Things are shifting this year, as I find my style + confidence. More and more, the foundation of my style comes from a source inside — my life, my likes + dislikes, my overall mood. And then, when I need a little bit more inspiration, I hit up Pinterest.
I look at Pinterest differently now.
My eyes are sharp for outfits that use pieces similar to what I have hanging in my closet, and blind to pretty much every other outfit. It’s cool. Instead of seeing lack, I’m more focused on seeing outfits I can interpret in my own way.
I found this pin, and immediately got excited, thinking, “I can do that with what I have!”
It didn’t used to be that way.
Pinterest used to awaken the jealousy monster in me. All I ever saw on Pinterest was my lack.
But now I see possibility.
Pinterest didn’t change. It still has it’s fair share of stuff that can make me feel jealous + less than. But I’m trying to change my attitude and just breeze past it. Like Amy Poehler says in her book Yes Please — “Good for her! Not for me. That is the motto women should constantly repeat over and over again. Good for her! Not for me.”
The idea that we can change things by simply changing our attitude — it still freaks me out a little. We don’t have to wait for Pinterest to change. We can change things right this second.
Not that it’s easy, damn it. It’s another idea — like how the process of simplifying is actually complex — that feels like it should be easy and it’s not. But it’s worth it. It’s freedom.
Anyway. One day at a time. We’re in it together. #fistbump
(And if you want a really awesome book on the subject of changing your mind, check out The Art of Possibility by Benjamin Zander. Changed my life.)
Sweater: Anthropologie (similar)
Leggings: Urban Outfitters
Purse: Marc Jacobs
Shoes: Dolce Vita
This was a great post. I love your blog and your honest and refreshing approach to fashion and living. I attempted my first capsule wardrobe in the fall with less success than I’d hoped. But I haven’t given up! So, now I’m trying to plan my winter capsule. Can you explain how you differentiate between your fall and winter capsules? You mentioned that a lot of pieces would crossover, but how are you making it so that those crossover items also feel different enough so that you’re not just repeating outfits from fall? I welcome any suggestions you have! Keep doing what you’re doing, because it’s awesome :)
Tania [girlwithanakita] says
Hi Julia! I am not Caroline, obviously, but I thought I’d reach out :)
I different between Fall and Winter with layers. In the Fall, I can go out in leather jackets, shawls, cardigans, booties, etc. In the Winter, I need thick sweaters, tall riding boots, and a coat. Naturally, there will be a lot of crossover because both seasons require layers, but Winter just needs a little more girth. Oftentimes, I just end up creating a larger capsule to encompass both seasons.
Tania [girlwithanakita] says
Tricia B says
Great ideas, Tania! I’ve had the same question and hadn’t thought about the layering aspect. The outfits will look different just because there are more layers. Plus the outerwear will change, like you said. Light jacket, cardigans, booties and flats in the fall; warmer coat, tall boots, and more scarves/gloves/hats in the winter. Unless you live somewhere that doesn’t get that cold. But you could still change up the accessories to help your outfits look different, even if the core components stay the same.
Hi Julia! So I’m really excited to share more on this when I post my winter capsule, but I was surprised + delighted to find just how BIG a difference a few updated pieces makes. I think it’ll make more sense when I post my winter capsule. And just so you know, my first capsule wardrobe was a total flop too — you’re not alone. It gets easier as you go along. :) xo Caroline
Tania [girlwithanakita] says
I’m currently spending half of autumn in this rendition. Thick legging/pants + chunky sweaters :)
Pinterest is a great resource for seeing what you already have in new ways. As I was doing the closet rotation into cold weather, I did a search for a couple of items that I loved and hadn’t worn much–like “cream skinny pants” “grey open cardigan” and put the word outfit after it. Pages and pages of fresh ideas!
I do that too, Jori! Or if I’m thinking about buying a new item that’s a little out of my comfort zone (like red skinny jeans), I’ll search for it in Pinterest and see if I already have items of clothing similar to the ones I see other people pairing with said out-of-comfort-zone item and if I actually LIKE the way it looks in various combinations. It helps me make smarter choices.
I love this idea, Jori! I hadn’t thought about searching Pinterest with what I already had in my closet.
I was so happy to read Caroline’s new perspective on Pinterest, it’s brilliant! I actually had been avoiding Pinterest for a while (in order to starve my consumer mentality) but I just took a peek at my “personal style” board and realized I could recreate a lot of those outfits with what I already have (obviously with some modifications). Jori your idea above is also genius! I’ve never left a comment here before but I just had to give you all kudos!
lisa valinsky says
I’m so with you! I used to look at pins and think, “Man, I’m just so boring. They do photography, blogging, food styling, etc so much better than me.” And on and on.
But now I look at it as inspirational, for new ideas and with fresh eyes, which keeps me positive, and is way more fun.
