The first thing I want to say, so you know the bias from which this info is coming from, is that I’m a huge believer in quality over quantity. I’d rather own 2 pairs of jeans (that I LOVE) rather than 7 pairs that I don’t love so much. If people are like, “Wow, you wear those a lot.” Then you can be like, “Yep. I’m trying to simplify. I’m not brave enough for a capsule wardrobe, but I also don’t believe in waste.”
So, now that my short clothing philosophy is out of the way...
I’m gonna start with workout clothes because that’ll be short.
- Wear something that makes you feel like a bad-a**. If that’s your husband’s ratty old t-shirt, own it, wear it, workout like a bad-a**. If it’s a matching set of Lululemon because you can only afford ONE matching set (because Lululemon), then rock the hell out of it.
- This is ME, but I will say that when I’m wearing workout clothes I like, I’m much more likely to workout longer, or take a short rest and workout twice, than if I decided to do yoga in my stained pajamas.
- Don’t skimp on workout shoes (if you can afford it). They’ll help prevent injuries and keep you working out longer. I’ve found some killer deals on craigslist and e-bay on running and hiking shoes. OR really great inserts can turn a cheap pair of shoes into something that’ll protect your joints.
- Find a jacket you LOVE. Something lightweight that you can use to dress down a skirt or dress up a pair of jeans. I cannot tell you how many mornings I slipped that jacket on over the t-shirt I slept in, grabbed a pair of worn jeans, tucked my feet into flats, and gotten compliments. This takes no longer than shoving a hoodie over your head and shoving your feet into your ratty tennis shoes.
- I can’t tell you how many friends of mine have a closet load of shoes that are cute, but not comfortable, and that they like, but don’t love. I have about ⅓ the amount of shoes as most people I know, but I don’t think I spent any more money--I’m just a sucker for shoes that don’t hurt my feet and that I can wear every day.
- DON’T BUY CHEAP LEGGINGS - We can see your legs through those. Also, never size down, always size up. The only way leggings can be too big is if they’re falling off. The bigger they are, the better coverage they’ll give, and the nicer you’ll look. Stop caring about the size on the label.
- Smooth lines on your body will beat losing 5 lbs every single time. Don’t buy things that pinch you anywhere. A size 14 will look better than a size 6, if the 14 has smooth lines, and the 6 has squished herself into a 4.
- Don’t buy clothes you’re not insanely in love with. My cousin lived in tiny apartments and when she bought something new, she had to get rid of something in her closet. There was no room otherwise. I’m not the best at this, but this is my new goal--Don’t buy anything unless I know what it’ll replace.
- With #5, if you don’t love something in your closet, get rid of it. Don’t store or wear things that don’t make you feel good.
- GO GET FITTED FOR A BRA. Seriously. I worked at Macy’s as a bra-fitter for over a year, and maybe 15% of people are in the right size. Also, your body changes, so that bra fitting? Not a one-time gig. Wear a fitted t-shirt and they can fit you right over your shirt. No prob.
- When/if you lose weight, DO NOT KEEP YOUR LARGER CLOTHES. You’ll end up back in them, because you’ll have a bloated day one day and then you’ll wear your bigger pants, and the bigger pants will make you feel thin because they’re loose and then that pan of brownies will look tasty….. ;-)
- When/if you gain weight, DO NOT KEEP YOUR SKINNY CLOTHES. I know people will argue with me over this, but styles change, and looking at what used to be some of my favorite things in my closet, that I knew I couldn’t wear, wasn’t motivating. It might be for you, in which case, keep doin’ your thing. But honestly, I don’t mind having very few clothes in my wardrobe, and as I lost weight, it was really fun to very slowly add to the few things I had and loved.
- One of my best tools for falling in love with the clothes I have is to pick something I really adore wearing, and then do a search for similar items on Pinterest. Laugh all you want, but seeing 18 cute ways to style my denim shirt, makes me excited to wear it again.
- PLAN your wardrobe, what you have, what you want. I have one Pinterest Board titled TWEAK MY CLOSET, which are outfits really similar to what I already have. When I have to leave the house and don’t know what to wear, I go there. I have another board called WANNA BE, and that’s filled with clothes I’m dying to put on my body, but don’t yet have. Helps me have a plan when I go shopping.
- I’m wearing one of my fav shirts to sleep in. SO SOFT. And not my most flattering jeans, but my most comfy - just wanna show you that even your smooshy, cozy jeans can be dressed up - THIS IS THE BASE OUTFIT, not a recommendation ;-)
- I pulled my slept in hair back in a headband and tucked the back up with pins. The cardigan is a navy cable-knit that I got on super sale from American Eagle. And leather flip-flops (because yes, flip-flops can be nice).
- (sorry about the lighting) This jacket is an earthy grey, motorcycle style, but super-duper soft. From Athleta. There’s some shape, but not a ton. Pretty casual. Boots for winter, stripey flip-flops or Chucks for summer (I don’t have 3 feet, so I couldn’t show you all 3)
- I tucked my tee in. This is a navy blue, stiff cotton jacket with more structure than the last one. I sometimes would add a scarf--either a big one over the top of the jacket, or a smaller one tucked under. Fun, flat shoes or easy to walk in, stacked heels.
- This time I added a necklace, tucked up the back of my hair, and added a suit jacket from Banana Republic. Driving mocs from Norstrom Rack on one foot, and my fav patent heels on the other.
If you’re curious on the capsule wardrobe thing, check this post. Here’s another cool post about simplifying your closet, and this one as well. While I can’t quite force myself to do the capsule wardrobe thing, that’s also because I don’t live in a city where being directly on top of fashion is important, and I’ve invested a LOT of money on tech wear for living in Alaska. Also, I grow connections to things I wear and love, and I sew clothes, so clearly, I can’t just keep those for one season ;-)
And if you’re curious about simplifying your whole house, read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up--there’s a reason it’s so popular.
I have LOVED being here this week!! THANK YOU!
Now everyone should go buy one of my books so I can send my kids to college ;-)
Jolene Perry writes books for teens and lives in Alaska with her family, dog, cat, and tortoise.