Time to step up – 3 things you can do to help during Covid-19

 3 decent things you can do to help during Covid-19;

We live in London, I’m 37, my son is 2.5, and my husband is 35. We are very healthy and not in a high-risk group in regards to the Coronavirus. For us, most likely, if we got sick it would be like having the regular flu.

But that doesn’t mean that we should just relax and not care about what happens. We have a responsibility to not only take this illness seriously and take precautions to not get sick and spread the virus. We should also actively help our community and those who might not be as lucky as we are.

Here are 3 decent things you can do to help during Covid-19;

It's our responsibility to actively help our community during these testing times - Here are 3 decent things you can do to help during Covid-19;

1. Help the elderly.

This is a tricky one because we want to help them, not infect them. Here in the UK, they are talking about isolating anyone over 70 for 4 months. That is a very very long time. Especially if you are on your own.

Not only is food and care an issue, but also their mental health. So to help out, my family has “adopted” 5 elderly in our area to make sure they will have food and other necessities. But also give them some of our time for a chat now and then.

This is obviously slightly tricky when we shouldn’t really be spending time with them. So we have solved it by putting notes with our phone numbers in their post boxes, then once they have got in contact, we call them every time we go to the shop. We then leave whatever they need on their doorstep and ring the bell.

Apart from this we call and check in on them and ask how they are coping as often as we can. If we feel that they are in need of some social interaction, we ask them to open a window and have a chat from the street at a safe distance. It’s the best we can do at the moment, but it can make quite the difference if you are elderly and living on your own.

2. Support local businesses.

Local small businesses are going to be hit really hard by this. And it won’t just be them who are affected, so are we. We will have fewer options in our lives. Our high-streets are at risk and we have to make sure to protect them as much as we can.

There are a few ways to do this. You can order delivery from your local favorite restaurants, choose to buy your food in the smaller shops over the big supermarkets (they will actually probably have more in stock anyway). And some cafés and restaurants are offering vouchers and gift cards that can be redeemed once this is all over.

It’s not like we are struggling for money as consumers, so we need to keep on spending to make sure the whole financial system stays afloat.

And if you, like me, have an online presence. Use your voice for good and give local businesses a little shoutout highlighting whatever promotion they are running to get by.

3. Don’t spread false information.

OMG, I have been fuming at the amount of un-checked information I have been sent in the last week. Inside sources from the military/government/specialty doctors..etc. 99% of the information is not only completely false, but they are also downright dangerous. It’s causing unnecessary panic and drowning out the legitimate sources that are out there.

Don’t listen to what your friend’s friend on Facebook says about gurgling ginger and washing with vodka. Go follow reputable sources like WHO, the NHS or at least a news platform, like the BBC. And if you get anything un-checked sent to you, ask for the source, do a quick google and nip it in the bud before it can cause damage.

It's our responsibility to actively help our community during these testing times - Here are 3 decent things you can do to help during Covid-19;

I’m sure there are plenty of more things you can do to help during Covid-19. So why don’t we share all the ways we are helping our community in the comments to encourage others to do the same?

It’s up to us as a community to get through this with as little damage as possible. There are some tough times ahead. But we are not helpless. We can affect the situation we are in and we can make sure to be a part of the solution.

Photos – Roz Alcazar

You can find my outfit here. (affiliate links)

Don’t forget to tune in to the Corona Cocktail Party tonight at 20.00 on my Instagram. It’s a place to meet in our PJs with a drink and discuss the situation. I have invited guests with insights from different countries and you can join me at any time either by applying to share the screen or just leaving a comment. Maybe you can think of more things you can do to help during Covid-19?

 

The importance of sustainability initiatives from high-street brands

Once we have a bit more eco-awareness and are properly in the sustainable community, we tend to wrinkle our noses at any sustainability initiatives from high-street brands.   Mainly because of possible greenwashing and general greed of mass production. We know that even though a brand has a sustainable line, it doesn't always make them a sustainable choice since the rest of the clothes they make are the opposite.  However, there are some great reasons why we as sustainable influencers and ethical supporters should tone down our eco snobbery and actually look at the benefits these lines bring.

Once we have a bit more eco-awareness and are properly integrated into the sustainable community, we tend to wrinkle our noses at any sustainability initiatives from high-street brands. 

Mainly because of possible greenwashing and general greed of mass production. We know that even though a brand has a sustainable line, it doesn’t always make them a sustainable choice since the rest of the clothes they make are the opposite.

