{my fave eco brands} eco valise: packing light for paris

Friday, November 27, 2015

what does a gal pack for a move to france? first, let's back up a little. . .

seven years ago i made the decision to move to france: to paris specifically. and there was no stopping me.

i have this magnet on my little fridge here in my paris apartment. it reads, "whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're right." it's a quote by henry ford.

my journey to france was a circuitous one.

i became ill, then then after years of being sick, i was blessed with my health once again {this is the part where i digress for a moment and implore you to watch forks over knives and cowspiracy}. if you ever decide to pursue what you're most passionate about, i have only these words of guidance: surround yourself with people who believe in you + support your dream. i once read that if you really desire something in life, you'll find a way to make it happen. and i believe this, i am galvanized by these words. 

so there was the saving + the planning {and the french lessons of course!}. and there was this: prior to my departure, i had to whittle down all of my possessions, my entire life really: my wardrobe, my furniture, my considerable plant collection, and even my beloved book collection. the truth is i loved every minute of paring down my existence into two suitcases + a carry on.

i loved the idea that everything i owned i was now able to carry on my back, in my hands or wheel alongside me.

more than anything, i loved the feeling of holding a one-way ticket to paris in my hands after daydreaming about it for so many years.

so what exactly does a gal with wanderlust + a new home away from home take with her?

the it list of my fave eco brands:

*let's start here: i am participating in the 30 wears challenge proposed by slow fashion activist livia firth. the item that i chose to wear 30+ different times is this little cropped top by jacob + esau. learn more about the challenge at eco-age.

1} shoes: i read that men usually own between 10-12 pairs of shoes and women own 4 to 5 times more. i counted mine. i have ten. this seemed like a very high number. i waffled about whether i needed this many, but in the end, i was packing for four seasons. and since my arrival, i've worn each of these shoes numerous times. the eco brands that made it across the great atlantic ocean include bhava, no vacascri de coeur + olsen haus.

2} tees + jeans: these are my wardrobe staples. i wear these every day solo or under button downs + denim jackets during cooler weather. my go-to eco labels include nudie jeans + monkee genes + big star denim. i also included tees + tanks from groceries apparelamour vert + style saint for layering.

3} sweaters: i included only two vintage pieces. paris is always 10-20 degrees warmer than chicago. and france is a land of layering, so i've seen a lot of tees + tops during the fall + winter months. in cafes, on crisp, cool-weather days, i've seen french girls peel off every layer until only tank tops remained.

4} shorts + skirts: i love summer. plain + simple. but i really love watching how the french layer their skirts with chunky sweaters or dresses with moto jackets. my fave maxi skirt is from kaight nyreformation has some foxy dresses. other pieces i packed are vintage or thrifted that i've had tailored to fit me.

5} jackets: i brought my fave cargo jacket along with my vintage denim which i layer under my pleather moto on colder days. i wear these almost every day. what i didn't need was my oversized winter coat which i couldn't live without during chicago's blustery days. the weather in paris is lovely + moderate, which makes dressing even more fun because there are less restrictions!

6} books: since i teach english, i needed my textbooks which took up the bulk of the maximum allowed weight in my suitcases. i brought only two books from my vast collection of fiction + nonfiction literature: a book of poetry by e.e. cummings + "to kill a mockingbird" by harper lee.

sometimes i feel like french style knows no seasons + has no boudries. i've noticed that even summer shorts + skirts come out of the closet for layering over tights. i'm falling more + more in love with french style.

{pic by f+d / wearing organic cotton nudie jeans, ethically crafted sweater by jacob + esau + river creek sock mill striped socks}

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