Out now: "The Curated Closet" (+ flip-through video)

The Curated Closet

The Curated Closet is officially out today! What?! Yes.

This book has been a huge team effort, and I need to thank so many people for making this happen: Kaitlin, my amazing editor who emailed me out of the blue one day and who set this whole thing in motion, Margaux, for the beautiful book design and for handling my perfectionism like a champ, Lindsay, my agent for always having my back, Daniel for an amazing job done getting the word out, Anna Rose and Kelly for the gorgeous photos, Lisa, Alexandra and Veronique and Jana for the superb styling, and Lucia, Lara, Viktoria and Jasmin for lending the book their gorgeous faces.

And of course, I have to thank all of you who read my blog! I tried to make this book as useful and inspiring as possible, and I hope you guys find it truly helpful.

If you haven't gotten your copy yet, now is your chance! The Curated Closet is available on Amazon (that's the US link, but you can also find it on all other Amazon sites), Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Google Books, iBooks and Book Depository (free shipping worldwide).

And if you've already bought the book, please leave a review on Amazon once you've read it. Authors loooove Amazon reviews.....

P.S. Check out the flip-through video if you haven't seen it yet on Instagram.

The Curated Closet: Sneak peek + free 8-week revamp plan

"The Curated Closet: A simple system for discovering your personal style and building your dream wardrobe" by Anuschka Rees
The Curated Closet 8-Week Revamp Plan (into-mind.com)

It's been a long time coming but in exactly two weeks The Curated Closet will finally hit the shelves! Aah!


For those of you that have already pre-ordered the book, I've got a little surprise for you:

You all get a free 8-week Closet Revamp Plan that you can use alongside the book to keep track of your progress, plus a $5 discount for Capsules, Cladwell's genius capsule wardrobe app.

If you haven't pre-ordered yet, no worries! You too can get the revamp plan and the Capsules discount by ordering The Curated Closet at any retailers before the official release date on September 20th:


How to claim your bonuses

To claim your two bonuses, all you have to do is click here and enter the confirmation number from your receipt. You will then be redirected to a page with the Capsules discount code and a link through which you can instantly download the revamp plan.

Edit: Just to clear this up, because many of you have asked: You do not need to buy the book from Amazon or be located in the US to get your bonuses. Any retailer, from anywhere in the world works. If there is a problem, send me a quick email with your receipt number and we'll help you out!



Inside the book


I promised you a few more sneak peeks, so here we go!

My goal for The Curated Closet was to write a practical (and pretty) manual that is as comprehensive and timeless as possible and that contains everything you need to know to transform your style, closet and the way you shop. It was also supposed to work for everyone: People who just want a little inspiration and motivation to shop better, people who are super unhappy and frustrated with their wardrobe and need a complete revamp, people who already have a great personal style and want to take it to the next level, and hardcore wardrobe planners who enjoy creating detailed spreadsheets of their clothes.

Reaching that goal took way more rewrites, reshoots and caffeine that I had anticipated when I signed my book contract more than two years ago, but with the help from an amazing group of people I finally got there in the end :)

The Curated Closet: A simple system for discovering your personal style and building your dream wardrobe
"The Curated Closet" out Sep 20th
"The Curated Closet" sneak peek
How to deal when shopping overwhelms (The Curated Closet excerpt)
The Curated Closet table of contents
The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees
The Curated Closet: A simple system for discovering your personal style and building your dream wardrobe (sneak peek)
The Curated Closet front
Common fit problems and how to fix them (from The Curated Closet)
The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees (out Sep 20th)
The Curated Closet back cover

Photos shot by Anna Rose and Kelly Puleio


Workbook update

One more thing: A lot of you have been asking about the workbook and why it's no longer available. It's because I'm currently working on a brand new, fully updated version! The workbook 2.0 (not the official name :)) will feature a new design, more intuitive and practical worksheets (based on your feedback), and be fully compatible with The Curated Closet. You can sign up here to be notified once it's available, sometime in October.



Why shopping is a bad hobby (and what to do instead)

Why shopping is a bad hobby (and what to do instead)
"I know I should shop less, but it's my favourite thing to do!"

Buying less, becoming a more conscious consumer, shopping for quality not quantity: All of that is hard enough as it is in the age of social media and fast fashion. But when you love shopping, when you can't think of anything more fun than combing through racks of clothes on the weekend or clicking through the new arrival pages of your favourite brands online, buying less can seem like an impossible challenge.

If you've tried to shop less in the past, but quickly found yourself reverting back to old habits, because you just love shopping too much, don't worry: not all is lost. You just need to find a new hobby!



Shopping for the sake of shopping

Before we get into how to find an effective replacement, let’s quickly make sure we are all on the same page about why shopping isn’t a great hobby to have in the first place:

  1. Besides the fact that a shopping hobby will undoubtedly make you spend more money than you would like to, it also isn’t great from an ethical perspective because the more you shop (especially from fast fashion brands), the more you are contributing to the negative effects the fashion industry has on workers and the environment.
  2. You are also not doing your own closet any favours by adding to it on a weekly basis (or even more often). If shopping is your hobby, you buy stuff for the experience: to have fun, to relax, to be creative, right in that moment. Things like whether you’ll actually wear that piece, how it fits in with the rest of your wardrobe and even how much you like it, come secondary. Eventually, you end up with a jam-packed closet full of stand-alone pieces that were fun to buy, but that don’t reflect your style or work with your lifestyle.

How to quit

People love to shop for different reasons. Some find it ridiculously relaxing, for some it's their go-to creative outlet, for others a fun, low-stress way to spend time with friends. What's your reason?

Think about what situations and times you usually want to shop. What mood are you in? What mood are you in post-shop? Really try to dig deep here. Then: Find something that gives you the same experience that shopping does. Because there are plenty of other ways to be creative, have fun with fashion or just relax after a long day at work, that don’t involve spending money and adding yet another so-so item to your wardrobe. For example, if you tend to shop online to unwind at night, think about what else might give you that same feeling of relaxation. A bubble bath perhaps? Or curling up with a good book?

To help you figure out your personal most effective shopping replacement, I’ve created a little typology of the most common types of “hobby shoppers”. 

Each profile contains a quick description and a few recommendations for shopping alternatives. Read through each profile and see which ones you identify with. Use the suggested alternatives as a jumping off point to write your own list of activities. Then try them out the next time you feel like hitting the shops or buying something online.  

There are five types in total, but of course you can be a combination. For example, during my shopaholic phase a few years ago, I was both the true creative and the social shopper.

If currently consider shopping a hobby: what type of shopper are you?


1. The stylist


Your shopping habits

  • When you shop you enjoy imagining all the different ways you could wear a piece.
  • You put a lot of time and effort into styling and fine-tuning your outfits.
  • You read blogs and fashion magazines for outfit inspiration.

Your best shopping alternatives

  • Instead of buying new pieces as a way to expand your outfit repertoire, challenge yourself to make the absolute most out of clothes you already own.
  • Complete a 30x30 remix challenge (try to come up with a new daily outfit created from the same 30 pieces for one month).
  • Swap clothes with friends.

2. The fashion lover


Your shopping habits

  • You read high-fashion magazines like Vogue or Elle to admire the beautiful editorials and keep up with new collections.
  • You love fashion for its artistic value and cultural relevance.
  • You follow fashion week and can name your favourite designers.

Your best shopping alternatives

  • Go to fashion design/photography/history exhibitions, fairs or museums
  • Get into fashion illustration (take a class or just start sketching with a book like this).
  • Learn to design and/or sew your own clothes
  • Start a blog about fashion (not shopping!)

3. The true creative


Your shopping habits

  • You are an all-around visual person. You like making things look good.
  • Apart from fashion, you also have other creative interests like interior design, photography, make up, arts and crafts, sewing or graphic design.
  • You consider your style an expression of your personality.

