Living in a small town has it’s perks.
No wait for a table.
You might be a bit surprised to see that last one on the list.
When we first decided to move to Abilene, I was kind of bummed that there was no Madewell, no Nordstrom — none of my usual stores.
But … it turned out to be a gift.
See, while I was living in Austin and doing the capsule thing, I was consciously challenging myself to only shop once every three months. That really helped change my habits, but there were days I still had the desire to shop — especially on a hard day or a day that I was feeling insecure.
I mean, all my favorite stores were right there.
That little boost of instant gratification was tempting.
Sometimes it took a lot of mental energy to resist. Because, I mean, I just want to see what’s new, okay?!
But now, since I no longer have a Madewell right outside my door, I don’t have to spend any energy resisting the temptation.
That energy is freed up for better things.
Like building new friendships. Going on little adventures with my husband. Investing in my relationship with my parents. Learning more about slow fashion + creating a clear vision for Unfancy (more on those later). And generally just being present and practicing more gratitude.
I thought it would be a drawback … but it turned out to be a gift.
Is there anything like that in your life right now? Share away — those unexpected gifts are worth celebrating.
Top: Anthro / similar with short sleeves* / similar*
Belt: Madewell / similar in natural tan*
Shoes: Sam Edelman (old) / similar*
Hat: Madewell (old) / similar
a note about links: I’m excited to start sharing my move towards a conscious closet with you more and more. It’s a gradual process — I’ll share my full story and develop a better system of communicating what’s what as I go, but for now, links with a star are better choices (either made in the USA and/or from a transparent company).
Great post, thanks for coming back with such reality about your life. I have a different weakness to overcome…having lived most of my adult life in europe and moving there and back on short notice, with a family, I would binge-shop at Nordstroms and Target and such before a move. I developed kind of a security blanket of being back-stocked with size 10 shoes and chocolate chips and english language books…none of which is necessary in my new life in Arizona. Still a hard habit to break. Luckily the nearest Nordstrom and Madewell are a two hour drive away!
I love your shoes ! *-*
I love that you’ve been thinking about sustainability and where clothes come from! I love the addition of “better choices” in your clothing links. Very thought-full :^)
I work in downtown Boston, right in the center of the shopping district and a quick walk to Newbury Street. It’s been a real test to my self-control! In nice weather I can take a lunchtime walk in the park instead, but when the weather is cold (and we have looooooong winters in New England) it’s so easy to go for a lunchtime stroll… through the stores. I’m working on finding lunchtime alternatives… like joining a nearby gym!
I also work downtown! Started strolling the commons. Read a book or mastering my photography. (I haven’t yet but I feel cool doing it!) :P
I like to go to the gym during my lunch in the winter. I don’t really think of it as my workout, because I don’t really like to get sweaty and then have to shower and rush back to my desk. But I like to take even 30 minutes to just walk on the treadmill and listen to music or stretch. It’s a nice mental break from work and something to do that isn’t shopping! It also physically wakes me up where reading tends to make me sleepy.
Nice! What you said just resonates in many ways. I think of an older neighbour who was dreading living in a senior’s place but ended up just loving it- more social contact. I think it’s very true that if we have an open mind we may just be pleasantly surprised. As to wardrobe, I’m finding less is more. I am so happy to have at least moved out any ‘out of season’ stuff from my bedroom. Haha I had a mini crisis when you were away, but I’m finding I have the tools and confidence to do it.
Ina f. says
Hi Caroline! Great post! I love your blog! I completely agree with your ideas on ACCESS. My husband and I did not have a cell phone for a very long time and it was by CHOICE. We loved being unplugged and finding creative, alternative solutions to solve the problems that make technology convenient. For example, when we are lost, we would do the good ol’ fashioned thing and walk into a gas station to ask for directions. We also needed to be punctual and say what we meant when we told someone we were meeting them at 4PM! By not having technology, we looked at each other and had conversations during dinner. We read books. We went for walks. Our screen time was more intentional instead of out of awkwardness in public or boredom.
I also think it’s great that you don’t have the option to walk into a store and try things on, which would make me reluctant to blindly purchase something online.
Keep your wonderful posts coming!
I am absolutely in love with this idea! For a while now I’ve been thinking about cutting the data on my cell phone plan to about one fourth, so I’ll quit the mindless Internet Surfing for Entertainment. I don’t want my future children to see their mother glued to her cell phone.
