My one-item-a-month in October – My beige leather leggings from Joseph

My one-item-a-month in October - My beige leather leggings from Joseph

Even though you probably have seen them on me quite a few times already, I have completely forgotten to actually make a post about my October #OneItemAMonth purchase – My beige leather leggings from Joseph.

I bought them already in the end of September on a sunny day walking down the King’s Road. If you don’t already know about this little gem, Joseph has an outlet shop there. It’s brilliant, I have bought several items from them, all in great quality.

Outlet shops, sales and bargain corners can be really bad for your wardrobe. Or amazing.

It all depends on what you are looking to buy. I always search for items with a classic cut in a great material. The best things to buy on these occasions are wardrobe basics. Things that you already know you will love and use for a really long time.

If you find something trendy in an outlet shop, it’s most likely not going to be on-trend for much longer.

It’s also really easy to get sucked into the discount instead of the actual piece of clothing. So I always decide how much I think an item is worth before I check the price tag. That way I never get seduced by the price.

My one-item-a-month in October - My beige leather leggings from Joseph

But are beige leather leggings really a basic?

It is for me! You see, I already have a black pair of leather leggings from by Malene Birger and I have used them so much that I need to take them to the tailor because they are actually falling apart.

So a beige pair was quite a sure bet for me. I’m all into pastels and nudes, so they instantly mixed with almost everything in my wardrobe. I can dress them down with sneakers or up with heels and they are super comfortable too.

Leather is one of those materials that will last, it might stretch, but the leather itself won’t break. Possibly at the seams, but that can be fixed. That’s why leather jackets tend to stay in our wardrobes for our entire lives.

Leather is also warm, so for autumn and winter, leather leggings or trousers are a great option to jeans.

My one-item-a-month in October - My beige leather leggings from Joseph

In December I will have been buying only one item each month for a full year. When I set off to do this challenge, I thought it was going to be hard.

I had just done a big Marie Kondo clear out of my wardrobe and got rid of 75% of all my clothes. I was addicted to shopping from the high street and I always bought things on impulse. If I felt good, I went shopping to celebrate and when I felt bad I went shopping to cheer myself up. No matter the question, the answer was always new clothes.

So at the time I honestly never thought I would be able to keep it up for a whole year. Only buying one thing seemed so restrictive but also the big challenge I needed in my life at that point.

But I realized quickly it wasn’t hard at all. Instead, it changed everything for me. I stopped self-medicating with shopping and got rid of my addiction to fast fashion. I started curating instead of collecting and that spread to all other aspects of my life.

This challenge made me grow as a person and I’m so happy I took it on. My wardrobe and my life will never be the same again.

If you like my beige leather leggings, you can find them on sale here. (affiliate link)

 

Mindful Monday 21st October

Beige and brown leather is the perfect fall combo for an autumn inspired look

Hi guys, how are you?

I got one of those annoying head colds brewing. Autumn right? I’m taking all my vitamins, drinking lots of tea and trying to stay warm.

The thing is when you are a parent. You can’t be sick. A 2-year old cannot comprehend that someone else isn’t feeling well, especially not a parent. So you get really good at sucking it up. No more spending the day on the sofa wrapped in a robe. No self-pity and no daytime naps (unless your child is napping, then it’s game on!).

Being a parent and not feeling well is when you know you are a grown-up for sure. Not even a young adult, more like an old-adult. It’s comforting and depressing at the same time.

But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. (I mean that sentence with 98% seriousness and like 2% take-me-back)

This is my affirmation dream, goal, and lesson this week;

My mantra this week  –  “I’m listening inwards”. Sometimes the noise on the outside is so loud that I can’t hear what is going on inside anymore. This is when I am at risk of getting overwhelmed and need to take a moment to turn my focus inwards. It’s only when I am  100% transparent with myself that we can be my absolute best on the outside.

My affirmation this week – “I am allowed to feel”. Especially when we have anxiety, we often try to “switch it off”. It never works. Instead, I try to focus on allowing myself to feel crappy, to feel the feeling and know why. And by removing my anxiety over my anxiety (yup, it’s a thing) I actually feel a lot better.

