To own who I am + be that person every day. ~Cathy Cooper (via)
The best + only way for me to defy mediocrity + stereotypes is to truly be an individual.
To own who I am + be that person every day. ~Cathy Cooper (via)
During the past six months I've compiled, + put to the test, a list of personal basics. These pieces are the hardworking building blocks of my simple wardrobe. I find this list helpful as a way to hone in on my personal style + the amount of clothing that I "need". I'd also like it to be helpful when I need replacements.
A list of personal basics would obviously be different for each individual (+ may change with time), so I'm not sure how interesting my actual list will be. I will try to share a little bit about how/why I chose these items...not as reasons anyone else should choose that particular item...but to offer an example of how one could possibly think through their own preferences...and form a list of their own personal basics.
My main concerns for clothing are: Comfort...while still looking presentable. Style...as I see it. Appropriateness...for the situations I find myself in. Fairness...in regards to farmers, garment workers + the environment. I've spent a bit of time looking at what I own, styles that appeal to me, what I wear over + over, and what I feel good wearing. So here goes...
My personal basics ::
I like that they layer well under long-sleeved layers (no crumpled sleeves to adjust). They are cool in the heat + don't give me odd tan lines. :)
Preferred shapes : Bantam + muscle tanks. The narrow, close set straps on the Bantam flatter my shape more than others + its loose shape can be made cropped or longer (which tucks in nicely). Muscle tanks feel like sleeveless tees.
Also : Pact racer back tanks are good under layers. I wear these year round.
Short-sleeved: A short-sleeved tee feels a bit more covered up than a tank.
Preferred shapes: The Everlane cotton crew + the Lacausa Frank tee are both fitted, but not tight. I also like handmade box tops made from my own pattern.
Long-sleeved: Great for layering over + under.
Preferred shapes: Boxy with slimmer sleeves or lightweight + slim for wearing under sweaters.
Long-sleeved button down ::
Look great with everything...but the weather doesn't allow for this to be the perfect weight too often in my circumstances.
Preferred shape : Low soft collar, body skimming shape + soft fabric, rolled up sleeves. I have an old one from Madewell (searchable on resale sights) that is the perfect shape + color for me.
Warmer than a tee + more washable than a sweater.
Preferred shapes : Everlane slim + Rudy Jude cropped. The Everlane is more fitted (not tight, but not too slouchy) + hits at just the right spot on the waist. I like them with the sleeves pushed up + they layer over a Pact tank nicely (for a little more warmth). I like the Rudy Jude with high waisted pants + the sleeves are perfectly cropped (+ they are so soft + organic cotton + natural dyes).
Cashmere is warm, lightweight, soft, not itchy + I'm not allergic to it.
Preferred shape : Slouchy pullover, but with sleeves that hit just below the wrist.
Fitted or slouchy. Slightly cropped. High waist.
Preferred shapes :
Fitted: Straight leg, body skimming. Right now I like vintage army OG pants (hemmed to be slightly cropped) + Everlane boyfriend jeans (one size down) + leggings.
Slouchy: Handmade sarouelles or soft + slightly flowy like Lacausa Isabelle Trousers.
A dress or a jumpsuit that works for various occasions + seasons.
Preferred shapes :
Dress: not too restricting...not too much fabric.
Jumpsuit: slouchy but fitted, not too tight + not too loose.
Making this list has allowed me to see that some overall recurring themes have emerged :: Not too loose...not too tight. Body skimming. Works for multiple occasions. Not too flashy...not too boring. Flattering proportions.
I would find it so interesting to see other people's lists of personal basics! I love that we all get to choose for ourselves. Even some of my recurring themes would be interpreted entirely differently by different individuals. Celebrate individuality even in the basics! :)
The immigration situation has finally become big news. All of it can seem beyond our influence...but my fervent hope is that it isn't. Let's take a stand + speak out + reach out.
Contact your representatives + demand representation.
Take a look at this list of organizations mobilizing to help separated immigrant families from the Texas Tribune.
Hug loved ones extra close.
