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My Fall 2014 (Maternity) Capsule Wardrobe

Brooklyn-Bliss-Fall-Maternity-Capsule-Wardrobe-500x300

If you've been following along with me sporadically this past year, you'll know I had made the resolution to create a more minimalist wardrobe, and to do so I was trying out the French 5 Piece Wardrobe method.  Winter and Spring of this year, it worked great.

Then I got pregnant.

Over the summer, as I started to get bloated and my clothing tighter, I knew I wouldn't be able to survive on a sole 5 pieces for the upcoming Fall and Winter.  No freakin' way.  I was going to need all new basics in maternity versions.  Jeans, trousers, skirts, button down blouses.  Being I prefer really tailored, classic pieces, I just knew my current basics wardrobe just wouldn't work for me into my second trimester.

So I started searching the internet for solutions.  To my delight, I came across a blog called Un-Fancy by Caroline, a minimalist fashion blogger.  What Caroline does is every season (i.e. 3 months) she assembles a new "capsule" from basics already in her wardrobe collection as well as a few new pieces.  Her capsules are all just 37 pieces!  Yes,  you read that right.  37 pieces including shoes!  Everything else she has goes into storage.  She also doesn't shop once a capsule is put into place until it's time to shop for the next capsule three months later.

She offers a great Capsule Wardrobe Planner worksheet, so back in early September, I decided to give it a go.  I was going to create a capsule maternity wardrobe!  Her planner actually worked really, really well for me to figure out what I like to wear, what was practical for me, what I could use from what I already had, and what I could shop for.  It even helped me account for the percentage of clothing I should have for work vs. non-work life.  In less than two hours, I had a shopping list and was ready to shop!

I purchased everything for my capsule online from online retailers I shop from when not pregnant, who happen to have maternity lines.  The vast majority of the pieces came from Asos, closely followed by Old Navy.

I ended up with 40 pieces when all said and done as opposed to Caroline's 37. This is because I wanted to include plain black and white tees and tanks, so it bumped up my count a bit. It's still a heck of a lot less than previously and it's been so much easier getting dressed every day. I have yet to repeat an outfit since I started.

Without further ado, here's my Fall Maternity Capsule Wardrobe for 2014:

Click on the item for links on where to buy.  For older items that are no longer available, I linked to a similar piece.

Compassion Couture Holiday Sample Sale

Sale-Image---Press-Facebook   Hey ya'll! Sorry it's been so quiet around here.  I went on a business trip to San Fran the beginning of this month, and came back with a lovely case of the flu.  It was awful!  I seriously felt like I was dying.  Today is the first day I feel human in over a week. Luckily I'm feeling better just in time to learn about Compassion Couture's Holiday Online Sample Sale! Our friends at Compassion Couture (a one-stop e-boutique for the most stylish and high-quality vegan and eco-friendly handbags, shoes & accessories) are hosting their Holiday Online Sample Sale – 7 Days Only!  This is their biggest sale of the year - Up to 70% off!  From November 26th – December 2nd, items will already be marked down BELOW WHOLESALE PRICES.  No coupon codes required. It's great to have a one-stop shop to buy gifts for the stylish vegan gal in your life, so be sure to check it out. By the way, if anyone feels like getting me an early Christmas gift, these Beyond Skin Danni Ankle Boots and Cri de Coeur Annie Boots are totally up my alley.  Just sayin'.  

Portia Goes for a Walk

Portia Goes for a Walk

What I'm Wearing // SWEATER Alloy (old, similar one here) // JEANS Silence and Noise (thrifted, similar ones here) // AVIATORS Canal Street Vendor (similar ones here) // SNEAKERS Converse // DOG CARRIER Amazon A few weekends back, my vegan gal pal Emily Nolan of My Kind of Life invited me and Tanya from GastroModel to participate with her for the Farm Animal Sanctuary Walk for Animals. The event was dog friendly, so Portia got to go for an extended walk and adventure to the island of Manhattan for the day, subway ride and all! Look at how excited she is!

Portia Goes for a Walk

The walk started at Merchant's Gate and went around Central Park. It was the perfect fall day to be outside walking. I have a pedometer app on my phone and granted it's not lying to me we walked over 5 miles! Right after we all went for a much deserved brunch at Le Pain Quitoden at Sheep's Meadow in the park.

Portia Goes for a Walk

Portia Goes for a Walk

My camera battery died within seconds of arriving at the walk that day, but luckily Em brought hers and got some great shots of all of us from the event. You can check out her full post here.

