VETTA Capsule || Introducing the Minimal Capsule

VETTA Capsule || Introducing the Minimal Capsule

You know that feeling of unrest and discomfort when you're inching closer to a mental "crossroads," but you're not entirely sure which path you'll take? I've been feeling that way about my closet for the past few months and, as with every other area of my life it seems, I'm getting used to the discomfort. Not with the type of clothing I own, or the amount that I have, mind you. I'm ultra aware that my wardrobe is made up of some incredible piece by some incredible brands. Uncomfortable in the sense of cohesiveness and completion.

Although I've moved away from rigid capsule wardrobes, I'm longing for the same amount of structure I had in the past. And so for this Fall and Winter, I've decided to use my blog posts and the pieces I'm sent to feature as a conduit for that cohesive-ness that I'm craving and after this season, I'm going to get more creative with my brand partnerships. 

A closet can only hold so much, after all. 

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Slow Fashion Feature || Lions In Four

When you think of luxury fashion brands what typically comes to mind? For me, words like "transparency," "community," or "giving back" are not on the forefront of my mind when I think of "high fashion" brands. But for Lions in Four, an ethical brand focused on creating luxury products for women, those three words are at the core of their mission statement. 

Julie, the founder of the brand, has a passion for connecting women through community and empowering the artisans who create their well-made products. At LIF, the goal is to be the "first luxury brand built by the people" — where every single person who touches the brand at every level is celebrated, respected, and elevated

They sell beautiful silk scarves (the Gwynn scarf is pictured in this post), clutches, recycled leather handbags, and jewelry with a message. Each product is handmade using ethically sourced materials like leather and their signature silk.

Lions in Four has six core values at the heart of their brand, all of which are incredibly inspiring.

Their goals are to:

Celebrate humanity 

Be mindful

Engage

Give back

Deliver quality

Be transparent 


Another piece of Lions in Four that I'm particularly excited about is their Community, created around the idea of bringing women together and celebrating them. 

Our community may be connected through fashion, but our ties run deeper than what we wear on the surface.
— Julie Martin — Founder, Lions in Four

The Lions in Four community is an free online community committed to connecting women, overcoming differences, and building each other up. As a part of the community, you get access to exclusive products (like the red thread twilly pictured above), special discounts, insider info on the brand and their sister non-profit Lions in Four Foundation, weekly newsletters and more. 

The red twilly is a free gift that is shipped straight to your door upon sign up, and it acts as a reminder that we're all connected and valuable. There is a small red strip on the very tip of the scarf that, according to Julie, represents the fact that at the end of the day, we are all "red" inside. The twilly acts as a symbol of Lion in Four's mission to unite and empower women everywhere through beautifully made products. 

Join the Lions in Four community here or browse their gorgeous line of handbags

Thank you to Julie and Lions in Four for sponsoring this post. As always, I only share about brands whose mission I support 100% and wear/use in real life. Thank you for supporting the brands that make SL&Co. possible. 

Slow Fashion Feature || Free Label

*Thank you to Free Label for sponsoring this post. As always, I work hard to showcase products that I've actually tried and love in real life. Thank you for supporting the brands that make SL&Co. possible.*

Almost every article you'll read about minimal closets notes the importance of investing in pieces that serve multiple purposes. Every piece of clothing you purchase should "multi-task", in one way or another. Ideally, you'd be able to dress a piece up, wear it casually, layer it over or under other pieces and more. My general rule of thumb is that you should be able to wear each piece in your closet at least three different ways. 

Free Label, an ethically made clothing line based in Toronto and Vancouver, markets their "perfect basics" as active wear primarily. However, their pieces are much more than just standard basics. Made in small batches to ensure zero-waste standards, with ethically sourced materials, by employees who are local (in Canada) and paid fairly, each of their pieces is a basic with a unique twist. Be it a cut-out detail, high-low hems, or ultra-flattering cuts, Free Label's pieces are versatile enough for a yoga session to a night out (which is exactly how I used my Gerry Pullover). 

As you can see, the pullover is the perfect piece for working out or lounging. It has a longer cut in the back, to cover your booty, which is super helpful since I don't usually like wearing shorter shirts with my leggings if I wear them out and about. It also gives a bit more coverage when I'm practicing my downward facing dog. ;)  

The cut out in the back is perfect for showing off a pop of color or a pretty bra. It's soft, has extra long sleeves (which I love), and a crew neck, for even more coverage.  