Your best shopping alternatives

  • Shift your focus to another one of your creative interests: Take a ceramics class, practice your photography skills or take on a big DIY project to spruce up your home.
  • Spend time refining your personal style and map out your dream wardrobe.
  • Start a blog to document and showcase your many interests and projects.

4. The social shopper


Your shopping habits

  • You primarily shop with friends, family or your significant other.
  • You often hit the shops just to chat and catch up with a friend. Buying stuff is secondary (but of course it always happens).
  • Shopping has become a ritual in some of your relationships.

Your best shopping alternatives

  • Find other low-effort, but active ways to spend time with friends: Visit museums, galleries or street fairs together, or go on walks or hikes.
  • Explore what other interests you share apart from clothes and find activities you could do together.
  • Build new friendship rituals, for example instead of spending each Saturday shopping, met up at a new coffee place.

5. The chill seeker


Your shopping habits

  • You online shop after a long day at work to chill out and reward yourself.
  • During the day, you’ll periodically spend a couple of minutes on shopping sites, to take a break and relax for a moment.
  • Walking through town and checking out your favourite stores is an efficient way for you to unwind during your lunch break, after work and on weekends.

Your best shopping alternatives

  • Try out yoga or meditation.
  • Get up and walk through your office if you need a break at work.
  • Instead of shopping on weekends, consider spending a couple of hours each week to learn a new skill.
  • Make a list of easy, low-effort things you can do to relax at home: Do a mini stretching session, take a bubble bath, read, bake something, make something, and so on.


Book Recommendation: "How to Get Dressed"

"How to Get Dressed" Book review | INTO-MIND.com

Attention all fellow book worms! If you still have a free spot on your summer reading list, get yourself a copy of costume designer Alison Freer’s amazingly helpful "How to Get Dressed: A Costume Designer's Secrets for Making Your Clothes Look, Fit, and Feel Amazing" That is, if you haven’t read it already! That book has held the top spot in the style category on Amazon for months now, and for good reason.

"How to Get Dressed" is not only a fun read, it’s also chokeful of practical knowledge. On a little less than 240 pages, Alison teaches you how to assess and improve the fit of your clothes, what to get altered and how to find a great tailor, how to fix issues like pockets that pop open or busted zipper using simple tools you already have at home, and how to properly take care of every piece in your wardrobe. In short: How to make the clothes you already own look and feel better.

All of these are things that you rarely (or never) read about elsewhere, but that can mean the difference between an outfit (and a whole closet) that’s just meh and one that’s level 10 amazing (whatever that means to you).

If there was a college course on how to dress well, this book would be required reading. But unlike many other fashion books, "How to Get Dressed" doesn’t try to tell you what to wear, but instead recognises that style is something inherently personal and subjective. There is even a whole chapter about "Dumb fashion rules that were made for breaking”. I love it!

Have you read “How to Get Dressed”? What did you think?

If you enjoy thoughtful books about style and fashion, also check out my book review of “Women in Clothes”. 


*this post contains an affiliate link



30-Day Closet Confidence Challenge

30-Day Closet Confidence Challenge

I was recently asked in an interview: "Why are so many women so unhappy with their closets? What is the issue here?” I was about to delve right into a long answer about fast fashion, 24/7 marketing and all that, but then I actually thought about it for a moment and said:


Every day I get emails from women who know how they want to dress in theory but who are too afraid to actually do it. Because of what other people might say, because they don’t feel pretty or thin enough or because they don’t want to attract attention to themselves. Their closet isn’t the problem, it’s their lack of confidence.

Don’t let insecurities dictate the way you dress or keep you from having fun with clothes.

Training confidence

If you suspect your own confidence levels are crimping your style a little (or a lot) at the moment, don’t worry: Anyone can learn to be more confident, with a little bit of training. 

That’s where the Closet Confidence Challenge comes in. It’s a 30-day program designed to help you expand your comfort zone, boost your self-esteem and dress more and more in line with your personal style, through daily mini assignments. 


How it works

Your goal is to complete all 30 assignments within one month. How you do that is up to you: Pick one assignment to work on every day or tackle several in a row on weekends, however you like. Some of the steps are simple things you can do in ten minutes at home or on your commute, some are a little more time-consuming, so just work through them in any order that fits your schedule. 



Throughout the challenge you’ll often be asked to style outfits, either using clothes you have in your closet or whatever you can find in stores (no need to buy anything, just try stuff on). Those assignments are the perfect opportunity for you to share your progress with others who are completing the challenge at the same time. Post your photos on Instagram using the hashtag #closetconfidence. And don't forget to tag me (@anuschkarees) so I can check out your outfits :)


Print-out version

To make it easier to keep track of your progress I created a printable version of the challenge with checkboxes and space for you to write down the date you completed each assignment. You can download it here:


So who’s up for a challenge and wants to join me for the first round in July?

If you are busy tomorrow, but want to start on July 1st, just pick something simple like number 22 (compliment three people on their outfits) as your first assignment!


Behind-the-scenes at eco fashion boutique Beklina (+Giveaway!)

I've recently had the chance to interview a true pioneer of the ethical fashion industry: the lovely Angelina Rennel of Beklina. When Beklina opened its (virtual) doors in 2006, it was one of the very first online eco boutiques out there. In this interview we chat about how the ethical fashion industry has changed since then, how she decides whether new brands are "ethical" enough, what her own wardrobe looks like and more. Enjoy!

Giveaway alert!

Angelina is offering all INTO MIND readers a chance to win a 200$ Beklina gift card. To enter the giveaway, simply like this post on Instagram. The winner will be randomly chosen on June 27th.

P.S. The jacket I am wearing on the photo is by Ace & Jig, and it's still available from Beklina.

How did you first become interested in ethical fashion and what made you decide to open your own store?

I’ve always eaten organically, shopped in health food stores and so on. But I didn’t really know about organic cotton and ethical fashion until I had my first daughter. I started reading and exploring about healthy, sustainable options for baby clothing, and eventually I came across some brands that made high-quality baby clothing from organic cotton. I wanted to find the same amazing quality of textiles in women’s wear but I quickly realised that there was very little out there. That’s how it always starts, isn’t it? You can’t find something and so you have to make it yourself.

In the very beginning, Beklina was just a hobby for me. I sold a small selection of women’s organic cotton and hemp clothing. Now it’s been 10 years, and we stock fashion from a wider range of brands that fit our philosophy, both smaller just-starting-out designers to established runway brands. 

How do you select new brands? In other words, how do you decide whether a brand fits Beklina's values and is "ethical"?

My motto for selecting lines is “Style first". I don’t bother exploring designers if I don’t love what they’re doing visually. If I love something I then think about whether it is a good fit for our customer base: individual and artistic women who care about ethics and sustainability and enjoy a native-modern aesthetic. 

When there is a fit aesthetically, I dig in and take a look at the types of textiles the brand uses, where they produce (local is best) and what the work environments are like. It’s amazing how many designers are paying attention to these things nowadays and participate in green and/or ethical wares and production.

What is the business of selling ethical fashion like? Are there any special challenges that come with the territory of selling ethical fashion? 

When I first started Beklina, ten years ago, ethical fashion was considered unusual and standout, and some had a negative bias towards it. They would stay away from eco fashion because they thought it wasn't "high-fashion" enough. I still come across people like this, but only very occasionally. Ethical fashion is mainstream, almost “normal” now, and the label “ethical” is considered a plus these days.

One tough part of selling ethical fashion is when you love something and then find out that it isn’t ethical, at least not from both an environmental and a social perspective. 

The bottom line is that people are drawn to eco fashion for a variety of reasons and at different levels.

Ideally, a garment would consist of organic materials AND have been produced ethically. But some people (both customers and brands) don’t see the full picture and only care about one or the other. For example, many customers support ethical brands because they are against unfair labour. But pieces made from non-organic materials aren’t technically fully “ethical”, even if they were ethically produced. On the other hand, there are also a lot of people who only care about the materials, because they are very sensitive to chemicals and need untreated fabrics for example.

