35 Days of Favorites: Clothing

This post is part of a series called “35 Days of Favorites”, in honor of my 35th birthday. You can read more about the details here

Last year, I decided to clean out my closet, get rid of anything I didn’t use and love, and shop more carefully in the future.

I have LOVED owning less clothing. Because I only keep what I love wearing, I rarely feel like I don’t have anything to wear.

Owning less clothing made me realize fairly quickly which item was my favorite:

Kaylia and me

That grey scarf is the best clothing purchase I’ve ever made. I have worn it over and over (and over and over…) again since buying it last year. I have a few other scarves, but none as versatile as this one.

It goes with almost everything in my closet, it’s comfortable, and makes me feel like I’m just a little bit dressed up when I go out.

Tips for Owning Less Clothes 

Along with discovering how much I love my grey scarf, here are a few other things I’ve learned about owning less clothing over this past year:

1) I love scarves and cardigans, in general.

Being able to layer, and mix and match, means that while I don’t have as much clothing as I used to, I feel as though I have more options for how I want to wear what I do own. This has kept me from getting completely sick of my clothes over the last winter (along with the fact that I only keep what I really love).

 2) The  Three-Piece Rule feels true to me. I can be wearing jeans and a t-shirt at home, throw on a cardigan and a scarf (usually my grey one!), run out the door, and feel like I’m wearing a different outfit without actually having to change.

3) Having one or two neutrals as the base of my wardrobe is smart. I stick with black or navy, and only buy clothes that go well with my basics, usually grey, white, or jewel-tone colors.

Sometimes I look at my clothes and wonder how boring it must be for people who see me constantly wearing so much grey, black, and white, but it’s easier to mix-and-match, it fits my personality to keep things simple and basic, and I honestly don’t think anyone thinks about my clothes enough to notice or care.

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It feels kind of ridiculous to write out my wardrobe strategies, because I’m a little embarrassed to confess how much I think about my clothing. However, being intentional and knowing exactly what I want has helped me save money, simplify, and feel better about what I’m wearing.

And I love the idea of thinking about clothing so that I don’t have to think about clothing – I figure out how I will dress myself well, and then I stop thinking about it, and just feel comfortable and satisfied with what I’ve got.

There are so many fantastic articles and blog posts out there on how to own less clothes. Here are a couple that are influencing the way I think about my wardrobe:

A Practical Guide to Owning Fewer Clothes

How to Downsize Your Wardrobe With Common Sense

But having said a whole lot on owning less clothes, I also want to add this:

I have a lot of clothes because as it would turn out I just really liked getting dressed. To some, 30 pieces is a lot. To others, it’s a fraction of their closet. In my mind this idea of being a minimalist, perhaps the complete opposite of who I am, was who I thought I needed to be.  If I shop too much, then becoming opposite of that would help me, is what I thought.  I would peer into my friends’ closets and see half of what I owned and would be ashamed of the amount of items I had. So I decided to look at my closet in a different way and what I saw was not that I wanted less, but that I could do more. (Kendi Everyday)

If you love owning a ton of clothing, then do what feels right for you.

I want to own less clothes, because I want to own less stuff in general. I want to simplify my life, which includes my closet.  I just love the idea of doing more with what I already own. Basically, it comes down to this:

Use what I own. Be content with less. Shop well, when necessary.

What’s your clothing strategy? Do you use what you own? Love to shop? Want to own less? I’m curious to hear your wardrobe thoughts!

Winter Favorites

I’ve decided this is my last week of winter.

We leave for Florida on Friday, and by the time we get back, it will be the middle of March, which means things will be getting all drippy and melty, and the sun will be getting warmer, and the air will smell like spring is coming. It is soooo easy to be happy at the end of March.

So, because this is my last week of winter, I wanted to share my winter favorites – all the stuff I’ve been enjoying which have helped pass the cold, dark months of the year. Maybe you can quickly try them, and get a little enjoyment out of them, too, because you probably have about two weeks left of winter.

Plenty of time to discover some new favorites.

Here we go:

1) Healthy Hot Chocolate.

Yes, it is possible. Who knew. No longer must I feel guilty about bribing the girls to stay outside for half an hour longer with the promise of hot chocolate. You can find that recipe here. It tastes just as good as the regular stuff, I promise. (The only sweetener we use is honey, and it’s plenty sweet enough.)

hot chocolate

2) Humongous Scarves.

The girls bought me this pink scarf for Christmas, and the first time I put it on, it almost swallowed my head, so I had serious doubts about how often I’d wear it.

scarf

photo credit: Morgan Braun

But oh, my word. It is the warmest thing ever. I love it so much, it almost makes me like the freezing cold, because I get to wear my scarf. I have used it all the time.

3) Soup.

Oh, how I love soup. I eat massive amounts of soup in winter. I’ve written before about my great love for green smoothies in the morning, but this winter, all I want is soup. So, I’ve decided to give the smoothies a break until warmer weather comes, and just keep going strong with good, hot soup.

I made this recipe for Potato Pea Soup yesterday, and it was quite fantastic. Oh, just writing about it makes me hungry for it right now…

It’s not much to look at, but trust me, the taste makes up for it’s lack of beauty!

soup

4) My Bible Study Group.

A group of ladies from my church have been doing the Beth Moore Bible study on the book of James, and it has been amazing. I never feel like going out on a cold winter night, but once I get there, the warmth of those ladies is more than enough to make up for the effort of going out in the cold.

If you ever get a chance to do this study, you should jump at it. Beth Moore is always a good idea.

James

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And that has been my winter. It’s been quite enjoyable. I would even say it’s gone by fairly quickly. It helps to keep going away on vacation. Good grief. One of these days we’ll need to stay home. But we decided not to turn down any free vacations, so we’re off again!

What are your winter survival secrets? Help us get through the last few weeks of cold weather!