Exceptions to the Rule

Friday, November 16, 2018
At some point in the last couple years (I honestly cannot pin down a date), I made the decision to only buy clothes that were second hand or ethically produced. I knew this would drastically cut down on the number of brand new clothes I bought, simply because I don't have room in my budget to spend a ton of money on clothes. It has been a really positive experience for me and I'm glad to have made the change.

I read in an instagram caption this summer that when it comes to sustainable/ethical fashion we should be striving for perfection. After mulling that over for a few months and thinking about the exceptions I make to my ethical fashion rules, I wanted to share my thoughts here.

  1. Perfection can be harmful: I've spent most of my life as a perfectionist. Some of this stems from my type A personality and some from my religious upbringing. I spent a lot of my life trying to be the perfect daughter, the perfect Christian, the perfect older sister, the perfect girlfriend, etc. and all it got me was a lot of stress, self loathing, and low self esteem. I believe that most of the time striving for perfection causes more harm than it does good, ethical clothing purchases included. 
  2. Perfection is the enemy of progress: Focusing on perfection is an easy way to make a task feel insurmountable, which I believe can turn people off from a good cause entirely. It's overwhelming and a good way to stop well intentioned people in their tracks. The best way, in my opinion, to make changes is to take it one step at a time and focus on progress. 
  3. Perfection is inaccessible to all but a very few: When it comes to making ethical clothing purchases, being perfect is only a possibility for a small group of financially privileged people. The reality is that most people (myself included) cannot afford expensive ethically made pieces and rely on thrift stores, second hand platforms, and hand me downs. While those things are all great, they can't supply everything a person needs *cough* underwear *cough*. For someone who can't afford ethical undergarments, this means making some unethical purchases. A focus on perfection can alienate the people who can't afford it and make ethical fashion an elite and inaccessible movement/lifestyle. It's also worth mentioning that because ethical fashion companies cater to a very specific body type, even people who can afford more expensive pieces aren't always able to find what they need. 

My Exceptions

With all of that in mind, I wanted to talk about the exceptions I make to my ethical shopping rule. For me there are two main exceptions:

Undergarments: My first exception is a pretty straightforward one. I can't afford to buy expensive underwear, so when I do need some new undies, I turn to stores with 5 for $25 deals. I do my best to buy pairs that will last a long time and that I really like. I've had some pairs of underwear for 5+ years, but weight gain over the last few years has resulted in some new underwear. I plan on wearing these bad boys for a long time too.

Warmth layers: The other area of my wardrobe I make exceptions for is warmth layers. I live in Vermont, which is cold for a good chunk of the year (example: it's currently 29° outside and I had to work from home because of a big snow storm). I also happen to be a naturally cold person, who keeps an afghan on her chair at work and has an extensive sweater collection. This all is to say that in the winter (and fall and spring) I need to wear warmth layers (leggings/footless tights/thermal underwear). They are my other exception for similar reasons to underwear: I don't replace them often and don't have the budget to buy ethical ones. I'm not going out and buying leggings every week, but some of my five year old leggings are thread bare at the thighs and, due to the same weight gain mentioned above, I need some tights that actually fit.

So those are my exceptions to my personal ethical shopping rule. I'm at peace with them and realize that fashion is inextricably linked to mental health, finances, class, and lots of other things that complicate being the best person I can be.

Do you shop mostly second hand? What are the exceptions you make to your own rules?

Wearing Lately 2 - Take the Time

Wednesday, September 12, 2018
After not taking (or at least not posting) outfit photos for all of August, I am renewing my effort to take a few moments everyday to myself and take a couple shots. This summer has been busier than intended, which has taken a toll on my energy level. As the play I've been working on is about to open, I see the light at the end of the tunnel and that's making me renew my effort to take a few moments everyday to snap some photos.

It's funny how when we get busy, we tend to put all of the things that make us feel like humans (eating well, spending time with the human/s we live with, anything that doesn't involve being mindless in front of a screen) on the back burner. That strategy only serves to make me more tired, so as I entered this week, the last big stressful week before things calm down for me, I dedicated myself to taking a little bit of time everyday to take outfit photos. They are probably going to all be in my living room (gonna use that end of summer light while I have it), but it's still going to feel good to slow down for a few moments.


Details: Top and pants old Forever 21, belt and shoes thrifted


 Details: Turtleneck old H&M, Boots and leggins old Walmart, dress and cardigan thrifted



 Details: Turtleneck old H&M, leggings and socks old Walmart, skirt thrifted

One thing that has been keeping me going through this crazy (and often really great) summer has been therapy. I waited about ten years too long to get started and while I wish I hadn't taken so long, I've found the perfect fit and am so grateful. I think therapy is one of the best ways to practice true self care. Partly because it's a lot easier to say "sorry I can't come, I have an appointment" than "sorry I can't come I need to organize my bedroom in order to sleep better tonight." It's really easy to give away our time and not prioritize the things that would make our lives easier/better/more calm and, for me, having an appointment on the books gives me a "legitimate" excuse. 

