July 23, 2014

laundry + my capsule wardrobe

I’ve chatted up the benefits to living with a capsule wardrobe, like finding my style + having more time + having more money + finding more contentment.

But let’s have some #realtalk about the whole “more time” thing. How does this really break down? Specifically with laundry.

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I hope you’ll keep in mind that the info I’m sharing is specific to my opinions + lifestyle, so not everything I say here may work for you. But I have faith that you’ll take the information presented and apply some of it to your own wardrobe in a new and creative way.

To understand my laundry habits, it might help to understand my lifestyle: I’m a photographer + a blogger + a small business coach. I work from home, and most of my daily outings are for client meetings + creative meet ups + photo shoots + regular life errands + dates with my husband. We live in a small one bedroom apartment, we don’t own a ton of stuff, and we don’t have kids.

When I took the plunge into this whole capsule wardrobe lifestyle, I was a little concerned about doing laundry. Would I have to do laundry a lot more so as not to run out of things to wear? Would my clothes wear out faster?

Now that I’m about 7 months in, I’ve got my answers.

Q: Will my clothes wear out faster?

A: My clothes actually haven’t worn out faster since having less in my closet.

Say what, now!?

Here’s the deal: Even when I had more in my closet, I was reaching for the same pieces over and over again anyway + rewashing those a billion times each. Makes sense, huh? It was a lightbulb moment for me.

But beyond that, I still put a lot of thought into making my clothes last. For example, If I’m going to be outside or sweating, I plan to wear my sturdier clothes that can handle lots of washings. Like my chambray shirt. I’ve had that thing for 2 years, wearing it multiple times a week, and it hasn’t worn out yet.

Speaking of tough clothes, I never buy anything that’s dry clean only + I stay away from clothes that I can’t just throw in the washer and dryer. I buy certain pieces a tiny bit too big because I know they’ll shrink down.

I only wash my clothes when they really need it. If I didn’t get sweaty in it and it smells and looks clean — no reason to wash it. I’ve been known to wear things 3-4 times before washing depending on what I did that day, of course. To some of you that will be cool. To some of you that will be gross. I’m okay with that. :)

When I’m at home, I wear workout clothes or lounge clothes (fancy name for PJs) so as not to wear out my capsule wardrobe prematurely. They aren’t included in my 37 piece capsule wardrobe, but I still apply the concept to them too. I have about 12 pieces in what you could call my lounge/workout capsule wardrobe — 6 tops (mostly cute, cheap tees like this) and 6 bottoms (half yoga pants, half running shorts).

Sidenote: I avoid buying running shorts with briefs built into them. That way I don’t have to wash them after each wear.

And finally, I wash everything on delicate and use very gentle, natural soaps.

 

Q: Will I have to spend more time on laundry, so I don’t run out of things to wear?

While I haven’t compared the actual minutes and seconds of doing laundry pre-capsule and post-capsule, it feels like I spend less time now. And I’ve definitely noticed a big difference in my attitude about laundry.

Here’s what I mean. Before dressing with less, I’d let my laundry pile up to the point where I needed to set aside a whole day to do it. By that point, it was a huge annoying chore that I dreaded facing.

Now, I usually do a quick, small load of laundry once a week. There’s no piling up to the point to dread — because if I let it pile up that much, I wouldn’t have anything to wear. And because I’m doing smaller loads, there’s only about 2-3 minutes worth of folding + putting away to do. The whole task feels so much lighter. It doesn’t feel like a hassle — it just feels like a no-big-deal habit that feels good to do, like washing my face before bed.

(And we aren’t really talking about towels, but I’ll go there for a second. We have a total of 5 bathroom towels in our house — two for me, two for my hubby, and one for the occasional guest. My two towels get washed with my clothes — they aren’t separate loads.)

So there you have it. I’d love to hear any other tips you may have on doing laundry with less — sound off in the comments section!

P.S. If you have kids, here are some helpful articles on kids + laundry + living with less: 1 / 2 / 3

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July 22, 2014

boyfriend jeans + tank + ball cap

Capsule #3 / Outfit 17

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Let’s chat about the styling choices with this outfit. Because the actual clothes I’m wearing could be considered sloppy — ripped jeans, ball cap, plain grey tank. But the outfit doesn’t look sloppy.

