coming from college into post grad, there have been so many gaps in my wardrobe. probably one of the biggest is that in-between style that in college would have been replaced by nike shorts and big t-shirts. now, my weekends are filled with seeing friends, adventuring and running errands. and i don’t really want to wear nike shorts and tees anymore. buuuut i don’t have those in-between outfits!
this romper is so close to what i am looking for! if you haven’t read this before, i have a lot of stomach issues and one tip my doctor gave me a couple years ago is to stay away from tight clothing. usually that’s not an issue because my style is very flowy but then i see high-waisted pants or try on dresses/rompers with a band around my upper stomach and get so irritated that my acid reflux flares up like clockwork. i was so so sad to return this romper because it is what cute weekend loungewear dreams are made of.
i mean the backkkkkk, come onnnnnn. i was genuinely so sad to hand it over but i have had dresses/rompers before where i just never wear them because they make my stomach so angry at me!
however, i am definitely still running around town in my new fav Soludos espadrilles. they’re neutral, comfy and at a good price point. nothing but good things to say about them still!
and last but most DEFINITELY not least is my new tote. i have been looking for a new tote bag for…a year. HA. i have almost purchased the Madewell Transport tote approximately 20580230 times but that steep price always stopped me because I really needed some work clothing and shoes.
well then my tote that i used to carry my laptop/camera in around town broke. for a few months, i just carried my laptop/big items and used a smaller bag because i just didn’t want to buy a tote.
then one day at Anthro, i was folding clothes to close the store and noticed this new bag. it was love at first sight. at $88, it’s a really quality bucket tote that checks all the boxes: super spacious, long strap, neutral leather color and a boho twist with the fringe detail. it’s funny how style works a bit like life: you’ll look and look and try to force something to work. and then one day, you stumble upon exactly what you’re looking for and be SO glad you waited! 🙂
i will be sharing weekend wear as i find options! do you have anything you love to throw on? do you rock lululemon outfits, casual dresses or jeans + a cute tee for your weekend vibes?! post grad keeps throwing me curveballs and makes me see gaps where i didn’t see them before! kind of didn’t realize how extreme my college closet was — either i was going out or going to class. needed that in-between space filled a bit.
happy, happy Monday! i am looking forward to getting my car washed this week. that sounds like the silliest thing but i have just have so much junk in my car between cleaning out my closet and buying/returning so much clothing/shoes the last couple of months. i need my clean, good smelling car back — this is the week!!!!! it’s the small things like a new air freshener that make my day.
i get so many questions about plants on my Instagram because of my love for them and my growing collection! they have been my saving grace as i spruce up my space on a tight budget. i have a post soon about the best plants for indoors and how i care for them but first i thought it’d be helpful to have a little list of the places i frequent for plant purchases here in St. Louis!
enjoy, fellow green thumb friends.
bowood farms : great for plants but also really cute home decor (think Anthro meets a greenhouse). also the adjacent Cafe Osage will just make you swooooon. they have completely nailed a perfect aesthetic.
flowers and weeds : hands down one of my favorite places in St. Louis. if you think you’ve been to the cutest plant shop, rethink that and visit flowers and weeds. when i walk in there, i wonder if my true life calling is to be a gardener.
lowe’s : trusty lowe’s where i have purchased most of my home plants and succulents because if it dies or you end up not liking it, you just bring back the plant and receipt. like whaaaat?!?!
walter knoll : this is a wholesale florist but at the location on lasalle street, there’s a greenhouse and nursery. they have really great prices and are so, so kind.
these places are near and dear to my heart so treat them kindly. 😉 happy almost weekend!
i was so excited when i saw these pants come in at Anthropologie because they are the perfect mix of “i want to look put together at work” and “i want to look boho chic still.” which is basically my style in a nutshell. put together but not toooooo put together and boho chic but not tooooo chic. ya feel me?
the top is so easy to wear. i am just over difficult tops. like if you require me to wear some weird bra and a cami and be uncomfortable all day? i’m out. this color sold out so speedy quick, but the lavender color is on sale now!
these Madewell earrings that i can’t quit crushing on completed the look and i have just been LOVING those little guys so so much! i was almost nervous to wear them at first because they are so bold but i get so many compliments on them — even from men at work! which just absolutely makes me lol.
