Thanks for stopping by! Here on BECOMING LOLA I share stories on becoming minimalist, as well as living a pure clean life as a style-obsessed digital nomad with a no BS approach to ethical fashion + travel. Grab a glass of wine and start here: Building A Minimalist Wardrobe.


May 27, 2014

how to choose your capsule wardrobe colors based on skin tone

Alright gals. No more funny business eh! With any luck, you have an emptier...or empty closet and a general concept of your personal style vis-a-vis a daily uniform you could wake up in and comfortably, yet stylishly, die in. Are your fingers tingling? You are almost ready to spend some cash. Hopefully you haven't cheated yet and parted ways with your hard earned dough because we still have two steps left. Here comes the fun part: choosing your wardrobe colors.

May 26, 2014

how can I travel the world on a budget solo

What do you want to be when you grow up little Jane? Jane said HAPPY.

You know what I found myself doing yesterday? Searching google hardcore for a solid twenty minutes tracking down something I absolutely had to have that moment after seeing it by way of TV. Was it a bird, a No, it was the new Katie Couric produced documentary titled Fed Up which was all too fitting since fed up is my perpetual state of being these days after watching one too many documentaries this month that had me questioning - "What the friggin hell is wrong with this country??" No one knows what's in their food yet they're incomparably obsessed with dieting and looking like Gwenyth Paltrow. Companies secretly take out life insurance policies on employees to make a profit off of death, like, the company you work at right now is doing it. Speaking of insurance, health insurance here is a joke and the fact that it took 65 years to progress only an inch is so laughable it's not even funny. We're bored, depressed, fat, envious, and a slave to devices with bright loud sensory overload like a newborn is to a mobile in their crib. Life here is to go to school 9-5, get a 9-5 job, swindle our way out of school debt to buy a mortgage and a car and afford to have kids that we will raise and train to do the same 9-5 grind. Vacations if we're lucky, health costs covered if we're fortunate, and happiness...well. And no questions this systematic tradition. We're American after all, this is the best country right! So yeah, nomad travel for free is in my future again. Period. Where does that leave me? Well, packing my bags to finish what I started last year with my RTW solo trip. Traveling around the world. For free. As minimalist as possible. 

Why now? Is it giving up? How can it be free? Don't I have responsibilities? Am I, cough cough, privileged? Yeah if you call living below the government-officiated poverty line in a 600 square foot apartment eating carcinogenic packaged foods a privilege! How funny then, that I can trade "poverty" in my own country for laying out in a hammock on the beach, indulging in unfathomably delectable gourmet food, releasing baby turtles into the woods, or taking a solo stress-free cruise down the Duoro river only to be dropped off onto dry land where the world's best Porto wine awaits my supple lips. Yeah, that was my summer last year. What was yours? I tease, I tease. It's your turn! It's easier than you think, truly. The hardest part is social constraints and the barriers of judgment.

Let's be real here. I'm not cut out to rant and complain for days on end. As a woman, especially a woman of color, there is a propagated notion that complaining is all we do. Bitching about shit that has potential to be changed is not in my DNA. Stagnant life? Try something new. Dead-end job? Start a location independent business like I did. Bored to death due to a lackluster, inauthentic, big city social life? Make friends away from home. Have a bucket list? What the heck are you waiting for? Get a plane ticket and let's start this show. I'll do it with you. I PROMISE. But in all honesty, the real reason I simply cannot stay in New York, much less America anymore, is because the corrupt broken system bubbling over with subliminal messaging of be this race, this size, this profession, this wealthy, this has completely suffocated who I was just ten years ago. I need to discover the real me and my untouched passions. I don't have kids or sick elderly parents and that is the ONLY two reasons you should ever be held back from traveling the world. How do I know? Because last year I left my boyfriend who didn't believe this was true and had a middle class traditionally conservative family hovering over his thoughts. It was a deal breaker for me so I left him and everything I knew, as I refused to selfishly force him into my lifestyle. Hence solo travel. But now, after being begged to return home, and trying to exist in this abysmal society together this past winter made him realize it's not worth it. You're only young once. He came to me, wanted out, and gave a two weeks notice just a week later. Besides a chair and mattress, we've sold everything and booked tickets to Mexico with a final destination of Southeast Asia. So this is for my solo gals with major cojones or those who might be joined by unexpected companions - I did both. Excuses to not try something new is real, but it's not tangible. You know what's tangible? Exploring a country that American media paints as a communist third world country and discovering the people are some of the most lovely in the world (who so happen to enjoy universal healthcare). Seeing sunrises over caves in the middle of the ocean. Cooking a meal from food you've grown with your own two hands in the French countryside. This ain't no Eat Pray Love bull crap. Just do it. The problem is we have so much more freedom than many other humans can dare dream to fathom. We don't know what to do with it. How to cope with the fact that no one is demanding we stay in America, or work for the industry we got that expensive college degree in, or fulfill happiness independently. Minimalist travel is a good start. Here's how!

