Category Archives: Minimalism

Accessories – Capsule Series (5 of 5)

No matter where your interest is in the Capsule Wardrobe lifestyle, one thing is certain, accessories are your friend. This is the opportunity in a minimalist lifestyle to really let your personality shine through, and add all the function and versatility you need in your day to day life. Unlike the maximalist who would entice you to consume as many options, colors, and variations of things, it is my hope to be the voice of reason. Find what you love, pick your obsessions, and cherish what you own. With this mindset, you can live with a more ethically curated closet.

IMG_5726.jpgIn my eyes, accessories are practical tools on the field. So for me, my natural attractions are versatile pieces, functional bags, and neutral tones. This is also where I spend the most money in my wardrobe. For example, all the bags I own I have purchased with the intention to wear them for my life. Literally, I am in the store imagining how my grandkids will recognize me by these bags. So you could say I am very attached to these pieces. And as for my shoes, it is something similar. I buy shoes with the intent to repair, wear, and keep them as long as possible. My black boots took years to break in, and I have re-soled them twice since moving to Finland. My newest pair of white trainers is my favorite based on their thorough ethical standards. But I will get into that later with a full blog post about why I love them so dearly.

IMG_5745.jpgSo whether your accessories have a story, are made to last, or bring you the deepest joy, chose wisely! These are the pieces that get the most attention, use, and tested by time. Consider your lifestyle too, do you need to dress more professional at work or are you more casual with your style? Do you live in a city always on the go, or do you live a slower rural life? Do you want to put in the time and effort to maintain leather for years, or would you rather have a more recyclable material like a natural cotton product? These questions may vary depending on the climate where you live, the place where you work, and the activities you partake. Although the most important thing is to reflect and ask yourself these questions. I find it is best to reflect before a shopping trip. Really consider each piece you own and wear, why you wear it, do you need it or need to replace it.

IMG_5724.jpgSometimes these questions aren’t easy, our closets hold more emotion than we give them credit for. If you’re already here reading this text and followed along through the five-part series then my guess is you are on the right path! Trust your instincts and know that a capsule wardrobe is something to build for the long run. It is a marathon, not a race. So fight the urge to consume fast fashion, ignore the seasonal bombarding of marketed trends, and dig deep into how you wish to dress and be perceived. If there are holes in your wardrobe, accessories, or other belongings, know that there are ethical options everywhere nowadays. The best places to start looking are in your own community; siblings, friends, and local secondhand shops are ideal. Then if you have something more specific, venture out on to the world wide web to find that special particular item.

IMG_5719.jpgI hope this series has inspired you to reconsider how you dress and what you wear. Work at this one season at a time, break down what you own into small manageable projects. This can be done on a smaller scale by participating in a 10×10 challenge, where you pick 10 items to wear for 10 days. This can begin to cultivate the creativity back into your closet. Or next time when you’re out shopping consider some of the questions I have mentioned in this series, will you wear it at least 30 times, is it something you have been needing, etc.

Good luck to all and thank you for following along!

 

 

Floral Dress – Capsule Series (4 of 5)

Screen Shot 2018-10-23 at 11.56.13 AM.pngThe common thread between many different capsules is the consistent theme of minimalism. While the concept is based on less is more, that doesn’t mean you have to look like a minimalist i.e. beige, greys, whites, and black tones all the time. Patterns, textures, and layers all have a place in a capsule wardrobe. Which is why I wanted to specifically highlight one of my favorite pieces, an A-line floral dress.

Screen Shot 2018-10-23 at 11.56.57 AM.pngThis piece is wonderful to dress up or down. Originally I had purchased this item to wear to my sister in laws wedding, but as it turns out, my money stretches much farther than strictly formal wear. I love the fit, the colors and the materials of this item. I have worn it through nearly every season and believe I can continue to do so for many years to come. Recognizing that on a day to day basis my wardrobe is considerably minimalistic in color and style, little moments like this can help brighten up a mood or an occasion. Keeping in mind I purchased this dress knowing for certain that I loved the detail, the black backdrop of the floral print, and the natural colors of the flowers, it could be interpreted as a black dress with a pop of color. These details made investing in this item worthwhile.

