Perhaps you are trying to pare down your own wardrobe and making due with more quality pieces?
In my world, buying more has been replaced with replace with quality, not quantity; and only when you need it. And I feel good about that too.
A few years ago the term bloggers, fashionistas and sustainability-lovers were using was “capsule wardrobes." Today we just call it the new normal.
If you are overwhelmed with closet chaos or just curious about the benefits of dressing with less and simplifying your wardrobe then we have some simple ways to get started. But first, we want to caution not to worry too much about “doing it right”. Instead let it be messy at first, as you figure out what works best for your body, and your lifestyle.
In my own closet, I have about 30 items.
I’ve been working on this for 10 years, so each year I either replace, save, or recycle. Most of the items have a normal life span of 5 years. On average though most of my clothes are 10 years or less.
Once you’ve started down the path take some time to figure it all out.
Keep only those items that add value to your life, look good on you and provide multiple uses.
I’ve found that before shopping I focus your attention on seeking out top-quality, long-lasting pieces. And I work hard to curb my emotional spending habits.
Keep a journal of your shopping habits for 3 months. See what lesson’s you can learn from that time.
Here are a few tips on accessories:
Clothing is one thing and accessories are another. They are usually smaller and less expensive (although some purses are as much as down payment on a car!
Nevertheless, accessories can add splash, shine or just simply change the look. Which is one reason why we are so jazzed about our eco collection. Quality pieces that update your look with a smaller footprint.
A scarf vs. necklace, a hat or purse that takes attention away from what you are actually wearing.
We can't say it enough that accessories should be treated in the same manner as quality vs. quantity so don’t go crazy on 100 different necklaces to update your look. Instead concentrate on getting accessories that accent your style.
By being alert to what you need, get the best bang for your buck by being as concise as possible. I can happily spend hours putting together an outfit, but I need my accessories to go with pretty much everything in my wardrobe and be ready to be grabbed at a moment's notice.
I find that I generally opt for shoes and bags in neutral colorways—such as black, brown or white. They also need to be practical, so that means shoes need to be comfortable and bags roomy enough to fit my life in (check out Lancaster)
PICK A METAL (OR MULTIPLE!)
When it comes to accessorizing your capsule wardrobe, jewelry should be your first stop. Just like you built up your capsule wardrobe, build up your jewelry chest with pieces in your favorite metal (think gold, silver & brass).
Here are the perfect jewelry pieces to add to your capsule wardrobe:
- Simple stud earrings, think a faux (or real) diamond or round metal beads.
- 16 or 18′ inch necklace in gold or silver.
- One sleek bangle.
FIND THE PERFECT HANDBAG
You have a closet full of essentials, but what about the essentials that you have to carry on the daily? Dig in deep and pull out the handbags in there now:
Here are the best handbags to add to your capsule wardrobe:
- One good place to start is adding a large, versatile tote for the workweek.
- A small, crossbody can get you through the weekend (or a night out).
- If you’re feeling a little more daring, try a handbag in a bright color—like cobalt blue, mustard yellow or even, fuschia!
ADD A SCARF TO YOUR COLLECTION
- Take a cue from the French and add a Letol scarf that adds vibrancy to any outfit.
- Scarves can be belts too! Take a silky thin scarf and thread it through your belt loops of your favorite jeans!
When it comes to accessorizing a capsule wardrobe, look for accessories that either add color to your capsule wardrobe or blend in seamlessly!
Stand-alone accessories are the key to a polished and professional wardrobe. Even more important is to invest in quality pieces that support ethical fashion brands. One Savvy Mother can guide you through this process of supporting and buying from the best international and ethical brands available, all in one place.
We’ve developed a ranking system so you can see exactly how each brand is eco-friendly. “Handmade Production,” “Organic or Sustainable Material,” “Recycled/ Reused Material,” “Responsible Production,” and “Trade not Aid” show each company’s ethical commitment with rankings from 1-5. Read more information about our sourcing practices here.
With this in mind, here are three of our handpicked brands to know for their quality and stylish attributes; a perfect update to any tired closet.
Lancaster Paris handbags, wallets, and bags are a luxury brand leading the French leather goods market. The highest quality Saffiano grain finish is used for all their products which are handmade. Whether you’re in the market for the famous bucket bag or would rather upgrade to an envelope wallet, Lancaster Paris provides a classic look and smooth finish for the professional woman.
Another quality designer based in the South of France, Létol Scarves produce beautifully made Jacquard scarves washed with the traditional Savon de Marseille soap for softness and finish. Made from a soft, organic cotton, the size is large enough to wrap around the waist, neck, or use as a turban. The possibilities are endless.