However, there are some great reasons why we as sustainable influencers and ethical supporters should tone down our eco snobbery and actually look at the benefits these lines bring.

Yes, high-street brands are in general not particularly sustainable for an array of reasons. But their sustainable initiatives are bringing two really massive positives to the cause.

Once we have a bit more eco-awareness and are properly in the sustainable community, we tend to wrinkle our noses at any sustainability initiatives from high-street brands.   Mainly because of possible greenwashing and general greed of mass production. We know that even though a brand has a sustainable line, it doesn't always make them a sustainable choice since the rest of the clothes they make are the opposite.  However, there are some great reasons why we as sustainable influencers and ethical supporters should tone down our eco snobbery and actually look at the benefits these lines bring.

Reason 1 – Information and education.

With their massive advertising budgets, they spread information much more efficiently than smaller brands. They can educate and highlight problems and solutions to a much bigger audience than what smaller sustainable brands can. This means that the general population is getting served knowledge they might not have gone looking for otherwise.

Basically, they are making sustainability “trendy”. And even though it goes against what purists in the community believe in, it’s making more people care about buying clothes that are ethically and sustainably produced.

Reason 2 – Gateway products.

I often talk about gateway products when I hold talks or take part in panels on sustainability. My own interest in sustainable clothing actually came through one such product. A pair of trousers from H&M conscious collection. Before I bought these trousers a few years ago, I didn’t really reflect too much about who, how or what my clothes were made from. I actually just picked the trousers because I thought they looked really nice.

And that planted a little green seed in my mind that begun to sprout and grow. Next time I went to H&M, I went straight to the conscious selection. And after a while, I started digging into other even more sustainable brands. An interest was born through a gateway product.

Those who don’t have an interest in sustainability won’t go looking for it. But, if they come across it by mistake somewhere familiar to them, there is that opportunity of an interest being born. And as with every interest, once you get going, it usually grows.

Once we have a bit more eco-awareness and are properly in the sustainable community, we tend to wrinkle our noses at any sustainability initiatives from high-street brands.   Mainly because of possible greenwashing and general greed of mass production. We know that even though a brand has a sustainable line, it doesn't always make them a sustainable choice since the rest of the clothes they make are the opposite.  However, there are some great reasons why we as sustainable influencers and ethical supporters should tone down our eco snobbery and actually look at the benefits these lines bring.

Basically what we forget to give these sustainability initiatives from high-street brands credit for is the important part they have in converting non-interest from the general public, into a possible future customer of sustainable brands.

It’s important to remember that there is a scale of sustainability. With most sustainability initiatives from high-street brands on one end and carbon-negative super sustainable brands on the other end. Most of the time a consumer isn’t going to go straight to the most sustainable brands, mainly because they don’t have the knowledge yet to understand the full extent of what it means. It’s a journey from one side to the other and we will all be at different places in that journey. Some won’t make it past high-street and that’s ok, but if we allow their interest to grow, they will most likely advance through the spectrum at some rate.

Sustainability initiatives from high-street brands are a really great first place to begin a journey in sustainability and I think we really need to understand and appreciate this and not just discount it as trickery and greenwashing. Do you agree?

Photos – Roz Alcazar. Location – no32 Old Town in Clapham.

You can find my coat here, my sustainable jumper here (gift), my shoes here, similar trousers here and a pre-loved version of my bag here. (affiliate links)

 

My #OneItemAMonth for February

No fashion purchase can be more sustainable than Stella McCartney, right? Wrong. My #OneItemAMonth for February is even better...

No fashion purchase can be more sustainable than Stella McCartney, right?

Wrong.

The one thing more sustainable than Stella McCartney is pre-loved Stella McCartney.

I have to say that I’m pretty chuffed with my  #OneItemAMonth for February – A pre-loved blazer by one of my absolute favorite designers. And it’s pink!

I found this beauty at a second-hand shop in Wandsworth called Shonamac. I was there to drop off a ring and some glasses I don’t wear anymore to be sold, and there it was. Apparently, it had just come in, and I was the first person to pick it up.

Let’s just say I didn’t hesitate for one millisecond. I paid £220 for it and it’s basically brand new. (It retails at £795 on Farfetch) What a find!