I would say that our approach to buying is very all-encompassing. We know people are learning and growing, both the designers and the customers. That’s why we are comfortable picking up lines at different stages of their growth in eco fashion, in order to support the entire upward movement. 

What does your own wardrobe look like? Do you exclusively wear ethical labels? What about beauty products?

I mainly wear my own line Lina Rennell and other pieces from our shop, mixed with a bit of vintage. I am a very basic simple dresser, rotating through a handful of outfits. I live in vintage Levis, and my knit sweater tops. I’m all over the place with beauty products. Mostly I'm trying out new lines that people send me. I don’t have a big beauty routine, other than I love a hot bath. I’ve always been minimal and “hippy” about beauty products. This is the deodorant I wear for example.

Ethical fashion labels can be expensive. What would you recommend to someone who is on a tight budget but wants to build a more ethical closet?

The first thing that comes to mind is that online the sale seasons are endless. If you like a shop’s curation, get on their mailing list! And don’t worry about building up an entire ethical wardrobe from scratch. Buy one or two pieces that you really love a season and mix in vintage. No matter the budget, vintage is warm, original and precious.


*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.  


How to find a bra that fits you perfectly: Everything you need to know

How to find a bra that fits you perfectly: Everything you need to know

Bras must be right up there with jeans on the list of items that are notoriously hard to shop for and never seem to fit just right.

In fact, if I had to choose, I’d pick shopping for jeans over shopping for bras every time. I have pretty big boobs for my frame and like many women I grew up thinking of them as a flaw that did nothing but make it impossible to find bras, blazers and bikinis that fit properly.

Bras were never comfortable but I had always just accepted that bit of daily discomfort as the eternal fate of the big-boobed, and wearing bras in general as a necessary evil.

Fortunately, my whole bra experience changed for the better in the recent year when I discovered a small but vocal online community that's trying to fight the various misconceptions that exist around bras and help women finally find a bra that fits.

Bras aren’t uncomfortable by default. Not unless you are wearing the wrong size!

This post is a summary of everything I’ve learned from them plus a few other resources about finding well-fitting bras. I went from a European 80C to a 65F (36C to 30F in US sizes). That’s three band sizes down and three cup sizes up and let me tell you, the difference is amazing. Mind blown. 

Here's what we will cover in this post:

  • The cup size misconception: Why you probably need a bigger cup size
  • The band size inflation: Why you probably need a smaller band size
  • Sister sizes and why they are so important
  • Shape matters too!
  • 4 Steps to a better bra
  • What does a well-fitting bra look like?
  • Where to find non-standard bra sizes

Let's go!


4 Key Lessons


The cup size misconception: Why you probably need a bigger cup size

A major reason why so many women wear the wrong bra size (up to 80% according to various studies) is that they never get professionally measured but instead base their choice of bra size on common assumptions of what a B-cup or a D-cup supposedly looks like:

  • A = small
  • B = average
  • C = larger than average but not quite ‘big' yet
  • D = big
  • Anything above D = enormous

Ring a bell? The trouble is, those assumptions are bogus. Your cup size alone doesn’t say anything about the size of your boobs. It’s merely an indicator of the difference between your band size (the circumference of your back just below your breasts) and the circumference of your breasts. If there is a one inch difference you need an A-cup, if there’s a two inch difference you need a B-cup, a three inch difference is a C-cup and so on.  

Only together with your band size does your cup size reflect the actual volume of your boobs. The bigger the band size, the larger the volume: a C-cup bra with a size 30 band has less volume than a C-cup bra with a size 34 band. It’s all relative. That’s why you might well be an E-cup, even if you don’t consider your boobs to be particularly large, if you have a small frame and therefore need a small band size. If all of this sounds confusing, check out this helpful graphic from A Bra that Fits for a visual explanation of the relationship between band and cup size.

The band size inflation: Why you probably need a smaller band size

Cup sizes aren’t the only part of bra sizing that are commonly misunderstood, there are also misconceptions about band sizes, but they go in the opposite direction: women OVER-estimate the band size they need. Here’s why:

Most lingerie brands these days stock band sizes from 32 onwards. To the customer that suggests that 32 must be the smallest possible band size, that will fit only the smallest/thinnest women. The problem is that a 32 band size is actually closer to the middle rather than the lower end of the range, and it definitely doesn’t correspond to an XS in clothing sizes. If you are slim or have a narrow back you may need as low as a 28 or even a 26 band size to ensure your breasts are properly supported. Because that’s the trouble when you wear band sizes that are too big: Your bra can’t do its job. 

Bras are designed to distribute the majority of the weight across your back. But to be able to do that, your bra needs to be tight enough so it can firmly hold onto your ribcage. If your band is just kind of floating on top of your skin, the entire weight of your breasts is hanging from your bra straps and put on your shoulders. And that is a surefire recipe for a whole lot of neck, shoulder and back pain.

So why do brands stock such a small range of band sizes if that means many of us will have to buy non-functioning bras?

Because of an old-fashioned bra measurement technique (called “Plus 4") and basic supply and demand. In the 1950s bras were made from non-stretchy materials like silk and satin and so customers were told to add 4 inches to the circumference of their backs to get their band measurement. Nowadays, most bras are made from stretchy material that already has great flexibility so it makes little sense to buy a bra that’s bigger than your back. And yet, again because not many people get professionally fitted, overtime people just kept buying the same size they were used to, meaning lingerie firms had no reason to spend money to expand their repertoire of sizes. 

Sister sizes: The secret to finding a bra that actually fits

Ok, so we’ve covered why so many women wear the wrong bra size: misconceptions about what certain cup and band sizes look like. 

If you suspect you may not be wearing the correct size either, there’s one more concept that you need to know about: sister sizes. Sister sizes are bra sizes (band + cup size) that have the same cup volume. For example: 34C and 32D are sister sizes. So are 28E and 30D, or 36B, 34C and 32D. Basically: As you go down a band size, you go up a cup size, and vice versa. Check out this chart for a complete list (all sizes in a row are sister sizes and will have the same cup volume). 

Understanding how sister sizes work will make it easier to hone in on your correct size as you try on different bras. You might for example find that a 34B has just the right amount of volume in the cups but is a little too loose in the band. In that case you know you need the sister size with a smaller band, i.e. 32C. On the other hand, if you find the band is way too tight, you could go the other direction: up a band size, but down a cup size to get the same volume, and end up with 36A.  

But again, because of the typical misconceptions people have about bra sizes, that second scenario is much less likely than the first scenario. Most women don’t need to go down a cup size, but up! And not up a band size, but down. 

Shape matters too!

Unfortunately, finding a great bra takes more than knowing your true size. Breasts come in so many different natural shapes that couldn’t possibly all fit the same bra shape equally well. 

On forums like A Bra that fits you will be able to find plenty of pointers for what type of bra works best for what type of breast shape, but these aren’t hard facts, just recommendations because plain personal preference also plays into it. So be prepared to try on as many different bras as possible until you find your favourite(s).

4 Steps to a better bra

1. Get measured or measure yourself

Try this 5-point calculator or go get measured professionally (at a store that sells bras in the non-standard range).

2. Read reviews

Before you try on some bras in your new size, see what bra styles are commonly recommended for your breast shape and what others say about them. Reviews can also help you decide which size to try on since it's likely that you won't be the exact same size in every bra style. Good sources for these types of reviews and recommendations are A Bra that Fits, Bratabase and personal blogs with a focus on bras.

3. Try on lots of different versions

Once you have a shortlist of bras to try on, order a bunch of sizes online or try them on at a department store that stocks different brands. Use the criteria below to assess the fit of each bra you try on, and don't worry if you don't hit the jackpot straightaway. I probably tried on upwards of 20 bras until I found the first style and size combination that fit perfectly. After that it gets easier because you already know what type of bras work best for your boobs.