Portia Goes for a Walk

PHOTOS BY // Emily Nolan

Shop the Vegan Friendly Look Here

Sweater Weather

Sweater Weather What I'm Wearing // SWEATER H&M (thrifted, similar here) // TEE Local Dollar Store (similar here) // BOYFRIEND JEANS J Crew (thrifted) // FLATS Wanted (similar here) // BAG Cornelia Guest Fall is my absolute favorite season solely because I get to wear sweaters. Am I the only one who gets excited by this? Sweater Weather

Shop the Vegan Friendly Look Here

My Vegan Fall Shopping List

My Vegan Fall Shopping List

Fall is here! Or at least in my head it is, because it's September. September to me means fall, and that it's now acceptable to wear boots again. I usually do most of my shopping bi-annually, corresponding with both the fall and spring seasons. Fall is my favorite because I love sweater weather, scarfs, boots and cozy stuff. Here's a quick peek of some things I'm currently wanting to add to my wardrobe this season. All are cruelty-free and vegan of course.

Fall Shopping List

ONE // Turtlenecks!  (similar here) // TWO // Ripped Up Boyfriend Jeans (similar here) // THREE // Ankle Boots with Hardware (similar here) // FOUR // Cat Eye Ray Ban Wayfarers // FIVE // Obsessive Compulsive Stained Lip Tar in New Wave // SIX // A dual tone trench.  I scored a very similar one from Calvin Klein // SEVEN // I adore this black and neon scarf from ASOS.  I'm debating buying it, or if I should just learn to knit one myself.  Decisions, decisions.

What will you be picking up to complete your fall wardrobe?

Vegan Versions / Chloe Susan Studded Ankle Boot

It's almost fall, which means BOOT SEASON!  For a while now I've been on the search for a vegan version of this beauty, the Chloe Susan Studded Ankle Boot.

Chloe Susan

Chloe Susan $1345

I've been in need of more flat shoes in my life, and when I spotted these all over Pinterest months ago, I've been longing for a vegan pair.  I love how they're kind of the badass love child of a cowboy boot, moto boot and harness boot all in one.

Lo and behold, I found this version on JustFab just the other week.  Also looks like Forever21 is making a version as well.  Grab them while they're hot!

Zurich

JustFab Zurich $39.95

High-VoltageJPG

Forever21 High-Voltage Faux Leather Booties $42.80

How to Style Curly Hair

Since my big chop back in 2009, I've loved wearing my hair curly. I get a lot of questions from readers on what products I use and how I style them, so here's a quick tutorial post I've done in conjunction with my stylist, Casey, at Adelaide Salon in Brooklyn on how to style your curls. This process works no matter the length of your hair, the key is being sure to have a good haircut. If you haven't done so already, find a stylist who specializes in curly hair. Curls benefit from being cut while dry, and there's a specific method to "carving" the curls together so the corkscrews interlock. A specialist will know how to do this for you and give you amazing, low-maintenance curls. It all starts with washing your hair.  I use DevaCurl No-Poo, which doesn't suds up and keeps my curls moisturized.  I also only wash my hair max twice a week.  On other days I only condition.  So start off by washing your hair with your favorite vegan, non-sudsing shampoo and rinse it out. How to Style Curly Hair 3 Now comes the styling.  I usually do this while still in the shower, but for demonstration purposes Casey shows you how to do it here.  Using your fingers,  rake your conditioner (I use DevaCurl One Conditioner) through your curls while sopping wet, making sure the curls are defined and "clump" together.  As you can see in these photos, Casey grabs my hair in small sections working the conditioner through it roots to end until she's covered all my hair.  You don't want to comb your hair, finger raking works just fine and makes for nice, fat curls. This is also the time you'll want to part your hair if you wear your hair parted.  In this demo, Casey gave me a side part. How to Style Curly Hair 4 How to Style Curly Hair 5 Next, change your water pressure to low, and rinse the conditioner out.  The low water pressure is imperative, otherwise you'll separate the curls you've just spent so much time forming.  When this is complete, turn the water off and flip your hair over. How to Style Curly Hair 6 Now it's time to apply your curl defining product.  Again, this is done while still in the shower while your hair is sopping wet.  During the summer, I like to use DevaCurl AnGEL, being it's a strong hold gel that prevents my curls from frizzing in the humidity.  I'll often switch to something lighter in the winter when it's not as humid out. How to Style Curly Hair 7 Squirt some product in your hands, rub them together, and then gently scrunch your curls from tips to roots.  It's important to keep your touch gentle, other wise you run the risk of frizzing or separating your curls. How to Style Curly Hair 8 Now it's time to towel dry.  Take either paper towels, an old tee-shirt or a specialty microfiber towel and gently scrunch the curls again from tips to roots.  You still have to keep it gentle. The reason you don't want to use a regular towel to dry your curls is because the texture will disrupt the curl pattern and make your curls frizz.  The key here is not disturbing the curls. How to Style Curly Hair 10 I usually while doing this process at home plop my curls in a microfiber towel while I put on my makeup.  That helps me get some extra moisture out before drying it and cuts down my drying time substantially.  It's not 100% necessary though. You can learn to plop (or plunk) here.  It doesn't work for everyone, it really depends on how your curls are.  Mine luckily are pretty loose and plunking works really well for me. How to Style Curly Hair 12 One your hair is towel dried, flip your hair over. How to Style Curly Hair 13 This step is optional but makes a big difference.  Now using small banana clips, clip your hair at your roots to create some lift.  Curly hair is often so heavy while wet it just dries flat to your head.  By clipping the roots up, when it dries it creates some extra volume. How to Style Curly Hair 17