Screen Shot 2018-10-23 at 11.57.34 AM.pngSo while you are building your wardrobe and looking around for inspiration, do not be disheartened when capsule after capsule is consistently neutral tones. Anyone can live consciously and dress as fabulously as they desire, as long as the intention is pure. The key is to be sure you absolutely love the piece, you can see it fitting into your lifestyle demands, and you are certain to get at least 30-wears out of it. These basic fundamental steps are the start of owning a consciously curated closet. Stay tuned for the final part of this series where I will break down the structure of how all your pieces will work together. No matter if you live somewhere with one season, or all four, you too can manage throughout the year with a stylishly curated set number of items to get through any season or occasion.

 

Special thanks again to my dear friend and colleague Milja Laakso for the images provided.

Cardigan – Capsule Series (3 of 5)

This piece is a special number that has played with my heart since moving to Finland. While living in the southern part of USA, this is not by any means a staple item. Yet, since moving north, the cardigan style has grown on me and I now value it for all of its versatility and functionality. This one, in particular, being from my all-time favorite Danish brand Samsøe & Samsøe.

IMG_5646.jpgThe thing with capsule wardrobes is that your pieces need to have functionality. There is very little room to have an item simple for the sake of sentimental value or beauty. These standards go to the wayside when considering what has the most wears, longevity, and timeless style. So in my case, working with a neutral pallet and colder climate, this thicker mohair noir cardigan suits my needs 12 months of the year.

IMG_5631.jpgWhile I know this isn’t the sexiest item in my closet, nor does it highlight any special features, in my eyes it is the perfect layer piece. And to be quite frank, layering pieces are not there to be sexy. A cardigan is a practical piece, as is a trench coat, a rain jacket, or other item designed around climate.

Speaking of the latter, I know this piece would actually work splendidly with my raincoat considering its lack of insulation, and this pieces sheer ability to stabilize my body temperate despite struggling with that for years in Finland. Basically, the problem goes as follows; it is too cold outside not to wear 3-layers and inside has little ventilation thus being too hot to wear half of what you need to get there from the outside. It is a cluster-fuck for your ensemble, but after a few seasons of practice, you start to get the hang of it.

IMG_5680.jpgWith that said, this about wraps up this part of the capsule series. While some of you may think I am a lunatic for limiting myself to simply one cardigan there may be others who are not yet persuaded to dive into the half sweater half jacket hybrid world. No matter where you fall on the scale of layers, keep in mind when building a capsule to use natural materials for added comfort, neutral colors that blend well with multiple looks, and always choose quality over quantity.

Essential Oils – First Impressions

Screen Shot 2018-10-21 at 3.14.16 PM.pngAfter months of deliberating, I finally invested in my Premium Starter Kit with Young Living. The exaggerated emotional roller coaster was due to a few reasons, mainly being an entrepreneur in a foreign country intimidated me beyond belief. Also, I had never done anything like this before, so the fact that the business model is new to me was also a daunting thought. All of that aside though, I knew deep down that I wanted to be involved with a company that had similar beliefs as I do. I wanted to share with people the things I do every day to make my home, body, and life holistically healthy. Unfortunately, those days of trusting the corner store to sell honest clean products are in the past. It is up to us as the consumer to be informed about what we buy and bring into our homes and into our lives.

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Young Living has thought of everything, and their transparency is deeply appreciated in this day in age. There are no secret schemes and they have thoroughly covered all the bases to getting your life holistically on track. At the root of it all is the precious essential oil, the little baby plant juices that make life worth living when you can fill your day with moments of delight, bliss, and mindfulness. Getting to the to point of it all, I am thrilled to be a part of this community.

So this week, after an exasperating morning at work, I got the text that my YL Premium Start Kit had been delivered, so I went to pick it up on my lunch break. I immediately plugged in the Dewdrop diffuser with a few drops of Stress Away and the entire office chilled out. The transformation amongst the office vibe before and after is like night and day.

