so I de-cluttered + capsuled my wardrobe with DC Style Factory — & it was actually wicked easy

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*photography by frontline media empire*

My closet has always been a mess. I add new pieces every season, but it's almost exclusively fast fashion — pieces that will find holes and broken zippers before the season is done. And I rarely throw stuff away, which means that I’m still rocking that one pair of American Eagle jeans from 2010. It's a disaster, I know.

I love clothes, I love personal style + I love following fashion. I describe my personal style as chill millennial girlfriend — or a little rocker, a little minimal and a little classic. I love pieces that outlast fast fashion, and my go-to look is Madewell jeans, sneakers, a moto jacket + basic tee.

But I oftentimes open my closet and think “I have nothing to wear” while staring at piles of overworn or never worn pieces.

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So when Maxim and I gave up our double walk-in closets for a coat closet and a couple of drawers ... well, we said we'd make it work, but I was secretly panicking.

Enter Marisa (read: my fairy godsister stylist).

I met Marisa a while back, through mutual bloggers. She's a stylist at DC Style Factory (haiiii Rosana), mom, badass + pixie cut rocker extraordinaire. Seriously, she's sassy and fun and KILLS it with styling. I text her pics and ask for advice allllll the time.

So when I was asking around for advice on organizing my new *basically non-existent* closet space, she totally came through with the W. I had originally just wanted help with organization, but she suggested that we try something different: A capsule wardrobe.

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SIDE NOTE:

Wait, what is a capsule wardrobe?

  • It’s the concept that helps women refine their wardrobe to include only high-quality essentials that you can wear over and over again. The term was technically coined in the 70’s by a certain Susie Faux – though she suggested limiting the wardrobe to a dozen or so pieces. The essence of a capsule wardrobe is that you want to have almost every piece go with almost every other piece. For example, your blazer should work for the office and drinks. And your t-shirts should work for a night out and the office and weekends at the farmer’s market.

  • Oh, and one woman actually created an entire blog + following around the idea of a capsule wardrobe. It's called Project 333.  Personally, I’d say if you’re attempting to live that capsule wardrobe life, you should aim to have 30-40 pieces (one for f/w and one for s/s).    

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Also, how do I figure out what my style is?

  • TBH, I literally googled “how to figure out what your style is” and took way too many quizzes that gave me results that I just did NOT vibe with. So I ended up making a mood board on Pinterest.


THE AUDIT

SO ANYWAYS Marisa came over to re-do my wardrobe. We started by hanging out (I made her cocktail-inspired tea, LOL) and discussed where I like to shop, how I describe my style, etc. We talked about what a typical weekly schedule looks like for me, and my style icons.

She showed me mood boards for different styles (I’m DEFF not preppy or bombshell), and discussed what I liked about each. Again, I’m a little rocker, a little minimal and a little classic.

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Then came the most stress inducing part. The audit. We took out my clothes — ALL OF MY CLOTHES — and put them on the bed. The goal was to sort them into three groups: KEEP, DONATE & TRASH.

Marisa asked me to try on pieces, and decide between two jackets (one to keep) and rate my likelihood of wearing certain jeans, etc. It was, like, a three-hour process.

BUT WE MADE IT THROUGH.

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Once that was done, we kind of went through all of the clothes left AGAIN, and limited it down even more. Oh, and the shoes. OH MY GOD. It was so brutal — but we ended up trashing or donating 15 pairs of shoes. If you’re a shoe lover, you know the pain of throwing away that ol’ faithful pair.


One tee, three ways

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styled by marisa gonzalez | photographed by frontline media empire 


Throughout the entire day, Marisa took notes on what was essentially missing from my closet — the basics that I needed and what I could hold off on. Read: Marisa told me what I could go shopping for.  

Marisa said I did a great job, but omg it was so painful. I wanted to keep so many pieces of clothing. Those old rags or $5 find that I found comfort in. A weird, $15, red cotton blazer that I always wore whenever I wanted to dress down, but also feel confident. That one jacket I’d had for YEARS and didn’t want to give up.

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At the end of the day, though, it felt amazing. Marisa put everything back in my closet and drawers, explaining her organization methods (organize by “type,” going from light to dark) and then we took pictures, as one does at the end of a closet audit.

The next morning, I got up and felt … relieved. I opened my closet and everything was perfectly organized. I could see all of the clothes I had and easily test different combinations. And for the shopping part? When I look at my shopping cart online, I think to myself, “how will I pair this for day, night + weekend?” and if I can’t find an answer, I think about it twice.

There you have it, babes. Scroll down to shop my capsule wardrobe picks. Oh, and btw. If you want to try to declutter your own wardrobe...


MARISA'S TIPS FOR DE-CLUTTERING YOUR WARDROBE

  1. Get rid of ill-fitting clothes once and for all.

  2. Reassess current fashion trends - while designers constantly change trends creating a false need to buy these pieces, find timeless pieces that work best for your lifestyle.

