A Minimalist Closet

A Minimalist Closet

Putting together outfits has become a breeze! All I need is about 3 minutes and, boom, I’m out the door. Though it was a labor of love, I used to spend about 10 minutes putting together looks. How did I cut that time by 7 minutes? The answer – creating a minimalist closet!

Let’s discuss what is a minimalist closet. According to Anuschka Rees in this mindbodygreen article, “Try to think of your closet as an exclusive, members-only club. Only pieces that you love and are truly excited to wear get an invite.” 

To transform your closet into a certified minimalist one, go through each article of clothing and ask yourself, “Does this bring me joy?” If the answer is no, toss it. If the answer is yes, keep it. It’s that easy! The beauty of a minimalist closet is that you’ll always feel confident in the clothes you wear because you wholeheartedly love them!

Another perk of converting to a minimalist closet is that it’s cost effective. When you become pickier about the clothes you buy, you save money! And, who doesn’t love saving money?

Since I don’t have as many clothes as before, I’ve become more creative in putting my outfits together. Take this look as an example. I’ve worn my Frank & Eileen button-down with my J.Crew pants many times (maybe, too many). So, to create a different look, I added my mi ami sleavless sweater from francesca’s. It’s as easy as that!

As a friendly warning, you might feel panic while getting rid of your clothes that no longer bring you joy because you might be thinking:

A) I’m not going to have any clothes to wear!

Yes, you will! You’ll use your creativity to put outfits together. Let’s say you get rid of all your jean shorts because they no longer bring you joy. Purchase another pair that you can’t see yourself without and that you intend to have for years. Every time you wear them, they’ll bring you joy!

B) But, I got that shirt from a trip/event/concert!

When you hold it, does it bring you joy? If not, toss it. If it does, keep it! I went on an incredible trip to Israel and purchased a t-shirt to remember my experience. But, I NEVER wore it. When I converted my closet, I looked at the t-shirt for a couple moments and came to realize that the t-shirt wasn’t bringing me joy. What was? The photos I took and a piece of artwork made by an Israeli artist hanging on my wall. So, I donated my t-shirt to free up space for the things I love.

C) I feel so wasteful for getting rid of all these clothes!

Have you heard the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” It’s true! The overalls you thought you’d wear, but rarely ever touch and never quite feel yourself in are going to be someone else’s favorite thing in his or her closet! Bring your clothes to a donation center, thrift store, or resale shop, so someone else can enjoy them. : )

I had these fears (plus more), too! But, once I cleaned out my closet, I felt less stressed. My morning routine has become quicker, more of my time is now dedicated to my passions, and I’ve had a good outfit day ever since!

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With a lot of heart,

Carly

Outfit Credits: Sunglasses by Ray-Ban; jacket by J.Crew; shoes by Superga

Photography by Ali Stone

Making Your 9 to 5 Style Look Chic, Feel Comfortable, and be Ethical

Making Your 9 to 5 Style Look Chic, Feel Comfortable, and be Ethical

When I dress for work, my goal is to look chic and feel comfortable. But, because I’m a conscious consumer, I make sure to buy clothes that I intend to have during my entire career.

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My Elevenses velvet joggers from Anthropologie have been with me for years and are perfect for work. They feel comfortable like sweatpants, but they’re also professional because of the fabric. You can find a similar style on sale here!

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To match my patterned velvet joggers, I opted for my burnt orange blouse from Handle with Care, a boutique in the Old Town neighborhood of Chicago. I love purchasing my clothes from local businesses like Handle with Care. Not only do they have adorable clothes and accessories, but they have the sweetest associates, too! This blouse is a wardrobe staple because I can dress it up for work and dress it down with distressed jeans and Superga sneakers.

Since my blouse and joggers were so colorful, I kept my footwear simple with my nude BP. open toe heels. Over accumulating clothes is something I avoid, so I only own one pair of nude open toe heels. Getting dressed has become so much easier since minimizing the amount of options I have in my closet!

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This J. Crew coat has kept me toasty this winter. I needed a classic professional coat I would have for a long time. This coat by J. Crew has been ideal!

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To accessorize, I matched my orange David Yurman bracelet with my blouse and pants. I also accessorized with my simple heart-shaped ring by WE SEE STARS from Babel Fair, a boutique in NYC, and my TOMS sunglasses.

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With a lot of heart,

Carly

Photos by Ali Stone Photography

The First Cut Is The Deepest

The First Cut Is The Deepest

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m talking about brands I’m currently LOVING.

After learning about the online retailer IMBY, I knew it would become one of my favorite places to shop because it carries clothes that are versatile, classic, and made in the USA. I found these Joah Brown Cool Cut Loose Leggings there and love the cuts along the knees because they’re a subtle detail that add an unexpected element.

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To keep this look comfortable, I opted for my soft Frank & Eileen button up. You can find a similar style here. Frank & Eileen has won my heart because the fabric is imported from Italy and the button ups are made in the USA.

