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  • InLifestyle, Thrifting

    How To Fix The Brim Of A Thrifted Straw Hat & Get The Instagram Look For Less

    Ah, straw. Whether it’s made into bags or worn as hats, straw is one summer trend that isn’t going away any time soon. Thankfully, all great trends come back again, which means that you can skip the fast fashion and hit the thrift store to find yourself the trend. But when you do, it will likely not be in pristine condition. Secondhand shopping means sometimes looking at items with a little imagination. Maybe there’s a little snag in the brim of the hat or an ugly accessory wrapped around the top. There are plenty of ways to fix the brim of a thrifted straw hat with items that you already have at home. You’ll just need a little bit of time and patience to get the look that you saw on Instagram.

    My straw hat came to me by surprise. I wasn’t necessarily looking for one when I entered the thrift shop that day, but I’ve been eyeing up anything straw when I pass it by lately. I tossed it into my cart, grabbed a few other items, and went over to the fitting rooms. As soon as I put on the hat, I knew it was meant to be. There was pretty much a big golden halo and the *AHH* church sound effects going off in the background. Then I turned around and the person behind me was clearly not seeing what I saw when I looked in the mirror.

    I couldn’t blame her, to be honest. While the hat did fit on my head well, it had glue marks from something that had been ripped off of the band. It was also curled up around the outside. Your average thrifter might have tossed this to the side and tried again. But I could see the potential of the straw hat from the moment that I put it on my head. It was a no-brainer for me — especially since the price tag read $1.99 and it was half off day. SCORE.

    The next step was to take my new straw hat home and get it looking as good in real life as it did in my head. My first concern was to sanitize it. While I generally don’t mind buying hats a thrift store, I still take them home and make sure they’re as sanitized as possible before I wear them. Thankfully, this was easy, since it was a straw hat. The next concern was cleaning the glue off the band and seeing if I could get the edges of the hat to sit flat, instead of curling upward. Here’s a simple, step-by-step of everything I did to fix my thrifted straw hat.

    Clean the straw hat.

    Before I did anything, I sprayed my newly thrifted straw hat with Castile soap. I am a big fan of using this spray mixture on thrifted items. My personal recipe is very non-technical. I squirt a few squirts of Castile soap into a spray bottle and fill the rest with water. After spraying the hat and letting it sit for about ten minutes, I wipe it off with a rag. Then I spray it down again with some white vinegar, wipe it off, and it’s good to go.

    The Castile soap mixture also worked to get the glue off of the band of my hat. This was a nice little surprise to me and made my job that much easier. The Castile soap isn’t just antibacterial, but it helps visually clean off anything from the hat too.

    Iron the brim.

    I really hope that you didn’t just read the heading and not dive into this part because it’s not exactly that easy. You can’t just put the iron on the brim. That might burn the hat or make it stick to the iron. Since I didn’t want to ruin my straw hat, I was really careful.

    I turned my iron on the medium setting, set a towel over the top of my straw hat brim, and ironed it that way. Honestly, I probably could have put it on the high setting, but I didn’t want to ruin it. The straw hat went from curled brim to flat as a pancake in just minutes. It stayed that way since, too.

    It’s truly that easy, my friends. When it comes to thrifting, sometimes a little imagination and a quick DIY go a long way.

    xx.

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  • InLifestyle, Sustainable Fashion

    What Makes A Clothing Item “Timeless?” You Might Be Surprised

    Once in a blue moon, there are buzz words that float around online. “Minimalism” and “vintage” are just a few that come to mind. You know, words that you hear everywhere but still don’t exactly know what they mean. “Timeless” is one of those words. It’s kind of the same as classic, but not and seems to represent that you’ll have the item forever without ever getting sick of it. But there’s one thing about “timeless” pieces of clothing that you might not realize — the meaning is different for everyone.

