Sunday, June 11, 2017

My Style Summary

So, somewhere along the road of cleaning out my entire house of things that didn't "spark joy" or that I didn't find to be "beautiful or useful" I sort of put my Curated Closet journey on hold. I went back to it a few weeks ago and have been working with it some, so thought I'd update on my progress.

One of the reasons that I put it on hold was that I had added several new pieces from Trunk Club. I had winnowed out a lot of stuff. I still felt unsettled. Like I loved some of my pieces, but I still felt things were lacking, but I didn't know what. So I decided to live with what I had for awhile, and then go from there.

From the beginning I've known that one of the hardest things is that, on a day-to-day basis, I don't wear very much. Scrubs to work (or occasionally I'll dress up), then when I get home it is all about comfort and functionality. Right now I'm wearing jean shorts, a white tank top, and Birkenstock sandals. I haven't showered since Friday. And I am totally OK with that.

But on Friday we went out for a friend's birthday party. I wore my white jeans, a gray tank top from D.Diff and my black and white Toms sandals. I may not wear something that nice for many, many weeks again. But when the time comes, I like to have something that I feel comfortable in, and that I feel good in. So, there needs to be a balance. And I need to be OK with owning some clothes that I won't wear very often. I just need to make sure the nicer clothes I do own work well with each other, and keep them to a few that you can mix and match and re-wear when the time comes.

So, I've gotten to the end of the first part of this book. The first part is all about helping you define your style. I scoured the internet, made Pinterest boards, saved images, tried on clothes. Then you sort of analyze. So, I'll share with you the last questions, and my responses to them.

What is the best name for your personal style?
Classic east coast prep meets sporty comfort with a hint of bohemian inspiration

In one or two sentences, what's the overall idea behind your style?
My personal style is based on clothes that are comfortable and functional, like sneakers, Toms, modest shorts/pants and knit tops in a neutral-heavy color palette with pops of color or bold patterns. It looks put together and classic, and is comfortable enough to chase my kids in.

What does a typical outfit look like for this style?
In the winter - a pair of skinny jeans and a sweater or chambray shirt with a pair of boots.
In the summer - modest shorts with a loose fitting top and Birkenstock sandals.
For work - ankle pants with boots or flats, modest top +/- cardigan sweater
Dressed up - a comfortable dress with wedge sandals

What does the style say about its wearer? What three character qualities does it convey?
I like to think it says that I like to look nice, but am more focused on experiences than trends. Classy, confident, fun.

What are the key pieces of this style?
Skinny jeans, ankle pants, mid-length shorts. Oversized sweaters, loose fitting t-shirts, chambray shirt. Toms, boots, Birkenstocks, flats.

What are the dominant colors?
Black, white, navy, gray. Pops of turquoise, salmon, red, sky blue. I've been trying to keep most pieces pretty neutral, then just have a few with pops of color that I really enjoy.

Which silhouettes, cuts and fits are part of this style?
Bottoms are skinny jeans, or wide leg (like linen pants). Shorts should hit mid thigh, or be bermuda length. Skirts should be maxi or pencil, not too short. Tops should be loose fitting (too tight makes me uncomfortable) and not too low cut or see through. Shoes are flat for the most part. A pop of color in a pair of fun shorts/pants or top makes me happy.

What type of materials and fabrics work well with this style?
Machine washable is a must right now. Cotton, wool, some polyester. Chunky knits. Things need to wear well and withstand the test of time.

What does the styling look like? Think accessories, specific styling techniques, and hair and make up.
I used to wear a lot of "statement" pieces for jewelry, but my kids just try to pull it off of me. I've been keeping it simple - pearl or silver stud earrings. Simple foundation, blush, mascara. Short hair that takes a few minutes to pull off and looks OK if I choose not to blow dry it. I've gotten away from necklaces, but look forward to wearing some turquoise jewelry again when my baby quits trying to rip it off.

So, while I still don't feel as though I'm 100% there, I think I have a better handle on what I want my clothes to convey, as well as what I feel comfortable and confident in.

Three weeks to garage sale time. I'm not sure how much stuff we'll actually sell, but I'm excited to sell what we can and donate the rest so that I can feel like we have that physical and metaphorical weight off our shoulders!

Thursday, June 8, 2017


I've been getting discouraged recently. It's like I need a good weekend with nothing else to do but clean the house. It's like as soon as I get one spot done, another slips. I can't seem to keep on top of it. I feel like if I could just get everything in its place, then I could stay on top, but that is probably a pipe dream.

Garage sale is set for the weekend before the 4th of July. What doesn't sell will be given to charity. Hopefully that will be somewhat helpful for my countenance.

It's a work in progress. There is no such thing as perfection. I keep trying to remind myself of these things. It is a lifestyle change. There is no right or wrong. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Wading Through

Slowly but surely we are getting through all of our stuff. I am amazed at the amount of stuff that is piling up in the spare bedroom. I've sold some stuff on eBay (ahem, several pairs of TOMS, ahem) but the rest of it is going to either be sold at our garage sale in June, or go to the Goodwill.

I wanted to share with you a few of the quotes I've run across when cleaning out things that have really resonated with me.

"When examined carefully, the fate that links us to the things we own is quite amazing. Take just one shirt, for example. Even if it was mass-produced in a factory, that particular shirt that you bought and brought home on that particular day is unique to you. The destiny that led us to each one of our possessions is just as precious and sacred as the destiny that connected us with the people in our lives. There is a reason why each one of your belongings came to you." Marie Kondo

"Everything you own wants to be of use to you. Even if you throw it away or burn it, it will only leave behind the energy of wanting to be of service. Freed from its physical form, it will move about your world as energy, letting other things know that you are a special person, and come back to you as the thing that will be of most use to who you are now, the thing that will bring you the most happiness." Marie Kondo

"Think of the life energy expended in the ownership of a single possession: planning for it, reading reviews about it, looking for the best deal on it, earning (or borrowing) the money to buy it, going to the store to purchase it, transporting it home, finding a place to put it, learning how to use it, cleaning it (or cleaning around it), maintaining it, buying extra parts for it, insuring it, protecting it, trying not to break it, fixing it when you do, and sometimes making payments on it even after you've disposed of it." Francine Jay, The Joy of Less

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." William Morris

"When we're old and gray, we won't wax poetic on the things we had - but rather on what we did in the spaces between them." Francine Jay

"In order to be a good Gatekeeper, you have to think of your house as sacred space, not storage space." Francine Jay

"We don't live in a vacuum - the consequences of our actions ripple throughout the world ... If we understood the impact of our lifestyles, perhaps we would live a little more lightly." Francine Jay

"We use 20% of our stuff 80% of the time." Francine Jay

"The urgent things - such as the demands at the office, the demands of other people, and even our own "inner compulsions" - typically trump the things which are important like regular dates with our spouse, personal solitude, exercise, or meditation." Joshua Pecker Simplify

"Simplifying your life can be more than just removing physical belongings. If minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things that I most value, it is also about deciding what is most important in my life and removing the things that distract me from it. It is about removing the urgent for the sake of the important." Joshua Becker

So, just a few more nooks and crannies to go through. Then I will have handled everything that I own and decided what to keep. What sparks joy. I'm sure I didn't do a perfect job, but I did the best job I could do right now. Everything will have a place, and my next job is to keep everything in its place. And to prevent the re-accumulation of stuff.