I’m not a fashionable person. I wasn’t the girl in high school who had a new, inspiring outfit nearly every day of the week. (Though how I admired her…) I don’t set trends. I only catch the obvious ones just in time before they’re gone. I buy what the mannequins in the store are wearing because I am brainless when it comes to matching articles of clothing.
So it’s not a surprise that I often wake up in the morning, look at all of my clothing options, sigh, scratch my head, and decide to go make coffee in my underwear. Are any of you as overwhelmed with your wardrobe as I am? I can’t be alone!
My wardrobe is fairly small compared to most girls my age. Even so, today I looked in my drawers and I felt hatred towards:
The cute ruffly shorts I bought and had great ideas for but never wore.
That shirt I only got to wear a few weeks before a seam ripped.
Those skirts from my floral phase that lasted a month.
That one striped shirt that somehow just doesn’t feel comfortable.
The expensive shirt my mom bought me that had beading…which fell off.
Today I just go so fed up that I dragged out a trash bag and started throwing clothing into it. (It didn’t help that I ran out of coffee this morning either.) It made me realize that we hang on to a lot of clothing we never wear just for silly reasons. That ripped shirt is a shame, but it’s not going to fix itself. Those ruffly shorts don’t go with anything. I’m over my floral phase. I’m never going to wear that uncomfortable shirt even if it’s cute. So I finally tossed them all in a bag, after months of them sitting in the back of my dresser drawer, and they’re heading down to a donations drop-off this weekend. Now that I’ve gotten rid of everything ripped, unwearable, and uncomfortable I don’t have much left. My plan is to slowly build a workable wardrobe. It also helps to put a limit on how many articles of clothing you should have, so you don’t go over. We always end up wearing our favorites clothes over and over again anyway, right? It’s a waste to keep buying more.
Benefits of a Small Wardrobe
You don’t have to do loads and loads of endless laundry.
You only have things in your closet you actually wear.
Choosing an outfit is easy because everything is wearable and matches.
There are limited options, so picking an outfit is easy.
You don’t have to feel guilty when you buy an article of clothing you actually need.
You’re wearing what you like and feel comfortable in, so you feel better.
You don’t have to worry about trends so much.
You can pick out better quality of clothing. Quality over quantity!
Everything you clean out can be donated to someone who needs it.
How to Clean Your Closet
Make three piles: yes, maybe, no. The yes pile is going back into your closet. The maybe pile is for anything you have to even think about keeping.
Donate. Do some good with those old clothes. Donate the no pile if it’s in good shape.
Get the maybe pile out of sight. When you’re done, put the maybe pile in a black trash bag or box and put it somewhere you won’t see it every day. Wait about a month and if you end up never going in that maybe pile to grab something then get rid of it all. The trick is not opening it to check “one last time” before saying goodbye. You didn’t need those clothes!
Organize the closet. When you put everything back try to keep everything neat. If it still looks crammed, you may want to throw some things into the maybe pile.
Keep it smaller! To keep your closet clutter-free it takes effort. For every one thing you bring in, one thing must go. Otherwise it will snowball and you’ll have to do this all over again!
Some people take closet cleaning to extremes by eliminating everything as I have explained but deciding to keep only a tiny amount of clothes. Take a look at Project 333 for example, a group of people who pledge to only wear 33 different articles of clothing for three months. The funny part is that no one is realizing these people are wearing the same 33 things for three months… So really, your fashion choices aren’t really getting as much attention as you think.
Of course, just because you have less clothes doesn’t mean you have to dress boring. There are many fashionable minimalists out there. I love looking around Lookbook and getting inspired. Personally, I think it’s best to have a few good quality clothes and spend your time collecting fun accessories!
My days of college classes are over (for now) but many of you are heading back to college this semester and I’m actually jealous! I always used to get so excited every fall semester because it meant new professors, new people, new planners and books, and just a general air of change from a long summer. I can remember last fall semester when I was thrilled about organizing my planner, setting up my books, and running off to class on a crisp morning with Starbucks in hand. Call me crazy, but I miss it!
Here are some things I would usually be obsessing over this time of year.
When I think of braids I think of Lauren Conrad. She helped put braids back into the spotlight as something chic and (seemingly) simple. Instead of spending a lot of time straightening or curling your hair before class like everyone else, braids are a lot faster to do once you get the routine down and stand out more.
Look at this beautiful braid on the left! From the looks of it, it seems to be a half-french braid that goes along the side of the head into a side-pony tail. I love the idea of tying it off with a ribbon that’s also used as a headband. For more ideas like this one and step-by-step guides you can check out The Beauty Department, a blog run by Lauren Conrad and other stylists. This is my personal favorite that I’ve been wearing.
When I was little I’d always carry one of those huge plastic boxes that had all my pencils in them. Then all the cool kids just started throwing pencils in their backpacks so I followed along. When I got to college I decided to rebel against everyone who just brought a pen to class by purchasing a pencil bag. I still have it to this day. Someone in class was always looking for scissors, a highlighter, a Sharpie, etc. and I was the one who pulled out her pencil bag and loaned it to everyone. Hello, conversation starter!
Gim Carry makes little bags and keychain holders. One of her pencil cases are pictured on the left. She’s truly gifted and makes each of these herself. I’ve been dying to purchase one!
