Hello my dear readers,
So sorry for the lack of outfit posts lately – sometimes life gets the best of us. Hope you can forgive me and will still continue to follow along. I have lots and lots of fun new things planned for the Style section of my blog!
This post is coming out a little later than I intended, but here you are!
I wore this outfit 3 days in a row. Let me tell you, I have a habit of doing this sometimes and I feel no shame. To those people judging: stop focusing on what I’m wearing and go about your business. I was feeling this outfit and wanted to play it out as long as possible.
By wearing this outfit for a few days in a row, I was unintentionally saving on energy from washing clothes. However, I do consciously believe in sustainability when it comes to fashion. SO MUCH clothes get dumped into our landfill and we should all be aware of the trash we toss, as it never goes away. I know there are people who go weeks wearing the same clothes and it’s a stretch to include this to be a contribution to sustainable fashion, however this day in age with what is normalized in our society where everything is taken for granted, we should do whatever helps.
If you’re not ready to be bold and wear the same outfit 3 days in a row… there are other ways to be resourceful and go unnoticed for it. Here are 2 ways with 2 clothing items in your closet.
- Jackets: You may or may not already do this. After you wear it once it’s unlikely wearing it again will attract as much attention as if you were to wear the same shirt again in the same week. I usually wear the same jacket for 2 weeks at a time before it goes into the wash.
- Jeans/ Pants: I don’t know about you, but I wear jeans over and over again all the time. It’s something I’ve been doing for years. I have a thing for jeans so I made sure to purchase higher-quality jeans that fit my specific body type. Jeans or pants should go with most things in your closet so a change of a shirt can give you a fresh new look.
♦ When re-wearing and re-hanging clothes, opt for a cruelty-free & eco-friendly closet deodorizer so you can place it back into your closet with all your other clean clothes worry-free. Or do what I do – I created a clothing rack/ space outside of the closet for clothes I’m going to re-wear.
♦ Washing clothes less keeps the quality intact longer. The more you wash a clothing article, the more it fades and the more it ages.
Details*: UNIF Vegan Leather Cropped Jacket || ASOS Ripped Black Denim || Banana Republic Sweater (old)
*100% vegan. 100% cruelty-free.
Follow me on Instagram: @acupofjoan where I will be posting day-to-day photos relevant to my journey of sustainable and ethical living.
I’m going crazy. My room has papers stacked in one corner to shred, a bag full of donations, 3 bins for storage, and a drawer that still needs to be fully sifted through. It’s happening again.
The largest contributing culprit of this mess resides in a dedicated space attached to my room. In the middle of the year, I pulled out every single article of clothing from my closet. I started stripping clothes from hangers and dumping clothes from bins; soon my floor was haphazardly decorated by the contents of my excessively curated wardrobe. Few months later, I’m at it again for part two and to take care of it once and for all. I told myself I would commit to a more simple lifestyle in terms of what I physically owned for less clutter within my space and in my mind. I admittedly have an unhealthy obsession when it comes to clothing. Apparently, my brain thinks buying useless crap can give me happiness. I buy too many things I never end up wearing, leaving half of my wardrobe untouched and my mind overwhelmed by it. So much thinking and elaboration goes on in my head that if my surroundings aren’t easy to look at, I will get so stressed out to the point of bursting. Ha-ha. That is where my “OCD” comes in to help this struggle. Yes, I know it’s a serious mental health issue and if you knew me, you’d know I wasn’t joking. But in this case, I’m talking just about the connection of that mentality to the physical organizational aspect. I like to categorize and have a place for everything. Organizing gives me peace and serenity. However, when it comes down to “what to get rid of” and “what to keep”, a serious conflict arises. This is especially and severely reflected in my closet as a result of “I buy shit I don’t need”, and then I like to keep it all there so it piles up and becomes hard to maintain. People call this hoarding. This interferes with my ability to keep organized because there’s just SO MUCH STUFF. This time when I was organizing my clothes, I made a commitment to end up with a space that brews inspiration, bliss, and calmness. Clear of a daunting feeling, uncertainty, and dreading what to wear. This has gone on for far too long and I am going to end it once and for all. It is time. The time is now. I’m ready to face my demons.
