OUTFIT: THE PERFECT MATERNITY JACKET

Being pregnant and having a minimalistic wardrobe don’t go hand in hand. With a growing belly, it is likely to need new clothes. I tried to avoid getting new clothes as long as possible, but slowly the time came and the first thing I needed was a bigger jacket. The only thing I was sure about is that I didn’t want a jacket that I would only wear during the last months of the pregnancy. While searching I found the German brand ‘Paula Janz Maternity’. Paula is a fashion designer from Berlin. She makes maternity clothes for the modern mom. Combining urban, timeless and elegant looks, she makes pieces that are possible to wear during and after pregnancy. The pieces are made in Europe under fair conditions.

From her winter collection, I got the ‘Baby Love Parka’. The parka has a hoodie, two front pockets and it has an extra insert that you can adapt in the zipper. This extra insert is very practical for a growing belly. And later on, when the baby is born it’s also handy to have it because you can comfortably carry your baby in the coat.

On these series of pictures, I show you how I style the ‘Baby Love Parka’ from Paula Janz Maternity. The pictures were made by photographer Marisa Elisa Photography.


 

What I´m wearing:
Jacket // Paula Janz maternity
Leggings // Erlich textil
Shoes // Second-lifestyle Amersfoort (second-hand shop)
Backpack // JW PEI

With Love,
Alisson

 

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OUTFIT: LUXURY BAGS WITHOUT HARMING ANIMALS

Fake leather has been on the market for a very long time. The commonly used materials for synthetic leather are polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyurethane (PU), which are plastic-based materials. As conscious consumerism is rising and entering the mainstream the challenge is to find fake leather accessories made from ecologically friendly materials instead of plastic.  I did a little research and found a new brand that it’s making their best to make luxury bags as sustainable as possible. Let me introduce you to JW PEI. This luxury brand makes bags from recycled bottles. The recycling technology has evolved so much that nearly all polyester-based materials can be recycled. The bags and their lining are made from 100% recycled bottles. JW PEI only works with factories that are certified by GRS (Global Recycling Standards) and the Oeko-Tex Standard.

On these series of pictures, I show you how I style the JW PEI ‘Drawstring Backpack’  in black. For that, I made two different outfits. The pictures were made in Amersfoort by the photographer Marisa Elisa Photography.

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What I´m wearing:
Shirt // Lievevrouw second-hand market in Amersfoort
Leggings // Erlich textil
Shoes // Second-lifestyle Amersfoort (second-hand shop)
Backpack // JW PEI
Jacket // Paula Janz maternity

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What I´m wearing:
Shirt // Lievevrouw second-hand market in Amersfoort
Leggings // Erlich textil
Shoes // Second-lifestyle Amersfoort (second-hand shop)
Backpack // JW PEI
Jacket // Charity shop ‘Kringloop Amersfoort – Leusden’

If you would like to give it a try and get a bag from JW PEI, the code “as15off” gives you 15% off all the collection. Go to their website via this link: https://goo.gl/1HQkH8

With Love,
Alisson

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HOW TO WEAR ALL-BLACK OUTFITS

Black is my all-time favorite color. In psycology, the color black is linked to power. It’s an intimidating color and indicates strength and discipline. Black doesn’t usually express emotions, rather, it conceals them, giving the person in black an air of superiority. The color black is also considered to be elegant and chic. A black outfit can be seen as more fancy than a colorful one. To me, it is my go-to color whether I have a special event or don’t know what to wear on a regular day. It never disappoints me in making me feel stylish and confident. Just like it does with me, I believe that black makes everyone look great. It might sound easy but it can be hard sometimes to combine all-black outfits. I have gathered a few tips to help you wear black:

  • Combine different fabrics and textures. For example cotton, leather-look, linen, tweed. And think of shiny, matt, sparkly and so on.
  • Mix a fitted piece and a wider piece in the same outfit. When you wear skinny pants, you can wear a wide sweater or blouse. When you wear a tight top, you can wear a wide skirt or pants.
  • Add a little bit of color. Go with a colorful bag -shoes, a bold hat or a vintage bandana. Jewelry is also a good option to make the outfit interesting.
  • Wear a bold lipstick color. This is my personal favorite tip to make an all-black outfit look stylish. The good news is that you can combine ANY color from red to purple.