My goal this week – This week my goal is to catch up on some blog admin. I have a few emails to send and loose ends to sort out before Christmas. I always try to keep my content calendar for my socials 3 months ahead. So I know what I have got coming up.

My dream of the week  – This week I dream of a sunny holiday. I want beach, I want warm turquoise water, I want palm trees, I want delicious food and I want a naked little baby butt having the time of his life with a bucket and a spade (and lots of SPF).

My focus this week  – Focus this week is on inner and outer health. Whenever I feel a little low I take extra care to make sure I stay on my routines, go to my yoga, eat well, meditate on my spike mat and try not to stress.

Mindful Monday -I always start my week by checking in on myself and setting the right intentions. This is my affirmation dream, goal, and lesson this week;

The event of the week – I got a date with a Victorias Secret angel on Thursday. Yes, you read that correctly. I just wrote a sentence most men dream about saying their whole life. And I’m almost as excited. Follow me on my IG stories on Thursday to find out more.

My lesson from last week – I wrote about my life long struggle with anxiety both here on the blog and on Instagram last week. And it showed me that I’m far from alone and that I need to share more. I’m always a little bit worried about getting judged based on the limited amount of information that a blog or Instagram post contains. But after all the amazing support I have had from you guys and all the stories you have shared. It really showed me I got nothing to be afraid of.

My little luxury this week – Garth is away a few days this week, so my luxury is going to be to order a takeaway tomorrow. Probably pho, I love pho!

My inspiration this week  – This week I’m inspired by I_weigh on Instagram. It’s the amazing Jameela Jamil who is the founder it and it’s all about lifting each other up.

What is your affirmation dream, goal, and lesson this week?

Photo – Rosalind Alcazar.

 

Do you get autumn anxiety? This is what I do to feel better;

Autumn anxiety is really common, even if you don't suffer from anxiety it normally. In this post I share my coping mechanisms with you.

I have suffered from anxiety for as long as I can remember. Who knows, I might even have been born with it. 

Some people get anxiety attacks. For me, it’s more like I have an inner ocean.

Some days the water is completely still, the sun is glistening on the surface and life is beautiful. Other days waves are high and a storm is looming in the distance. However most of the time it’s just a bit choppy. Not bad, not good, but ok.

I can deal with it.

I have figured my anxiety out over the years and I have gotten a lot better at managing my inner ocean. I’m aware of what triggers it, signs to look out for and what to do to calm the water a bit.

A big part of it is to realize when I’m having a bad day. If I wake up in the morning and I already feel uncomfortable and life weighs too heavily on my chest. I will do my best to give myself a break. I re-schedule as much as possible and try to take some pressure off.

Most of the time it’s all that is needed to sail my mental ship to a calmer part of the ocean. I have come to terms with the fact that I can’t fix it, but I can manage how I handle it.

The core of my anxiety comes from myself.

It’s a mix of feeling like life is too short, wanting to achieve more, do my best in the shortest amount of time possible and being too hard on myself. I’m buzzing on a frequency too high to maintain.

If I add stressful life events, too much to do or other outside pressures and demands. Especially if I’m having a bad day. Then I start manifesting physical signs of anxiety. I get heart palpitations, become a bit shaky, get very tired and in a terrible mood. It’s not good for anyone, and least of all for me.

For those days when life feels a bit overwhelming, I have found a few things that really help.

Since I have become a bit of an expert on the subject and autumn anxiety is really common, even if you don’t suffer from it normally. I thought I would share my coping mechanisms with you.

Autumn anxiety is really common, even if you don't suffer from anxiety it normally. In this post I share my coping mechanisms with you.

If you suffer from autumn anxiety (or just general anxiety like I do) then I suggest you try these things out;

Spend time outside.

Obviously ideally in proper nature, but sometimes a quick walk with the dog or just walking instead of taking the bus will make a difference. I always try to sit outside for coffees and lunches for as long as the weather permits. Getting a bit of fresh air and if I’m lucky, the added extra bonus of some sun really makes me calm down and feel better.