it just makes me so convicted every time i think through a purchase (and usually spend a little more) that i really love this capsule closet mindset where i am building a closet that in five years, will have so many pieces i LOOOOVE. right now i’m at like 70/30. i freaking am obsessed with 30% and the other 70% will eventually be phased out. but hey, this girl has trips to take! people to eat dinner with! dinner parties to throw! plants to buy! slow progress is good progress.
the only downfall of these pants is that the slit makes them billow so so much. and i’m tall so that’s saying something! one thing i want to remind you all that i constantly remind myself is that a lot of things you don’t like (i.e. length, waist size, strap length) can be fixed by a seamstress! i am going to find a good one in STL to just sew that slit right up and then the pants will be my dream!
already scheming to pair them with a blouse-y top, a white button down, a little tank with a jean jacket, a blazer or a sleeveless top for a night out to dinner! i like to be able to think of at least three outfits when i buy something and with these pants, the possibilities are endless.
oh and those espadrilles. they are life-giving. i really need shoes but am having time finding some that match my style and are comfortable. i can’t even tell you how many pairs of shoes i’ve ordered this summer and returned. i have become SO picky!
but espadrilles feel SO me! i wore them all day at work today and i am basically a Soludos convert. my other flower embroidered espadrilles are by some DSW brand and these feel even softer. didn’t know that was possible. anywho, they’re so neutral being black and white stripe and i just couldn’t recommend them more! here’s a sneak peak at another style post for next week with a better shot of them. 🙂
i have been more and more excited lately about creating content here. and doing style posts more quickly so things don’t sell out. quick shout out to my dear friend Clair who was so excited to help me snap some pics this weekend — it’s hard to find gals that are just as pumped to do this as me! 😉
it’s a work in progress over here at ae but i’m seriously so grateful to have readers who are so patient, encouraging and just so darn sweet as you all are.
i have a Pinterest board dedicated to my bedroom musings where you can see my inspiration for my room redesign!
here’s the thing: i have been buying small things. you know, things like candles, plants and a small print for my wall.
i want to make a few big changes, inexpensively, so that i feel like wow, i made progress and my room looks more complete. as much as i love candles, they don’t make you feel that progress!
my three main focuses are:
new ‘above bed design.’ i am thinking maybe one long shelf. this one is so cute with the mix of prints + plants and yep, they nailed this concept.
new ‘above desk design.’ i think some sort of boho feeling gallery wall of a combo of photos and prints? and some old photos? and maybe some flowers or eucalyptus or something taped to the wall? this is so cute with the tiny shelves and i am a HUGE fan of this lighting fixture + color palette
new nightstand. when i bought this shelf unit, it was really just because of a great price and i liked the look. at the time i didn’t have a nightstand, so i use it as one now. i want something smaller, with a drawer and shorter. i also like the idea thrifting something or using an unconventional piece like a chair or stack of crates so this one i have the least idea of how it’ll turn out!
i am also keeping an eye out for pillows and a throw blanket with more of a presence. and maybe a rug? i also think i might move out that skinny tall book shelf and build a desk for myself. i want a bigger desk, like basically the size of a small kitchen table because i like to work on a big surface.
stay tuned! i will keep you all updated in my IG stories for quick things and write longer posts here for everything i find and make! i am so excited to really make this room my own — and ball on a budget. 🙂
ahhhh why do i get kind of nervous to show reality? i so wish my room and apartment were farther along than they are but i am trying to commit my money towards travel while i’m young and single so my room is s l o w l y being worked on. but yeesh, still would LOVE a new couch. 😉
anywho, here’s my room current state, pre-change! two weeks ago i made the floral hanging piece above my bed and it didn’t dry as i envisioned in my head so that is coming down, i’m moving that floral poster either above my desk or in another room in the apt. and i think i might do a shelf above my bed — but all my plans and visions in Thursday’s post! i just wanted to show you what my room looks like currently so the reveal after is fun but also so you can see my creative process. and the building process because i think i might try my hand at woodworking and build myself a couple things. yolo, am i right?
i will link to any products in the photos that are still available so you can shop what you like! highlights: my Amazon mattress that i will buy forever and always, the banner with a transcription of a note from my mom and the tiny watering can for my succulents.