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To stay cozy, I layered on my Velvet by Graham & Spencer sherpa jacket. You can find similar styles here and here. I love my sherpa jacket because it’s  reverisble and makes a perfect companion for my wool Superga sneakers.

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My ears are uber sensitive in cold weather, so I’ve been living in my hats and ear warmers this winter. My L.A.M.B. x Burton beanie has been a lifesaver for my ears. You can find a similar style here.  These TOMS sunglasses have also been a seasonal staple during the sunny winter days.

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When I found this heart shaped ring by We See Stars at Babel Fair in NYC, it was love at first sight. I’ve accumulated a collection of gold rings from my travels to remind me of the places I’ve visited. Now, everytime I wear this ring, I remember my trip to NYC.

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What brands are you loving?

With a lot of heart,

Carly

Photography by Ali Stone, blogger of Those White Walls and professional photographer

Werk Workday Style

Werk Workday Style

Gone are the days of business professional attire that’s, may I say, BLAH! We, women, live during a time when we can show our personality in professional environments with the strictest of dress codes.

Button-ups, a workday fashion staple, are now available in vibrant and subtle colors and patterns. Frank & Eileen button-ups are a favorite of mine because they’re classic in style, versatile, and offered in a variety of colors and patterns. This look features a Frank & Eileen gray and white gingham button-up that’s 100% cotton and PERFECT for colder-weather months because it has a heavier feel.

Frank & Eileen button-up

Frank & Eileen Brand Highlights: Fabric’s woven in Italy. Button-ups are made in California.

Trousers have also gotten an upgrade. This look features a pair by the Reformation that has tassels on the hems. If you want a pair of business professional trousers with a twist, the Reformation has an AWESOME selection! Here’s a similar style with ruffled hems.

Reformation trousers, Yakutti bag, and Barneys New York heels

Reformation Brand Highlights: Manufactures in small batches in L.A and throughout the U.S. Uses vintage materials and sustainable fabrics to manufacture garments.  

Another way to show your personality at work is through your bag. My forest green Chic Shega bucket bag  from Yakutti is perfect for my workday because it has a refined bohemian look – totally my style – and is large enough to carry my workday essentials and iPad, which has the latest books I’m reading.

Chic Shega bucket bag from Yakutti, Frank & Eileen button-up, Reformation trousers, Barneys New York heels

Chic Shega Brand Highlights: Products handcrafted in Ethiopia using environmentally-friendly and fair-trade practices.

Yakutti Brand Highlights: An online boutique that sells artisan-made goods. Earn shopping credits that give you access to member pricing and up to 50% off on exclusive collections by creating a member account, posting style photos, and publishing style content on your Yakutti account. 

Deciding what shoes to wear is  extremely important when putting together your workday outfit. No one wants to find themselves bandaging up their poor toes and heels because their uncomfortable – yet, probably adorable – shoes are tearing apart their feet! Be picky about the workday shoes you invest in because you CAN find flats, booties, and heels that are comfortable and stylish. I could wear my Barneys New York black heels for hours! You can find similar styles here and here.

Frank & Eileen button-up, Reformation trousers, Chic Shega bucket bag, Barneys New York heels

Barneys New York Brand Highlight: Made in Italy. 

Always remember, authenticity in the way you dress for work is the easiest and quickest way to feel comfortable and confident. Now, go conquer your workday!

With a lot of heart,

Carly

P.S. My sincerest gratitude to Yakutti for gifting me the beautiful Chic Shega bag! The opinions I’ve shared are my own.

October Outings

October Outings

This blog post is dedicated to my papa, who passed away on Sunday, October 16th and who helped teach me that family is everything.


Growing up, my dad and I would spend a fall day going on the roller coasters and walking through the haunted houses at Six Flags Great America’s Fright Fest. Afterward, we’d go to Didier Farms in Lincolnshire, IL to pick pumpkins, eat delicious buttered corn on the cob,  sip cider, and walk through the cornfield maze. Then, we’d go home to carve our pumpkins and bake pumpkin seeds! What a perfect day it always was! Since fall activities hold a special place in my heart, I thought I’d create an outfit perfect for a pumpkin picking, corn on the cob eating, maze wondering outing!

To channel my inner farmer, the foundation of my outfit are overalls by Madewell. To keep my arms warm during these cooler autumn months, I’m wearing a Left of Center long sleeved shirt from Anthropologie – here’s a similar style. Next, I’m wearing an olive green vest by Sanctuary – find similar styles ON SALE here and here. For added warmth, I’m wearing this tie-dyed scarf by Heshima Kenya. The scarf is sold out, but the company has so many other gorgeous scarfs to purchase! To bring together the olive green vest and scarf, I’m wearing booties by TOMS – similar style here.

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TOMS Brand Highlights: Gives shoes, sight, water, safe birth and
bullying prevention services to people in need.

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Left of Center Brand Highlights: Made in the USA.

Heshima Kenya Bran Highlights: Offers a holistic model of case management, specialized secondary education, entrepreneurship, child protection and social enterprise programs to refugee girls and women.

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What are your favorite fall activities?

