More Than Just Appearance: Keeping Up Your Mind, Body and Soul

Posted on January 07, 2016, 3:45 pm
9 mins


I never really understood the “new year, new you” concept that bombards all of us each January. It certainly can be a good time to assess one’s life and focus, and perhaps set some new goals or a wish list of aspirations for the upcoming year without the idea that all was lost the year prior. That being said, a perfect way to start off a new year in a more positive manner, beyond some dramatic reinvention, is to steer clear of keeping up appearances, and focus on the wholeness of mind, body and soul. These three essential parts of our humanness are what inspired me for the January Vogue A Trois. Feed your mind; take care of your body; be mindful of your soul.

A Beautiful Mind

Keeping Up Appearances #2

Learning something new is a great aspiration to have in the coming year, not only because it makes you a more interesting person, but also because it can open up the world around you like never before. A few years back I decided to embark on learning French–something I had always wanted to do–before a trip to Paris. (I didn’t become fluent but it helped me travel better.)

That experience inspires this styling. After all, even if one cannot speak the language, you can emulate it with perfect French girl style.

This navy Vince coat is not only chic, it is also on sale, and looks gorgeous tossed over one’s shoulders. I am loving the raw edges on denim these days, and this cool cropped Current/Elliott pair shows off these Flamingo Tatum Colorblock Platform Sneakers perfectly. I am also having a major crush on Prada at the moment, including this elegant blue suede Double Bag. I love pairing something more nonchalant, like the raw edge denim, with a dressier piece, like this sophisticated silk shirt by French company Maje. French style icon, blogger and illustrator Garance Doré has teamed with Rifle Paper Company to make notebooks and other paper goods, which would be perfect for French class, and the Newgate Clocks Grand Drummer Watch will help get you there on time.

Body of Work

Keeping Up Appearances

Keeping fit should be part of a year-round routine, but it can be easy to skip it when days get super busy. I am a morning exerciser, and if I don’t go then, I don’t make it at all. I found putting a little reminder on my phone with a personal mantra about what matters helps remind me why it is important. And no matter what you do to keep yourself healthy, looking good while doing it never hurts.

I am really bored with black lululemon pants, so this past year I switched them out for some cool patterned pairs from Nike and adidas. On my recent trip to NYC there was nary a black pair of yoga pants in sight; everyone I saw leaving Soul Cycle or running on the street was wearing patterned leggings and gear—really cool ones. As I am fond of snakeskin patterns, I fell in love with these Prismsport Python Leggings, which would look cool running errands after the gym. Wear the UK brand Sweaty Betty peach colored sports bra under this super cute Apres Ramy Brook Riky Tank and a Thane Cold Shoulder Tee, because there is no need to sacrifice style while you get yourself fit and fabulous. Slip into some cool kicks like these NikeLab Free Innevas. Stella McCartney’s collaboration with adidas is stellar, and having a good bag that takes you from gym to street is worth its weight in gold. Make sure to toss a bottle of Wanu Water, a nutrient based sugar-free water, and some hip little earbuds, like these Caeden The Linea No2 Ear Headphones in rose gold. Feeling good never looked so good.

Soul Food

Keeping Up Appearances #3
Taking care of the oneself in spirit is just as important as getting exercise each day, and doing good for others is always something that feeds the soul. Incorporating sustainable fashion and supporting businesses and designers that source sustainable products and have mindful business practices is just the right thing to do. It is great to see so many creative companies out there who are making beautiful things in a way that is good for their employees, the environment, and their customers. Portland-based Nau Clothing makes community responsibility a part of their company business plan, partnering with organizations that believe in sustainable practice–plus, they make really beautiful things. Their gorgeous Simmer Down Trench is the epitome of form and function, and makes keeping warm super cool.

Freedom of Animals use high quality, luxurious fabrics and materials that consist of post-consumer polyurethane and organic cotton, making them sustainable and cruelty-free. Their processes strictly follow EPA guidelines, to ensure eco-friendly products that make the bags look and feel as soft as leather, but are actually a more sustainable fabrication. Actress Nikki Reed collaborated with the company, and I chose the hip “Nikki” bucket bag because of its versatility and great details, like its fringe edge.

The company Everlane eliminates its overhead costs by being online only, allowing high quality goods to customers at a wallet friendly cost. The company also reveals its true cost and mark up to its customers. It has a hands-on personal relationship with every factory it uses, many of them being family-run businesses. The gorgeous Everlane Patent Modern Loafers and Slim Trousers make a great daytime combination, perfect for stomping around your fair city.

I have the pleasure of owning a cashmere sweater from Paychi Guh, a local “everyday luxury” cashmere designer who practices sustainability in her brand. It is the softest and most flattering sweater I own. This past year she took a trip to Inner Mongolia to get up-close and personal with the cashmere goats and the process behind the sustainable sources for her beautiful modern designs. This boxy cardigan is a forever piece which will grow softer, as cashmere does, over time.

My recent trip to NYC proved that the beanie with a pom pom is the “it” accessory of this season. They were everywhere on everyone. The Tallis Reversible Beanie is actually four hats in one. Thanks to a popper, you can remove the pompom and turn the hat inside out. The hat is made from double sided cashmere and the pom pom is made from “ethical fur”. What is ethical fur? Tallis uses recycled vintage fur, or fur which is a by-product of environmental management or the food industry.

No matter what your goals are for the new year, I hope that doing something good for yourself and the world around you is on your list. Happy 2016.

Lisa Cole is the fashion and style writer for Vanguard Seattle, and her work includes covering fashion news and events, runway shows and boutiques. She has her own fashion and lifestyle blog,, and is a member of Independent Fashion Bloggers and Fashion Group International.