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….
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.
i am kicking off a series today that i am very, very excited to share! and that i kind of invented. i have always like the idea of a capsule closet and follow quite a few bloggers that use that system. for someone who loves style as much as i do, i also love the ease of opening my closet to a wardrobe curated with intention and attention so the attraction of a capsule collection was strong!
but the more i thought about it, the more i realized that it just doesn’t fit my lifestyle. most of the women that are doing it are moms or entrepreneurs. which makes PERFECT sense! less thinking, less shopping, more ability to mix and match when you’re too tired to be creative.
i also just don’t have the budget right now to buy all the necessary items and i like the idea of buying pieces over time instead of being rushed to find them right now. a capsule wardrobe, for those who aren’t familiar, is a collection of pieces that can be worn together in various ways and are typically bought at a higher price point since the capsule can be worn for many seasons.
so i am starting my own thing. it’s called intentional shopping. after i read Seven by Jen Hatmaker last summer, i purged my closet and because way more honed in on what i NEED, filling the gaps in my closet instead of randomly buying shirts at h&m and going on shopping sprees in the nail polish section of Target.
however, this style of shopping is s l o w. it requires lots of buying, trying on, pondering, switching out sizes and pairing with other items already in your closet. not only that, but it takes even longer for someone fresh out of college where the wardrobe was extreme high’s (cocktail dresses for events and tops for going out) and extreme low’s (yoga pants and oversized t-shirts).
but i am really embracing the slow style. yes, i have worn the same 7ish pairings of the same 5ish tops and two dresses and one pair of shoes while i order and compare prices and quality. but the upside is that when i win, i win big. i love the piece and i am so happy that i waited. i want my whole closet to be done yesterday. but i also want to travel and decorate my apartment and grab dinner with friends.
one of the biggest takeaways from Seven was when Jen talked about how she realized that people don’t really care or notice what you wear — or if you outfit repeat. and then tying that to living abroad and seeing women wear the same beautiful piece multiple times a week, i was sold on less, exactly what you like and want pieces is more.
so i’m calling this style of shopping “intentional shopping” and what does it mean for you? it means that if i recommend something here, you can bet your bottom dollar i love it. no more impulse buys, no more “fast fashion” (okay, maybe occasionally) and lots more buying pieces i love.
i also wanted to share this with you all because i was beginning to feel self conscious that i will be sharing some clothing with higher price points, especially since i use my employee discount at Anthropologie and the URBN brand stores. but i just love the idea that in a couple of years, i’ll have a closet full of nice pieces that fit well in all the right places and have purpose in my closet. it takes longer, but the result is me reaching for clothing and shoes that i love and make me feel good.
so this outfit!! this one i am proud of because dresses have been the most challenging gap of my closet to fill — partly because everything looks like a tunic on me since i have daddy long legs. this dress has been a constant since i bought it a couple of weeks ago. there’s no need for a camisole or special lingerie which is great when it gets hot and i don’t have to layer with weird bras or camisoles. i have been especially loving it with a pair of statement shoes like these espadrilles!
they’re like my shoe-mates. gahhhh i feel so happy when i wear them. 🙂
quick quip about intentional shopping: this does not mean it can’t be fun pieces like embroidered shoes or statement earrings! it’s all about how much you like it and how often you will wear it.
for example, i would love to buy this really cute pair of fancy heels for when i would need fancy heels. which at this point in my life? is probably VERY rarely. so even though i love them, i wouldn’t buy them now.
on the flip side, let’s say i see a pair of booties for $200 and i know i’ll wear them work at least twice a week. i’d buy those.
it’s all about filling the gaps in your closet with pieces that make you feel good.