4. Beware of international sizing

As if bra sizing wasn't already confusing enough! Converting band sizes from US or UK to EU or AU sizing is relatively straightforward (just check this table right here). It's the cup sizes that you really need to watch out for, because all international sizing systems use letters to denote cup size, but above a D cup those letters don't mean the same anymore. I once ordered a bra from a UK site in my usual 30F size and it took me ages to figure out why the cup was way too big. Turns out I am only an F-cup in European sizing, but an E in UK sizes (and a DDD or F in US sizes). Bottom line: make sure you double-check what sizing system each bra is, and keep a conversion table on hand while you shop.


What does a well-fitting bra look like?

Here are some basic criteria to look out for:

  • The bra feels comfortable. This is hands-down the most important criteria.
  • It lies flat against your back without riding up or sitting too low. It's ok if the band digs into your skin a little bit since it should be tight, but it should never feel restricting or even painful.
  • The gore (the part between the cups in front) should lie against your chest (as opposed to float between them).
  • The underwiring should sit in your inframmary fold, not on top of breast tissue. The underwiring should also not dig into your skin below your armpits. Also watch out for breast tissue spilling out on the sides (that's usually a sign for a too-small cup or a shape mismatch).
  • The cups should lie flat against your breasts without gapping at the top or causing spill-over.
  • The straps should be tight enough to stay on your shoulders but without digging into the skin.

For more details, check out these two great articles:

Where to find non-standard bra sizes

Unfortunately, many lingerie brands still don't offer bras outside the standard 32-38 A-DD range. Here are some that do and where to find them online:


Online stores

Amazon and Ebay are also options.




How to use sample wardrobes as a tool to curate + upgrade your own closet

How to use sample wardrobes as a tool to curate + upgrade your own closet

Not long ago fashion blogging was all about capturing great style at the outfit level. Being a fashion blogger meant posting lots and lots of well-styled outfits, ideally without ever repeating the same piece. 

Those type of fashion blogs are still going strong of course. I keep plenty of them on my blogroll myself, because they’re just an amazing source of unique outfit ideas.

But let’s be honest: Fashion bloggers like that are not the most practical role models when it comes to being stylish in everyday life. They can afford to never wear the same thing twice because they get sent a bunch of free stuff. But the rest of us have to re-wear pieces! And that’s why to dress well in real life, it’s not enough to know how to build great outfits - you also need to know how to build a great wardrobe

Fortunately, there are now plenty of bloggers out there who focus on wardrobes, rather than outfits, and everyday I see a new sample wardrobe pop up on my feed (like this or this one). And of course, I have also posted a fair share of sample wardrobes here on the blog, the last one being this week’s 20-piece Summer Capsule Wardrobe

If you are on a mission to upgrade your own closet, sample wardrobes like these can be a helpful learning tool - if you keep a few basic principles in mind.


Focus on the wardrobe as a whole, not individual items

Sample wardrobes are not magazines shopping features that you skim through looking for a piece to spend your next paycheck on. Instead, they are supposed to give you an example of how certain types of items could work together to create a fully functioning “organism”, i.e. wardrobe. The focus here is on types of items, so try to pay attention to the main features of the pieces (like color, cut, and overall style) - and dot get hung up on what brand they are from, whether you can afford them, wether you like the material or a minor detail (like embroidery around the neckline or a zipper instead of buttons). 

Because, again, the goal is not for you to buy those exact pieces but rather to illustrate an idea. 


Analyse the structure of the wardrobe

Most sample wardrobes that you’ll see on blogs won’t be accompanied by a blow-by-blow account of the blogger’s creative thought process behind it. The trouble is, that thought process is really what you are after, because that’s what will help you improve your own closet. The solution: Do the legwork yourself. Dedicate a few minutes to analyse the overall structure of the sample wardrobe you are looking at. Use these questions to make sure you cover every major characteristic of the wardrobe:

  • How would you describe the overall style of the wardrobe? 
  • What type of lifestyle and activities is this wardrobe tailored to?
  • Which item categories (e.g. skirts, longsleeve shirts, heels, etc.) are included in this wardrobe and how many pieces are there per category?
  • What outfit formulas could be created with this wardrobe?
  • What is the colour palette of this wardrobe? How many pieces are included for each colour?
  • What is the ratio between neutral basics and bolder statement pieces? 

Assess how well the wardrobe would work for your own life and style

As you analyse the different components of the wardrobe, like the colour palette or the number of pants vs. skirts, keep asking yourself how well they would work for your own life and personal style. 

Focus on what you like about the wardrobe, but also on what you don’t like about it, and more importantly: why?

Let’s say the sample wardrobe contains four pairs of heels and only one pair of flat shoes. Would you be happy wearing mostly heels? If not, how many pairs of flats would you prefer instead and why?

Another example:

Let’s say you are taking a look at the item categories of the Summer capsule wardrobe I posted this week. There are three dresses, three skirts and three pairs of pants, and they are supposed to be worn to the office as well as for weekends and free-time. Would that work for you? Or would you prefer to have a few more pairs of shorts to choose from, because you tend to live in shorts during the Summer? Would you be happier swapping some of the skirts for pants because you feel more comfortable wearing pants to the office?  

What do you think of all of the warm bold colours and the patterns? Could you see yourself wearing these during the day, or would you prefer a few more neutrals in the mix? 


Come up with actionable takeaways

As a last step, jot down some key takeaways, like ideas for new outfit combinations, pieces you want to buy or just general thoughts about your personal style or the state of your wardrobe. Perhaps you realised you really need another pair of jeans to wear with your casual tops? Or maybe you want to try out a specific colour combination. Or maybe you figured out what you need to pack for your Summer holiday. Write it all down, so you won’t forget and can act on it (right now or during your next wardrobe overhaul).


Colourful 20-piece Summer Capsule Wardrobe for Work and Play

Summer Capsule Wardrobe for Work and Play

Time for another installment of our little 20 Pieces 20 Outfits series!

The summer capsule wardrobe that you'll see in this post is inspired by an email that I got from 28-year old Laura from London:


"Hi Anuschka,
I am a huge fan of your blog and cannot wait for your book to come out!
My goal is to build a capsule wardrobe this Summer, but I'm starting to question whether that is even possible, considering that I love bright colours and I work full-time at a PR agency. Most capsule wardrobes that I see online are a little too basic for my taste and seem to be tailored to people who work from home or stay-at-home mums. I would love to simplify my closet and have an easier time choosing outfits in the morning, but I don't want to wear monochrome basics every day. I was wondering whether you might have some tips for me? "


I do!

So let's dig into this. From Laura's email it seems she has two main questions/worries:

  • Is it possible to build a capsule wardrobe around bright, bold colours rather than just monochromes and basics?
  • Is it possible to build a capsule wardrobe that works for both an office job and home life?

My answer is the same for both questions: Yes it is! It's just a little trickier than building a small, mixable wardrobe (=capsule wardrobe) for a work-from-home minimalist, but it's totally doable. To build a wardrobe like that you can follow the exact same process I've covered lots of times before on this blog: Collect inspiration, define a overall style direction, choose an colour palette, pick some outfit formulas, map out a rough wardrobe structure and make sure each piece you include really pulls its weight.

If you (like Laura) love bright colours and need your wardrobe to work for business AND play time, I have two extra pieces of advice:

Don't skip the colour palette step

Just because you love colour doesn't mean you want to wear ALL the colours. Your wardrobe still needs to be built around a specific palette, to be cohesive and mixable. Go ahead and pick bold, bright colours like fuscia pink or lime green, just make sure your final palette is wearable, and also includes at least one or two more muted shades to support and balance out the other colours.

Read this post for more thoughts on choosing a functional, helpful colour palette for your wardrobe.

