style / mindset / simplicity
style / mindset / simplicity
I follow a blogger who decided to give up jeans! That’s right. She swore
off jeans for an entire year. She forced herself to create outfits that didn’t include jeans.
I’m not sure I could do it. I love jeans! I love the way they look and the way they feel and how they simplify my life. Most days...at Anthropologie, in a client’s home, out to lunch, on a date…I’m wearing a pair of jeans.
However, her post did inspire me to consider some non-denim options for pants. So, let’s take denim off the table and explore great pants you can wear while you give your jeans a well-deserved rest.
Building a pants wardrobe beyond denim...
Khakis- A pair of pants in classic khaki will work wonders in your wardrobe. This wardrobe workhouse will coordinate with all of the items already in your closet. Almost anything you wear with your jeans, you can put with khakis. Black, red, pale pink, navy, stripes, plaid, floral…one pair of khaki pants can open up countless outfitting possibilities!
Chinos– I list these separately, because although traditional chinos
are often khaki colored, they can be found in a huge array of hues.
I recently purchased a pair of Pilcro Chinos from Anthropologie…they
are dark green and navy plaid! Coolest pants ever.
Corduroys– Once reserved for the preppy crowd, corduroy pants have been given an update. They’re a super choice for fall and winter because they are warm and comfortable. While corduroy pants are available in many different styles, I’d opt for a classic, 5-pocket jean cut with either a boot-cut or skinny leg. Again, the color options are limitless. Maybe try
two …one in a basic shade (navy, black, tan, military green) and a second in a fun color (bright red, mustard yellow, rust or forest green).
Wool trousers- I love a beautiful pair of trousers. Think long and fluid. Menswear inspired, but cut for a woman. This shape is often found in traditional men’s suiting fabrics…tweeds, gabardines, checks and plaids. Classic charcoal grey is always in style. Katherine Hepburn understood
how to look elegant and feminine in pants.
Cigarette– These are the pants made famous by Audrey Hepburn.
They're still just as chic today. Timeless. Slim and straight, this style stops just above the ankle. Black is the only real choice. I actually feel more stylish just typing about this iconic silhouette.
Cargo Pants- The cargo pant has been around a long time. In the fashion world, it’s been a bit overdone…but it is possible to find a pair of cargo-style pants that look modern and sharp. Opt for classic colors in a fabric that drapes well. This pant can be dressed up or down. I own a pair made of rayon and they hang beautifully on the body, but are comfortable enough to wear on a long flight.
Palazzo- These are long trousers with a loose, wide leg. The shape is mostly seen in the summer and on tropical vacations because Palazzo pants are usually made of lightweight, flowing fabrics that are breathable in hot weather. They can also be made from slightly heavier, crepe fabrics that allow this style to translate into holiday wear.
There's still time to follow along on the 31 Days of Simple Style.
Click here to be included in the daily update.
Are you like me, preferring jeans above all others? Do you experiment
with different types of pants? Are some of these styles already in your wardrobe? I'd love to hear about the pants you love best.
Thanks for reading.
Stars can't shine without darkness....
If you read my post on Home Clothes, you won’t be surprised to know
that I have similar issues with what to wear at night. I’m always trying to improve my options for what to wear during that quiet time when only
my family sees me.
I must say, I am getting better in this category. Yet, I still struggle with settling for the least expensive, almost ‘love it’ option. My solution is to
limit the number of pieces and be sure to include only comfortable, flattering, ‘feel good’ items in all my future night clothes collections.
The people in our family deserve to see us looking nice, even in the late night and early morning hours. And…we deserve to feel great in what we wear during those more intimate times. No one outside of your family will ever see this capsule wardrobe. However, even though it’s reserved for you and the people under your roof, it still matters. Just like with the clothing you wear out in the real world, the items you wear as ‘night clothes’ can make you feel amazing or dumpy and frumpy. I don’t know about you, but I’m all for feeling amazing as often as possible.
In this category, remember to choose what feels best to you.
There are lots of great choices…
Classic menswear pajamas
Soft, comfortable long underwear
Loose, flowy, silk pj pants and a luxurious t-shirt
A lovely bathrobe
Search around online and in stores until you find a few pieces that you love. During my online research…a quick glance at Pinterest brought me to a Vogue UK article about Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. The article mentioned a sleepwear line that Ms. Huntington-Whiteley has created
with the British department store, Marks and Spencer. I didn’t need to look beyond the photos included in the story to realize that I'd found my look. The pieces are equal parts comfortable, luxurious and sexy. Now granted,
I will never look like the incredibly beautiful Ms. Huntington-Whiteley…but if I wear night clothes that resemble the pieces in her collection…I am sure to feel gorgeous!