I hope you all are finding ways to prioritize your time in a way that is meaningful and having crisp and happy early fall. 

The Great Outdoors

Thursday, July 19, 2018
I've lived nearly my whole life in rural Vermont, surrounded by trees and grass and freshly manured fields. I love all of it and until about a year and a half ago, I always lived somewhere with accompanying outdoor space. Last Spring, I moved into my current apartment, which I love wholeheartedly. It doesn't, however, have any accompanying outdoor space (unless you count the parking lot where my neighbors like to hang out). This hasn't bothered me too much since there is a little park and a river within walking distance. But yesterday, while I was taking these pictures and listening to the sounds of nature, I realized just how much I miss spending alone time in the great outdoors.

 When I got home I decided to take a walk in order to spend a little more time outside. I typically stick to the sidewalk and make a loop around the block (much longer than a city block) to my apartment, but this time I decided to walk to the town rec fields instead and made an awesome discovery. Hidden alongside one of the ball fields was a little sign announcing the town labyrinth. Currently it's just a circle mowed out of the a bunch of tall grass, but it is shady and secluded and no one bothered me when I sat down to listen to a podcast and play with the grass. I was thrilled with this discovery and even more thrilled when I found a freshly mowed field, surrounded by trees that also seems to be owned by the town. 

I plan on taking serious advantage of my new found outdoor spaces by taking nightly walks. I'm stoked to have a place so nearby where I can be alone in nature, something I took for granted for many years. 

 Outfit Details: Jeans: Old Forever 21 | Button Up: Old A.N.A. | Vans: Second hand |
 Duster: Thrifted | Sunglasses: Old from a boutique in my home town

Summer 10x10

Sunday, July 15, 2018
I was scrolling through instagram two weeks ago and saw a post by Lee of Style Bee reminding all that the Summer 10x10 would be coming up. Since I've felt less than successful after the last couple 10x10's and didn't think I was going to participate, I didn't pay too much attention to the details and kept scrolling. Then on the weekend, I happened to have some time on my hands and was playing with my clothes, when I started to realize that I was making a bunch of great outfits out of the same few pieces. That's when I decided to go ahead and participate. What I didn't realize was that the challenge isn't supposed to start until the end of July. I decided to dive in early, so read on to see the pieces I picked and find out what my plan of attack is this time.

Summer 10x10 Clothing Items

Since I'm ahead of the game this summer, I decided to properly photograph all of the pieces I chose and make a nifty little graphic with them. It took quite a few hours (and an entire season of Pioneer Quest), but I have now learned how to take the background out of a picture in Photoshop and I'm pretty proud of myself. This new skill has already come in handy for non-blog related things, so I'm happy I got my butt in gear and learned. 

The Plan

As I mentioned above, I haven't been very successful with the last few 10x10's. I get excited in the beginning, but crazy schedules, wonky weather, and boredom always get in the way of me finishing. Since I know that a straight ten days of the same pieces doesn't typically work for me, I've decided to take a new approach. This time around I'm making ten outfits and I will wear them all, but throughout the course of the month, rather than over the same ten days. For me, this challenge is more about being creative with a limited number of items than about wearing those items all in a row. I'll do my best to take pictures of the outfits as I wear them. 

9 + 1?

You might notice that there are only nine pieces in the top picture and that is because I've only got nine items in my summer 10x10. I wasn't paying too close attention to the numbers as I was making outfits, just grabbing the clothes I was loving most at the moment, and ended up not immediately needing a tenth piece. I'm leaving my options open and might end up adding in some sort of top layer or another shirt. For now, I'm excited to wear these pieces (I've already started) and see where they take me :)

Wearing Lately #1

Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Despite my very best intentions, I have not been able to keep up with a regular posting schedule. I would love to, but I'm gonna cut myself some slack, knowing that life is busy and this is a hobby.
I was able to snap a few outfit shots over the last few weeks that I wanted to share. I managed to find a few good spots to shoot and am getting more comfortable in front of the camera :)


Outfit 1


This is my favorite outfit of the bunch. I saw a similar outfit on Karen (from Truncation) and knew that I wanted to recreate it. I'm always cold, so a cardigan was necessary. I loved the way the outfit turned out and even got a compliment from my 14yo brother (the neck scarf really got him). My little sister snapped this picture of me in front of some beautiful lilac bushes that matched my outfit; I couldn't have asked for a better day. 