my little essential oils crew is small but mighty until i have enough money for the starter kit 😉 i use peppermint every morning and lavender before i go to sleep — absolutely love the support they offer.
i love having a simple room and the redesign won’t clutter it but i want to make some bigger, bolder moves so it feels complete because right now i am just willy nilly buying small candles and plants. can’t wait to share my dreams for the place! hopefully will be up Thursday. actually let’s just call it like it will be and say Friday. 😉
you know when multiple people tell you to read a book and you ignore and ignore and forget and then FINALLY get around to reading it and then you’re like WHY DIDN’T YOU LOCK ME IN A ROOM UNTIL I READ THIS.
this book challenged and changed me. i usually preach to live each moment and choose joy daily but this book really hones in on why and how to do it when your life feels normal, hard and mundane. it’s just damn good. i would recommend to anyone, ever, always.
you all. this book T O O. it’s like ann voskamp speaks directly to that part of your heart that says “what if it’s too late and there’s too much hard and my life isn’t so happy and perfect and what if i’m broken?” and she just washes you in her beautiful words and imagery. can’t speak highly enough of her as a writer — absolutely brilliant.
i love this book for a fast vacation read or a fun gift for a friend! mindy is one of my favorite writers/producers because she doesn’t pretend to be what she’s not. she started from the bottom and has become enormously successful off of hard work and an enormous amount of talent. she was just a normal kid and is now just a normal woman who happens to be famous. this book is a humorous look into her life as a celebrity with some good tips sprinkled in! it won’t necessarily change your life but i really enjoyed getting to know her better. she’s so freaking funny.
i have been REALLY loving a couple of random things lately. i couldn’t figure out how to strategically make individual posts to highlight them all. so here’s a post with a couple things i just love — some new, some old!
i found out about james arthur, LANY and ARIZONA all last week and i basically felt like a music ninja. they are such good tunes for cranking out work and running!
speaking of things to listen to, if you’re not listening to awesome with Alison’s podcast, i don’t know why. go. listen. i don’t regularly listen to any other podcast except hers. ANY OTHER. have i convinced you yet?
these jeaaaans. i bought these last summer (post here!) and i STILL have girls ask about them — that’s how well they’ve worn! you know when you see that perfect high waisted pair of jeans on a girl with that kinda frayed hem and you’re just like ugh, i bet she bought those at some Good Will somewhere? SHE DIDN’T (okay, she might have). but also she might have been wearing these. i didn’t know how people liked wearing jeans until i bought these. i borderline want to buy another pair in case these ever got ruined. they’re top rated on Anthropologie.com for a reason, people!
reading. i guess this isn’t a thing you can buy buuuuut i’m still counting it. i just have been less and less attached to media lately — which is sometimes a hard battle because i love connecting with all of you! i have been doing a better job balancing (post soon about that!) so i have time to read every night, usually for at least 30 mins to an hour. post coming Thursday with my latest reads! yeesh, posts left and right. 😉 i love the idea of buying books that people heavily recommend and i will most likely love because then when one day when i have a house, i want to have a mini library! so i have to start now. 😉
the nail polish color funny bunny by OPI. my friend at work was wearing this cool white-ish color and it looked killer against her tan. obviously i had to ask. then i got a manicure (see #6) and asked for that color. do naturally now i want it for my own stash but i am making myself wait for ALL of mine to run out before i buy another. #minimalism
at-home manicures. i did this post a while back about at-home mani’s for you gals on a budget because #humblebrag, but i am really close to nailing it. anyways, when i was home in California, i treated my friend and i to a manicure/pedicure date. i got a gel manicure and it literally made me feel like a million dollars. you know what i mean though? WHAT IS IT ABOUT A GOOD WHITE NAIL COLOR AGAINST A TAN THAT HAS THIS EFFECT ON ME? anyways. then i realized why i don’t pay for gel manis: they make your nails so thin and sensitive. also they’re h-e-double-hockey-sticks to take off. so i had to go BACK to have them remove it and decided to get a manicure because i was feel rich with $20 cash in my wallet. and the thing lasted like a week. y’all. at home manis. the only way to go unless someone wants to fund a weekly gel manicure appt. let me know if you want to make that happen.