Create a collection of ‘night clothes’ that you feel fabulous wearing. Within my wardrobe, it’s this category more than any other that has the potential to make me feel beautiful.
Remember to pay attention to the proportions...
Combine a billowy, long knit top with lean leggings.
Add a pair of loose, flowy pants to a slim t-shirt.
Choose a bathrobe that is warm, but still creates a flattering line.
Have fun with this part of your wardrobe. Don’t neglect it…putting a little
effort into the night clothes category will do wonders for your self-esteem. I promise.
Don’t miss a single day of 31 Days of Simple Style.
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I’d love to know how you make your night clothes work for you. I’m always looking for some new ideas! Thanks for sharing and for reading.
I can't believe it's already day 13 of the 31 Days- Writing Challenge.
Thanks so much for following along.
There were several strong topic options for the letter M. Ultimately, I decided to touch on three M’s that I feel are worth mentioning.
When it comes to wardrobes, mindfulness is a helpful tool. Practice being aware of what you are adding to your wardrobe and equally aware of what you are removing. This helps you to control the contents of your closet.
Pay attention to how you feel when you wear your clothing. Take note of the pieces that make you feel wonderful. What is it that you love about those things? Use that information to guide you when shopping.
The idea is to have a positive relationship with your clothes. Your wardrobe should support you and provide you with the elements you need to look great every day! Don’t settle for a closet full of clothes that you don’t enjoy wearing. Be mindful when making purchases. Be mindful when choosing what to wear. Getting dressed should be a pleasure.
Does any of the following sound familiar?...
You have way too much stuff in your closet. You know this and yet you continue to shop. You are tricked into thinking that buying new pieces will give you more options in your wardrobe. Yet, even with your overflowing closet, you continue to truly feel that you have nothing to wear. American women seem to become lost in this cycle. It doesn’t solve anything. It only brings guilt and despair…and wasted time and money.
Adopting a minimal attitude helps to cull the excess and bring you back to a closet that is functional because it contains only pieces that you love to wear. Start believing the idea that less is really more. Fewer pieces that you truly enjoy wearing are the way to go. Don’t be scared. Pare down.
It feels amazing. Honest.
Want to better understand what makes French women so chic?
Wondering how you can master that same elegant look?
Grab a copy of Lessons from Madame Chic –
20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris by Jennifer L. Scott.
I love this book. It's filled with lessons learned while Ms. Scott was a foreign exchange student in Paris. She lovingly refers to her host mother as Madame Chic because of the stylish way she lives her life.
There are great tips to be taken away from this enjoyable book regardless of your age or lifestyle. I highly recommend it. I appreciated the glimpse it provides into why French women are so effortlessly stylish...and how you can be too!
"A guide for women who yearn to channel Audrey Tautou. . . . Personable, anecdote-filled, and studded with lifestyle tips . . . its vivacity and sincerity have struck a chord among women who would like a French role model of their own, but don't have a year to spend apprenticing with one in Paris."
—The New York Times
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I’d love to know your thoughts on any of the M's. Share comments below or email me at email@example.com
Thank you for reading.
Okay, please pay close attention. This topic is a game-changer.
When adding pieces to your wardrobe I believe one question stands out
as the most important to ask?
Do you LOVE it?
I work in retail and in closets. I help women build wardrobes. I give opinions on garments all day long. I am always honest and practical
when assisting women in the fitting room and in the home.
I always ask…Do you love it?
So many women (even me…when I sometimes forget this crucial step) make clothing purchases without exploring whether they really love the item they are buying.
I have a long-held belief that we should only buy things we truly love. I often see women buying clothing that they believe to be “almost…close…or fine”.
That is not the way to build a fabulous wardrobe. A fabulous wardrobe consists of pieces you absolutely love!
Ideally with no exceptions. None.
As some of you already know, I recently read
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. This quick read is incredibly powerful and is indeed, life-changing. I was so taken with this book that I devoted several blog posts to the philosophy of Ms. Kondo.
You can read more about my journey here.
