Fashion Haul: Charlotte Russe

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In case you missed my last post, lately I’ve been getting inspired by minimalism and wardrobe capsules.  In case you also missed it, I seem to struggle with the part about MINIMALIZING.  I’ll get there one day.  It’s not like I haven’t tried.  I’ll see an inspiring closet pin and I’m like, “I really need to do that.” And so I go to Charlotte Russe to buy clothes. Ahem, to START minimializing and capsuling. By buying more clothes. Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this.

The thing is, in order to be an effective minimalist, I have to love the few things that I have. Same goes for a wardrobe capsule–I have to have functional items. And apparently right now my thousands of pieces of clothing aren’t worthy of a minimalist capsule. And so I went and bought some.

Here are my 4 pieces:

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$10. It’s a tee with a nice slouch on both sides of the hem. Perfect for leggings!

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$10. Same style, different color!

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$6. Need I say more?? This is a cotton tube skirt (I think they call it a body con skirt). I love the pencil silhouette (which my hanger does injustice to) and the material. Finally, a pencil skirt that is super comfortable and can be worn below the waist line without looking baggy!

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$6. And of course a black version of the same body con skirt–bc this couldn’t be my fashion haul without a black skirt! Lol

The thing I love about these pieces is that they can comfortably mix and match with eachother, as well as with many of my other clothes! That means that I’m well on my way to having a real minimalist fashion capsule, right?! Or at least, I just took one fashionable foot forward in the right direction. 😀

 

 

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My Faux Fashion Capsule

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It’s been a little while since I bought new clothes. (Read: two weeks) Which means that all my clothes feel old and out-dated and just not “my style.” Am I the only one who constantly has style-identity-crisis? One Fall, I am totally into ponchos and leggings and then the next fall its like, skirts, tights, and sweaters ONLY. Ugh.

The real issue comes in when you end up changing your “style” each season, for 4 or 5 years in a row. And hardly get rid of any clothes between seasons. But you keep buying more. Then when you move to college, you have the excuse of having extra clothes because you keep bouncing back and forth between the dorm and your parent’s house and so nobody can keep track of how much clothes you *actually* own. So you have too many clothes and you get away with it.

I remember one time as a teenager, having 4 closet spaces and being relieved. My dad called me “Elizabeth Taylor” when we were moving because um…I guess it was kinda a lot of clothes for one person. Poor dad, I am only one of six daughters. He had a lot of clothes to move. Anyway, apparently in the brand new house he bought, the closet bar wasn’t sturdy enough for two sisters to hang up their clothes together–especially when one of the two said sisters used to have 4 closets. NEEDLESS TO SAY THE POPPING SOUND COMING FROM OUR CLOSET WAS THE SHELF WIRING COMING OUT OF THE WALL AND RIPPING THE HOUSE’S DRYWALL. Oops.  Personally, I think daughters are great.

Moving on.

I’ve been browsing Pinterest, getting inspired by minimalism and wardrobe capsules, and now I’m like, “Hey, I could/should do that!”  And so I go to Charlotte Russe to buy clothes. Because who doesn’t need a good arsenal of clothes in order to start a capsule?!

Here’s the truth:  I don’t actually want a REAL capsule.  And I’m not a minimalist.  But I’m inspired by the idea of having clothes that I love, that fit me well, that are beautiful, and that make me happy to wear.  And that aren’t completely OVERSHADOWED by drawers and drawers of clothes that I don’t like at all and never ever wear.  The little issue is that I hate getting rid of clothes, even said drawers of clothes that I’ll never wear.  It’s just so hard to say goodbye to a shirt I might need ONE DAY.  Honestly, I have to think of giving the shirt away as an act of charity in order to part with it.  Otherwise it will sit in my dresser FOREVER.

Solution to all these problems: the Faux Fashion Capsule.  Let me explain, since I made that concept up.  It’s truly a capsule because you have a limited selection of clothing in your drawer, each piece being multifunctional, good-fitting, beautiful, quality, and a top-favorite.  But here is where the faux-part comes in.  All the other pieces of clothing get bagged up and set aside for the next season.  Obvi don’t pack up things that are dated, misfitting, not “your color” etc.  (Donate those)  The point is to bag up those “options” that you are having a hard time getting rid of, but don’t want to keep in your daily closet.  Knowing that you have this back-up bag of options can make you (read: ME) feel more comfortable about downsizing your wardrobe.   And you can always pull them out when the seasons change and you’re looking for a way to mix-up your wardrobe.