true lemon drink mixes. my favorite is the peach lemonade but target doesn’t usually carry that flavor! my mom got me hooked on these a couple of years ago when we were trying to find a water flavor mix that was low cal and more natural than some of the super sugary ones out there — and i still love them. i have been trying to drink an enormous amount of water everyday to help with my health (water was the first medicine of the people — quotes by my dad #justbigMikethings) and these packets make it a MILLION times easier when you’re just like i cannot drink another Nalgene to save my life. also, i also drink water with a straw! it makes me drink so much faster and more. i can’t explain it, but i always have a straw in my Nalgene. might help you!
my email subscription to Scott’s Cheap Flights. it’s free and he sends you emails about cheap flights to anywhere in the world. i want to go to SE Asia with my friend who is living in Hong Kong next spring so i signed up for that reason but now i get such inspiration every time i receive an email! it could even be fun for a couple planning their honeymoon because you could let the cheap ticket inspire your trip.
removing my make-up with coconut oil — i just bought the Trader Joe’s brand. i was racing through either cleansing wipes or make-up remover. then my friend said her lashes were benefitting from using coconut oil and i was like HOLD UP I’M THERE. #vainaboutmylashes. i haven’t seen a difference in length but i also haven’t been using it that long. i just dip my fingers into the oil and rub gentle circles onto my eyes until i look like a raccoon. then i rinse with lukewarm water, rub some more oil gently onto the rest of my face, rinse again and pat my face dry. the jar was less than $8 and is going to last me for forever AND it’s natural! which i love.
ok this one is so random. no judgment zone is real right now. it’s…Tillamook cheddar cheese. you guys, i thought everyone bought Tillamook. then i realized there are people in this world living without the best cheddar cheese in the world when someone looked at me like a crazy person as i referred to cheddar cheese as Tillamook. i grew up with this cheese. okay, i understand i sound like a crazy person, but talk to me after you eat a slice. please go grace your tacos and grilled cheeses and nachos with this glory. you can buy it at Costco in a big chunk or other grocery stores! blessings to you and your stomachs.
i might start doing this random list of things i love more often! i enjoy trying new things — in literally every aspect of my life — so this might be a good way to keep you all in the loop when i don’t necessarily want to write an entire post about a simple product. like Tillamook. #ruinedallcredibilitywithnumberten
ALSO before i forget: i didn’t forget about the room tour post for those of you waiting on that! i had a moment of “oh wow, i actually don’t know if i like what i thought i liked in my room,” started perusing Pinterest, got re inspired and decided to let you in on that whole creative process. so i am taking lots of pictures of CURRENT state (which is making me self conscious because it’s so simple but i’m assuming many of you will relate with that!) and will post that next Tuesday and then Thursday, i have a post with my plans for my bedroom. that way, you can come along for the ride and see the method behind the madness. 😉
i have always loved jewelry. and it used to S H O W. i remember in high school i had this standing contraption for it to all hang on and a jewelry box and random little trays around my room. but i really didn’t wear most of it. i mean i occasionally wore the random costume pieces for school dances or sorority events but it just kind of lay there and gathered dust.
so naturally i got rid of it all. and then more. and then more until i literally only had left what i wear on a regular basis + a couple of statement pieces. #helloAnthropologie
like i realize from every purge whether it’s jewelry, shoes or home goods, i realized i had way too much and i should focus on my favorites. right now, i only continuously wear three kinds of jewelry:
a watch: right now it’s a Fitbit Blaze — post on that soon! i loooove it even though i stinkin’ miss a traditional watch face.
dangly earrings: i don’t really wear stud earrings currently although a pair is on my list to try again but i mainly love statement earrings. i just absolutely adore the way it looks with your hair pulled back in a neat, low bun or ponytail and the way it can make an old shirt look and feel new. i eyed the pair in the photo from Madewell for about three weeks before i decided i liked them enough to buy them full price and i seriously still am smitten! i also have a pair of thin gold hoops i got forever ago at Lucky Brand and i wear those at least once a week. jewelry is definitely a soft spot for me. i like shoes and bags but i don’t really shop that much for them (STILL on the hunt for a cute heeled sandal, that’s how picky i am). oh but sparkly littles. they get me every time.