these shoes are just seriously me in a nutshell. i love that they’re work appropriate but feel a boho and very Anthro chic. i have also paired them with jeans and a couple tops — i get compliments on them all the time! i honestly forget about DSW all. the. time. so when i popped in and saw these, it was a good reminder to head over there every once in a while! i like to know that if i wear a pair of shoes and don’t like them, i can return them which is why i tend towards Nordstrom, Macy’s and Anthropologie but i knew these were definitely not going back. i have a post coming up soon all about espadrilles and my favorites because i love them so much — they’re just so summery – both work appropriate and perfect for dinner with friends!
i hope these posts help you find work clothes that you can also fit into your life outside the 8-4 hours. building a more “professional” wardrobe is killer for me because i refuse to buy something super business-y that i wouldn’t wear in real life. some other pieces i have added over the last months are this top from ann taylor loft (they have like 1 piece every couple of months that i love! it’s a very odd store relationship hehe.) and this blouse from free people along with those black jeans and nude flats. this dress was a win last summer. i wear it with a jean jacket to work and feel just a bit more ania in my cube. all of those pieces were more expensive but i’ve worn them over and over and over!
although my closet is growing ever so slowly because i have become so critical of every piece i buy, i really love and would recommend everything i keep so you can always count on the integrity of my suggestions!
do you have any dresses you’ve purchased lately that you love and wear to work?! it’s been by far the hardest thing for me to find — everything is so short on me. 😉
can’t wait to continue to slowly but surely share style posts, including one next week that will help you find the gaps in your closet and what to fill them with!
as much as i love having a minimal wardrobe and shopping with intention, sometimes you just need to buy a dress that makes you want to prance through a field and pick flowers.
that’s all there is to it for this post. i don’t know about everyone else, but sometimes in the midst of feminism, i feel like it’s not cool anymore to look soft or delicate. but i love that style. and i just want to say that there is a space for ALL styles at the table. let’s not confuse being strong with not being soft because i think you can be both and be a boss woman all the same.
also, find friends that will take photos of you prancing through a little park field right next to a couple having a romantic easter picnic. those are the keepers.
i have a growing collection of little white blouses. short sleeve, florals, tanks, striped – i’ll take any variation honestly.
there’s something about the color white that i find so flattering and feminine, especially with summer coming soon and warm tans on the horizon. i am eyeing this swimmie with a white top and i love love love white dresses like this one. but we’re not quite there yet with this weather. #eyerollemoji
in march and april, all you reaaaaally want is a little summer sun but we are handed spring showers. so lately as i wait for true dress weather, i’ve been wearing white blouses with skirts, jeans, black pants and everything in-between! it makes me feel like the weather is warmer than the rain outside is currently proving.
although my collection is good as is, i thought i’d gather a couple of my favs on the web for you all. i have this floral h&m one and have given the link to so many girls because the trendy shoulder ruffles but at a good price point. below i linked a couple more in a variety of price points and styles – happy white blouse shopping!
here’s the honest to goodness truth: i haven’t purchased a piece of clothing from target since soffe shorts for track in high school. i just don’t fit into their clothing very well being 5′ 9″ and having…curves. #manifeellikeawoman
so you can imagine my surprise when i walked into target the other day and saw this dress as i strolled through the store on my way to grab some cotton rounds (my life is thrilling, i understand).
my first thought: “wait, that’s cute.”
my second thought: “but there’s no way they’ll have my size or if they do, that it’ll fit well.”
(fun fact: the target i live by is the busiest in its’ district. i just order a lot of things to the store because the selection goes down so, so fast!)
then i did something i haven’t done in a LOOOONG time at target and i tried on the dress. i had the time and i have been prioritizing building the dresses portion of my closet so i figured this could be a great first step.
and it fit! it even runs large which is better for my boho vibes and anti-tight clothing style. i usually don’t love the short in the front, long in the back look — but this one proved me wrong! it’s so flowy and multi-length at the bottom that it doesn’t look as extreme as the online photos make it seem. oh and ps, it does have a comfy slip so you don’t have to worry purchasing that separately. i don’t have money to go around buying slips for every dress i own – i need to buy important things like cotton rounds.