If you posses something but you can’t give it away, then you don’t possess it…it possesses you.
– Frank Sinatra
What does fashion mean to you?
It is important that you understand what fashion means to you because it will be a basis for your personal style and what you end up deciding to keep.
Please note the following is intended for those who want to de-clutter their closet, maintain a sustainable wardrobe, and love eco-friendly + animal-friendly fashion. Except really, it’s just for everybody!
I put together a list below of tips that helped me know what to keep, what to give away, and what to do when I want to make a purchase. I started by creating 4 different piles. 1st: Keep / 2nd:Trash or Recycle / 3rd: Donate / 4th: Sell. Then, I dived into the sorting.
When making a decision, the following steps should be applied to each clothing article cumulatively. Each step must be taken in order to minimize your wardrobe and maximize the happy it makes you feel.
What To Keep:
Step 1: Know your body type. Know what makes you feel freaking fantastic. How do you know: It’s something you always reach for in your closet.
Step 2: Quality items. Pick items that you know you could wear everyday for 2 weeks and then would still look like it did when you bought it.
Step 3: Key Pieces. You will never run out of things in your closet to style it with.
Step 4: Describe your style. OK, now does that piece define your style? – If you have a hard time with what “your style” is, look back to the previous three steps, it will give you an idea. 🙂
Step 5: It gives you lots of joy. It makes you feel really, really good when you wear it and even just by looking at it.
Step 6: Pieces that show off who you are because fashion is about expressing yourself.
What to Get Rid of (Recycle, Donate, or Sell):
Step 1: It’s been sitting in your closet and you have never taken it out for a spin. It’s glaringly obvious – Time to say bye-bye.
Step 2: Uncertainty. You think you like it and you think you’d wear it. Let’s solve this. Pick out your favorite item from your closet. Now does the item you are trying to convince yourself you’ll wear provide you with the same feeling? Compare this feeling for every item and if it doesn’t match up, you’re giving it away.
Step 3: The odd one(s) out. It doesn’t go with anything else in your closet.
Step 4: It doesn’t fit right. This is more than the issue of if it’s too small or it’s too large. This is the shirt that has holes in the wrong places or has the wrong cut to fit your body type. You don’t want something if the foundation of the piece is off. Save room in your closet for the special ones that makes you love your body.
Step 5: It’s damaged or stained. There’s a hole in a weird place, or a fat permanent stain, or a rip in an unflattering area. You’re not going to end up fixing the whole, the stain will never come out, and why would you even bother with that rip. Find a recycling location near you – they might be able to salvage the remaining fabric. (Some donation sites even have recycling programs within.)
Step 6: One time trend. Those pieces you bought just because they were “in style”. You wore it maybe once to experiment, but never again.
What will you do for Future Purchases?
>>> Pick from brands you know, love, and trust. I noticed that when my values are in line with the company I am purchasing from, I feel so good about what I’m contributing to.
>>> Thrift and/or vintage. When buying second-hand, you are likely to be more selective when picking out pieces and in that way they will mean so much more.
>>> Listen to your gut. You should feel at complete ease when putting it into your check out cart or shopping bag. It’s not an impulsive selection based on a fleeting feeling. It’s based on a truthful judgment because you’re listening to your inner self.
>>> Does it excite you? Does it inspire you? You can easily put together in your head, several outfits with this piece.
- It’s just a really, really good deal.
Uhm. No. It’s just a trap taunting you into wasting your money.
- It’s different & you want to try something “out of your comfort zone”.
There is a 99% chance you won’t wear it. EVER. If pink is “not your color”. It is not your color. Well, at least not in this moment. Maybe later on when your style changes, but when it does, you’ll know. Don’t fight when your gut tells you.
- You could alter it.
Yeah, don’t bother. The time, energy, and resources that are wasted does not make that trip worth it. Not to mention, you’re putting more money into fixing something you’re paying for when you could purchase something that knocks altering out of the question.
- The online return policy sucks.
All of us have a specific body-type and there is always a 50% chance that the clothing item will not fit how you expected.
I hope this was helpful and will inspire you to keep a wardrobe that constantly inspires you and makes you happy.
