Pumpkin & Ivy: A Wool Love Story

These particular shorts became a favourite at first sight, however it wasn't until I actually tried them on that I fell in love with them. This was associated with my mega haul of secondhand and vintage, yet when I acquired these bold shorts the climate everywhere was still quite warm.

The not-so-funny thing about wool and I is that our love affair ends rapidly if it's not blended. Yes, if there's an item that's 100% wool I either need to do two things: don't wear it, or have a layering of fabric that will prohibit my body from reacting to the lanolin (wool wax), insecticides: chlorine, dioxins (chemicals used in treating conventional wool), or even harsh chemicals that a factory may have used to remove the lanolin.

People who think they are genuinely allergic to wool may be, however a skin test should be done to be certain. A full-on highly allergic reaction to all wool in a severe case goes further than your clothing. Think about the mattress on your bed, batting used in home items, or even when you're touching products at department stores... is there any aggravation?

There are many factors to take in consideration if you believe that you are allergic to the wonderful world of wool you might be simply allergic to a certain type of wool, (as some have courser fibres than others) or with the aforementioned chemicals related with wool, etc.

I have found that finer breeds of wool, such as Cormo or Merino doesn't bother me as much, yet there still can be irritation in others. If you love (working with) wool, have any allergies, and are surrounded by an amassment of textiles like I am my suggestion to you would be to test and research. I'd also recommend using unprocessed wool, or organic wool yarns.

I used to be completely allergic to wool. Fortunately my allergy has immensely improved than earlier years; though that can be attributed to that fact that I've learned to stay away from certain breeds of wool. But, in the end it's worth taking care of your skin and allergenic concerns.

But, hey! Enough of the wool-101 class! Here's my celebration of wearing wool from head-to-toe, and it not bothering me at all. Aside from wearing a wool-repelling shield underneath the jumper, all is very well.

The goods: Boots-Banana Republic, Jumper/sweater-Club Monaco, Tartan shorts-charity shop, Hat-made from wool/cashmere sweater-Ladyofashion, Belt-DIY, Tights-Anthropologie.

*Further reading on wool here & environmental text here.

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37 comments

  1. I LOVE your shorts! Perfect fit and print! Great colors and you've paired it perfectly with all the right accessories. The hat is great!

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  2. Those shorts are so cute! I love the unexpected colours in them...and your DIY belt is awesome!
    I thought I was allergic to wool because once I made a wool jacket, and the collar touching my skin caused my skin to get red and irritated...but now I think it was just that my skin is a bit sensitive, and the coarse fabrci rubbing against it didn't help :)

    Natasha ~ Required2BeInspired

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  3. Oh to Be a Muse28 October, 2011

    i wonder if i'm allergic to wool--i haven't worn it long enough to know. but i do think you look super cute, and i really like the DIY belt. that's so creative.

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  4. Wow. I would probably cry if I couldn't wear wool. It's such a must have in my fall wardrobe. I love those shorts! I always see plaid shorts at the thrift store, but I haven't come across a pair in my size yet. I know my perfect pair is waiting out there for me somewhere!

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  5. Absolutely can't bear the feel of wool next to bare skin, but love wearing it - so, like you, I always put a barrier between me and it! Adore those shorts on you. What a great find.

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  6. Mary Jo at Trustyourstyle29 October, 2011

    I always thought I was allergic to wool because of the scratchiness and my sensitive skin, but it may have been the pesticides, etc. I never even thought about that! I know in my own line I can only bear to use the softest wools that are very high grade because of my skin. No wonder I love my lined wool pants, lol! Such a great little wool lesson in this post!

    xo Mary Jo

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  7. Lamodenrose29 October, 2011

    so fun!


    kisses from La Mode En Rose = )

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  8. Lady, thanks for the helpful information on the allergy to wool. I had no idea! And may I say you are rocking those shorts like nobody's money! You look fantastic! :)

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  9. I have to be careful with wool--- it tends to bring on a rash for me.  But, I do better with softer version or if it is layered.... 

    Thanks for the advice!

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  10. Love that belt. What an amazing way to pair.
    Daphne.
    http://fashiondivamommy.blogspot.com

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  11. Fashion Imperative29 October, 2011

    Cute look!! (:


    xoxo
    Antonia
    FASHION IMPERATIVE

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  12. already fall I'm :-( cause I need more summer and sun. But your wool outfit is great.

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  13. Ashleigh Nicole29 October, 2011

    Love that print!!

    xo Ashleigh

    www.thedaileigh.blogspot.com

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  14. Nesha Woolery29 October, 2011

    oooh i love this outfit! the info on wool allergies is really interesting to know!

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  15. Oh thank you sweetie. It's been a volatile love with wool, but I've gladly found a pair of shorts worth wearing. xo

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  16. Hi Mary,
    Thanks for your comment. Yes, actually many people are only allergic to the class/breed of wool, perhaps it was the type of wool worn or pesticides. I know it took me a while at first to figure out what I could wear. Glad that you found this helpful.

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  17. I'm with you. I actually had to forgo keeping one of my favourite coats given to me because of my allergy in the past. Thanks. Have a lovely weekend. xxoo

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  18. Yes, I do as well softer & finer breeds work best for me.

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  19. I know girl... I have cried in the past, lol, when I saw an amazing jacket. But so happy I can wear certain types now. I hope you find the perfect pair dear... I know you will! :-)

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  20. Hi Natasha,
    This DIY belt is one of my favourites glad that you like it too. Sometimes I make a soft lining in garments that feel uneasy on the skin, I cannot wear coarse fabrics. Thanks. xo

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  21. Oh Thanks so much dear! I want to wear these shorts again & again, I'm so in love with the colours.

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  22. Ha, thanks for the wool lesson!  When wool isn't blended, I feel so itchy and uncomfortable!  I don't think I'm allergic though, because I don't break out in a rash or anything.  It's more of an annoyance.

    Anyway, you look awesome.  I love the shorts with that belt!!!

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  23. Interesting points on wool, allergies are something I rarely consider because I never suffer from the. I love wool for layering but someone should definitely take on board your tips if they're reacting badly to wool.

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  24. Hey there, how are you? I know yes, it's cold and fall has risen dear. Thanks so much. -xx

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  25. Thanks Daphne. Hope you're having a great Halloween weekend. I know your children will. hehe. -xo

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  26. Now I know why I don't like wool! Not to mention I had no idea they put such toxic ingredients in this material. Wow. I'm itchy just thinking about it. You look gorgeous as always Madison. thank you so much for the compliment on my new hair do! xoxo

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  27. but you look much happier than me with the cold weather :-)

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  28. No problem, thanks Steph! 
    Yes, wool can be quite annoying. 

    Enjoy your Halloween! 

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  29. Yes, you are very lucky, it's no fun having any allergies, especially to wool fibres. 

    Thanks for commenting. 

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  30. Great look -- love those shorts.

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  31. I love those shorts, they look great with tights and boots. Thanks for the information on wool, I always assumed that it was itchy because it was rough, although I am fine with merino and cashmere.

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  32. I have a terrible time with wool too, so I totally know where you're coming from.  Cashmere is not a problem, but any wool anywhere around my neck in particular causes hives.  Oddly, I developed the alergy as an adult, and it hasn't gotten any better, I've just gotten better at avoiding wool.  I find better quality wool dresses that are lined are fine, but the lining is key!  Even then the little bit that rolls under around the neck can be a bit irritating.  Sigh.  

    Totally love your shorts.

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