May I ask what changed your mind on the cell phone matter?
I moved back to my hometown 5 years ago and couldn’t agree with you more. One of the greatest ‘pros’ of the experience has been building a relationship with my parents as an adult. It’s something I’m thankful for daily. There are other benefits too … we routinely find ourselves out on small adventures and enjoy discovering local shops and restaurants. As for the shopping, it’s so good for the budget when you can’t just pop into your favourite stores.
Lana @ The Joy Blog says
We both quit our highly exhausting corporate jobs to try to find something more peaceful and meaningful. I work in another office now but I sought out a completely reversed atmosphere, easy going, respecting of my boundaries (i.e. I don’t have to be available by phone/text whenever they want me to.) And my husband is trying to build his own creative brand.
We are poor. As in, some months we don’t have quite enough money to cover everything and are draining our savings, but now we hardly ever buy anything at all. For Christmas we spent $20 each on each other. We cook most of our meals. We began to realize we were living with high salaries, but were spending all of our money. Now we live off only one salary, hardly buy anything and are happier than we’ve ever been!
Living off one salary is a great idea. My husband and I did that for the early married years. Banking my income and learning to live on less so no adjustment when we had kids and I stayed at home.
Sandra Olaguibel says
I don’t know why I thought you were moving to the West Coast… Seattle or something Ike that… I went to school in Abilene. Many memories are there. Lol… Still no shopping there. Yep, makes for fewer temptations alright.
Caroline did move to Seattle last April and then moved to Abilene at the end of the summer.
It’s so nice to have you back to blogging :)
I can totally understand. Though I live in a big city, I find it is easier if I simply stay away from the shopping areas.
Loved this post. I too have been trying to shop much less. Even though I live in Seattle and can easily access Nordstrom, I’m now being much more mindful of what I buy. I am trying to focus more on well made basics that I can use for years, and only shop once a season for things to update my accessories or replace things that are just too worn. I also try to make a list before I go and not impulse shop. Your blog has really influenced my choices, so thank you!
Laura Mitbrodt says
I totally agree, when I moved away from a big city i was way less tempted to shop since it was more of an effort to get to the stores.
Deborah Pechter-Goldstein says
What fabulous insight into your new world for you & for us. I am working on my soul and me in it’s entirety. I still love to shop but my vice is ordering on line. So now I often fill shopping carts & delete them, If I really need something well then I will buy it otherwise, it is like window shopping.
Chloe | Conscious by Chloe says
I feel like we’re totally on the same page.
I gradually cleared my bathroom shelves of chemical-full products, then started shopping in bulk, adopting a zero-waste lifestyle and now my wardrobe is starting to be more aligned with my values.
My latest blog post is a good example with an outfit composed of a vintage jacket, a San Francisco made t-shirt, US-made jeans, shoes made applying sustainable and responsible practices. Here’s the link should you want to read it: ttp://consciousbychloe.com/2016/03/03/worn-2-perfectly-imperfect/
PS: I can’t wait to see where Un-Fancy is going! I’m so glad you’re back to blogging regularly!
Thank you for sharing this, Caroline! There’s always a bright side to everything.
I live in a bigger city with stores all around me so right now I’m going through what you went through in Austin. But I’ve been able to work on self-control and shop waayy less and more mindfully all thanks to you! :)
I’d be curious to hear how you and others deal with the temptation of shopping online. For me that is more “dangerous” than being near a brick and mortar store because it is accessible all the time.
Hi Kate! For me, online shopping isn’t much of a temptation because I like to try things on first. And since shipping takes a few days, it doesn’t give me that instant gratification boost. I know I’m not much help here so I’d love it if others would chime in on this too. xo Caroline
Thanks for your perspective, Caroline. Online shopping is definitely a delayed form of gratification and in the long run more work with returns. It is such a temptation for me because I work on the computer all day and it sort of becomes my form of a break and a way to rest my mind rather than be so focused on work. I’ve been trying to curb the browsing and have had varying results (not looking at all to looking way too often, multiple times a day).
I’m also more of an online-shopper, but this little trick helped me a lot: I have two bookmark folders on my browser, one for autumn/winter clothes and one for spring/summer. Whenever I see something I want to buy online, I first save it in my bookmarks, so I don’t have the feeling of “losing” that item. When it is time to shop for my capsule, I check those bookmarks and figure out if I still like that stuff. I think till now I only really ordered like 2 or 3 items from this list.
