Tiny Closet: wintry outerwear

 

I have never owned a big, down parka.

Developing a minimalist wardrobe means being cautious with what comes into my closet and how it can be used and stored. A big, bulky parka only used for two to three months of the year hasn’t made the cut yet, but after spending December 2018 to March 2019 frozen in NYC’s winter I knew that I needed to step it up this season.

High-quality options are notoriously expensive and for several years my college-self couldn’t even begin to fathom how I would spend several hundred on a coat when I could barely afford rent. Now that the investment is an option for me (thank you 2019 bonus check!) I’m looking for a coat that will last and last.

Obviously, it needs to be warm in weather as cold as 10 degrees (about as cold as NYC gets), but it should also be resistant to wind and water. Personally, I’d also like it to be filled with Primaloft or another synthetic insulate. While I’m interested in the look of Canada Goose I’m not a fan of their sourcing (particularly how they trap wild coyotes), goose down fill, or their price tag. I’ll be on the lookout for something with similar lines, a slight military feel, but made with more sustainable practices.

A parka should also be classic. It’s the purchase once product so classic flattering lines are essential. There’s no space for a trendy parka in my closet, style and color. I may deviate from my classic black coat to a camel color, but that’s a big maybe.

 

 

This one has beautiful lines and flattering stitching.

I’m very drawn to the hood on this military-style coat and its chestnut color.

Made with recycled nylon and available in a range of sizes, XXS-XL, women, petite, and plus, this one is the most inclusive.

It’s impossible to walk two blocks in Mid-town without seeing several of this coat, made of 60 water bottles. 

There are so many to choose from!

 

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Update: I chose this beauty from Everlane for both is sustainability and classic silhouette.

Living Small: responsible decluttering

 

As previously mentioned my closet is bursting.  It’s filled to the brim and holds more clothes than I remember purchasing. When deciding to slim down my closet there are two main reasons for it: one, there’s the simplicity of maintaining and utilizing a lighter closet and two, it’s more environmentally sustainable to adopt good practices within your shopping habits.

Part of this simplification will require getting rid of a lot of older or underused pieces. I’m slowly making several passes over my closet and each time removing the things that I barely wear, that don’t match other things in my closet, that no longer fit properly, or that I simply don’t feel a strong attachment too. I tried to Konmari method, but if I’m being honest, a lot of my closet sparks joy, but I’m working on it. I’m slowly removing more and more and have a feeling that if I keep this up I’ll have the closet I want in a few short weeks.

Once I’ve decided what to remove it gets into the topic of how to remove. While the simplest way of doing this is a few trips to my trash chute, I would rather my old pieces be recycled or reused. Only 20% of discarded clothing items are reused (only around 1% are recycled). That’s staggering when you consider that in the US alone we send 21 billion pounds of textiles to landfills each year. A few of the options I’m exercising.

 

Resell

For a few of my more expensive pieces I’ve opted to sell them on Poshmark as a way to recoup some expense of purchasing them in the first place. This is also a get way to ensure that they are getting a second life with someone.

 

Donate

Specific to NYC there are several groups to donate clothes to. For all my professional attire that I don’t wear anymore, I’m donating to Dress for Success, an “international not-for-profit organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life”.

 

Thrift

This is similar to donating as I’m being very selective about where I donate my clothes to. I want to avoid the trendy spots as a lot of those places have high turnover and will toss any clothes that haven’t sold in their first few weeks on the shelf. Thrift stores like Housing Works and Cure Thrift Shop sell clothes, not for profit, but to fund lifesaving services for low-income people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS and to fund Type 1 diabetes research and advocacy, respectively.

 

“Dump”

Not into a landfill, but into one of the large recycle bins located around the city. Using this map I’m finding one in my neighborhood. This is the last resort as personally I find it to be the laziest and before reaching this stage I’d like to dole out clothes as responsibly as possible (ex: giving professional attire to Dress for Success).

Grungy, Rock, Vintage.