  3. Ask yourself some hard hitting questions about each piece. How does it make you feel? Does it project the image you want to project? Don't waste prime closet real estate on pieces you're not crazy about.

  4. Do a seasonal audit. Set a timer on your calendar or timer to remind you to go through your closet again.

  5. If there's an item you are on the fence about face the hanger the opposite way. If, after 6 months, the hanger is still facing in the opposite direction, it's time to donate it.

  6. Don't just hold onto something because you once loved it or it used to fit your lifestyle. Stay in the present and what works best for you NOW.

  7. No wire hangers! Use flocked, huggable hangers. They create so much space and keep your wardrobe streamlined. Recycle those wire hangers at your local dry cleaners.

  8. Don't focus on the negative of auditing your wardrobe. If you focus on the negatives of getting rid of things, then you are missing the very positive experience that you are trying to achieve – i.e. ending up with a wardrobe of clothes that you love, that you will wear, that’s easy to find what you need, and that makes you smile.

  9. Apply the 80/20 Rule. You may not want to admit it, but the majority of clothes you have probably go unworn. It's said that the average American only wears 10 to 20 percent of their clothes. To cut down on the fluff, remove items you haven't worn in a year.

  10. For each new item you buy to put in your closet, donate one item (or ditch it if it's past its prime). This will keep you from returning to your pack-rat ways.

*photography by frontline media empire*

thoughts on moving + minimize-ing

moving is awful. 

there — I said it. 

When I thought of moving to a new place with my significant other as a kid, it was romanticized and lovely. We had sleepovers in the new, empty place, — cuddling up on sleeping bags, sharing chinese takeout, drinking cheap red wine and using candles to hangout. I'm a hopeless romantic. Sappy and proud. 

But moving is nothing like that. There was no sleepover or chinese takeout. There was a ton of eating out though. And stress. And money. 

Perhaps I’m naive, but I’m 23 — so why shouldn’t I be? I didn’t realize the amount of time, stress + money that went into moving. The time packing and unpacking and organizing. The time looking at all of the “stuff” you’ve collected — so many things that you really don’t need, but at the time, you saw it as interesting and useful and contributing to your aesthetic. Nope. It’s not — it’s collecting dust in your storage room, and now you don’t know what to do with it. 

Like I said — moving is awful. 

Road trip rules to swear by

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A cornerstone of Maxim and I's relationship is road trips. And by cornerstone, I mean that they've been markers in big parts of our life and have always held some of our most special memories. 

One of my favorite memories? "Kidnapping" Maxim and taking him on a road trip with no map, no destination in mind. We drove south through skyline drive and kept going until we hit South of the Border. It was late. The tacky neon signs all lit up, but the parking lot empty. The giant gift shops were uncomfortably bright like the hallways of a hospital. But we loved it. We kept driving south, deciding to cut over to the coast and find a hotel. We ended up lost down a dirt road that seemed endless. We lost signal (and therefore Google Maps), and decide to keep driving until we hit a dead end. We eventually popped out right by the coast next to Myrtle Beach — it was the middle of off-season. Deciding this was our destination, we hopped onto Hotel Tonight to find the cheapest room available. 

We spent the next 36 hours playing a tournament of mini-golf, asking locals where to go, what to eat. Upon embarking on our return journey, we continued to find attractions to get lost with. I forced Maxim to turn off for selfies with "The World's Largest Crab," and, feeling peckish, I found a local (but famous), family owned snow cone stand — literally just on the side of a very busy road. We had piña colada cones with bananas. 

It was a fabulous adventure, mostly because it was spontaneous and had no set agenda and focused on us getting lost and exploring places we might not have stopped at otherwise. 

Long story short, over the trips, we've developed a sort of "unspoken rules of the road trip" and totally swear by them. But I want to hear your rules, your stories, too. So scroll down, read, reflect and let me know how your rules differ.


There will always be coffee

I mean, this is pretty self-explanatory. Coffee is life — especially when you're doing full-day road trips. Maxim and I love grabbing the mini chameleon cold brew iced coffees because they're super easy to bring with us wherever we go.  

But hydration is key 

I usually have two or three water bottles plus a BIG bottle of coconut water. 

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Silence is golden (sometimes) 

Early in our relationship, during our first road trip, Maxim and I discussed talking vs. not talking all the time. I felt weird because I just wanted to be silent and read and stare out the window. Don't be silly, he said, that's totally chill. Sometimes, silence is golden. And when I'm in a silent mood and Maxim isn't, I bring along these amazing bluetooth headphones from Sudio Sweden to listen to white noise while Maxim listens to a podcast. 