The holiday parties have got us in a frenzy, and not to mention the big New Year celebration around the corner. As we prepare our outfits, we want a stylish bag that will hold tightly by our side the entire night. Practicality and functionality is the answer! Hey now, don’t turn away just yet because you won’t have to sacrifice style with these easy to carry bags. I’ve picked out 13 cruelty-free and vegan bags that will mind your needs.
- Billie Bag for $97.82 by Medusa. A compact cross-body that will rock with you all night long, plus our favorite thing: it’s spill-proof made from vinyl material. This bag comes in: Black, Cream, Blue, Green, Red and Yellow.
- Abiko Dwell Clutch for $85 by Matt & Nat. (Sold out on their site, but available here.) How beautiful is this clutch in Bordeaux – just the perfect color for the holidays. But of course, they have other colors available as well. Slip your hand in through the loop and you’re good to go for the night.
- Silver Flat Waist Bag for $145 by Hipster for Sisters. (Use code HOLIDAY for 20% off) This is probably my favorite option and the one I will be going with to my holiday parties. This takes fanny packs to a whole new level. Who doesn’t want to be completely hands-free throughout the night? Accessorize your waist with this pretty thing!
Falabella Chain Fringed Tiny Tote for $1,725 by Stella McCartney. Stella is taking Falabella up a notch with the chained fringe on this baby. The gold hardware is fabulous and I love the button clasp opening for easy access.
- Croco Envelop Clutch for $60
was $75.00 by Jeane & Jax. No crocodiles were harmed in the making of this clutch. Versatile and classic, it will pair with any occasion. Wrap this one primly around your wrist, take it as a crossbody, or hold it as a clutch. Take your pick how you want to wear it and glide into that party. Also available in Smoke.
- Victor Clutch for $185
was $270 by Viva Creatures. Tuck this dainty darling right under your arms or grip it in the palm of your hands. Would pair gorgeously with jeans and a blouse or even a floor length number. There’s also (faux) suede detailing on the sides and I am loving that added touch; perfect for a chic party look.
- Melia Lia for $360 by Freedom of Animals. This bag adds so many fashion elements from the snake skin pattern to the chain detailing, but still manages to look so well put together. I think it says a lot about the brand more than anything. I am so into their effortlessly refined and elegant vibe. On top of that, their philosophy is everything. Read about it here. This bag is big enough to fit all your necessities, especially if you’re the type that carries a mini sewing kit and a mini first aid kit, but just enough stuff so that you won’t feel the bulk.
- V-Chain Crossbody for $85 by Angela Roi. Add this pop of red to your outfit and you will be helping HIV/ AID fighters. Every color represents a charity organization and 5% of the proceeds they earn will be donated to the corresponding charity of the color you choose. Their bags are also animal-free and sweatshop-free. Available in Pink, Black, Red (Pictured), and Navy.
- Newbury Street Portfolio for $72.28 by Denise Roobol. From office suitable to party chic. For the busy working woman, this has got you covered. With a tight clasp at the flap so you know all your items are secure.
- Ridley for $98.95 by Gunas. One of my favorite shades of green, it’s so festive and will definitely make a statement. Hold it by the handles or take it as a crossbody.
- Electric Feels Embellished Bag for $48 by Nasty Gal. I love browsing Nasty Gal for the funky and unique items they curate, and this one is no exception. The colorful beads all over and the shape makes it unlike any other. Sturdy enough to keep up with you all night, but compact so you can swing it tirelessly by your side.
- Cork Clutch for approx. $116 by Oak Bags (Poland). It’s hard to leave this raw cork bag out once you spot it. So, I’m including this one for the babe who has the earthy-style down. Made of oak cork, this bag is unlike the others. In terms of functionality, it is water-proof and you can wear it multiple ways, so style it how you please!
- Nazar Bucket Bag for $130 by Deux Lux. This classic quilted bag with gold hardware has got it going on, and the evil eye detailing is the perfect edgy touch. Ward off bad vibes at parties with this one. As you can tell, I’m really into unique pieces and am ending this post off with this one.
These were my top picks after some extensive research. Thanks for stopping by lovelies!
(All photos are credited to the brands of the sites linked with each bag’s feature.)