Each year just two designs are introduced, so you can be guaranteed to have a unique piece that is only available for a limited time. Coming into winter, we have a lovely Floral Létol Organic Cotton Scarf available as part of our holiday gift guide that is sure to please any recipient.
Rounding out the 3 brands to know on One Savvy Mother, ZSISKA is the brainchild of Dutch jewelry designer Siska Shippers. In 1992, she founded the company while studying in Thailand and hired 14 women to work for her.
Currently, the company has 100 employees, many of them family members connected to the original women who still work there. The brand is known for its statement pieces made from resin. The colors are vivid and eye-catching, like the stunning blue Grace Collection drop earrings and pendant.
Support eco-friendly and ethical businesses to update and refresh your look, or to find a gift for a loved one this holiday season. Own Your Style & Love the Earth with One Savvy Mother.
Ever wonder about how your favorite clothes are made? Do you examine labels to learn the makeup of fabrics? Maybe you do this in the grocery store and don’t realize that you should be doing it for clothing and other textiles as well. Unfortunately in clothing, shoes & accessories, like food, you get what you pay for.
In earlier blogs I’ve done a deep dive in organics and I wanted to continue the education. Maybe you've heard of “tencel” but didn't really know what it was? More and more you can find bathing suits made of a lycra fiber created from recycling water bottles. I had to find out more. Wouldn’t finding ways to curb the environmental pollution caused by textile production start with finding new ways to produce fabrics that don’t require toxins and large amounts of water, and which minimize harm to the local ecology? Could recycled water bottles do that? I first had to parse out the different options.
First off, lets categorize the array of available fibers.
1) Grown naturally in Nature:
Under this category you’ll find wool, cotton, hemp, bamboo, silk. They are natural but can be found in a wide availability of quality. Some can be grown “sustainably” or grown in clear cut forests that actually denigrate the environment. For example, cotton is the most pesticide intensive crop in the world so most of the t's and jeans you wear are killing bees. The development of genetically modified cotton adds environmental problems at another level. That’s why 100% organic cotton is so effective in eliminating these issues.
Linen is made from flax plant and usually always using natural nontoxic dyes. That makes it a good choice for clothing. But ofcourse it wrinkles.
Wool on the other hand derived by animals can cause environmental damage and lead to poor treatment of animals. So what are you to choose from?
2) A human made fiber: Rayon, Nylon and polyester
Recent studies have shown that polyester, nylon and acrylic fabrics give off thousands of tiny plastic microfibers when they are washed. These fibers travel through our sewage systems and end up in the ocean where marine species can ingest them. The irony is that now we are finding that these plastics can be found in the fish that we eat – meaning we are consuming tiny bits of plastic that came from our clothing. Gross.
Also, made from petrochemicals, these synthetics are non-biodegradable, so they are inherently unsustainable on two counts.
Rayon (viscose) is another artificial fiber, made from wood pulp, which on the face of it seems more sustainable. Non sustainable practices however, such as clearing of old growth forest and/or subsistence farmers are used to make way for pulpwood plantations. Often the tree planted is eucalyptus, which draws up phenomenal amounts of water, causing problems in sensitive regions. To make rayon, the wood pulp is treated with hazardous chemicals such as caustic soda and sulphuric acid.[i]
Derivatives of Rayon are Acetate Acrylic & Lycra.
Acetate replaces silk in lower priced items. There are a lot of benefits to the end use of the garment (water resistant, wrinkle free, price) that has made it so prevalent. Acrylic replaces wool. It’s non-allergenic, dries quickly, draws moisture away from the body and is washable. Lastex developed in 1949 by DuPont Chemical and found under the brand name Lycra is weaved into many products to make them “better fitting”. Say hello to your athletic-wear funding the Koch Brothers who now own the brand. [ii] Also, after too many washing's the fiber breaks down and it is often just thrown into landfill.
Nylon is used for netting, carpets & of course hosiery and also found in bathing suits & fleece. Unfortunately, Nylon manufacture creates nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 310 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Essentially, making these fibers uses large amounts of water for cooling, along with lubricants which can become a source of contamination. Both processes are also very energy-hungry. Think about that when you go to buy your 10th fleece item.
3) Sustainable and Recycled fibers
Lyocell or brand name TENCEL® is a sustainably grown wood product. Because it is a proprietary fabric it is only made by one company in Germany. The company earned Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. Additionally, the chemicals used in Tencel are non toxic. [iii] For a fabric that has the smallest possible ecological footprint, choose brand-name or another lyocell fabric manufactured in Europe or the United States.
