These pants are a couple of years old, and I have to admit — I’m feeling really proud that they are still white.
If you’re wanting to try white pants, but feel nervous about it, try starting with a pair of corduroys instead of jeans. (You may not be able to tell in the pictures, but these pants are corduroys.) To me, the texture of cords is more forgiving than jeans. If I get some dirt on them, it easily brushes off — it doesn’t get into the fabric, like it can with white jeans.
Okay, so January brings out the reflective side of me, so here we go again on book + life talk:
I read Wellbeing by Tom Rath a couple of years ago, and it challenged me to live with all areas of my life in harmony. This quote changed something inside me:
“We are quick to buy into programs that promise to help us make money, lose weight, or strengthen our relationships. Eventually, we give up on these programs when they conflict with other aspects of our lives. You may notice how an intense focus on one area can actually be detrimental to your overall well being. It might seem easier to treat the critical areas in our lives (career, social, financial, physical, and community) as if they are independent and unrelated, but they’re not. They are interdependent.”
So the idea is that I’d greatly improve my well being if I let all the areas of my life exist in harmony with each other. Like if I work out during they day, I’ll have more energy to devote to my work. And if I have a good day of work, I’m more likely to feel happy, which will spill over into my relationships in a positive way. Harmony.
Now, this idea seems totally contrary to what we chatted about last week — the idea of choosing only one priority. But I think, upon closer look, they can compliment each other too.
What do you think?
sweatshirt: Nordstrom Rack (also similar here)
bag: Marc Jacobs
pants: old from J.Crew Factory (almost identical here)
shoes: Madewell (also similar here)
Love your blog! I read every post but I am not a big commenter. I did want to pop in and say thank you for recommending the books you love. I purchased Essentialism and the Art of Possibility after you recommended them and they are amazing. I have yet to read them but my husband has and he is sharing his insights as he does. I am currently reading The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte so I will be diving into these two as soon as I am finished. So, thanks! It’s a nice addition to your clothing posts.
Oh daring! But you did it pretty well! :)
What I love about all of this is how intentional it makes living life. I am older than you and in my 43 years I have learned that life moves fast. It is very easy just to let it pass without ever really taking any control of what is going on. Before you know it 5 years or more are done and most days passed without any real thought on how you wanted it to look.
I think it is true that all these areas are interdependent and can create harmony in life when they are all working. However, we all know that at times one area gets out of whack and it needs that close, intense, singular attention to get it all back together again.
PS, I think you are right about white pants. I have some but they sit in my closet. I think I am too messy for them and need to kick them out of my closet. Cords might be the answer but it will need to be put on hold until next winter. :) cute top.
Firstly I still adore that jumper. It looks fabulous, and it’s a jumper!
Secondly my reading list is already backed up to LAST Christmas’s presents but you have just added another to the list.
I wasn’t sure what my one priority should be this year, or month, or day even. But when I read that quote it jumped out at me. Organisation. It has always been a problem of mine but even more so now I have a flexible job where I can work from home. But if I were more organised I would eat better and be healthier, I would have more time to exercise and be happy and healthy. I would be doing a better job at my work if I was more organised especially around deadlines, which would in teen improve my home life because I wouldn’t be stressing about work at home spending quality with my husband. Also we wouldn’t argue so much on days out if we were more organised and had a clear idea of what we were doing that day. Plus there is the capsule wardrobe organisation and just being improving financially by being organised.
I am sure there are other ways the two ideas can be complimentary and work together but that is what jumped out at me. Now to start writing lists and doing what is on them!!
x x x
I completely agree with Tom Rath’s philosophy on this. In my experience it is impossible to separate the aspects of our lives, and too much focus on any one area can knock us out of balance. I love that you share these philosophical thoughts along with fab outfits on Un-Fancy. You are killin’ it, Caroline!
I’ve been curious, is the age old tale of white pants not being worn during certain season still applicable? I’m still lost as to whether you can wear them all year round? My mom was very much the “not after Labor Day” type but I think today’s trends may be different. Thoughts?
What a good idea! I too, have always been scared of white pants but love their look…I think white corduroys will definitely be in a future capsule :)
Tom Rath’s words are so true. I have tried different things before and thought if I devoted everything to them and made it my complete focus, I could succeed but the opposite always happens. I think the word ‘Balance’ could easily compliment this idea of harmony amongst all areas of life. “Everything in moderation.”
You should check out the book Rhythms of Grace by Kerri Weems. I really think you would enjoy it!
yara asche says
I love your blog, thank you for inspiring us.I think that we need be well with our works, family, health, friends. we need everything in our lives. My father said that the most important thing is peace, because you just have peace when everything is well. So the focus maybe find peace.