The basic concept of Ms. Kondo’s decluttering method comes down to asking yourself one simple question about what you choose to keep in
your wardrobe, in your home and ultimately in your life…
Does it spark joy?
If your answer is no…out it goes.
One of the easiest ways to cultivate a beautiful, efficient wardrobe that supports your lifestyle is to stop buying things you don’t love. This practice goes a long way towards keeping clutter from taking over your closet.
Five ways to LOVE your wardrobe:
1. Choose the best possible version for you right now. Loving an item doesn’t mean you can only choose the most expensive option. Sometimes there will be a piece on your ‘wish list’ that will be unattainable. Pick a comparable garment that you can really love until that wish list item can
be yours. A little side note: If you absolutely can’t imagine your life without the highest quality option…design a plan to acquire it.
Do you dream of wearing an Hermes belt? Develop a belt budget and
save until you can afford it.
You won’t be happy until you own a Chanel jacket? Start scouring ebay and boutique-style resale shops. Again, create a plan and make it happen.
2. Be discerning. Really consider every purchase. Here are some questions I ask myself when shopping…
Would I buy the item if it was full price? Would I be disappointed if I don’t purchase it and it’s gone if I return for it? Will I be super envious if I see it on someone else?
3. Protect your closet space. Don’t let anything that is less than amazing reside in your closet! A jam-packed closet does not give you more wardrobe options…if only causes wardrobe paralysis. You can’t make any decisions when you have way too much stuff! That’s why it always feels like you have nothing to wear.
4. Shop with intent. Before you shop, know what your wardrobe is missing. Make a list. Utilize the sales associates at the stores where you love to shop. Let them do their job and help you find just the right pieces. It’s instantly obvious when a customer absolutely loves what she's buying. She radiates an ‘I love this’ energy. Aim for that feeling with every purchase!
5. If you don’t love it, leave it. Continue your search. Hold out for the pieces that make you light up. Think about a piece in your current wardrobe that always makes you feel fantastic…expect that from all of your clothing. All of it.
It’s not hard. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It just requires a shift in thinking and a bit of patience. Building a wardrobe filled only with pieces you love is the ultimate goal…take your time. It will be so very worth it in the end.
Enjoying 31 Days of Simple Style?
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If you only take away one message from all 31 Days of Simple Style, this one is the most vital! Buy what you love and your wardrobe will improve.
Thank you so much for reading. Questions or comments are always welcome.
What to wear at home? I've stuggled for years to upgrade the clothing
I wear at home. I even created a wardrobe challenge for myself.
I think this section of the wardrobe is difficult for many women, myself included. Home clothing is something of a lost, vague, undescribed category. It seems most women view it as unimportant.
However, it matters! What you wear at home has a direct effect on how you feel when you're at home. When we look great we tend to feel more positive and be more productive.
Here’s what I've taken away from numerous conversations with clients and friends…
Stay at home moms usually figure ‘why bother’…I’m just in my house with my kids all day. Who really cares?
Women with jobs outside the home are always ‘dressed for success’ in their work roles, but want to slip into the most comfortable option once they are finished at the office. Even if that option isn't the most attractive.
Women who work from home often feel it’s a luxury to take a conference call in their pjs, so they do. This can be the beginning of a habit that's difficult to break.
Yet, I think if we are honest…we’d all like to look better when we hang out at home for the day. Wouldn’t it be nice when the doorbell rings… to swing the door open with pride, knowing that you look put together and presentable?
If your son forgets his lunch and you need to run to school, how great would it be to dash out of the house already looking and feeling good? No stressing about putting on ‘real clothes’ or fixing yourself up before leaving.
It’s possible to look nice while spending the day at home…it only takes a bit of preparation and effort. Not much, I promise. You just need the right pieces in your wardrobe and maybe a slight change in mindset.
Think about the goal for your home clothes. What are the most important qualities?
Comfort- pick items that are loose enough to feel good in all day, yet still flattering. This is not the time for your most gigantic sweatpants. Fabrics should feel good against your skin. Nothing scratchy or itchy.
Cost- I hesitate to say this, because some garments should really be tossed…but I’m okay with sometimes downgrading pieces to wear in this category. Let's say that you have a few t-shirts, sweaters or pants that you love and they still look good, but aren’t what you would wear to work or out to lunch anymore. By all means turn them into ‘home clothes’. What you want to avoid is holding onto clothing that is past its prime and calling those garments ‘home clothes’. The goal is to feel fabulous when you are at home…those old, worn-out items won’t do it!