For me, this will be a future wardrobe hero. I have been wearing pink for as long as I can remember, I’m all about the neutrals and pastels. So a pink slightly oversized blazer (It’s one size up) will slot right in.

It’s the perfect addition to my spring wardrobe and I will wear this blazer with whites, beiges, greys and like in the photos with my old pink Zara trousers I have had for 6 years. The two almost look like a suit together.

No fashion purchase can be more sustainable than Stella McCartney, right? Wrong. My #OneItemAMonth for February is even better...

If this doesn’t inspire you to have a browse in your local second-hand store, then I don’t know what will.

Just because an item doesn’t work for one person doesn’t mean it won’t be an absolute treasure for someone else. It all comes down to knowing your own style and what you will wear regularly. It’s about looking past trends and “musts” and tune in to what suits you and will do well for your wardrobe.

Never ever be ashamed for your taste, even if it’s not “in fashion” right now. Trends change all the time, but your inner style compass will lead you past all the fads and silly rules. Trust your own taste, it’s usually right.

With a #OneItemAMonth for February this good, I have no idea what I will pick in March. This is pretty much as good as it gets for me.

If you are keen to try out the #OneItemAMonth challenge, check out this post. It’s really not hard or even very restrictive. I promise you your wallet will be a bit fuller, your wardrobe more structured, you will shop for the right reasons and find your personal style. Pretty cool, right?

Don’t forget to share your own monthly find on the hashtag #OneItemAMonth so we can inspire each other to buy even better. 

You can find my blazer here, the beige jumper here, and a pair of similar pink trousers here. (affiliate links)

Photos – Roz Alcazar. Location – Common in Clapham Common. 

 

My 5 daily anxiety-reducing habits

I have been struggling with anxiety the bigger part of my life. So I have developed 5 daily anxiety-reducing habits to make sure I not only cope, but thrive

If you have followed me here on the blog or on my Instagram for a while, you probably know by now that I have struggled with anxiety the bigger part of my life.

Actually, I would like to say all my life, because I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t anxious as a kid. But I highly doubt I came wired that way and for me personally, I think the trigger was my parent’s very messy divorce when I was 4.

It was so bad that the next time the two of them were in the same room again was at my wedding almost 30 years later. So you can imagine…

But enough about me and my reasons for needing coping mechanisms.

Anxiety is incredibly common. I’m yet to meet someone who has not been affected by it at all. You just happen to sit at one end or the other of the scale.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t change and reduce your anxiety. This is something I’m living proof of. I have in my 30s managed to make friends with and accept my anxiety for what it is.

These days it only affects my life in very minor ways. Mainly because I don’t allow it to do any unnecessary damage.

I have been struggling with anxiety the bigger part of my life. So I have developed 5 daily anxiety-reducing habits to make sure I not only cope, but thrive

The first step to dealing with anxiety is to understand that you have it, what it feels like and what your triggers are.

For me, it took many years before I finally found a word for that constant inner panic I felt. And by labeling the feeling, it stopped the anxiety from mastering me and I began to take over the control. I realized I wasn’t at the mercy of how I felt, I could actually change my thoughts, actions and with that my emotions to be a much happier person.

The second step was to find my triggers.

For me, it’s stress, uncertainty, bad sleep, alcohol, and hormones mainly. With stress and hormones being the big ones. The best thing I ever did for my anxiety was to come off birth control. I had been on the pill from I was 15 and I never actually knew how much it affected me.

When I came off it to start trying for a baby about 5 years ago, my life truly changed for the better (obviously in many ways). I found myself to be a much more calm and stable person than before. And my anxiety halved in a matter of months as my body was taking back control of my hormones. So if you have bad anxiety, it’s worth looking at your contraception.

Stress is, unfortunately, something we all have to deal with to some extent. But to us who are more prone to anxiety, we have to have coping mechanisms that actually work to be able to handle it without breaking down.

It’s not just about surviving, it’s about thriving and living a full life.

I have been struggling with anxiety the bigger part of my life. So I have developed 5 daily anxiety-reducing habits to make sure I not only cope, but thrive

The third step was to find ways to cope that worked for me. And these are my 5 daily anxiety-reducing habits ;

1. I plan my day.

Every morning before I get out of bed, I plan my day. Usually in the calendar on my phone. I make a small to-do list and set any alarms I might need. It helps me feel in control and I never have to stress because I forgot something or I’m double booked. Anxiety likes uncertainty, so to put some structure down straight away makes a massive difference to how I feel. 

