blogtober, blogtober, Minimalism, Minimalism

My Fall Capsule Wardrobe

What is a capsule wardrobe exactly? Minimalists like to define it as a set number of clothing items to reduce the troubles of decision fatigue & allows us to understand the benefits behind owning less. Courtney Carver, the writer behind the book, Project 333 goes a step further & challenges those to have 33 items of clothing for 3 months. I attempted project 333 for myself during the pandemic & I did take note of the benefits. But overall, I don’t necessarily like to limit myself to a set number of clothing pieces. I simply ask myself how often I wear something? Does it fit the person I wish to be? And is it practical? Otherwise, I let it go. And over the course of the summer, I’ve downsized my wardrobe extremely to the point where 95% of my clothing is gone! As the new season approaches, I look forward to revamping my style & curating a capsule wardrobe that allows me to create classic outfits.

As I’ve decluttered over 10 bags of clothing in the past few months, I’ve also made a few replacements along the way. I’ve been in a style rut & wanted to enter my fall season with a bit more style. Summer tends to put myself in a style rut [ especially when it’s hot ] because all I wear are athletic shorts & basic tanks or tees. Fall fashion is elite. And I’m so excited to share the pieces I’ve bought & put together.

Denim Denim Denim

A classic pair of jeans is a staple in any wardrobe. As a millennial, I still find skinny jeans to be the most flattering at times, but I have been wanting to branch out to different styles. I purchased a pair of the viral 90’s straight leg relaxed fit jeans from Abrocrombie. And I totally understand the hype! I can’t wait to rock these with some sneakers & basic tees all fall season.

Business Beige

To jazz up your dressier occasions, why not swap or add a pair of beige slacks to your wardrobe along with the typical grey or black. I personally love incorporating lighter shades to my fall wardrobe to showcase a brighter look. No white after Labor Day, who? I also love adding knits to make your look a bit more casual.

Stick To The Basics

The majority of my closet is filled with basic tees & tanks. Lately – I’ve added a few fitted crop tops to my wardrobe. I love pairing tighter tops with baggier pants to create a bit of definition. I love layering these with flannels, cardigans or jackets to stay warm. I recommend you have a basic white, black & grey t-shirt & tank & then go from there. Stick to shades that are the most flattering to you. There’s no need to own the entire rainbow.

Sneakers

I’m trying to get away from just living in Uggs until March (although if you are from the East Coast, it’s pretty much inevitable). Last fall, I purchased this pair of Sam Edelman sneakers in this white & beige shade. I thought they would be a perfect minimalistic look to any pair of jeans or leggings.

Birkenstocks

It’s hilarious to me Birkenstock clogs are back in style. I wore these almost daily in high school. I haven’t yet purchased these, but am looking to add these to my capsule wardrobe soon to add variety to my shoe collection. I feel like they would be perfect paired with my A&F jeans.

Dainty Statement Jewelry

I strongly believe you can enhance an outfit by just adding a few statement jewelry pieces. I love pairing my rose gold B&T necklace with a crop top & jeans or adding a pair of gold hoops.

Oversized Sweaters & Cardigans

Of course, it’s not fall without that cozy sweater weather feeling. I love pairing them with black leggings, a warm beverage & a book in hand. They are like warm hugs! For the most part, I prefer neutral shades like beige, grey or black , but I also love wearing Halloween themed jumpers to be festive.

Water Proof Boots

On the east coast, I feel like it’s crucial to own boots that are weather resistant. Whether it’s walking through the pumpkin patch or the muddy Renaissance fair, I’m so glad to have boots that will be easy to clean. During the Nordstrom anniversary sale, I purchased a pair of black water proof ankle boots & I have a strong feeling I’ll be wearing these a lot this fall season!

Graphic Tees

During my recent declutter, I let go of a ton of old graphic t-shirts that were faded or had holds in them. I still believe we don’t need to own an entire drawer filled with graphic tees, but I do think it’s fun to own a few to make an outfit more unique. One of my favorites is my zodiac sign flower t-shirt.

Even More Inspiration

Pinterest is my favorite site for finding fashion inspiration. Here are a few photos that depict the style I’m going for lately…

pin it for later
pin it for later
pin it for later

What clothing styles / pieces are you looking forward to wear this season?