What a fantastic idea! A big part of the temptation for me is the fear of losing the item by either not being able to find it again. Using Pinterest for this purpose could be a good resource, too. Thanks for the inspiration!
Molly A says
For me, it’s the shipping costs of online shopping. Also, I manage to convince myself that whatever item I see will be unlikely to fit. I only shop for clothes online on rare occasions. Books on the other hand…
Such a great post. I live in a small town and have never thought of it this way. I travel a lot and work online with people all around the country, but always wanted to move. Still, the peace I feel hear is probably what you are saying. Thanks for this great post!
Katie vanbuskirk says
I’m also so excited to see where this is going. I’ve started a 3-month shopping hiatus, which includes no online shopping/window shopping/browsing through fashion on Pinterest, and it’s created such a boost in my energy and happiness and vision for life.
I know that when I revisit shopping and my wardrobe, whether in 3, 6, or even 12 months, I will be only bringing in ethically sourced items. Thanks for sharing everything you learn!
Trish O says
I have a huge online shopping habit. I live in a town that does not have most of the stores I like, but online is there all the time. I like the idea of a 3 month hiatus. I think I will give it a try. You are wise to cut the window shopping online. That always gets me wishing for things and that turns into buying things. Here we go! Thanks for the idea.
Caroline, I love your blog and I am so glad you are back.
I love your blog & fashion! And very envious of your small-town life, I have to live in Los Angeles for work but we’re hoping to one day build a cabin-style house in one of the canyons to be more off-the-grid in the big city.
I love this post! We just moved from London to my partners home town in Derbyshire and similarly I feel less of the wanting to shop. I think living in a more relaxed place where people generally aren’t so interested in the latest ‘hot’ thing also helps. Saying that, I still work in London 3-4 days a week so temptation is still there!
Staci taYlor says
Everlane has a great option for the belt as well. It’s made in the US and similarly priced to the Madewell belt. Everlane is also a socially and Eco conscious company, and I think it would actually be right up your alley Caroline, style-wise! ?
Molly A says
I’ve seen the Everlane ads pop up in my facebook feed and wondered if they were legit or not. There’s so many places that just ship sweatshop stuff from overseas. It’s nice to hear from someone who has bought from them before.
Sara Siems says
Great post! I find that when I have the urge to shop (for things I don’t need) that it’s really a response to needing to feel in control when maybe I don’t. Similar to insecurity, I presume. I’ve found that instead of browsing online, I can put that 30 minutes into organizing a cabinet or kitchen shelves, de-cluttering and getting rid of things we no longer use or need. Strangely (or maybe not so), I get the same satisfaction for the “quick fix” in a MUCH more productive way! Keep it up, love the inspiration you bestow.
I love the idea of living more intentionally. I want to invest in classic, quality pieces. I have realized I need my wardrobe to reflect the realities of my life today-Hello sticky toddler hands! But I don’t want my fashion choices to negatively impact others.I really like a local designer in my city (Vancouver BC, Canada)who does eco friendly and fair trade fashion: check out Nicole Bridger!
MY HUSBAND and I are both super busy at work right now and working a lot of hours, which has its cons, definitely. but part of me loves that we only spend energy (outside of work) on the most vital things, and our spending really decreases. The majority of our energy goes to our daughter and close family. We buy groceries, gas, and necessary toiletries. We don’t have time for much else. It’s kind of nice. =)
I had a similar (and totally different!) realization over the past few months… you see, we’re having our first baby in a couple weeks and are living in a super expensive city in a 1-bedroom apartment. In the early months I longed to move to a bigger place, decorate a nursery, have our own backyard, etc.- until I started seeing the enormity of consumer culture surrounding babies/children and noticing how much money and time and energy my friends were spending towards the fulfillment of what I thought was “the dream”. As my husband and I started gathering things slowly and selectively on on Craigslist and through friend hand-me-downs, I realized that our smaller space is the exact thing that is going to prevent us from purchasing ALL THE THINGS RIGHT NOW, which is what the stores and catalogs would have you believe. We love our tiny, light-filled apartment, have great neighbors who didn’t even bat en eyelash when we announced the arrival of a new human noise-maker, and are close to a neighborhood we love as well as public transit. The shared backyard that wasn’t getting much use is getting an overhaul as we prepare to spend more time there, closets are being cleaned out, and we now have a new-found joy in making our space work for us. I can’t be happier that my kid will be born into this situation and my original “dream” wasn’t realized.
