No Longer Grey

The sartorial experiments and ramblings of a girl named Sarah

3 Step Sustainable Wardrobe

by Sarah on February 22, 2018, no comments

It seems like everything these days is being stamped with the word sustainable. Coffee, notebooks, furniture- all SUSTAINABLE! The fashion industry is not exempt. It’s 2018, and everyone has a capsule wardrobe and knows that denim is a dirty business.

So with all of this newfound sustainability, we should all have sustainable wardrobes, right? I would argue not yet. After all, a perfect is more than just the sum of its parts. For me, a sustainable wardrobe is one that is made up of great clothes, is fulfilling, and is curated. It’s not a wardrobe that is made up of only seventeen pieces, all made out of moss handpicked in Tasmania. It’s also probably not a wardrobe filled with unworn pieces from Forever 21. It’s something in the middle, and, most importantly, it’s something personal.

Let’s break it down.

First up, a sustainable wardrobe is made up of great clothes. Aesthetically, that’s pieces that bring the wearer joy and a sense of beauty. Note- the wearer. That’s you! Every piece should be exciting for you, and should be something you don’t want to take off at night to go to sleep.

A sustainable wardrobe should also be fulfilling. For me, that means that it’s made up of pieces that have more than just an aesthetic value. Maybe it’s a piece that I got on an especially wonderful day while living in New York. Maybe it’s a cashmere sweater that is not only beautiful, but snuggly and warm beyond words. And, of course, the way that the piece was made counts. Pieces that have care put into every aspect of their creation feel and wear differently. It’s little things; French seams on blouses, side slits on longer sweaters, full linings on jackets that show how much care and intention went into a garment’s creation. Well finished pieces will look better, last longer, and are more likely to become favorites.

 

Lastly, it’s curated. Just like an exhibit in a museum, a sustainable wardrobe is constantly being edited. It has an inflow of new garments, but it also has an equal outflow (because there’s nothing sustainable about having to shove hangers into an overstuffed wardrobe).

As far as the outflow goes, it’s important to consider where one’s clothing is going. This is where sustainability gets a little hairy. Donate, give away, sell, and yes, trash things. But the tragic truth is that the current “life cycle” of most, if not all garments, ends in the trash. After all, clothing does deteriorate with time. That’s why, in purchasing, it’s important to truly consider garments. Once you buy something, you accept ownership, and it become a part of your personal footprint. Getting rid of things is an important part of wardrobe-ownership, but it’s important to internalize the ownership of each garment, and come to terms with the fact that everything we discard (regardless of if it goes to a ‘better home’ first or not) will probably end up in a landfill.

But let’s go back to the fun part- the in! I’ve compiled a few of my favorite shops, places to get butterfly-in-stomach inducing pieces.

Everlane– I can’t speak highly enough about Everlane. The clothing is beautiful, made to flatter, and well priced. You can look inside their factories, examine their pricing model, and learn about where their fabrics come from. My personal favorites are the shoes, silks, and cashmere. All luxury (but with high street prices), and all completely worth it.

Grana– Grana is another basics first company, but they have the most amazing colors. Poppy red silk tank tops, dusty rose billowy skirts…

Pact- fair trade factories, fair prices, and no toxic dyes. Imagine the number of hours you spend in loungewear. Wouldn’t it be better to spend that time in soft and sustainable fabrics that aren’t irritating?

Veja– Sneakers centered on ethical sourcing and great materials. They look like fashion sneakers. Enough said.

Reformation– The stereotype of sustainable clothing is that it’s all drapey, cotton based clothing that is basics. Reformation is prints, silky satins, billowy sleeves and tiny skirts. It’s to show that being ethical can still look so good.

Whew! That was a lot. Now it’s your turn- what are your tips for a sustainable wardrobe?

In the Corner

by Sarah on February 11, 2018, no comments

jeans- thrifted, sweatshirt- DIY, socks- J Crew shoes- Vans

Coming atcha from a corner for today’s look. I wore this the other day to a work ‘thing’, and had a bunch of people really impressed with the sweatshirt. Which was super flattering, because it’s a sweatshirt from summer camp, not some sort of beautiful Paloma Wool creation.

Also, haven’t see you in a while, hey! I moved (again), started a new job (again) and have been in an odd state of not really knowing where I live. The other day I accidentally got bus tickets going from my old city to my new, instead of vice versa. But this new move brings with it a whole new set of sartorial challenges that I can’t wait to discuss and ponder with you all.

No Parking

by Sarah on January 26, 2018, no comments

shirt- thrifted, dress- c/o Tobi, shoes- Everlane, bag- thrifted, sunglasses- street vendor

The behind the scenes of these photos involve me squinting a lot, a man stopping his car on the street to watch the photoshoot progress, and me having to hold my leg up to get the last shot. Just to be totally transparent. Any preconceived notions of the glamour of fashion blogging that any onlookers may have had were quickly dashed with a blooper real of a photoshoot.

