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  • A year in blogging with photographer Jessie Cagliero

    As of this week , it has been an entire year that I started shooting with Jessie Cagliero Photography. Thanks to her and her inspiring photography, she has inspired me to persevere on this platform, put myself out there, and hone my craft the best I can. Honestly, I love blogging- writing, shooting, sharing, and promoting what I believe in. But I’ll admit it’s a struggle for me 

    working on a computer, sitting for long stretches, updating my website, keeping up with the wonderful world of tech- SEO, WordPress, algorithms, etc. But in some strange way, maybe because I’m such a visual person- having beautiful images that I’m proud of has helped me to find my voice. Yes, I am still finding it. But for now, it feels really good to have come as far as I’ve come, and to have the opportunity to do something I love.



    There is so much I want to share about personal style- confidence, empowerment, and raising your self-esteem through your style- and then there’s the sustainable fashion side of my mission. I am committed to using this blog as a platform to speak up about what I believe in and to advocate for sustainable fashion and a more conscious way of living. 


    Great style does not need to come at the cost of human or environmental ethics.



    I simply refuse to promote or engage in fast fashion (I know it’s trendy and may gain more followers) or any fashion that I would not consider sustainable in some way.  (the fashion industry is still the second most polluting industry in the world after oil btw- NOT OK!)



    These days the ideas seem to flow through me much faster than I can keep up with communicating them. I am committed to doing the work and educating myself on enhancing my blog and my reach, but I believe it’s so important to surround yourself with people that believe in you and that inspire you to really see your potential to fruition. Thank you Jessie Cagliero for being that person for me. 



    To celebrate what I consider an amazing year, blogging-wise anyways, I am re-posting my very first post in collaboration with my photographer Jessie.  From the very start, I knew we’d make a great team and I just sensed she was speaking my language. And based on the essence and energy of her photography, I was right. She got it- just what I was looking for- my realness, my enthusiasm, my authenticity, my truth– I guess would be a good way to describe it.



    This post was originally posted one year ago, found here. Enjoy!



    The Journey of a V-Neck Sweater/ Callina brand (002)


    With no stretch of the imagination, the current state of the world is loaded with uncertainty. With the recent election, climate change, and {for us fashion lovers here} the fashion industry’s ethical and environmental strains, there are plenty of worldly affairs that register high on the anxiety scale. (The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world after oil- YUCK!)


    What to do to appease your anxieties? My suggestion is to take action, preferably around something that brings you great joy, such as shopping. Not the retail therapy type of binge shopping {that I would’ve engaged in the past}, but making conscious choices on each purchase you make- considering where it comes from, how it’s made, and by whom. Each purchase is a vote. Each choice matters. Do your best to make your next shopping choice a sustainable and ethical one.







    What exactly does that mean? There are many ways to shop, live, and ‘be’ more conscious, ethical and sustainable in the world. I’m talking about purchasing items from designers and brands that source and manufacture in ways that support the well-being of people and planet Earth, such as the brand featured here, Callina (more on them below).


    One of my favorite ways to shop sustainably and ethically is to invest in pieces that could last a lifetime, that go with many other pieces in my wardrobe, can be worn a number of different ways, and used in a number of different settings, as shown here. These are what I consider true investment pieces, not only because they will stay with me for years and years to come, but when you factor in the cost per wear- it really elevates the value of your purchase.





    Each of the looks shown in this story are based upon one such investment piece- a V-neck sweater*, with which I repurposed and recreated 5 different looks to be worn on 5 different days.


    Now consider this- these five looks were styled for only one photoshoot, produced in one day. Imagine what I could do with this one sweater over the course of a month, or years. It could be worn hundreds of different ways. Now that is a piece worth investing in.



    My main objective in doing this story is not to convince or challenge you to wear the very same item five days in a row, but to illustrate how fun and playful it actually can be to stretch your creativity, and style an item from your wardrobe a number of different ways. Stretching the limits of your wardrobe does not need to be a strain or another stress-inducing chore in your life where you are just trying to do the right thing. Because really, this is a fun thing too!