Hello Jessie, have you seen the 600sqft and a baby blog? You might find it interesting if you haven’t x
BeccA, I haven’t! Looking that up right now. Thank you so much for sharing.
Amy D says
Caroline, I loved this post! My family and I just moved from Philadelphia to Copenhagen. The entire process of sorting out my closet to what I absolutely needed to ship over here was frustrating and exhilarating all at the same time. A forced capsule, if you will. Now that we are here, the temptation to shop is huge, but I have no idea where to go, what stores are “me”, and online shopping is out due to shipping charges. But, I might be enjoying the shopping hiatus and am forcing myself to really focus on the ‘need’ not the ‘want’. Thank you as always for sharing!
I agree, living in a small town is great for your wallet! If you really want something, you have to buy it online, and are less likely to make an impulse purchase. Except on Etsy, for one-of-a-kind or vintage items that won’t be there tomorrow– that’s my weakness!
Alessia | handmadetoast.com says
Same thing happened to me moving back home after a few years in London (where shopping had become a routine/good excuse to roam with friends looking for the ultimate bargain at Topshop!)
Now that I live out in the sticks I rarely feel the urge to snatch the latest handbag or pumps..it is just not so urgent. Glad I’m not alone in this!
Thanks for the post
I’m seriously in love with your minimal closet. Your looks and your blog just screams “fresh”, and I love it. So glad you’re back!
i definitely don’t live in a small town (hello from los angeles) but we recently moved from north hollywood art’s district where we had bars, shops, cafe’s, movie theatres, and the subway to hollywood and downtown just a couple blocks from my front door, to van nuys. van nuys is more known for 50’s style bungalows and beige strip malls. no more walkable neighborhood and to be honest, i am pretty sad about it. but we now have a backyard, and a lot more space, so i’m trying to reframe my attitude and do more things at home. we never entertained much because of limited space, so we went out. now we’re becoming home bodies and welcoming friends to our patio! it’s pretty nice.
Caroline, I was wondering if you eliminated anything that was in your Spring capsule last year? For example, do you still own the distressed jeans?
1st time I came across your blog. While reading I realized that by shopping and cluttering my closet and house – I am avoiding better self care and dealing with the loss of several family members. I want to renew my life and be more intentional. Thank you for sharing and I am anxious to continue reading your blog.
I can’t say that I’m not shopping now as I’m planning for my trip to the states and iceland and I want to feel “equipped” and have reasonably nice things to take with me. One thing though is that I’m celebrating the quiet enjoyment of knitting. Ever since picking up the craft, I would rather spend more time on making things than to browse the endless selections of things to purchase on the WWW.
I love the mindset of finding joy where you thought you would find disappointment. I recently went for a promotion at work that I didn’t get, but was offered kind of a half step to develop the skills that would make me more competitive for the next opportunity. While there was disappointment initially when I got really honest with myself I realized that the position I was offered, while not as outwardly representative of “achievement”, is actually MORE in line with what I actually want. While I still get the opportunity to build leadership skills and influence I won’t have to travel for work as much and won’t have as much pressure. Ultimately this allows me to take steps towards the simplified, intentional, responsible life I am working towards that all started cleaning out my closet with unfancy!
ronel potgieter says
I’ve found that even though I love fashion, staying in a small town with almost no shops made me realise how superficial the world actually is….it made me appreciate people instead of things, because only the latter can really make you happy:)
I’ve never lived in a small town before! But looks like I should give it a try sometime in the future. x
Caroline! I’d love to know what some of your go-to pieces are that your able to wear under white tops like that button down while not letting it be too see through. I struggle with that!!
I am actually finding the same peace moving from a small town to a big city. Getting to shopping used to be a stop on my afternoon commute but now I live quite a ways away from any big stores. I find myself shopping more mindfully or turning to online options like Stitch Fix (which I adore). It takes a lot more effort to shop so I make sure it counts :)
Aliki F says
Great post and something I’m thinking about more often than not. I’ve recently started feeling overwhelmed by how many clothes I have in my closet and really feel I need to start sizing it down (big time)!