I would always paint my nails the night before my first class. My favorite polish brand is OPI because of the vast color options, the solution of the polish isn’t hard to apply (unlike others that can be sticky or runny), the shape of the brush is flat which is the only way I can get a smooth coat, and the handle feels comfortable. For that I am willing to pay more!
Pictured on the left is Privacy Please by OPI, a really delicate pink color, and my personal favorite nude Dulce de Leche by OPI. I recommend turning to nudes and light pinks for first day of classes. It will match everything you’re wearing that first week and won’t make an loud statement. Your nails will look fresh!
Doesn’t nearly every girl get excited about their “first day” outfit? This was always a big deal in my house growing up. I think it’s funny looking back as an adult… We used to spend so much time preparing the outfit for that very first day yet the rest of the year usually fell flat because we didn’t care anymore.
Now that I have the blessings of adult wisdom, I suggest that if you really need to go out and buy new clothes this year look for things you can see yourself wearing for a long period of time. I personally go for nude minimalistic looks. The key is to look for staples in your wardrobe and go from there. That way you know you’ll be able to rock the outfit all year and mix & match! Don’t go out and buy that cute hot pink shirt if you’ll get sick of it after the first week. We’ve all been there.
This blog entry was posted in Beauty on Aug 23 2011.
I’m a book lover that has gone over to the e-reader side. I remember a few years ago when I decided to go digital on my iPad, many people told me they’d never do it. Yet now I’m seeing those same people converting to an e-reader of their choice as well. Here are my reasons for crossing over.
Admit it -- we love showing off our shelves.
I was reading my feeds this morning and saw someone had written about five or six books they’d bought, and how only two of them were interesting but she was excited to add them all to her collection anyway.
Let’s be honest. When you buy books and read them, how many do you read again? Just your favorites. So why do a lot of us feel the need to go out and buy books that we may not like, like the girl in my example above? Would you go out and buy a movie you never watched? Would you buy clothes you didn’t try on and couldn’t return? Probably not. The truth is that the more books we have on our shelves the smarter we feel. I used to completely stock my bookshelf because I thought it made me look well read. I actually know people who reference their bookshelves as a joke to how well read they are.
But here’s another truth. I’ve never looked at someone’s bookshelf and been impressed. However, I have been incredibly impressed with people who bring up stories, characters, and literature-based arguments during a conversation. That’s what makes you well read. Not how many books are in your room.
Less to move
This is an image all too familiar.
I’ve had to move my large book collection twice, and that was enough to convince me to get rid of my books.
Books are incredibly heavy. I couldn’t even put my books into boxes when I moved because they wouldn’t hold. The trunk of my car was full of books that I had to carry in stack by stack. I thought to myself… I am not doing this again. So I donated books I didn’t like to the library. Eventually I did the same with books that weren’t a favorite. Now I have hundreds of books on my iPad, and about five of my favorite books in collector editions displayed in my living room. Much easier to move… And worth moving.
Less to bring
Speaking of moving books around, how about traveling? I used to always have at least one book in my purse just in case I was stuck somewhere. I always brought a book to my university classes to read before the professor showed up, or even if he was being incredibly boring that day. Books while on an airplane is a must.
I will always remember that summer I was visiting my grandmother in Puerto Rico. I was in eight grade. I brought my entire Harry Potter collection with me in my suitcase. I ended up reading them all three times. I was dying because I was there for a few weeks and I didn’t have enough reading material. My mom ended up buying me a bunch of used Agatha Christie books because it was all she could find in English. I re-read those a few times too.
An e-reader back then would have blown my mind. To think… Now whenever I travel anywhere and plan on reading, I bring my e-reader. I never run out of books to read and I don’t have to worry about which book to bring.
The choice is yours
My current e-reader is an iPad, but I've tried out many others.
There are so many different types of e-readers out there. It really isn’t hard to find one that may agree with you! You can still bookmark, feel like you’re turning the page, highlight, make notes, organize a digital bookshelf, and the list goes on. A lot of book fanatics claim it’s just not the same — but it is. You can do it all digitally. You just have to get used to the idea of curling up with the e-reader. I promise that soon enough, it really does feel just as cozy. You won’t be missing anything.
Earlier this year, or perhaps it was even last year, I had promised to write a tutorial on how to design a custom WordPress theme. I did start writing this tutorial, but there was a problem — it was incredibly long and complicated. I was half way through and I decided not to publish it because I just didn’t think it was helpful. The truth is you can’t just read a tutorial on how to create a WordPress theme and run off to make a mind-blowing theme. The same goes for web design in general — no tutorial is going to show you how to do it. You learn through experimenting, trial and error, and educating yourself.
So instead of writing a long tutorial, I’ve decided to explain how I learned.
As a heads up, you need to be fairly proficient in coding HTML, CSS, and PHP. You’ll be creating and modifying code, so knowing how to make a bare website and bold a line of text simply won’t lead to a WordPress theme. If this is your case, I suggest becoming proficient in standard coding and returning to this project another time.
This is how I learned to create my own WordPress theme. It’s not the right way. It’s not the only way. Hopefully it will lead you in the right direction!