I have been influenced so much by consumerism and recently, I became determined to seek intentionality in my closet. I find it important to stop buying things I don't need and buy only what I will love and wear.
For example, I used to buy things I liked on others only to find out I didn't like it on myself. I realized needed to discover MY personal colors, patterns, and fits to be more intentional in my wardrobe and style (both now and going forward). I want to share the method I used to create my own personal cozy capsule.
First, some definitions:
Bases – usually the color(s) of most of your solid items. If you have many solid pants and tops in one color it's likely one of your bases.
Mains – the second most plentiful other than your bases. If you wear a lot of patterns, this is the primary color of the item.
Accents – these tend to show up in your patterns (as the lines in stripes or flannel, the flowers in florals, the circles of polka dots, etc) or items you use to add extra color to your outfits. For me, these are usually the last thing I add to a look. An iconic example of an accent is red shoes, a red purse and red lipstick. But sometimes they are subtler.
If you've ever looked at Van Gogh's "Starry Night"....his base (background) is blue, his main (most used after base) is black, and his accents are white and yellow to bring extra pops of color to the composition.
Let’s get to curating!
1. Pull out everything you wear the most often and set them aside (If your job requires you to wear a specific look, create a separate pile for work clothes. Do not factor them into the following steps)
2. Pull out all other clothing and separate by type (shirts, pants, dresses, skirts, shoes)
3. Go through each pile and get rid of anything you never wear (it's been a full year since you last wore it), don't like to wear, doesn't fit, isn’t flattering (try it on and ask your s/o or friends if you are unsure) or is damaged beyond your ability to repair. Be gentle but honest with yourself.
4. Sort everything remaining – including the favorite items you set aside earlier – by color (if it's a pattern, go with the primary color of the item)
5. From the piles you have, register your personal colors and determine which are your bases, your mains, and your accents.
This is where your style starts to become more unique to you versus a typical capsule wardrobe you see in pictures. My bases are black, denim, and olive green (yes, olive green in pants, tops and jackets!), while my mains are maroon and navy, and my accents are burnt orange and white (I love white but I can't pull it off as a base, so it's almost always present in my patterns which makes it an accent).
6. Now that you've determined your colors, I recommend getting rid of anything that doesn't fit one of those categories… because you likely don't or won’t wear it often. You need to own at least 3 items in one color for it to be worth keeping in your wardrobe.
7. If you want to take it a step further, apply steps 4 and 6 again to your patterns. I'm mostly a stripes and flannel girl myself, with a few small floral prints and Aztec patterns. If I own a pattern I rarely wear, it's likely not truly my style and I should get rid of it.
8. Extra credit: take note of the fits you're drawn to wearing. I love empire waist dresses, flowy tunic tops, skinny leg jeans, V-neck t-shirts, and loose fit flannels paired with tank tops.
9. Put everything back in your closet in a way that makes sense to you. If you organize by color, type of clothing, etc, go for it. I organize by type and then keep my workout stuff, t-shirts, and leggings separate and in drawers like my undergarments. Maybe you like the idea of bases, mains, and accents and keep your clothes separated that way.
Knowing your colors, patterns, and fits will help you stop spending money on whatever is trendy and start curating a closet that is YOU. Knowledge is power!
This method won't get you to the 33-item wardrobe overnight, but it's helpful knowing what YOU like so you can stop buying items you won't wear regularly. I'm a Cozy Minimalist, so I believe I should use it regularly, love it, or need it for it to stay.
Be intentional when putting together your closet. Approaching it like decorating or an art piece instead of "this is cute," "I like this trend" or "this is a good deal" and more "this is totally me."
Have fun curating!
Recently I took up sketching during my prayer time. It may sound odd, but it has saved my prayer life.
My mind tends to drift off when I am in prayer, and I struggle to be present. So, I started sketching what is in front of me to bring myself to the present moment. I don't try to make the sketches remarkable, but giving my hands something to do and my eyes something to focus on allows me to meditate on Our Lord better. Ever heard of artists who get into their flow? It is basically another word for "being in the zone." Time passes quickly while they work on their art but their minds can be thinking of really profound things unrelated to the project.
That is what I have been doing. I used to pray to aid my art, now I draw to aid my prayer. My mind is preoccupied just enough by drawing that it does not drift to my to-do list. Then most of my focus is on my prayer.
