ellie's mindful yoga wardrobe

ellie's mindful yoga wardrobe

In case you haven't heard, I'm creating an ecourse. You'll be hearing much more about it over the summer, but as I began to seriously consider the idea, I knew I would need help. Tech guru, I am not. I met Ellie at my minimalist wardrobe workshop when she agreed to be my guinea pig for a wardrobe edit. We bonded over our desire to live intentional lives, the only difference being that she's figuring it all out about 10 years before I got a clue! ;) Ellie went to school for fashion, has worked in interior and graphic design, and for the last few years, has worked as a digital marketer. She's super into holistic health and also teaches yoga. In addition to helping me with the ecourse, Ellie is going to be writing some guest posts for the mindful closet blog. I love hanging out with her and know that you will too!  ---Dacy

As a yoga teacher with a committed practice, I find myself in workout clothes daily. Whether I’m flowing at home or teaching in studio, my yoga pants are on and I’m ready to sweat.  

For years, my active wardrobe has consisted mostly of faded sorority tee shirts and obnoxious leggings, all of which fit poorly. While my "real life" wardrobe is becoming more refined by the day, my yoga clothes were looking run down, sloppy, and careless.

Honestly, I never thought my workout clothes mattered. I’m just going to sweat in them, right? In fact, by the end of a hot yoga class, I’ll have completely soaked through my shirt. Who cares if that shirt is ugly?

It wasn’t until I started teaching yoga that this mentality was challenged. As my classes went on, I started to notice how how unflattering my outfits were. In fact, I found it distracting. "Whoa, have I gained weight? Is this a child’s shirt, why is it so short? It's becoming really evident that I haven’t brushed my hair today…"

Whether you’re teaching or practicing yoga, nothing quite steals your thunder like insecurity. My clothes were affecting my confidence because ultimately, I wasn’t showing up as my best self.

While I thought my workout clothes were an exception, practicing yoga is my real life. It was time to take mindfulness off of my mat and into my leggings.

After dropping off my tee shirts at Goodwill, I began to consider my yoga style. Like my everyday outfits, I wanted my yoga clothes to feel effortless, sophisticated, and organic. Obviously, function is crucial when attempting to down dog and head stand, so I opted for a reliable (and sustainable) yoga company, Manduka. By buying only one pair of leggings and 3 tops on sale, my yoga wardrobe is almost complete! Goodbye electric blue camo-print leggings, hello chic bralettes and timeless wraps.

These changes were small, but they have made a huge difference in my life. Now when I teach, I feel at ease in the front of a room. I’m more eager to chat with my students, I laugh more easily, and I’m proud of my strength on the mat. It’s not about how I look in my new clothes, but how they make me feel.

Do you have pieces in your wardrobe that "don’t count"? Maybe it's gardening clothes or pajamas. How do you feel when you’re wearing them? I’d love to read about your experience! Let me know in the comments below!

 

dos and don'ts for packing light

dos and don'ts for packing light

For most people, Memorial Day weekend is the start of summer, and summer usually includes some traveling. I know it can be hard to figure out what you’ll actually wear on a trip and I know what it’s like to feel that you need extra stuff “just in case”, so here are a few tips to help you minimize what clothing you bring on your next trip.

Don’t get complicated. The simpler the look, the fewer pieces you’ll need to bring. For the most part, everything you bring should go together. All the tops should go with any bottom. The outer layers should match all the pieces they’ll go over. The more minimal the color palette, the more easily everything with go with everything else. Stick to neutrals with one or two colors as accents and choose one color (usually brown or black) for all of your accessories.

Do remember that it’s all about accessories. Those simple pieces you’re bringing can go from day to night with a shoe change and the addition of some jewelry. A white top and slim jeans or a lbd can go with a cute sneaker during the day for seeing the sights and you can throw on a cute flat or sandal with a heel for dinner.  

Don’t take new clothes. I’ve heard from many clients that they feel an urge to go shopping for new things just before a trip. They feel like they don’t have what they need or that what they have isn’t good enough. However, a trip is not the time to try out new looks. Even though you may feel a bit boring by keeping it simple and tried-and-true, it's better than feeling self conscious about something you’re not sure really works.