so jewelry for me, if i love it, is so worth it to invest in! it’s my favorite travel gift to myself (yes, i do buy myself when i go on trips – more on that later) and especially when you’re working a smaller closet, it can completely turn an outfit around. stay tuned for more jewelry finds as i’m always on the hunt! for more inspo, check out my sparkly littles Pinterest board — ooooh, the layers of rings and necklaces just woo me!
ps yes, i am still wearing this dress i recommended on this post multiple times a week. i will recommend it until i turn blue in the face. still considering getting it in black….
today i am going to chat about something that has really helped me combat the typical overwhelming feelings of post grad. aaaand you’re probably going to hate me for this post because you’re not going to want to do what i tell you i’ve been doing.
been there, felt that hard.
but it’s W O R K I N G. you know me well by now. i don’t recommend unless i am 100000% behind it.
and i am so behind this!
so what am i talking about? i’ll start from the beginning.
about three weeks ago, i had what i called a anxiety attack but after researching, i don’t really know what to call it because it doesn’t align with what an anxiety attack is. so i’ll call it a “live large attack.” because i think that’s what best describes it.
it was a Sunday night. my roommate was out of town for the week and i had spent majority of the weekend alone. i spent a lot of time on social media and researching photography websites and looking at (expensive) new cameras and thinking of travel plans and it was all very exciting in a good way!
but then Sunday night, i started to feel this tightness in my chest and i felt really sick, really anxious and i don’t feel like that very often. i am honestly not really a worrier. i get overwhelmed because i just love to do so many things and do them big but never to the point where it feels scary. i am honestly just a very excitable person so it’s easy for me to get worked up about something. 🙂
i texted my sister and mom crying, feeling like i was losing it because there was really no reason for me to feel so overwhelmed. i had had a normal weekend and it wasn’t because of work so why in the world did i feel like my world was falling apart?
i got to work Monday morning and the tightness was still there. i am uncannily good at pretending nothing is going on even when i am internally falling apart. i used to be oddly proud of this. but really, i have realized that i have a tendency to feel very lonely because i would rather listen to you and your problems than talk about mine and worry you. so i just passed through the morning like i was fine.
but i still felt sick. my chest was so tight and i felt nauseas. i had no appetite. i texted my mom to call me, something i never do during the work day, and she called me from work. i sat outside and tried to hold back the tears as she felt awful being so far and not able to do anything. i also think she was genuinely freaked out because i have never call her when i am stressed. i usually move easily from starting to feel the beginnings of stress and i switch into go mode, getting a start on things instead of sitting around feeling sorry for myself.
then she said something that she gently reminds me, as do my close friends, when my creative juices get flowing to the point where i get overwhelmed.
she told me, gently, that i am in a unique spot. that yes, i have to work 9-5 right now because there are bills to be paid and a team i really like being a part of. but that i have the unique opportunity to grow slow, to be picky about the photos i shoot, and the trips i take. that she was proud of me for choosing to work again at Anthropologie once a week and reaching out to photographers/creatives to grab coffee or shoot together. that there is not right path and that this has always been fun for me, so try not to ruin it with the view of other girls i follow on IG that are able to do it full-time.
the golden ticket of that conversation was when she reminded me that these feelings i had of being disappointed of not being able to capture all the ideas in my head or pursue some creative arenas more full time were all placed on me…by me.
i had essentially put myself in this state of panic and overwhelmedness (aware that that’s not a word). this happens to me kind of a lot. i just get really excited about life and all the opportunities for creativity and travel and photos. i literally am sitting in bed right now in California with like 83925209 ideas for photos just around town and mentally planning 4 trips. and i wouldn’t change that part of myself for the world! but those thoughts had overwhelmed me instead of motivated me as i realized i couldn’t do all those things in a week or pay for all those trips or get the camera right that instant (although i was able to a month later!).
i have only ever felt this way once before. it was sophomore year of college and i was director of recruitment for my sorority. i had gone from an extremely busy summer, to helping with new student move-in and straight into practices every night for recruitment. i sat down in the library and felt the same state of “i don’t even know what to do next,” called my mom, walked around campus and felt better the next day.