Drink hot drinks and have long baths and showers.

There is a reason why a cup of tea is called a “hug in a mug”. Warm liquid is soothing. There are few things more calming than hot water on skin. I find that I sleep a lot better if I bath or shower before bed. 

Light candles at night.

Coming from Sweden, I know exactly how badly the dark can get to you during the colder months of the year. So make sure to give yourself some “hygge”. Scented candles, a fluffy blanket, a robe, a good book, Netflix and a lovely bar of your favorite chocolate will make all the difference. Spoil yourself and make your surroundings as cozy as possible.

Socialize.

When I need it the most I fancy it the least. I go into myself when I feel anxious, and shut everyone else out. But most of the time a chat with a friend, a few laughs and a little break from my own thoughts is exactly what I need.

Hug and cuddle.

Humans need closeness to thrive. We need to love and feel loved, even if it’s by a dog. Honestly, my Frenchie Olive is like a therapy dog for me. Stroking and cuddling her always makes me feel better. (And of course my little boy and husband too, but Olive is more of a sure bet).

Take guilt-free time for me.

As a mom, often when I plan something just for me. I feel bad about it. I feel like I should be elsewhere doing different things instead of actually enjoying the experience. So I have worked hard to allow myself to disconnect from the feeling of guilt and to allow myself to do something for me once in a while.

Do gentle moderate exercise.

If I do CrossFit or a heavy work-out on a bad day, then I will only end up even more anxious. But if I instead do yoga or dancing, then it will help me relax and wind down. Exercise is great for mental health, but it’s worth finding something that really works for both your body and your mind. 

I’m really good at managing my anxiety levels these days and I can predict when I think they will peak based on everything from my monthly cycle to workload. The one thing I cannot predict is unexpected circumstances and that is the time when I pull out all the things above. And it really works.

So if you are feeling like the pressure is building and your anxiety levels are rising. No matter if it’s connected to the season or just general. Try one or all of the things above, as long as you allow yourself to be in the moment, they will make you feel better.

Do you have autumn anxiety? What do you do to make yourself calm down and feel better? 

 

The neutral 9-piece sustainable office capsule wardrobe

Warm coffees, colorful leaves, and neutral outfits – autumn is here. 

I love a good tonal ensemble and the palette is gorgeous for office. Beige is in trend, but the nice thing about wearing a trendy color is that you can still wear it for years. Silhouettes and details date, colors doesn’t.

So that’s one of the reasons why I’m fine with being on-trend at the moment. The second reason is that I love neutral colors since I became a mom. The idea of wearing something that is one sticky handprint away from a dry-clean makes me feel very elegant and grown-up. No more banana in my hair, no sir!

From these 9 neutral pieces, I can put together several great outfits. They all go together and can be mixed and matched all autumn long. It’s a great little sustainable office capsule wardrobe. Comfy and stylish, amazing for a business trip.

Oh, and they are all by sustainable brands too.

If you too love neutrals, I say go for it. Just pick quality over quantity, great fabrics, and classic cuts. You will enjoy them for years.

Want to look amazing at the office for years to come? Why not put together your own sustainable office capsule wardrobe.

All links are affiliate links. 

 

Are you ready to drop trends and find your own personal style?

Are you ready to drop trends and find your own personal style? - We keep talking about personal style as if it's something we are just born with. Some kind of intuition of what suits us the best and will make us look and feel effortless.  ... but it's really not.

We keep talking about personal style as if it’s something we are just born with. Some kind of intuition of what suits us the best and will make us look and feel effortless.

… but it’s really not.

Sure, there are some people who come out fashionable from the womb. No denying it. But for most people like you and me, it’s a skill we have to teach ourselves.

The problem with personal style is that no one else can pick yours for you. This is why trends are so addictive! It takes the hard work out of building a wardrobe and dressing, even if it’s shortsighted.

