It’s warming up in Texas and I couldn’t be happier!
I’m sure this comes as a surprise to no one, but dressing for warmer weather is my favorite.
So, you guessed it. This is my third and final uniform — or outfit recipe — that I’ve been reaching for lately:
Boxy crop top + high waisted jeans.
Now, this version is obviously for a warmer day. But I love uniforms because they give me an outfit foundation that works no matter the season.
For example, when it’s chillier, I could go for an oversized crop sweater + high waisted jeans + ankle booties.
Same foundation, different details.
Or when it’s warmer, I could do high waisted shorts + a boxy crop tank + sandals.
Same foundation, different details.
Are you a fan of dressing with uniforms?
Maybe it’s not your thing. That’s okay.
There are plenty of good things out there —making the bed, Crossfit, green smoothies, Whole 30, capsule wardrobes.
But just because something is good for other people, doesn’t mean you have to do it too.
If it doesn’t meet a need in your life, if it doesn’t jive with where you are right now, let yourself off the hook.
Don’t smother yourself with “shoulds”.
No matter how good it is, no matter how much your friends swear by it — you can let it go.
Spend that energy on the good thing that jives with you.
Are you letting go of a “should” today? Are you replacing it with a different good thing? I’d love to hear about it.
Top: Madewell (old) / similar* or similar in solid white*
Jacket: Zara (old) / similar*
Shoes: Madewell (old) / similar in black
Bag: Marc Jacobs
a note about links: I’m excited to start sharing my slow fashion journey 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).
With this outfit you are perfect equipped for the warmer days and I’m so in love with your denims that I want them, too!
xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
When you get older you’ll find that you are dealing more with the shouldn’t say… You shouldn’t wear that (to juvenile)’, you should wear your hair that way you shouldn’t get a tattoo! The list goes on and on! I’ll be 49 next month and now at his late stage in the game, I’ve learned to thumb my nose at the shouldnt’s. I absolutely dress for myself and do what I want to do, not what our society dictates for a middle-aged woman.
Oh, you can see what I mean for us over 40 gals at my web Etta wwwgracefulmiddleagin.com!
Tania // girlwithanakita says
I love this!
You are right. Just because something works for someone else, doesn’t mean it will work for you. I feel like this is where ‘shaming’ stems from. people seem to think that their way is the right way – no matter what – and will fight you tooth and nail to defend themselves.
I like the idea of a uniform. I think many of us have them and don’t even realize it. I know I have my go-to pieces for when I don’t feel like thinking about my wardrobe but don’t want to wear sweatpants to run errands.
Xx Chantel | http://www.TheActiveSpirit.com
Thanks for starring links that are more ethically made. I am just starting my capsule wardrobe after having a baby, but I am on the hunt for pieces that are ethically made or second hand that I can also afford. I have always been interested in supply chains and labor standards in other countries, but when I saw The True Cost movie I really realized that my choices are few and I have to commit to looking for those special pieces.
Jessica Doll says
Yesssss, love this. I’ve been going this way too. I started a “feel good” series on my blog about more conscious companies that are sustainable/ethically made. Zady is one of my favorites.
Lillian chang says
I have really been coming to peace with that lesson too – letting go of the “shoulds” and allowing myself to do what works for me. One of the big lessons of that for me has been with emotions – I shouldn’t feel this way or I should be feeling that way. But instead, I’ve been learning to step back and not judge it so much, you know? It’s okay to feel feelings.
I also think timing has a lot to do with it too. Sometimes the good things need to come into your life when the time is right. And that’s kinda the beauty of it all.
Lana @ The Joy Blog says
I’m opting out of the I should work out today, and going more for the I am down with a Grey’s Anatomy marathon. HA!
Jenn G says
Crop tops. Why do they look so good on you, the hanger, etc. but never make sense for me when I try to dabble? There are so many out there and I cannot navigate that world successfully. Guess that’s my “should” that I’m giving up? I tried it and it wasn’t my thing… no matter how much I wanted it to be.
My casual uniform is t-shirt, jeans, and fun shoes. Earth shattering stuff there.
Winterized I rock a long underwear underneath with a bright sneaker.
Summertime is cutoffs and Birks.
marilyn henighan says
I love your succinct, sensible comments.
Emily abbotT says
I have been following your blog for quite some time. Happy you’re posting again! I am a Competitive Crossfitter! I didn’t know you liked Crossfit- so awesome. Keep up the awesome blog.
Jacqueline Burt says
Emily Abbott! No way! I went to RDL with Sam back in the day and you were in my brother Justin’s grade. Hilarious that I spotted your comment on here of all places. I’m now following you on instagram. Keep up the bad ass crossfittery!
I love this uniform, Caroline. Do you have a good cropped sweater in rotation that you would recommend? Thanks!
