Guardarrr #15: Make a sensory mood board

Esta es la versión inglesa de mi boletín, puedes encontrar el mismo texto en castellano aquí.


The most common thing in closet planning and imagination exercises, at least in all those that I’ve ever seen and created, is to start with aesthetics and then try to adjust that vision to the physical reality of garments and bodies.

Today, following my reflections from a week ago, I suggest the opposite exercise: write down the sensations that you are looking for sensorially and what suits your body, and then see how to pair it with your favorite aesthetics.

Since it’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere, these are the current observations for my sweaty body, sensitive to sun and with special feet, needs:

  • Comfortable sandals so that my feet do not sweat and my fingers can feel the breeze and well padded sneakers with the tiny “invisible” socks.
  • Fabrics with a natural hand, no synthetic or “high performance” fabrics. This also applies to underwear.
  • Lots of fabric moving with the breeze and movement, i.e. skirts and maxi dresses.
  • I prefer sleeves to no sleeves, but everything said regarding the materials applies.
  • Nothing tight, no underwires and hooks, hence a preference for cotton sports bras or considering going without one.
  • Knickers that are shorts to prevent chaffing.
  • Fabrics and colors on which sweat is not that visible.
  • Sun hat for all occasions, accepting that the hair underneath will be meh.
  • Sunglasses, which implies carrying a bag to be able to switch glasses indoors.
  • Short necklaces choke me, long necklaces are OK. Bracelets and the wrist watch are OK. I don’t feel like wearing earrings with the mask. Headbands are not compatible with sunglasses, too much pressure behind my ears.

You see? It is not as romantic as the gorgeous photos of a mood board yet can be very useful.

Of course the images on a mood board also suggest how those garments would feel to touch and wear but it is not their main focus. If making a list like the one above seems excessively prosaic and you have collected inspirational images (on Pinterest, Instagram, a scrapbook), put on your critical glasses and make a selection that would really make sense in your current day to day life.

The work of bringing this vision to life is almost the same as with purely aesthetic inspirations: once you have recognized your preferences, you have to look in your closet for combinations that meet them. And in this process you may understand the reasons why there are precious things that you never wear.

Here are couple of my favorite outfits that came together through such exercise:


I firmly believe that the fashion decisions made for the good of our bodies are the best and that it is worth sacrificing some of my aesthetic ambitions so as not to be suffering. Because I know very well that at the moment when a necklace chokes me, I keep adjusting my bra and my chaffed thighs hurt like hell, it doesn’t matter how cute I look, I’ll be miserable.

For those who already dress for comfort only and do not understand why I dedicate so much space to these issues, greetings! In diversity lies our strength.

In case you find the idea of trying embroidery interesting but at the same time intimidating, this is a good video of basic stitches (and, no, you don’t need to have a hoop to do it; just a piece of fabric, a needle and some thread ): Top Modern Hand Embroidery Stitches.

Because principles don’t get to have holidays: Vacaciones sin plástico (en la montaña).

La mala gestión de los residuos de envases genera costes: “Las decisiones de los consumidores y los usuarios son muy importantes a la hora de reducir el impacto y favorecer la gestión de las basuras que generamos en nuestro día a día, pero quienes diseñan los productos o eligen cómo los comercializan tienen una capacidad mucho mayor a la hora de prevenir los daños que causan esos residuos.” + La [nueva] ley de residuos en el Congreso de los Diputados.

Although the visuals look a bit dated now (the research was published in 2012, so the fieldwork took place before that), there is magic in seeing anthropologists and archeologists talking about our everyday lives and clutter: A Cluttered Life: Middle-Class Abundance.3

What actual sustainability looks like: This Japanese Shop Is 1,020 Years Old. It Knows a Bit About Surviving Crises.

You should think more of cybersecurity and be very very scared. Here you have the documentary series by Carlos Otto dedicated to the topic: (in Spanish and focused on the Spanish realities) El enemigo anónimo. Also, watch Assassination Nation (2018, Sam Levinson).

And that’s it for this week! I hope that you enjoyed reading and would be very happy to hear from you, regarding mood boards or anything else… in the comments below, via Facebook or Instagram, or via e-mail at luize.ratniece [a] gmail .com

Guardarrr is a weekly bilingual newsletter dedicated to sustainability and mindfulness in fashion. It is written by Luīze Ratniece, a sociologist and textile activist based in Barcelona. Guardarrr is both a tool for reflection and a crowdfunding channel for the wardrobe tracking app that Luīze is building. If you read this newsletter and value it, please consider going to the paid version to fund this project for a monthly equivalent of a coffee + pastry. Each subscription warms my heart immensely and helps going on, thank you so much for being here with me!

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