The pullover happens to meet my versatility requirements as well. I wore it to the zoo with AJ and the girls during our week in Omaha, and was in love with how easy it was to wear comfortably with casual clothes too (not just leggings). I can see it tucked into a black leather skirt too or worn over a backless, tight dress. So many options!

I wore black jeans, booties, and my Nena & Co. bag, which is my only pop of color in all of my outfits (except my bra in this one, thanks to the fun cut out back!) 

Their Jaimee Tee in black is another staple in my closet that I love for it's versatility. It has an exaggerated high-low hem like the pullover, but is much lighter and is made out of organic cotton and bamboo rayon. It's a classic black tee with a unique twist that makes it perfect for wearing to the gym or with a body con skirt and heels (or just with jeans and booties, if you're like me). 

I've worn it tied up to the side as well, turning the tee into a crop top paired with high waisted jeans. I'm especially excited to integrate it into my spring wardrobe as a tied up crop top.

See what I mean by "more than just basics"? These two pieces aren't the only ones from Free Label that are extremely versatile either, their Black Trail Tank is another great example of just how many different ways you can style one of their pieces. 

If you're looking for multiple-use basics made with love, Free Label is your new go-to. Keep an eye out for them to make many an appearance in my Spring OOTD's. 

Have you invested in any versatile basics? What are your favorite ways to wear them? 

 

15 Ways To Be More Mindful About Your Wardrobe

This post is a guest post from Kristi Soomer, founder and CEO of Encircled


Building an ethical wardrobe isn’t a race, it’s a marathon.

Many of us have years even decades of clothing that we’ve acquired without a second thought.

The journey to create an ethical closet takes time. It’s not an overnight activity. It requires a shift in mindset first to change the way you think about the clothing you buy and wear.

It starts with mindfulness.

Mindfulness is a heightened state of consciousness. Essentially, a enlivened awareness about what you add, and take out of your closet.

To get you started, here are 15 ways you can start shifting your perspective about the clothing in your closet, and to help you start questioning everything you buy.

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY

Less is more. The idea of fewer but better things is completely contrarian to the ways of the fast fashion industry, however it’s the first guidepost for developing a more functional, and minimal closet.

Building a mindful wardrobe is a marathon, not a race. These 15 tips will give you the tools you need to choose clothes you love that will last for years to come.

1. Invest in well-made basics

Fundamental pieces in your wardrobe, like the perfect white tee, or that epically fitting skinny blue jean should be where most of your money goes. Investing in trend pieces is a waste of money, as they’ll be gone in a season or so.

2. Look for quality fabrics

Start learning about the different types and quality of fabric. The first thing to consider is the ‘hand’ or feel of the fabric. Does it feel nice? Drape well? Read the content label. How and where was it made? Here’s a resource on learning more about sustainability and fabric.

3. Always ask how many ways you can wear a piece before buying it

Before buying anything, calculate how many ways you can wear it. Is it easy to dress up or dress down? Can you wear to work or a night out? The more versatile the item, the more value it will add to your closet.

4. Check for construction of garments

Educating yourself on the elements of a well-made piece of clothing is essential to avoid wasting money on items that will fall apart or wear through quickly. Check seams to see if they’re straight and not puckering. Lay the garment flat - does it look even? Look at the details - check zippers, pulls, buttons to see if they're secure. Want more guidance? Check out this reference guide for things to look for in a quality garment.

5. Choose fit over size labels

Learn to change your mindset around size labels. There is no universal sizing in the clothing industry. Although from brand to brand, sizing may seem the same, there are always subtle differences. Start to buy garments that fit properly, regardless of what size number is in the label.

OWN YOUR STYLE.

Knowing your style, and buying things that work with your look is an easy way to build a more minimal and mindful closet. You’ll stop wasting energy and resources on clothing that you’ll never wear, and only buy things that will be worn.

6. Buy for today, not tomorrow

Buying stuff that you can’t wear, or doesn’t suit your lifestyle as it is TODAY is a recipe for an overstuffed, and underutilized closet. Embrace where you are today in life. If you’re not working at a corporate office - don’t buy suits. If you’re working from home, invest in comfy basics.

