Introducing Shop Fashion Spirit!

I am so excited to introduce a project I have been working on—Shop Fashion Spirit. The site features my own graphic designs printed on sustainably-produced tees, tanks, tote bags, and sweatshirts, as well as art prints. It really has been a labor of love! The designs are minimal, yet vibrant making them the perfect addition to any capsule wardrobe.

I love designing products, but I wanted to keep my shop aligned with the my goal of responsible consumption. With that in mind all the apparel and accessories on the shop are sourced from companies that are working toward sustainable and ethical manufacturing. More information on the companies can be found on the About page of the shop website. All products are printed on-demand so there is no excess stock produced and printing is done in eco-friendly, water-based inks.

We will also be donating 5% of our profits to charitable organizations every month including environmental, human rights and animal welfare organizations.

You can visit the shop at http://www.shopfashionspirit.com or via the Shop link in the menu at the top of this blog. And don’t forget to follow the shop on Instagram @shopfashionspirit.

And just for you blog readers, use discount code FSBLOG for 10% off your first order.

Definitely take a look and let me know your thoughts.

Happy and responsible shopping!

xoxo Anna

 

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Pink lady

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Jacket, Zara, thrifted, similar here; Dress, Ginger G, thrifted; Necklace, thrifted, ethical alternative here; Booties, DV, thrifted; Hat, Forever 21, ethical alternative here

Happy Thursday! Today I wanted to share an outfit from my spring/summer capsule wardrobe. Since my last post, here, my capsule wardrobe has grown/changed a little. After living with it for a week, I realized I didn’t have enough work-appropriate shirt options so I dug into my donation bag and my storage bag and added a few more t-shirts. I also had to buy some new jeans as my old ones were too big. Ditto the trench coat and the black tank dress. I’ve also noticed that some items get no wear at all, so I think I could eliminate a some things and not miss them. Needless to say it’s a work in progress.

I definitely have favorites that I seem to wear over and over again. One of them is this pink motorcycle jacket I picked up at Buffalo Exchange. It’s fairly simple, but it makes a big statement. For this look, I paired it with a grey ribbed dress (another favorite), sunburst necklace and ankle boots (all from Buffalo Exchange). At the last minute, I added my favorite hat from Forever 21 (the only non-thrifted item).

What about you? Have you tried a capsule wardrobe? What is your favorite thrift shop find?

xoxo Anna

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My spring/summer capsule wardrobe

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Dress and oversized sweater

Hi everyone! Today I am sharing my spring/summer capsule wardrobe. I am very excited about my selections and already feel inspired to create looks from my capsule.

Before I get into what I selected for spring/summer, I want to talk about what didn’t work for fall/winter. I think the most important thing was that I didn’t like enough of my clothes. I ended up buying random things to make up for not feeling like my collection really spoke to who I was. I didn’t feel stylish, so my capsule wardrobe was only partially successful. I also found that I kept going back to certain pieces and ignored a large part of my wardrobe. I still felt overwhelmed with decisions and the amount of clothing I had. What I took from these experiences was that my capsule wardrobe was too big and that I needed to put more thought into each item.

For a couple months I have been saving pictures I find on the internet to use as inspiration. One day, I sat down and looked at those pictures and identified several items that were common among them including a trench coat, graphic tees, high-waisted jeans, and oversized sweaters and blazers. I looked at what I already had and found I had most of what I wanted. I made a short list to take to the second-hand store Buffalo Exchange and (amazingly!) came out with exactly what I needed. Then I purged like nobody’s business and got rid of a major portion of my clothing. I put away things that I couldn’t donate or sell because of sentimental reasons and was left with a sweet little capsule wardrobe that I am so excited to put into use.

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This Paris t-shirt is giving me life!

Here is the breakdown of what I kept:

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I didn’t include jewelry or shoes because I’m not there yet (and may never be). My general goal is to make my day-to-day dressing more streamlined and to feel proud of the outfits I put together in terms of fit and style. I did purge my lounge wear/pajames even though that’s not pictured here.

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Jeans, jeans, jeans
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Turns out I wear skirts a lot

Since I am currently trying to lose weight, I am going to replace items in my wardrobe as things no longer fit, hopefully with second-hand items. I may add a piece or two as well, probably something floral and flowy. I will be posting looks from this capsule wardrobe soon, so stay tuned!

How about you? Have you tried a capsule wardrobe? What was your experience?

xoxo Anna

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My capsule wardrobe revolves around my jacket selection 🙂

 

5 ways to inspire healthy consumption

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

A salad to brighten winter days

February and early March are always a little difficult to get through in New York, with the lingering storms and grey days. You can feel spring right around the corner but it hasn’t materialized yet. But, this salad is so fresh and light that it made me immediately think of warmer, sunnier times to come.