2. I learn something new.

I know that one of my triggers is a deep-rooted fear that I’m not doing enough with my life. It all feels so short and time is moving so quickly, so I’m always pushing myself to do as much as possible in as little time as possible. And not even then am I sure I have actually done the right things, so I do some more. 

Obviously, it’s not healthy. So to lower my expectations on myself, but still, feel like I’m growing as a person. I make sure to learn at least one new thing a day. Usually from a magazine, blog or book.

And when I have learned that first thing, I mentally check it off and give myself a break from pressuring myself the rest of the day. It might sound silly, but it really works.

3. I visualize.

I like to feel in control and I know it keeps my anxiety at bay. So to visualize, mood board and plan for the future is something I do daily. It keeps me on top of my goals and focuses my energy on making plans instead of stressing about them. When I can see the bigger picture, the smaller things don’t seem as scary or unpredictable anymore. 

4. I get outside and move.

By now we all know exercise is good for anxiety, but it can also generate it. There is a reason why so many fail at going to the gym…it’s another pressure we put on ourselves.

So if I don’t feel like working out, I don’t. Instead, I take a walk on my own, with my son and/or the dog. The fresh air, constant change of scenery and my body moving will do the trick. It doesn’t have to be a full-on sweat session. 

5. I meditate.

Every night I take at least 10 minutes to lay down on my spike mat with a meditation app. Lately, I have even started putting the mat in bed and as soon as I’m ready to drift off, I just move it out of the way. The hubby doesn’t love it, I have to admit, but at least he is staying on his side of the bed for a while (he is a massive bed-hogger!) So it’s secretly a massive win-win for me. 

To empty my mind before I go to bed helps me go to sleep without over-thinking. And the spike mat makes my body release lots of lovely endorphins, so I sleep really well.

Obviously, we are all different and have our own specific triggers. But this is what works for me.

I don’t feel like my anxiety is a problem for me in my life anymore. There will always be a day here and there when I’m not at the top of my game. But as long as I can recognize that unsettled feeling and be ok with it, then I can be kind to myself and give myself a break when I need it.

It’s all about self-knowledge and self-love people.

Get to know your anxiety, understand it, and then you create your own daily anxiety-reducing habits to make sure you are not just surviving, but thriving every day.

(If you already have some daily anxiety-reducing habits that really works for you, please feel free to share them with the rest of us in the comments.)

Photo – Roz Alcazar. You can find my outfit here.

 

What is luxury upcycling and how does it work?

Does the word upcycling give you mental images of badly crafted pillows? Well, then you haven't come across luxury upcycling!

Does the word upcycling give you mental images of vintage floral dresses becoming whimsical pillows and old bicycle parts made into slightly questionable jewellery?

It did to me.

I always felt that upcycling was a bit too DIY and crafty for me personally, and not in the best sense of the words. To be honest I hadn’t come across many re-worked pieces of clothes or jewellery that I actually wanted to wear.

I never truly got along with the old sewing machine anyway. I would have loved to be one of those people who just magically transformed old clothes into new beautiful styles, I’m just not.

So even though I have a keen interest in sustainability, I hadn’t really explored upcycling as an option for me.

However, that was before I realised that I don’t have to make my own stuff, I can buy things others have already upcycled. And I got* my first ever piece the other day.

And what a piece it is! I’m totally blown away with the imagination and skill of the girl that made me this beautiful choker necklace from a VINTAGE CHANEL BUTTON!

Yes, I’m serious, this is a “real” Chanel. Well, at least the main part of it is authentic. This is luxury upcycling at it’s best.

At first, I was wondering if I was tiptoeing the line of buying counterfeit. But after careful consideration, I decided that no, in the end the button is real, the person who made it is not in any way hiding that it’s made from a button and neither will I.

…and also, what a gorgeously sustainable way to take something unwanted and making it the star of any outfit.

It made me think of when I was younger and put the lock from my Louis Vuitton bag on a gold chain and wore it around my neck. I had no idea that it was actually luxury upcycling I was doing.

Because in the end upcycling is the art of taking something we don’t want anymore and transforming it into something desirable.

But It made me think of what else I could re-work and make into something completely different. (No pillows and bicycle-parts for me still…). But maybe an old pair of trousers that could become cool shorts (yes, cut off denim is upcycling too!). An old dress could become a skirt and I have a bag that would look nice with a new strap. With a bit of imagination, the options are endless.