I can totally relate to this. My boyfriend and I recently moved to a small town, too…and the only shopping here is grocery shopping. I decided to just love what I have and wear my lovely clothes even if it’s just here, in this small town. It’s been so freeing. I can’t shop, so I don’t, and I enjoy what’s already here. Thanks for sharing <3
Agree with Alessia. London is a curse! So many temptations. I think it’s especially important if you live in a big city to define your goals and beliefs and then set your compass to due north and follow your path. It’s really easy to be distracted by pretty but ultimately useless things.
Thanks for the great post. I am on the same page as you. Two years ago I quit a highIy paid corporate job and moved with my family from a huge city with 13 mln people to a small village on the island in the Mediterranean. What a change! And one of them i stopped buying clothes. I used to work for a big luxury group, so you can imagine how much money was spent on clothes during business trips to Milano and Paris. Now I would only occasionally go to Lidl, which is 10 minutes drive from my place and buy seasonal minimum wardrobe. And it feels like such a relief. I started following you last year. The idea of having a capsule wardrobe was so much appealing to me. And the most interesting thing is that now I am actually much better dressed in terms of style and comfort than before. Because i only buy things that suit me, my lifestyle and my body type. No more stocks of trendy clothes that were Fashion, but not Me. I enjoy life so much more. I cook. I walk. I spend time with my daughter. Yes, money maybe a concern sometimes, but you know what: it turns out that there are so many people around that are ready to help. I sometimes compare it to my marketing experience: when i was in charge of big brand, i had to pay money for the advertising from glossies, which was given free of charge to me, when i worked for small brands with no budget. It turned out to be the same in life. Keep going with your fantastic blog!
That is an experience and inspiration for us
Love your bag! When I moved to Norway, I really miss fish&chips and english magazines for normal prizes. Here one costs about 10 pounds. It is crazy!
I’m finally doing the capsule thing ‘properly’ for a season, just to see what the difference is between ‘not have much in the way of excess’ and ‘I’m not going to buy anything for three months and make this set of clothes work’. I’m slowly realising minimalism doesn’t just happen it needs to be practiced by swapping lifeless activities and belongings in my life for those I love most. I look forward to your upcoming posts!
This is such a lovely post, Caroline. I just finished reading the comments, and something sara said really resonated with me. I’ve always liked to shop and have the latest looks in my closet… it’s been that way since junior high (I turn 41 this spring). Money has always been a control issue for me — my mom married a guy who was a bit of a money control freak when I was a teenager, so it didn’t provide a good foundation for my relationship with money. when I married my husband he helped me get rid of my credit card debt, but it really didn’t help solve my money issues. a few years ago we suffered a miscarriage, and the process ended up being rather drawn out (only to be followed by secondary infertility). It was a heartbreaking time, and that’s when my spending kind of went off the rails. I though I was buying things to make myself feel better (shoes, cardigans from Banana Republic, cashmere sweaters from J.Crew… the best kind of therapy, right?), but now I realize it had more to do with control. I could not control that miscarriage… I could not control the aftermath… I could not control the outcomes of the trying-to-conceive process. And so the spending increased, exceeding what I could pay off every month. And even after we finally did manage to get pregnant and carry a third pregnancy to term, that spending habit was pretty engrained.
I now have this credit card debt, and it just makes me feel awful. And I’m not even sure I love most of the clothes hanging in my closet. Change is hard, but I don’t want to do this anymore. My husband knows about the debt, and while he’s not happy about it, he’s helping me find ways to address it. But I know the source of the problem starts with me, so it’s time to work on that. This is a lovely little community, and I’m looking forward to being a part of it.
Laura r says
Wow this really touched me! I am a person who is fairly “good with money” so your post made me feel very sad. But it’s okay, you’re putting it out there and you’re dealing with it. Well done for that. Just remember that we are not possessed by our possessions, and we’re certainly not controlled by our bank accounts balances. It seems like you have a lovely husband. I hope you can get everything sorted.
I’ll keep you in my prayers. Best wishes from the UK!
Wow! Thanks for sharing! Spending can be such a hard habit to break. It’s SO socially acceptable, so it’s hard to be honest about.
Recognizing that there is work to do on the inside is a hard and huge step; congratulations for choosing a path of spiritual growth. After a long corporate career in the northeast that nearly burned me out, I am now living in the south. In an effort to better understand the southern culture, I decided to take a Bible class much to the surprise of many of my northern friends and am now blogging about it. It’s called The Outsider’s Guide and can be found at phyllismilot.com. Maybe there’s something in there that will resonate with you. Take care and be joyful. life is a journey!
