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I blog about sustainable fashion, earth-friendly fibers like hemp and Tencel, capsule wardrobes, travel wear, and related subjects.
Like a lot of you, I dipped into the Marie Kondo phenomenon over the past winter to learn about decluttering. I came away more committed than ever to simplify and declutter in my own life.
Our Tuxedo Top in basic Black makes a good candidate in a simplified, clarified wardrobe.
She advises decluttering by category rather than by room, and that really makes sense. When it came to clothes, though, I found my reaction was a bit complicated. Kondo suggests beginning with the clothes category because we have formed the least attachment to them. I found that disheartening, but also realistic in a world that’s awash in fast fashion.
The places I was able to wholeheartedly get aboard with Kondo's views focus on the core values of respect and care. My parents both experienced the Great Depression and their respect for possessions was instilled in me early on. So it was easy to buy into a lot of her fashion advice, based as it is on the same principles that can help shape a minimalist yet stylish wardrobe. And I loved her advice about properly caring for a wardrobe of carefully chosen, well-made clothes and accessories.
Get organized: fold things like socks and scarves that otherwise become forgotten as they migrate to the back of your dresser drawer or closet. Give things you have no further use or desire for to someone else before it loses its value.
Like all the truly worthwhile things in life, adopting your own version of the Kondo way can add clarity. Clarity can come in mundane ways, such as figuring out what your wardrobe really could use, now that you’ve stripped it down to the essentials. But also clarity can be of a higher order. When figuring out what to wear is no longer a chore but instead a pleasure, there’s time to to bring that same clarity to bear in focusing on the truly important things in our lives.
Long before sustainable clothing was a thing, Claire McCardell was reinventing how we dressOn a hot summer’s day in August 1938, the American fashion world was about to be set on its ear. The story goes that an unheralded designer named Claire McCardell had worn a simple woolen dress that day to her job at [...]
Making hemp clothing for women has given me a keen appreciation of how we can age gracefully and stay relevant It’s official. Mature women are now a big deal. Wherever you look, politics, the arts, sciences, technology, education: older women aren’t merely becoming visible, they are taking leadership roles. A recent New York Times story [...]
I’m thankful for Thanksgiving itself. Every year it serves as a reminder that gratitude as a regular practice can help us ride out the storms that can otherwise overwhelm us at times. As you’ve doubtlessly read, medical people rank gratitude highly as a means of improving and maintaining our health. And on a strictly [...]
Guest post by Jennifer Scott of Beautifully AliveLadies, let’s get something straight today: we all know it’s a tough and judgmental world out there. As far back in history as we learn about from the textbooks in school, women have been taught to decorate their bodies and faces with clothing, makeup, and jewelry. It has been instilled in us as a [...]
Lots of you tell me you take your Sympatico wear along when you travel. I’d love to hear (and see) more about how it worked for you. Where did you go? What styles did you wear? How did your Sympatico items travel? Got any packing tips? In telling your Travel Tale, feel free to color [...]
When I recently put out a call for Sympatico fans’ travel tales (and photos) for publication here, I didn’t know that I had Edith Vermiji in mind. But in reading her submission, I realized she’s emblematic of so many women who visit my booth at craft fairs. Smart, educated, engaged in interesting work, and widely [...]
I had the honor of attending the birth of my second grandchild this week, a girl named Shasta. Though I live almost a 6-hour drive from my son and his family, I booked a room nearby for the due date plus a few days after. My daughter is a trained photographer and came along to [...]
In a time when there's been a lot of (perhaps justified) talk about how bad things are, it's really nice to turn my attention to Thanksgiving! My daughter's visiting for a few weeks from out of town, and she and I started the holiday off helping deliver boxes of food to needy families in our [...]
Madeleine Vionnet: If the name doesn’t ring a bell, you’re not alone. Though less well known, her work has influenced designers such as John Galliano, Issey Miyake, Azzadine Alaia, among others.A reading of her biography reveals a woman who remained true to her own vision. Born in Loiret, France in 1876, Madeleine Vionnet was married [...]