    Online and print publications love to tell people all about timeless clothing items. A quick Google search for “timeless” clothing items will bring you over 72 million pages. Items talked about including the striped t-shirt, trench coat, white button down, and blazer. I don’t know about you, but there two items on that list that are not in my closet and I haven’t needed either of them. Not to mention that none of the online publications have the exact same list. Other items included things like basic cardigans and even got as specific as dark-wash, boot-cut jeans. If someone followed this list, they’d end up with a ton of different items and no cohesive style at all.

    The official definition is timeless is, “not affected by the passage of time or the change in fashion.”

    The problem with pairing the definition with fashion is that it becomes relative. Someone might love a striped t-shirt and never get rid of it. Another person might hate stripes and never want to wear them. Personally, the timeless items in my closet are my striped t-shirt that I pair with everything, striped dress that I wear during all four seasons, and my denim jacket that I’ve had forever. For you, it might be the perfect fitting pair of jeans or sweater that goes with everything. Or maybe it’s the perfectly patterned tee that you absolutely love.

    It’s important to remember that a “timeless” clothing item is different for everyone. The word “timeless” is not synonymous with “plain” or “minimalist.” Your stylist is anything that you want to be, which means that the items that stick with you the longest might not always be plain and boring. Maybe you’re someone who loves colored and the rainbow-striped tee is your go-to item forever.

    Not sure what your timeless items are? Here are five ways to know when you’ve found a timeless item:

    1. It’s good quality.

    No matter what your timeless item looks like, it will always be good quality. Think about it this way: you can’t have an item forever if it’s not made to last. I’m not saying that you will never get a rip or tear in it, but you also don’t want the fabric to wear out on you over the years.

    2. You see yourself in the item.

    You’ll know you have a timeless item when you put it on and look in the mirror. You’ll just feel like yourself in it. Maybe you notice how good your eyes look or nice your hair is. You are comfortable putting it on. So comfortable that you want to wear it every single day or with tons of different outfits. The key to a timeless item is comfort. And notice that it has nothing to do with how it looks since that will change from person to person.

    3. You can imagine wearing it with other items in your closet.

    The key to a timeless item is the ability to match with other items that you love. Now, it doesn’t have to match EVERY item in your closet, but it will make a handful of the items that you already own even better. It could be the perfect white button up that can be worn under or over anything. It could also be the bright pink sweater that you love combining with colors of different seasons. There’s no wrong or right way to do it, as long as it works for you.

    4. It fits you right.

    A timeless item will fit you just right. It’s as simple as that. It won’t be the shirt that’s doesn’t quite tuck into some pants but is a little too cropped with others. it will be the one that fits your body correctly, so you can do more with it. The key to a timeless item is having flexibility, so you’ll want it to fit just right and not just look good with some items.

    5. You love it more and more as you wear it.

    Some of the best items are the ones you love more and more with time. It gets comfier as you wear it or you get excited to wear it in new ways. Heck, you might even know that it’s timeless just by getting excited as you carry it around the store. You’ll find yourself reaching for it throughout the week and getting excited to wear it. The excitement doesn’t fade, even though you’ve had it for a while or wear it a lot.

    Finding a timeless item is something that you feel. After reading this, you might even see more clearly the timeless clothing items that you already have in your closet. Just remember that just because an online publication tells you that your timeless items should be plain doesn’t meant that they have to be. Find what works best for you and stick to it. After all, there’s no wrong way to have a personal style.

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  • InLifestyle, Sustainable Fashion

    The #1 Tip For Building A Sustainable Lifestyle

    Building a sustainable lifestyle is not about Instagram likes. It’s not about showing off eco-friendly clothing or having the perfect bulk mason jar pantry. And it’s definitely not about having it together all the time. it’s about being open to knowing the truth. To let yourself be pissed off about what’s going on around you and channel that rage into change. It’s about the daily choices that we make, moment by moment. The most important top and, in my opinion, the only way to build a sustainable lifestyle is to know why you’re doing it.

    It’s easy for a sustainable lifestyle to look showy. There’s trendy and, let’s be honest, stupidly pricey zero-waste kits out there, beautifully curated minimalist homes going around on Instagram, and high-end sustainable outfit circulating. Don’t get me wrong, there is an appeal to having nice things. But that’s not what living sustainably is all about.