Be prepared

Maxim and I always have a plastic bag for trash, band-aids, toilet paper + paper towels. But I also use GasBuddy, an app that tells you where gas stations (and other amenities) are near-by. It's awesome, because if we see that there's not going to be a bathroom for a long stretch, we'll make sure to do a bathroom break ASAP. 

Biggest lesson: Always have napkins or paper towels. You never know what's going to happen. 

Comfort rules for any trip over 4 hours

This is definitely more for me and for Maxim. If we have an end destination, I'll bring clothes to change into. Otherwise, I'm usually in running leggings, a tank and a big, comfy hoodie (I just bought this one from KJP and I'm OBSESSED). I always bring layers, socks, a pillow + blanket since you never know. OH — and slides so that you're not fiddling with shoes at gas stations. 

Also: no makeup. It's a big one for me. On long road trips, I just let my face chill for the day and rock some mirrored shades (my current faves). 

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Beware of the hanger

Easily one of the most important road trip rules (for us, at least). I'm one of those people that gets hangry real fast. And when I get hangry, I get picky and judge-y and it's kind of a slippery slope. WHICH IS WHY we always have a big repository (usually my Madewell tote) of snacks that will be good for long hauls. Though you can eat vegan at virtually any gas station, it's always safe to have stuff with you. But we always try to stop for real meals — lettuce-wrapped burgers, quinoa salad with kale, etc.

Some of my faves: 

Shotgun is DJ — unless their playlist sucks

So when there's only two of you in the car, it might kind of hard to decide whether their playlist sucks or not. But still. Make sure everyone is on the same page about music tastes and vibes. The best playlists — in my opinion — is one that can be turned down and be used as background music, but also blasted when a great jam comes on. DJ should be in charge of making sure that music is playing, that the tech around it is working and that music is not interrupted by insta notifications of phone calls (oops). 

When in doubt, get the GPS out

Honestly, though, I swear by using a TomTom or built-in navigational system when on road trips — NOT an iPhone. I'm always busy using my phone for music, making an epic instagram story, texting, snapping selfies, etc. Plus, if you're anything like me, you're terrible at giving directions. Side story: I'm infamous for telling people "go LEFT RIGHT here," leaving the driver bewildered. Or I'll vaguely gesture, Miranda Priestley style, assuming the drivers knows that I mean, "Bear right for half a mile, then turn left at the light." ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

ALWAYS go to the roadside attraction

I mean, isn't it obvious? If you're going on a road trip, the best thing to do is stop at those weird roadside attractions, or the random fruit stand and chat the farmer owner. I always make sure to budget in TONS of time for this — I use two apps when we're on the road too. Roadside America has tons and tons of roadside attractions, their location and rating for how worthy it is. It's like yelp for road trips. And if you're a big planner, check out Roadtrippers. It lets you pre-plan your road trip, download it, share it, use in conjunction with Google Maps, etc. 


So there you have it. Honestly, though. Do you agree? What should we add? Let me know in the comments below 

11 TINY [adult] changes every twenty-something should be making

aka how to stop being a sh*tshow


I don't want to preface this list because it should be pretty self-explanatory. But basically, I've been doing a lot of self-reflection this summer and spending many a happy hour discussing lifestyle habits with my friends. And it dawned on me that we're all making the same unhealthy habits and blaming it on being a shitshow or being young.

But we're independent women and we're badasses. No more excuses, babes, let's make some changes and go into this fall CRUSHING it — or at least, stop falling asleep at 2 a.m. on the couch with a glass on wine in one hand while watching re-runs of Sex and the City. (honestly, though) 

Drink some water, girl.

Seriously, this is so easy. I’m personally terrible at drinking water, but it is SO important for bodily functions, your skin (aka your body’s largest organ), your breath, your metabolism, etc. A lot of problems you’re dealing with every day can be traced back to dehydration. If you're bad at remembering to drink water, buy yourself a cute water bottle and download an app. 

Sweat. It. out.

I seriously SWEAR by a tough spin class whenever I've had a bad day. We all know that working out is crazy important for everything from your skin to your metabolism to stress management and brain function. So take a workout class. Go to the gym. Run outside. Your future self will thank you. 

Pick out your outfits the night before. 

I've never done this, but it's on my list of things to do. Honestly, though, it's kind of a smart thing to do. You look at the weather, think about your day, and then lay out your clothes. 6 p.m. spin class on your calendar? Also lay out your fave leggings + tank. Happy hour with your girls? Grab a cute graphic tee to take your work look from day to night. Check back to see if I dedicate myself to this one. 

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Take yo’ vitamins.

I’ve always been weird about vitamins. It’s partly been because I had no idea what I was taking, partly because giant pharma companies scare me and partly because I never felt like they were doing anything. If you're like me, try out Care/Of vitamins — they cater vitamins to your health + lifestyle, then send you your daily dose, pre-packaged and labeled. Easy peasy.

