Thursday’s Ethical Style

This week’s ethical style has an athleisure feel to it. I started with a cute sweatshirt with sequin detailing and added gold-striped leggings and shiny sneakers. Simple crystal studs and a gold ponytail holder complete the look.

I think the athleisure trend has a lot of cool elements, but I have yet to embrace it in my own wardrobe. I think I don’t feel athletic enough to wear it 🙂 But since I’m considering training for the Brooklyn Half Marathon I might be able to convince myself to embrace my inner sneaker queen. I have done this race twice and really enjoyed the training process even though it was brutal most of the time. And the self satisfaction I felt crossing the finish line was worth all the pain. I definitely feel like I need some sort of event to train for in order to reignite my exercise program which has been really lame for the past few months. Wish me luck!

How about you? How do you feel about the athleisure trend? How do you motivate yourself to stay active?

  1. Sweatshirt, Sundry, here
  2. Beanie, ASOS Eco Edit, here
  3. Leggings, Sundry, here
  4. Studs, Favor Jewelry, here
  5. Ponytail holder, Favor Jewelry, here
  6. Sneakers, Toms, here

xoxo Anna

 

Three looks from my capsule wardrobe

Hi everyone! Today, I thought I would share three looks from my fall/winter capsule wardrobe. I am still adjusting to my new, smaller clothing selection. I have been struggling with ways to combine items, especially in the mornings when I have to get dressed for work. Often, I am not pleased with the outfit I end up in. And I have noticed that if I don’t like my outfit, I tend to feel off for the entire day. It’s really such a small thing, but it makes a huge difference in my mood. So, I feel like I have to take some time and really look at the items I have and figure out how to make outfits out of them that I feel good about. Today’s post is the beginning of that effort. Hope you like 🙂

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Dress, Everlane, here; Belt, H&M, similar here; Boots, Steve Madden, ethical alternatives here and here.

For this look I paired my Everlane sweatshirt dress with my all-time favorite belt from H&M. This dress is super comfortable. I sometimes wear it without the belt for a more relaxed look. I have enjoyed having several relaxed dresses I can throw on to run errands and still feel put together. These boots are also one of my favorite purchases. I got them at Steve Madden last fall. They are no longer available, but I’ve found some cute ethical alternatives.

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For look number two, I paired a blue polka-dot button down from Uniqlo with a thrifted denim midi and thrifted boots. I feel like this look has a vintage appeal. I have always loved the fashion and aesthetic of the 70s and I think I channeled that when putting together this outfit.

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Shirt, Uniqlo, ethical alternative here; Sunnies, drugstore (I think), ethical alternative here; Skirt, Calvin Klein, thrifted, ethical alternative here; Boots, Nine West, thrifted, ethical alternative here

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For my final look, I combined my favorite graphic tee with a black pencil skirt and my new fall jacket from Aritzia. I have never shopped at this store before but was impressed with their selection. I also liked there statements about corporate responsibility which you can read here. I added a red lip for more drama.

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Tee shirt, Sezane, here; Jacket, Wilfred from Aritzia, here; skirt, H&M last season, ethical alternative here; Boots, Steve Madden, ethical alternatives here and here; Lipstick, Stila All Day Liquid Lipstick, here

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You may have noticed that I wore the same jewelry with every outfit. The necklace is a simple gold charm that belonged to my grandmother. The emerald studs are from Catbird and were a gift for my last birthday. The crystal studs are from Shashi (here) I have been enjoying wearing jewelry that has meaning to me. I am also interested in growing my fine jewelry collection. There are so many new jewelry companies creating ethical and beautiful fine jewelry these days it’s hard to keep up with. I will keep you updated on what I find out.

How about you? Do you have ideas for what you will be wearing as the days cool down?

xoxo Anna

 

My take on a fall/winter capsule wardrobe

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Hi everyone! I mentioned in an earlier post that I was going to share more about my capsule wardrobe choices, and that is what this post is about.

First, I have to admit that I didn’t do a ton of research about what technically makes a capsule wardrobe a capsule wardrobe. Most of my knowledge comes from seeing what other bloggers are doing and being inspired. I feel like, as capsule wardrobes go, mine is pretty large, maybe even too large, but I think it is a good place to start. I’m sure that over time certain items will rise to the top of the clothing heap and others we get donated. I didn’t include shoes, jewelry or bags, but I could see doing that in the future. I like taking the process gradually. It somehow makes it less unnerving.