Image courtesy of Encircled 

Image courtesy of Encircled 

7. Keep a consistent palette — primarily neutrals with a few accent colors

Neutrals are easier to mix and match which creates more wearable outfit options from your wardrobe. It’s also good to have a few ‘signature’ accent colours that make you glow when you put them on. Here are several practical tips on choosing the perfect colour palette for your wardrobe.

8. Know your style and stay within it

Are you more of a jeans and t-shirt kind of person or do you rock floral dresses? Or are you both? Identifying, refining and defining your style helps you create a more mindful, and minimal closet as you’re only buying things you’ll actually wear, and able to invest in ethically-made pieces that truly reflect your style.

9. One or two "signature" pieces is enough

Everyone needs a perfect ‘go to’ dress, top or outfit. However, having too many of these ‘special occasion’ pieces creates a lot of clutter in your closet. These types of purchases are also usually impulse buys. Reducing these can add a new level of consciousness to your closet.

10. Buy timeless, not trendy

Fashion is highly cyclical. What’s trendy one year, will be back in style in a decade. However, no one wants that floral skinny jeans hanging in their closet for fifteen years. Building a mindful closet is about acknowledging that trends are created by the fashion industry to encourage more purchasings. As soon as you step away from that fact, the idea of buying something to just be in style will seem just that more ridiculous.


Your closet reflects your lifestyle.

11. A clean and organized closet creates ease

A mindful closet is an organized closet. It’s impossible to be conscious about what you own when you can’t see anything. Decluttering your closet is the first step to being able to truly see what you own, and wear that stuff more often.

12. Respect your clothes by displaying them properly 

Invest in good hangers, and efficient drawer systems. Nothing is worse than gorgeous finely knit sweaters, or delicate dresses lying in piles on the floor of your closet. Fold your clothes. Hang them with care. For inspiration and tips on how to fold, check out Marie Kondo’s book.

13. Be the guardian of your closet, one in one out

Make space for each new item that you bring into your wardrobe by taking 1-2 items out and donating them, or giving them to a friend. You are the gatekeeper of your closet. Think carefully before you add, and think rationally when you subtract items.

14. Treat your clothing like a fine art — launder with care

Always read care labels before washing any items. If you’re not sure, use Google to look up care details for various fabrics. In general, avoid the dryer, especially with natural fibers. Treat your clothing well, and they will last a long time.

15. Always consider who made your clothes

Ask the question, before you buy, “Who made my clothes?”. This simple question is actually really hard to answer. You can check care/content tags on clothing for where’s it made, but the best bet is to get on the company’s website and do your own research. Not finding the info? Definitely not a good sign, but be persistent and email them for further info. Asking questions about how it’s made, by whom and how the workers are treated is essential to build mindfulness into your closet.

It’s easy to get started on the journey to a more ethical and mindful closet. Start this weekend. Take one or two of these 15 tips, and implement them into your mindset. Every weekend, add a few more into your consciousness and you’ll be on your way in no time to a more mindful wardrobe.

Author Bio: 

Kristi Soomer is an entrepreneur, ethical-fashion advocate, minimalist and surfer with a serious case of wanderlust. While traveling 100,000+ miles a year, she became frustrated with the lack of stylish travel clothing and founded her own travel fashion line, Encircled. A self-taught designer, Kristi takes traditional silhouettes and infuses style with function to help women do more with less.

Follow along with Encircled: Instagram, Facebook, 

Tips For Creating A Winter Capsule Wardrobe

It's that time again! I love sharing my capsule wardrobes on the blog because I feel like each season they get better and more "me" — documenting them is kind of like a mini-journal entry for me. More than that though, I hope that actually getting to see my full capsule gives you a sense of confidence that you can create a capsule that works for your lifestyle too. 

This winter capsule was difficult for me, I'll be honest (hence why I'm posting it at the end of January instead of in December). Lots of the pieces are ones I kept from last season, but that also meant that I had lots of gaps to fill (and still do) so the capsule doesn't feel quite "complete" to me yet. But, since winter is *kind of* almost over, I'm going to make a list of pieces I still would like, and start focusing on choosing pieces for my Spring/Summer capsule (which is WAY smaller than this one at the moment...yikes...)