If you’ll be shopping for a few new things…check out Target, Old Navy, Forever 21…even Goodwill. You don't need to invest a huge amount in these outfits. The idea is to have a few reliable combinations that you can easily put on when you are spending time at home.
Easy care- It’s best if these garments can be tossd into the washing machine. Home tasks are often messy, like cooking, cleaning, planting, etc., so these clothes need to be easy to wash. Exception: a great cashmere hoodie or sweater that you wear many, many times before it needs to be cleaned.
Warmth- Heading into winter, you’ll need some layers in order to keep warm. Instead of turning up the heat, add a camisole or a scarf to your home outfits. Stylish and energy efficient.
Picture your ideal home outfit. Create one or two outfits in your mind that you would feel great wearing when you're hanging out at home. If you can’t visualize them…hop onto Pinterest and start searching.
If it helps, my home clothes ‘dream’ outfits look like this…
Soft comfortable jeans, simple t-shirt (clean and flattering) and a generously cut, super-snuggly cardigan sweater.
Easy-fitting black leggings with a very comfortable waistband, t-shirt
and a long, fluffy pull-over sweater.
Black socks – I only wear black socks. I buy them by the bag at Target.
No confusion on laundry day. I always have a matching pair. This step simplifies my routine.
Slippers- I buy the same pair of shearling slippers at Target every year. They are under $25, comfortable and nice looking…for slippers.
If you are a fan of The Fly Lady, you know that she suggests that you
'get dressed to shoes'. I find I’m good with slippers. While we aren’t a
‘no shoes’ household, I don’t love wearing my shoes my home. If you’d rather wear a pair of shoes, go for it! Do whatever works best for you
when creating your home style.
Thanks for stopping by.
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What do you wear when you're hanging out at home?
I'd love some other ideas. Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome! I'm so glad you're here.
Once again, I'm taking part in...
31 Days - a Writing Challenge
hosted by The Nesting Place blog.
My topic this year is Simple Style.
I’ll be using the A to Z approach for the next 31 days.
The posts will flow through the alphabet…each day a different letter and a different subject related to style.
I’ll also be including a few bonus extras since there are obviously only 26 letters:-)
I’m committed to delivering great tips and insider tricks daily. My goal is to offer nuggets that will help you cultivate great style. I’ll keep each post as brief and tight as possible, as I realize your days are busy and your time is valuable. I want every message to be really relevant to you and your wardrobe.
Every day, I'll add a link to each new post on the list below, but...
The easiest way to stay informed? Click here and I’ll deliver each post right to your inbox. Then you won’t miss a thing! You can unsubscribe at any time with just one click.
If you'd like more information about the challenge, you can find it at
31 Days- a writing challenge.
If you have any questions about the challenge or my posts, please contact me. Write a comment or email me at email@example.com
I’m super excited! It all begins tomorrow!
Day One - A is for Anthropologie
Day Two - B is for Be You. Better
Day Three - C is for Cashmere
Day 4 - D is for Denim
Day 5 - E is for Elevate
Day 6 - F is for French Chic
Day 7 - G is for Greta
Day 8 - H is for Home 'Clothes
Day 9 - I is for Icon
Day 10 - J is for Jacket
Day 11 - K is for Knits
Day 12 - L is for Love It or Leave It
Day 13 - M is for Mindful, Minimal and Madame Chic
Day 14 - N is for Night Clothes
Day 15 - O is for Online Shopping
Day 16 - Bonus Day- An interview
Day 17 - P is for Pants
Day 18 - Q is for Quality
Day 19 - R is for Repeat
Day 20 - S is for Stripes
Day 21 - S is for Shoes
Day 22 - T is for Texture
Day 23 - U is for Uniform
Day 24 - V is for Vests
Day 25 - V is for Vithya - an interview
Day 26 - W is for Winter
Day 27 - X is for X-tras
Day 28 - Y is for Youthful
Day 29 - Z is for Zara
Day 30 - The Inspired Closet
Day 31 - Find Your Look & Live Your Life!
Lots of good stuff is happening at The Together Act headquarters! I’m gearing up for a busy October. I want to share two specific things with you…
I’ve once again signed up for the 31 Days- Writing Challenge hosted by
The Nesting Place blog.