I love this uniform! I realized that I love wearing boxy-style tops and higher-waisted jeans too so I’d love to get more of those! Thanks for the inspiration, Caroline! :)
We have made “should” a bad word in our house. It’s all about choices. If I choose a uniform it is because I like the ease and simplicity. If my daughter chooses to have a super full closet because she enjoys the variety and experimenting with different looks, that’s ok too. Got to do whatever works for you!
Love your writing :) it reminds me of something I read – with a pigeon that was ‘should’ing’ all over the place – reminding us to get th mind clearer by clearing the should!
Seeing posts like this from you are make me want to pack up and move to Texas and away from the chilly temps I’m still battling here in the Pacific Northwest. I’m so over the cold, and pining for the days of t-shirts and flats. In the meantime, I’m planning slightly lighter options for my spring capsule, and sitting, patiently waiting for the warmth.
Love your thoughts on the “shoulds” of life. In this internet era, we are bombarded by the “shoulds” and it can be so hard to quiet them, and find our own. Slowly working on this, but your words were comforting in the never-ending struggle to find what works for me, not for someone else.
First off, my week was made when I saw you back on my feedly feed! Your voice was sorely missed. I love that you’re showcasing more slow fashion brands! I’m always looking for clothes outside the big brand names, but they aren’t always the easiest to find. Looking forward to seeing the future of unfancy! – Bonnie
ANDREA H says
Yes! I have been slowly saying no to good things even though I feel like I “should” say yes, to reduce the amount on my plate. I am trying to consciously slow down my life because it creeps and then accelerates into a rat race faster than I can blink. Surprisingly, saying no and letting go of the “shoulds” is getting easier.
And yes, I mostly love uniforms – they make me feel like me in my clothes. Though sometimes I shakeup is just the creative outlet I need too. ;)
I so love you for saying what you did about “should”.
For me running seems to be something everyone “should” be doing. I hate running. I hate feeling like a I “should” be running. But you know what? I’m not going to run. Now now and not ever. This goes hand in hand with going to the gym. I feel like I “should” be going to the gym in order to stay healthy, but there are plenty of other ways to go about it. I hate the gym, I hate running. So why “should” I do those things? Instead I walk (as much as I can with a small child); we don’t have a car so that helps a lot. I like walking and I like ballet, so those are my go-to things that agree with me.
This might seem like a silly question, but I was wondering what kind of bra you wear with this shirt. I have this shirt and for some reason the boxy fit tends to show the outline of my bra along the chest area. It’s sort of a pet peeve of mine and makes me not want to wear this cute shirt. Thanks!
I agree! Target has a great bra called “the perfect t-shirt” and it’s my total go-to. I highly suggest it.
Have you tried it with a bra without cup? super-comfy-invisible-light <3 or with half a cup: support under the boobs and a lighter part coming up, it avoids the line but gives more support than a bralette =)
I love this uniform too! But I've got struggles to find nice high-waist jeans in my budget and not made in Bangladesh.
lottie @ yellow bliss photography says
Do you have the Gap? They run around $70, but you can get sales, if you wait.
Sophie pearse says
Love this look Caroline. I totally agree with letting yourself off the hook about certain things. Your my inspiration for cleaning out my winter wardrobe today. Love from Australia. X
Karin Rambo says
I love your note about the links. :) I think it’s great that you are giving people options for more ethical brands! Love the lighting in your house as well… it’s absolutely gorgeous!
Karin | truncationblog.com
Your outfit is lovely (as is your house) and I love the sentiment, about “shoulds.” I think you mean “jibe”, but having some jive in our lives is good too. To quote ABBA, “You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life; ooh, see that girl, watch that scene, diggin’ the dancing queen!”
Nice simple outfit I really love it! I love how you mentioned, that just because its good for you doesn’t mean that it’s good for someone else, I could agree more with this, I try to like things and such to fit in with people and in reality I know it’s not right for me and I need to remember that
ann spreeman says
Coulda, woulda, shoulda, i like your style, My latest thing is my new pup Bella…so the wardrobe for the every 2 hr walks are uniform. grab and go jeans or leggings and
turtle necks nyc is still nippy! love the link to your spring capsule!
So cute on you, and great ideas!!! Thank you for the inspiration!!
high waist jeans + boxy semi-crop tops are my favorite!! love love this outfit!!
question : have you ever had trouble ordering jeans online? like, I’ve always been intimidated because I just never know if they’ll actually fit me. I’d love to hear your thought/experience on that.
Caroline, you are literally my style icon! You and Emma Stone! Your style is so simple and practical and easy and classy and chic and man I love it!! I love how simple this outfit is, but its still so cute and put together!!!! Please keep up the wonderful posts!!
Love a uniform but can get bored easily. Like your take on it though – I may reframe my thinking. You always offer a fresh prospective.