…and now I know you are going to aks me for the details of who made me this necklace. She obviously has very limited stock and tends to be sold out most of the time. But if you want to get one for yourself, give me a shout in the comments and I will email over her details.

So, what do you think about luxury upcycling? Would you give it a go?

* I didn’t exactly buy it, I got the necklace as a Christmas gift from my boys. But it was one of those I chose for myself. 

Photos – Roz Alcazar

Does the word upcycling give you mental images of badly crafted pillows? Well, then you haven't come across luxury upcycling!
 

5 simple ways to be more clever with social media

Do you want to be more clever with social media? I have 5 simple rules to make sure you reap the positive benefits rather than the negative #MINDFLUENCING

Social media can be like a big flood, carrying you away into the distance in the search of all kinds of weird and wonderful things. It can be an amazing adventure that opens up doors to people, places, and cultures from all over the world.

But the same flood can also be exhausting, overpowering, get you lost and eventually pull you under from all the pressure.

We need to start being more clever with social media. Only dead fish swim with the stream…

There are 5 really simple things you can do to maximize the positive aspects of a community online;

1. Only follow accounts that make you feel good. 

If you go on your feed and at any time get a little sting of anxiety or jealousy when looking at a picture or video – UNFOLLOW. Life is too short to be comparing yourself or feeling bad. Once you unfollow an account you don’t have to deal with that feeling in regards to that particular content anymore. Only follow someone when their content truly resonates with you in a positive way.

2. Be 100% authentic in what you are putting out.

It’s really easy to lose yourself in a persona online. It might be fun at first, but eventually, it will lead to pressure and anxiety. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have pretty photos in your feed. As long as you are posting for you, as yourself then you are leading with your heart.

3. Try to post positive things.

Not only will you feel better about what you are putting out in the world, but you will also receive more positive feedback in your comments. Negativity tends to invite negativity, so if you know you are sensitive to any negative feedback, try to stay away from initiating it.

4. Don’t let likes and other stats determine your worth.

It’s easy to see social media as a popularity contest and feel validated when someone likes your photos. However, it swings both ways and once you connect a part of your self-worth to what strangers think of you online, you are on a slippery slope. Our brains tend to mainly focus on the negative, so even if you have only one post that gets less attention than what you wanted, it will affect you in a negative way.

5. Try not to take social media too seriously.

It’s meant to be fun and reality is, a platform could disappear tomorrow. So don’t get too emotionally invested. It’s in the end not real, so treat it as a bit of fun and leave the pressures of perfection and status behind and you will be a lot more clever with social media.

We are living in such a strange time, especially for us who didn’t grow up with social media. Hopefully, in the future, the culture around online content and socials will be both better regulated and less anxiety-inducing.

Do you want to be more clever with social media? I have 5 simple rules to make sure you reap the positive benefits rather than the negative #MINDFLUENCING

Since I really made the effort to follow these 5 simple rules, my whole relationship with social media has truly changed.  I have taken charge of my own experience.

These days the comparison, jealousy, anxiety, and pressure that I at times could feel in the past, completely gone. I use social media in a completely different and much healthier way.

I think at times, all we need to do is stop step away and look at a situation objectively to realize that social media is a tool. It’s the user who decides what that tool will actually produce in the end.

So let’s take responsibility for our own online experience and make sure we are clever with social media. So we won’t lose this valuable, weird and wonderful tool in the future.  

Photo – Roz Alcazar. You can find my outfit here. 

This article is a part of the #MINDFLUENCING campaign I launched in collaboration with Instagram in 2019. You can find other articles I have written on the subject of mindfulness online here. 

 

Wardrobe heroes & the 4 pillars of a sustainable capsule wardrobe

wardrobe heroes - The 4 pillars of a sustainable capsule wardrobe

In my journey going from a crazy clothes-hoarding shopaholic to now being the proud owner of a highly curated timeless sustainable wardrobe. I have learned that the best-balanced wardrobe is based on these 4 pillars;

1. Essentials

The stuff we all need like underwear, socks, t-shirts, jeans, softies… etc.

Basically, the items that might not be all that exciting to buy, but necessary to have*. These are the clothes we will use, abuse and likely have to discard (preferably donate to fabric recycling if possible) at some point. They will get worn and washed a lot, and because of this, they won’t have a particularly good second-hand value and will rarely last us past 3 years of use.