My process for creating my capsule wardrobe was somewhat “Marie Kondo” in that it was based on my gut reaction to any given item. First I stored away all my very summery clothes to get them out of the way. I plan to purge them come next spring/summer. I also stored away anything costumey or super fancy. I divided what remained into several categories: “I can’t even look at you anymore!,” “Meh,” “I love you but you don’t fit,” and “You’re a keeper.” I donated the first two categories, stored the third and what was left became my wardrobe for fall.

I didn’t purchase anything new for my capsule wardrobe, although I may purchase one more outerwear option (I have my eye on this coat). Everything I chose had to fit my body in the present moment.

So (insert drumroll)… here are my choices:

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I kept a total of 12 tees and tanks. For this category, I seemed to favor basic items and a few graphic tees.

It was interesting to notice during the purging process what my heart was gravitating towards. I seemed drawn to simple graphic patterns and textures, rich earthly solids, and the occasional pop of red or purple. This is especially obvious when you look at my long sleeve top selections below. This category is by far the largest, which I guess makes sense for a fall/winter wardrobe.

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I’m especially happy with my dress selections. 4 out of 5 of these are recent purchases from ethical clothing lines. I like their simple lines and subtle colors.

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I’m also pleased with my skirt selection. I chose a sequined mini (thrifted), a denim midi (thrifted), and a black pencil skirt (H&M, a few seasons ago). For pants, I went with 4 pairs of high-waisted jeans and 2 pairs of leggings.

I am least excited by my outerwear category. This has always been a tough area for me. I long for a structured, minimal coat collection but never seem to be able to make it happen. I don’t hate the things that I chose, I just don’t love them now that I am looking at them, so I guess this category needs some work.

Finally, I chose four scarves. There wasn’t any particular reasoning behind my scarf choices. In fact, I think I might narrow it down further to just 1 scarf, the red and white striped one.

I am very excited to see how these pieces come together into outfits. I will be sure to share some of my favorites on the blog!

So that’s it for my fall capsule wardrobe. How about you? Do you feel like you are ready for fall, fashion-wise? Let me know your thoughts in the comments 🙂

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xoxo Anna

Thursday’s Ethical Style

I don’t know about you, but I always struggle with finding outerwear that keeps you warm, looks stylish and works with multiple outfits. I think this herringbone coat from Amour Vert checks all those boxes. It’s so awesomely chic, I might add it to my fall capsule (sort of) wardrobe. I paired it with dark skinny jeans, a silk sleeveless button down, some fantastic low-heeled pumps and a tiny pearl necklace for a classy, sophisticated look that is appropriate for work and/or walking the city streets looking fabulous.

  1. Silk blouse, Everlane, here
  2. Skinny jeans, ASOS Eco Edit, here
  3. Herringbone jacket, Amour Vert, here
  4. Pearl necklace, ASOS Eco Edit, here
  5. Block-heel pumps, Amour Vert, here

On the subject of capsule wardrobes, I did a big purge this past weekend. I donated a fair amount of stuff and stored the rest. It was immensely satisfying and I feel so happy to be able to see most of my fall wardrobe on one clothing rack. My drawers are no longer overloaded and hard to close. I even organized my hangers 🙂 It just feels lighter. Without all the sartorial noise, I feel closer to defining my personal style and it is easier to see the types of items I may need to purchase to fill in gaps. I may add a few more pieces (like that jacket!), but I feel like I’ve got most of my bases covered. I will be sharing more about what I chose to keep in a later post, so stay tuned!

How about you? Do you struggle to find the right outerwear pieces for cooler months? Would you ever do a capsule wardrobe?

xoxo Anna

Grey for fall days

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Dress, Sundry, here; Shoes, H&M last season, ethical alternatives here and here; Bag, souvenir from Paris, ethical alternatives here and here; Earrings, Stella and Dot; similar here

 

Hello everyone! It has been a while since I posted an outfit 🙂 I am slowly pulling together pieces that I feel really good about in terms of fit and style, and also sustainability. This dress from Sundry is a great example of the type of items I am looking for these day. It feels amazing, is appropriate both for work and going out on the weekend, and can be worn with different accessories to change up the look. This time I paired it with lacy oxford shoes and a neat patterned tote that I picked up in Paris on my last trip. The earrings were a gift from a close friend and I wear them constantly. They seem to go with everything. I really like the simplicity of this look and how I feel wearing it, which, I am realizing, is just as important as how an outfit looks. It’s a great transitional look as well.