    Fortunately for us fashion lovers, the going trends are all about individuality- be yourself, be authentic, show your true colors, and let your weird shine! So go ahead and be as creative as your little heart desires with your styling choices. No rules. Repurpose, recycle, recreate!


    Callina, the ethical, sustainable goodness that is the maker of this V-neck sweater worn throughout, is a San Francisco based brand that is speaking our sustainable fashion-loving language. They believe that “sustainable luxury fashion can also have a positive impact on the communities and cultures where we collaborate.” Their designs are handmade by master artisans with the finest sustainable fibers, such as the ethically sourced and environmentally conscious Alpaca yarn from Peru (shown here).


    Callina specializes in luxe knits constructed with impeccable attention to detail that I consider trans-seasonal staples that will mix and match so effortlessly with just about everything in your closet. Callina’s designs are marked by elegance and class, modern yet timeless lines, and a softness that is irresistible. I encourage you to read more about this brand on their website {here}, and of course, do some shopping if you’re due for a little sustainable luxury in your life.



    Day 1
    Library run: brushing up on a few things

    A super soft knit that’s warm, cozy, and versatile is your ultimate styling piece- and a very smart purchase too. My favorite way to show off my smarts is to dress smart. Never underestimate the power of a vintage tartan skirt + a forever classic V-neck to intellectualize your look. Harvard, here I come!







    Day 2
    Date night on the town

    This V-neck sweater has a feather-weight feel, yet is substantial enough to actually keep me warm (key!). For date night I like to dress it up a little more than usual. I layered this sharply tailored vest over vintage leather pants to step it up a notch. Oh what a night!










    Day 3

    An ideal layering piece, such as this V-neck sweater, can be pared under a blazer without the bulk; this one look can be replicated with multiple jacket and pant options to show how seamlessly this piece mixes into a workwear wardrobe. Mixing prints can come off as too quirky for workwear, but grounding the look with a timeless neutral, such as this navy sweater, makes mixing prints totally office-worthy.








    Day 4
    Girls night out

    The addition of just a few edgy accessories takes this sweater from all business to all play! An oversized belt and bracelets add flair and personality. This bomber jacket (by ASOS Eco Edit) screams ‘model off duty,’ in case that’s the look you’re going for (wink).









    Day 5
    Weekend shopping look

    Nothing breaks up a Canadian tuxedo like a crisp neutral, like this V-neck. It even adds some polish too. Here, I added a vintage silk kerchief around the neck and an animal-print belt to take this from basic to best-in-show. It all comes down to what you pair it with.








    This sweater & I have been on a journey together. I have stretched it’s limits to be worn as diversely as I could. I want it to feel loved and useful because how we treat our things, just like people, matters.


    I hope this post inspires you to stretch your styling parameters, use your imagination, and come out of your sartorial shell so you can have more fun getting dressed and feel better about the shopping choices you make. Stay tuned for upcoming Journey segments.






    *Callina Emma V-Neck Lace Collar Pullover in Indigo $175

    Gold circle earrings- Janna Conner, made exclusively in LA $20

    (Make sure to take advantage of 15% off all Janna Conner designs with code: LAURA)



    Photography by JESSIE MARIE CAGLIERO

    Partnered with Photographer Jessie Cagliero, the lady behind many of my beautiful new blog photos.

    Thank you Jessie Cagliero, the lady behind many of my beautiful blog photos! You are an angel!



    A special thank you to REMAKE for inspiring this post, and introducing me to photographer Jessie. Your mission has been a catalyst to live and shop as a more conscious consumer in this world.


    Get involved. Become part of the movement for a healthier, more sustainable fashion world. I believe that together we can change the face of fashion.  Wear what you love and wear what empowers you. Also consider where your clothes were made and who made them. Your purchase may empower the person who made them (or not). Shop wisely.

    Every purchase is a vote. Make yours count. Dress in clothing you love and that have a positive impact on you and the rest of the world.

    *The items featured on this blog are what I consider sustainable fashion and/or are items I have owned for a very long time- which I would then consider a sustainable fashion choice simply for the longevity of it.


    Photography by Jessie Cagliero


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