Happy to see you’re back blogging! And your move towards slow fashion. Those shoulds are so sneaky! I’ve been struggling with some old shoulds lately, working on letting them go. It’s so liberating when you can finally see those shoulds for what they are and move past them, isn’t it?
Hope you are doing good. I’m a big fan of you. I’m from India. Could you please tell me what is idea of uniform means?
Or what is dressing with uniform means?
Caroline, I`m from Argentina (sorry for my bad English) and I just wanted to say THANK YOU. You´ve been (and currently are) a great inspiration for me. I was tired of cluttering and wanted to change the way I was shopping. I´m moving on sunday to a bigger house with my boyfriend, but I want to feel that extra space so I saw it as an oportunity to start my very first capsule wardobre! I´m a beginner here, but so far, very happy. I feel free!!!
Love this attitude. A uniform doesn’t work for me…I wear an actual uniform to work and want variety and to get out of my jeans and t rut out of work so a capsule that I can mix and match to make as much variety as possible suits me better. Love the new foucs on slow fashion and considered choices too.
I love that you are offering more ethical clothing options! After following your blog, and doing a few seasonal capsule wardrobes, I’ve realized I want to buy less and choose better. I’ve found a lot of great brands that are already there, but the more fabulous bloggers (like you) that are highlighting the idea… the more big brands will pay attention. Go Caroline! : )
I’m all about that high waist denim + cropped top look. It hides the food baby and makes you look super cute!
COFFEESLAG Snow Day OOTD
Just saw you’re back and I’m so happy! Love this outfit!
I love your blog, so good to see you here again! My uniform these days: striped top (I have an obsession with stripes, and have quite a few striped pieces), jeans, and my toms shoes (slight obsession with these as well)! Thanks for your inspiration, Caroline!
Hi Caroline! I love your blog. It’s been really helpful in helping me find my own style and putting together my own version of a capsule wardrobe. I love that you’re starting to highlight transparent clothing companies–I’d recommend checking out DSTLD. They’re a jeans/basics company and the clothes are all made ethically and environmentally friendly. They’re online only but have a cool try-on system that allows you to try several pairs and keep the ones you like.
This is such a simple yet perfect outfit! I can’t wait for it to get warmer here too.l, spring is also my favourite season! The winter has been unseasonably mild this year, so it’s been such a tease! Just when you think spring is coming the temperature drops again!
I love your blogs. they are very easy to relate to!!
This is my uniform too! Only it extends into summer as well since I am not allowed shorts at work. I am in love with high waist jeans-they just hide any stomach fat and make you look thinner . Crop tops make you look taller too
Love these ballerinas!
Thank you for re-booting your blog, your posts are really inspiring, on a ‘fashion’ level, but much deeper too..
Will you be purchasing any new items for Spring, Caroline?
My husband and I are going through the ideas of “shoulds” right now. What do we need to do and what is something that we are told to do, but is unnecessary. We are going through a transition period right now, moving from No Where, IN to Durham, NC.
This is our plan. Our CRAZY people plan.
Ahem. We will be moving for community.
Not for jobs we love. Not for the fact that Durham is cool, even though that is a total positive. Not because we found our dream house. Not because we got transferred there for already amazingly paid job.
What we NEED right now is community. We need to experience hospitality at it’s finest. So, we PLAN (yes, intentionally plan) to move into our friends unfinished basement. To share a bathroom with 5 people. Because, it’s what we NEED.
We are disregarding the “shoulds” of getting jobs first and searching for a house and making sure we “really fit” (whatever that even means) and just going for it.
However, we could end up right back where we started in No Where, IN. But then maybe we will get to renovate our dream house ;) Plan B has it’s perks. Hope your plan B is just as dreamy as plan A.
Laura r says
Lovely outfit. I love the jeans and a top uniform. I rarely wear skirts or dresses, but when I do it feels special. That works for me.
As for the “shoulds” of life; crafty little buggers. They creep up on you, and can make you feel unsuccessful. Thoughts of “I should do this, I should do that” can be dangerous. Sometimes, I am good at ignoring them. Other times, I let them get to me. All the time, I am working on it. Thank you for your blog. May God bless you! Love from the UK x
Hi Caroline! It looks great in the new house! Any chance we’ll get a house tour? Or a post about decorating? Love your style!
I just wanted to say I stumbled across your blog a month ago and it inspired me to create my first capsule wardrobe. I was very sad to discover that you were on hiatus, but now you’re back!! Yay!!