Because of this, I don’t recommend spending a large amount of money on these kinds of basics since they won’t last. You will most likely get a fairly good #PricePerWear out of them if you go for a mid-range price point and focus on quality over designer names.

Essentials are excellent to buy from sustainable brands. It will give you the quality without the designer price tag and as we have to keep on re-buying these items we are supporting an industry that truly needs it. Most sustainable brands have a great selection of basics, so why not find a favorite and stick with it?

Personal examples of great essentials; My t-shirts by Theo + George and basic underwear by Organic Basics. 

(*I don’t include these things in my #OneItemAMonth challenge for this reason.)

Wardrobe heroes - The 4 pillars of a sustainable capsule wardrobe

2. Style-defining items

These are the pieces that shout your name. The signature clothes that you know you will love for years and years to come. Styles that won’t date because they fit you and your personality so well. It’s the jewels in the crown and the items that stand out in your wardrobe.

Since these garments are all about timeless style and personal flair, they are excellent to both buy and sell pre-loved. I would choose a slightly higher price point and make sure to go both for amazing quality, the perfect fit and that little bit of flair. These items are usually future wardrobe heroes.

Personal examples of great style-defining items – My pink Maje leather jacket, the grey Everlane blazer I’m wearing in these photos and my Ida Sjöstedt dresses.

3. Wardrobe heroes

A wardrobe hero is a piece of clothing that you have owned and worn consistently for more than 3 years. A loved and trusted item that you feel great wearing and that is aging well. It can be your favorite leather jacket, that one pair of jeans, a pair of really comfortable sneakers or just that perfect white shirt.

Wardrobe heroes are all about quality, practicality, and fit. The Price Per Wear will be amazing no matter what you paid because you are using these items so much. It’s basically the pieces your entire wardrobe is leaning on to be able to work hard for you.

Personal examples of wardrobe heroes – My black Rag & Bone jeans I’m wearing in these photos and my Burberry trench coat. 

wardrobe heroes - The 4 pillars of a sustainable capsule wardrobe

4. Wardrobe superheroes

You will probably not have many of these in your wardrobe if you are in your 20s, but already 10 years later you should have at least a few. Wardrobe superheroes are items we have owned and used for more than 5 years.

The quality of these pieces has to be exceptional to last. So most likely the price point will be on the higher end. But the price Per Wear will make these items the cheapest in your wardrobe, no matter how much they cost you when you bought them.

Your wardrobe heroes are completely timeless and were never a part of any trend. They stand the test of time and you still love them as much now as you did when you bought them, if not more.

The goal of the perfect sustainable wardrobe is to have more wardrobe heroes and superheroes than style-defining items. Ideally, the latter category will seamlessly morph in heroes with time. The longer we own and use something, the longer the life of the garment and the more integrated the item will be in our personal style.

Personal examples of wardrobe superheroes – My Moncler jacket (11 years), my Chanel bag (13 years) I’m wearing in these photos and my Louis Vuitton bag (20 years).

If you curate your clothing based on the concept of the 4 pillars of a sustainable capsule wardrobe. You will eventually be left with the pure essence of your personal style. Something completely unique and defining only for you and at the same time super sustainable. 

Photos – Rosalind Alcazar

 

5 things to do after you failed to make sure to get back on track

Failure is a part of life, right? Not much comfort when your ego feels like it has been run over by a truck. There are 5 things to do after you failed;

Failure is a part of life, right? Everyone fails and that’s how we learn…bla bla bla. Great stuff in theory, but not much comfort when we feel like our ego has been run over by a garbage truck. 

Truth is, failure is hard. And the more passionate you are about something and harder you have worked for it, the harder you fall.

So at that moment, when all you want to do is to melt into a little puddle on the street, you need a coping mechanism.

There are 5 things to do after you failed;

1. React – Get upset, it’s allowed! But don’t lash out, try to keep it contained to yourself for now. Don’t take any phone calls or answer any emails within the first few hours if you can help it. If you do, your hurt ego will be talking, so wait until you have had some time to go through the emotions before you do anything else.

2. Be kind – Don’t beat yourself up. It won’t do any good. If you made mistakes, you know what they were and you will learn from it. Take a moment and feel sorry for yourself, but keep it brief. 