    The key to living a sustainable lifestyle is to know why you’re doing it.

    None of the flashy items or gorgeous homes or expensive outfits matter. It matter that you have a big enough “why” to keep you kn your sustainable journey. When your house is messy and you’re wearing your favorite, worn-out t-shirt, there needs to be a reason that you so what you do. A reason to grab the reusable bag before you leave the house or skip the coffee while you’re out because you forgot a reusable cup or utter the words “no straw, please.” If you don’t have a “why,” a reason for making the daily life choices that you do, then all of it will seem like a burden. But if you know your “why” and truly believe it, then everything will magically get easier.

    And it really is quite magical. There have been studies shown that people that believe their “why” are more committed and more likely to stick to their goals. There are TedTalks and books on the topic. Heck, pretty much every online course has a section about know why you’re there or who you are. This is true even in daily life.

    May your why starts with going vegan to save the animals or help the planet. Maybe it’s going plastic-free because you’re sick of seeing plastic take over the beaches. Maybe it’s just remembering to bring a reusable bag with you. Or maybe you’re just outraged after seeing a report about global warming. No one’s journey is the same. For me, it started with a love for thrifting and slowly took over all aspects of my life. Why? Because I kept daring to learn more.

    There’s one thing that stays the same in everyone’s sustainable journey
    — learning.

    Once you know things, you can never un-know them. It’s really that simple. If you take the time to read the report, watch the documentary, talk to a friend, you cannot ever say that you don’t know again. When you gain info about the world around you, it’s up to you to react. You can decide when or if you’d like to help. You can make your won sustainable living rules. From there on out, you will have your why. If you believe it enough, everything you do in the future to help the planet will suddenly get easier.

    Not sure where to start? You’re in luck. If you haven’t quite found you “why” yet, it’s easier than ever to get the information. There are tons of documentaries, reports, news articles, and entire blogs devoted to whatever topic lights you up. Here are some of the resources that sparked my interest and made my “why” stronger than ever.

    1. Watching The True Cost

    This should come as no surprise. I’ve talked about this documentary a lot in my past posts, and for a reason. The documentary, which is available on Netflix, gives the story of Rana Plaza and the thousands of people that lost their lives for fast fashion. It also covers organic cotton farming, the lives of garment workers, and how fas fashion affects the planet as well.

    This documentary was my ah-ha moment. I can even remember the exact moment. It was a late summer night, underneath my covers, with the glow of Netflix illuminating the room that I knew that my life would never be the same. I could no longer unknow what I watched. This changed the way I live my life to this day.

    2. Reading Eating Animals

    This book changed the way I see food. Not just for the animals, but also for the planet and my own health. It goes through family vs. factory farming, the ethical factors of, well, eating animals, and gives so much insight into how the planet if affected by slaughterhouses.

    After I read this book, the way I ate completely changed. I didn’t immediately go vegan or even vegetarian, but I shop completely differently. Food is a personal journey, and I could spend an entire blog post describing why I eat what I eat, but it’s not worth it. My main point is to read this book — whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or a meat-eater — because you’ll learn a whole lot about the world around you.

    3. Taking the Who Made My Clothes Course

    If you’ve read my post on this free online class, you’ll know how much it changed me. I learned about the supply chain, but, more importantly for me, about synthetic versus natural fibers. I jumped into the course by discovering that one of my favorite, ethically made dresses was terrible for the planet. Yes, really. It was eye-opening and changed the way that I shop, the fabrics that I buy, and how I wash them.

    The great thing about learning is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. Maybe it’s an Instagram post that you stumble upon one day or an entire course that you take. Whatever it is, just do it. Seek out the information. Participate in Dressember this year, listen to podcasts, follow new people on Instagram. Find your why.

    xx.