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May 24, 2014

best memorial weekend sale codes for an affordable wardrobe

I wasn't going to do this - which you can soon decipher as I am about three days late. But like everything I swear off doing, I see others doing it and I want to slap them in the face. However, we made a pact, you and I, after this post, that no violence shall come to anyone in the blogosphere no matter how desperately cliche and transparent they are in their methods to take over the fashion world. How would one do such a thing? By calling themselves a "fashion blogger" in order to solicit free wares and whore out on discount coupon codes every freakin chance they get so advertising dollars pour in from debt-free readers who believe any recommendation from such a prestigious source will do miracles for their status and personal style. Congratulations to them and all the drones that will be shopping from them. Why are those readers drones? Well, if I see one more comment a la, "Oh my gosh love that color on you..thanks for sharing!! xoxo see my new post" I think I might climb a cliff, get my cardio on, then jump off (die fit). I mean do you really want to be told to shop at Claire's this weekend? It's like going into a shop, you know, and being stalked a little too much by sales girls on commission that tell you neon harem pants would look fab on you. I think even when I was young enough to wear Claire's I still broke out in hives every time I passed by it in the mall. #justsayin

Here is what I won't be doing on this little minimalist wardrobe building blog: there will be no links displayed with their pants down if I have not checked each and every url myself, nor shall anything be included that wasn't clearly affordable before the damn consumerist holiday, and needless to say I am not a drone nor a pimp so I do encourage you to take advantage of my hard work, due diligence and conscious curation because these are pretty great deals that I plan on actually using myself (I did the full on 18 browser tabs open shenanigan last night with many abandoned online shopping carts from my indecisiveness). No gun to head syndrome here. Sit back, grab a beer (right!) and stock up on some affordable clothing essentials because a mean, lean wardrobe is nothing without them.

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May 20, 2014

fashion tips: what's the point of capsule wardrobes that don't fit?

Defining your personal style for my building a wardrobe method we kicked off last week, is all about buying pieces that you love. Eventually, it will be easy to find items that you feel great in and that work well with your lifestyle. When you feel comfortable, your style will look effortless.

Blah. Blah. Blah.

Can you believe I had the audacity to even attempt at starting this post that way? Who am I kidding? Fashion stylist turned fashion editor turned fashion entrepreneur and I leave the house looking no better than Snooki in a muumuu on her best day. Okay so perhaps I exaggerate the self-deprecation there. I look more like a model off duty most days, but um, like a model from thirty years ago who shops from QVC and yard sales because that's where the "unique" pieces are. I am so sick and tired of being ignorant to the specialized fashion design education I was blessed with, dressing myself in pieces of crap that don't fit me because I refuse to acknowledge my correct body shape while resorting to the excuse of "being too busy" to do anything about it. I am not Sofia Vergara or Jessica Biel or Beyonce. And shopping thrift stores for ethical reasons is a moot point when I simply return home with fast fashion trash like skin-tight American Eagle or far from tailored H&M pieces with the tags still on them. Whoop, go me!

It is always a good idea to go through your closet on a regular basis. Why? Because if you are anything like me, you know better, in fact you know so much you don't even need to read my practice-what-you-preach post, but meditating on the state of your closet with the intention of really being present is an eye opener so that you can really come to terms with how much crap you're collecting and didn't even know you had. If you haven't worn an item in over a year, it's time to donate it or sell it. Stop digesting that advice only to do nothing with it. DONATE YOUR CLOTHES! Seriously. There are so many reasons that we hang on to clothes, and while it is tempting to cling on to items for sentimental value, it will be freeing to open up some space for outfits that you will enjoy in the present. Especially ones that actually fit you. Ahem. #wakeupcall

May 19, 2014

casual monday for the workplace

click to shop

Happy Monday! Here in New York our Spring season decided to suddenly rear its post-global warming ugly head and strike cold against us with a vengeance. On a day like today, when the sun is only occasionally present, but more playing hide and seek, nothing says casual office day and "I don't give a flying squirrel's ass" like destroyed white mom jeans, some hardware booties, and a tuxedo vest for just a touch of Gwenyth Paltrow elegance. Finish off with nude lips and a versatile vegan bag and you're completely prepared for whatever comes your way. Am I right?

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May 6, 2014

how to get started with my capsule lean wardrobe method

Woah, was my last post really in March? Can you choose one of those standard blogger excuses from a felt hat for me and we move on? You're the bomb dot com, thanks so much! No but really, I didn't give birth. I'm not juggling my moral integrity. There is no PhD in my future. I am simply trying to figure out why the hell there are no women of color starting technology companies. Where are they? Because I am busy doing it and a role model would be nice. #justsayin

No matter if you took my humble advice month after month to either travel the world while freelancing, launch a biz, or work smarter at your current job, you find yourself staring into the closet-void every morning, asking yourself the same question, “What the heck am I going to wear today?” If your wheels come to a grinding halt and getting dressed becomes a necessary chore rather than an enjoyable way to express yourself, you might be in need of a wardrobe re-haul. Some of you need a shot of tequila, but hey, I'm no therapist mmkay.
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