Outfit: cardigan

One of the ways I’ve recently been maximizing my closet is by trying to wear the pieces I have in different ways.

During the Winter 10 x 10, I got the idea of wearing a cardigan backwards, with the buttons down the back – essentially turning it into a shirt. I loved the idea but wasn’t sure if I’d be able to pull off the look. I ended up giving it a try last week, and it was a success!



Cardigan: Zara (old, similar here); Culottes: Zara (ethically made version here); Scarf: Cuyana; Bag: Angela Roi; Watch: Berg + Betts

The cardigan I’m wearing happens to be from Zara (i.e. NOT ethically made), so I like that I can get a lot more use out of it by wearing it as a cardigan, as a shirt buttoned in the front, and as a shirt buttoned in the back.

I thought the tag would bother me in the front and feel scratchy, but it didn’t bother me at all! Also, nobody questioned the outfit or asked why my sweater was backwards, which I thought might happen. In fact, I got a lot of compliments on it!

In the spirit of this outfit, as well as cardigan season, below I’ve rounded up my favorite ethically-made cardigans that do double-duty!


L’Envers Gaby Cardigan

(I ordered this a few weeks ago and I can’t wait for it to get here!)


Thought Clothing Audrey Cardigan

I love the cutouts and back seam on this cardigan.


Dôen Cardiff Cardigan

The sleeves on this cardigan! It’s a bit out of my price range for now, but definitely going to keep my eye on it. 🙂


People Tree Meredith Cardigan

I haven’t tried styling a v-neck cardigan backwards, but I think it could work really nicely – especially with a bralette or lace camisole.


Everlane The Cashmere Crew Cardigan

This style is most similar to what I’m wearing above – the perfect basic cardigan!

Have you tried wearing your cardigan backwards? What did you think of it?



slow sunday 3.18.2018

I feel a little guilty about having two slow Sunday posts with nothing in-between, but things have been a little busy and I haven’t had the chance to finish up some content I had planned.

That said, I always try to make an effort to commit to Slow Sunday, because I like taking the time to reflect.

Currently reading…

I’m still reading The Curated Closet, but since I’m working through the activities it isn’t really a relaxing read / bedtime read. So, I’ve also started reading No Mud, No Lotus. It’s a zen Buddhist book about how happiness cannot exist without suffering, and how to work through our suffering to be more mindful and peaceful.


Currently loving…

I recently got my bonus at work, so after paying my credit card for the month and putting a bunch into savings, I decided to treat myself 🙂 (big time).

I have been eyeing these Vrai & Oro earrings from their limited essentials collection for months. I finally was able to afford them and since they hadn’t sold out, maybe it was meant to be! I love how different they are, like wearable art.

I tend to buy nearly all my own jewelry, even though it’s traditionally a gift, because I don’t really feel comfortable suggesting things like this for gifts or special occasions.


Currently inspired by…

I had a pretty deep conversation with a friend yesterday about the struggles of living with depression, and he related more than I ever thought he would. Something he said really stuck with me – “People may not understand, but they want to.” That meant a lot to me, and I’m always inspired by the kindness of the people I’m surrounded by.

I’m also really inspired by looking at home decor lately. Since M. and I are hoping to soon have a home of our own, I’ve been thinking a lot about the style we might want to go with. We used a lot of bright colors when decorating our apartment, but I’m thinking we want a more calming vibe for our next place, and M. agrees. We’ve agreed that what’s described as “Scandinavian Style” works for both of us – it’s minimal and calming for me, and it isn’t overly feminine or froo-froo for him. Some inspiration images below, via Pinterest…





Lastly, I’m inspired by Darling Magazine‘s new mission statement:


Currently annoyed by…

Went out for St. Patrick’s day yesterday (which was fun!) and I’m hurting a little bit today. So. Tired! M. got takeout for dinner so at least I don’t have to cook. Can’t wait to chow down on some avocado sushi. Also, M. and I are both traveling for work this week. Work trips can be fun, but I do always miss being in our routine, and being home with cats.


slow sunday 3.11.18

Hi everyone,

Slow Sunday posts are my favorite posts. It’s nice to sit down at the start of a new week and reflect on some of the things I’ve been up to, share what I’m reading or interesting things I’ve found around the web and generally have some time to step back from thinking about clothing (sometimes… 🙂 ).

Today was a really nice day. M. and I slept in a bit, even though you aren’t supposed to do that for Spring Ahead because it can make it difficult to adjust. Oh well. Then we had brunch, and went for a walk around our neighborhood. It was brisk out today, but we’ve had a bit of cabin fever.


Then we stopped in a local boutique I’ve been wanting to go to, and we also went grocery shopping.