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Even after a few days have passed since I got the delivery, I am still buzzing on cloud nine about this experience thus far. The oils are amazing, and the quality is clearly and obviously exceptional compared to other brands. And did you look at my shelfie? I am ecstatic to have my oils on display 24/7 and incorporate their magic into my daily life. Most of all the community has been so welcoming too. I get to meet people online all the time and talk about the business we love. This all sounds so cliché, but it is because it is all true! I am stoked about this job, I adore these products, and I truly believe clean living can benefit all of our lives. That said, I am going to go back and huff my little baby plant juices, in the meantime, follow my Instagram account, @essential_hel, for daily updates on products and blends that I am using.

 

All photos are credited to my talented colleague and friend Milja Laakso

 

 

Little Black Dress – Capsule Series (2 of 5)

IMG_5707.jpgFirst on my list of capsule favorites is the ever timeless Little Black Dress. This number will get you from work to drinks, to moving day, to pizza dates, to the airport, and around the world again. I am not kidding when I say the list is endless to think of all the ways and places you can go to in a classic black dress.

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Black is a favorite of mine, especially to wear, however, this dress is particularly special. A recent investment and longtime wishlist, this midi Kowtow cotton dress is perfection in my eyes. The material is desirable for many reasons, the cotton helps regulate my body temperature in inclement atmospheres during the autumn season, long sleeves provide a cozy impression, and a flattering length to still feel a bit sexy. In reality, though I love it because it feels like a massive t-shirt. The brand is new to me, but I am excited to learn about this quaint company coming out of New Zealand.

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In the photos I am somewhere between dressed up with a red lip and super casual with a canvas tote, I guess you could say I will wear an LBD no matter what my mood. It is the perfect canvas for me to express my style, feel comfortable, and most importantly confident.

My tip here is that no matter if your basic blank style canvas is a black dress, a white tee, or a 3 piece suite, it is important to find what works for you. When you know what you feel comfortable and powerful in, you can slowly begin to build a wardrobe from the base. It is also worth mentioning those basics are a valued investment. Spending more money on the pieces you know get the most use out of in your closet means you can buy them less often and you can trust the quality of the purchase to last for years. That means less fast fashion, less impulse shopping, and overall less waste on the planet and in your wallet. Next time you go to your closet think about what your classic style is, let me know in the comments or on Instagram!

 

Capsule Series Introduction​ (1 of 5)​

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Lately, I have been so inspired by my closet. Suddenly, as quickly as the seasons change, everything has a new purpose, an old memory, or a way to be reinvented. Living with a capsule wardrobe like I do, there are naturally going to be moments of low inspiration, but when you ride the wave and get back to your high, the capsule life is oh so rewarding.

For the next couple weeks, I am going to take you on a deep dive into my closet. I am going to explain the staple pieces that fit my lifestyle and personality. And I am also going to show you ways into how I style these pieces and explain why I think they are worth the investment.

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If you already have your own style sorted, that is great! I invite you to follow along in this 5 part series to learn more about how you can be a stronger conscious consumer and embrace what it is you already own. And if you are new to discovering your style, or transitioning between lifestyles, I know this series can help you too. While it is easy to get bored of the same things we look at day after day, keeping an open mind and remembering why you purchased something, or remembering why it is time to let go, can all be successful learning experiences.

The key pieces I have found that works for me over the past 10 years and I am 100% positive they will be pieces I go back to again and again through the ages are as follows,

  • The perfect LBD
  • A hygge layer
  • A floral dress
  • Classic Accessories

These pieces, although they have varied in detail over the years, are key items that I always keep in my closet. Between Atlanta, Amsterdam, and Helsinki, I have relied on these articles to keep my closet complete.

My belief system behind the capsule wardrobe lifestyle is to look at your closet the way you look at your refrigerator or maybe even your garage. What do you invest in? What do you value? Is it your health, is it your status, is it something else? I believe the clothes we wear have power over our emotions, they tell the world how we feel about ourselves, and they most definitely have a valuable vote every time you purchase something. I believe in pieces lasting for a minimum of 30 wears. I believe in ripped jeans, resoled shoes, retailored tops, pieces that live with our lives.

