Capsule wardrobes: dressing for perfection

Thirft Store Finds & Capsule Wardrobes

Less crap, airy closet, beautiful clothing, endless styling options.

If that sounds like living the dream, you’re not alone. Like many, I’m intrigued by the minimal closet / capsule wardrobe trend.

Scrolling through Pinterest the other night, I noticed another trend – every pin, every blog and every article promised tips or steps for a “perfect wardrobe”. It was then I realized, this is just another way to channel perfectionist tendencies.

Now, I’m genuinely interested in owning less, caring less about the things I do own and spending my money more thoughtfully. Those are all good things! But if I’m spending rare solo time with my husband face glued to phone, agonizing over potential purchases, and then having to find time away from the office to inevitably return half of it….it’s just not worth it.

But this realization isn’t going to make the desire go away overnight. Here’s how I’m channeling my capsule wardrobe inspiration into some real-life action:

  1. Clean out your closet, regularly. About every 2-3 months I cull through and find things that I just don’t wear as well as hidden gems. Going through everything on a consistent basis helps me keep better track of what I own to avoid unneeded shopping, rediscover items I love, disprove the “I’m not wearing it because it doesn’t fit right” notion, and learn from the things I remove. The more you do it, the faster you’ll become at it, too.
  1. Explore thrift stores. If I’m in the mood to shop and spend, I head to the thrift store. There I can poke around to my heart’s desire and keep the damage to my wallet at a serious minimum. I also love the sustainability factor, that I’m recycling clothing and not fueling consumerism (as much). Some of my favorite and most complimented items are thrift store finds, as is everything pictured here.
  1. Buy better clothes. When most people say this, they mean pay more for better quality items. This is not necessarily what I’m saying. When I was a kid, I heard somewhere that good makeup is when you don’t know it’s there. I feel the same way about clothes…now. I’ve learned that if I’m going to be constantly adjusting my outfit, changing how I move for fit’s sake or worried about damaging things, it’s not for me. Sometimes this means paying more for an awesome fit, or sometimes this means picking up a Forever21 item so I don’t have to stress about ruining or not 100% loving an “investment” piece.

Part of me is also considering one of those quarterly personal shopping by mail services. It could be nice to save all that mental space and time online researching to just have some items arrive at my door? I’m still skeptical about the effectiveness of someone else finding clothes I love and that fit well (I’m a little picky about…everything), but it might be worth a try eventually.

Agree, disagree or have more tips? Let me know!

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Head first

felt hat inspiration

I noticed an unusual amount of my ‘Looks I Like’ pins as of late share a mutual characteristic, a felt hat. I’ve never really considered myself a hat person before. Don’t get me wrong, I think they’re beyond stylish, but they all seem to transform me into Indiana Jones’ sidekick or worse…

How I think I look wearing hats:

felt hat

How I actually look:

curious george man hat

Regardless of the very large margin of error that exists with this trend, I’m on the quest (Indiana Jones pun not intended) to find a felt, fedora-ish hat that actually fits. The problem is, they’re all over Pinterest, but no one seems to be selling them. One felt hat that isn’t too tall or too flat, too wide-brimmed or too pointy, too floppy or too stiff..is that too much to ask?

The world is a fashion show

I like to think we talk about some ‘real life’ things around here…finding our place professionally or in relationships, efforts to be our best self with healthiness/fitness/habits, etc. So I can’t help but feel a little superficial when all I really want to do is another ‘trend’ post and tell ya’ll how excited I am about something in the fashion world.

But if this blog is about being real, then I have to tell you – I’m real excited about mixing neutrals.

Black on brown leather, grey jeans with brown boots, suede with just about anything…I’m all over it right now. Earlier this week I wore three shades of brown with a black top. I even instagrammed my latest combination, singing to myself a little diddy that consisted of “boots-and-tights, boots-and-tights” repeated in sing-song fashion.

Yup. (I’m highly creative at penning lyrics if you hadn’t noticed.)

