Monday, June 27, 2016

Classic Black And White

Even though I've just paired this sleeveless top with black skinny jeans, this color combination always looks classic.  I wore dangling pearl earrings and opted for a clean neckline letting the white v-neck and the shoulder detail of the top be the attraction.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Capsule Wardrobe Basics

 I thrifted all of these items.  All but the brown bomber jacket were bought in one shopping trip and cost me only $55.  Not too bad a price for a black leather jacket, a 2nd non leather cognac colored jacket, a hooded rain jacket, a white zip up hoodie, Naturalizer black sandals, 2 tank tops, Ann Taylor silk turtleneck sweater, and 4 long sleeved tees.

As I talked about here, I am working towards a more pared down wardrobe... one that leans more toward minimalism than excess and relies heavily on the basics as it's foundation.
One step in this process is an ongoing one.  It consists of repeatedly going through my closet and pulling items that don't fit, don't spark joy, don't fit my lifestyle or the style I want to achieve, or that I just don't wear even though I may like them.  (I must not love them or I'd be wearing them.)  The items that fall into those categories are being donated.
I have donated approximately 7 large bags of clothing this week.  Unfortunately, my closet is still crammed with clothes.  I don't know how I could have possibly let myself acquire so many pieces of clothing!  It's ridiculous.  I was feeling burdened by the excess and am now ready to change my shopping habits, hone my style, and work harder towards minimizing my wardrobe. 

The clothes in the top photo are some of my basic pieces that I'll use to create capsule wardrobes.  I've never created capsule wardrobes before, but realized that's exactly what had happened when I gathered my clothing pieces together for our July trip.  I was pleasantly surprised with how much I loved the look of those pieces together, their simplicity, and mix and match potential.
(I'll share my vacation wardrobe in another post.)

Below are some of the staple pieces I'll be using as basics in my everyday looks.
Above is a nice quality 100% silk black Ann Taylor turtleneck.  It's a sweater material even though it looks like a tee in that horrible photo. :(

 Here are 4 long sleeved tees in black, gray, blue, and white.
A new black hooded rain jacket to replace the three I donated that were too big.
Three jackets: black leather, brown leather and a non-leather cognac colored one.

Two tank tops in gray and white.  A white zip up hooded jacket.
 Sandals in black and a cognac brown.

I am looking forward to transitioning my style and wardrobe to these basics in neutral colors.  I'll accessorize these pieces with scarves and necklaces.  I have an adequate to large collection of accessories so this should work well.
I'll also be adding in some color at times with pieces I already own that will remain a part of my wardrobe.
I will continue working on this transition and practicing putting together capsules until I achieve the closet and wardrobe that works best for me.
If you need inspiration to dress more simply and want to embrace a more minimalist style or are interested in creating capsule wardrobes... I encourage you to watch youtube videos on creating capsule wardrobes such as this one...The Liberating Benefits of a Capsule Wardrobe.
I love the points she makes in the video and I really want this in my life.

Link Up:  Visible Monday

Monday, June 20, 2016

Sneakers...and Minimalism Revelations

These thrifted Ked's sneakers are just what I was looking for.  They'll provide comfortable walking, they fit my lifestyle, and they'll be perfect for our July trip.
I talked previously about being inspired by a lot of "minimizing your closet" videos.  Planning my wardrobe for our 10 day trip was another big eye opener and source of inspiration.

I chose items that I can mix and match, items that I like, shoes that are comfortable, etc. and that will all fit into 1 carry on suitcase.  Looking at the pieces I'd chosen I realized I could create numerous outfits (1 of which I'll be traveling in and won't have to pack) with 4 pr trousers (+ 1 pr shorts), 11 tops, 3 cardigans, a casual cotton hooded jacket, 3-4 pairs of shoes, 6 scarves, and some jewelry.
(I will photograph and show you my travel wardrobe in a later post.)

The areas we'll be traveling to will range in temperature from a low of around 58 degrees at night to a high of about 90 during the day.  The coastal area will have a daytime temperature of about 70-75 degrees, but the inland area may be up around 90 degrees.  So I'm bringing a variety of sleeve lengths and layers in accordance with the expected weather conditions. I hung everything up in sight where this whole collection could be viewed...I realized that collection could be my minimalist wardrobe right there! And I could probably be happy with those clothes and still have plenty of choices.  I would have to add in a few pieces such a couple of heavier sweaters and fall/winter shoes...but not a ton more.  I could probably double that amount of clothing (not counting shoes and accessories) and bring my wardrobe item count to roughly 50 pieces.  That amount could conceivably see me through all seasons.
I'm excited and astounded by that thought!