Currently reading…

I’m still reading The Curated Closet! I haven’t gotten as far along in it by now as I would have liked, I’ve just been busy with some other things. I think I’m going to read for a bit once I finish up this post.

Currently loving…

Loving the extra hour of sunlight! I continue to wear this watch nearly every day as well – I’m glad it was such a great investment for me.


Also loving some of the new skincare products I’ve been trying out, by Mario Badescu and Rodan + Fields. I’m already seeing some improvement in the dark spots on my face, which I’m really self-conscious about.


And lastly, these Cuyana pajamas. I feel so fancy when I wear them. I’m thinking about wearing the top as just a regular shirt in the summer.


Currently inspired by…

Our cats. They are so funny and sweet.


And this quote.

Think of yourself as a curator, rather than a consumer.


Image via Darling.

Currently annoyed by…

I have a lot of trainings and travel coming up, and my classes for my Master’s are starting again (I know, I know, it’s like – will she ever finish?! Just two eight-week sessions left!) But I’m not looking forward to giving up all the free time I’ve been accustomed to the past few months.

How was your weekend?


Brand to know: Free Label

Today I want to talk about an ethical fashion brand that is really close to my heart – Free Label.

Free Label was the very first ethical brand I purchased from when I decided to truly make a commitment to a more thoughtful closet in March 2017, and so their clothes represent a lot to me when it comes to my fashion journey.

I had dabbled in ethical brands before, which I’ve talked about in some of my past posts, but Free Label was the brand that helped me most connect with this closet philosophy.

I stumbled across them when I was trying to find some ethical basics that were flattering and reasonably priced. I found a few lists on the web, including one on Sutton & Grove. The name “Free Label” spoke to me in some way, so I clicked over to the site and was immediately hooked.

The curated selection was a breath of fresh air – I didn’t have to endlessly click through products to actually find what I wanted. I also was impressed to see activewear that wasn’t activewear as I had always known it – the shiny, high-tech fabrics that cost a fortune yet look out of place anywhere except at the gym. Free Label’s flattering cuts, soft, natural fabrics and subtle but meaningful details (such as the baseball hems and vertical back seams) all signaled clothing that would be just as appropriate for dinner and drinks with a friend as they would be at yoga class. I realized my closet could be so much more versatile than I thought.

You can learn more about Free Label’s story here. Their clothes are ethically made in Toronto and Vancouver, and their cotton and bamboo materials are sourced from India and the USA from eco-certified producers and then milled into fabric in Toronto. Free Label fabric is also processed and dyed locally according to Oeko-tex eco-standard.

I love, so much, how they describe their mission…

We care about making beautiful, versatile clothing for the modern (always moving) woman. But just as much as we care about making great clothes, we care about making them responsibly and with great care.

My first purchases were their best-selling Andie bra and cutout tights (no longer available).



I love that this bra is reversible and, if you were feeling more daring than me, could be worn as a crop top with high-waisted jeans. I love to wear it with the v in the back, personally, and the material feels so good. True to size.

The cutout tights are my FAVORITE. LEGGINGS. EVER. They’re cute and feminine, and the high-rise is very flattering. Despite being called a tight, they are opaque. True to size.

I followed this up with the tulip top (my favorite shirt that I own).


I love that this top can be worn with the tulip in the front or the back, and that it is truly reversible (no scratchy tag bothering you when you flip it around – as I have it here). The tulip back top keeps me cool at yoga, but it also looks really cute to wear on a night out. I sized up, since I don’t like my clothes to be too cropped.

Then the Sunday pant (not currently available)…


I mean, have you ever seen a lounge pant look this good? I can actually leave the house in these and look put together. The ruching at the ankles is that perfect, elevated detail. 

And the Johnny tee lite.


I purchased this during the recent Garment pop-up, because I just couldn’t resist. It’s a beautiful basic tee, with one of the most flattering cuts I’ve ever seen on a t-shirt.

Currently on my want list are the Monday pant and the Betty tank (I seriously think I’m on my way to a closet that is 1/3 Free Label, ha!) Also, they totally have clothes in colors BESIDES black! I just happen to prefer black when I’m working out, and these pieces do double-duty for me for workouts and just well, regular life!

What piece of clothing started your ethical fashion journey?


Review: Angela Roi Cher Tote

Hi everyone!

I don’t cover vegan fashion much here, but thought I’d do so today!