It’s the end of July … too early to be thinking about dressing for the Fall? I didn’t think so either.

My favorite season is still several weeks away, but that hasn’t stopped me from aggressively planning the vibe. Over the past year, I’ve dipped my toes into several styles trying to find what feels most natural to me. We’ve had phases of very girly glam, very minimalist, but I’ve never felt more “me” than in my current style which I would describe as easy, vintage, chic. Each season I tend to cultivate a uniform that I religiously stick to. Summer 2019 was all about cut-offs, band tees, Theory tanks, and sneaks. In the past 6-8 months, I’ve inadvertently become a collector of vintage Levis, band tees, and various vintage bits. Mixed in with lots of black for a bit of a rocker edge and I feel very “me”. Even got a modern take on Stevie Nicks’s ’70s shag (mixed with a little late ’60s Bardot).

Unfortunately, my go-to Levi cut-offs won’t sustain me throughout the Fall which has caused a little rethinking on my part. I’m stepping back into my college go-to black skinnies this Fall, keeping the band tees, and expanding my collection of leather jackets (can you ever really have enough?). I’m also building out my collection of booties, always a favorite for my 5’2 self. They are the perfect combination of easy to walk in, adds a little height, elongates my leg, and looks so damn good. Put on some skinnies and booties and trust me you will be feeling yourself.

Help yourself to the vibe below:

 

Four Looks for NYE That DON’T Require Sequins

It’s almost NYE which means you’re probably being bombarded with blog posts called “101 Ways to Shine In The New Year!”, all of which revolve around dressing like a disco ball. Sparkling is great, but if you’re like me you’ve blown plenty of $ on a sequin top or dress that you wore once and then sat in your closet for months. This NYE let’s leave the sparkling to the Time Square Ball and invest in a few more double-duty pieces that can help you stand out on NYE and every day for the next 3-6-5.

Here are few of my [non-sparkly] favorites for the new year!

 

SILK SLIP DRESSES

 

VELVET SKIRTS

 

SILK BUTTON-DOWNS

 

SKIRTS WITH FRINGE

Sustainable Wears: LOU & GREY

When I’m traveling I like to stay comfy, when I’m working I like to stay comfy, when I’m living my life I like to stay comfy. (I’m guessing you do too). But the flip-side of the comfy coin is that occasionally comfy starts to look sloppy and there are several places where you don’t want to look sloppy, namely: traveling, working, living your life.

I’ve also found that many brands that cater to the chic and still travel-friendly vibe are typically at a massive price point. This is why I absolutely love Lou & Grey.

Lou & Grey is the perfect intersection of comfy, high quality, and chic style that won’t break the bank.

Here are a few of my current favorites:

Marled Blouson Top

Strappy Racerback Jumpsuit

Fluid Halter Dress

Apprvl NYC Large Rope Tote

Fluid Drawstring Top

Striped Cami Romper

An Afternoon in Georgetown {Washington, DC}

90 degree heat with 90% humidity means I’m wearing as little as possible. This floral dress by Sanctuary is perfect for DC summers, light and floaty with a silhouette that hangs away from the body. I realized after shooting for over an hour that I had absolutely zero accessories, but honestly I love it like this. The only additional item I would add is that Calvin Klein Lynn backpack I was carrying all weekend (here’s a dupe from Aldo), frankly it’s too hot for much more.

I’m absolutely obsessed with the brick walls of Georgetown (as well as the shops) and had a great time running around the residential neighborhoods, dipping into the shop along M Street, and (of course) visiting the exorcist stairs.

Dress: SANCTUARY

Shoes : ADIDAS | Advantage Sneaker *white

Bag: CALVIN KLEIN | Lynn Backpack *cashew & gold

Downtown in the District of Columbia

How is it already summer? Three weeks ago we were all wearing long coats and blasting the heat and today the high is 80 degrees. If it walks like global warming and it talks like global warming…. Am I right?