This guide was a spur of the moment decision, hence its delay. Better late than never! Plus, if you order online, most places are really great about fast shipping! So, here are some vegan & cruelty-free gift ideas for y’all!
- Let some sparkle into someone’s life. Light up their feet with these babies. A classic shoe with a touch that is unique to this brand. Nicora is one my favorite shoe brands. Their philosophy is amazing and the shoes they create are beautiful. All of their shoes are made from 100% vegan and sustainable material in Los Angeles factory. Fair, ethical, & environmentally friendly. They are so transparent about their brand and what they stand for, it’s refreshing. What is not to love?
- For your dog lover babe. We all have that friend (or several friends, in my case), who loves her dog more than anything in the world. She can keep snug and warm this winter with this fun message that shows off her cute personality. The Tree Kisser’s tees and sweatshirts are all so super soft, you will do more than please. Also, the sweetest Christmas sweater option here.
- She’s bold & stylish. This bomber is so lush, timeless, and cozy yet glamorous. Your friend will be thanking you. She can pair it over that sequin dress to her holiday dinner or even just over some sweats and a thermal at home. I’ve also been wanting to talk about Miakoda because it’s a brand I have gotten to know and love. The clothes are made from 100% ethical, sustainable, and vegan sources – read about their mission here. If the bomber is outside of your budget, check out her other pieces. She focuses on comfort with her mostly lounge-wear collections, and we love that! The styles are so effortless and cute.
- Jewelry is for everyone. The Hungry Elephant brand is nickel-free, lead-free, and eco-friendly. Aiming to spread the awareness of compassion and kindness. It is important that if we are going to indulge in something, we are purchasing from mindful sources so we are aware of where our contributions are going. Not only do they provide you with a positive message, they have the cutest and daintiest necklaces and bracelets. The Hungry Elephant donates 2% of their sales every month to a different organization. December’s donations will go to the Wild Heart Wildlife Foundation.
- Wool-free Felt Hats?! For that girl who has an abundant and borderline obsessive hat collection. Or maybe, just a girl who likes to wear hats on occasion. Two vegan & cruelty-free options I found are from Vaute Couture (3-4 weeks for shipment. Oops. But you can save for a later gift! Or get one yourself. Hehe) and this Etsy store by askidas.
- For all of the men in your life. From wool-free suits to leather-free dress shoes, Brave Gentleman‘s got the men’s fashion department down.
- Beauty/ Make-up Lovers. Check out this one from Pacifica put together by Rebecca of TheMakeupEffect. Pick your friend’s shade: Warm/ Light or Natural/ Medium. Quick, before it’s sold out! If you want to make it more personal, you can of course mix and match to create your own custom set with brands of your choosing! Pick your items, put it into a pretty box and tie a ribbon around it. Ta-da!
- LUSH. Ok, just all things lush. Their bath bombs, shower gels, shampoos, lotions, scrubs, face+body washes, and EVEN make up. They have a mission to fight against animal testing and that makes me so happy. Not all of their products are vegan, however many of the good ones are. For your loved one who rarely pampers themselves or the one who always loves a pamper. Lush has come up with 52 vegan wrapped gift sets. Check them out here!!
- FOR MORE: Check out the list that I created a while back for other fabulous cruelty-free, vegan, and sustainable brands and boutiques as a continued guide to your gift shopping.
Please note: All photo sources are from the brands mentioned with them. All sites are linked.
Hope this was helpful or gave you some inspiration for some cruelty-free & vegan gift giving ideas.
Trying to maintain a vegan diet in Italy may seem overwhelming, tiresome, and your options seem limited. You’re thinking, parmesan and mozzarella is in everything! One good thing is, you rarely have to be concerned about butter, unless you’re looking at baked goods, which you should be avoiding anyways unless the pastry specifically states “Vegano”. People were very accommodating and they were almost always willing to whip up something to cater my diet – of course as long as it coincided with their original menu. Eating vegan in Italy (Florence, Cinque Terre, and Rome) isn’t as hard as you may think. My meals during this trip consisted of some accidentally vegan, some custom-made from the restaurant’s menu to cater my diet, and even a vegan croissant (cornetto).