3. Revisit – Once you have calmed down, it’s very important not to avoid the issue or put a lid on it. Revisit it and make sure that you understand the situation completely. When we get upset, it’s easy to read into things in a different way than if we were thinking more rationally. So make sure you know what’s going on and that you have all the facts.

4. Make a plan – The best way of making yourself feel better and not get stuck in a negative situation is to make a plan. You might not be able to save this particular endeavor, but you can plan the steps to move past it and back on track again. This doesn’t have to be big plans, just a quick 3-step plan you can action in a short time. The most important thing is to not feel stuck.

5. Reward yourself – Failing is a lot harder than succeeding, so if there is any time we need a reward it’s when we have failed well. If you took all the steps above you are already on your way to somewhere better.

Daring to fail is a massive positive and one people don’t do enough of. We are so worried about being seen as a failure that we often freeze and don’t dare to do anything at all.

Thing is, just because we have failed, doesn’t mean we are failures. We just figured out a way that didn’t work. It’s elimination by trying. And only those that keep on trying will eventually find what does work. And if you follow these 5 steps after you failed, you will bounce back pretty quickly.

So what do you say, ready to risk to fail some more? Reach for some big goals? At least now you know what to do after you failed. 

Failure is a part of life, right? Not much comfort when your ego feels like it has been run over by a truck. There are 5 things to do after you failed;

Photo – Roz Alcazar. Blouse by Dea Kudibal (gifted), scarf by Alva Norge (gifted), boots by Marzio Stockholm, trousers by Zara and bag by Chanel. My dog is called Olive. 

 

My #OneItemAMonth in December AND January

My #OneItemAMonth December and January - It's THE perfect neutral color, the cut is both unusual and really flattering. It's collarless, ankle long and with slits on the sides. And best of all, it's a 10th of what the Max Mara coat would have cost me.

…Bad Tess!! I’m terribly behind showing you what I got for my #OneItemAMonth lately. Its blooming February and I have yet to show you what I got in December. Shame on me!

So, to get me caught up a bit, I will show you a two-in-one today. My December item AND my January item. They actually go really nicely together, so why not.

Just so you know, I was planning on going out with a big bang in December and really celebrate a whole year of #OneItemAMonth with a large purchase. I decided almost at the start of the challenge that my December purchase was going to be a Max Mara coat. An investment to say the least.

Max Mara is THE designer for coats. They are nothing short of glorious and I must have tried on at least 20 over the years. They do however come with quite a hefty price tag. The coat I love (cashmere, hood, perfect shade of grey)  is £3400... as much as a Chanel bag or a Rolex!

The thing is, a Chanel bag or a Rolex is forever. Will a cashmere coat really last me as long as a bag in leather or a watch in stainless steel? Probably not.

So even though I stood in the Max Mara shop on Bond Street on my birthday (12th of December, hello Saggis!), coat on, card in hand, I couldn’t do it. My heart wanted the coat, my brain said “nope!”. So I got myself a lovely cashmere hat instead.

I have to say that I was very surprised by my own actions. I had planned this purchase for a while, I had the money and the permission from both myself and the hubby to go ahead.

I blame it all on the #OneItemAMonth Challenge. I looked at the Price Per Wear, versatility and longevity and it didn’t add up.

To say that the hubby looked confused when I turned up to Selfridges for my birthday lunch sans a big Max Mara shopping bag would be an understatement. And he just shook his head and asked who the h*ll I was and what I have done to his wife when I told him why.

My #OneItemAMonth December and January - It's THE perfect neutral color, the cut is both unusual and really flattering. It's collarless, ankle long and with slits on the sides. And best of all, it's a 10th of what the Max Mara coat would have cost me.

So what is my December item then?

Well, it is, in fact, a coat. Just like I planned. Only not form Max Mara but from Reiss.

I found it the very same day. We were chasing down the store Santa for Ace after my birthday lunch and all of a sudden it was just hanging there in all its glory.

It’s THE perfect neutral color, the cut is both unusual and really flattering. It’s collarless, ankle long and with slits on the sides. And best of all, it’s a 10th of what the Max Mara coat would have cost me.

I was wondering if I was going to regret switching Max Mara for Reiss, but so far I absolutely adore my coat! So much so that I bought a matching pair of grey suede jodhpur boots as my January item.

They are from my favorite shoe shop Marzio in Stockholm and are the comfiest non-sneakers I have ever worn. I’m basically living in them at the moment. They even weatherproofed them for me in the shop before I took them home. That’s what I call service!