Why?

Because my hair, makeup, necklace, and bracelets finish it off in a thoughtful, feminine way. If I was wearing scrubby hair + no makeup + no accessories, this outfit would read like I’d just finished cleaning the garage. Which, okay, might impress my husband for a minute. :)

But by choosing these few strategic styling choices — that aren’t even articles of clothing — the outfit is elevated to street-style effortless.

So, when you pick an outfit in the morning, try to see the whole picture in your mind first — clothes, yes, but also hair, makeup, and accessories. I’m learning that the key to an effortless look is keeping your look part fancy and part unfancy. 

Here’s my rule of thumb:

-If you’re grabbing fancier pieces, try wearing your hair natural (like spraying it with sea salt + letting it dry naturally) + wearing minimal makeup + keeping your accessories to one or none.

-If you’re grabbing casual pieces, try putting a little more love into fixing your hair (like curling it with a wand — this one from Target works well) + wearing little extra eyeliner + wearing a necklace that’s just a tiny bit nicer.

What do you think? Do you have any tips to get the right balance of fancy + unfancy in an outfit? I’d love to hear your thoughts! (And I’m sure everyone else would love to hear it, too!)

Top: Madewell

Bottoms: Gap

Shoes: J.Crew

Bag: Hobo

Necklace: Anthropologie

Bracelets: Madewell

Cap: 47 Brand

July 21, 2014

maxi dress + beaded belt

Capsule #3 / Outfit 16

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I’ve never been a beaded belt type of girl, but when I found this one on sale at Anthro, I decided to try it. Turns out, beaded belts are awesome — especially for capsule wardrobe-ers. They take basic dresses to new levels of fanciness.

To me, the shoes still keep this outfit on the casual side. In fact in the name of total honesty, I have to say, looking at the outfit now, I feel like those shoes maybe weren’t the right choice for this outfit, since I was trying to go for a dressier look. If I had it to redo, I’d probably go for a pair like these – but not that actual pair because they’re not a style I want to splurge on. Oh wait! Here, I found pretty much the exact shoe for $35. Now I’d definitely buy those!

So there you have it. A good outfit that would have been great had I bought those shoes. Oh well. Live and learn. :)

Dress: old from Forever21 (similar)

Belt: old from Anthropologie (similar)

Bag: Marc Jacobs

Shoes: J.Crew

July 19, 2014

tank + jeans + gladiator sandals

Capsule #3 / Outfit 15

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Hey Saturday, come over here and meet your perfect outfit. Racerback tank + skinny jeans + flat sandals that have a little party going on.

What are you doing this weekend? My parents are coming to visit us, so we’ll be spending the weekend eating at fun places + sticking our feet in the pool + catching up over coffee. That’s what my mom and I always do — coffee. It’s our ritual. :)

Top: American Eagle

Necklace: Madewell

Bottoms: Gap

Bag: ONA

Shoes: Madewell

July 18, 2014

white dress + chambray + birkenstocks

Capsule #3 / Outfit 14

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It’s Friday and you know what that means — #unfancyfriday! I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it is + why I started it. Basically, I thought it’d be really cool to have a style lookbook from all kinds of different people + all kinds of different lifestyles. I’d love it if you’d join in today on Instagram, snap a selfie of your outfit today, and tag it #unfancyfriday.

Have you seen Colbie Caillat’s new video Try yet? I have to be honest: I shed a happy tear at the end. Maybe it’s just because I was having an insecure day (oh hey, cellulite). But … as a person who has had her fair share of insecure days (and as a person who is fiercely protective of her sisters + lady friends + little nieces) I was glad that someone was out there saying this.

There’s been a decent amount of debate over the video, but I think the heart of it is right on: it’s not so much about whether or not we’re wearing makeup, it’s about our motivation behind it. Are we doing it because we enjoy it? Or are we doing it to find validation + love from others? Are we looking at it as an opportunity to express ourselves, to be creative, to play? Or is it an attempt to hide ourselves behind an image?

Makeup or no makeup, that’s up to you. I believe the most important thing is that you take good care of you + that heart of yours first.

Shirt: J.Crew

Dress: old from Banana Republic (similar)

Shoes: Topshop

Bag: Marc Jacobs