Outfit 2


You will notice that black jeans are a theme in all of these outfits. I am a creature of habits and black jeans are my go to. This day was warm and sunny, so I wore this blue top that is one of my favorites for summer. It is billowy, has sleeves that can still fit in a sweater, and has pockets! It's truly a gem and I'm really glad I thrifted it. This picture was taken in a cemetery a few towns over from where I work. I've discovered that cemeteries are my favorite places to shoot, due to the fact that there are few (live) people around and the grounds are typically so beautiful. This one is right near my therapist's office, so, when weather permits, I plan to spend my waiting time here rather than in my car. 

Outfit 3


The day I wore this outfit was super full. Work followed by a cookout to celebrate the last night of youth group, then a trip to Burlington for a get together arranged by the Pride Center of Vermont. This outfit served me well through all of it, though I did need to untie my sleeves while wearing a jacket. I thrifted this top last summer in order to try the off the shoulder trend and didn't end up wearing it very often. I want to change that this summer, because it really is a great shirt. I wore it covering my shoulders at work and off the shoulder at night.

While the outfit was great, what I'm most excited about is this location. It is behind a little church that I drive by everyday on my way to work. I finally decided to stop one day last week and try taking pictures. The first set didn't come out well because I was rushing and stood in the direct sunlight. These pictures are from the next day and came out so well that I had a hard time narrowing down which ones to include. In addition to cemeteries, country churches are great places to take photos. 

That's it for outfit photos. I spent last night figuring out what I'm packing for vacation, which was a ton of fun. If only unpacking could be as enjoyable... I'm hoping to put together a post with what I packed and my thought process, so stay tuned!

Blog/Social Media Goals and Intentions

Saturday, April 28, 2018
I started this blog a few months ago with intentions of regular updates. That plan, however, got foiled by the nearly endless winter we had in Vermont. Now that we have longer days and the ice storms are (hopefully) behind us, I want to take this hobby a little more seriously. The following are my goals for this blog and for my social media (which basically just means instagram).


  • More detail shots: I want to get better at my photography in general, but specifically I want to start taking more detail shots.
  • Varied locations: While my living room is a good place to take pictures, I want to start shooting in more varied locations. I've attempted taking pictures in public a few times and it's not the worst. I just have to remember to smile instead of scowl...
  • Flatlays: I would like to learn how to make/take flatlays. This would help diversify the pictures I can post and broaden my horizons.


Probably my most important goal of all is to have a consistent posting schedule. I'm starting out realistic and will get more aspirational if I can stick with this schedule.
  • Post on instagram three times a week. I hope that most of these will be outfit photos, but the flatlays can help fill out these posts.
  • Post on blog at least once a week. I would like to start with outfit of the week posts, but could include some daily outfit posts if I get enough pictures. 


  • Settle on a consistent theme for the blog. I don't hate my current theme, but it's not exactly what I want. I'm not going to rush into finding a new one, but I'm keeping my eyes open.
  • Settle on a relatively consistent layout for posts. I'm aware that this is going to change as my blog evolves, but I want there to be consistency between posts.
  • I would like to change the comment section. It's a bit unwieldy currently and I want to make the comment section (and therefore me) easier to interact with. 

So there they are, my goals for this here blog. I hope that putting them on "paper" will help me stick to them.

Outfits of the Week #1

Monday, April 23, 2018



While I only managed to capture a few outfits this week, I'm glad I got my butt in gear and made this pictures happen. 


Details: Ken's shirt, thrifted pants and belt, old Forever 21 boots

On Wednesday I had a grant interview (oh the non-profit life), so I wanted to look a bit put together. I saw this shirt of Ken's on our bedroom floor while I was getting ready and tried it on just for the heck of it. I ended up loving the way it looked. 
This is my first attempt at taking pictures of myself outside of my apartment and I'd say it was a success. While my apartment works just fine for taking outfit photos, I want to venture outside more. 


Details: Thrifted shirt, pants, and shoes, old jacket from Kohls

Thursday morning I kicked my put into gear and got out of the house on time to take a few pictures in the local park. It was my first time using the self timer (I usually use the voice commands, but the falls were too loud) and it worked, but it was a bit annoying to have to go back to my phone after every shot. On the upside, my hair looked great all day and I had a hot coco date with a new friend.



Details: Old shirt, Old Forever21 sweater, Thrifted jeans, belt, and shoes

On Saturday I ventured to meet up with my younger brother to see A Quiet Place. We attempted to go last weekend, but miscommunicated and ended up at two different theaters and there was a raging ice/wind storm happening. This time we made it to the same theater and greatly enjoyed the movie. This was the first time in six months (not exaggerating) my ankles had seen the light of day, which is pretty evident by ghostly white I am in this picture. I would also like to note that the angle of this picture is making my feet look very tiny. In real life, my feet a proportionate to the rest of my body.


That's it for last week. I'm working on a post about my social media and blog goals that I should be publishing this week. One of my hopes is to do weekly OOTW posts, so I should be back at it this weekend or next Monday with more outfits.