5 ways to inspire healthy consumption

IMG_5037
Throw back Thursday to my fall/winter capsule wardrobe shirt selection

I am in the process of thinking about a spring/summer capsule wardrobe, which got me thinking about consumption in general. The more I think on this subject the more I realize that I want to own less and consume less. I think in my fondest dreams, I would live with the bare minimum of belongings, each one precious or useful in some specific way. In reality, I am surrounded by a heap of stuff that just won’t seem to budge. I think I am in a better place than I was before but still have a long way to go. I know there are certain things I will never give up like my chef’s jacket from pastry school, or all my travel souvenirs. Still, as much as I purge, I always seem to be acquiring new things to fill the space left by what I have gotten rid of. I am starting to realize that downsizing is a two-part process involving purging and then learning not to consume in the same way as before. The second part fits in nicely with another goal I have of saving as much money as possible in the coming year. And when I do buy new things, I want it to be in a responsible fashion. Here are some strategies I will be trying to get me to my goals.

IMG_4885
Sorting/purging my jewelry will definitely be a goal

Do a large purge

This is pretty self-explanatory. I plan to do a spring purge in all categories with the goal of eliminating redundant items (read 6000 pens) and things I never use. This will get me ready for my spring/summer capsule wardrobe and I think will make my belongings seem less heavy.

Set a small monthly budget for certain items

I order to motivate myself not to shop impulsively, I am setting very low monthly budgets for things like clothing and homegoods. So far I have budgeted $40 a month for clothing and $0 for home goods. That doesn’t include things like toilet paper, but does include things like cute knick knacks at Target and random pillows. I have been using Mint to manage my money for a while, but lately I have been leaning in to this online budget software even more with my current goal of saving money. One thing that I am notorious (mostly with myself) for doing is buying a new outfit if I don’t feel like my day outfit is good enough for my night plans. Most of the stuff I buy during these sprees ends up in the donation pile, minus a few surprise gems. I think the key to avoiding this is a) not getting lazy with my outfits in the morning and b) storing a cute outfit or at least some jewelry and heels at work.

IMG_1546
Knick knacks and souvenirs displayed in glass cabinets

Take care of what you already have

While I sporadically do things like get my shoes reheeled and sew buttons onto coats, I want to make it more of a habit. I also want to spend time figuring out how to wear the clothing I already have in new ways so that I value each item more. One thing that I have already done is purchase two large glass cabinets to hold some of my favorite travel souvenirs and mementos. I still have overflow but it is nice have things displayed this way and makes even the silly things (ie plastic dinosaurs) seem important.

IMG_1023
A hand-me-down chair which definitely counts as second-hand

Shop second-hand as much as possible

I already shop second-hand for clothing and furniture quite a bit. The challenge will be doing so consistently and including things like gifts and appliances. It can be frustrating to shop second-hand when you are looking for a very particular thing, but I’m hoping that it can be a fun challenge. There are so many options for shopping second-hand these days, from traditional thrift stores to websites like eBay and Poshmark. It just takes a little change in mindset.

IMG_1516
Surrounded by stuff and cats 🙂

Make a list of everything that you own

This one is a doozy! After I purge, I plan to make a comprehensive list of everything I own. It sounds daunting just thinking about it but I am curious to see what benefits an exercise like this could yield. Will I feel richer and more satisfied with what I have? Will I want to purge more? Will I discover that I have things I thought I needed to buy? Will I be inspired to make new things with my huge tubs of craft supplies? These are all possibilities and I am excited to find out what happens that I can’t predict as well. I am not putting a timeline on this as I have no idea how long something like this will take. I may combine this with the purge process. They seem to go hand in hand. I will definitely keep you updated on my progress.