[use PHOEBE50 if you want 50% off vitamins] 

Pack lunch. Make dinner.

This one is so easy. If you’re like me, you need to cut down on how much $$ you spend on eating out. I use LearnVest (a budgeting tool + app) to better understand where my money goes to. And guess what? Like 90% of my paycheck after bills goes to food. I kid you not. I used to be amazing at taking my lunch in to work + making dinner nightly. But one too many weekends away and Monday mornings where I was too lazy to grocery shop and BAM! — I’d become a seamless slut. If you hate going to the grocery store, then check out InstaCart, AmazonPrimeNow to order your groceries and have them delivered. Making your own food will save you tons of money AND help you be a little bit healthier.

Take off your makeup.

Taking off your makeup before bed — even if it's just with a makeup wipe — is so important. Post-college, I've been trying a lot more to take care of my skin, which means removing my makeup every night, washing my face, using a mask or peel and moisturizing. But at the very least, take off your makeup. If you always forget, or if you never do it when you've been drinking, just put a packet of makeup remover wipes on your pillow (I swear by these). Or even better, always bring a mini pack with you wherever you go. 

Buy *~HeALthY~* snacks

This is not to say that you can never have that bag of M&Ms or a slice of chocolate cake. My  [personal] mantra is: give me the fries with a juice cleanse on the side. But honestly, though, whenever you're buying groceries, make sure that you're grabbing some easy-to-eat, easy-to-store healthy snacks. When you're feeling hungr...er...HANGRY, you're going to be more likely to binge later in the day. Same with if you skip a meal by accident. 

I SWEAR by snacks — I keep them in a drawer at work, in literally every bag I own + in the car. They are lifesavers and you will totes thank yourself for it. What are some good vegan snack ideas, you say? 

Red over white wine

I've personally never been a white wine fan, but if you're going to be drinking a glass (or three) of wine after work, grab the darker grapes. While the science is constantly changing, we do know that red wine has less sugar and more magnesium.

Respond to emails

I read one time that success people all have their own mantras around emails. Some either only open emails if they have time to respond. Others open + mark as unread the entire day and then set aside an hour or two every day to respond to every. single. email. Whatever you do, stop leaving emails unread and making yourself anxious. Also, if getting to inbox zero seems  i m p o s s i b l e , try out Unroll.me — it's an email extension that helps you to unsubscribe to emails + puts them all into an easy to skim, daily digest. 

Give your screens a bedtime

Turning off your iPhone, laptop, iPad, TV, etc for at least an hour before going to bed will do WONDERS — not just for your sleep cycle, but for your eyes, mind and health too. Try to sit in bed and read a book instead. Or meditate. Trust me, this is probs the biggest thing I need to change. And you probs need to too.

Use a budgeting tool

This goes back to #3. I started using LearnVest after reading about it in Cosmo and realizing just how easy it would be to ditch the spreadsheet budgets. Like most twenty-somethings, I am that girl that can either make $10 last an entire week, or spend $500 in five minutes. There is no in-between. And while I'm definitely not a budgeting queen, I'm getting better and I LOVE having the knowledge of where my money goes + why.  

life lately: we're moving + other things


Hi and hello!

So my blog has definitely taken a back seat lately except for the vegan guide which I've given a soft launch, since I was too excited about it to wait. As you guys know, I have a full-time job as a social media manager that has been all-consuming (but in a good way!), and I've been able to do a ton of amazing things for the company. 

And in the meantime, I've been planning a wedding. Well, my wedding with Maxim. I know there are so many people that blog about wedding planning, and I was wondering if you guys want to hear about my planning (i.e. vegan decisions, wedding dresses, having to tell people they're not invited, etc). I've also been working on my skin a ton — ICYMI, you can catch-up on my struggles and how Dr. Dennis Gross helped here (literally not sponsored. just obsessed). 

BUT

The big news-ish is that we're moving! We're staying in the Washington D.C. area (for now), but moving to a new building that's more of our vibe. We're doing the move slowly since our leases overlap — and we're using the wiggle room to decide what to bring, what to donate, what to sell, etc. Our new apartment has the kitchen literally in front of the window, so I'm thrilled to have my morning smoothie routine sun-drenched. I literally can not wait to show you guys! 

Oh, and our apartment is dog-friendly so we're researching a ton of shelters in the area to consider where/who to adopt from. I personally love the idea of being a foster dog mom for a year or so to a bunch of different dogs — I've heard that that's one of the best ways that you can help dogs in need. Is that true? What do you guys think? 

Other than that, I promise that I've been working on some amazing content like what it was like to scuba dive for the first time (+ tips if you're terrified of murky water like me!), tips for being vegan while traveling + every day vegan products I use. 

Hope you're all having a fantastic summer! 

xx phoebe // honestly, though