We are stronger together.
gluten free :: flatbread 'pizzas'
One of the gluten-free things I've wanted to figure out is pizza crust. Besan, or ground dried chickpeas, was the first main ingredient I came across that I was especially intrigued by. It reminded me of the socca we ate in a village outside of Nice, France. A street vendor made each large, flat bread in the center of the town square + served it hot. A long line of locals formed in front of his table, so we knew this was the place to try it. Sharing socca on a park bench in that town square is a special memory.
My first gluten-free pizza crust attempt was edible, but wasn't something I wanted to eat again. Since then, while looking for a gluten-free, flour-like tortilla recipe...I came across this one. I wasn't really into calling my results 'tortillas'...but I liked the thought of it as flatbread. I've made it a few times since as a sort of bread-on-the-side, when our meal needed a little something extra.
There are a few things that I love about this recipe...things that may have had me adding this to my recipe list even if we weren't avoiding gluten:
1: Besan is protein rich
2: There are only really two ingredients (unless we count salt + water)
3: They don't take long to make (way less time than pancakes, for me)
4: They are filling, so one batch is enough for the 4 of us
I never plan on making a post out of our everyday meals...so I don't have a good picture of the flatbread on its own. I added spring onion to this batch (sprinkled onto the batter once it was in the skillet) + will definitely do that again!
Our menu is now based on what we receive in our CSA box...which is like getting a mystery grab bag each week. I may not have come up with this meal otherwise, so at the moment I'm really digging this way of meal planning! (Because this was really tasty + it wasn't until I'd eaten half of it that I realized I wanted to remember it...only half of my poorly lit plate is visible above.) :)
1 cup besan (chickpea flour)
1/2 cup tapioca flour (I can buy this in bulk)
3/4-1 cup water (depending on desired thickness)
1/2 tsp salt
Whisk together. Cook over medium heat, as you do pancakes. I put a little olive oil in the skillet before the first scoop of batter goes in + don't need to add anymore. (If your skillet is well seasoned, this may be unnecessary.) Add chopped spring onion/herbs/spices, if desired. Cook for 1-2 minutes per side.
For this meal, we topped our flatbread with some:
grated pepperjack cheese
the rest of the spring onion
kale chips (chopped kale rubbed with olive oil in 425 degree F oven for about 15 minutes)
Flavors inspired by this favorite (glutenous) sandwich. :)
Thank you so much, Michaela, for sharing your recipe!
fair brand :: tonlé
I am loving Tonlé for the colors, the breezy fabrics + those hand-woven textiles. Tonlé states, "We adhere to principles of transparency, fairness, and waste reduction in everything we do." Their pieces are fairly made in Cambodia out of remnant fabrics from the garment industry (even the wovens + chunky knits). Each person who worked on each piece is named. Beautiful!
Tonlé is listed under the ethical brands tab (above) along with so many other brands putting fair labor first.
All photos via Tonlé.
weekend reads + such
Enjoying our Avocado Organic Mattress while the sheets are in the laundry. Organic cotton...wool (vegan option available)...natural latex...recycled steel springs...made in the USA to order. We've been sleeping on it for a couple of months now + love it!
This morning's reading involved these words.
Scrap exchange program.
A podcast about love.
Wanna make some Birkenstocks?
A simple, lovely wedding.
On fountain pens.
Happy tiny house family.
The visuals are just so lovely.
Art x motherhood.
Hope you are enjoying a lovely weekend!
True patriots believe that freedom from responsibility is selfishness,
freedom from sacrifice is cowardice,
freedom from tolerance is prejudice,
freedom from stewardship is exploitation,
freedom from compassion is cruelty.
zero-waste summer eats
We've been picking up our CSA allotment for a few weeks now + the vegetables are getting plentiful. I really wanted to see if we could eat from just this box, our garden + just a few of the basics from the grocery store this summer + into autumn. This week was certainly proof that it can be done...depending on the assortment we receive.
Above is one perhaps odd, but tasty meal we ate this week. The rolls, jam, cabbage, potatoes, cauliflower, onions + eggs all came in our CSA box. We've received surprises as varied as honey, herbs, vegetable broth, cornmeal, popcorn, zucchini bread + pickled beets along with all those beautiful, local fruits + vegetables. There have also been a few vegetables that I don't usually purchase...like celeriac, green tomatoes, stinging nettles + patty pan squash...which are interesting to incorporate into our meals.