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  • InLifestyle, Sustainable Fashion

    How Detoxing My Instagram Feed Made Me A Better Sustainable Shopper

    Building a sustainable closet or lifestyle in general can be intimidating. It takes changes in habit, new lifestyle choices, and a true passion for the life that you want to live. Changing any habit is tough, but it’s not impossible. Of course, it won’t happen overnight. But a simple step in the right direction can be as easy as detoxing your Instagram feed. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people is one of the best things you can do for your personal sustainable journey, and all it takes is a few “unfollows” and some added “follows.”

    Let’s just be honest, it is not always possible to surround yourself with people who believe the same things as you in real life. I learned that the hard way. While I did have friends that loved thrifting and making better choices for the environment, it was exhausting to try to explain every little life choice to some family and friends. There are some things that are worth explaining, like Rana Plaza or simple clothing washing tips. Then there are topics that I’ve researched in depth for a while that are just too much to lay on someone right away. Bottom line: in real life, I can’t be surrounded by people that are supportive and make empowering choices all the time. But I can be online.

    Detoxing my social media was one of the best things that I did for my sustainable journey. The task is simple, free, and totally empowering. It’s nearly impossible to change your life when you’re scrolling through Instagram and looking at bloggers buying new shoes, sweaters, and skirts every day. Or people from high school that you no longer have anything in common with. If you’re looking for permission to delete these people from your online life and follow who you really, truly want to, this is it.

    Like I mentioned before, detoxing an Instagram feed is one of the many ways to start or dive deeper into your sustainable lifestyle journey. It also happened to be the most impactful for me. There is no right or wrong way to detox your feed, but here are three simple steps to start your Instagram detox that really worked for me.

    1. Slowly unfollow people that only buy fast fashion.

    That blogger that’s always promoting her “super affordable” fast fashion finds? Unfollow. The friend you had in high school that spent more time at the mall than class? Gone from your feed. The people that you knew in college, but don’t have anything in common with anymore? Feed be gone. It’s that simple.

    This was a big step for me. Of course, I always want to support fellow blogs that I love and friends who love fashion. But ultimately I decided that it was not helping me to see new items promoted every single day on my feed. Instead of going through my friend list and deleting everyone in one fell swoop, I waited until they popped up on my feed. If it was something that wasn’t inspiring, I’d click their profile, decide if they’re worth having on my feed, and then hit “unfollow” if they weren’t. I still do this little trick today.

    Of course, I’m not saying that you have to get rid of everyone that isn’t living a sustainable life. This is your journey, and there are no rules. But you are what you constantly see, read, and think. The less time you spend looking at and being subconsciously influenced by, the easier your personal sustainability journey will be.

    2. Getting rid of brands that aren’t inspiring.

    Just about everyone follows some sort of brand of celebrity on Instagram. But it’s worth it to ask yourself, what are they adding to your feed? Brands and celebrities are often promoting every single thing they do. That’s a whole lot of marketing in your face and on your feed. Is the message that they’re promoting in line with your values? Do you genuinely love reading and seeing the content? These are all personal decisions that you can answer for yourself.

    Of course, there are some brands and celebrities that will be in-line with your personal values. You don’t have to unfollow everyone. These are simply just suggestions to curate the feed that’s right for you. People always talk about curating photos on their own grid. But we need to think of out feed as being curated as well. You can make the rules for what you want to see. It’s also worth it to remember that most brands and celebrities have public profiles, so deleting them from the feed doesn’t mean that you’ll never be able to see that content.

    3. Find people to follow that inspire you.

    Like I mentioned before, it was nearly impossible to surround myself with people in real life who have the same personal values as I do. It was much easier to do it online. Although it took some time and a few down-the-rabbit-hole moments, I have found a community online that I can comment back and forth with and get excited to see their content every day. Some of the people I love to follow are @the_spines, @petraalexandra, @thegreenedition, and @kate.eskuri. Not all of them have the same content as me or as each other, but I genuinely get excited when I see their posts pop up on my feed. That’s what Instagram is all about.

    You can do the exact same thing with brands. I love to follow brands that I’ve bought from and even the ones that I’d love to buy someday, especially if they have an incredible message. I follow brands that don’t push me to buy “right now” but ones that are genuinely inspiring.

