February 29, 2016

Capsule Wardrobe | Winter

I've been reading about the concept of capsule wardrobes as I've mentioned in previous posts and I thought I'd share my experience with my first attempt at a winter capsule wardrobe.


It was a natural progression from tidying my house and downsizing and wanting to be really conscience about my future purchases, that led me to discover capsule wardrobes. I am still very new at this and so I have tweaked the rules to suit my lifestyle. I think it's really important to find a balance with being strict in some areas but also slack in others since this is supposed to be an enjoyable lifestyle change. I found it really inspiring to see how other bloggers curated their own ideal wardrobe so I want to share my favourite and most worn pieces that I wore this winter. I took a lot of inspiration from the online 333 Project but deviated in a couple ways such as:

  • I don't physically store my clothing from off seasons hidden away out of view. I prefer to have all my clothing together so that what I have stays fresh in my mind. For example, occasionally I'll want to pull a white t-shirt from my summer items for an outfit in winter. If that t-shirt was stored out of view I might forget that I have it and decide to purchase another unnecessarily.  
  • I include my shoes and outerwear into my capsule but jewellery I don't. I have a huge collection of jewellery (visit this post to see) and it's something that gives me so much joy that I wouldn't want to limit myself to only wearing a portion of it.
I've noticed since starting this wardrobe method that I haven't had any comments from coworkers or friends pointing out that I repeat outfits which I originally had assumed would happen. No one seemed to care or notice that I'd wear the same outfit combinations week after week. Instead I found that I received the odd compliment more often on multiple different outfits. I assume this was because my minimal wardrobe only contained clothing that were my favourite, most versatile and best fitting pieces. 

Before I was always shopping for new items so that I could have a steady stream of fresh looks but most of the time these items were impulse purchases at fast fashion outlets. Therefore, the items were usually ill fitting so I didn't look my best and I didn't think the purchase out prior, so the item wouldn't be as versatile. My closet grew with "one-time outfit" items that couldn't mix and match and typically made from poor quality fabric. I can't tell you the amount of times I have ruined a item by washing it incorrectly because the fabric called for hand wash or dry clean only which is just not something I'm willing to do. 

I'd like to finally share what items worked best for me over this winter season, excluding a few items that were purchased prior to my capsule wardrobe journey that I want to give away because they didn't work out.


PANTS 
  • Mid Rise Skinny Jeans in Black, Grey and White - Zara + Banana Republic | These are the workhorses in my wardrobe, not much else I can say about that! 
  • Mid Rise Blue Skinny Jeans - Zara | These do the trick for now but in the future I'd like to find a high rise version of them.
  • High Rise Dark Blue Skinny Jeans - Zara | These are a classic and can be dressed up or down.
  • Distressed Blue Boyfriend Jeans - Zara | Great for a really casual weekend look, best paired with white converse.

SWEATERS 
  • Fitted Grey Round-neck Knit Sweater - Banana Republic | I live in sweaters in the winter, so having a good range of styles in varying shades of neutral colours works best for me. I can mix and match any of these with my 6 pairs of pants.
  • Boxy Grey Turtleneck Knit Sweater - Loft | Turtlenecks are so cozy and this boxy loose one looks great layered over a dress. 
  • Oversized Oatmeal V-neck Knit Sweater - Banana Republic | My favourite sweater to pair with my white skinny jeans and taupe ankle boots.


SHIRT DRESSES 
  • Grey Checked Shirt Dress - Noul | This is by far my favourite outfit because the loose fit and soft material is so comfortable. Paired with over the knee boots, it looks really chic with minimal effort.
  • Burgundy Shirt Dress - Anthropologie | I love the hue of this dress and I think it was a great way to add colour into my VERY monochromatic wardrobe.


SHOES 
  • Black Leather Over the Knee Boots - The Bay | After being on the hunt for the perfect boot, I was so happy to find these. They're very comfortable and really pull together any outfit whether it is a shirt dress or a pair of black skinny jeans and a sweater. I really hope to find a grey suede equivalent for my spring wardrobe.
  • Taupe Faux Suede Ankle Boots - The Bay | These have been so versatile and I can see them transitioning into spring really well.
  • White Low Top Converse - Browns | These are such a basic staple that I pulled out every weekend.

HANDBAG
  • Grey Leather Crossbody Bag - Mackage | I only used this one hand bag and it was the perfect size colour for all my outfits throughout winter. I did a full review in this post, if you're interested in reading more about it


OUTERWEAR 
  • Long Hooded Rain Coat - Lululemon | This is primarily a practical selection since Vancouver is a very rainy city. I love the stylish cut and material of this coat which I think elevates it above just a regular rain jacket.
  • Navy Trench Coat - Club Monaco | This is a great every day coat for work that I also dressed up over the holiday season for company parties and special dinners.
  • Khaki Anorak - Zara | I love the colour and texture of the canvas like material in this long coat.
  • Grey Light Knit Toque - Zara | This is such a cozy hat that I literally wore with everything!