Disclaimer: Despite following a plant-based diet, I don’t have a vegan closet. This is primarily because I don’t love the impact of synthetic alternatives on the planet (not that leather tanning is great either), and also because I usually find myself disappointed in the quality of synthetic materials. Since lessening my consumption is my ultimate goal, and a lot of times vegan alternatives lack the quality I’m looking for, I tend to steer clear of them and choose to make my impact when it comes to my diet. I know not everyone agrees with that, but I do try to do as much good as I can, and in ways that I feel balance my concern for both animals and the environment/ over-consumption. I do a lot of research on vegan topics, though, and hope you’ll still find my perspective worthwhile.


The one vegan bag I do own is my Angela Roi Cher tote. This bag is really popular and always out of stock, so I thought some of you might be interested in learning more about it!


I’ve been carrying this bag on-and-off for nearly a year, so I have a pretty good perspective on how it holds up and the functionality.

First though, a bit more about the brand and vegan handbags in general.  Angela Roi is an ethical luxury handbag brand based in New York. Their bags are made of EPUL, and the poly material is processed multiple times in order to attain the softness and smooth texture that you see. The bags are designed in New York and manufactured in South Korea, in factories that are regularly audited and by workers who are paid a fair, living wage.

It is important to note that just because a handbag is made with EPUL, it isn’t necessarily vegan. A brand may use glues or other materials that contain animal-derived products in the production. Angela Roi handbags, however, are completely free of animal products.

The Cher Tote

The inspiration behind the tote…

Named after ‘Cher’, the it girl with a rich taste of trend and the central protagonist of ‘Clueless’ this tote is an extremely attractive match to be by your side from a typical workday to a sumptuous shopping spree. Cher is the person to consult, when you’re in the need of a ‘clue’. Meticulously handcrafted by our skilled artisans Cher tote is shaped for your indulgence. As all our products, Cher Tote too is cruelty-free and sweatshop-free.

This tote is truly meant to carry all your essentials, from day-to-night to anything in between.

The positives: This tote is the perfect size for carrying, well, everything. It takes me from work, to the weekend, to overnight trips. I can fit my laptop (though usually I don’t because my laptop is just too heavy to carry with my other things – I use a boring old laptop bag), makeup, my S’well bottle, two cell phones, my wallet and more.

At the same time, this bag isn’t so large that it overwhelms – it’s understated and elegant. I get a lot of compliments on it, and people are always surprised when I say it’s vegan. I guess since vegan fashion does still, unfortunately, have a bit of a negative reputation.


The quality of this bag is wonderful. The gold-tone hardware has not tarnished despite all of the wear it’s gotten since I purchased it last year. The corners also haven’t shown any wear. I find the drop on both the crossbody strap and the handles to be the perfect length. I also like the large interior pocket, which holds a lot.

The color is also beautiful. I was searching for a long time for the perfect gray bag – not too light, not too dark, not with a brownish undertone – and was so happy when I finally found this tote.


The not-so-positives: Let’s just get this one out of the way. If you love leather bags, you might not love this bag. The material is excellent vegan leather, but ultimately, it isn’t going to have the feel of real leather. I can still tell it’s synthetic, and so will you.

But I think, as with all things vegan, it’s important to not compare it to the animal counterpart. Get leather out of your mind! This is hard for me. I do compare this to my leather bags, despite trying not to, especially since it’s referred to as vegan leather. On it’s own, without leather as a point of reference, this bag is lovely.


I think one of the things that makes it so apparent to me that this bag is synthetic is that it isn’t lined. I mean, this was absolutely fantastic when I spilled water in it and could just wipe it up, but it does affect the overall sumptuousness (? haha) of the bag.

I also don’t like how the interior pocket isn’t fully sewn to the bottom of the bag, as smaller items always get stuck in the gap there (like my headphones).

Lastly, some of the coating on the edges has started to peel off a bit – for example, along the edges of the handles and along the top of the bag – and I do find myself picking at it a bit because it drives me nuts! But, I suppose that’s a small thing considering how often I’ve used this handbag.


Final thoughts

If you’re looking for a moderately priced, high-quality vegan handbag, I would definitely recommend the Cher tote (or any Angela Roi bag, based on my experience with this one!). It is durable, beautiful and functional.

However, if you’re new to vegan handbags and are looking for something that will “replace” leather, for lack of a better word, this won’t do it for you. If you’re all about texture, you may need to look to a higher price point (like Stella McCartney) to get what you’re looking for in that area.

Hope this helps!

The Angela Roi Cher tote is available in black, bordeaux, light gray, and creme, and retails for $240.00.


Outfit roundup 2.27.2018

What I’ve been wearing lately…

Embracing a simpler wardrobe has really done wonders for me. I don’t spend my mornings fussing over picking out statement necklaces, and I feel like I have so much room in my brain for other things! Which is a big deal for me.

