Customer Love: Bernadette's Cute Summer Outfits

  • Mata Traders
  • 18 Jun, 2018

Hi, nice to meet you! I'm Bernadette – Chicagoan born, raised, and still residing. I'm a full-time Occupational Therapist and freelance photographer with an 8-year-old son and an elderly cat.

I first learned about fair trade clothing and jewelry while attending Chicago's Green Festival at Navy Pier in 2010. Mata Traders was part of a panel (Mata's founder Maureen Dunn was one of the speakers) discussing the topic of fair trade. What they spoke about really moved me. Knowing that my purchasing power can in turn empower women to earn fair wages while working in a safe and healthy environment, providing opportunities for themselves and their families, became very important to me.

I knew then that what I wore was a statement of what I stood behind and what I believed in.

Cute Summer Outfits

Some would say that buying high end designer brands shows you're well-off or that you're part of an elite group, but I wanted my clothing to show that I can look amazing, on trend and at the same time support an amazing mission. Back in 2010, ethical fashion was not very trendy or attractive. Mata Traders' designs and products really understand what women want in clothing and jewelry (with a meaningful cause behind them). Encouraging women to empower women across the globe had my interest from the start, and the rest, as they say, is history.

I am a huge Mata fan to this day! Have you ever been to one of their warehouse events? They're too fun to miss, and I also follow their social media accounts for their newest arrivals and some great styling ideas. Needless to say, I was extremely honored to be asked to style some cute summer outfits from their new Spring/Summer 2018 collection. Take a look:


Summer Festivals

Bernadette wearing the Layla shirtdress in cream plaid.Layla shirtdress cream plaid

I have NO TORSO. I'm all limbs, so it's wonderful anytime I find a dress that elongates my torso and this belt cinches in the waist perfectly. It's cute to wear as a dress on its own or with leggings on chillier nights. You can take this from summer-fest-casual with slip on flats, to night-out-chic with with wedges or heels.


Girls Night

Bernadette wearing the Bellini dress in lilac and the Kinsley Hook earrings in purple.

Bellini dress lilac // Kinsley Hook earrings purple

This dress is unbelievably soft, stretchy and comfortable! I dressed it up with my lace-up flats for a girls night outfit, but you could tone it down for a picnic in the park with some sneakers, or throw on some flip flops for an easy swimsuit cover up at the beach. The earrings can make the outfit a little more fancy.


Evening Out

Bernadette wearing the Whidby Shirtdress in patchwork and the Raise the Bar earrings in gold.

Whidby Shirtdress patchwork // Raise the Bar earrings gold

This was by far my favorite (the earrings too). It elongates my torso – that's why I love these shirtdresses! I paired the dress with leggings and ankle boots and decided to get creative by wearing the tie belt as a ribbon choker instead. For an evening out, I think I'd wear a solid tank top underneath and undo all the buttons to turn the dress into a jacket.


Casual Weekend

Bernadette wearing the Belmore dress in dusty blue and the Double Down earrings in gold.

Belmore dress dusty blue // Double Down earrings gold

I am partial to these straight cut dresses. I find them flattering for my body type. I styled this dress with my red flats to doll it up for a night time look. For a more relaxed evening a denim jacket with rolled up sleeves or a neutral colored pair of flats or sandals would fit the bill. The round hoops of the earrings added a nice contrast to the horizontal stripes of the dress.


Date Night

Bernadette wearing the First Impressions dress in blue lines and the Two Tone Block necklace in white.

First Impressions dress blue lines // Two Tone Block necklace white

This dress is made out of organic cotton jersey which is so comfortable (and forgiving)! It cinches at the waist which accentuates any curves – I immediately imagined myself on a date night with my husband, looking great but feeling comfortable the entire time. The shape of the necklace also complimented the shapes throughout the print of the dress.


Outdoor Wedding

Bernadette wearing the Fresco Shift dress in black ikat.

This is a fun dress I've already planned to wear to some great Chicago music festivals this summer. Or maybe I'll pair with pretty heels and a layered necklace for an outdoor wedding? The options are endless.

Brunch Time

Bernadette wearing the Zoya Wrap top in steel blue, the Highgarden earrings in gold, and the Nadira necklace in white.

The second I got into this top I immediately put on my jeans and Converses and wanted to grab a cup of coffee at the nearest cafe. This is my new go-to brunch outfit! I felt so confident in this flattering wrap top, cinched in just the right spots, adding some dangly earrings to dress up the sneakers a tiny bit.

Farmers Market

Bernadette wearing the Avondale skirt in pastel, the Raise the Bar earrings in gold, and the Wooden Emblem necklace in gold.

ADORABLE! This skirt. Is. Adorable. I'm a fan of anything copper/rust colored and wanted to highlight the stripe in the skirt, so pulled out my lace up flats, rust top, and matching purse. You could easily dress this down with a denim shirt or white tee and wear it to your local farmers market.
Thanks for reading... I hope my styling inspires you to create some fun summer outfits of your own! If you need a place to start, check out the entire new collection.

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