Through my purchases (and actually my not-purchases if thats a word :)) I feel myself moving toward a smaller, capsule-type wardrobe. I have been systematically purging my clothing collection and it feels good. I have this crazy idea that I want all my clothing to fit on one rack with some overflow in my bureau. No more overstuffed drawers and clothing thrown over chairs! It is interesting though that there are some pieces that I never wear and kind of don’t like that I am reluctant to get rid of because there may come a day when I am like, “Where’s that blue checked crop top?! It would be perfect for this outfit!” Or the item doesn’t fit but I just love the idea of it so much I can’t part with it. I feel like I have gotten rid of all the obvious things and what’s left is hard to narrow down. Plus several of my clothing items have sentimental value. So I’ve hit a little bit of a wall. I think my next step will be to remove everything but my most favorite items and but not donate/sell it immediately. Then I can see how it feels to have less, without the fear of over-purging in a fit of frenzy.

How about you? Have you been trying to purge and hit a wall? What tactics did you use?

xoxo Anna

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Six snaps

Yesterday, I took a trip to a magic shop in the East Village to buy a deck of Tarot cards. It was a lovely adventure. It was also a photo walk of sorts which is something that I have missed doing. It felt very meaningful to spend some time by myself and relax, which is funny because the first card I pulled out of my new deck was the 4 of Swords, which signifies taking time to relax, rest and regroup. As an admitted activity junky, I find relaxing to be very hard, but I am working on embracing doing nothing from time to time. I am very new to reading my own Tarot cards, but already hooked and looking forward to learning more. How about you, have you started any new hobbies lately?

In other news, it is day 8 of the elimination diet and I’m still doing okay. I haven’t exactly been craving things, but the restrictions are sometimes difficult to navigate when I am dining out. I am determined to see it through for at least the recommended three weeks as I am interested to see how changing my eating habits changes my perspective on food, and other things perhaps.

xoxo

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Learning about the cards
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Beautiful hot peppers
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Ditmas Avenue after a sun shower
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Urban sunflowers
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Sparkling restaurant in the East Village

Elimination diet here I come

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Gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free dinner

Confession time… my stomach has never been great 😦 But recently things got to a point where it was actually interfering with my life and work. I felt a major shift was in order in the way I approached food and stress, as stomach problems can definitely be caused by the later. So for the next 3 weeks I will be following a basic elimination diet; no dairy, no gluten, no alcohol, no added sugar, no soy. Those are the big ones but there are a few more random things as well. Wish me luck! I have to say, once I made the decision I felt relieved and had fun shopping for new and interesting alternatives to my usual go-to foods.

I’m also cutting out caffeine because, why not! I stopped drinking coffee about a week ago and found that it really helped my stomach as well as my ability to relax. I have  been a die-hard coffee fanatic since college, drinking somewhere between 2 and 4 large cups a day. I was always the one at meetings with a coffee cup in hand. I didn’t hate tea, I just didn’t think of myself as a tea drinker. Truthfully, I think I was a little suspicious (insert side-eye) of anybody who would choose tea over coffee. But now that I am a week in to my new tea-drinking life, I have to say I’m feeling happy and liberated. Tea comes in so many varieties and it is fun to shop for. I have been sticking with herbal teas rather than decaf teas and coffee because I think there is still some caffeine in decaf. I haven’t been missing the caffeine that much and it seems like I might have more energy and focus, which is counterintuitive but I have heard sometimes that happens when you give up caffeine. I also made my own herbal iced tea (pictured at top) with 3 packets of peach tea, one packet of raspberry tea, some lemon juice and agave nectar. My next purchase will be a nice tea pot. Any recommendations?

In terms of stress, I have started meditating in the morning and doing yoga. I have been using the Headspace and Gaia apps. I have meditated/done yoga before but never regularly but I hope to change that. Plus the Headspace app has a great British man leading the meditations who is somehow so soothing to listen to 🙂

How about you? What are your thoughts on elimination diets, tea vs coffee, and stress-reduction strategies?