I do still have a lot of pieces in my closet that I don’t really love though, but feel like I CAN’T get rid of – either because of cost, or because I do like the item but just don’t know how to wear it, etc. What do you do when you aren’t sure when/ if/ how to part with something? Put it aside and revisit it later? Force yourself to wear it and really assess it? I don’t know. It’s the same dilemma for the millions of worn out t-shirts I have. I always think – but I can wear them to clean, or relax! But they just take over everything!

I did make some huge progress though, in that I recently consigned my Stella McCartney foldover Fallabella. I know, I know – I just bought it. But I learned I can love what a brand represents and absolutely not have their items work for me. The bag was too deep and my things got lost, I found it hard to detangle the satchel straps and shoulder strap and the loose, casual look didn’t work with the simple or streamlined style of most of my clothes. Oh well, a lesson learned. I already was able to sell it and made most of my money back.

But back to what I’ve been wearing lately. I really like all these outfits, because I feel like the time saved in digging through a bunch of ill-fitting clothes has allowed me to actually have time to style my frizzy hair, or put a few things together more thoughtfully, etc.


Top: Express, super old!; Jeans: Reformation; Boots: Softwalk; Bag: Coach (also an oldie but goodie!); Necklace: Anthropologie

Since the average piece of clothing is worn only seven times, and this outfit is comprised of pieces I’ve gotten a ton of wear out of, I’m really proud of it!


Dress: Loft; Belt: Cuyana; Boots: rag & bone; Necklace: Finley Jewlery; Watch: Berg + Betts

Dressier than I usually go – had an offsite meeting.


Sweater: It is well LA; Jeans: Madewell; Boots: Michael Kors; Bag: Coach; Necklace: Windblown Jewelry; Watch: Berg + Betts.

I recently purchased this It is well sweater during The Garment virtual pop-up. It was hard to resist this one since the theme was loungewear. 🙂


Tee: Free Label; Jeans: Abercrombie

I also purchased this tee during the loungewear pop-up (oops…and I have two more pieces coming!!) but it sure is the perfect black tee. I’m going to photograph it in some better light and do an overall review of my Free Label pieces. This was just a quick snap in the hotel M. and I stayed at this weekend on our mini-vacation.

More to come…


What’s in my bag, 02.19.18

Did some organizing yesterday, and one thing I’ve been wanting to do is cut back on how many things I’m carrying on a day-to-day basis. It is so annoying to have to dig through my bag to find my keys or my badge for work, so I decided my minimalist goals should extend to my handbag.


I pared it down to the above, which I think are either a) the essentials or b) items that can help me dress up an outfit if I have to go somewhere at the last minute, which happens sometimes.

Starting from the top left, I have a Mr. B’s aromatherapy roll-on for stress/ anxiety. I got a whole set of them in my Fall Causebox, and I really love them! I have a couple on my desk at work as well, including one for headache relief. I’m honestly never sure if aromatherapy actually works, but it does make me feel better, even if it’s just a placebo effect.

Of course I have my keys, with my AMA Animal Rescue key ring. I’ve been an AMA volunteer for more than a year, and am so proud of the work we do each day to help homeless and neglected animals.

I also have a Chelsea King scrunchie (along with about one million regular hair ties which seemed redundant to include here), in rose blush. It doesn’t go with everything but pink is my favorite color, so to me it made the most sense to pick that one when I bought it, since it’s a fun little accessory.

Next is my Cuyana silk scarf, which I actually probably shouldn’t carry around as it might get damaged. But I like to have a scarf on hand in case I need to dress up what I’m wearing, either by wearing it around my neck or tying it on my bag.

My Chanel wallet was purchased secondhand on a major splurge. There’s something kind of cool about secondhand luxury items (even though they aren’t ethically made), because I sometimes like to imagine the person who owned it before me. I really like the size of this wallet, and that it has a flap section on both sides to store extra cards, money, whatever.

A few beauty products…Honest Magic Balm (which works not just on lips, but cuticles, dry skin, etc.); Pharmacia perfume, which has an almond/vanilla scent; and Evian face mist, which M. ALWAYS laughs at me for because it is “just water” which I know. But it is really cooling and since I have combination skin, it seems to provide just the right amount of moisture. I also like that it’s unscented, unlike the Herbivore mist. The smell of that one kind of gets to me.

And lastly, my Cuyana leather pouch which holds all my doo-dads, like my badge so I don’t misplace it, bobby pins, ibuprofen, etc.

Oh, also my cell phone, but I had to use that to take the photo!

Besides the essentials like your phone, keys and wallet, what can’t you leave the house without? (For me, it’s the magic balm!)