JEWELLERY

Like I said earlier, I didn't limit my jewellery to only a few items, so I wore a variety of more items than just these. I thought I would include my top jewellery must haves for the winter as a mini jewellery capsule for this post though. 
  • Dainty Silver Stacking Rings | Blue Ruby (Adina Reyter + Hart and Stone)
  • Silver Big Dial Watch with Grey Strap | Fossil
  • Minimalistic Dainty Cuff Bracelet | Blue Ruby (Chan Luu)
  • Long Graphic Necklace | Blue Ruby (Leah Alexandra)
  • Pearl Studs | (Not Pictured)


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February 27, 2016

February Favourites | 2016

I've collected a few favourite things over the course of February that I thought would be best curated into one post. So here goes!



WHITE MANICURE | Since December I've been treating myself to monthly shellac manicures, always opting for a blue toned grey polish. This month I thought I'd switch it up and try a clean white polish with a subtle topcoat of a iridescent pink shimmer (which unfortunately didn't pick up in photos). It's actually been on my wish list of manicure ideas for a while now but I kept chickening out. I know white typically looks best on tan skin in the summer, so I wasn't sure if it would wash me out with my ghostly pale complexion. Personally I'm quite happy with it, I think it looks chic! 

I have to quickly mention my current jewellery favourite which is this gorgeous Shereen De Rousseau necklace. The stone is called iolite which is said to promote creativity! It's been such a beautiful piece to layer over grey sweaters for the month of February. 


ARECA PALM | I've continued to downsize our possessions in likes of a more minimalistic living space and we are so far loving the result. Our apartment is a sanctuary for when we come home after a busy day. The white walls and neutral fabrics create a really peaceful environment. After tidying I felt like we needed a houseplant to bring some life to our home. Since my venture into airplants has been so far successful (Horray!), I did some research into larger house plants that purify the air and are non toxic to cats. I think our new palm brings a fresh element to our space and Sam adores it. He perches under the frauns and watches the birds out the window. I think he thinks he's a jungle cat and that no one can see him within the greenery.


CAPSULE WARDROBE | As I've spoken many times before about Marie Kondo's tidying techniques, I thought I'd show an example of my dresser drawers. I'm very proud to say I've kept up this organization and folding for the last 6 months! I've also been doing so much reading up on Capsule Wardrobes (I'll link a few of my favourite sources below.) I'm still at the beginning stages of creating a capsule wardrobe so I will probably go more in depth in the future once it's more established. But so far I've paired down my wardrobe to only my most favourite, versatile and quality pieces. And I'm so happy to say that these two drawers are pretty much my entire wardrobe for all seasons. I hang my dresses and outerwear in my closet separately. The top two smaller drawers of my dresser hold my underwear, pyjamas, socks and tights which I didn't feel necessary to show (but I promise it's just as organized, everything is folded, even my underwear!). I've been really enjoying having a smaller selection of clothing to choose from when getting ready in the morning. Most would at first think that less selection would equal more work. But in reality it's so simple. All my pieces fit properly, make me feel good about my body, and are versatile, so it's a breeze to pair and outfit together. Less is more and quality over quantity are really at work here. 

If you're interested in reading about Capsule Wardrobes, living light and the benefits of sustainable and ethical fashion, then check out these three wonderful blogs below. All three are very unique and have different approaches and degrees to the concept of living light. 


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February 13, 2016

Sakura | My Tattoo Story

I have pondered the idea of a tattoo for many years and was only committed to getting one until it was a concept that I truly loved. It all began when I first started dating my husband, he immersed me in his beautiful culture and country of Japan. I quickly fell in love with him and my admiration of the Japanese culture grew and grew. It was then that I began thinking of cherry blossoms as a tattoo. Years later and happily married, we were traveling around Japan for the second time together, when I knew it was finally the moment I was waiting for. 



I chose En, an amazing Japanese tattoo artist in Tokyo and from there he designed a traditional style tattoo for me. It was truly an incredible experience. Being someone who deals with anxiety, it was really interesting how calm I was throughout. My husband was ready for me to faint or panic but I surprised him and even myself at how relaxed I was. 

Cherry Blossoms represent my love for my Husband and my love of his country, therefore I chose to have the tattoo placed on my inner left forearm, as if it's connected to the finger that carries my wedding rings. Sakura (Cherry Blossoms) flower and bloom in a flourish and then just as quickly their petals fall like clouds of pastel pink snow. In Japan they symbolize love and life and are a reminder of mortality. Looking at the cherry blossoms cascading across my forearm reminds me to be happy, kind and grateful because my life is still very much in bloom. 