The big bonus here?  If you can’t actually remember what’s in the bag of “options” after a month or two, or haven’t missed them once, go ahead and just donate the bag to charity because OBVIOUSLY you truly are ready for a real capsule wardrobe and more importantly, someone else would love to wear what you don’t want!  Basically, think of the faux capsule as a graduation program– it works you up to getting a real capsule!

Here is the million dollar question.  Will I have the willpower to accomplish this?  I HOPE SO.  KEEP ME MOTIVATED.

 

The Secret is in the Shoes

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I was talking with my sister on the phone today and we got on the topic of fashion, what our personal styles are, and when it’s a good idea to branch out.  I told her about how I didn’t want to get into “fashion rut” and how pregnancy had been an eye-opening experience for me.  Even though I was pretty small my entire pregnancy, and never wore maternity clothes, I adjusted my style to suit my new body.  To my surprise, the change of pace was welcome to my wardrobe.  I told her that I had learned to step-out a little bit and try new things, so that I could always have a fresh “edge” to my style.  And then she said the truest thing: that the secret is really in the shoes.

Don’t get me wrong–adding a new piece of jewelry to your collection, or mastering a new hairstyle can work wonders to change up your look.  And we all know how refreshing it is to add a few new shirts into our fashion rotation.  But, a tell-tale sign of a fashion-rut is the shoes.

An old pair of shoes completely detracts from your entire look.  So does an unseasonable pair of slip-ons. Just think about the power of shoes for a moment.   A set of heels can take a pair of jeans from day to night.  A pair of flats can put a short skirt in check and make it modest.  Flip flops look completely different with shorts than heels do.  Even if you don’t consider yourself a “shoe person” (which I’m NOT) deep down inside, you know it actually counts for a lot.

SO, don’t let yourself get caught wearing 2 or 3 year old shoes with an outfit the same age.

If you are wearing that gorgeous lace skirt you bought a while ago, that’s perfectly fine and beautiful.  But pair it with a set of shoes you got more recently.  It’s not that you can’t wear older shoes–but your shoes and clothes should never be the same age.  A broken-in pair of shoes makes a broken-in outfit look worn-out as a whole.  Either the clothes or the shoes have to be new in order for your look to remain fresh.

And seasons matter too.  I learned this when working in a fashion boutique.  My boss mandated (like, basically half-way thru September) that we were no longer allowed to wear strappy sandals.  I thought it was a petty demand.  Boots were no fun to wear at work, and strappy sandals looked better with the skirts I was wearing.  But, in hindsight, she had a point.  If we were supposed to be cutting-edge fashion associates, we couldn’t be sporting sandals in late September, no matter how hot it was.  There were flats, boots, and heels that had a much more fall-look to them.   And the vibe of sandals honestly threw-off our fall styles.

I promise I’m not a shoe snob.  I’m not one of those people who drops hundreds of dollars on name-brand shoes.  In fact, I don’t even like shoes!  I wear flip-flops as often as possible, because they give my feet the least amount of “shoe” that I can find in my closet.  And in college, I was famous for wearing slippers, despite our professional dress code.  (And yes, I got dress-coded for it, haha).  At one point, I believe I owned 36 pairs of slippers.  Obsession is a real thing.  I even wore tiny bridal slippers as my wedding shoes on our special day.  So yes, no shoe snobbery here.

But I wanted to share my sister’s words of wisdom today…because sitting back, I realized just how right she was.  Shoes really can make or break a look.  They can completely stamp a date on your outfit.  And they can destroy the season of your style if you’re not careful.

Moral of the story: if the shoe fits, buy it in every color it comes in. 🙂  That’s not a summary of this post, it’s just my parting words of wisdom.  Now the real question is: (comment below) when is it time to officially retire a pair of shoes?