I’ve happily read your blog for about a year now but I’ve never commented before. I just wanted to take a minute to let you know how excited I am to see the development of your clothing consumption philosophy. I have been making changes of my own, and I am psyched by the prospect of being able to read about your exploration of “slow fashion” and ethical buying options. You offer so much inspiration by way of your outfit combinations/templates and advice about capsule living, and I continue to love reading those posts, but I wanted to make sure you know how excited your readership is to see that you’re expanding your subject matter. Big thumbs up to the changes you are exploring on the blog here.
Hi Caroline! I’m excited to learn more socially conscious brands with you. I just finished my first year of capsule wardrobes, thanks to you. I tell everyone who will listen about how great it is. Glad to see you’re enjoying small town life. We just moved from Roswell to The Woodlands. It is definitely a mental battle to not pop into stores all the time here. Nice to see you relate. Take care!
Laura r says
And about temptations… Hello are we missing the biggest one of all here?! ONLINE SHOPPING. Simply. Go. Online. PayPal. Free delivery. This is the most challenging for me and my capsule. I constantly think I need more and I can easily buy it and have it delivered to my home. The urge to resist Asos is a pain. I try to read a book or watch a favourite tv show when I feel the need to click and buy!
I hear you! I live in Lubbock (shout out for West Texas!) and it’s such a TREAT to drive to Austin and visit the Domain. It saves my pocketbook and makes it so fun when I actually get to shop at Madewell and J Crew.
Great post! I now live in a small town and couldn’t agree with you more! Moving here from a big city really forced me to reevaluate my priorities and how I spend my time (and money!). When my husband and I do take day trips to nearby cities to shop or run errands, it’s a treat, and we’re much more intentional about what we buy.
Karin rambo says
Online shopping is what’s hard for me. It’s so easy to just hop onto a website. Though I will say that once I started pursuing ethical fashion, that pull has greatly diminished. It just doesn’t have the same hold on me anymore.
Karin | http://www.truncationblog.com
Hi, I was wondering if you could help with or create a capsule wardrobe for pj’s, I always find myself keeping old shirts or concert shirts to wear to bed, but now I have about 20! same with sweatpants and nighttime shorts!!! I’d rather not go out and buy pj sets and would rather use with what I got.
I’m so so so happy you’re back! I love the new site and everything you’re writing about now. Great news about your mom’s recovery too. Sending you all the best from London.
Caroline, how do you stop shopping online? I find that’s the biggest challenge for me. I can’t seem to break the habit and it’s hard because I have to be online so often for work and it’s just so easy to open a new browser tab and see what “good deals” I can find. Any tips?? I keep attempting a capsule wardrobe, but finicky as I am, can’t seem to actually see one through. Thanks! Love you blog, always leaves me very inspired :)
Where did you find a list of US based companies, and transparent companies? Also how would you define a ‘transparent company’? I’ve been trying to apply the capsule wardrobe concepts as well as becoming a more conscious consumer. I recently came upon this quick read article: http://www.theguardian.com/women-in-leadership/2015/apr/02/the-rise-of-the-conscious-consumer-why-businesses-need-to-open-up
My favorite quote from it states, “This is a growing tribe: a third of UK consumers claim to be very concerned about issues regarding the origin of products. A study from YouGov and the Global Poverty Project revealed that 74% of those surveyed would pay an extra 5% for their clothes if there was a guarantee workers were being paid fairly and working in safe conditions. If you’re thinking that 5% doesn’t sound like a lot, consider the fact that the fashion industry could take a staggering 125 million people out of poverty by adding only 1% of its profits to workers’ wages.”
Thanks for your feedback! Keep up the great work!
Hi Melody! I’ve been hunting for conscious brands for several months now so I’ve just been keeping a detailed list of companies I find + their responsible practices. I’m super excited to share that list with you all soon! As far as the word “transparent” goes, in this post I’m referring to Everlane’s business model (you can see more about it on their about page) since several of the pieces I’m linking to are from Everlane. For me personally, transparency needs to go a little deeper than their definition to include where + how materials are sourced. But again, I’m in the beginning stages of learning how to communicate all of this in a quick + helpful way — but I do have a clear plan to tackle it and I’m so excited about it. Also, I’m so glad you linked to such a powerful article — thank you! xo Caroline
I can’t wait to read your thoughts on slow fashion, as I’ve recently embarked on that same journey! I’ve been thinking so much more about where and who my clothes are made by, and it’s a struggle to find truly ethical fashion choices with clean supply chains. Looking forward to your post!