Michelle G says
My favorite thing about your blog? You and I have completely different style- but you make me want to hone and own mine even more! Thanks for your words!
Yay, Michelle! Thanks for your kind words! :) xo Caroline
Lana Lou says
I love this whole idea! I feel the same. My job forced Pinterest in my face like a firehose, and suddenly I became numb to the wanting. For the first time in my life, I really don’t want much at all. My husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and the only thing I could come up with was a dress form or a Barnes & Noble gift card. I used to have crazy long lists of stuff I wanted so much I felt like I needed it. It’s amazing to realize how much we have instead of lack. Thanks for writing this. I love your blog by the way. Your outfits are so simple and classy. It’s inspired me to throw out a ton of stuff that was taking up space that I didn’t wear. I’m still not down to 37 pieces in my closet. (I have a clothes hoarding problem.) but I’ve already taken it down a bunch! Now everytime I’m in the closet I think of more to get rid of, more that I just don’t NEED. It’s liberating!
Exactly what Pinterest has become for me too. Your blog inspired me to purge my closet and only keep what I love. Pinterest has helped me “shop” my closet and put together outfits that I would never have come up with on my own.
Guess what? I like YOUR outfit better! I rarely look at outfits on Pinterest for exactly the reasons stated above. I do use it mainly for recipes, hair & makeup tutorials, cool photography & gardening tips. Love your blog!
Julia Bodroghy-West says
You actually look way better than the pin that inspired you! Your comments were really interesting and made me realise that I’ve been doing exactly the same as you with Pinterest. My fashion board is subsequently a sea of black, grey and beige but it does inspire me to pull an outfit together in the morning rather than rush out to buy an equivalent.
I know what you mean! I found this pin, and I fell in love: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/45036064994379114/ Now, the thing about it is that NONE of this is my style (unless you count things like outdoorsy and comfortable). I don’t have a single item that looks like hers. But I loved it. The more I looked, the more I realized that what I loved was the color combination. So I made my own mustard, red, and navy blue outfit that was completely “me” from clothes I already had! It’s so liberating.
Kate D says
I’m easing into my first capsule wardrobe season (thanks to you and this blog!), and I’m having trouble finding a good way to use Pinterest for inspiration. I’m not super familiar into Pinterest, though I’ve been dipping my toe in it for a while, and I can’t figure out a good way to search outfits. How do you do it? Is it mostly searching with the word “outfit” and keywords, or do you follow certain people that always post great outfits?
Do you (or anybody else!) have a specific way of finding great outfits in your style on Pinterest?
Tricia B says
If there is a blogger that has a style you love, you can follow them on pinterest and poach all their pins. :) But if you’re looking for inspiration on how to style a specific piece, you can search “leather leggings outfit,” for example. Also, whenever you add a pin, on the side it’ll show someone else who has pinned it. Sometimes I check out those boards and if the pinner has a style I like I’ll follow her board too.
I’m the same way when browsing Pinterest. It really helps to keep an eye out for things you already have, and it’s so fun to find pins that show you how to wear something you already own in a way you never thought about. :)
Yours looks cuter – edgy leggings, unique chunky sweater. Love it!
I’m curious about your shoes. Why did you go with the DV shoes over something less expensive that looks (to my eyes) almost exactly the same? I feel like I’ve seen almost every brand do some kind of version of that shoe.
I hope I don’t sound accusatory, I’m really just curious.
Hi AnnMarie! Totally hear where you’re coming from. :) I found them at DSW for $50 and I loved the suede fabric (instead of canvas) and the slimmer profile (they were less chunky than most versions I’d found). To top it off, I had a coupon to use there, so I was able to get them for less. Hope this helps! xo Caroline
Okay, now I’m just jealous that you even have a DSW. Thanks for getting back to me, I can’t believe I didn’t even think about places like DSW! And I guess I can’t say too much when I’ve got some Coach tennis shoes hanging out in my closet ($15 on clearance at TJ Max!).
Hillary @ Journal de Jalune says
I love everything about this post – from the outfit to the quote “Good for her! Not for me. ” – what a great mantra! That book is also now on my wishlist!
I recently found your blog through Pinterest and one of the things that initially drew me in was how many outfits you’ve styled with pieces similar to ones I own! It’s definitely got its uses but keeping the right mindset can be tricky. Like you said, we’re in it together!