this is a great dress to wear to SO many occasions from Easter celebrations and summer weddings, date nights and backyard bbq’s. and for the price point of under $29.99? dress dreams come true around the world.
i am trying to get better at snapping photos of clothing right after i buy them because i can’t tell you how many times i’ve purchased something, waited a month to take a photo and it’s already sold out! and ALSO, dresses are buy one, get one 50% off right now at target with free shipping at $25 sooooooooo…i’m sorry if this was the week to stick to your budget. 😉
happy spring to all! i hope you have some sunshine in the forecast soon.
last weekend i spent some time making a blog calendar for this little spot on the web and it felt so good! i had such clarity about where i want this blog to go and what i feel is most relevant to you all.
the reason for the monthly style picks is for you all to see what i’m eyeing. so often with bloggers, they’ll comment back to me that they got a top on major discount and in a way, i wish i had known to stalk that top too. that way i would’ve snagged it on sale as well!
with these monthly posts, which will start happening the first week of every month, you’ll get an inside glance into my shopping brain and be able to see what i’m stalking until i can afford it. that’s the biggest tip i can give for shopping: put an item in your online bag and then just wait. be patient. wait some more.
here’s a great example: this free people sweater has been on my radar since september. SEPTEMBER, PEOPLE. even with my employee discount, i still felt like it was a bit overpriced so i put it in my free people and macy’s online shopping bags and would check in every so often. then, last week, i was able to score it on macy’s by downloading their app, getting 25% my first app order and applying a discount code that was running last weekend. this might sound completely absurd and sometimes it is, but that’s the way i shop! i can’t afford to spend $130 on a sweater at this point in my life so i have trained myself to be patient. sometimes it results in me missing out. but that’s fine by me because it helps me reroot in the fact that if i don’t end up getting it, that should not be the end of my world.;)
now that i’ve explained this new series better, here are my march picks! these are items i am considering buying or just really wish a magical fairy would drop on my doorstep. each image is hyperlinked to its’ source so if you also love any, feel free to shop via each photo!
do you have any items you’re eyeing? should i add something to my list? comment below if you have something you’re just obsessing over til that price drops. 😉
first things first, i am part hippie and i am re-embracing that.
i say re-embracing because i think for a while there in college i convinced myself that i had a preppy style amidst all my pals at school. even though st. louis is obviously not on the east coast, the style is much more fitted and chic than the west coast where i grew up. washington and colorado have a more casual, laid back style. there are more plaid shirts, nice jeans and a blouse, natural make-up, wavy hair kind of outfits. sometimes i wear my hole-y boyfriend jeans with a plaid shirt here in st. louis to run errands and i feel almost out of place amidst the puffy vests and monograms.
but let me say just one thing before i go on: that style is not bad. the reason i mimicked it in college is because i like it. and i still do at times! i just think if you boiled me down to one style, it’d be a bit more boho meets minimalist meets flowy meets floral. but all due respect to the houndstooth wearers of the world before i go on. i love your tight pony tails and tailored pants.
complete tangent as usual.
i think if i were to choose any style era, it’d be the 70s. i love bell bottoms, i love circle sunglasses, i love embroidered florals on white tops, i love flowy sleeves and long dresses.
but this can be a biiiiiit challenging when you have to dress for work everyday and your job is not “full-time hippie”. although if i were ever on the bachelor, maybe i’d make that my job title. 😉
i really want the clothes i wear to work to still feel like me. so i’ve been very intentional about only buying clothes that i can both wear to work and to things like dinner with friends. i don’t want to have “work tops” and “fun tops”.
fortunately i don’t have to dress up for work and i can wear jeans with blouses or sweaters. this top is exactly what i want more of: it’s nice and i love dressing up a little for work but at the end of the day, i would wear this in a heartbeat (and have) to little events with friends.