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New products I will be trying
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Avocado for healthy fats
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Tea for morning, noon and night!

xoxo Anna

Thursday’s ethical style

An outfit for the fall transition

Summer is almost over! I can’t believe it went so fast and yet at the same time seemed to last forever. Dressing for the changing seasons can be tricky. This year, I am mad about sweatshirts for some reason. I think it is because so many chic options are now available. This black, mock neck version from Everlane seems like it would be great for layering as the weather cools down. Items like this are also very versatile, which is helpful when you are thinking about scaling down your wardrobe. So many uses… for example, you could layer it over a patterned maxi dress, like this one from H&M’s Conscious line. Paired with simple but impactful gold jewelry and black boots it makes the perfect in-between outfit. How about you? What are your tricks for transitional dressing?

  1. Sweatshirt, Everlane
  2. Half-moon bag, Sage + Slate
  3. Maxi dress, H&M Conscious
  4. Gold cuff, Sage + Slate
  5. Booties, Nisolo
  6. Half-moon earrings, Sage + Slate

xoxo Anna

Feeling Friday

Hate, privilege and the eclipse

I am a private, introspective person by nature. I enjoy observing situations and keeping my opinions to myself. I like to keep things light and fun, sometimes at the expense of speaking my truth. However, considering recent events, as well as a long history in this country of similar hate-fueled incidents reported and unreported, I feel it is my responsibility as a citizen and human being to firmly and loudly take a stand against intolerance and violence whether it is outright and ostentatious or creeping and subtle. I feel lucky to have a forum, via this blog, to add my voice to the conversation. According to astrology, the recent eclipse heralds a new beginning for us all and a chance to shed old habits and explore new ways of dealing with problems. I have experienced several types of privilege in my life. I will certainly be thinking on that as well as my general tendency to bury my head in the sand when I feel powerless. I will be challenging myself to go beyond my comfort level and face hate with a clear message of love.

Remember:

“Hate shrivels under strong light.”

—Southern Poverty Law Center, Ten Ways to Fight Hate (a very useful and inspiring pdf)

Easy sweet and sour pickled veggies

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The older I get the more I like, (am obsessed with?) pickled vegetables. This recipe is simple and inspired by the daikon radish pickles served at Korean restaurants.

Ingredients/Equipment

Organic cane sugar

Vinegar (I used a combination of brown rice vinegar and champagne vinegar because that is what I had 🙂 In the past I have also used rice wine vinegar.)

Vegetables (I used carrots, daikon radishes, and red cabbage)

Turmeric (optional)

Glass jars for pickling

Process

This is a fairly loose recipe. The first thing to do is prepare your vegetables. I grated my carrots, thinly sliced my daikon using that thing on the side of the cheese grater, and finely sliced my cabbage. I used the size of the pickling jars as a guideline for how much of each vegetable to cut. Once vegetables are cut, I packed them somewhat loosely in my jars.

The next step is to determine how much pickling liquid you will need. I do this by adding up the volume of the containers that I will be pickling in. This gives you a rough idea of how much liquid you will need. You will probably have some left over because the vegetables take up some of the room in the jars. For the pickling liquid, you will make up half that amount with vinegar and half with sugar. So if you need 16 oz (2 cups) of liquid use 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup sugar. Place your vinegar and sugar is a stock pot. If you are using turmeric add in a small amount at this point. A teaspoon should be enough unless you are making a really large amount of pickling liquid. Turmeric will give your radishes a bright yellow color, so I use it for them but not the other vegetables. Bring the mixture to a boil stirring to dissolve sugar and turmeric if you are using. Remove the mixture from the heat. Let it cool down a little. Pour slowly over your vegetables in their jars. Close jars and refrigerate overnight.

After they have spent the night absorbing the pickling liquid, your pickles are ready to eat! Here are some ideas for how to use them:

  1. Make a grain bowl with pickled vegetables, tofu, sesame oil, sautéed kale and peanut sauce.
  2. Serve pickles over an arugula salad with tahini dressing, burger patties and feta cheese.
  3. Add them to lettuce wraps with lentils, coconut rice and cilantro dressing.

How about you? Have you made your own quick pickles? If so, how did you use them?

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xoxo Anna