Location @ ‘Bar La Licata’ in Rome
Below I have compiled a few tips when traveling in this beautiful country.
- Do the research and be prepared. Compile a list of vegan-friendly restaurants in each place you are staying prior to your travels to better prepare yourself. It will also be one thing less you have to worry about. Reduce the travel stress as much as possible. I recommend using Happy Cow. If you haven’t heard of it already, it is community based app that lets you discover vegan friendly options in the area of your choosing. Yelp and of course, Google will help too. 🙂
- Learn some Italian. If you’re traveling to major cities that attract a lot of tourists such as Milan and Rome, most people will speak English. Even in Florence and Cinque Terre, using English didn’t seem to be an issue. However, don’t take the easy way out, I strongly urge you to practice and brush up on your Italian. You’re in Italy after all and part of the experience is communicating with the people. Not to mention, your vegan diet may require a few modifications, thus being able to communicate that is quite important. Below are a few key words to know when ordering and eating food in Italy.
- Things to Avoid…
- Carne – Meat
- Pollo – Chicken
- Prosciutto or Speck – Ham
- Pesce – Fish
- Agnello – Lamb
- Delle carni Bovine – Veal
- Uovo – Egg
- Latte – Milk
- Burro – Butter
- Formaggio – Cheese
- Frutta – Fruit
- Verdure – Vegetables
- Soia – Soy
- Insalata – Salad.
- Consider home-stay or Airbnb. If the duration of your trip is a week or longer, stay in Airbnb’s or homes with a kitchen that you will have access to. This is a definite way to make sure your meals are vegan because you will be able to prepare your own food! Then you can walk to the local market around the corner, and grab a few key ingredients to prepare an easy breakfast to fuel you for the long and packed day ahead. As long as you’re in or near residential areas, finding a market close by didn’t seem to be a problem. We had a market within walking distances each place we stayed and the fruit selection was always so amazing and abundant.
- A little flexibility can go a long way. If you’re a mad planner, and the restaurant you picked out is not open, it’s all good and you don’t have to go starved. As long as you are educated and know what you want, be open to the possibilities. As a vegan, I’m sure you’ve had much practice in this. It’s hard to be stubborn on a diet that is already considered strict (only because it isn’t a common lifestyle choice). So do yourself a favor, let go of a little bit of stressing when it comes to food and be open to what you could eat. Of course, as long as it isn’t anything that is animal derived. Although, you might be able to walk into a meat and sandwich deli to request a vegan sandwich. I did exactly this and I also wrote a little blog post about it here. 😉 Use your broken Italian, google maps, Happy Cow and go with the flow!
- Don’t hesitate to ask. In Rome and Florence, Italian servers were very accommodating and open to serving you to your desired diet as food allergies seemed to be a mainstream awareness. Pasta and pizza can easily be made vegan. For the pasta dish, request it to be prepared with a pasta noodle minus the “uovo” (egg), because fresca (fresh) pasta noodles tend to be made with egg. For the pizza, request it without “formaggio e carne”. You know the drill.
- (Italian) foods that are already vegan. If all else fails, go for the fruit, the bruschetta, or the minestrone soup.
- Sweet, sweet sorbetto! However, although sorbetto is supposed to be vegan, be aware that some places add even the slightest bit of milk. Always be sure to ask! On the contrary, while gelato is not commonly vegan, I found the coolest spot in Rome where half of their gelato selection was vegan!!
- I found that many soups tended to be vegan like the minestrone I had in Cinque Terre and the tuscan bread soup (pappa al pomodoro) I had in Florence.
- On the primi section of any menu, you will commonly find spaghetti in some kind of pomodoro sauce. Just be sure that their spaghetti does not include egg as an ingredient. You can also find many vegan dishes like bruschetta and fried or grilled vegetables such as eggplant and tomatoes.