Balance your wardrobe across three groups

  1. Double-duty pieces that you can wear to the office and at home, evenings and weekends
  2. Add-on pieces for work that are a little more professional looking and that you can combine with your double-duty pieces (like blazers)
  3. Casual pieces that you only wear during your free time. Think sneakers, shorts, t-shirts and so on

For more thoughts on this method, check out this post.

In the end, the best way to double-check whether your wardrobe is versatile enough for work and plan, is to simply brainstorm possible outfits. That's why it's so important to map out your wardrobe before you head out to the shops - like we are doing in this post.


When it comes to building a (capsule) wardrobe for myself or a reader, I always like to start by writing a quick summary of the overall structure and style I have in mind.

Key characteristics

  • 25 pieces or less
  • a bright, fun colour palette with few neutral pieces
  • must work for a smart-casual office and weekends (daytime and nighttime)
  • include a mix of separated (pants and skirts) and dresses for extra variety
  • lots of patterns

The colour palette

 In her email Laura didn't specify which colours she prefers, so to illustrate the point I chose a mix of oranges, red and light blue as the main shades for this capsule wardrobe:


Wardrobe break-down

To make sure Laura's wardrobe gives her plenty of outfit options for the office as well as evenings and weekends, about half of the pieces in the wardrobe are double-duty pieces (marked with an asterisk below). I also included a few more purely casual pieces (the t-shirt, t-shirt dress and camisole) that she can use to dress down some of these double-duty pieces for weekends. 

The 2+1 formula

As you can see below, for most item categories I included two double-duty pieces (the first in a simpler, versatile design and the second in a bolder colour) + one casual piece. For small work/play wardrobes like this one I think that's a good formula to keep in mind.


3 Dresses

  1. *Versatile shirt dress in a neutral shade that works for pretty much any occasion.
  2. *Dress in an accent shade that can be dressed up for work (perhaps with a blazer on top), dressed down with flats, and worn for going out with some heels.
  3. Casual dress for weekends.

3 Pairs of pants

  1. *Versatile trousers in a neutral shade
  2. *Trousers in an accent shade
  3. Summer shorts

3 Skirts

  1. *Simple A-line skirt for all occasions (in a main colour, in this case a soft orange)
  2. *Patterned skirt
  3. Skirt with a fun pattern for weekends (paired with flats) and going out at night (paired with heels)

6 Tops

  1. *Basic white shirt
  2. *Sleep top in a main colour for work
  3. *Another top for work and free-time
  4. *And another double-duty top in an accent colour
  5. Casual white t-shirt
  6. Camisole for weekends and going-out

5 Pairs of shoes

  1. *Neutral heels for work and going out
  2. *Versatile sandals in a main colour (light blue)
  3. *Versatile sandals in an accent colour (red)
  4. Casual sneakers
  5. Casual espadrilles


At the bottom of this post you'll find all the links to the specific pieces shown in this post. But first, to complete this season's 20 Pieces 20 Outfits post, here are 20 outfits that can you could create using the 20 pieces:

20 Pieces 20 Outfits: Summer Capsule Wardrobe for Work and Play

Here's where you can find the pieces in this post:

Dresses// Shirt dress: People Tree, orange dress: People Tree, striped dress: Amour Vert. Pants// White trousers: Helmut Lang, yellow trousers: Jan 'n June, linen shorts: Mango. Skirts// peach A-line skirt: J.W. Andersen, blue patterned skirt: Ace and Jig, cream printed maxi skirt: Topshop. Tops// white shirt: Amour Vert, chic work top: People Tree, white and light blue top: People Tree, red top: J.Crew, white t-shirt: Zady, peach camisole: Cuyana. Blazer// Mango. Shoes// Strappy heels: French Connection, red sandals: Marais USA, light blue sandals: Topshop, sneakers: Superga, flat espadrilles: Tabitha Simmons.






5 Ways to build a more ethical closet (no matter your budget)

5 Ways to build a more ethical closet (no matter your budget)

Here's a comment that comes up a lot when I talk about fair fashion here on the blog:

"I would love to build a more ethical closet but I can't afford ethical brands!"

And I can totally relate. In an ideal world, my closet would consist of nothing but Reformation dresses, Elizabeth Suzann pants and Cuyana silk camis, but in reality I just don't have the money to shop exclusively from sustainable brands, much less replace my entire existing wardrobe with ethical alternatives. And I can't imagine many people do.

But the good news is this: Buying from ethical brands isn't the only way to "green-ify" your closet and help your cause. In fact, supporting ethical brands is only the tip of the iceberg of a whole set of strategies you can use. Either one of them reduces your personal contribution to the negative impact the fast fashion industry has on workers and the enviroment.

And either one is better than grabbing a flimsy $5 top from the top of the sales pile that will end up as landfill in three months.

So let's take a closer look at each of the 5 ways you can build a more ethical closet:

1. Value and take good care of the clothes you already own

Taking care of the clothes you own (no matter their brand) is the best and most basic thing you can do to build a more ethical closet. Repair what's broken, handwash what needs to be handwashed, fold heavy sweaters instead of hanging them, and so on.

Clothes that are well-taken care of last (and stay nice) for longer. That means they'll need to be replaced less often and you can buy fewer clothes overall, thereby reducing your contribution to the costs of fashion in the long-term.

2. Shop less, choose better: Only buy pieces you love 100%

The fast fashion industry may have gotten its name from the quick rate at which catwalk designs are delivered to the masses, but it just as accurately describes the way we shop nowadays. Fast, laissez-faire, without thinking about it too much. We pick up new pieces here and there, because it's all so cheap and won't break the bank. The result: A closet full of so-so stuff that we are not too crazy about. And so we keep on shopping to fill that void, to replace imperfect pieces with better alternatives and to finally feel like we have enough to wear... it's a never-ending cycle.

So how can you break that cycle? Start choosing better! Don't just buy the first pair of jeans that fits ok, find one that you love and then wear it for years, instead of just a season. Train yourself to be more selective when it comes to buying new clothes, no matter whether you are shopping at a vintage shop, an eco boutique or a high street store. Don't buy things that you know aren't ideal and will want to replace soon. Instead of five cheap, mediocre sweaters, keep looking until you find the one that you love 100%.

By learning to wait you'll not only buy less in the short-run, but also in the long-run because overtime you'll build up a much better, more satisfying closet that way.

3. Go for clothes that are high-quality and durable

No matter the brand, buying clothes that are well-made and consist of high-quality materials is more eco-friendly than buying lower-quality pieces, because they'll last longer and need to be replaced less often. And less closet turnover means what? Exactly, less shopping overall!

Not sure how to find high-quality clothing? Check out this beginner's guide.

4. Buy vintage or second-hand

Another great, budget-friendly alternative to buying ethical brands is to repurpose pre-worn clothes, and save them from becoming landfill. Finding what you want in a vintage or second-hand store can be time-consuming, but often worth the effort in exchange for some truly unique pieces. So give it a try if you haven't yet!

5. Support ethical brands

From Honest by to Everlane: If you want to support ethical brands you've got plenty of options to choose from. If you missed it, click here to see my original list of 30 Ethical Fashion Brands You Should Know and check out the comment section too for lots of extra reader suggestions.


Free multi-purpose wardrobe planner

Free Printable Wardrobe Planner

The idea for today's post came from one of my lovely readers, Wendy. Here's what she emailed me a few days ago:

"I came across your website last week, and I'm incredibly happy that I did. I've purchased the workbook, and I've only begun going through my closet (it's out of control), but I can already see how the methods you've come up with can easily apply to other areas of my life, as well. Thanks for the inspiration!

I had a quick question about the Summer wardrobe planner that you posted last year. It's perfect for all seasons, so being able to change the seasons and year references would be awesome (and would look better than having things red-lined). Would you consider posting it as an editable document?"