Fabrics found in bathing suits and winter fleece such as rayon, nylon and spandex can also be made using recycled fibers. These fibers are made from recycling plastic beverage bottles. The process is energy intensive but the finished fibers are soft and strong polyester thread that is then woven into fabric. Same fabric as before but keeping those pesky water bottles out of the landfill and oceans is a smart choice.
My research also found out that bleach and chemical dyes (used to color fabrics) are toxic using a combination of man-made dyes and dioxin-producing chlorine compounds. I had to google “dioxins” and was horrified with what I found. On the World Health Organizations website “Dioxins are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer.” [iv] Turns out that dioxins don’t ever degrade and they collect in fatty tissues of animals. (That’s you and me) Ok, so even natural fibers can be tricky to navigate.
Also consider the other materials used in clothing and shoes & accessories like
Leather (with polluting tanning and dying processes, as well as intensive farming impacts and animal rights issues) and PVC – a notoriously toxic material.
Fun stuff. Ultimately, what we put on our bodies have as much as an impact as what we put in it so treat your body like the temple it is and look for those brands that use environmentally responsible and nontoxic materials and use processes & treatment of workers and animals with respect. You can count on the belts, scarves, hats, jewelry and other products at One Savvy Mother has been chosen for the lowest environmental impact. You can trust us. Shop Now
Well, we aren't actually advocating you drop Pinterest but we got your attention didn't we? This month's blog is about pairing your style with the right accessories. We've all bought something on a whim only to find that it goes with nothing in our closets. Here are 8 styles and how to get the best look from your accessories.
You're confident in simple tops & basic slacks. This is your style for work and play and you stick with low patterns, light hues & basic cuts.
Pair this style with a cuff bracelet and a trendy purse of coordinating colors.
You dress with exotic flair and you're leading the pack. The look is bold, mysterious & eye catching.
Choose accessories that have tribal or animal looks. It will give the look without all the fuss.
If your closet holds girly blouses, A-line skirts & cable sweaters you fall into the preppy style. You don't have to dress like a school girl though.
This style doesn't have to be plain. Choose pops of color & classic designs.
4. Bohemian (Boho)
This style is created with intricate patterns & exotic textures.
Choose accessories with fringe that can compete with the patterns or wear neutral that won't compete.
Good news! This style is trending for fall. So pull out your jeans & tees and pair it with a plaid shirt. Boots are optional
Don't forget the hat!
6. Girl Next Door
This look pairs classic design without the rush to be trendy. You don't go wild or exotic and the focus is on simplicity, stripes & tennis shoes.
Choose your accessories from classic designs but added flair for a little eye turning attention.
The polished and sophisticated look is a mainstay. You're an overachiever and your closet is no exception.
Pair your smart and snazzy blazers and pencil skirts with handbags as polished as you are.
This simple and modern look is not like shopping in the boys section but you won't find any lace or frills around. You're more likely to be wearing a graphic tee, straight leg loose fitting slacks and a pair of flats. Now that's how you do it girl-style.
Add a polished look with a belt.
Our favorite alternative to leather is cork handbags. With nature-inspired details and functional designs, these pieces were made with sustainable methods and materials that you can truly feel good about.
The Material: Cork
The high-quality cork fabric is made from the shavings of Cork Oak trees. Cork can be harvested every nine years without harming the trees. This makes cork a renewable, biodegradable and altogether sustainable material. What’s more, cork oak trees grow naturally without the use of any pesticides, watering or pruning. By buying cork you are supporting the continued value of these old growth forests.
The shavings are then made into a fabric by compressing a thick slice of cork with a natural fabric like cotton. In addition to being environmentally-friendly, it’s extremely durable, waterproof, stain resistant and easy to clean. Portugal is the number one producer of cork, as Cork Oak trees are native to the region.
The Production: Artisanal and Innovative
One Savvy Mother believes its brands should go the extra mile for the sake of the environment. That’s why the sourcing of cork is not the only material that makes the products sustainable. Other materials used are organic cotton, kelp-based “leather alternative” and leather. There is also an emphasis on facilities where all employees are treated fairly.
Not only are the workers paid a fair wage but with attention to detail and expertise of the artisans that we work with most of the production is handmade. Using methods that ensure that craftsmanship is learned and repeated we are dedicating the future to sustainable methods.
Functionality Inspired by Nature
What drives inspiration? Given that cork is the basis of the products, brands get inspired by nature and the fields of cork trees seen throughout the Mediterranean countries. Nothing short of the beauty of Mother Nature can be seen in all the designs. But don’t expect perfection; natural flaws are what make cork so beautiful.
Another design goal? Creating products that are truly useful. And then adding a dose of style. Handbags are lightweight, full of pockets, and the natural look of cork is so stylish.
Shop all Cork Bags (link)