What is not a blooper real (great transition, I know) is this outfit. It’s very fashion blogger circa 2014 and the absolute opposite of je ne sais quoi. Je sais exactly what makes this outfit work: the piling on of accessories. There’s some adage about taking off one thing before one leaves in the morning to achieve effortless (or, let’s be real, French) style. This seems like it could easily get quite risqué. It also seems like a boring rule to live by. Sure, there are days when going to a café and sipping espresso wearing black satin cigarette pants, a white tee shirt and an Acne leather jacket seems like the ideal, but there are also days when going to a café and sipping a latte and wearing tassel earrings and red shoes and sunglasses the size of Mars and an amazing fancy Tobi little black dress and a striped shirt seems pretty great. Thank god multidimensionality in personal style exists.

The Dressing Room Of Your Dreams

by Sarah on January 25, 2018, no comments

My favorite movie scenes are always the “getting ready” ones. Mia’s transformation in The Princess Diaries. The first scene in The Devil Wears Prada. No, I’m not a huge Anne Hathaway fan. I just love the idea of a luxurious morning routine at a white vintage dressing table, powder puff in hand, and a stroll through one’s closet.

As I’ve gotten older, the vision hasn’t changed. Sure, some of the pink frilly bags have been replaced with structured leather purses, but the idea of having a truly beautiful closet is one that has stuck with me. As has the reality that it’s not exactly realistic to hire a team of professionals who would put up scaffolding towers and turn my entire apartment into a construction zone, all in the name of fashion.

But there is hope! Be your closet the side of a sardine box or the entire Metropolitan Museum of Art, there is hope. With a few tweaks, any closet can be in tip top shape. Here are some of my favorite pinterest board worthy tips and tricks for getting a luxurious looking closet.

  1. Get rid of The Chair. You know, the chair (be it an actual chair, or perhaps a figurative one) that houses all of your clothes that are not put where they ought to be. Trust me, the chair is bringing you down. Not only is it unhealthy for most garments to be balled up and left without proper cleaning or storage, but its presence can drag down an entire wardrobe. Clear it out, and never look back.
  2. Similarly, store your stuff. It doesn’t matter if you have soft-close cabinets, these drawers, or a wooden steamer trunk. The adage of “a place for everything, and everything in its place” holds true. Side note; if it is stretchy, don’t hang it. This goes for knits, pants, tee shirts… What’s hanging should be silks, blouses, dresses that do not stretch, jackets and pants that will crease if not hung. Otherwise, to preserve the garment’s integrity, fold. Try folding truly special garments into acid free tissue paper (like this one here) for even greater protection.
  3. Turn on the lights! Get some fairy lights. Stick a spotlight in your closet. Wear a headlamp; do whatever you need to do so that you can see your clothes. This is especially important if you have a lot of clothes that are the same color. Good lighting will literally brighten up your day. If you want to be truly fancy, stick some lights inside the cabinets aforementioned. And don’t forget the mirrors! In all practicality, a mirror is an essential, but it will also bounce light and make your closet look bigger than it actually is.
  4. Find somewhere to put already styled outfits. In highschool, I made a commitment to never wear the same outfit twice. High maintenance, yes, but actually pretty doable if you don’t mind accessories. But finding someplace where you can admire an outfit before you even try it on means that you don’t have to have a huge fashion show when trying to see if two colors match. It also means that you will have less to put away later, as those fashion shows tend to leave a bit of a mess.
  5. Pare down. Nobody wants to be on My Strange Addiction for having too many hawaiian shirts. Keep what makes you happy, along with any absolute essentials. Donate, sell, recycle or toss everything else. Let your clothes have room to breathe.
  6. Pretend your closet is a fancy boutique. Hang your favorite jacket on the back of a door, front and center. Lay out your rings on black velvet. Sort by color. Try to implement merchandising tactics that you see in stores into your own wardrobe. My personal favorite is making sure everything is spaced and facing the same direction. So easy, and so beautiful! Take this a step further and use old shopping bags to organize out of season clothing.

In a perfect world, we would all have Hannah Montana style closets. However, the reality of life is that one cannot always have a floor to ceiling wall of shoes. Imelda Marcos would say differently, I know, but it’s 2018 and minimalist beauty reigns supreme.

So take a rainy day and give these tips a try! And be sure to let me know in the comments what your favorite closet hacks are.

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Midwinter July

by Sarah on January 21, 2018, no comments

shirt that is actually a body suit- c/o Tobi, pants- thrifted, shoes- Everlane, belt- thrifted (but it’s Céline)

IT FELT LIKE SUMMER TODAY!!! Which is concerning because it’s January and not July, and means we should all be very worried about the earth. It’s kind of hard to worry though while sitting out on one’s front stoop taking in the sun. Which I did my fair share of today. And I didn’t even need a jacket!

This outfit felt appropriately whimsical to celebrate the unseasonably warm temperatures. The shirt is actually a body suit from Tobi that I can’t wait to pair with jorts, a crisp white button down, and the accessories pictured here. It’s slinky and cool and very ballerina-y. The pants are these ridiculously voluminous pants I got in a thrift store that are more parachutes than actual bona fide legwear. I teamed them with some backless mules for more summer vibes, and white 60’s earrings. Oh, and a scarf. Who can forget the scarf (especially seeing as it’s tied front and center).

What’s your Midwinter-summer look?