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That is where the story is, in each item we chose to keep. Without hoarding, with thoughtful consideration, a capsule wardrobe collects only items that you absolutely love. I am infatuated with my closet at the moment. This was a long time coming, after moving to Finland with a 75 L backpack, I lived through a lot of trial and error. Before that, I was your average college student with sudden access to a local mall that I had never had before. I know this lifestyle is true to my soul though. I know it because I can look back at journals from 2008, or earlier, and find scribbles and lists about the perfect wardrobe. The ideal “basics” list.

I am asking you to put your trust in me, and without labels or judgment I hope together we can explore the pieces of our closets and come out the other end with a clear map of what clothes make us who we are! Follow along for the next post coming out later this week about my ultimate obsession and must have, the Little Black Dress.

5 Things To Do For Free

The day to day drone of media marketing can be a daunting maze of ‘buy me’, ‘sale now’, ‘discount here!’ It seems like advertisements are constantly bombarding to get you to buy anything, at any time of day.

It is good to take time to remind yourself, that everything you are, and everything you have is ok. It is also good to remember your dollar is a vote towards the life you want to live, and the community which you want to live in, so by not spending, that shows you value your bottom line. Happiness doesn’t always have to be inspired by a purchase, and a purchase definitely should have any control over the way you live.

With this in mind, I have collected 5 things to do without spending a dime. Leave the wallet at home, no need to grab any spare change, everything on my list is for you to do on your own, no transaction necessary!IMG_5298.jpg

First up is to shop your wardrobe. We have all heard the phrase about retail therapy. And while you might be saving up for the special something in the store, you do not need to fill your weekends with endless shopping trips for random objects. One of my favorite things to do is dive into my wardrobe and start mixing and matching. The hours pass brilliantly as you try on old favorites, play with different combinations, and have some fun dressing up.

 

The second task on the list is to take a book. I suggest a proper book, so no online screens where any submissive adverts can slip through. Just you doing you with some analog entertainment. I keep my reading material on constant rotation by frequenting my local library.

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Third to do is the ever classic, exercise! So many times I fall into the trap of wishing I had the trendy gym membership or browsing athletic equipment for the newest props, but actually, all of that is just bogus! You can get your workout without any props required. Plus, we all know that endorphins make you happy!

IMG_5366.jpgNext up, and one of my favorites, is to go on a photo mission. Originally I heard about this kind of activity through watching Youtube and people vlogging about ‘Instagram Missions’, but whether you post the picture to share or keep it for yourself, it is a great activity. Take the opportunity as an excuse to get outside and explore your neighborhood. No matter if you are using your phone, a DSLR, point and shoot, or just nostalgic for some film photographs, this is a classic activity. Enjoy your life while searching for those moments of joy to capture forever in a photograph.

 

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Similar to the previous tip, the fourth is on the creative side of life. Take a journal and draw something, or make a list if you’re like me and that gives you thrills. Even if the list is for groceries or next seasons wishlist for your closet, taking the time to be conscious about what you consume can help alleviate some of the anxieties from spending.

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Last on the list of freebies is to take a walk with a friend. Spending quality time with someone is one of those faithful and true activities that money can’t compete with. When life feels daunting with external messages and advertising trying to influence your every move, some one on one time could be just the trick to escape that toxic environment.

IMG_5474.jpgAs I created this list and then lived it on a Saturday afternoon, I spend the day listening to a new, and favorite, album by Troye Sivan. So a bonus tip for all of you reading is to make a playlist. Explore new music, or dig deep into the archives to pull out some of the old favorites. Incorporate this tip with any of the previously listed activies.

However, you chose to spend your time, keep in mind it doesn’t require you to spend any money at all! So maybe you spent a little too much money on vacation last month, and you’re trying to save this month. Maybe you want to incorporate this routine into your weekly schedule, say a ‘Spend-less Sunday, that is perfect too. The point of the matter is money can buy things like shelter and nutrition, but you have the power to create your own entertainment and happiness.