With a lot of heart,

Carly

Knots and Flares for Craft and Art Fairs

Knots and Flares for Craft and Art Fairs

After spending a day enjoying the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago,  I’ve been on a craft fair high! Craft and art fairs are the perfect places to purchase fashion and home decor made in small batches – meaning, not many people will have your findings! Plus, much of the merchandise is either locally or USA-made. Since I love spending a day at a craft fair, I wanted to put together an outfit ideal for one!

You want to feel comfortable and confident while perusing craft fair goodies. These Just Black high-rise flare jeans are super stretchy and give off a laidback 1970s vibe. I found these jeans while shopping with my dad (who’s one of my fav. shopping buddies, BTW!) at E Street Denim, a boutique with a location in Highland Park, IL. One of my favorite details of the jeans are the front flat pockets.

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Just Black Brand Highlight: Made in the USA.

After purchasing the high-rise flare jeans, I was in pursuit for tops to pair with them. Lo and behold, one one of my favorite brands MIMU MAXI recently released a new blouse! The new blouse is called the Way Top because it can be worn in SO MANY WAYS! There are slits along the side seams, so you can tuck the front half into a skirt or pants, tie the front half into a knot, or leave it as is! For this look, I’ve tied the front half into a knot to highlight the jean’s front pockets.

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MIMU MAXI Brand Highlights: Founded by sister-in-laws. Made in New York City.

When going to a craft or art fair, make sure to wear comfortable shoes! I’m wearing easy-to-wear Free People booties . To add a pop of color to this monochromatic look, I’ve added this neon statement necklace by WorldFinds. You can find  local retailers that sell WorldFinds by clicking on this link. I wear a watch almost every day and wearing my Shinola watch with this strap.

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WorldFinds Brand Highlights: Handmade and fair trade. 

Shinola Brand Highlights: Made in Detroit, MI. 

C. Alexandria Brand Highlights: Handmade in Madison, WI.

I hope you’ve found outfit inspiration from this week’s blog post. Now, time to find the next craft fair to attend!

With a lot of heart,

Carly

 

My Journey Toward Conscious Consumerism

My Journey Toward Conscious Consumerism

Recently, my FAVORITE boutique in Chicago Greenheart Shop asked if I’d like to be their guest blogger! Excitedly,  I took this opportunity to explain how I became the conscious consumer I am today. Below is the post that is featured on the Greenheart Shop Blog.


During a family vacation in Hawaii, I was sunbathing by the pool when my mom struck up a conversation with a fellow hotel guest. This hotel guest explained how her daughter, who was a high school student at the time, had created a fashion blog. My ears perked up. I absolutely loved that a teenager began a blog out of pure passion for a topic such as fashion – something I also love.

This conversation stuck with me. Then, a few months later, while taking classes in Fashion Studies at Columbia College Chicago, I was learning about the environmental and humanitarian issues within the fashion industry. I NEVER thought about where my clothes were coming from and who was making them. Why would I? I never thought the brands I loved would manufacture their clothes in unethical ways. Thankfully, I had the most knowledgeable professors at CCC who taught me about the not-so-glamorous side of the industry. It was left up to us students to decide if we’d help amend this industry we love so dearly. I decided to do something about it.

My monthly – okay weekly – visits to my favorite department stores weren’t as enjoyable as before now that I knew the hidden truths about the industry. I would investigate the garment tags of potential purchases to see where they were made. Basically, if the tag didn’t read “Made in USA,” I wouldn’t buy it. I used to LOVE shopping, but then it became a dread. I needed to find clothes that were both beautiful and made by brands that were environmentally and socially responsible.

While searching online for eco-friendly stores in Chicago, I came across Greenheart Shop. After clicking through the boutique’s website, I was filled with excitement and anticipation to visit . The moment I walked in, it felt enchanting and inviting. The clothes and accessories were fashionable, the home goods had a touch of exotic, and the body care products were made with mostly natural ingredients.

I. Was. Hooked.

After learning about, visiting, and loving this boutique, I couldn’t contain the news (well, news to me) that there are brands that make stylish clothes and accessories environmentally and socially responsibly. But, how would I let other fashionistas know what I’d learned? Since that conversation in Hawaii, I’d wanted to create a fashion blog, but, up until that point, I didn’t have a direction for it. This was it! I would create a fashion blog highlighting brands and boutiques that aligned with my ethics.

Today, I’m the founder of HippieandHeart.com, where I promote brands that are creating products ethically and the boutiques that are selling them. Greenheart Shop has been invaluable with helping me discover brands I can trust. Because of Greenheart Shop, shopping’s no longer a dreaded necessity, but an empowering, motivating, and, most of all, fun experience!

Some of my favorite purchases from Greenheart Shop:

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Raven + Lily was one of the first responsible brands I fell in love with. I wear this blouse almost once a week!
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I’m a sucker for anything celestial. I’m always getting compliments on this Milky Way themed ring from Roost.
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Living in a city, I try to surround myself with images of nature. That’s why I love this butterfly poster by Timbergram.

With a lot of heart,

Carly