ethical capsule

Deciphering My Style: Spring 2017

ethical and capsule closet - spring update, stylewise-blog.com

I've never been particularly good at nailing down what I like in specific terms.

And that's been a problem for me as I've embraced a more expensive, ethical market. I can't just buy all the things and see what works. I need to be smart and curate aggressively.

To help me narrow it down before I start shopping for a new season, I decided to break my preferences down by both what I like and what I don't like. Here are my lists...

Things To Avoid:

  • Prep and boho (a nod here and there, but not a whole look)
  • Strapless, wide leg, billowy silhouettes
  • Denim on denim
  • Heels
  • Low-cut and high-cut blouses and tops
  • Ankle-wrap shoes and sandals
  • Polyester and other synthetic fabrics

Things To Look For:

  • Stripes and bright solids
  • Mid-rise and high-rise denim
  • High rise pencil pants
  • Straight-cut and midi skirts
  • Straight-cut dresses
  • Tunics
  • U-necks and V-necks
  • Distressed-look denim
  • Simple, modern footwear
  • Organic and natural fabrics

I am getting considerably better at being honest with myself about what I'll actually wear versus what looks good but just isn't me. While I love some of the contemporary, oversized, androgynous cuts of designers like Elizabeth Suzann and Everlane, it's important that I find the right balance between timeless and of-the-moment.

Here's what I'll be looking for this spring: 


As with all of my shopping lists, I probably won't purchase all items listed, but I'll use specific products as a reference point as I shop around. This post contains affiliate links.

The "Needs"

ethical and capsule closet - spring update, stylewise-blog.com

The Helpful Additions

ethical and capsule closet - spring update, stylewise-blog.com

Just for Fun

ethical and capsule closet - spring update, stylewise-blog.com

My Ethical + Sustainable Back-to-School Wishlist

ethical and sustainable back to school shopping list

I haven't gone back to school in 5 years, but living in a college town (with a grad student husband) forces me - and probably most people in town - to organize their lives around a school schedule. Summers in Charlottesville are quiet; the normally crowded roads clear out and the student hangouts are suddenly populated by townies who were too shy to venture out during the school year. But things rev up again in early August and you can't help but get wrapped up in the back-to-school excitement.

So, I created my ideal "Back-to-School" closet update made up of ethical and sustainable items. Of course, I don't have any need to purchase 10 items in one go (and I own versions of some of these things already), but it's fun to think about what would supplement my current wardrobe and mentally narrow down this list to a few key pieces.


1. OESH La Vida Sneakers, $110.00

Made in Charlottesville with injection molded soles and nontoxic glue

2. FashionABLE Monochrome Choker*, $38.00

Made in Nashville, Tennessee

3. Sseko Designs Caramel T-Strap Sandals*, $59.99

Handmade in Uganda under fair trade principles, leather sources from small scale meat industry

4. Dorsu Rolled Sleeve Crewneck in Plum, $37.00

Made in Cambodia out of factory remnants under fair trade guidelines

5. Dorsu Roll-Neck Dress, $60.00

Made in Cambodia out of factory remnant under fair trade guidelines

6. Monkee Genes Indigo Denim Skinnies, $85.00

Made in England with organic cotton

7. Synergy Organic Clothing Sahara Full Skirt, $44.00

Made in Nepal under fair trade guidelines using GOTS certified organic cotton

8. Komodo Black Floral Skirt via MadeFAIR, $53.24

Made of sustainable tree cellulose (rayon) under fair trade guidelines in Indonesia

9. Braintree Clothing Latifa Hemp Skirt, $65.00

Made from sustainable hemp and organic cotton under fair trade guidelines

10. Everlane Dipped Mini Zip Backpack, $70.00

Made with transparent manufacturing and pricing in Dongguan, China


Are you going back to school? What items do you look for? I would love to see your wishlists and compare notes.