What I love about this style of boot is that it’s a bit more of a masculine touch than most other boots, they also transition very well between a day at the office and weekend walks. They are both really stylish and practical.

Btw how cute is Olive in her little coat?! I don’t dress her for looks, she is a cold little princess. But you can imagine the reactions she gets when she trots down the street in this little outfit.

Ok, now I have shown you mine, so it’s your turn to show me yours. What did you get this month? And if you want to be super generous and make me mega happy, please use #OneItemAMonth on Instagram so we all can see what you chose.

My #OneItemAMonth December and January - It's THE perfect neutral color, the cut is both unusual and really flattering. It's collarless, ankle long and with slits on the sides. And best of all, it's a 10th of what the Max Mara coat would have cost me.

Check out my #OneItemAMonth in November here.

Photos – Roz Alcazar. This post contains affiliate links. 

 

The Sustainable Wardrobe – Everlane

The sustainable wardrobe - A brand to wactch is sustainable US brand Everlane. I recently came across them and I ended up getting two items that I absolutley adore. A oversized camel coat and a grey double breasted wool blazer

It’s hard to find good sustainable brands.

There are not many of them and most of them a pretty small, so the range is usually limited. Generally, with non-sustainable clothes, you have a lot more to choose from.

And it makes complete sense since it’s REALLY HARD to run a sustainable brand. Not only are the processes harder, longer, more expensive and require a whole new level of research. They are also way more scrutinized than non-sustainable brands. 

We are so worried about green-washing and so knowledgable that the standard we ask for is almost unattainable if a company still wants to make any money. This is why people are scared of setting up sustainable brands in the first place and we really have the applaud and support those that despite all of this still give it a go.

But one sustainable brand I found fairly recently seems to have managed to grow a lot bigger than most – US sustainable brand Everlane.
They have a massive selection compared to their competitors and seem to be doing really well. They even have 6 physical stores in America.

At first, I was a bit worried about ordering from a US brand. (I want to clarify, in the interest of full transparency that I did have these 2 items gifted by the brand). There are things like shipping and duty to take into account when buying from overseas. Then we, of course, got the conundrum of shipping from far away and how sustainable that really is. (Good on you just wrote a very interesting article on the subject here.)

After having had a look at the Everlane website I was hooked. They have those kinds of clothes I knew I wanted but hadn’t really found yet.

I had been looking for a grey oversized double-breasted blazer in wool for a good while and the ones I liked were either sold out or by brands I didn’t want to support. It’s always a risk buying things like blazers without trying them on, but this one arrived and fitted me like a glove! Well, a slightly oversized glove, exactly how I like it.

For my second Everlane item, I opted for a straight, also oversized camel coat in wool. I even got it in one size up to make sure I could wear both of them together.

The sustainable wardrobe - A brand to wactch is sustainable US brand Everlane. I recently came across them and I ended up getting two items that I absolutley adore. A oversized camel coat and a grey double breasted wool blazer

The quality of these two items is absolutely lovely. I have had loads of compliments and have even lent the blazer out twice to different people.

I’m wearing it nipped in at the waist with a belt, open with a rollneck and Chelsea boots, draped over my shoulders and either on its own or matched with the camel coat. Since it’s wool, it’s warm and lovely for this time of the year, especially those days when the office is a bit chilly.

The coat is just the perfect length. I tend to flip the collar up against the cold wind, and I love that it has huge pockets, so I can leave my handbag at home if I fancy.

I got both the blazer and the coat in a size 0 and I would say that the coat is slightly larger in size than the blazer. Both of them are oversized as a style. And this suits me perfectly.

You can find my Everlane blazer here and my coat here.

Something I really like about Everlane is not only that they have their “re” ranges where they recycle fabric. But you can also see on the website exactly what factory your garment was made in and lots of information about it. Pretty cool right?

And on top of this, they have this crazy thing called “Choose what you pay”. Where you actually choose how much you think an item is worth.

I feel like the whole process is pretty transparent and I’m considering making my February item for my #OneItemAMonth challenge one from Everlane.

This is one brand I’m going to keep my eye on for the future. They seem to have found that rare formula of success that often allude many sustainable brands.

I have selected a few of my favorites from the current collection below. 

Photos – Ros Alcazar. This post contains affiliate links.