One of my most cherished gifts is this gorgeous Kimono I was gifted on our wedding day from my Husband's family. The Kimono is decorated with delicate cherry blossoms and golden cranes. The obi was passed down from his grandmother. I am so honoured to have been so warmly welcomed into his family with this special Kimono. I wore it for the first time in Kyoto and it was quite magical walking through the old streets and temples with it on and with my new tattoo peaking out from the wide sleeve. What made it even more special was being able to share this unique experience with my parents. My mum also wore her beautiful Kimono she was gifted, from my Husband's family as well.

It was so important to me to have this piece done in Japan with a Japanese artist, it was truly a magical moment that I'll never forget. 




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February 10, 2016

Opening Pandora's Box | My Jewellery Collection

Some woman collect makeup, others handbags... for me, my guilty pleasure is jewellery. I have developed quite the collection over the years. I used to store my jewellery in those clear plastic Ferrier Roche chocolate boxes that come out during the holidays. They did the trick for being so inexpensive and the quilted design on top was actually, really pretty. Not to mention it gave me the excuse to have to buy 4 boxes of Ferrier Roche chocolates, "for the sake of jewellery storage". This weekend though, I decided to finally graduate my jewellery collection to a proper display box. 



I Finally found the perfect minimalistic glass display box. Its clean lines and simple unadorned design allow the jewellery to really shine. I love how the linen base board contrasts with the metal work, really bringing a warmth and natural element. I continued that theme by cutting watercolour paper to size and threading necklaces and piercing studs through them as display cards.


I originally had the idea of laying the necklaces one after another the length of the case but found it wasn't the best use of the space. Instead I curated each box so that the jewellery flowed and fit together. It took me quite a while and I had to try many different configurations until every piece fit perfectly into all 4 boxes. It was like my version of a zen garden, where the trees and rocks speak to the gardener to where they want to be placed, but for me it was jewellery.... now I'm sounding as if I speak to my jewellery, I swear I'm not that nuts! 

I've been reading Marie Kondo's sequel about keeping a tidy house, and I really love her concept of how your home should be filled with only the things that spark joy in your life. She writes about how every item in your house should be valued and respected and therefore have its own place. On a smaller scale, I wanted to apply that concept to my jewellery. Jewellery gives me so much joy, so it deserved a proper display. Now every morning I can really take pleasure in my collection and actually see each piece because of how they're laid out. And at the end of the day I take my time to put each one back in its place "thanking" it for making my day so beautiful. By being thankful for your items, you value and enjoy them more. This will make so much more sense if you read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  I did a post reviewing the book back in the summer, which you can read here, if you're interested in learning more about her concepts. 


My clothing wardrobe consists of classic, basic pieces that really create a great canvas for jewellery. I love creating different stories each morning as I get ready. I can wear the same grey dress but transform it with different layers of jewellery and it will become something new each time. So for the most visually pleasing effect, I divided all 4 boxes into categories. I filled the first with a colour palette of aquas, emerald greens and a pop of garnet. Following this was the gilded gold, moonstone, bright turquoise and deep lapis blue case. Then came my favourite collection of the moment which is filled with silver and pearlescent hues mixed with the mysterious labradorite stone that flashes a brilliant blue/green! Finally ending with the case of deeper edgier pieces featuring gunmetal, pyrite, hematite and oxidized antique silver. 


My collection is a real spectrum of texture, material, colour and era's! I love to mix it up and play contrasting items along side each other like the contemporary lucite with the Victorian silver wax stamps, or the delicate geometric metal work with the bold bohemian leather. It allows me to really be creative and express whatever mood I'm in that day.


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February 01, 2016

Air Plants | West Coast Terrarium

Does anyone remember my attempt at a succulent terrarium last summer? Well they all sadly died within months of planting them, just proving that my thumb is certainly not green. Ironically, this has not stopped my next venture into the botanical world with air plants!





One of my best friends was visiting from the Island this weekend, so we stopped by some of our favourite local boutiques in Deep Cove. We even came across a new one (at least to us) called Sunny Side, which is a beautifully curated shop of loose leaf teas, locally made candles and pottery etc. Amongst the shelves were little terrariums of air plants. They sold  them by plant or already made up vases. I chose to buy 3 individual plants so I could have fun displaying them myself. When I got home I reutilized my empty vase (RIP Succulents... ) and scattered a few glass pebbles and mussel shells that we saved from our wedding decor, on the bottom of the vase. 

The shopkeeper said to soak the air plants in water for 30 - 60 mins once a month to make sure they stay hydrated. Once you remove them from being submerged, you let them dry on a dishtowel before displaying them back in the terrarium. This avoids excess water getting into their vase which can create rot and ultimately lead to death... Here's hoping I can keep them alive! Alternatively, you can also mist them a few times a week with water in a spray bottle. I think I'll try the soaking first and see how that goes! Wish me luck!
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