Amazing idea, how have I not thought of that sooner.... Especially since I have actually been using a modified version of the planner myself to map out my seasonal wardrobes ever since I first posted it last summer. But better late than never, right?

So I spent a bit of time this morning to create a new multi-purpose, easy-to-print, expanded version of the original planner. You can use it to...

Click here to get started:

Pre-order "The Curated Closet" + cover reveal

The Curated Closet: A simple system for discovering your personal style and building your dream wardrobe

After almost two years of writing, shooting, editing and more editing "The Curated Closet" is now officially a wrap and available for pre-order (still cannot believe I am writing this).

I am hugely thankful to everyone who was involved in making this book (I now totally understand the need for long and drawn-out acknowledgement sections :)). I am so happy with how it's all turned out and I cannot wait until you guys finally get to read it in September!

You can order your copy at any of these places:

The book is available worldwide, both as a hard copy and Kindle edition, and of course you'll also be able to buy it in stores (from September 20th).

I will definitely give you an in-depth tour of the book a little closer to the publication date. What I can already share today is the full table of contents, plus a few sneak peeks of the photography and our gorgeous models.

Take a look :)



Table of contents


Introduction: A tale of bargains, impulse buys, and seasonal must-haves

Closet Diagnostics: Why you don’t have anything to wear


1. The Curated Closet philosophy
2. Getting started: Define the status quo and set style goals


3. What your clothes say about you
4. Discover your style, phase I: Get inspired
5. Discover your style, phase II: Experiment and fine-tune
6. Putting it all together: Your style profile


7. Closet detox: The complete guide
8. How to build a wardrobe that fits your life (not your fantasy life)
9. Closet composition 101
10. Selecting a versatile color palette

11. Working with outfit formulas
12. Business hours: Tweaking your wardrobe for work
13. Overhauling your wardrobe: A step-by-step roadmap
14. How (and when) to build a capsule wardrobe
15. Become your own best stylist


16. How to shop like a conscious consumer
17. Decision time: When to buy and when to keep looking
18. How to stop overspending and make the most of your budget
19. Assessing garment quality: A beginner’s guide
20. Practical pointers for finding clothes that fit well
21. Maintaining and updating your wardrobe throughout the year: A timeline



Photo sneak peeks

A mini selection from the book's 80+ photos. I'll be sharing lots more sneak peeks in the coming months on Instagram, you can follow me here.


The photo team: The model photography was shot by Anna Rose, styled by Alexandra Heckel. The cover and clothing photography was shot by Kelly Puleio and styled by Lisa Moir. Models: Lucia Luciano, Viktoria Bruns, Lara Rusbült and Jasmin Abraha.

Quick tip: The NOT-MY-STYLE list


Want to define your personal style? Start by making a list of everything that's NOT your style!

First, a quick book update for everyone that's been asking: The cover of The Curated Closet is finally ready, yay! Check back early next week for the reveal! (If you want to receive updates about the book via email, you can sign up here.)

Now back to the main event: For today's post I want to share a quick and easy style-defining technique that I’ve been using a lot lately, to plan out my Spring/Summer closet and also to choose a home decor style for the new apartment my boyfriend and I just moved into. 

The technique is as simple as it gets and you can get started straight away, even if this is your first time thinking about your style at all. 


How it works

Defining your personal style is undoubtedly one of the trickiest steps during a wardrobe revamp. If you have no idea where to start, the NOT-MY-STYLE list is a great low-pressure way to hone in on your style, by process of elimination and also because it simply helps you to start thinking about all of the different elements (colours, fabrics and so on) that could possibly be a part of your style.

The idea is that instead of trying to work out how all of the different things you like could fit together, you approach the whole thing from the opposite end. Grab a pen and paper (or your phone) and write down everything you DON’T like. 

Colours, specific pieces, cuts and fits, fabrics, patterns, whole outfits, accessories, make up looks, anything you can think of. 

Here are some examples:

  • medium-wash denim (make it light or dark, no inbetween)
  • anything vaguely bohemian
  • pearl earrings
  • teal
  • those weird poufy pants Lisa was wearing the other day
  • floral or polka-dot patterns
  • heels lower than 3"
  • scoop necklines
  • platform heels
  • lace detailing

You can be as specific or general as you like, anything from "pink" to "warm-toned pastel salmon" goes! Here are some prompts you can use to fill up your NOT-MY-STYLE list:

  • What types of clothes do you never wear, as a rule?
  • What styles and pieces do you always pass straight by in stores, because you already know you won’t like them?
  • What clothes do you appreciate on other people, but just don’t like on yourself?
  • What elements (think specific details, materials or fits) are dealbreakers for you, i.e. will stop you from buying an otherwise lovely piece? 
  • What current (or past trends) are you skipping out on?
  • What types of clothes that have you tried to warm up to or make work without success (check the back of your closet for this one)?
  • What types of things would you never wear in a million years?

Start with the obvious, things you dislike in general (like “ruffles”, “denim hot pants" or “bright magenta"), but then dig a little deeper. What type of stuff do you like and can appreciate, just not on yourself? Are there any styles that many of your friends or colleagues are wearing right now that you aren’t a fan of? Oversized silhouettes, pastel shades or pencil skirts? Write it all down, until you can’t think of anything else. 



Optional next step

Add a second column to your list, with the heading “I prefer…”. Then, starting from the top of your list, write down an alternative for each point that you do like and could see yourself wearing (or are already wearing) regularly. 

Here’s an example: 


  • high-waisted pants
  • sneakers or canvas shoes
  • complicated up-dos and other high-maintenance hair styles
  • denim cut-off shorts
  • warm, saturated colours (oranges, greens...)
  • chunky "glam" jewellery
  • ...


  • a medium or low waist
  • simple sandals for summer
  • un-done, tousled hair
  • A-line mini skirts
  • greys and cool pastel shades
  • delicate pieces with a meaning
  • ...

After completing this second step, you’ll be left with a neat little summary of some of your specific likes and dislikes. Use it as a jumping off point to do some more style research or like a recipe for mapping out your ideal wardrobe


Defining your home decor style

Like I mentioned earlier, this technique works not only for defining your personal style when it comes to clothes, it’s also great for narrowing down on a decor theme for your living space.

My boyfriend and I just moved into a new place (still in Berlin) and we know we want it to look completely different than our last apartment (which still had a pretty student-y vibe with lots of hand-me-down furniture that we’ve had since college). And while we both have pretty strong ideas about what types of clothes we like, when it comes to interior design we are still newbies. Right now, in the early stages of this whole process, writing NOT-MY-STYLE lists was super helpful for articulating our individual ideas and finding a design direction that we both like.

If you are interested in that type of stuff, you can follow me on Instagram where I’ll definitely post updates of our space as we go along.

Let me know if you have tried this method and how it worked out for you? Also: What is NOT your style?

Book recommendation: "Women in Clothes"


A few days ago I posted about this book that I am currently re-reading on Instagram, and many of you commented to say you loved it or that it's one of your all-time favourite books. I'm not surprised!

"Women in Clothes", written by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, Leanne Shapton and 639 others (really!), is a truly special, meaningful read for anyone who cares about, thinks about or worries about their clothes. For today's post (the first ever book review on this blog) I wanted to tell you a little about what makes this book so great, and my favourite parts and quotes.

Have you read "Women in Clothes" yet? What did you think?


What this book is about

Women in Clothes is about "how the garments we put on every day shape and define our lives."