To hone in on your personal style you have to do the legwork. On the plus side – it’s actually really fun. The idea is basically that you have to try on as many different items as you can and judge each and every one of them on these 3 criteria;

  • Do I feel great and like “me” in this item?
  • Am I comfortable wearing it?
  • Will I like it just as much in a few year’s time?

If the answer is yes to all 3 of these questions. Then the item could be style-defining.

Too many people see a style they like on someone else and decide to adopt it. It never works out well. Because you are not in the other person’s mind and you do not have their life or their body.

You are you, so you should look like you, not them. This is why it’s silly of magazines to recommend you to dress like your favorite celebrity. It’s a quick fix that could work for a while, but it will not help you find your own personal style.

Are you ready to drop trends and find your own personal style? - We keep talking about personal style as if it's something we are just born with. Some kind of intuition of what suits us the best and will make us look and feel effortless.  ... but it's really not.

…ok so what if you have no clue at all, I mean nada, of what your personal style is?

Basically, that was me a few years ago.

I was lucky enough to fit most types of clothes and clothing and I got away with looking trendy most of the time. But I was constantly flip-flopping between almost stylized versions of other people. I was the rock chic, the cashmere homebody, the cocktail dress princess, the sneaker and hoodie girl, and the classic conservative depending on what my inspiration was for the day.

And it sounds very creative and fun. I’m not going to lie and say that it wasn’t. However, if you would have asked me what my personal style was, I wouldn’t have been able to give you an answer. Nothing I wore truly felt like “me”, I always felt like someone else. Almost like I was playing the role of someone for a day.

…and you can only imagine what a mismatched hodgepodge my wardrobe was. Oh.My.Lord did I have a lot of useless clothes!

So it was really a great challenge the day I decided I had to take the bull by its horns and actually go through the process of finding myself style-wise.

This is what I did;

  • I picked out my 5 absolute favorite pieces of clothing and laid them out on my bed.
  • From there I began to build outfits. I would put one of the 5 on and then dive as deep into my wardrobe as I could to try to find all the items that would match.
  • Every time I put together an outfit I really loved and felt good and comfortable in, I took a photo of it on my phone.
  • Every piece of clothing that belonged to one of these outfits were “safe” from my big clear out. And I hung them all up together to get an overview of colors and styles.
  • By doing this I could actually physically see my own style take shape in front of me. I really zoned in on cuts, styles, and colors that I truly enjoyed and that looked good on me.

And voila.

Not only did I have a rail full of the creme de la creme of my wardrobe, but I also had an image library of outfits to go back to when I was lacking inspiration.

I’m not going to lie and say that my personal style always is 100% clear to me. I believe that the process goes on forever. The difference now is that I’m learning from my mistakes. And I’m using my own intuition instead of relying on other people’s tastes.

Are you ready to find your own personal style?

Photo – Rosalind Alcazar. Trousers by H&M Conscious collection and blouse by Troy London (gift).
You can find similar items below. (affiliate links)

 

Mindful Monday 7th October – My affirmation, dream, inspiration, and lesson this week

Sustainable fashion blogger Tess Montgomery - Winter whites, with a touch of pink.

Hi guys, how are you doing today?

I have a really nice week ahead. Not too much planned, the hubby will be away for a few days and I will have time to read a book in bed and snuggle the dog (who is not allowed in bed when the hubby is home..) Sure I’m solo parenting, but to be honest I don’t find it hard anymore.

It’s sooo much easier having a 2-year-old than a baby, holy cow. I’m finally feeling like I have a life again and slowly but surely I’m building a Tess 2.0. One with a nice work-life balance that can meet friends for a dinner now and then, but also spends plenty of quality time with the little dude.

I love that Ace can tell me what is up now. He will let me know when he wants or needs something and he is constantly making me laugh with his newly found toddler logic. Mom life is epic at the moment.

…and yes I know this probably is another phase and it will get harder again. But for now, I’m just going to enjoy it.

This is my affirmation dream, inspiration, and lesson this week;

My mantra this week  – “Slow down”. To slow down life a little bit actually gives us the opportunity to cut away anything that doesn’t suit where I’m going. It’s really easy just to take on more and more, but eventually, we will drown. So by slowing down we are forced to get rid of things that aren’t essential and that we don’t really want to do anymore.