Do remember that you can rewear your clothes. In fact, I generally assume that I’ll wear everything I bring at least twice. If everything goes together, that means there are lots of possible combinations. A loose rule I use is to bring as many clothing items (not shoes, accessories, or outerwear) as there are days in my trip, plus or minus a layer or two. Four days? Four items: two tops, two bottoms. Six days? Six items - maybe 3 tops, 2 bottoms, and a dress. Ten days? You get the idea….

Don’t pack last minute. I know no one really means to pack at the last minute, but somehow it just happens. When at all possible, plan ahead. Count the number of days you’ll be gone, check the weather, look at what activities are scheduled, and note how many outfits you’ll need for dressy occasions. I’ve created a quick little worksheet for you to download that will help you get organized, see end of post.

Do keep a toiletry bag packed at all times. Even if you just travel a few times a year, this is worth it. It’s many less things to worry about forgetting and you can just grab it and go.

Here’s what I brought on a recent 4 day trip to visit my sister in Atlanta: two tops, a cardigan, leggings, jeans, sandals, boots, and a scarf (pictured are similar items, not my exact pieces).

mindful closet: how to pack light

Since I wore leggings, the black tunic, the cardigan and boots while traveling, I had hardly anything in my suitcase and was able to fit all of Matteo's stuff in with mine. I had plenty of combinations available to me for travel days, going out to dinner, and walking around town. 

Also, big news! I'll be doing my first Facebook live (yep, I'm nervous!) TOMORROW on Thursday, June 1 at 5:30pm cst. I'll be sharing these and more travel packing tips. Make sure you're following the mindful closet Facebook page so you'll see a notification and you won't miss it! 

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conscious living night + sunset yoga

conscious living night + sunset yoga

food roof st. louis

As always, I’m trying hard to be healthy and intentional in all areas of my life, which is why I’m so excited about an event I’m co-hosting with other women-run, St. Louis-based businesses on June 8 at 7:30pm at the Food Roof. The theme of the night is intentional living. You’ll be able to enjoy intentional food from Core + Rind, intentional beauty care from Lark Skin Co., intentional fashion from ethical retailer Route, and of course, intentional wardrobe advice doled out by yours truly. In addition to all of that, there will be yoga on the roof as the sun goes down, led by Kate Ewing from Southtown Yoga. There are a limited number of people allowed on the Food Roof at any one time, so there are only 40 tickets available, and a few have already gone. Don't miss out and get yours here!

 

conscious living st louis
core and rind st louis
lark skin co and mindful closet
route ethical clothing

books i've read recently

books i've read recently

I’m always feeling like I should be reading more and surfing the internet less, but as I looked back over my Kindle account, I’m surprised by how many books I got through since January. For the most part, I read in bed for an hour or so before falling asleep, and I do try and make an effort to read during the day when I need a break. That doesn’t always happen and often I just cycle through my social media feeds: Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Feedly (yes, in that order).

mindful closet: books i've read recently

Here are a few of the books that I really enjoyed:

Torn
I’ve recently become really obsessed about the topic of how mothers fit any sort of work into their lives with young children. Both areas can be all consuming, and it’s hard to feel as though you’re not measuring up in either. I’ve been searching out examples (not advice) from women and seeing how different people in different situations try to carve out a lifestyle that works for them.

The Rosie Project
Sometimes you don't want to better yourself, you just want something funny and entertaining. This is perfect. 

Year of Living Danishly
Did you know that Danes get free education and in fact, charging tuition at any school is illegal? That most people finish their workdays at 3 or 4pm and working after hours is frowned upon? Of course, it’s also cold and dark for 6 months a year. I was fascinated by this book about the ways in which society in Denmark is geared towards general wellbeing. 

Chasing Slow
I was expecting this to be a “how-to” about slowing down, but it was more of a confessional of how the author hasn’t yet (and is likely not to) achieved slowness, despite her curated public persona.

No Bad Kids
We’ve had a nice couple of months with our almost three year old (knock on wood!), but I’m going to be honest, the time between 15 months and 33-ish months was rough. I like Janet Lansbury and her philosophy on positive parenting and this book has been a resource I’ve returned to multiple times.

Commonwealth
A multi-generational story about a blended family and a few actions that affected the directions of all of their lives. I love novels that give you a glimpse of how the characters turned out as grown-ups.

Swing Time
I love Zadie Smith.

Mischling
An unbelievable (although based on truth) story about twins who were part of experiments in concentration camps. Not a light read.