"I don't check out men on the street. I check out women. I am always checking out women because I love stories, and women in clothes tell stories."

from Clothing Garden p6

It's a pretty thick book, over 500 pages, full of interviews, essays, poems, journal entries, photos and interview responses that the three main authors collected from 639 women. Some of the interviewees are celebrities or artists (like Miranda July, Lena Dunham and Cindy Sherman), others are just regular non-famous women from all walks of life. Here are some examples of the types of question they were asked for the interview:

  • Do you think you have style or taste? Which is more important?
  • Can you say a bit about how your mother's body or style has been passed down to you or not?
  • How do you conform to or rebel agains the dress expectations at your workplace?
  • If there was one country, culture or era you had to live in, fashion-wise, what would it be?
  • What are some things you need to do to your body or clothes to feel presentable?
  • Do you ever wished you were a man or could dress like a man?
  • What are you trying to achieve when you dress?
  • Was there a point in your life when your style changed dramatically? What happened?

The full list of questions is included in the book, so you can go through them for yourself if you enjoy a little soul-searching.

The tone of Women in Clothes is very conversational which makes it an easy read, but at the same time I wouldn't consider it "light" reading material. There are definitely lots of funny parts, but the book also deals with more serious themes like body image, gender norms and cultural identity, so be prepared to experience a whole range of emotions while reading.


Why I love it

So many reasons! It's thought-provoking and entertaining, but above all it's ridiculously relatable.

"I prefer heels. Last week I wore Birkenstocks and at the end of the day I just felt so bad about myself. Like, Okay, my feet don't hurt, but my morale is really low. I think I'd rather have feet that hurt a little but a higher morale."

from I'm always on the floor and working p31

Much of the book is written in a stream-of-consciousness style which makes it feel like you are really there listening in on a conversation between best friends who tell each other everything without censoring the gritty, unglamorous parts. Unlike otherfashion media, the book shows the complex relationship many of us have with clothes in an honest, unfiltered way, and manages to put all those rollercoaster emotions into words. When I read Women in Clothes last week there were so many moments when I wanted to shout "Yes, exactly!" because I felt like the authors had just taken my exact thought process and put it on paper.

I also love the basic premise of the book, which is something I try to convey in my book and on this blog as well: That thinking about the cothes you wear isn't vain and it isn't trivial. Our clothes reflect our past, our memories, and our hopes for the future. They say a lot about who we are and who we want to be, and that's ok.

The entire book is set up in a pretty unique way too, with lots of different features and bite-sized chapters. It's not the type of book you have to read from front to back. I would often just open it up randomly and dive straight in.


Some of my favourite parts

  • The "Mothers as Others" feature: Women talk about a photo of their mother from before she had children.
  • The part where six strangers wear another's outfits and how you can instantly tell by her expression and body language when a women is wearing her own favourite.
  • The interview with human rights journalist Mat McClelland about the fashion industry's problem with ethics and sustainability.
  • The bit where Zosia Mamet recreates poses from different fashion magazines. It's hilarious but also super engrossing because you'll quicky notice patterns.
  • The "What I Spend" diaries: detailed chronicles of every single clothing and beauty item different women bought, considered buying, regretted buying or returned, and the thought process behind it all.
  • The conversation with Juliet Landau-Pope, a declutter coach, about the fears, memories and multiple identities that are living in our closets.

More quotes

"I'd always assumed the well-dressed just happened to be that way - not that it was an area of life that people excelled in because they applied thought, attention, and care to it. Living with my boyfriend, I began to see that dressing was like everything else: those who dress well do so because they spend some time thinking about it."

from Clothing Garden p3

"Recently, I've started to consciously dress in a more "professional" manner when I attend prenatal appointments. I noticed that when I was dressed in my usual casual summer style, I was treated like a helpless teen mother. [...] I've sinde made the switch to dressing as though I'm coming from an office, and I find that I'm spoken to more directly and as though I have done my research. I resent having to do this."

from Dress for Success p134

"I used to steal a lot of clothes when I was fat. I was convinced I was entitled to the few things that looked good on me."

from Economics of Style p74

"I used to wear beautiful dresses my mom made for me. When I grew breasts, I stopped wearing them. Part of the reason was that they didn't fit anymore and showed too much. I started to wear sweatshirts or big sweaters to cover my breasts after that. Then, when I got married, I wore less of those big sweaters because I felt safe and like I didn't have to be the only one protecting myself."

"I try not to dress in something that would be more important to me than having a good time. I wouldn't want to stop doing something for fear that my outfit would get ruined or weird-looking in the act of having fun."

from Worn p147

"At a certain point I realized it was more punk to dress like a "normal" person and infiltrate the world from the inside than to have everyone treat you like a freak. Now I'm just a bougie mom with an Hermès bag who talks about how she had a nose ring in 1987."

from 40's p263

"I hate to see myself in photographs because I think I'm prettier and more charming in real life. [...] In a photograph, I think my cheeks are really big, like I am hoarding nuts for the winter, and I am always scowling and looking unfriendly or sad. [...] I'm loyal and warm and funny, and a photograph never catches that."

from Souvankham Thammavongsa's survey p320

"A problem I've always had with fashion magazines is that women are encouraged to copy other women. [...] It's almost as if fashion magazines don't understand what a woman wants. I think she wants to be unique among women, a creature unlike any other."

from Clothing Garden p9

*This post contains an affiliate link.


30 Ethical Fashion Brands You Need To Know

Is one of your style resolutions this year to stop buying so much fast fashion and build a more ethical closet? Then you are in good company. Plenty of people these days want to make the shift from "fast" to sustainable and good for the environment, but actually doing it can be quite a challenge. Why? Because fast fashion brands offer a pretty irresistible package. They are cheap and fashion-forward — but more importantly: they are easy-to-find and familiar. If you need a new top or a pair of jeans, you can probably think of a whole list of brands and shops that might carry something you like.

Most ethical brands are simply not as well-known and accessible as their "fast" counterparts, at least not yet! This post is my contribution to change that and give you a new set of brands to add to your go-to shopping shortlist.

One word about budgeting for ethical clothing: Yes, sustainable fashion is more expensive than fast fashion and instead of buying five new things a month you may only be able to afford one piece. But: That's actually a good thing. The rate at which we as consumers are adding to our closet is crazy, and that's in no small part due to the historically low prices of clothes nowadays. Not being able to afford as much will help you be more selective and over time you'll build up a high-quality wardrobe that will last you for years to come.

And remember: You don't have to buy ALL of your clothes from ethical brands to be a more conscious consumer. Don't let perfect be the enemy of good. Every little helps!

What are your favourite ethical fashion brands?

P.S. I am finally on Instagram now! You can follow me here.

Edit: If you live in Europe, be sure to check out the comments under this post for some more awesome European/German brand recommendations!






  • Reformation    ⎹   worldwide shipping    ⎹   $$
  • Cuyana    ⎹   US, Canada, Australia    ⎹   $$$
  • Zady    ⎹   worldwide shipping    ⎹   $$$
  • Elizabeth Suzann    ⎹   worldwide shipping    ⎹   $$$
  • Amour Vert    ⎹    US    ⎹   $$$
  • Jan ’n June    ⎹   Europe, worldwide (by request)    ⎹   $$



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How to expand your fashion comfort zone

When it comes to fashion we all have our own individual comfort zone. Some people feel at home in patterned jumpsuits and statement heels, others feel dressed up in anything other than jeans and a t-shirt. And as long as your comfort zone matches your style, everything is A-ok. Because it doesn't matter if you don't feel comfortable in crop tops if they aren't your style anyway.

The trouble is when your comfort zone is keeping you from fully expressing your personal style. When you would love to wear a maxi dress, a specific colour, or platform heels, but are too self-conscious to give it a try. When you think “I would love to be able to pull that off, but I know I would just look silly”. 

That’s when your comfort zone is getting in the way between you and great style. 

The fix: Instead of letting your comfort zone determine what you wear, work towards expanding it, until it covers the full spectrum of colours, silhouettes and looks you love.

Think of your comfort zone as a muscle. You can train yourself to become more confident when it comes to fashion, by gradually upping the ante. The trick is to really ease into it and set the bar low at the beginning.