My affirmation this week – ” It’s ok to say no”. I often feel like I have to say yes to as much as I possibly can, to make sure I don’t miss out on anything important. But it also means that I often have way more on my plate than I should. So this week I’m not only focusing on saying no, but I’m also going to allow myself to feel good about it.

My goal this week – This week my goal is to do exactly what I need to do, not more or less. Instead, I’m going to focus on feeding my creativity by reading books, listening to podcasts and watching documentaries.

My dream of the week  – I dream about investing further in property. Because of Brexit, we had to slow down a bit and wait it out for a while. But I’m itching to do another project. There are few things I find more invigorating than doing up houses. It’s like a real-life “The Sims” (but without the money-cheats ha!)

My focus this week  – This week my focus is on mindfulness. I’m going to listen inwards and take time to be grateful.

Mindful Monday 7th October - My affirmation, dream, inspiration, and lesson this week

The event of the week – I’m looking forward to going to an event that my lovely friend Sophie is hosting on Wednesday morning. I have a feeling it will be a fun one.

My lesson from last week – I can do trips away for modeling just like I have done before I had Ace. Sure I don’t want to go for weeks on end. But a couple of days are really doable AND I get some time to myself. Something every mother needs now and then.

My little luxury this week – This week my little luxury will be a date night with Garth on Saturday evening. It’s important that we take off the mum and dad hats now and then and just get to be a married couple again.

My inspiration this week  – This week I’m inspired by the “Spark intention podcast”. I try to listen to it when I’m relaxing on my spike mat before bed. It leaves me feeling really positive and inspired.

What is your affirmation, dream, inspiration, and lesson this week?

Photo – Rosalind Alcazar.

All the items I’m wearing in this post are old or sold out. But you can find similar items below (affiliate links)

 

3 key items for a beginners basic sustainable wardrobe

Tess Montgomery's 3 key items for a beginners basic sustainable wardrobe - I know most of us don't start from scratch when we build our basic sustainable wardrobe.  It wouldn't be a very suitable thing to do since the most sustainable item is the one already in your wardrobe. However, if you would start fresh (or just need to update your basics) and wanted me to recommend 3 great pieces from sustainable brands, that would get great Price Per Wear, I would recommend these;

I know most of us don’t start from scratch when we build our basic sustainable wardrobe. 

It wouldn’t be a very suitable thing to do since the most sustainable item is the one already in your wardrobe.

However, if you would start fresh (or just need to update your basics) and wanted me to recommend 3 great pieces from sustainable brands, that would get great Price Per Wear, I would recommend these;

The comfiest blue jeans by People Tree.

Blue jeans go with everything and we all have and love them. Next time you need to get a new pair (because you have worn your old ones until they fell apart of course) why not invest in a pair made of 100% organic cotton?

They are straight, mid-rise and the fit is slightly relaxed. A little bit 70s, a little bit 90s. I don’t like too much stretch in my denim, so these are perfect for me and a massive favorite in my basic sustainable wardrobe

You can find them here. 

The perfect white t-shirt by Theo + George. 

You can thank me later (a few of you already have!) Slightly oversized, v or crew neck, perfect length, not see-through and washes really well. I use mine all the time and the 2 for 1 offer is great value for money. I’m very slowly working on exchanging all my old t-shirts for these from Theo + George.

You can find them here. 

The most versatile strappy midi-dress by ninety percent.

Dress it down with sneakers or up with heels. Add jewelry, scarves, knitted jumpers, blazers and belts. There is no end to the variation and use you can get out of something as simple as a strappy midi-dress like this.

This one by sustainable and charitable brand Ninety Percent is a part of NET-A-Porter’s new initiative NET SUSTAIN. It’s made in 96% environmentally friendly Tencel. It’s one of those items you will wear any season, any occasion for many years to come.

You can find it here. 

…ok your turn! I want to hear all about your favorite items in your basic sustainable wardrobe. Let’s share what we love!