A friend told me that a blank page is like our hearts when they are ready to listen and a simple sketch helps us focus on what we need to see, what is important. So to further this way of praying, I try to be in front of religious art. It has brought me significantly closer to Mother Mary. How beautiful she is, how soft and loving her gaze is upon me.
If you like to draw, give it a shot. May the Holy Spirit aid you!
Decorating and creating a beautiful space has always been a pleasure of mine. As I have moved from room, to dorm, to bigger dorm, to apartment, to house, to different house and now to another apartment, I have gotten to decorate a lot of spaces. It is totally different now that I am married and the primary decision maker when it comes to our home's aestethics.
For the longest time, I have been known as a painter. I love to paint. I love trying new things with paint. That makes it really, really hard to brand myself. My only paintings that tend to look like they were made by the same person are my watercolor landscapes. However, I get bored of doing the same thing.
Have you ever had trouble reading a font, and misread a familiar phrase? Well today, I read the first commandment as "Thou shall not have goals before me." And I did a double-take.
Not a misprint. I just can't read at 8am, I guess. But this was exactly what I needed to hear.
I'm a very ambitious person, and often need a reality check on just how much a healthy person should do in a day. Not "can" but should. My last semester of college consisted of 19 credits, a research project and presentation (not for class) that took basically the amount of time of another 3 credit class, 2 shows in the theater department, weekly roommate dinners, and interviews for jobs for after graduation. Somehow I lived, and moms out there probably think "that's nothing," but my point is; I like to be doing a billion things.
Right now? I'm building 2 businesses, working 2 other part-time jobs, trying to get in better shape, balance relationships(like my marriage!), and make sure my cat gets enough attention in a day. Life is nuts, but it is somehow balanced...IF I have my priorities straight. I felt like my life was falling apart about 3 weeks ago. The main thing I have changed has been going to Adoration weekly, and taking time to pray for at least 10 minutes a day. My goals were getting in the way. I was trying to be the ultimate wife, rockstar business owner, washboard abs goddess but forgot about being a daughter of God, and spending time with my Creator.
WHAT THE WHAT?!
We. All. Do. This.
My goals are not bad. We often desire good things but we don't desire them in a way that is in line with God's plan. We often try to do all these things and forget what is most important. Sometimes all we are being asked to do is wait. "Not now, but someday. Trust me."
Some things can wait, they are worth waiting for (bigger things like marriage, kids, starting a new career, etc) Some things can wait, they don't have to get done today (like the dishes or becoming a fitness model overnight).
This mindset takes humility. It takes being patient with yourself, with God, and your life. It means having Him as your Primary Goal because we all want to spend eternity with Him! It means letting him put everything into place while you keep your eyes on the prize...Him.
This may be a no-brainer for many of you, but life is not like TV. Yet I just spent the last year watching TV shows with groups of friends that made me nostoligic for my own group of people.
No, my friends and I didn't have a bunch of sex with each other (except for the half of us who married each other), but we did have spots we would hang out and just talk. All. The. Time. About anything. And everything.
I flip on an episode of "Friends" and hear them all start randomly singing the theme song to a game show...and I miss my people. I flip on "Community" and miss our attempted study sessions that ended in laughter and late nights trying to make up for "time wasted." I flip on an episode of "Fear Factor" and remember all our lunches in the caf....
Ok, that last one isn't true. But I have been missing livong closer to my friends lately. It's just nice having people close by, able to pop over and be there to talk about nothing or that something that has been weighing on you.
But life can't go on like that forever. At the end of these shows, the characters moved on because they got married ,started families, got new jobs, etc. For those who are nerds like me, I'll have you know that "Friends" ended for those same reasons but in the actors' real lives. And while the change is bitter sweet, it shows us that real, authentic life cannot be like TV. Reality TV doesn't count, that's not beautiful and is far more dramatic than any show I care to watch.
So while I enjoy reminiscing about "the good old days" of college and early twenties, my life now is at that part that makes everyone tear up(you know you cried at Pheobes wedding, or when Monica and Chandler have kids to love). I got married this summer. My husband started a new job. And we are hopefully starting a family soon. It's a crazy, beautiful life.