I've learned that I need to not only wash all of the vegetables, but also chop them as soon as we get home (because I need to find all of the critters before they do their thing in the broccoli...it's gross...and disappointing). It takes a while up front, but is pretty great day by day. (Plus I almost have one of those instagram-able fridges.) :)
Along with vegetables + fruit from the box...the staples we buy from the grocery store include avocados, rice, pasta, bread, chickpeas, beans, granola, nuts, peanut butter, olive oil, spices, cheese, milk, + butter. (There are others, but these are the basics.) This week's grocery bill came in much lower than usual! Yippee!
I'm enjoying this way of eating...local...in-season...use what we have. Meal planning is a little out of whack + I'm having to improvise + make my menus after the food is already in my possession...but it's a nice switch.
fair brand :: known supply
Known Supply is an exciting find (I happened upon it at the grocery store). I thought this top looked perfect for Jo. An eager look at Known Supply's website revealed that they offer a number of pieces for women + men. Not only are many of the garments made with organic cotton under fair labor conditions, but each piece of clothing is signed by the person who sewed it!
Known Supply says that they "are out to humanize the apparel industry by introducing you to the person who made your clothing." The website offers a little information about the maker + even allows the purchaser to send them a note of thanks! Amazing!!
Fashion is a strange beast. My mom can recall a time when hemlines were dictated, and needles + thread came out in homes around the globe each season. Two interesting points jump out at me in that statement. #1: There was a particular style + if it was not followed, the wearer could be deemed out of fashion. #2: A new hemline did not equal a new skirt. There was a commitment to the pieces in one's closet.
Today one can wear skinny jeans or flares...a pencil skirt or a swingy one...style is quite individual + objective. (I guess I'm not talking about middle school here.) :) It's fun to express ourselves with our clothing + to leave those ideas of what is "in style" + what is "out" behind. One can feel earthy one day + tough the next...and portray each with his or her clothing. There is so much to love about this liberation. I do think that fast fashion has something to do with it, however. This week the collection may be all black + white + shiny + mod. Next week it could be pastel florals + sheer + flowy. They have to keep their customers buying week upon week. Attachment to a look or a piece is never formed. It's all disposable...because it's cheap + it doesn't need to last...because there is always something new (+ cheap) to buy.
What I've been experiencing lately is that I've apparently lived long enough in this fast paced style changing world to have worn most of what is coming out before. I've worn non-stretch denim + I know that it is not comfortable after a big meal...or during a certain time of the month. I've worn joggers + know that I don't like the bubble knees that form after a bit of sitting. Strapless dresses involve constant attention + adjusting. It's hard to layer a sweater or coat over dolman sleeves. Synthetic sweaters make me sweaty + my hair full of static electricity.
I've been thinking about my twin (incompatible) desires: a simple wardrobe consisting of basic seasonal uniforms...and a wardrobe full of pieces that allow for a variety of looks + keeps me from getting bored. I'm questioning my entire relationship with fashion. Have I come to a point where I'm moving toward seeing clothing as more functional than fun? Does variety + personality come only from my clothing? Obviously not...but is there a little room for finding some variety + personality in my small wardrobe?
I have worn quite a variety of styles over the years. A new silhouette invigorates me...but I'm not sure how many more options fashion has to offer.
I've narrowed down the styles that I truly love to quite a small list of pieces. It's sort of weird for me to realize that one of the most ubiquitous pieces of clothing...the t-shirt...does not serve me well where I live. Probably 95% of the time it is either cold enough to wear a cashmere sweater or hot enough to prefer a tank top. When I put a t-shirt on, I most often find myself wearing a sweater over it or sweating. Desiring a small wardrobe makes me look at each of my pieces with that sort of intensely critical eye. If I only have x number of tops, I need each one to serve me more than a few days per year.
I've been making a list of my personal basics. Looking at this list, I realize that these pieces are my style. The combination of these pieces are what feel somewhat unique to me. I am happy to wear them again + again. I always feel good in them. I feel comfortable. I don't feel like I'm wearing a costume. I feel like me.
I'm not ready to disengage from the world of fashion, because I do think of it as a creative outlet...but that's the thing...it's my creative outlet + I won't be dictated to. :)
on a journey toward zero-waste, simplicity, + compassion :: daring to choose fair one choice at a time