I have gathered my favorites all-black outfits to inspire you:

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All-black outfit combined with golden shoes. Picture by: Marisa Elisa Photography
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All-black outfit combined with red Converse shoes. Picture by: Marisa Elisa Photography
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Wearing black and a red lipstick. Picture by: Anouk Fotografeert
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All-black outfit combined with fishnet tights. Picture by: Mitchel Lensink
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All-black outfit combined with a lace top and white sneakers. Picture by: Marisa Elisa Photography
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All-black outfit combined with a colorful bandana. Picture by: Gert Zomer
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All-black outfit combined with dark red shoes and blue nails. Picture by: Mitchel Lensink
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All-black outfit combined with golden shoes and purple lipstick. Picture by: Marisa Elisa Photography
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All-black outfit combined with sparkly and matt fabrics. Picture by: Marisa Elisa Photography
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All-black outfit combined with a red beanie. Picture by: Mitchel lensink

With Love,
Alisson

 

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SEXY AND SUSTAINABLY MADE UNDIES

Cheap underwear is made from synthetic fabrics. Mostly polyester and nylon. These fabrics are loaded with chemicals that  are not bad for your health, ‘apparently’.  The garment workers who made such underwears are suffering and not getting paid enough to make our €2,- panties. We need to stop buying cheap undies. And whether it’s healthy or not we need to stop rubbing toxic chemicals on our most sensitive parts.

I admit it. My underwear drawer contains a lot of cheap H&M and Victoria’s Secrets panties. Those purchases were from before my conscious time. Now that I have been slowly replacing my wardrobe with ethical brands, the time has come to start having underwears from sustainable materials. I started my research and have been adding quality underwear to my drawer. While ethical and slow fashion is growing by the minute there are also new brands making ethical lingerie that do more than keep you comfy. I have gathered five of my favorite underwear companies for you:

1. Erlich Textil

Erlich is based in Cologne, Germany. They make timeless and sexy lingerie with responsible materials. They work with a family-owned textile manufacturer in Romania. The producers they work with use the GOTS standard (Global Organic Textile Standard), ÖkoTex100 certification and carries the BSCI seal of quality (Business Social Compliance Initiative). The BSCI is an organization that works to protect workers’ rights. The garments are made of organic cotton or modal.

2. Anekdot

Anekdot makes ethical underwear and beachwear. The boutique is based in Berlin. The complete process from sketch to finished garment is hand-craft in the studio in Berlin. In the process, they upcycle and use leftovers of fabric as much as possible. They only make the garments they can with the fabrics they have. That’s why the stock is very limited. Their designs are sexy and bold.

3. Troo

Slow and responsible fashion is at the core of the founders of Troo: Nic and Steff Fitzgerald.  For them it is very important to partner up with young designers that also share the same beliefs. Producing beautiful and sexy undies that are responsible as possible with the environment and with the garment workers. The brand of their bralettes is called: Nette Rose. Designed and produced by Megan Miller. All the pieces are handmade in Cape Town (from the same country where the founders of Troo are from). The boutique is based in Switzerland.

4. WORON

WORON is a Scandinavian Brand based in Copenhagen, founded by sisters Arina and Anya Woron. They make comfortable and timeless garments. The fabrics they use are all plant-based. A combination of European produced modal and organic cotton are in all of their pieces. The garments are made in a family owned factory in Hungary. The factory has the ÖkoTex and GOTS certifications. Hungary has a strict working regulations both in terms of minimum wages and working standards. The factory is mostly run by women, employing mainly women and they offer additional benefits for working mothers. (Yeah!)

5. Comazo

Comazo is a German family business. They only use organic cotton for their garments. All the labels as well, sewing threads, and the buttons meet the GOTS standard. Comazo understand bra’s. They know which cup size you can make with organic cotton and when more cup seams are needed for extra support. The straps are slightly wider so it won’t cut into the skin. Due to the soft materials and the careful production process, without chemicals, the Comazo underwear is suitable for people with allergies or sensitive skin.

 

Which one is your favorite?
Look at the whole list of sustainable underwear brands in my shopping guide.

With Love,
Alisson

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OUTFIT: ETHICALLY MADE IN POLAND

Yes! I found another fair and ethical fashion brand. This time I want to introduce you to Jan ‘n June. Jula and Anna started the eco-fashion label out of personal need for stylish, sustainable and affordable clothes. Back in 2013, fair fashion wasn’t easy to find.  After a summer night and a couple of wine glasses, they decided to start with one.