 

#MINDFLUENCING – It’s time to hit unfollow on anxiety

t

The blog post "It's time to hit unfollow on anxiety"  is a part of my #MINDFLUENCING campaign I created in collaboration with Instagram in January 2019. It's an attempt to inspire us to be more mindful both as creators and as followers on social media.

When I first joined Instagram I wanted to follow anyone cool or famous. I remember going through a popular actor’s follow list and basically just hit follow on anyone she did. 

It felt like I was given a cheeky little sneaky peek into their lives and I loved it.

At first, Instagram was made up of slightly blurry photos with a crappy “arty” filter on top. 80% of what we posted on our feeds was selfies and the rest was food. I would get to the end of my feed and try to keep scrolling just in case there was anything I had missed. (when was the last time you got to the end of your feed?)

It was very organic and honest. Litte snaps from someone else’s life that made you feel like you got to walk in their shoes for a moment.

So it wasn’t strange that celebrities and “cool” people were those with most followers. If you are going to have a tiny square window into someones every-day, why not make it a glamorous one?

It was all for a bit of fun. …and then Instagram evolved and changed.

The “cool” people became “influencers” and instead of showing what their lives were like behind-the-scenes. They started selling a lifestyle and getting paid for it. All of a sudden the blurry “real” photos became staged settings. The focus disappeared from food and in-the-moment-selfies to lavish lifestyles, on-trend fashion, luxury travel, and trim bodies.

Whoever had the most glamorous life got the most eyeballs and because of this, they made the most money. A monster was born.

Because of this switch, we went from “I know what Lady GaGa had for breakfast today”, to “If I don’t go on flashy holidays in designer outfits I have failed at life.”

Entertainment became competition.

The blog post "It's time to hit unfollow on anxiety"  is a part of my #MINDFLUENCING campaign I created in collaboration with Instagram in January 2019. It's an attempt to inspire us to be more mindful both as creators and as followers on social media.

Queue social media anxiety.

Anytime you feel like you are in direct comparison to someone else and you are not winning, it’s going to make you sad. At times it can inspire you to want to do better. But when you are comparing 100% of your life to someone else’s best 5% it becomes an impossible task to come out on top.

This is when social media went from making the world a smaller place where we all felt a part of a community. To alienating and isolating us as separated entities fighting for attention.

If we discount any biases that could be programmed into the platforms. Social media is from the beginning a pretty neutral place. It is what we make of it. What we feed will grow and what we give attention to will win.

It got pretty bad for a while. We fed all the wrong things and the negative culture of bragging, upmanship, and unhealthy ideals got close to destroying platforms like Instagram. People started coming off it since it didn’t make them feel good anymore.

I personally see it as if we blamed the canvas for the bad painting instead of the artist.

It is, in the end, our own fault that this happened. We created and fed the monster with our follows, likes and comments. We engaged in the wrong things.

I’m not judging anyone because I did the same. I gave in to the competition as an influencer and I followed accounts that made me feel crap. My anxiety levels were always high when I was on Instagram, mainly because I never felt enough. Everyone else was a lot cooler, lived these amazing lives and made all this money.

I felt stuck, boring and left behind.

It took me a long time to figure out that I had done it to myself. I was having anxiety because of who I was choosing to follow. And when I realized it’s always OUR OWN CHOICE what we make of social media. It changed my life.

I decided that I had enough and begun to unfollow at massive speed. As soon as a photo popped up that made me feel in any way anxious, I disengaged.

I hit unfollow on anxiety.

I let hundreds of accounts back out into the universe never to see them again. (Most of them were big mainstream influencers.) Instead, I went out searching for those a bit more similar to me. I found other influencers focusing on feel-good and mindfulness, that instead of making me feel depressed, made me come alive with their posts.

I followed niched tiny accounts with interests I shared and I even got really into some pretty funny meme-accounts that would make me smile for a second. I basically gave my Instagram feed a makeunder. Gone was the perfect photos with no depth and instead I was met by actual interesting and thoughtful things when I logged in.