But before we get to the actual capsule, I wanted to share a few tips for creating your own winter capsule that have been particularly helpful for me this season. 

For many people, creating a cohesive wardrobe in the colder months is much more difficult than during the spring/summer months. These five must-know tips will help you make sure you curate a wardrobe you love all winter long and aren't stuck daydreaming of sunshine and the beach.

1. Be Practical

Winter can be long. If you're stocking your closet with pieces that aren't practical for the cold (or not-cold, depending on where you live,) you'll get fed up with your wardrobe within a few weeks. Similarly, consider what you do from day to day and buy pieces that truly fit that lifestyle. As a work from home mom of two toddlers, the majority of my pieces can be worn at home comfortably, with the occasional trip to the grocery store thrown in for fun. 

I've learned that it just doesn't make sense for me to buy things that I can't wear on a day to day basis. 

Your lifestyle might require a different style than mine, but when you go to choose pieces, or replace old ones, think practically. 

2. Pick a Color Scheme

In the past, I wasn't super mindful of the color scheme of my closet. This time around, I started considering it about halfway through planning, so it's not as cohesive as I'd like. But you can still pick up on the grey, green, burgundy, tan, and black theme I've got going on. Also, next winter I plan to lighten it up a bit ;) 

3. Numbers Aren't The End Game

There are lots of "how to build a capsule" posts out there that focus on numbers. 37 or 40 or 20 or even 10. But I've learned that from season to season and person to person, putting a restriction on the number of pieces you own will generally take all of the fun out of capsule-ing and make it far more regimented than it's meant to be. 

Instead, be mindful of each piece you buy, ensuring that it truly fills a gap in your wardrobe and isn't a repeat of something you already have. 

4. Choose Pieces That Layer Well

Winter is the season of layers. While crop tops and tees aren't typical winter-wear, I've included them in my capsule because I'm obsessed with layering them under my sweaters or on top of a dress. Layering can add interest to otherwise basic pieces and it's become my best friend this year. 

5. Keep a list

This isn't specific to winter, but after nearly two years of capsule-building I can say that keeping a running list on your phone or in your planner of pieces you want/need will save you from buying duplicates or things you don't really need. If it isn't on your list, don't buy it. Take the time to map out your capsule ahead of time and take stock of the pieces you have currently. Then, write down any pieces you'd like to fill the gaps. I'm going to be implementing this big time for spring and I'm excited to create a much more cohesive capsule. 

And now, my winter capsule. It's small, I'll warn you. Next year it will likely be bigger since I've cut so many pieces out this year and only replaced a few. But it's been an awesome experiment with styling pieces in ways I wouldn't have normally thought of. 

Tops: 

— Chambray: Pre-ethical shopping from Target — Flannel: thrifted — Flannery Turtleneck: Amour Vert from IMBY 

— White basic tee: Threads 4 Thought — Black Basic tee: Stormie Dreams — Burnt Orange tee: pre-ethical shopping from H&M — Striped boxy crop: Stormie Dreams — Graphic tee: AllKiind

Sweaters & Cardi's:

— Beige cardi: ASOS from ThredUP — Tribal cardi: pre-ethical shopping from F21 — Burgundy sweater: pre-ethical shopping from H&M Conscious — Tan sweater: Thrifted Gap from Instagram shop — Green cropped sweater: Thrifted Zara from IG shop — Graphic Sweatshirt: Sudara (post)

Dresses:

— Mauve tunic: Conrado (post) — Black tight dress: Amour Vert from ThredUp  — Olive Turtleneck swing dress: Elegantees for Dressember (Post) — Black shift dress: Sotela

Bottoms:

— Black jeggings: Free People from ThredUp — Joggers: Seamly (currently 50% off!) — Denim jeggings: IMBY         — Jeans: Madewell from ThredUp — Black Leggings: Girlfriend Collective

OUterwear:

— Green wrap coat: pre-ethical shopping from F21 — Grey Snowboard Jacket: The North Face — Parka: Pre-ethical shopping from Macy's — Black Vest: pre-ethical shopping (it was a gift so I'm not sure where it's from)

Do you have a capsule this winter? What are a few of your staple pieces?