these intense feelings of anxiety lasted for about 5 days. i just did not feel myself. as you can tell from my Instagram or here on the blog, i am a pretty happy person. i of course have days where i feel off but i am usually searching for something fun or adventurous to do when that happens. i really don’t like to sit around moping for that long. because obviously that’s not going to help me!
this episode really freaked me out and i told myself that it was up to me to be proactive in not letting that happen again. i do a couple new things like reading my devotional, setting aside time during the week for rest and eating well but the big change was committing to running most mornings.
you have probably seen on my IG stories when i say “something is better than nothing” over my tired, sweaty face after getting up at 5:45 am to run. i do not do this to lose weight or to have a bikini bod or to burn calories.
i run because i know i am a better coworker, dreamer, creator, daughter, sister and friend if i do. i feel more clear headed. i have better energy and don’t have to rely on caffeine or turn to sugar for a boost. i am not perfect at this. i’d say i am at about 5 days per week and most days i’m trudging through it.
here are the lies though that i was telling myself and you probably are too: i am not cut out for morning runs/workouts. that if i can’t run a solid 4 miles, it’s probably not worth it. that i am tired and hey, those people working out are probably entrepreneurs who can get up at 8. they have energy, i don’t. they have a personal trainer, i have the cement sidewalk outside. oh, and 30 minutes of sleep is definitely better for me. because did i mention i am tired? like really tired. also i don’t want to shower in the morning. ugh, i would never be on time for work. yeah, i am just not going to.
but those are truly lies!
here’s what i have realized since running in the am:
it’s true what everyone said: you feel amazing the rest of the day. i make healthier choices, i drink more water and less caffeine, and i feel more motivated. aka less overwhelmed and more apt to realize when my dreams need to be put into smaller, doable chunks.
30 mins of sleep does not make a difference vs. getting your body moving. movement wins every time.
something is better than nothing. i started VERY small. i ran pitifully and was at first just relying on an afternoon walk after work. but then it was hard to have energy after a full day to do much of anything. BUT i was getting moving and starting somewhere. be gentle with yourself!
it’s also true what those crazies said aka my mom: you’ll crave it. you’ll get used to it and you’ll want the endorphins to jump start your day. moms are always right.
the reason this post is called “30 mins a day keeps the anxiety away” is because i heard recently on a podcast that if you do 30 minutes of physical exercise 6 days of the week, it’s the equivalent to taking an anti-depression medication. i don’t suffer from anxiety or depression and would never want to sound like running could cure all, but i can see how this would help from my own personal experience. it has helped me tremendously to just feel better about myself and my progress in work, my dreams or my travel plans. i am home on vacation and still running when i wake up!
i am not going to tell you it’s easy. but what i will say is that it’s not easy for that fit girl you saw at Trader Joe’s or your coworker or your friend. everyone is busy. everyone is tired. everyone has things to do, people to see, work to do. most people our age don’t wake up ready to run. if you do, let me know what you’re doing that i’m not. 😉
the choice is whether or not you want to be proactive or reactive. those feelings of anxiety scared me. i didn’t like the person i became that week. i felt scared, paralyzed and overwhelmed. i had to be reactive to those feelings and there wasn’t much i felt i could do other than wait for it to pass.
so i am being proactive. the same way i am with the food i eat or the books i read or the friendships i have. i am making moves to make sure that i don’t have to be reactive in moments of overwhelming Sunday nights.
i am running and moving and choosing the stairs instead of the elevator and trips over clothes and small steps over giant leaps. i really hope this helps someone who needs a gentle nudge to get moving. the next time you want to treat yourself, choose a yoga class or a long walk in the park or a new fitness routine like orange theory or pure barre. choose something that will clear your head, helping you and helping others who know and love you!!!
as i trudge on with this challenge to myself, i will share little tips and realness over on my IG stories. but here’s the true bottom line: if your motivation for working out and moving is for your own mental health, it will motivate you to get your booty out of bed every. damn. time. seriously it does without freaking fail. the perfect body or the cake you ate or whatever will not motivate you every time. you’ll find an excuse — or at least i did. so get a playlist loaded and get moving — it just takes 30 minutes a day! 🙂
wow! so many of you resonated with the post last week about my intentional shopping method. it makes me feel so much less alone in this season of slowwwwwww growth. all over my life, but also with my closet. i honestly just get annoyed now when i need something so desperately because i want to be able to say no and spend that money on a flight.