And you know what? I don’t really care if it’s silly. I get dressed for me every day, and even if I don’t see another human being, I get a kick out of wearing things I like. If it takes the same amount of effort to pull clothing over my head, that clothing might as well be a cute dress, right?

I may have calmed down a bit since my melodramatic teenage years yelling “All the WORLD is a fashion show” a la Shakespeare in response to my mother’s complaint about waiting far too long for me to just accompany her to the grocery store already (“It’s just Kroger!”).

I no longer watch tv and “have to” grab a notebook “right this second” because there’s a crazy cute outfit on screen inspiring ideas that need sketching. Seriously, guys, I had so many pages of futuristic outfits (I preferred the terms “mod” and “fashion-forward”), I could have been a costumer designer for the next Zenon movie, but I digress.

I DO still glean quite a lot of inspiration from the fashion world though. Here’s some photos of what I’m loving lately, courtesy of Pinterest:

black hat brown scarf

black and brown leather jacket

black brown and grey tights and boots

tights and shorts

P.S. I also spent much of 6th grade wearing one, only one, huge dangly earring with a Chinese symbol on it because I was convinced the asymmetry was cool… #whenfashionlovedoesntloveback

Feeling blue

bright blue cobalt fashion

cobalt royal blue handbag

bright blue purse

royal blue cobalt bag

The upside to having stubbornly tan-resistant skin and blue eyes is that bright blue hues have always been a friend to me…unlike a long list that includes nickel, the sun, soap, pastels – but I digress.

Every now and then I get an inkling of what I feel like is about to catch on or blow up style-wise. The problem with this intuition is that I take far too long to act on it, preferring to research and weigh pros and cons until I’m relegated to the ranks of trend follower rather than setter. Leather, short-medium length hair cuts, gold instead of silver, the return of the wedge…all predicted. Alas, speedy decision making is not on my resume, for which I can only attribute to genetics after twenty-four years of witnessing my Dad’s painstakingly slow (he would say “thorough”) processing. You know those thesis-size terms of agreements you click through just to reach the next step as quickly as possible? He actually reads them. Instruction booklets? Highlighted and page marked.

All this to say, I’ve decided to start sharing these nuggets with you as they come. My current everyday purse is developing a mad rip across the bottom. It’s only a matter of time before all my belongings come crashing through at what will most likely be the most inconvenient, embarrassing moment possible, so I’ve been researching what kind of bag I’d like next. After five years with the same neutral bag, I’m exploring the idea of something clearly quite the opposite.

What do you think, should I go for it? And if you can figure out where the first purse is from so I can actually get it, you will win my love forever.

Friends for Life

brunch in McKinneyMcKinney vintage shopMcKinney Vintage Shop BookMcKinney boutiquedowntown McKinney buildingMcKinney Boutique WindowMcKinney Marketdowntown McKinney

A good friend is a connection to life – a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.  ~ Lois Wyse

I spent a slow-paced Sunday with a friend in downtown McKinney, an adorable area that looks like it belongs in a movie about a charming small town. Couples walked hand in hand, kids rode by on bicycles laughing as the wind blew in their hair. Literally. I thought I should probably take some pictures to prove it, but turning the camera on strangers made me feel a little on the creeper side. So you’ll just have to take my word for it.

I’ve been down there (or up there, rather, as it’s about 35 minutes north of Dallas) before for the occasional wedding or client meeting, but this was the first time I finally had time to explore. After stuffing ourselves with mimosas, caffeine, eggs benedict and deep conversation, we wandered into one vintage treasure shop after another.

Our afternoon reminded me how much I have to be thankful for…Some people just make your soul richer, and this girl is definitely one of those. We’ve both come a long way personally, romantically and professionally since we first met one year ago. Sometimes seeing that growth in others is easier than seeing it in yourself, and having friends to witness that growth in (and remind you of your own) is a beautiful thing! This week I’m making an effort to hold on to that encouragement and reach out to some friends I’ve been meaning to connect with. I even picked up some cute notecards at one of the shops to help me get started.

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