For me, I definitely feel like choosing a priority (while also taking time to reflect and talk to others) helps me navigate the other areas of my life in a way that makes things seem less hectic, more continuous. Eliminating that false dichotomy in my head (this is the right choice, this is wrong choice, etc) brought a lot of calmness and self-acceptance into my life. It made things feel complementary, not competing.
Love the white pants! I’m digging the sneakers, this blog makes me feel better about my sneaker choices.
I love the idea of white pants but totally agree with you – white jeans are mostly unforgiving and have more of a summer/spring look. I don’t know why I never thought of white cords before but the different texture might be the answer! Great tip :)
Kelsey M. says
I seriously love that you invoke these deeper thoughts and discussions along with your outfit posts. Ever since you mentioned the idea of having one priority I’ve been pondering what my one priority should be. I made a promise to myself that this would be the year I got serious about my health, eating and exercise. I initially thought that should be my one priority. That I should focus my full attention on the goal of being healthy and happy in my body. But within the last week I’ve been distraught about my lack of nearby friends (I just moved to a new city a few months ago). So then I thought maybe being more social should be my one priority. I started to get lost on where I wanted to keep my focus.
I’ve always subscribed more to keeping things in balance so this quote really speaks to me. I know it’s important to make friends and I also know it’s important to feel happy with my body. I don’t want to put one before the other since they can and should bleed into one another (if I feel good about myself then I’ll be more social and open to new people; if I meet new people and feel social I’ll be more motivated to work on myself).
I truly believe all of life is a balancing act. Funny thing is that I don’t know if every aspect of your life will ever be fully in balance at all times. But striving to find the balance is what life is all about I think.
I was thinking along the same lines this year, but I found all of those add up to one thing: well being. I’m prioritizing taking care of myself this year, both mentally (being social, self care, more reading and learning etc) and physically (eating healthy, exercise…). In the last year especially, I’ve found you can’t have one without the other and all of those things contribute to my over all health and happiness. And conveniently enough it fits into one big priority! Day to day I know the balance to shift between things, but I think keeping the big picture in mind will help it settle back over all. I’m sure we’ll figure it out as we go. Happy balancing :)
I usually adore your style but white pants are just nooooooooo.
This is exactly what I needed to read today.
Ah, I love it when my worlds collide. Tom Rath & his family are GOOD stuff. I was very fortunate in college to be part of a campus group that had them as benefactors ~ such great mentors. Life changing.
This post reminds me of this article I read in Oprah Magazine recently:
I now have become a believer that “The way you do anything is the way you do everything.” For example, by improving my time management at work, I’ve also become a better housekeeper.
I absolutely LOVE your blog. It is now my favorite fashion blog. Thank you so much for showing me that I can love fashion AND strive to be minimalist. Also thanks for showing me how I can wear my white cords. I picked them up from H&M for $10 on black friday last year, yet they’ve seldom seen the outside of my closet.
Lynn @ The Actor’s Diet says
My white pants are definitely not still white. You are my hero!
Loving these white pants! I wanted to include some in my winter capsule but couldn’t find any that fit quite right, sad! I never thought about cords though, what a great idea! They aren’t stark white while adding some texture, love ’em!
Also, really into that quote about living your life in harmony. I struggle with achieving balance in my life (I tend to spend a lot of time and energy focusing on one area and as a result slack in other areas). So that is my New Year’s Resolution– Harmony.
Love your blog! I look forward to reading it every morning~
Thats why i love your blog. Fun fashion talk one minute, deep inspirational thought the next. Love it. I have a pr of white skinny jeans with a few inches of gold zipper by each ankle. I love them but am terrified to wear them. I need to give em a try!
i’m absolutely loving the philosophical content you bring to this space and the way it causes me to really marinate on things.
in response to today’s quote conflicting with the priority quote: i think they actually compliment each other well. to me it’s a reminder/challenge to not make my sole priority so narrow that by focusing on it, i’m harming the other areas of my life. if a priority is meant to be singular, it needs to be able to touch every aspect of my being. by adding today’s quote to the topic of priorities, it’s really working to help me weed out “priorities” that definitely shouldn’t make the cut.
Nancy Ray says
Why are you so dang cute!!?!?!???!!! Come to Raleigh ASAP. Miss you :)
Marisa K. says
It seems to me that the only way to have a life in harmony is to cut out the multiple priorities. Just as you can’t have an outfit in harmony if it includes seven different color pallets. Sticking to one color pallet produces harmony among the pieces. Orchestras have one conductor; crews have one captain. Choirs that harmonize beautifully are singing different parts of the same song. One priority.
After all, “Elegance is refusal.”
this outfit looks very me. two thumbs up- i’d love to try white cords!
Amy @ Girl for Granted says
I’ll admit that it took me a long while to come around to the idea of white pants, but now I love them! So fresh and versatile. You’ve styled them really well here! xx