“When everything you have is a great thing, it’s really easy to put things together,” says Tania Bowers, which is why she puts a lot of thought into everything she buys. Bowers, 32, works at and designs accessories for Robin Richman’s boutique in Bucktown and sings and records as Via Tania. She was drawn to the color and shape of a hemp-silk dress by Ciel and to a bag made from a skateboard by Beck(y) Bags, both from Pivot, a brand-new boutique specializing in eco-conscious clothes. Bowers likes to use recycled materials in her own designs, including the necklace she’s wearing here, made of leather disks threaded together with silk. Because she likes to mix pretty and casual, she added a men’s plaid wool scarf by Duckie Brown and her own brown corduroy cap, which she found over the summer at a Minneapolis thrift store. Her own shoes, handmade Italian kicks by Marsell, are from Robin Richman, where they were pricey even with her employee discount–but as Bowers notes, “it’s worth investing in everyday stuff more than fancy dresses.”

Where to buy

Dress, $278, at Pivot

Bag, $150, at Pivot

Necklace, $165, at Robin Richman

Scarf, $249, at Guise

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Saverio Truglio.