Today Will be Different
I liked Where’d You Go, Bernadette, but I think this book is even better.

Except for Swing Time, which I bought on Kindle as a treat to myself (for what, I can't remember!), I requested all the others from the library. A few others I enjoyed, but couldn’t fit into my 9-square graphic ;)
The Mothers, Wangs Vs. the World, Miss Jane, Another Brooklyn, Here I Am... (edit: I JUST finished Exit West by Mohsin Hamid and it was amazing.)

Books that were recommended but that I didn’t enjoy and therefore didn’t finish (life’s too short): Pond, Version Control, Big Magic, Love Warrior, Dimestore: A Writer’s Life, All the Light We Cannot See...

What have you read lately? 


 

sometimes i feel guilty about ethical fashion

sometimes i feel guilty about ethical fashion

This week is Fashion Revolution Week, which was created to commemorate the Rana Plaza factory collapse, where 1,138 people were killed, and encourages millions of people to demand greater transparency in the fashion supply chain.

I’ve been so fully immersed in the online community that’s dedicated to ethical fashion that I feel guilty when I consider a purchase that’s not from an ethical brand. Maybe you do too. It’s hard. We really can do good in the world just by choosing where we buy our clothes, but at the same time, it’s not easy.

Ethical clothing is often more expensive. It’s not easily available at the shopping center nearby. Ethical retailers may not have size or style options that fit our needs. Even expensive designer brands may not be made ethically. You might feel that sustainable fashion is only for certain styles. 

Even if you can’t buy directly from ethical fashion retailers, there are still three important things you can do to make purchases more ethically:

  1. Reconsider a purchase and make use of what you already own. Maybe this is where part of my guilt is coming from. I do have plenty of things to clothe my body. I don’t need anything new. However, style and fashion are my creative outlet and I do like evolving my style, which often means adding new pieces now and then.

  2. Buy secondhand. This is always my first method of buying something. If something’s on my shopping list, I first check on ebay, Poshmark, and in consignment and thrift stores. Sustainable and affordable. 

  3. Make a mindful purchase and plan to get as much use out of the item as possible. The least ethical purchases are those that are made and then barely used. The more you wear an item, whatever its production origins, you're slowing down the fast fashion cycle of buy, discard, repeat. 

It’s all about baby steps. Do what you can. Awareness is the first step.

elizabeth suzann ethical fashion

(This ethically made top from Elizabeth Suzann is on my wish list)

More:
What I wrote about ethical fashion more than three years ago. 

A few of my favorite blogger resources on sustainable fashion: Grechen, Andrea, Lee.

Amour Vert is a pretty reasonably priced clothing company with a wide range of styles made in the USA. 

I'm partnering with Route, a St. Louis based ethical retailer, on an upcoming event. Sign up below to get details!

a color i want to wear: rust

a color i want to wear: rust

I'm pretty color-averse, but lately I've been really drawn to anything and everything rust-colored. Although associated with fall earth tones, it's been showing up on everything from underwear to accessories for spring. 

mindful closet: spring color

(bra, necklace, sunglasses, print, bag)

In addition to the items above, I've been bingeing on Reese Blutstein's Instagram feed and loving all the rust sprinkled throughout. 

mindful closet: obsessed with reese blutstein

Any colors you're getting excited for as the weather warms up? 

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spring wardrobe inventory

spring wardrobe inventory

It may be premature, but I went ahead and switched out my winter wardrobe with my spring one. While doing so, I took inventory. I had SIX black dresses, so I will take one to the consignment shop. I have 4 short sleeve black tops, so will avoid buying any more. I've worn my Eileen Fisher silk shell so much that it's in need of a replacement. I admitted to myself that there were a few pieces that I wasn't excited to wear even though I felt like I had spent too much on them. Luckily, they're quality pieces that I'll be able to sell. All in all, I got rid of about 8 or 9 things, which is a pretty big percentage when you have a small wardrobe!

I'm feeling the urge to add new pieces just for the sake of new, but will try to work with what I have for a while to see whether that urge is necessary or not. Things I WANT, but am not sure I need yet are: this Everlane top or this Mango one, these Everlane pants, this crop top, and maaybe even these shoes in blush (!!!) since everything else I own is black, white or denim. 

What are you planning to add for spring?

Photo by Celeste Boyer.

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