These days if an account doesn’t entertain, educate or inspire me. It’s not for me.

I’m done with cute photos of skinny 20 something girls with short half-witty captions. They give me nothing.

Instead, I love to follow those with an interesting life, with experience and knowledge that are generous enough to share this in longer well-written captions that truly feed my soul.

Now Instagram and other social media platforms are a positive part of my life instead of a negative one. I go there to be better, learn more, meet interesting people from the whole world and feed my creativity.

Exactly what it was meant to be like from the start. Before I messed it up by following the wrong people and getting stuck in a circle of anxiety and comparison.

Are you ready to take control of your social media? Maybe its time for you too to hit unfollow on anxiety?

The blog post “It’s time to hit unfollow on anxiety”  is a part of my #MINDFLUENCING campaign I created in collaboration with Instagram in January 2019. It’s an attempt to inspire us to be more mindful both as creators and as followers on social media. You can read more about the campaign here. 

My outfit is all pre-loved or sold out. But you can find a few similar items here (affiliate links)

Photo – Rosalind Alcazar. Location – The Ivy Chelsea Garden. Jumper by Toteme, leather trousers by Joseph and earrings by Ida Sjöstedt (gifted).

 

Can high street clothes be a part of a sustainable wardrobe?

Can high street clothes be a part of a sustainable wardrobe? After my big Marie Kondo wardrobe clear out in January, when I got rid of 75% of my wardrobe. I was left with 25% of purely good stuff. I owned only things I absolutely adored and would wear over and over again.  Most of it was designer items or at least kind of mid-range and high quality. But there were still a few high street favorites left.

After my big Marie Kondo wardrobe clear out in January, when I got rid of 75% of my wardrobe. I was left with 25% of purely good stuff. I owned only things I absolutely adored and would wear over and over again. 

Most of it was designer items or at least kind of mid-range and high quality. But there were still a few high street favorites left.

When I got high on fast fashion I mainly focused on trend-led items that went out of style almost as soon as I put it on. I was always chasing my next trend fix and knew exactly what was in stock at my favorite high street dealers. Most of the stuff I bought I wore only a couple of times before they felt “done”, “old” and “boring”. And got discarded in the back of my wardrobe or in a box in the basement.

Some stuff broke straight away and others after a couple of washes. A lot went in the bin prematurely because the quality was terrible.

So to be honest, it wasn’t hard at all to get rid of the bulk of it. As soon as I picked something up I knew exactly what pile to put it in just based on the feeling of the fabric in my hands.

However, a couple of items did make the cut and I will tell you why. 

Curating a sustainable timeless wardrobe is about choosing quality over quantity and to give up fast fashion forever.

I haven’t been to a high-street shop since. Gone are the days of impulse shopping or just popping in to have a little look… No more browsing endless websites filled with rows of the same stuff. As addicted as I was to it then, as much it repulses me now.

So shouldn’t I have got rid of all my high street clothes and start fresh? The answer to that question is no. It wouldn’t be very sustainable.

If I have an item from the high street that I actually like and think I will wear in the future, it’s a lot better to keep it than to try to sell it or give it to a charity shop. Because high street brands have pretty poor re-sell value and could end up as landfill or if we are lucky in textile recycling.

So, in the long run, it’s a lot better for the environment that we hold on to it and use it.

This is why you will still see me in high street brands now and then. Most likely I have had the clothes from before I changed my wardrobe and I want to get as much wear out of it as possible. So they are a natural part of my now sustainable wardrobe.

This beige leather dress by Zara is a great example of a high street item I really truly love. I must have bought it more than 5 years ago and even though it wasn’t expensive or high quality it’s holding up really well. I love to layer it with a turtle neck or even a shirt. It’s becoming somewhat of a wardrobe hero, to be honest. 

So even though I’m telling you not to buy high street clothes. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you should get rid of high street clothes. 