When it comes to other women being fabulous I always say to myself “She is AWESOME, I want to be her friend!!!!” next I actually walk-up and say it to her and we usually become friends. I don’t know maybe b/c I am a strong feminist, I love women who are amazing and love to band up with them. I love having female mentors and icons they lift me up and help me be a better person. I love the male population no doubt, nothing against men quite the contrary but I love findging women that inspire and follow them. Just a few off the top of my head, In the fashion world, Carinne Roitfeld, she is a goddess, the classiest , dareing “est” (ha, ha, not a word) , coolest most successful Fashion Editor , Mom and human, tres chic, ; Daphne Guiness, need I say more, she has one of the most incredible wardrobes and devil may care attitude to wear them, (and the money for sure, but still, I believe even if she didn’t have a penny, she would still manage to be awesome. Entrepreneurs: Martha Stewart, how she’s made it to the top, lost so much and managed to rebuild is a huge inspiration to me, I read her biography and was incredibly impressed at how much hard work it took for her to reach her achievements… There are hundredes and thousands more of amazing women, and I feel they help me by being amazing because they insprire me everyday to reach my goals.
THIS is so awesome + healthy + what I aspire to. Thank you for sharing, Ines. High fives! :) xo Caroline
And to finish the thought. When I see a woman looking amazIng on Pinterest, I never think lack, all I think, is “WOW, what she did is so cool!” and use it to inspire me to do something cool.
hey caroline! i tried to look around your blog for a private message but i couldn’t find one! anyways, i wrote a kudos to you on a page on my blog and i’d really like to fully dedicate the page to you. if you wouldn’t mind giving me your blessing to use your “about” photo with the quote on that page to snazz it up, i’d really appreciate it! the url is http://www.joanofalltrades.com and i wrote a blip about the amazingness of your concept so you can get an idea of what context the photo would be used in. if you’re uncomfortable with it, say the word and i can live without the photo ;-).
LOVE what you’re doing here! keep it up!
Hi Joan! Go for it — I don’t mind one bit if you use the photo. And you can find my email address on my about page, for future reference. :) xo Caroline
I’ve been following you for a bit now, but this post has pushed me to comment. My husband and I had a baby 6 months ago and I really found myself struggling to dress my current body. I was just angrily looking into my closet at everything I still couldn’t wear and turning green with jealousy when browsing Pinterest. Then, I found your blog and it’s really changed my perspective. I haven’t had the guts to try a total capsule wardrobe yet, since my body is still in transition, but I’ve applied the concept when I dress myself. Now, I feel more stylish because I’m figuring out how to mix up what is working currently, instead of just buying something new because I feel like I should. So, thank you for what you do here – I love checking in everyday and am looking forward to your winter capsule!
Hi Erica! Thanks for your encouraging words — I appreciate them so much. :) So excited for you! xo Caroline
Hi there. I have been shamelessly trolling your blog for days now. I can’t get enough! Thank you for taking the time to do all of this and show us how to do it too. I came up against the work v/s casual clothes dilemma that you reference in your FAQ. Making two separate capsules kind of stresses me out because the more I have in there, the harder it is for me to get dressed so I am figuring out how I can deal. Perhaps a larger than 37 item but less than 74 item capsule that houses options for both scenarios will do the trick. keep doing what you’re doing – you’re fantastic!
Hi Carol! Thanks for your kind words! That sound like it would work well — let us know how it goes. :) xo Caroline
Yep, you can change your world by changing your attitude. Thoughts are very powerful and create your world. Be very aware- what you think about you bring about. So vert blessed to be getting an understanding of this concept right now.
Hi Tammy! Agree! I feel like I learn more about this every day and it’s such a blessing. :) xo Caroline
great post! I look forward to exploring your blog! Glad I found you in my search for minimalist fashion:)
Please come visit my blog, I strive towards complicated simplicity too.
Earlier this year when I was working on really pinning down what my core style is, I went through all of my Pinterest boards and started to weed out tons and tons of pins. Pins that just no longer spoke to me, that I realized were things I didn’t want or need, or were just generally cluttering up my digital life much in the same way that clothes can clutter up our real life closets and keep us from wearing the things we really love and are most comfortable with. It was a tedious sort of thing, but I think I achieved something similar to what you are finding, clarity and inspiration instead of clutter and jealousy. *high five*
Hmmm, this firstly has me thinking there might be a generation gap with the idea of inspiration behind one’s style. Wondering if any other mid 40’s or older feel Pinterest has influenced how they want to look. Also wondering if individual style has suffered with the influx of media.
I think the more you become aware of your own style preferences, the less you’re likely to sweat it about “the others”. I use pinterest a lot too, but since I found your blog, that has been my best source of inspiriation!
I love your thoughts on changing our attitudes. It so true and makes such a difference – even with the smallest of things. I use your blog as a great source of style inspiration – keep doing what you do!
i love all your reminders to be positive and affirming to others… especially when they are not doing exactly what i’m doing. good stuff! i read the art of possibility after hearing your podcast. love it! i listened to some of it and read the rest- the authors read it and i can just hear their voices in my head. yay- the library had both audio and book.
Thank you for your book recommendations. You inspire me, and it’s wonderful to get some sources of what inspires you! I’m about halfway through The Art of Possibility – It’s already changing my life. Thank you for that wonderful, unexpected gift.