Transparency it´s at the core of Jann ‘n June. For Jula and Anna is very important to produce the clothes as responsible as possible with the environment and the garment workers. The clothes are produced in Wroclaw, Poland in a family-owned factory, where the girls keep an eye on the production. They visit the manufacturer on regular basis to define the workmanship for each article and auditing the factory. They only work with one partner in order to keep it simple and transparent. All the materials come from Turkey, Portugal or India and are GOTS or IVN Best certified. On every garment, you can read about the origin of it.

On these series of pictures, I´m wearing the dress “Cannes Flow Black” from Jan ‘n June. The pictures were made in Amersfoort by the photographer Mitchel Lensink.
Check his work HERE.

Picture by Mitchel Lensink

 

 

 

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Picture by Mitchel Lensink

 

Picture by Mitchel Lensink

What I´m wearing:
Dress // Jan ‘n June (Get it here)
Bag // Matt & Nat (Get it here)
Boots // Second-lifestyle Amersfoort (second-hand shop)

With Love,
Alisson

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9 SWEATERS FOR A COZY WINTER

Winter is coming! Let’s try to make this coming season as green as possible by investing in fairly made and organic sweaters. You might ask why to invest in organic cotton? Here some facts:
– Organic cotton is grown without the use of insecticides, pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
– It protect the farmers, from being exposed to toxic chemicals
– It eliminates the greenhouse gas emissions created through the production of chemical fertilizers.
– The soils remain healthy and sequester more carbon helping to mitigate against climate change.
– Water consumption is reduced as well as the C02 emissions per tonne of cotton fiber.

Today I listed out my favorite sustainable sweaters for you:

1. Sausage dog sweatshirt from Armedangels

Sausage sweater

For the doggie lovers. Made from 100% organic cotton.
Price: €49,90

2. Red sweater from GOAT organic apparel

Unisex cut sweatshirt with a relaxed fit silhouette. Made from soft organic cotton.
Price: €44,95
(See here for outfit inspirations with this sweater)

3. Grey asymetric sweater from YUNIT

Made from 100% organic cotton. 300 grams were used for it. The sweater was designed in Amsterdam and produce in Turkey under fair conditions.
Price: €79,95

4. Orange jumper from People Tree

Dressed up or dressed down, this jumper is a must-have. Fairly made in India from 100% organic cotton.
Price: €115,-

5. Navy crochet jumper from People Tree

Perfect for the upcoming holiday season. Made from 100% organic cotton and fairly hand knitted in Nepal. 
Price: €129,- now €50,85

6. Blue sweater from Noumenon

For the ones who wants to make a difference. Made from soft and organic cotton. 
Price: €155,-

7. Pink sweater from Jan ‘n June

For the pink lovers. Fairly made in Poland from 100% organic cotton.
Price: €80,-

8. Creme bell sleeve sweater from Alchemist

Made under good working conditions (FairWear label) from 40% Alpaca 10% Wool and 50% Nylon. The wool and Alpaca are organic and animal-friendly.
Price: €139,95

9. Black sweater from Armedangels

Made from 100% organic cotton.
Price: €59,90

 

I hope you get inspired and next time you are looking for sweaters, give it a try and look for organic cotton as main fabric. If you are out of budget, before buying something new, try going first to a second-hand shop. There are a lot of “old” clothes ready to have a new life.

With Love,

Alisson

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RESTYLE IN AMERSFOORT: RECYCLING AT IT´S BEST

Since I moved to Amersfoort I have been a regular client of “Kringloopcentrum Amersfoort”. I love to go through the clothes section and hunt for treasures. A lot of my outfits have pieces that I bought there. They looked like new and ready to have a longer life. When a sister shop of this Kringloopcentrum opened it’s doors last September, I was eager to check it out and see what they had to offer. I went there and learned more about their concept.

The shop is called “Restyle” and there you will find everything you need for your sewing addiction: Antique buttons, beautiful fabrics, yarns, jewelry, sewing books and patterns and more to perfect your sewing skills. Besides, you can find the nicest vintage clothes and bags. Lastly, you will find clothes from their house brand as well, which has been previously restyled. You can recognize them by the extra logo of a circle. The artist/designer behind this is Sally Pittman. She and a group of other people are constantly giving old clothes a new life.