i am also letting myself spend more on things i really really love. this blouse was about $50 with a sale going on (which if you buy ANYTHING at ann taylor or the loft, just wait like .4 seconds for a sale because they have one going basically permanently). honestly that is more than i usually spend on tops. ever since my purge this summer though, i have been much more focused on buying things i absolutely am smitten with and sometimes that means spending a little more for that one buy. it’s so interesting though because since i’ve eliminated the random $80 target mistakes and don’t meander through the cosmetics aisle without purpose, that even though i’m spending more occasionally on an item, i still spend less overall. it’s the best.
long story short: quality over quantity but at the very least, love over impulse. because i still sometimes shop at h&m which i wouldn’t exactly call quality. but you have to ball on a budget so it’s a healthy balance.
one quick thing before i go is about those jeans. i bought them with my discount back when i worked at anthropologie this summer and they are like freaking butter. they make your legs look miles long and would be such a good investment buy if you’re in the market for black jeans!
oh and one more thing! i’m happy to say i have many more exciting posts on the horizon if you’re been wondering what the heck i have been doing. maybe no one noticed that i veered off my two-posts-a-week schedule but i feel inclined to explain (which is my tendency). i took a little hiatus from focusing on blogging while i figured out what i really want to write about here and prioritized some other passions as well.i am going to be deleting some of my categories and hone in on travel, design and style with a smattering of pieces of my heart that i blurt out every so often. 🙂 i will be posting here more often in the coming months so keep coming back!
and thank you as always for being patient with me as i figure this whole blogging thing out. i am always so thankful to have even one person read my post.
i want to start “showcasing” items in my closet that lasted through the great purge this summer and i will continuous buy over and over as i wear through them.
so here’s my thinking: maybe everyone need a lbd but what you reaaaally need is lnf.
little. nude. flats.
they’re the most easygoing shoe in my closet. comfy, easy to wear casually or dress up and the best part? they’re the PERFECT shoe when i think to myself “i wish i could just not wear shoes” because it looks like you’re not. they don’t really add or subtract from the outfit.
i wear them with flowy blouses, chunky sweaters as we go from fall to winter or winter to spring, denim, skirts, dresses…the list goes on! now that it’s spring, i am back to wearing them a couple of times a week. and by a couple, i mean close to 5 times a week because i really don’t have a lot of other spring shoe options. i will keep you in the loop as i buy two more pairs to rotate this summer but for now, these really just seal the deal every single time.
why just two more pairs of warm weather shoes? because i don’t need any more. i want a nice pair of sandals that i could also wear to work, a heeled something (can’t decide between a clog or some sort of heeled sandal) and these little flats. easy peasy. done and done. i am sick of shopping and shopping for more and more. so i set myself a number, spend my time and money on just what i want and then go back to paying attention to the things that deserve my attention more than the shoes in my closet. 🙂
oh, and this is the darling home store in tower grove that the tile floor above is in! if i could squeeze a store, i would squeeze this cutie.
p.s. has everyone listened to ed sheeran’s new album? oh goodness, i am in DEEP. i can’t seem to listen to anything but ed!
it’s february tomorrow!!! one step closer to spring!!! tonight i heard the birds chirping as i left work and i was so so so happy at the thought that spring could be closer than i think.
but reality check, ania: it’s still COLD COLD COLD. and will be for probably at least 6 more weeks. bah humbug.
silver lining? this is the best time to stock up on the sweaters you’ve been eyeing all season, waiting to go on sale. for the next couple of months, they’ll just drop lower and lower in price. the sizes are flying out the window on the good ones (i’ve missed a couple because i waited too long so don’t make my mistake) but since i am looking for one or two more for next winter as one or two of mine are on their last legs, i thought i’d just link all the ones i have been eyeing here for you all to take advantage of!!
stay snuggly and cozy. i’m sure there will be one day this summer that i will long for a winter day. (maybe) (probably not)
ps stay tuned for a post i am excited to share thursday – tangible ways for you to be a boss lady! because if i hear that buzzword one more time without any actions associated to it, i’m going to scream.