Here are three ways to do that:





Pair new (scary) pieces with your go-to basics

Rule number one: Take it one piece at a time, even if your Pinterest boards are full of bold head-to-toe looks. If you are inspired by all-black grungy outfits, find one item that reflects that look (for example a leather jacket) and pair it with your regular daytime clothes for a while. If you love bodycon dresses, wear one underneath a longline cardigan and with casual flats. If you secretly dream of dressing like a Free People model, ease into that look by wearing just one bohemian piece or accessory with your basics. Once you feel comfortable with that baby step, you can gradually add more pieces into the mix.


Wear toned-down versions of your goal look for a while

Another way to get used to bolder styles is to wear a toned-down version at first. For example, instead of dark lipstick, no mascara and slick-backed hair, go for a deep berry colour, wear just one subtle coat of mascara and pull your hair back, but not as tightly. Instead of super wide-legged culottes, go for a pair with a slightly slimmer leg. Instead of a bright orange, pick a softer peach colour. Instead of a leopard print coat, wear a leopard print clutch, and so on.


Get used to new pieces by wearing them around strangers first

One reason many people feel self-conscious wearing a bolder or different look than usual, is a fear of what their friends or colleagues at work might say. When you are leaving your cushy comfort zone even innocent conversation starters like "Ooh, why so dressed up, are you trying to impress someone?" can leave you feeling exposed and threaten your already pretty shaky confidence. If you worry how others might react to you wearing a bolder style and it's keeping you from trying new things, do this: simply wear your new, bolder pieces around strangers only, for example while you are out shopping, travelling or even just at home. Pretend like that's the way you always dress. Eventually, your bolder pieces will feel like a natural part of your wardrobe and you'll be able to brush off any comment with confidence.


IMAGES // Pink coat: Startraks Photo + GC Images; striped pants: Melody Jeng via WhoWhatWear.com + via Vogue.mx; white top: modernlegacy.com.au + unknown. Leopoard print: Stockholm Streestyle + Damsel in Dior; Dark lip: unknown + Tadashi Shoji Fall 2014, Imaxtree; wide-leg pants: Être Cécile X Manrepeller + the-northernlight.com.

  • Do you have any tips for expanding your comfort zone?

  • Is there anything you would love to wear that's outside your comfort zone right now?

Should you build a capsule wardrobe?

Should you build a capsule wardrobe?

The capsule wardrobe as a concept is having a real moment right now. And that's great, because it means more people are catching onto the idea that you don't need to wear the latest trends or own a jam-packed designer wardrobe to have great style.

I've written plenty of posts about capsule wardrobes in the past, but this one is a little different. I'm not going to talk about how to build a capsule wardrobe, but about whether you should at all.

Right now, the capsule wardrobe is the poster child for a more thoughtful, personalized approach to fashion - everyone has heard about it. The trouble is that all this hype can make it seem like whittling your wardrobe down to 20 to 40 pieces is the only way to do slow fashion.
When really, it's just one alternative.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love capsule wardrobes. But they are not a cure-all, and not everyone is going to benefit from them.

Do you want a wardrobe that’s easy to mix-and-match? Make the most out of the clothes you already have? Improve your shopping habits?

Guess what: You can achieve all these things without consciously limiting yourself to a set number of pieces.

Building a capsule wardrobe is one way to upgrade your style and closet, but it’s not the only one.

Some people don't do well with a capsule wardrobe for various reasons. Some just prefer more variety, for others it's just not practical to wear less than 40 pieces for three months.

If you're not sure whether you are a good candidate for a capsule wardrobe, you can follow the flow chart in this post to find out.


The real benefits of building a capsule wardobe

So what are the real benefits of building a capsule wardrobe? What are the advantages of reducing your wardrobe to a certain (low) number of pieces, over simply working on your entire closet?

  • A capsule wardrobe is much easier to plan because there are fewer moving parts to worry about. That makes it a great first milestone to aim for for anyone who is rebuilding their wardrobe from scratch.
  • Wearing a capsule wardrobe for a period of time can be a fun styling challenge to help people discover what their existing closet has to offer.
  • Wearing a capsule wardrobe reduces decision fatigue and clutter - both huge benefits in my opinion.


Upgrading your non-capsule wardrobe

So what if you decide against building a capsule wardrobe? How can you improve your closet in that case?

Easy: You can take your pick from the exact same tool box you might use to build a capsule wardrobe, and all the techniques I talk about on this blog. For example, you can tailor your wardrobe around a colour palette. You can use outfit formulas to give your wardrobe more mix-and-match potential. You can detox your closet to get rid of anything that doesn't reflect your personal style. You can follow the 10 Step Wardrobe Revamp.

The only difference: Instead of pre-deciding how many pieces you want to be left with in the end, you take a more flexible approach and simply aim to stock your wardrobe with everything you need for your personal style and lifestyle.



How do you feel about capsule wardrobes? Have you built one yet yourself? Why (not)?



Hello again! It's relaunch day! After a few crazy hectic days of redesigning, redirecting, coding, writing and more writing, the new website is finally live! I hope you like it ;)

Before I show you what's new around here, I want to again thank you all so much for your lovely emails and comments in response to my book announcement post! I'm so glad that so many of you are just as excited as I am, and I honestly cannot wait for September, when you finally get to read it! 

Right now, we (my publisher and I) are still hard at work finalizing the design, the photo selection and the cover. But once we are done, I'll definitely be able to tell you all about what's in the book, show you sneak peeks and answer your questions.

Until then, I've got lots of new blog content lined up for you!

Two new big features that are already live:


The 10 Step Wardrobe Revamp

The 10 Step Wardrobe Revamp got a big makeover as part of the redesign.

It now comes with several completely new steps and exercises, and is much more in-depth than the previous version. Rather than just being a broad overview, it's now a one-stop guide that tells you everything you need to know to overhaul your wardrobe from scratch.

There's a separate page for every single step with concrete instructions and a list of related blog posts that can help you delve deeper. That way you can choose the extent of your revamp yourself: Complete just the basic to-dos for each step or delve deeper for some or all steps, using the recommended blog posts.

You can check out the overview of the whole revamp here, or click any of the photos above to go to a specific step.


Apart from the 10 Step Revamp, there is also lots of new stuff to read in the updated FAQ, including answers to super common questions like "Should I build a capsule wardrobe?" or "Where are you from?" (no it's not Sweden and I'm also not Dutch, not sure where people get that from :)).


Another thing that's new around here is the category system. All blog posts are now organized into six clear-cut categories for easy navigating. Each category page (click any photo below) also features a list of the most popular posts, so you don't have to go digging through the archives. Unless you like digging :) In that case you now also have the option to view this entire blog in a traditional scroll-through format (the button for that is on the bottom of each category page).


Responsive layout

One more thing I am very excited about: INTO MIND is now fully responsive. So many of you read this blog on your phone or on a tablet, even though it admittedly wasn't the most comfortable experience until now. With the new design (which runs on Squarespace), everything should be easy to read and look good, no matter what device you are on.

Have fun exploring the new site and if you have any questions, shoot me an email!

P.S.: Some of the links to other INTO MIND blog posts aren't working properly yet, it seems. Sorry about that! I'll get that and any other minor kinks fixed asap, but it might take a couple more days. As a workaround to the link issue you can directly search for the posts here.



20% Workbook Discount + Update

Hey guys, I hope you are all having a great holiday week (or just a great regular week if you're not in the US like me :) )!

I'm still hard at work trying to finish up a big project, which I hope to be able to announce very very soon! I honestly cannot wait to tell you all about it!

For everyone that's been asking: Yep, "Personal Style & the Perfect Wardrobe: A Workbook" will be available at a 20% discount for Black Friday, so if you've been thinking about giving your wardrobe a overhaul, now is your chance. Click here to buy the workbook and enter the code BLACKFRIDAY during checkout to apply the discount. The code will stay active all of today.

x Anuschka