- Focaccia is a love. I found many spots that sold focaccia bread: in markets, at cafes, shops that specialized in focaccia bread, and even a pizza focaccia! I discovered La Boccaccia along my walk through Trastereve in Rome where they specialized in pizza on focaccia bread. Sure enough, one of the options they carried were vegan!And of course if you’re visiting the Liguria regions in Cinque Terre – the birthplace of focaccia, having some there is a MUST. While I was in Monterosso, I walked into the most delicious focaccia place that has FOREVER left an impression on my tastebuds. Like, I can’t even begin to describe to you – it was just sooooooo good. I took this quick, crappy picture for myself (posted right below), just so I can save it for memory and to drool all over it whenever I wanted. However, I decided that since it’s the only picture I took of this place, I have to share the wealth via eye-candy.
- Last but not least, fruit stands and freshly made juices.
- In traditional Italian cafes, where you enjoy your morning espresso and pastry, you can typically find freshly squeezed orange juice.
- Almost every cafe that sold gelato, espresso, and pastries in the same location, had a station to customize your own juice. Pick out the fresh fruits you would like and your customized juice will be prepared for you by the nice person behind the counter if you wait just a few minutes.
- While walking around the busy streets of Florence, I also saw a few of these fruit juice kiosks set up along the way with the same customize-your-own juice set-up.
I hope this was a little helpful to you future vegan travelers going to Italy! This is all based on my personal experiences during my short trip there, visiting Milan, Cinque Terre, Florence, and Rome. Please note that in other cities across the country, this may or may not apply as each region has it’s own food specialties.
The smiley, curly brown-haired Italian dude on the other side of the sandwich station nodded towards me indicating it was my turn. The shop displayed a classic Italian deli set-up with men down the line chattering excitedly in loud voices as they took up their individual tasks. I went up to the glass that served as a divider to the rows of freshly prepared sandwich ingredients. I had been eyeing them excruciatingly, which I decided seemed for the most part, veggie friendly. He cut up a slice of focaccia bread, ready to pile on the ingredients for my custom sandwich.
“No carne per favore.” I requested calmly shaking my head as he pointed towards the selection of meats gathered in front of him, conveniently piled next to the mechanic slicer. This caused the entire row of pro-sandwich makers to let out loud animated gasps, eavesdropping as they went about busily completing each of their tasks.
In response, I sort of did one of those half-smiles where only the corner-right side of my lips raise, awkwardly forcing my cheeks to clump up on the same side. I continued to peak at the array of vegetable options behind the glass, convinced that I would walk out with a sandwich that I could enjoy. After making my way to two different vegan places, which were conveniently located in opposite directions from each other, I discovered that they were both temporary closed due to the holidays. I was pretty much thinking, grrrreeat. Despite this slightly disappointing excursion, I was still very much determined to find something to eat. After Mr. “smiley, curly brown-haired Italian” dude’s initially taken aback demeanor, he quickly composed himself, answering with, “Mozzarella?”
“Anche senza formaggio.” Came my reply.
Reactively, he replied, “Veh-gan?!?” I was surprised at his awareness of the vegan diet. Without a single objection or judgment shown on his face, in English he continued with, “OK. I make for you.” And then, he proceeded to put together my vegan sandwich among their meat filled line of sandwiches.
At the end, I was presented with an Italian sandwich full of eggplant-something, olive tapenade, juicy tomatoes, fresh greens, other veggie dishes that I don’t remember and olive oil drizzled on top. I had carefully watched as he concocted my meal, which I completely trusted in him to customize for me. I am a pretty big control freak and perfectionist, so allowing him to pick the ingredients to go in my vegan sandwich at his beloved meat shop, could have easily been nerve-wracking. However when traveling, you gotta let all that shit go, keep an open mind and have a little trust – it does wonders with ridding my anxiety.
The nice, jolly older gentleman who rung me up, held the hat I had been holding for me as I juggled the sandwich in one hand and rummaged through my bag for my wallet with the other. He then tried on my hat, but quickly took it off saying, “Looks better on you.” Accepting his joke and his playful attitude, I laughed. “Molto bella,” he said as he waved goodbye. I paid an unbeatable 5 euros for a hearty veggie-full sandwich.
I walked out beaming and eager to bite into my vegan sandwich. Often times you’ll be surprised what an open mind and a positive attitude will result in. So need I remind you, practice this mindset when you are traveling to make your time the most enjoyable one.
When you are in Florence, don’t hesitate to walk into All`antico Vinaio – that is, if you don’t mind that they sell meat in the same location.