I took this challenge last fall and really enjoyed the stretch and structure
it provided. I had never written every day for an entire month! When I published my last post on Halloween, I felt very proud. I have a history
of starting…and maybe, not always completing things. So, my first writing challenge was big. I'm really looking forward to throwing my hat in the ring again this October.
Like to write? Want to join the fun?
If you have a blog and want to give it a try…it’s not too late.
Click here for all of the details.
It’s a super friendly community! The challenge is a great way to grow as a writer...even if you're "not really a writer". You'll also discover some cool blogs. Be sure to pick a topic you are passionate about…as it’s much easier to write every day about something that truly matters to you.
If you don’t have a blog, I urge you to poke around the 31 Days site and
get to know some of the bloggers who’ve signed up. The previews show lots of interesting, pertinent topics.
I'm thrilled you’ll be along for the journey; it always helps to know you're reading!
I'm super excited to announce...
The Together Act's Three-Day Wardrobe Workshop
And for a limited time, I'll be offering the workshop for FREE!
It can be approached at your own pace, in the comfort of your own home
and no one will have to see your closet:-)
Here's a sneak peek of what's included...
During The Three-Day Wardrobe Workshop, I’ll help you…
Discover and define your own personal style
Learn what pieces you already have in your closet that will support your new look
Use what you own to make incredible, new outfits…without spending a dime.
Don't worry if you have no idea how to accomplish what's listed above...especially in only three days. I promise to give you all the tools
and instructions you'll need.
Soon, I'll send out an email inviting you to join me for
The Together Act's Three-Day Wardrobe Workshop.
No charge. No shopping required.
You'll just need to set aside a bit of time and make a commitment to following simple, specific steps...and you'll be well on your way to creating your ideal look and rocking it!
So many women I've worked with were stuck wearing only 20% of their clothing because it seemed ‘easier’. After using the same methods I'll teach you in the workshop...those women are now loving and wearing more of their clothing and getting dressed with ease!
Are you thinking…?
Isn't cultivating my own style going to be too difficult and time-consuming?
Will it even work in the end?
Won’t it be expensive to re-invent or update my look?
The answer is...No!
I think you’ll be surprised at how simple it can be to look great!
I'll be in touch soon with more information about the start of
The Three-Day Wardrobe Workshop...
Thanks for reading.
Welcome to Excited Chills!
In a very bold move, I've decided to take on the challenge of writing a post a day for
31 days...in a row. Consecutively.
The challenge is to write on one topic every day during the month of October.
I chose to focus on Excited Chills through travel. It all begins on October 1st. New
posts will appear here daily. The common thread will be travel, but with a wide reach.
I'll include tips and tricks, favorite places, great meals, and more.
I welcome you on my journey. Thanks for your patience as I test the waters and my wings.
Day 1 - Three days max...but you should go to Las Vegas
Day 2 - Carry-on only
Day 3 - Wheels Up- Alone
Day 4 - Boulder, Colorado
Day 5 - Learn from the Unworn
Day 6 - Up in the Air
Day 7 - Paris Perfect
Day 8 - Pont des Arts - Love Locks Bridge
Day 9 - A 'must' in Paris
Day 10 - My 3 favorite things to bring home from Paris
Day 11 - Better than nothing - Combo Washer/Dryer
Day 12 - Free'p'star - Thrifting in Paris
Day 13 - Be still my heart- Anthropologie in Paris
Day 14 - Thanksgiving in Paris - Le Villaret
Day 15 - The Ides of October slipped past me
Day 16 - Vieques - tropical paradise!
Day 17 - A Tropical Christmas
Day 18 - The trick to a great 22 person family vacation - OBX
Day 19 - Surprise Vacations - Yes or No?
Day 20 - Wanderlust - the trip that started it all
Day 21- Finally, Spain... Two cool hotels in Madrid
Day 22 - El Rastro - Be in Madrid on a Sunday
Day 23 - Madrid - My three favorite spots for food and drink
Day 24 - Spanish sensory overload!
Day 25 & Day 26 - Finding the fun! - Soccer abroad
Day 27 - Simplicity in Siena
Day 28 - Zijuatanejo- A hotel with five rooms
Day 29 - A toast to you, Theresa. Happy Birthday!
Day 30 - Tips for a top flight
Day 31 - "How is this even possible?"
What the full story on this cool challenge?...