    Now it’s time to curate your own feed. Think about the people and brands that you truly enjoying seeing on your timeline. You don’t have to follow people just because it’s your cousin or best friend’s bridesmaid or anyone for that matter. This is your personal feed to get inspired by. Think about it as your own personal vision board. It’s time that Instagram be a place of inspiring messages and positivity — and it can be if you make it that way.

    xx.

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  • InLifestyle, Sustainable Fashion

    What Is The 30×30 Challenge? The Month-Long Wardrobe Experiment Will Help You Make The Most Of Your Closet

    I used to have a knack for justifying owning a lot of clothes. I love experimenting with it, styling outfits in different ways, and hunting for new items at the thrift store. So when it came to putting it all away, I’d get creative with storage or buy those thin hangers so I could fit more. It wasn’t until we moved into our apartment that I realized that owning a lot of clothes was hurting my style instead of helping. Although I had tons of different options, none of them seemed to go together. Even worse, none of them were really me.

    Downsizing was the best thing that ever happened to my closet. I found that the fewer items in my closet, the easier it is to get dressed in the morning. Each time that I downsize my closet, my job gets easier and easier. That’s why I’ve decided to join Petra Alexandra’s May 30×30 Challenge.

    For one month, I’ll be wearing only 30 items. (Get it? 30×30.) The items include tops, bottoms, shoes, and jackets. Everything that I’ll need for the month, not including loungewear. Basically, it’s a seasonal capsule collection of items that all go together in different ways.

    The rules of the 30×30 Challenge are simple. You wear only the 30 closen items for the entire month. You can re-wear any items as often as you’d like and trade out things early on if you notice that they’re not working. The idea isn’t to limit yourself with items. It’s to show you how versatile the items are in your closet. You can experiment with different layering and re-wear items in new ways.

    I had a really fun time putting together my 30 items. I started with my staple work pants, jeans, and a handful of tops that I find myself wearing all the time. From there, I added in some color and shoes to go with it all. When I had all of my favorites laid out, I had about four more spots to fill with newer items that I have been wanted to add to my spring collection. Honestly, I just went with the items that I really love, will work for different occasions, and are really, truly me.

    Here’s what I’ll be wearing in the month on May…

    Tees

    Dressier Tops

    • Old Navy Polka Dotted, Tie-Back Top*
    • Silk Sage Tank Top*
    • Floral Green Open Blouse*

    Button-Ups

    • Universal Thread Denim Button-Up*
    • Billy T White Button-Up*
    • Love Notes Blue & White Striped Button-Up*

    Dresses

    Sweaters

    • Brown Cardigan*
    • Burnt Red Cardigan*
    • GAP Cream Sweater*
    • Oversized Gray Sweatshirt*

    Bottoms

    • White Wide-Leg Pants*
    • American Eagle High-Rise Jeans*
    • American Eagle Black Culottes*
    • Banana Republic Black Dress Pants*
    • Nicole Alex Lola Leggings
    • Old Navy Black Pencil Skirt*

    Jackets

    • Jean Jacket
    • Tan Cargo Jacket*

    Shoes

    *Items that have been thrifted.

    This is my very first time doing a clothing challenge like this. I have no idea if all of these items will work well together or what outfits I will put together for the entire month. But experimenting with clothing is the only way to figure out what works for you. At the end of the day, it’s only clothes. Who knows — maybe I’ll fall in love with my smallest wardrobe yet.

    xx.

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  • InLifestyle, Sustainable Fashion

    3 Sustainable Living Podcasts That I’ve Been Loving Lately

    You are what you surround yourself with. You’ve probably heard it before, but, trust me, it’s true. When I first started my sustainable fashion journey, I didn’t have anyone in my life to talk about it with. Yes, I had a few close editors and a great friend group that loved to hear about my journey. But there was no one that completely got what or why I was so committed to this new purposeful fashion journey. There was no one to swap sustainable shopping tips with or grab a coffee and talk about our latest thrift finds.

    Then I found sustainable living podcasts.