How to Style Curly Hair 14

Depending on your hair style, now would be the time to blow out your bangs if you have any.  Even though I had grown out my bangs, we decided to blow the front of my hair out during this haircut for a more polished look.  After the front was blown out, Casey put it in a pin-curl while still warm so it would dry with a loose wave. Now that it's summer and it's hot as hades outside, I've been skipping this step and wearing it all curly. How to Style Curly Hair 15 Now it's time to dry your hair.  You have a few options.  First would be a bonnet dryer, like shown at the salon here below.  Nice part about the bonnet dryer is you set it and sit back, relax and read a magazine or something until your hair is fully dry. How to Style Curly Hair 18 How to Style Curly Hair 20

How to Style Curly Hair 19

I wish I had room for a bonnet dryer in my apartment, but I don't.  So I usually use a blow dryer with a diffuser.  This will be essential if you have really long hair, because a bonnet dryer only really gets the top of your head down to your chin dry.  A dryer and diffuser gets the rest.  The diffuser allows you to dry at a higher heat without blowing your hair all around and disturbing the curls. Your third option is good ol' air drying.  Most days, especially during the summer I'll just hit my roots for a few minutes with the dryer to get the lift from the pinning, and then remove them and let it dry the rest of the way naturally.  It's healthier for your hair.  The only downfall for me with this method is my hair takes forever to dry.  Even while in this short bob it still takes over three hours to fully air dry. With a blow dryer and diffuser I can usually do the job in 15 minutes.  This is a huge improvement from my long locks, which took close to 40 to get blown dry and 5-6 hours to air dry.

How to Style Curly Hair 16

Once your hair is about 90% dry, it's time to take your clips out.  Let it air dry the rest of the way, and then flip your head over and "scrunch the crunch" out.  When you flip your head back over, you have beautiful, frizz free bouncy curls. How to Style Curly Hair 21

How to Style Curly Hair 22

How to Style Curly Hair 23 Using this method and drying my hair all the way dry, I'm usually out of the shower, dressed, made up and ready to go in about 45 minutes. I hope this tutorial helps out anyone who was wondering how I style my hair.  If you have any questions, feel free to let me know! PHOTOGRAPHY  BY // Joel Stigliano

Pinning / Bike Style

So now that I have a bike, any spare time I now have is spent obsessively pinning cool bike gear and images to Pinterest. Here's some of my recent favorites, which are sparking tons of ideas ranging from how I'm going to store my bike, to maybe a doing a DIY pannier bag project.

I adore this black and white striped pannier basket.  Unfortunately they're sold out.  Guess I'll have to make one myself.

This makes me wish we had a Brooklyn loft with exposed brick walls.

 

STRIPED HELMET!! 'Nuff said.

We had plans to put a bench in our entry way, but since I got the bike we thought we couldn't do it.  If we set it up like this though we can!

I love the equestrian style bike helmet.  So chic, and kind of reminds me of a skater helmet too.

What must have gear can you think of that I should get for my bike?  I'd love to hear what you guys think.

Also, are you on Pinterest?  If so hit me up!  You can find all my boards here, and my new bike style one here.

Vegan Shoe Line Beyond Skin Needs Your Help

Fashionable vegan footwear line Beyond Skin needs your help! Beyond Skin is a 10 year old, self-funded, indie, UK vegan footwear label dedicated to designing cruelty-free, luxury shoes for stylish, discerning ladies.  Their current line is considered more of a luxury "boutique" one, meaning high style at a slightly higher price point.  Although the luxury line is fabulous, they have aspirations to create a new diffusion line.  This one will feature 10 styles, which have been designed for everyday wear at a more affordable price-point. This to me is a fantastic idea, being it'll bring vegan and ethical footwear to the masses and a more pocket friendly price.  Plus, they're all classic styles meaning they go with everything and will last season after season. To help fund their new line, they created a Kickstarter campaign.  It's only live for another 15 days, so if you want to support vegan fashion for the masses, be sure to do so today! You learn more about the Kickstarter campaign as well as it's perks by visiting here.
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