The massive edit.

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Over the last two weeks I’ve gotten rid of 30% of my wardrobe. 5 or 6 trashbags of clothes and shoes have been gleefully tossed in the back of the car and dropped in donation bins. Not because I lost a pant size (or gained one) but because I finally just reached a point of exhaustion when I opened my closet everyday. I finally realized that embracing a kind of wardrobe minimalism would make things a lot easier for me in the mornings and help me embrace a simple classic style that I admire so much in others. Now, I’m not talking about the kind of crazy minimalism that some bloggers advocate for (no, I will not successfully have a 33 piece wardrobe.) I am talking about a versatile, classic, quality wardrobe that suits my lifestyle.

That’s a mostly casual lifestyle folks. I’m a SAHM. I go for walks with the dog, stroll to the park, meet with other moms for playdates, and if I’m lucky a couple of date nights with my husband. The stacks of Banana Republic wool slacks and sweater dresses leftover from my retail days just are not necessary. The same goes for the piles of ill fitting tee shirts and long sleeves from the clearance racks at Gap and Old Navy; I feel like I’m a bit too old to dress like a teenager. I love neutral interiors and even though it took me a while to figure out, I love a neutral wardrobe too. Here’s the criteria I used to rid my self of an excess of clothes.

1. Does it fit?

I’m not talking about basic fit – if you can’t button or zip it, it should go. That’s obvious. I’m talking about fit and flatter. For example, I had a pile of dolman sleeved slightly too short tees from Zara and Old Navy. They fit, and are relatively new, but I realized that dolman sleeves and a boxy shorter fit are just not flattering for my figure.  In the pile they went. I kept all the shirts that weren’t faded and tried to only keep neutrals like white, black, and gray. Likewise, too short shorts (I’m 30, not 13) and frumpy khakis that I bought for one event and haven’t worn since. Gone.

2. Is it a classic?

I had a lot of items in my wardrobe that were looking pretty dated, like tons of cotton long sleeves with weird decorative details like ruching and floral appliques. They may have looked pretty new, but now they scream ” I was 8 dollars at Old Navy in 2004!” If it doesn’t stand the test of time, it gets tossed.

3. Is it useful or, will you actually wear it?

I bagged up things that still had tags on them that I’ve never worn – mostly ill fitting dresses that I bought last minute before an event and ended up not wearing. I’ve been just as guilty as the next person of holding on to clothes that I will most likely never wear either because I was trying to embrace a trend (hippie-chic) that doesn’t really reflect my personal style (classic and elegant, I hope.) I don’t need to have a ton of dresses, just enough to attend a few social events for Pks work every year and the occasional summer wedding. I also think I should no longer wear cheap dresses for important social events – a well cut quality dress that can be worn more than once makes a better impression than a trendy but poorly constructed rag from Forever 21.

4.  Why am I keeping it?

I’ve held onto a lot of clothes over the years because they were gifts or because of their perceived value (i’m looking at you giant  bell sleeved Jcrew cashmere sweater from 1998!) Mostly I just turned off the emotional voice in my head that said “oh don’t, so and so bought that for you!” If I don’t wear it regularly, it got tossed. If I wore it regularly but was damaged or worn out it got tossed too. Goodbye to pilly, faded  favorite sweaters – time to replace them with more quality versions.

What’s left? A pretty decent, versatile wardrobe that reflects my lifestyle and age. Lots of chambray and denim,  striped shirts, wool and cashmere sweaters, a couple of solid blazers and a smattering of more formal wear. I still have a few foundation pieces to get – like a pair of dressy black flats, but I really don’t want to just buy a cheap pair. I’d rather save up for a sturdy classic that will last quite a few years. My favorite places to shop right now are J.Crew, Madewell,  ASOS, and of course Gap (for basics I don’t feel guilty about sticky toddler hands ruining).  I’ve also been trying to pin outfits that reflect my style and perusing blogs that embrace a kind of understated luxurious fashion. I thought that this list was good guide for the basics that a classic wardrobe should have (obviously, take or leave what doesn’t work for you.)

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I still have tons of shoes – but after thorough editing I have tons of shoes that I actually love. Also, side note, when you are trying to minimize your closet you probably shouldn’t do an Etsy search for “vintage Coach.” Let’s just say my purse collection got a little bigger.

What are your strategies for maintaing a streamlined closet? I found that the pictures I posted on this blog helped me figure out what does and doesn’t work for me. I love Shannon’s posts about that too. It was super empowering to get rid of a bunch of clutter! I feel like I could still edit it down a little more! Now, if I can just resist those 40% off coupons from the Gap…

xx-H

Spring Layers

A few transitional pieces I’ve picked up recently. It’s still freezing here, so layers are still a must. Transitional for Spring
(click the pics for links)
I didn’t get the Everlane sweater because I found  a Pim + Larkin one cheaper on Piperlime, but it’s sold out. Everlane’s cashmere get’s great reviews online, though. I promise the waxed military coat looks better in person, and it has a bit of insulation which a lot of the “utility” style jackets don’t have. I’ve even worn it comfortably in light rain. Those boots! I’ve been wearing them a ton because they are comfortable, and they are on sale right now at Urban Outfitter. I’m a little nervous about the floral denim, but it’s all the rage right now and I love Liberty fabrics (true story – I have a handmade jumper that my grandmother made for me in a similar Liberty print – I’m just waiting for Lucy to grow into it.)It’s on super final sale at Jcrew right now. The gap oxford shirt is a great fit – definitely a casual button up (and washable.) Gap is having their friends and family event right now, so no need to pay full price (really – does anyone play full price for Gap? I feel like everything is always on sale). The striped tee and floral scarf – this pin says it all.
That’s what’s on my mind for spring mom fashion right now. Are you doing anything fun for St. Patrick’s day? Last year we went to the beach because it was 70 degrees. This year? A high of 37. Yippee! Pete just got home from a long week away and honestly, it’s like the sun emerging from the clouds. The whole world is a better place when he’s home (and not just because he went to pick up Chinese food.)
Hope you all are well.
xoxo-H