Brittany | Words like honeycomb says
Love this idea :) People definitely feel like they “should” do something quite often…I have been wrapped up in it myself before. How freeing it is to just do what ‘jives’ with you…both freeing and perfect for allowing your own creativity to blossom <3
High-waisted doesn't work for my body type, but I have a similar uniform: loose comfortable top :: skinny jeans :: Loafers
perfect for GA weather MOST of the year :)
Hey! I just stumbled upon your blog and I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe. I’m on the other side of the spectrum- I really have no fashion sense, I have odds and ends of clothing that were hand-me-downs or gifts. I don’t have a defined ‘style’ that being said, I’m no shop-a-holic and don’t ever splurge on clothes (thrifting, old navy, and target are my specialty). I was wondering if you had any advice for someone new to fashion, who wants a capsule to help with styling. Also do you have advice for someone with a budget? I can’t afford many of the clothes you share on here. Are there any great quality clothing that come with smaller price tags? Your feedback would be AWESOME!
I am so excited to hear about your journey with slow fashion! I recently started this myself and Everlane is definitely a go to! I have a couple of sweaters and t-shirts and they are quickly becoming my favorites!
I love this, so lovely and versatile. I’ve slowly been decluttering and recovering from a time when I thought the more options the better. I found my uniform usually rotates to a nice sweater (I have four in cream, navy, yellow and red) and pants, or as the weather warms up I’ve been adding skirts. This time last year my go-to was a blazer and t-shirt with the same pants.
I’ve found I am happy with a uniform for the season but get antsy if that becomes all I wear for more than a season. So I’m working to figure out what I’m obsessing over and working that into my wardrobe. This fall/winter it was silk scarves so I paired them with my pants, shirt and blazer combos, as we warm into spring I’m leaning into sweaters worn over pencil skirts.
One should I have shrugged off is I should stick to my uniform when I find something I like… This doesn’t work for me, instead I switch my wardrobe options to fit my moods for that period, leaning towards adding a few key pieces that can blend with my overall theme.
Also welcome back! I’ve been reading a while, and finally decided to join in :-)
Hi, Caroline! New to the blog and already into it! Welcome back! I know this is not the topic of your blog, but I would love to see decor/home stuff posts… Before and after pictures, room tours… I love your taste in decor also, and how minimal and elegant it is! ;)
Please please tell me that you will be posting a spring/summer capsule soon. It’s Texas and we’re getting close to needing it :)
Thank you for being back!
Caroline said she wouldn’t be posting capsules anymore.
Natalie | Natalie Was Here says
You are such an inspiration, Caroline. I think I’ve mentioned this before but I LOVED listening to your interviews on The Lively Show. You’re so down to earth and relatable. Keep up the amazing work!
Natalie | Natalie Was Here
I’m not big on ‘uniforms’, I guess. But I’m not super excited about Texas going warm. :p It’s so disappointing we didn’t get snow this year, but I suppose it’s courtesy of El Niño.
I used to pencil weekends into my calendar to “de-clutter” my closet, but as you know, life is in session and it won’t stop for an entire weekend just so I can get organized. So now I just reach into my closet or a drawer as I’m passing by to workout or cook breakfast and grab as much as my hand can hold that doesn’t bring me instant joy or love. Rather than throwing the items on a chair or on the floor in a corner where they’ll just continue to clutter and collect dust, I have designated areas for (1) give away and (2) consign. Then when the piles are big enough, I throw them in my car and squeeze a pit-stop along my way. What’s left in my closet is slowly becoming my uniform by default. And I love it!
My favorite most used saying that I have adopted, from the powerful and strong women Amy Poehler is “Good for you, Not for me”
In the most sincere way possible. I’m so glad you like that and do that, just not for me!
I tried to skim comments to be sure I wasn’t duplicating, so excuse me if I am. I love and I’m currently trying to live out the phrase, “don’t should yourself”. It’s kinda funny, but also so true and a great reminder. Stop doing it. It’s unnecessary pressure in a world already filled with it. I love this post and I love your blog. Such inspiration for me in this season!
Caroline – those Madewell flats are so cute, but they always leave me limping!! I have tried everything to break them in, but I think I’ll have to sell them. :(
I’m learning how to let go of the shoulds in my life right now. I’m a new mom and there are so many “should-ers”. It’s exhausting being around people like that. As women we already put endless expectations on ourselves we don’t need other people “should-ing” us. I’m curently creating my own capsule and simultaneously letting go of other unnecessary/downer things in my life. It’s a blessing to finally be figuring out where and to whom I should put my energy.
oh, how I love striped tops! Striped tops and checkered button downs – I have at least 3 of each in my closet, each with its specific look. I gathered them over the years, trying to find the ‘perfect’ striped tee or the ‘perfect’ checkered shirt.
I left many ‘shoulds’ behind over the years, as I felt my head cluttered and couldn’t think straight anymore because of the too many ‘shoulds’. Now I’m definitely going to choose folding laundry over ironing because I want some time to paint my watercolor flowers. I’m definitely going to scrub less floors and cabinet doors because I want to watch a movie with the kids and my beloved Husband… so yeah, balancing is an art, but one that makes you feel better than any other!