-B

advice, Minimalism, Minimalism

How to Gift More Practically

Call me a Grinch, but I find gifts to be quite self serving & a form of clutter that really can get out of hand. Safe to say, I don’t fall under that type of love language. You’re probably reading this & thinking, “that ungrateful bitch.” But even the Grinch said it right – all those gifts you receive or desire ends up where? In your garbage! And it’s not only the winter season that causes so much gifting stress. It’s an all year round toxic cycle that needs to be reevaluated. This is why instead of saving this PSA for the holiday season, I’m stressing this change in habits now because thanks to Hallmark cards & commercialism, there’s always an excuse to gift someone.

And no, I’m not saying you should NEVER buy someone anything or boycott gift giving all together. We can’t let our hearts shrink to a thimble. But I think we need to consider a few things before we make a purchase. In the past, I’ve discussed the issues of impulse purchasing, shopping addictions & being more intentional with our spending habits. Be sure to check out my intentional spending blog post after you read this one. These reminders hold true when it comes to gifting others.

I’m guilty to say, over the years one of my biggest culprits to clutter & maintaining a minimalistic home, are the items that come in from other people. And although I stay appreciative & understand not everyone lives a less is more lifestyle, it can become frustrating when you are constantly making donation runs trying to combat the chaos. Over time, I’ve had to be rather forceful & state we don’t need xyz, we prefer gift cards if anything & honestly – we just want their time.

This year, I want to make the conscious effort to gift more practically. And I’ve come up with a list of a few gift ideas I plan to consider when the situation arises.

Food

I think food whether it’s bake goods, a meal or even a gift card to someone’s favorite restaurant are great sustainable gift options. Now, I will admit we had someone return a restaurant gift card back to us, so maybe tread lightly with that suggestion. It did allow us to have a lovely date night at the Cheese Cake Factory – so win win for us. In general, I think food is a lovely option because there’s a stronger chance it will get eaten instead of being wasted. During the holiday season, we enjoy making cookies, so if you have leftovers – feel free to send those off to loved ones or for a dinner party dessert. If you want to be even more creative & add a hint of experience to the gift – you can always surprise someone with cooking lessons [ but always consider who you are gifting when making these decisions ].

Gift Cards

I’m personally a fan of gifting gift cards. I feel like it allows the person to have an experience or treat themselves when they see fit. Be aware of the potential “returning situation” like I mentioned above. I feel like that’s a rare occurrence & most people are appreciative. I personally love gift cards to Barnes & Noble [ follow book worm over here] or certain department stores. Instead of giving something someone may or may not use, you allow them to choose something they may truly want or need when they wish to buy something.

Photo Album

Personal gifts are one of my favorites & showcasing photographs with a specific friend or memory is a nice way to let someone know how much they mean to you & cherish their time with said person. For instance, my now husband gifted me a jar of rolled up photographs of our memories together that year. He knows how much I enjoy our adventures & capturing said moments, so this with an added note reading, “the best gifts are the memories we make together” really made my day. And I display the jar of photos in our living room to this day for the daily reminder.

Books

As minimalistic as I try to be, I will always find books to be worth buying. I do have a rule of selling / donating the books that are 3 stars or one’s I plan to never re-read. But I’m always looking for recommendations. If someone comes up to me & says, “I love this book & you need to check it out – 95% of the time I will read it. Will I always keep said book in my collection? No, but I’m always itching to read & add to my TBR.

Experiences

This can be as broad or simple as you wish it to be. It can be checking out a local coffee shop or ice cream parlor. Or it can be an extravagant 10 day vacation. I always believe traveling is worth the money. Those travels gain you memories, culture & help you grow as individuals. For instance, my husband & I plan to hopefully go to a lantern festival this summer. It acts as a creative date night & a new experience we can cross off our bucket list. Other experience related activities could include: going on a hike, visiting a new state, play top golf, spend the day at a theme park or even check out a new restaurant.

Help Complete a Task

I’m not the biggest fan of favors. I think people can take advantage of a person’s good nature. I definitely want to go more in depth on that topic in terms of boundary setting in a later post. But I think if done right & for the right person, helping them with a task or completing something is an appreciative gesture. Whether it’s helping someone move to a new house, gardening or painting, to name a few things – not only are you helping them but you are also spending time with that person as well.

What are some other practical gifts you can think of?