The atelier where they work is on the second floor of Kringloopcentrum Amersfoort. Up there they are busy with recycling and finding ways to make old textiles into something new. Most of the time Sally makes bags, cooking aprons, pillowcases and more. All fabrics are unique and 100% from recycled materials.

Next time you go to the Kringloop take a look at this vintage initiative.
Restyle is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 13:00 to 17:00 o’clock. The address is Zwaaikom 29A in Amersfoort.

With love,
Alisson

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OUTFIT: SEXY AND ETHICALLY MADE

Ethically made lingerie has the bad reputation of being boring and basic. It took me some time until I found this sexy badass lingerie brand: Netter Rose that I discovered through Troo. A webshop that sells only ethically made pieces.

Slow and responsible fashion is at the core of the founders of Troo: Nic and Steff Fitzgerald.  For them is very important to partner up with young designers that also share the same beliefs. Producing beautiful and sexy clothes that are responsible as possible with the environment and with the garment workers.

On these series of pictures, I´m wearing the bralettes from the brand Nette Rose that I got through Troo. This is a brand of intimates designed and produced by Megan Miller. The pieces are handmade in Cape Town (from the same country where the founders of Troo are from).
The pictures were made in my home by the talented photographer Marisa Broekhuizen Check her work HERE.

 

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Picture by Marisa Elisa Photography

 

 

 

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Picture by Marisa Elisa Photography

 

What I´m wearing:
Bralette // FREYA size S in burgundy from Nette Rose via Troo (Get it here)
Pants // Sideswept dhoti from Matter (Get it here)
Lipstick // Boho lipstick “figue” 309 via Blossom Up natuurlijke verzorging (Get it here)

 

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Picture by Marisa Elisa Photography

 

 

 

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Picture by Marisa Elisa Photography

What I´m wearing:
Bralette // ANNA size L from Nette Rose via Troo (Get it here)
Skirt // Lievevrouw snuffelmarkt Amersfoort
Lipstick // Boho lipstick figue 309 via Blossom Up natuurlijke verzorging (Get it here)

 

With Love,
Alisson

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FOR THREE MONTHS I WORE THE SAME CLOTHES

Three months ago I decided to do project 333: The minimalist fashion challenge that invites you to create and live with a wardrobe of 33 items or less for 3 months.
I wanted a smaller wardrobe to be conscious of the clothes I like to wear and to get to know my style a little bit better. I also wanted to see if I would have less decision-stress at the moment to choose what to wear every morning.

Three months have passed and here is what I learned from wearing the same 33 pieces of clothes over and over again. (Check HERE to see my 33 pieces)

Learning points:

  • During these three months, I didn’t feel guilty of not wearing an item of my wardrobe. Before I occasionally felt bad that I had clothes I didn’t wear so often – almost never – but still had a place in my closet. This guilty feeling didn´t come back.
  • I found it very easy to choose what to wear every morning. This challenge made me a lot more creative with clothes and outfits combinations.
  • I took better care of my clothes. During these months I washed my clothes less often and I stopped letting the clothes I used during the day on the floor. Once you own less, you feel more the need to be kind to few clothes you have.
  • Social media can be your worst enemy. Even though I know social media is not real, some days I felt bad about myself and sometimes even boring and ugly. When I scrolled down Instagram and saw all the amazing bloggers with amazing new clothes I felt a little bit left out. This took me some mind work, but I just kept on reminding myself why I started this challenge and I just left my telephone aside and went back to feeling good with the challenge.
  • This challenge learned me that the most important thing is to feel good about myself. This is what I will reflect, regardless what I wear. You will never find something that makes you feel beautiful, smart, and loved. until you believe you are all of this.
  • The last two weeks of the challenge were very hard. At some point, I was a little bit tired of wearing the same. I eventually had favorites within my small closet, so I kept on repeating those items, making me feel a little bit done before the end. I could have replaced the items that I didn’t like anymore but I was almost ready with the challenge. The last week I cheated a little bit and wear two different pieces of clothes that were not in my closet.
  • The weather where I live (The Netherlands) is bipolar. This made it hard for me to chose my items, so I opted to have basic pieces making my wardrobe looking to save and sometimes boring. Even though I chose only pieces that I love, next time I would like to choose more colorful and printed pieces. To be honest, I missed more dresses and summer clothes, but I was so scared of the weather that I played it safe.
  • I can not say that I know my style 100%, but I know which are the pieces that I like, and which ones I don´t. I hope this will help me in the future to buy more consciously clothes.
  • The item that I wore the most was my black destroyed jeans and the black jeans, what I wore less was the striped dress.
  • What I had less trouble with: repeating shoes.
  • At my work, I didn’t hear any comment regarding me, repeating clothes. When I talked about the challenge with my colleagues they didn’t notice before that I was repeating clothes. I was so scared of people realizing that I was wearing the same clothes over and over again, but soon enough I realized that nobody cares! I was maybe too egocentric to think that people would notice, but the truth is that the only person who cares what you are wearing is yourself.

