Tag Archives: Minimalist

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.

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.

Spring Cleaning

This week I want to inspire you to get started with your spring cleaning. Cleaning is one of my favorite things, second to organizing! It takes an objective mind and a disciplined approach to sustain, but a little organization and the occasional tidy can go a long way.

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One way to do this is a 10 Minute Tidy. This is a trick my friend told me about when she would nanny for small children. If a kid can do a 10 Minute Tidy, then so can an adult. You have time, you can do it today. Set a timer on your phone and be amazed at how much you can accomplish in a simple moment dedicated to cleaning up your space.

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If that’s too much, another way would be to stop what you’re doing (yeah stop reading this post) and start cleaning everything that’s around you. Simply be where you are if it is your desk, your couch, your bedside table, or even your car. If you’re in your car please drive responsibly. All you have to do at this point is to tidy everything around you. Remove trash, organize objects, and find some method to your madness.

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Also, a way to improve the home is giving it a good purge. Without taking on more than you can handle, pick one category or area. Clothes, papers, desks, surfaces, plastics, or kitchen are all good themes to start. Pick one, spend some time just getting deep into your things, and decide what is necessary, temporary, or unnecessary. Collect what you don’t want or need, and turn around to recycle or donate them, immediately! This last step is critical. All too often we get halfway through projects and don’t finish the entire task.

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My final tip is to invest in an organized home. This doesn’t mean you have to go to get generic plastic tubs, but simply find a routine that works for you. For me, standard paper boxes are a perfect way to store all things big and small. At all costs, I avoid a junk drawer. These spaces, no matter how small, are the black hole of a home.

May everything in your home is beautiful, functional, rather at best, both!

Zero Waste Cleaning

So some of you may know that my new year’s resolution was to start making steps towards a zero-waste lifestyle. This has been an interesting resolution because unlike previous goals, this transition has pushed me to rethink almost every aspect of my life. The original concept was developed for businesses to be less linear and more circular with production. Now, people are taking action into their own hands, and homes, to become more conscious consumers and users.

It is nearly impossible to stop all waste in a single moment. It takes time, practice, research, and discipline. Fortunately, the more you educate yourself, the better you are at developing these skills. The switch is simple in my opinion, but it requires a dozen tiny changes to your daily life.

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 The first image above and one of my favorite substitues to plastic, it is a dish scrubber. It is a beautiful wooden design, with only small metal pieces of hardware to hold it together. I also use a bar of soap versus a plastic soap dispenser to clean my hands before and after cooking.

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The second switch is package free beauty products. After waiting for certian items to products to go empty, I switched to purchasing package free items from Lush. Another aspect to zero waste is slow shopping. Do not purchase items for the sake of buying it, wait for the need to arise and then make a new more concious investment. After trying a few of these I may never go back to the packaged items, they are just that good!

From left to right, deodorant, hair mask, and facial cleanser.

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A great switch for me has been the wooden toothbrush. I really enjoy this brand and even though it does have a little packaging to get from production to your home, it is all 100% recyclable. At first, I doubted the durability of a biodegradable brush, and really cringed to think about paying 7euros or more at the local organic store. But after waiting for a sale, and later receiving a couple as gifts, I am fully stocked for the next year or more! Seriously, these brushes are amazing. Unlike plastic brushes which lose strength, the Humble brush has stood the test. As for someone who has always had a difficult relationship with dental care, this is huge upgrade!

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Lastly are the small reusable produce bags.. In many grocers, it is required that the customer weigh the items first before checking out. Instead of grabbing a cheap plastic bag, why not make the easiest switch ever to these little mesh pouches. Add the price sticker on the tag and off you go, back home to make yourself a lovely meal, with little to no waste involved.

Now as a disclaimer, I am not perfect, and my home and lifestyle still have a long ways to go before being 100% zero waste, or even 50%. I will say these small changes have made a huge shift in my motivation. Even with a couple small changes, I feel more conscious, more proactive, and enjoy the smaller details of my routines. So, now is the time I will encourage you to make the switch. Next time you are in need of a plastic object, reconsider and invest in a more sustainable option.

-xx

Capsule Wardrobe

It is -19c outside with the wind chill so today I am getting cozy in my closet. I wanted to share some of my thoughts on shopping, style, and wardrobe investments. As someone who pushes to live more consciously, step one is all about what is in the closet!

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I have had a “basic wardrobe dream” since I was 17 years old. A collection of perfect timeless essentials that would get me through all of life’s events. It is hard to determine where this interest started, maybe it was watching my older sister grapple with what to wear, maybe it was my father bragging about having the same windbreaker for a decade. No matter the origin of my interest, the seed grew as I got older to be a full passion. Now, with Capsule Wardrobes, #30wear, and buying fairtrade it is easy to live and dress consciously.

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I do not identify my current closet as a capsule wardrobe, but by all definitions, I think it fits. Two factors helped me attain such a minimal closet. The first was moving abroad in 2015. This transition forced me to pack all my things into one suitcase, and everything else was donated. The second factor is my mentality. I have always been attracted to this minimal style. I believe less is more. My closet is living with me, so once a month or more I clean it out. Also, when you live with less, sometimes it is worth your while to pay more. Investing in quality over quantity will last years instead of buying for a single season is a huge game changer.

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In the future, I would like to deconstruct my closet and share everything with Y’all. For now, I will keep things light and avoid any ominous threats about fast fashion or maximalism. With the temperature steadily under -10c for the foreseeable forecast, my ensemble will strictly be layers, sweaters, and thermals!

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-xx

The Big Four

Dear readers, this is a public service announcement: You are official being introduced to The Big Four!

What is The Big Four? It includes the basic essentials to any conscious lifestyle. Most of us are well aware of the impact our waste has on the planet, but no matter your current lifestyle, the big four can help save us all!

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First is the shopping bag. To my American readers, this is still a new shift for part of the country, for everyone else, you are already aware of the importance (also because certain countries and stores charge extra for a plastic bag). This particular bag I picked up years ago visiting Jyväskylä Finland. Hence the foreign script across the side, reading “goodbye to the plastic bag”.

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Second in the line up is the coffee mug. If it is absolutely critical that you must take your drink to go, be prepared.  I know Keep Cup is a very popular brand amongst baristas these days, although I just use this adorable porcelain one I picked up at Tiger for less than 3 euros. A little more trusting than glass, and a little more cozy than plastic. An alternative recommendation is to simply make time for your coffee or tea, sit down, and enjoy!

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The third is the water bottle. Y’all, stay hydrated! My current source of hydration is the Memo bottle. I have previously mentioned this bottle on the blog and I am still in love with it. The sleek design is so helpful for backpack styles, and overall space saving investment.

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Last but not least, is the reusable straw. I’ve been walking around my house for weeks ranting about how straws are the new plastic bag. Be it a viral image of a straw entangled in a sea animals body, or just the fact you might be a nervous chewer, a metal straw is a game changer. I got 4 stainless steel straws + pipe cleaner off amazon.

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Finally a Trash Tip for those of you interested in doing a little more, keeping reusable cutlery and Tupperware! Toss it in your bag whilst around town and if you are picking up a pastry to-go, or have leftover lunch, a little preparation goes a long way.

So there it is folks, The Big Four! You can no longer say you did not know or wonder what it is you can do to be a better citizen on the planet. I share this post today because I am already making the personal paradigm shift for 2018 resolutions. I will confess I am not perfect, but all it takes is the mental awareness to change an ignorant habit to an educated lifestyle.

xx – nasty trash