How about you? Would you try any of these strategies? Let me know in the comments.

xoxo Anna

Feelings Friday

Feelings Friday is a semi-regular series where I take a break from fashion and lifestyle to share a little piece of my heart with you. It’s a little different every time. In the last post I talked about things that were inspiring me. Check it out here. This week I’m getting sentimental about small things…

Since I was a child I have been obsessed with tiny things. When I was young this meant that I spent hours in front of my dollhouse staging the perfect scenes. I was especially attracted to tiny food. In the dollhouse store, I would drool over intricately crafted miniature hams, delicate salads and iced cinnamon buns trying to decide where to spend my limited funds. I even crafted my own miniature food out of wax, glue and paper. I have to say, my sunny side up eggs were pretty cool.

Now that I am an adult, I still cherish small things both in the tangible and abstract sense. Through ever changing apartments, jobs and relationships, I have collected and carried a minuscule army of tiny mementos. Some were gifts, some found objects, some impulse purchases. Some have mysterious origins and some have origins I remember clearly. Now I look at them and I am awed that these little, seemingly insignificant items have endured without getting lost, falling out of favor or being broken. For sure, I have lost a lot of other things along the way, but it is reassuring that at least some things, no matter how defenseless they seem, will endure if someone cares. They also stand as a reminder, especially in times like these, not to forget the small things in everyday life and to bolster my hope that each tiny act of kindness we engage in will have impact.

xoxo Anna

Tiny things pictured: Eiffel Tower and “Love Wins” button, souvenirs from Paris; Tiny Lucky Cat, bought at Pearl River in NYC before it closed; Coral piece, picked up on a beach near Key West; Glass rune, Christmas gift from family member; Amethyst, found on a camp field trip to an amethyst mine when I was about 12. Feather and tiny dinosaur; origin unknown.

Welcome to Fashion Spirit

Welcome to Fashion Spirit! My name is Anna. I love whiskey, fashion and my cat (and my friends and family, of course). I have struggled my whole life with the same problem—too many hobbies and interests. I’ve dabbled in a number of careers including fashion, culinary arts, a variety of craft enterprises, scientific research, journalism, photography, travel writing and graphic design. Thankfully my career trajectory, at least in terms of day jobs, has settled over the past few years, but I still find myself seeking an outlet that will allow me to explore some of my other interests. I’m not sure how it didn’t occur to me before (I am a notorious late adopter) but authoring a lifestyle blog might just be the one-stop-shop I’ve been searching for.

IMG_1875IMG_2781

I hope to infuse this blog with all the wonder and inspiration I feel every day, living in NYC. It may sound a little hokey, especially to my fellow New Yorkers but I still get a rush when I come out of the subway into the sunlight and see the buildings rising up and the sky. I still smile every time I see the skyline from an airplane or bus window upon coming home from a long trip.

IMG_0797

That said, I also love to travel and I will be sharing some details of adventures that I’ve been on and places I am dreaming of going. Watch for posts on Nice, Ireland, St. Croix USVI and more in the coming year.

IMG_0206

There will also be tons of fashion. It’s hard to sum up my personal style but maybe the best term for it might be “personal classics” as I enjoy borrowing from my own mind bank of fashion inspiration and reorganizing things into unique combinations. Shout out to mixing patterns! In the past, (you know, up until yesterday) I have been addicted to what is being called “fast fashion.” After reading about the impact this kind of clothing manufacturing has on our planet and people, I will be attempting to move away from old habits by buying a smaller amount of better quality pieces and shopping second-hand stores. It will be a slow process, but I am looking forward to the challenge and will keep you posted on my progress.

One of the reasons I have relied on inexpensive fashion is that I am constantly in the process of “losing weight”. I will be sharing the (literal) ups and downs of my fitness/nutrition journey. Let’s just say I may have issues with consistency in this area, which is something I think many of us struggle with.

IMG_1127vegetables2

And speaking of nutrition, you can expect a variety of recipes some healthy some not so much.

And speaking of home décor (well not really, but I couldn’t think of a good segue) I am always refining my one-bedroom apartment in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn. Stay tuned as I tackle clutter and attempt to define my interior design style.

IMG_0871

I look forward to sharing my adventures with you. And hopefully hearing about some of yours. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram at fashionspiritbklyn. Till tomorrow ☺ Yours, Anna