever doing or wearing that”?
Honestly, I don’t have any non-negotiables. A big part of style is trial and error. If you aren’t willing to play and take risks, you’re missing out on all the fun!
11. Tell us why you choose fashion and style. So what we mean by that is, we don’t have to dress up, we don’t have to adorn ourselves with jewels and embellish with accessories, but we do, we choose to… why do you?
I do it for myself! Choosing fashion and style is a form of creativity, and the more we lean into that, the more we show our personalities and show up authentically ourselves. I love how expressing yourself through clothing and accessories can make you feel, and I especially love how it enables you to share a story with the world around you.
12. What’s your favorite fashion/style quote or mantra?
Being in the sustainable fashion space, the quote that always comes to mind for me is, “Demand quality not just in the products you buy, but in the life of the person who made it.” By being mindful of the impact of your purchases, you have the opportunity to contribute to fair wages and safe work environments for millions of people. When you put that into perspective, your fashion choices become about something much bigger than yourself!
13. How and where can people connect with you?
You're so right, Erin. Our styles definitely evolve with us as we grow up, move around, and experience different things. Thank you for sharing how you and your style have evolved!