It is also super simple and delicious. You can use any lettuce you like. I chose butter lettuce because it is my absolute favorite. Lately I have been eating a salad almost every day for dinner with the basil oil vinaigrette below, a handful of pumpkin seeds and sometimes an avocado. If you haven’t tried basil oil, I highly recommend it. For today’s salad, I decided to add a blood orange and a little crumbled queso fresco. I really liked the results. It also fits nicely into my current healthy eating plan. I am not usually a fan of fruit in salads, but the blood orange paired nicely with the other components and it certainly is photogenic 🙂 Try it out and let me know what you think.

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Butter lettuce salad with blood orange, avocado and basil dressing

(makes one to two servings)

Ingredients

Butter lettuce

1 blood orange

Queso fresco (crumbled, about a 1/3 cup)

1/2 an avocado (sliced)

Handful of sprouted pumpkin seeds (I use these)

Vinaigrette

1 part white wine vinegar

2 parts olive oil

2 parts basil oil (I use this)

salt and pepper to taste

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Preparation

Wash and dry your lettuce and set aside or use a packaged variety to save time (which is what I did). Peel the blood orange and cut horizontally into 1/2 inch slices. Set aside. Crumble the queso fresco. Slice avocado. Layer salad starting with lettuce base then adding blood oranges, avocado, cheese and pumpkin seeds. Dress with desired amount of vinaigrette. Add a sprinkle of sea salt and fresh ground pepper if you like.

Enjoy!

xoxo Anna

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Costa Rica travel picks

Happy Thursday 🙂 I’m getting excited for my trip to Costa Rica! I am planning to bring mostly things that I already own but I thought it would be okay to splurge on a few pieces that would make the trip feel extra special. All of the items are investments, especially the luggage, and I hope to use them beyond this trip in the coming months and years. I think they will neatly fit into my slowly developing capsule wardrobe.

  1. First, I splurged on this cute rolling suitcase in my favorite color, rose gold. The company, Calpak, has so many amazing options. I almost got this one but in the end I felt like the rose gold was more my style. Plus I didn’t care for the lining on the second one, which apparently makes a difference to me 🙂
  2. When I pack for any trip I like to be super organized, like Marie Kondo-level tidy. I am learning that giving in to my desire to have everything match and be packed precisely makes me happy, so why not just embrace it. With that in mind, I also purchased these packing cubes. I can’t tell you how my heart leaps with joy to think of how well coordinated and packed my luggage is going to be. Now I just have to plan the perfect travel outfit!
  3. In addition to the rolling suitcase and packing cubes, I purchased this backpack/laptop bag from Calpak. It fits on top of my rolling luggage which is very satisfying. I’m hoping it will make a great structured day pack for my trip, but I also plan to use it when I get home to carry my work laptop which I have been throwing in random tote bags that always slip off my shoulder 😦
  4. I immediately bookmarked this bathing suit after seeing it on the blog A Beautiful Mess. I am just in love with the retro 70s aesthetic and how softly feminine it is. I can’t wait till it comes in the mail. Unfortunately, I had it sent to my old work address! A good friend who still works there generously offered to intercept it, so fingers crossed.
  5. I will be hiking in the jungle on this trip, which requires long pants. I love being outdoors, but hate most outdoor gear/clothing. I just never feel put together. These leggings, though, are sleek and beautifully made. I am thinking of pairing them with a loosish crop top and all black sneakers for a put together look. The company, Outdoor Voices, is also sustainable and eco-conscious which makes me feel better about this purchase. I found the company via this great article on ethical workout gear.

How about you? How do you like to pack for a trip? Are you super-organized or do you throw everything in a bag and go?

xoxo Anna

 

Thursday’s ethical style

Happy Thursday after Valentine’s Day! How did you celebrate (if at all)? I had drinks with a good friend, which was fun.

I know I said I would have an outfit post today, but the weather did not cooperate this weekend (read torrential rain) so I have the next best thing, a new ethical style post.

The star of this outfit is definitely the red coat. I am always drawn to statement coats but I think I am scared of them as well. They seem to make such a loud, well, statement 🙂 I’m sure one day, I will just go for it. I think that’s the attitude you have to take when rocking a statement anything 🙂 I like the way the cobalt blue bag and the bone colored jeans and top keep this outfit graphic and clean, and you can almost never go wrong with gold hoops and kitten heels.

  1. Coat, ASOS Eco-edit, here
  2. Gold hoops, Merewif Jewelry, here
  3. Navy pumps, Everlane, here
  4. Jeans, Everlane, here
  5. Bag, Everlane, here
  6. Top, Reformation, here

I recently read something about ethical fashion recently that got me thinking. It stated that it’s not enough to just switch to consuming ethically produced goods at the rate that we consume fast fashion. Instead we should also try to consume less in general and purchase second-hand whenever possible. I am in the process of thinking about a spring/summer capsule wardrobe and I have been inspired by this idea to try to source at least half (hopefully more) of my new items from thrift and consignment stores. It will definitely be an interesting challenge. This makes sense as well as I am in the process of losing weight and don’t want to make serious clothing investments right now or cycle through a lot of cheap items.

How about you? What is are your spring/summer fashion goals?

xoxo Anna

 

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