(I just did a quick count of the items of clothing I just have hanging in my closets and on double hanging rack in my dressing room...and I counted approx 250 items.  That doesn't even count the clothing I've got out for our trip, or what's in my big dresser or shoes/jewelry/scarves/coats, etc.)

Sooo... my current and first goal is to work on cutting that amount in half and go from there.
I have recently pulled out 3 more bags of things to donate.  I'm finding the prospect of a smaller closet exciting and a bit liberating! :)

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Vacation Outfit #1

In July we're going on a vacation to celebrate our anniversary.  We'll be visiting the Carmel, California area and then south along the coast toward Santa Barbara.  We'll have 9 days to relax and see the sights.
Even though we're not leaving for a few more weeks yet...I'm excited and planning my wardrobe.  This dress will be coming with me.  I can wear it as shown here with the cardigan or more casually with a denim jacket.  It's sleeveless, so when we travel inland, to the warmer Paso Roble area, it could be worn without a top layer.
I'm taking these sandals and also the hot pink ones that are almost identical because they're so comfortable for walking.  I'm planning my outfits around these two pairs of shoes...and possibly a brown pair as well.  
I will need to fit everything I'm taking into one small suitcase so I'll want to take as many mix and match pieces as possible to avoid overpacking.

 I'll be taking a different handbag that will match everything I'll be wearing, but these earrings will probably be making the trip because they're my favorites.
maxi dress $9.09 Liz Claiborne
cardigan $7 h.i.p.
earrings $1.78
purse $4.89
sandals $1.99 Apostrophe

Link Up:  Visible Monday

Monday, June 6, 2016

Applying The Thrifting Brakes

This top with the gray jeans provided a simple and easy look that I'm really drawn to these days.  I'm recognizing that as much as I have enjoyed a bit of variety in my lifestyle is, in reality, super casual.  This top perfectly complimented my new sandals, was extremely comfortable and I felt good wearing it.
I have been watching youtube videos over the last few days on how to create a more minimalist wardrobe.  One of the questions you are to ask yourself as you go through each item in your closet is "Does this bring me joy?" and "Do I enjoy wearing this?".  
Watching these ladies go through their massive closets getting rid of tons of clothes was motivating.  Seeing closets that are free from being jam packed with clothes, holding a much fewer number of items, but still the potential for numerous outfits was inspiring.  I think there is a great sense of freedom that could come from minimizing.
I was able to fill 3 large bags with clothes to donate by doing this and that is a good start, but I still have a LOT more I want to achieve.  It took me a long time to acquire this massive amount of clothes and I'm not prepared to do away with everything in one go.  So my goal is to regularly ask myself the above questions about the things in my closet and, more importantly, put a halt to my thrifting unless items need replaced.
I have enjoyed thrifting, the bargains I've found, putting together outfits, etc.....  But the time has come where I have a desire to spend less energy on that part of my life and spend more time finding enjoyment in other things.
I will keep watching those minimalist videos regularly for inspiration and motivation so that I can continue making this change.  :)

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Borrowing From Angelina Jolie

I can't remember if I shared this purse on the blog before.  I may have.  I thrifted 3 new purses this year and love them all.  This was one of them.  It was only $4.19, but I don't know what brand it is.
 I already had a couple of other leopard print scarves, but they are heavier fabric and more for fall/winter.  This one is lightweight so I can wear it any time. It was worth the price of $2.09.

 I decided to wear these hoop earrings with green and brown beads to give this outfit just the tiniest touch of color.  I rarely wear these earrings and I liked them with the leopard print scarf and black top.  I wanted to replicate a casual look in the colors Angelina Jolie wore below.
I'll always remember Angelina Jolie looking stunning in these earrings with the gorgeous black dress.  I even thrifted a pair of earrings that look very similar to hers, but they are so large and heavy I don't think I've ever even worn them.  I'll have to see if I can put together an outfit using them.
khaki pants ?
black dressy short sleeved top $3.19 Western Connection
scarf $2.09
purse $4.19
earrings ?
dark brown slide sandal $3.24

Link Up:  Visible Monday

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Black and White Print Blouse

white pants $6.99 Karen Kane
blouse $3.49 Lucky Brand
earrings .49 cents
sandals ?
purse $14.99 Koltov Collection via Ross