Rebecca loebe says
Enjoying the new posts. Thanks for sharing your perspective and creating a virtual gathering space for those with similar tastes. It takes bravery to put yourself in front of others.
I recently moved into a beautiful city apartment in the 5th floor – no elevator. Beforehand, i joked with my friends that the stairs would make me antisocial, avoiding anything that would force me to leave my apartment and ultimately go back up 10 flights of stairs. While that hasnt happened (i dont really notice the stairs anymore), i have noticed a pretty neat perk: everyone else ALSO needs a good 7 minutes to get upstairs. When my mom drops by unexpectedly , i have time to hide the worst of my mess and when the mailmen comes at 8 on a Saturday, im out of my towel and in some yoga pants by the time he makes it up.
Thanks for this. We moved to a small college town in Virginia a few years ago and I often find myself missing the plethora of shopping options we had in Phoenix. Truth be told, its probably better this way; less emotional shopping and time wasted at the mall. I’ll try to remind myself of this post the next time I’m in retail self-pity mode!
Hanna Baror-Padilla says
This is awesome, Caroline! I remember reading and commenting on your blog a while back when there were multiple opinions about fast fashion vs. ethical fashion. I’m glad to see that you are slowly changing your shopping habits to more responsible brands!
It’s definitely a transition at first, but becomes sooo easy once you understand your style (which you do) and how many great brands there are in the ethical fashion space. I was an ethical fashion blogger (blog.sotela.co) for about 2 years before deciding to launch my own responsibly made clothing brand. Every piece will span several traditional sizes to combat the nothing fits dilemma because we all have those days!
I have a ton of information about ethical fashion and eco-friendly fabrics on my blog if you’d like to check it out! xoxo
How do you resist online shopping? I also live in a small town but struggle wasting hours a week pursuing online. Thinking about unsubscribing from all the email blasts as a start…
What a great outfit, feels so “me” – your entire style does. Super happy that you’re back, and it was amazing to read about your mom’s recovery.
Can’t wait to see all of your plans for this space come to life!
Lots of love from Norway.
I totally get what you mean. I lived in the midwest for a few years and a lot of my major brands were missing from the local shopping areas. But unfortunately the internet happened, so….yea. ;D
xo, alice / T Y P E N U
Hannah hardy says
I can so relate to this. I’m from a little ole town in Texas, but moved to Dallas with my hubby when we got married. As much as we love the exciting big city, a piece of my heart will always draw near to a
small town life. There is an appreciation for simplicity in a entire different way. I’m so happy for y’all! That you are enjoying this new unexpected season and living in the moment with the people you love. Isn’t it funny, it’s in that place where our hearts seem to be most satisfyed.
I absolutely love your outfit! It’s so simple, classic and chic! I totally know what you mean about when you’re away from stores, it’s so much easier to resist temptation! I used to work on Michigan Avenue and it took all my self restraint not to go shopping every day during lunch!
I am also trying to be more conscious of where my clothes are made and trying to invest in slow fashion. I have found some great information on http://www.thegoodtrade.com. Actually I’m trying to be more conscious of everything we purchase as a family and move away from a disposable lifestyle. I also love http://www.trashisfortossers.com. So glad that you’re back and loving your blog!
I live in a small town in Alaska, south of Anchorage, we do have some shopping available but no large department stores. I am extremely grateful that those temptation don’t exist; it hard enough to avoid the locally owned boutiques.
I grew up in a medium-size town and I definitely appreciate it a lot more, now that I’m living and working in New York. When I go to bed at night, I wish I was in the suburbs haha.
I never really thought of having everything at your finger tips a con. That’s one of the biggest reasons why I don’t want to leave despite all the things I dislike about NY. However, now that you mention the perks, I’ve realized that there are much more meaningful things I could be pursuing if I had extra time and energy.
I really like your blog and is kind of an inspiration for me.
I don’t know why but at the beginning of 2016 I suddenly felt I had to do something about my overload wardrobe. Lots of nice things but unworn. I really felt uncomfortable with that.