-B

Minimalism, Minimalism

How To Travel 10 Days in a Carry On Suitcase

I’ve made it a mission to put my minimalist lifestyle to the test when it comes to traveling. In the past, I’ve been known to overpack even on the shortest getaway. So, when I realized I would be traveling 10 days for my destination wedding AND 10 days for our honeymoon soon after, I figured this was the perfect time for such a challenge. Not to mention, we have to haul my wedding gown on the flight as well. By limiting myself to merely a carry on suitcase or small duffle bag, I learned it is possible to travel lightly & still have plenty. Here are a few things to consider when packing for your next adventure:

Check The Weather

One of the hugest culprits in packing heavy is preparing for all kinds of weather. Even on the most sunny vacations, I was known to still pack a rain jacket [ just in case]. Now, I try to trust my weather app & only pack according to the predicted weather. If an unexpected rain shower does occur, for instance – I can always purchase a jacket or umbrella at my destination. Naturally, I find warmer climates to be easier to pack for than colder destinations. So, when it came to preparing for our destination wedding in the South & our Maui honeymoon, I was lucky I didn’t need to pack any heavy boots or anything.

Plan Your Outfits / Activities

Although spontaneity is fun, I find when it comes to longer vacations / trips; having an itinerary of sorts is very helpful. Base your outfits & clothing to what you plan to do on your getaway. Our destination wedding for instance consisted of a lot of visiting & relaxing before the big day. I was smart in shipping a few items ahead of time like my rehearsal dinner dress, veil & the bridemaid’s morning of gifts. In all honesty, the goal was to be an outfit repeater that week. And since I was staying at a family home, I knew I could do laundry if need be. In terms of the honeymoon, I knew we were going to a luau, so I made sure to pack a tropical maxi dress. But for the most part, I knew Hawaii would consist of lots of bikinis & outdoor wear. Weeks before either of theses trips, I hung all the outfits up on my clothing rack. This allowed me to keep track of what I was bringing & prevent me from making any impulse purchases or overpack. I also kept in mind, I would probably do some shopping while we were in Maui anyway.

Wear the Bulkiest Items on the Airplane

This is my most favorite hack when it comes to packing light. My airplane attire always consists of leggings, a tank top or t-shirt, sneakers & a jacket or sweatshirt. Shoes & hoodies are two of the most bulky items to pack in the suitcase. Even though sandals can be easier to take on and off at TSA, I’m always grateful to have extra space for other necessities in my suitcase.

Packing Cubes vs. Rolling

I actually have never used packing cubes but have noticed from other people, they are VERY helpful in condensing space. I on the other hand, love rolling my clothing & or putting certain categories in zipblock bags. The way you organize & store your items in the suitcase makes all the difference. The reason I like the zipblock bag method is because I can release the air from the bag to make it very flat. I will admit this hack can seem rather wasteful so if you have any reusable methods [ besides packing cubes ] that do the same affect, let me know.

Travel Size Is Your Bestfriend

When it comes to makeup products or toiletries, having the smaller counterpart is the smartest move. Not to mention, TSA has certain regulations anyway. As a makeup lover, I try to only pack my smaller eyeshadow palettes during travels such as these. And in some cases, I will invest in travel size products like setting spray, shampoo, body / face wash & even mascara. Every space counts so you want to be efficient. Even when choosing purses for vacations, I lean towards small cross body styles or even clutches.

When in Doubt, Leave It At Home

I mentioned this in my older packing guide, which you can read here. But if you are questioning any item too hard, chances are you don’t need it. Really ask yourself why you want to bring / wear something before packing it. I can’t tell you how many times I would bring more clothing than necessary & only wear a quarter of the items. And if you DO end up needing something or forgetting something, you can always purchase it at your destination.

Choose Clothing Pieces That Are Versatile

If you already have a capsule wardrobe like me, you are already there in having clothing pieces that pair in multiple ways. For example, I packed a light grey t-shirt that I could wear with black shorts, white shorts, denim shorts or even jeans. Always start with your basics & work from there. Any additional or unique items can be added later. When it came to the honeymoon, I knew I wanted a few unique & tropical looking maxi dresses for dinners or the luau. I didn’t go overboard with this idea though & only packed two – a black & purple flower maxi dress I’ve had for a few years & a white floral maxi dress I found on Amazon.

Check Out This Capsule Wardrobe Challenge: I Tried Project 333 & This Is How It Went

Conclusion:

When seeing the world, you don’t want to feel weighed down by stuff. Although it can feel rather challenging at first, overtime it will become second nature. You’ll enjoy returning home to less laundry to do & you’ll quickly realize you don’t need much to enjoy yourselves. Who knows, maybe you’ll get to the point all you need is a backpack.

Where are you traveling to next?

Up for an even bigger challenge? watch me pack all of these items in a backpack in this IG REEL

-B