Stylish and Oh-So-Ethical

Right now, my wardrobe is neither.

It’s a messy bundle of thrift-store finds (ethical!..somewhat stylish) and discount purchases from big box stores (bleh). It hasn’t been updated – really and intentionally updated – in a long time.

This year, the ‘Intentional’ year, I want my wardrobe to be both ethical and stylish. I’m planning a capsule wardrobe (I have been for ages: planning is so much easier and less expensive than the actual building of the wardrobe!) This month though, I’m beginning to build by paring down my plans and picking just two ‘outfits’ to start work on.

I have a lot of stipulations though: Clothing that can transition through all Maine’s seasons is an essential – which means most basic pieces should be useable in both  -15 and 90 degree weather.

Mostly the former though..because Maine winters deserve all sorts of speciak consideration.

Ideally, all fabrics will be wool, cotton, silk, and linen. I can deal with a few unideal fibers mixed in, but I’d really like to minimize them.

I like lots of black, but I’m excited about working in some dark blues and wine colors, as well as an occassional splash of gold and bright pink in skirts or scarves.

My personal style?

Well, I’m most at home in a gentle goth look, sort of dark-bohemian.. I recently discovered the term “dark mori” and it’s a style that seems close-ish to what I’m going for. Of course, every time I see funky beauty lived out in an especially attractive way, I get the urge to change my whole look in imitation (I’m looking at you Kate and Amanda!) but it only lasts a minute or two. Then I go back to wanting to look like me again.


Right now though, my style is sort of taking a back seat to reality. I haven’t got a lot of great clothes with which to build a look; and I’m not willing to sacrifice quality and sustainability to get some pretty clothes quickly. So I’m looking to build them, quite literally, from the bolt up.

Sewing is something I used to do a lot of. I made my wedding dress – carelessly, at the last minute – and I actually really enjoy the process.  I’m not great at finishing projects and I’m so busy these days that I haven’t taken the time even to start them. But since I’m determined to craft a wardrobe full of funky, natural-fibered pieces that fit me well, I need to pick up sewing again. The box stores, full of mass-produced, often unethically-made, shirts and skirts are really not going to help me, as much as they can tempt me with their bargain prices and bright-lights. I have a few pieces I’ll be wearing out from them, for sure – black velvet jackets are impossible to abandon! – But my goal is to move far, far away from the lure of mass-produced clothing and closer to a simple, curated wardrobe that fits both the demands of my lifestyle and my need for excessive everyday beauty.

So, January is the month of paring down. I’ll be working toward designing and beginning work on two outfits inspired by these two looks:

 rundholz dip - Stofftasche black - Sommer 2015

I found both of these on Pinterest..

EPBOT: My New Rabbit Hole: Mori Girl Fashion
definitely with some edits though.. This one needs a longer skirt and not those boots, or at least, my version does.

January is more than half over, so I don’t expect to get started actually cutting fabric before February, but who knows! The goal is to have two outfits finished by March!

So tell me, do you have style/wardrobe goals for this year? Are you trying to build a more intentional wardrobe too? Any advice for a well-intentioned but easily distracted newbie?




One Comment Add yours

  1. Marie says:

    Ooooh now I need to go make myself a personal style Pinterest board. I have been trying to be more ethical with purchases and also stick to stuff I truly love, but I also get distracted by what looks good on other people. Every once and awhile I see something and go: that’s 100% my style! And I just try to be true to that when I need something new. Which can be hard if I need it like now because then I get impatient and just buy the first thing that works.
    I love that you are going to sew your clothes. My semi-recent attempts at sewing were a disaster but I do want to try again someday. It’s a great way to combine styles and materials that you love. Can’t wait to hear how it turns out!

    Liked by 1 person

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