    Podcasts truly changed my sustainable lifestyle journey. With them, I had the ability to surround myself with advice. I could go out, grab a coffee, and listen to like-minded people. Or drive to work every morning with a virtual passenger telling me all about mindful shopping, the progress of organic cotton, and more.

    Now, I’m not saying that I didn’t talk to my friends and family about all things sustainable. If you know me even just a little bit, you know that I love to talk about my passions. (I’m not saying that I get drunk and talk about fair wages for garment workers… but okay, yes, that happens sometimes.) It’s just really nice — especially at the beginning of going sustainable — to have something to open your mind up to new topics.

    I listen to a lot of different podcasts, but there are three that I instantly listen to as soon as I see that there are new episode. Green Dreamer, Conscious Chatter, and Wardrobe Crisis are my go-to podcasts. I love the spirit of them, the positive advice, and the incredible interviewing skills. Because, let’s just be honest, there’s nothing worse than listening to terrible interviews. All of the hosts are knowledgeable but approachable, serious but proactive, and don’t pretend that they’re perfect. Each woman is on their own sustainable journey, just like you are.

    No matter where you’re at in your sustainable journey, these podcasts will be the support and encouragement that you need. By all means, surrounding yourself with people IRL is incredible. But if you’re not there yet, or you’re just looking to learn a little more, then these podcasts are for you.

    Here’s a little bit more about my favorites…

    Green Dreamer

    This podcast covers everything from fashion to farming to mindfulness with one main theme — sustainability. Most of the podcasts are done interview-style by Kaméa Shane, who is an incredible interviewer.

    Kaméa summarizes what you’re hearing while you’re hearing it so that you don’t get lost along the way. I absolutely love how diverse the topics are and knowing that I’m going to learn something new with every single episode. Also, stay until the very end, because the five rapid-fire questions at the end are just as great as the rest of the episode.

    My favorite episodes (so far) are… 101 Ways To Go Zero Waste With Kathryn Kellogg, How Mindfulness Can Lead To A Healthier & More Sustainable World, and Everything We Need To Know About Microplastic Pollution Right Now With Rachael Miller.

    Conscious Chatter

    While this podcast does have a heavy focus on fashion, it’s got a little bit of everything else sprinkled in-between. Each brand spotlight goes way beyond the product or service and into a bigger conversation about the world. The podcast takes an interview style but has a little storytelling and action steps that we can actually take to make a difference.

    Kestrel picks thoughtful topics every single week. From her own personal sustainable clothing brand to the flower industry to publishing living wages, this podcast will have you binging the entire 150+ episodes and waiting every week for more. You’ll become obsessed in the best possible way and feel inspired to do more in your own personal life and your community.

    My favorite episodes (so far) are… Remake + Made In Mexico, Able, Living Wages, + The Importance Of Publishing Them, and Farmgirl Flowers + The Dirt On The Flower Industry.

    Wardrobe Crisis

    This is the heaviest of the three, conversation wise. The conversations are deep and the experts are wise, but, no matter where you’re at in your sustainable journey, you’ll be happy to be a fly on the wall in the conversations. Even as someone who has been into sustainable fashion for a few years, I still am surprised by the guests and brands that she highlights. Topics include everything from the green carpet, upcycling, and politics and fashion.

    Clare Press has written two books — Wardrobe Crisis and Rise & Resists — about, well, fashion and activism. I haven’t read them yet, but you better believe that they’re on my to-read list. She talks in an informal conversation style and adds in the most lovely commentary. Like mentioned before, it’s a little bit more fast pace than the others, but it’s worth the listen.

    My favorite episodes (so far) are… Fighting Fashion Waste With Redress’s Christina Dean, and Outland Denim’s James Bartle On Fighting Human Trafficking & Creating Positive Opportunity.

    I love to listen to these three podcasts on my way to work, running errands, and even at the gym. What I love the most about them is that they inspire and uplift the listener, even though the topics may seem heavy. Surrounding yourself with positive conversation in just one click? It doesn’t get better than that.

    xx.

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