More than the half of my clothes I sorted out – and I really felt great about that, still do. It was exhilarating (similar to the feeling that shopping gave me). Though I do not have the “classical 37 pieces” capsule wardrobe I really reduced to the max … and landed in the colors of my 20ies: mostly black, some white, denim blue and a pinch of camel and grey. Maybe that’s the reason why I feel refreshed.
Of course all I got is nice to have and somehow it is sad to give everything away. But it’s absolutely nonsense to keep the clothes unworn. Actually that frustrated me even more. To posess all these things has not make me happier or a better person. Posessing leads to overfilled cupboards. It’s just as simple as that.
So, I made a charity-birthday-party. I asked my friends not to bring any presents but to shop instead. The money was meant for refugee aid. It was such a wonderful and funny event. My goal was to achieve around 1.000 Euros (which is about 1.115 US Dollars) and guess what? On that evening I made about 850 Euros! The last remaining pieces I am selling at a second hand shop and I am pretty sure that most of it will be sold. I rounded up to 900 Euros and already donated the money.
I don’t know where this phase will lead me but I do have the feeling I am on the right track. And I do understand that living “more rural” (it’s not meant disrespectful) does have it’s advantages. What I did was to unsubscribe of all online shops ….
I am curious where this all will lead me.
Sending warmest regards from Berlin
That doesn’t sound bad at all. I am on sick leave for last month and it goes great with my exploring of my spending habits and my clothes shopping obsession. I can’t spend any money this month because I am at home, I can’t spend any money next month because I won’t have any. Half the job done by accident! Plus, it left with lot of time to go through my stuff and once and for all declutter (Konmari style).
The unpredectible joy of being sick. :)
Yes to slow fashion! I’m so thrilled to see you on board with this idea and look forward to hearing more of your thoughts on it.
I would say my family is living the slow life in the big city of Seattle in multiple ways. It truly is a gift. Learning to be, enjoy, and feel gratitude instead of yearning and living in the future or the “what if”s. So glad you’re back blogging!
My husband is the Navy and we moved to a base in Sicily. Now that we are here, we don’t have access to all of our favorite stores either (unless we want to pay shipping and the mail is ridiculously slow). Also it’s so easy for us to go through the drive thru or grab something quick on the go back in the states and we can’t do that here either. It gets frustrating sometimes when we haven’t meal planned but we are buying more fresh produce, cooking more and enjoying Sicilian cuisine.
Laura SImms says
We moved from Los Angeles to Nacogdoches, TX almost 4 years ago, and it made me realize how much time I spent just out looking. Ain’t no window shopping to do in Nac!
we too live in a small town. What town – village is more like it. Any place where you can spend money is a car drive away. we’re living in the outskirts of the capital which is not that bad, the suburbs have their charm and their share of ‘relaxed’. Not so fancy when the kids need their parents to double as taxi drivers any given day, but even like that, it’s ok. At least I love driving ;-) not anxious about it in any way.
My God, I would’ve loved having you a as a friend, a neighbor ;-) meeting for a cup of tea or coffee or just discussing garden plans ;-)
this is really timely for me! We just moved to a small(er) town, and the lack of shopping is hard to get used to. I got rid of a ton in our move, but I realize I need to get rid of more. I don’t have to keep things that don’t make me happy! I am hoping I can get down to 37 items and not shop till summer. thanks, caroline!
Love. Just spent the day yesterday at our local style encore store. Have you watched “The True Cost”? Great documentary on the effects of fast fashion. You might have mentioned it, but I’m trying to catch up on my posts!
After a career spent on the technology corridor in Philadelphia, I’m semi-retired in a town so small the only real shopping is the new Kohl’s. Being a happy minimalist I’ve whittled my wardrobe down to a capsule that fits into one carry-on bag so that I can travel easily. I just did a month long tour of the US via Amtrak, and took a side trip on an Alaska cruise–“formal wear” and all.
But I broke down and added a new blouse last week. Kohl’s sends me $10 coupons every month and the blouse was on sale for $7.99. It goes with a fancy thrift store cardigan I had found, to complete a more upscale look I wanted to add to my capsule. Usually I just get socks and underwear with the free coupons. This was a big moment for me to actually buy a garment.
The suburb I grew up in has that small town vibe, and since I have made the move closer to the city, I find myself shopping a lot more. Maybe moving back out to the suburbs is just what I need. Thanks for sharing!