What I want for spring – high/low edition

So, there’s a blizzard here right now. 4-10 inches in the next 12 hours or so. you know. no biggie. Nothing says meteorological spring like a foot of snow!

honestly guys, WHAT THE FUDGE ITS MARCH 5TH! I really want actual spring, like muddy and 48 degrees with chirping birds and daffodils and rain showers.

So, since it’s much easier to be in fantasy mode than actually acknowledge whats going on outside my window, I thought I’d share a few of my wardrobe notions and recent additions for spring, mmmmkay?

1. The classic striped tee.

High – Kitsune & Petit Bateau Mariniere shirt $125

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Low – Gap Striped Solid Boatneck top  $30.

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2.Pants –

High – J Brand Carey Zip Detail Moto skinny Jeans $242

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Low – Old Navy The Rock Star Zip Pocket Skinny Pants $25 (on sale) These are awesomely comfortable and make me think of this pin.

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3. Shoes

High – JCrew Collection Janey Calf hair flats  $298

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Low – Piperlime Calvin Klein Jeans Bailey Flats $38 (on sale)

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4. Accessories

High – Michael Kors Ostritch Iphone Zip Wallet – $90

(true confessions, I received this as a birthday gift and am totally obsessed with it, it has a phone compartment and can be tossed in the diaper bag or carried alone as a clutch. LOVE IT)

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Low – Target Merona red zip around wallet $15

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Pretty and classic for late winter/ early spring. Add a classic camel coat and warm scarf and you are good to go for colder temps.

I’m gonna go warm up the snowblower now. Some people get pushing diamonds. I requested a snowblower.

xo- H

(pppppssssstttt. can you hear that? It’s the sound of my head banging the wall.)

also – gap/oldnavy/banana republic has a 30% sale right now using code SPRINGAIR.

Mom style

If the fashion ramblings of a stay at home mom will bore you, please feel free to skip this post.

I’m by no means a fashionista, but I do think it’s important to dress well for yourself everyday, and by well I mean change out of the yoga paints you slept in and comb your hair. Safe to say I don’t have high standards, but lately I’ve been feeling like I should work a little harder on it. I don’t usually put a lot of effort into what I wear because there are days, and days and days when Pk is out of town, that I’m really only hanging out with Lucy and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t care what I wear. A lot of the good stuff in my closet is business casual stuff from when I was working (before Lucy) and is maybe a bit too dressy for casual wear. I don’t think my stack of dress slacks from Banana Republic are really mom-appropriate ( ie – easy to clean chocolate milk and boogers from). I feel like I’m gradually accumulating a more casual wardrobe that’s appropriate for my distinctly non-dressy lifestyle finally. Maybe it was seeing some of my very stylish friends over the holiday break or a little too much time staring at pinterest but I really feel lately like I have to try to at least look put together, even if it’s just for me.  So, here’s what I wore this week. I see tons of room for improvement, but it’s a little better than my usual extremely casual look ( like, I showered. and wore mascara. really.)

IMG_3586Monday – skinny jeans, Asos military jacket, hooded grey scarf, heeled ugg boots. (it was freezing and windy that day)

IMG_3638Tuesday – button up under an open knit sweater, cuffed jeans, Clarks desert boots (oooh look, I actually wore my hair down- the whole day!)

IMG_3609Wednesday -skinnies, gap plaid jacket, ankle boots, infinity scarf (super cold that day too)

IMG_3670Thursday – Valentines Day! an excuse to wear hot pink pants!!! Navy cable knit sweater, Frye Melissa Button Boots, sparkly heart pin. A necklace with all of our initials and a silver locket my mom gave me.

IMG_3692Friday (today) – skinnies again, tunic sweater, motorcycle boots, layered necklaces from Jcrew Factory

Here’s what I see – I need to have a bit more variety in bottoms (like really Helen? 5 days of some version of skinny jeans?) and it wouldn’t kill me to make a little more effort with my hair.

Sorry if this post is totally boring for you guys – I feel a little bit vain posting about fashion (since I’m clearly not an expert!) but I think seeing the pictures helps me assess what looks good and what doesn’t. I think I need to sort of keep myself accountable too, lest the leggings and sweatshirts in my closet come creeping back out. I promise I won’t always use filtered pics too, but they sure did a good job of hiding the dust on the mirror 🙂

Have a great weekend! We are going to enjoy some family time with out of town visitors and a fun weekend visit to our fertility clinic. We’re getting the ball rolling on another round of fertility treatments which is exciting, tiring, and nerve-wracking all at the same time. Did I mention expensive? It’s that too.

xo-H

ps – are you guys following any fun fashion blogs? If so do share – it’s always nice to have more inspiration.

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