but also i have a full-time job and i can’t wear Birkenstocks to work… 😉
so even though i would love to just not buy anything at all, i need to be okay with buying a bit every now and then. which is the thought process behind intentional shopping: being intentional about what you buy so you can streamline your money towards what you really love, whether that’s supporting your family, traveling or investing in hobbies.
i got a lot of questions about how to find and fill those gaps in your closet, basically where to put your intentionality to work.
i love that question! but full disclosure, it’s taken me about a year to wean my identity from the latest and greatest trend to focusing on what i need. IT’S HARD. i love style but i also know that my heart is way more full when i travel or do photography or get dinner with friends than having one more piece of clothing in my closet.
but ALSO: this has been the most i have felt myself in my clothes because i think and plot and try on until i am absolutely sure.
so let’s get started!
how to find the gaps //
essential tip: purge before you look for the gaps.
set that aside in a line by itself because it is C R U C I A L.
otherwise clothes you don’t actually wear or don’t fit will be super sneaky and fill those gaps, leaving you confused when you go to pull an outfit together and “can’t find anything to wear”. this used to happen to me all. the. time. for example, my friends would be like oh let’s go to dinner and i’d look at my bursting closet thinking to myself, wow i have nothing to wear.
what?!?!? but there’s so much clothing, my mom would say! and i agreed. but nothing i wanted to wear or felt like me.
it’s because i had bought things willy nilly on sale or because other girls were buying them, only to leave them hanging there for months (or years #imtheworst).
so step #1: purge. i wrote a three part series last summer about that process if you want to read about it more! here’s at the links to Part I, Part II and Part III!
the next thing you need to do is evaluate what you already have. this can be super revealing and a bit shocking. on both sides — either a slap in the face that you have way more than you thought or a reality check that you really do actually need what you thought.
for example, just the other day i was annoyed with buying more work clothes and went through my (small) closet only to find a couple more tops that were hiding and also made a point to see what i could pair together to make it seem like i have a new outfit. sometimes it just takes one new pair of pants to make m a n y new outfits! i have a post in the works for these pants but i want to share them with you now because they filled a gap (work bottoms) AND created so many new pairings because of their neutral color. sneak peek.;)
step #2: take inventory of what you already have
if it helps you to write this part down, do that! i divided categories like such:
work tops/night out tops (trying to sync these up so i don’t have to buy double!) vs. casual tops
works jeans (1 pair of flares, 1 pair dark wash skinnies, 1 pair of black skinnies) of vs. very casual jeans (1 pair of boyfriend jeans, 1 pair of levi’s)
…etc, etc! you can also look through your jewelry, bags/clutches, shoes, work out clothing and anything else you put on your body! 😉 some other gaps i identified alarmingly quickly: lack of bras that actually fit (#nevernotgrowingandchanging), simple jewelry i actually wear, work appropriate summer shoes and dresses that were appropriate for more than running errands or going to the pool.
#3. identify the gaps and quantify what you need to buy to fill them. not want. n e e d. yes, i could buy 10 pairs of shoes to wear to work. but i really only need maybe 2-3 if i’m being real and also if they serve in two gaps – both to work and in my daily life.
how to fill the gaps //
it’s pretty simple! i have a little note on my phone with my gaps and it’s the BEST thing i could ever do when i want something because i double check with my note, which decides for me if i buy the item. obviously sometimes i say yolo and buy a white maxi just because, but i really try to stick to this note. otherwise i am frustrated time and time again with those darn gaps. in the past 9 months, i have bought a new bra, new work shoes, black jeans, jewelry, and casual tees all because of that note! and i am slowly filling the gaps in my closet. it works wonders! i try not to advise unless i’ve heeded the advice. 🙂
why don’t i just show you mine!
and that’s about it! i usually reevaluate every 3ish months. since i have fewer pieces of clothing, i will really be kind of continuously doing this method as i wear through items. but isn’t that wonderful? to live in such a materialistic culture and wear something to the point where you can no longer? that is countercultural and so good for us. less is more.