I have found a few similar dresses below (affiliate links)

Photo – Rosalind Alcazar

 

The best cleansers in your teens, 20s & 30s

eve lom oil cleanser - Model Tess Montgomery on why cleansers can be a bit tricky. There are loads of options out there, but if you don't know the best cleanser for your skin. You can do more damage than good

Cleansers has always been the one beauty product I have found a bit tricky. There are loads of options out there, but you need to know exactly what will suit your skin, or you can do more damage than good. 

It started in my early teens with one of those hard yellow Clinique soaps that my Mum always used.

It was a terrible choice for me then. It was way too harsh for my skin, so it left me red, sensitive and prone to breakouts. It was only when I forgot to bring it on a trip away and bought a regular drugstore facewash that I realized my soap was the problem.

The facewash that saved my skin then was one of those generic anti-acne brands with lots of salicylic acid. Not a bad choice for a teenager to be fair. The pores are more clogged and we are more prone to get outbreaks from bacteria and excessive sebum at that age. I actually used that one brand for years after that. (Not that I for the life of me can remember what it was called now.) It was the best cleanser for my  skin at that point.

But as we grow up we need less acne prevention and more moisture. We often don’t require the harsh products from our teens in our twenties, as our skin and hormones are a bit more balanced by then.

To be honest, those days the best cleanser was the one that removed make up quickest before I fell into bed at 5 in the morning after a night out. I was modelling full-time and my skin was incredible no matter what I did. Those were the carefree days.

Our 20s are basically our good-skin-without-making-an-effort years.

Eve Lom oil cleanser - Model Tess Montgomery on why cleansers can be a bit tricky. There are loads of options out there, but if you don't know the best cleanser for your skin. You can do more damage than good

Then I hit my 30s and my skin changed again.

It went from oily to dry and I also started worrying about losing my skin’s elasticity. That is basically what wrinkles are – saggy skin. So the longer we can keep our elasticity up, the longer we are wrinkle-free.

A big part of healthy elasticity is moisture. Dry skin will sag, so every part of my skincare routine has to be as mindful of locking in moisture in my skin as possible. The best cleanser in our 30s is the one that will keep us hydrated. As we age our skin loses its ability to keep as much moisture in as before, so we have to count on our products to do the job for us.

Out went any cleanser that made my skin feel stretched, dry or itchy after a wash.

Instead, I focused on oils. I know a lot of you are worried that oil will clog your pores, but if you use a good product you will find that it will only do the opposite. It’s a really gentle way of cleaning your face.

What I do find with oil cleansers is that they are not always great at removing eye makeup. So I make sure to have a really good  eye makeup remover handy. It’s a little bit more faff, but the gain is plump skin that already feels hydrated even before I add my serums and moisturizers.

Once you have experienced the difference between a drying facewash and a moisturizing cleanser, you never go back.

Model Tess Montgomery on why cleansers can be a bit tricky. There are loads of options out there, but if you don't know the best cleanser for your skin. You can do more damage than good

I love trying out different skincare, but when it comes to my cleansers, I never experiment. Once in a blue moon, I will try something IF it’s an oil or in another way claims to be moisturizing. The last thing I want is to strip my skin of all the good work I put into it daily.

Because it is hard work to have great skin when you are over 30. Collagen production drops, moisture levels are lower and we begin to see the consequences of those girl trips to the riviera 10 years ago (sun and booze!).

It’s hard to see our skin change, and it’s easy to regret old mistakes. But there is still a lot we can do.

Now is the time to truly invest in your skin. You are never going to be any younger than you are exactly at this point. And it makes perfect sense to take great care and invest in something you are going to wear every single day and night of your life. Your future self will thank you.

So tell me, what is the best cleanser you use?

At the moment I use Eve Lom cleansing oil capsules. They are a gift from the brand, and I accepted it only because it had the word “oil” in the name. (I’m not one of those influencers that have boxes of products at home. I always ask companies exactly what they want to send me and 75% of the time I say “thank you, but this is not for me.)

But I love Eve Lom and I love these little capsules. They make the process of washing my face feel very luxurious (and they are very photogenic too). They have a super cute case for travel too. 

You can find the cleansers I use right now below (affiliate links). And if you want all my best skincare tips, click here.