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Despite the freak warm/cold whiplash from earlier in the season this past weekend was beautiful in the 70s each day and K and I took full advantage. I was plagued with a persistent headache all weekend (and therefore not in the mood to bounce around a HIIT work out) so we took to long walks, about 6 miles each day, meandering around downtown DC on Saturday and up to NW DC on Sunday. We strolled through a few museums, ate from food trucks, and stopped into our favorite camera shop for a crash course in a new wide angle lens we’re contemplating.

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With all the walking I forwent the heels this weekend and opted for my tried and true Adidas Stan Smiths — I’m due for a new pair any day now! And as someone who’s chilly until it’s 90*F I also took this weekend as a the perfect time to breakout my favorite jumpsuit. I magically found this beauty in a DC thrift shop years ago and it fits like a dream (finding a full body suit that fits my 5’2″ frame and still accommodates a 32″ inseam is no easy feat). I kept accessories minimal with my staple silver bangles, a vintage Dooney & Burke belt bag, and these awesome shades I snagged off Amazon. That plus my humidity-induced poodle curls rounded out the perfect run-around town style.

Jumpsuit: Vintage

Shoes : ADIDAS | Originals Stan Smith Sneakers *white

Sunglasses: DOLLGER | John Lennon Steampunk Sunglasses *silver w/ mirror lenses

Belt Bag: DOONEY & BURKE | Vintage

Bangles: Maple & J | The MJ

Graphic Tee & Athleisure

The past few weeks have been non-stop so this weekend K and I decided to take it slow and do a little exploring in our own backyard (meaning we went for a 2 hour long walk around Northwest DC. I’m all about practical dress and keeping things easy, breezy when you’re committing to several miles of wandering. I broke out my favorite graphic tee and high-waisted athleisure shorts, which proved to be the perfect pair.

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This band shirt is one of my all time favorites. I used to work in a bar that was across the street from a steam-punk thrift store. After a spell of freak DC weather the day went from freezing to swelteringly hot and I was stuck in a sweater. I ducked into the store to grab ANYTHING and in a bargain bin in the back, for $5 I found this awesome Rocket Reducers shirt from their May 2010 USA tour. I lived in it for about a week, something about old band shirts are completely irresistible to me.

 

Shirt: Vintage Band Shirt

Shorts: LULULEMON

Shoes : ADIDAS | Originals Stan Smith Sneakers *white

Sunglasses : RAY-BAN | Original Wayfarer 50mm *black

Plush & Plaid

Spring is finally here and it feels like we’ve endured the last chilly weekend for a while (or so I hope). Breaking out my favorite plaid car-coat for one last hoorah was the perfect cap to winter. Paired with a classic pair of denim and black, pointed stilettos is all you need to look like a million, but feel incredibly comfortable. I recommend adding a ruffled blouse or tunic to break up the heaviness of the coat and add a touch of femininity.

Coat: JONES NEW YORK | Winter Plaid Coat

Blouse: FREE PEOPLE | Bell-sleeve Tunic

Pants : EVERLANE | Mid-Rise Skinny Jean (Ankle) *mid-blue

Heels: GUESS Marciano Collection | Francine Heel *black

 

A Very Fluffy Spring

It’s mid-April and yet spring weather still hasn’t quite come to DC. With temps still regularly dipping below 40 I’m taking every opportunity to break out some of my more eclectic, cool weather wear. One of my all-time very pieces is this Bebe white, fur coat. I remember picking up this coat several seasons ago, in a thrift shop on 14th St, and being amazed I could find the very jacket I had ogled over a few months prior. It’s the perfect piece for a cool spring day, when you still want some of the textures of winter, without the weight.

 

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Coat : BEBE | Fur Coat *white

Pants : EVERLANE | Mid-Rise Skinny Jean (Ankle) *black

Shoes : ADIDAS | Originals Stan Smith Sneakers *white

Bag : COACH | Vintage

Sunglasses : RAY-BAN | Original Wayfarer 50mm *black