The challenge is over. What now?
No polyester! I want to start removing polyester from my life and start having clothes from more sustainable materials. I shop a lot at second-hand shops and markets but I want to be more aware of this low-quality material and start refusing it. I want my clothes to last and to be good with the environment.

More ethical brands. I started investing in fair fashion brands, and I would like my wardrobe to have more of these brands. I do combine it with second-hand because that’s also a more sustainable way of shopping.

Buy only what I need. Even though I am most of the time a conscious buyer, sometimes I do buy things that I regret later on. From now on, I want to have less of this and more smart shopping.

Own fewer clothes. Now that the challenge is over, I took back my box of clothes that were not in the challenge and I still love them, but I feel that I have too much. Maybe I won´t own only 33 items, but I will definitely stick to 50 or less.

Here are some pictures of my favorite outfits:

Picture: Marisa Elisa Photography
Picture: Corine Zomer
Picture: Marisa Elisa Photography
Picture: Marisa Elisa Photography
Picture: Marisa Elisa Photography

 

I hope you feel inspired to start this challenge. Read more information about it here.

With Love,
Alisson

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CLEAN UP YOUR CLOSET TIPS (AND START MAKING MONEY)

Cleaning up my closet has become a routine for me. Ever since a little kid, my mother encouraged me to donate the clothes that didn´t fit me anymore. With the years I have gathered some experience and here are my tips to help you clean up your closet:

1. Prepare yourself with a nice drink and a happy playlist.

2. Start by taking every single item out of your closet and place them on your bed or the floor.

3. Place one by one the items back in the closet. Before you do it, ask yourself the following questions about each item:

  • Does it still fit?
  • Have I worn it in the last 12 months?
  • Would I wear it again?
  • Do I love the way it looks on me?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then put the items back to your closet, if the answer is no, put them aside and start making two piles:
To donate: If the clothes are too worn out or need to be fixed.
To sell: If the clothes are still in a good state to give it a second round.

4. Hang the items that you want to keep neatly back in your closet. Do so into categories. I like to start with shorts and skirts, then pants, shirts, blouses, dresses, blazers, and jackets. This way the items you want to keep in your closet are organized and clutter free so you can see everything you own at once. Put the shoes neatly on the floor of the closet.

5. Store your seasonal clothes that don´t fit the current season in boxes in your spare space. (Under the bed, in the attic etc) Having only in your closet the clothes that you currently wear, makes it easier to choose what to wear.

6. If you have clothes to fold, do it in an organized way and also into categories rather than in colors.  Make sure your organization works for you and won’t confuse you as to where your things are.

7. Use the backward hanger strategy when putting clothes back into your closet to get a better idea of the items you actually wear often. Face all of your hangers away from you and replace each one the “right way” after wearing the item hanging on it. Check back in a couple of months then a year to see which hangers are still facing the wrong way. Maybe it’s time to get rid of those articles and clean out your closet again?

8. Once your closet is organized, move on to the two piles you made.

9. Put all the clothes of the “donate” pile in a box and leave it close to your door so you bring it to a charity shop as soon as possible.

10. Put the clothes of the “sell” pile neatly on a box and bring it as soon as possible to the nearest second-hand shop. Another option is to sell it in a flea-market or to sell them online via an online platform for selling clothes.

I hope you like these tips and get inspired to clean up your closet and start selling the clothes that you don´t wear anymore. Do you miss any tip? Let me know in the comments below.

With Love,

Alisson

P.S.: For all my Dutch followers, I´m organizing a second-hand market in Amersfoort! Read here all the information about it.

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