Today was a very dreary and rainy and cold day, so I tossed on some jeans and my militarish jacket to go get groceries for the week. These are the cowboy boots from Savers ($11), jeans also from savers ($7? It’s been a while), and jacket was second hand froma friend, who was cleaning out her closet! Here’s a pic with and with out the jacket.

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I like the idea of playing up the details on this dress, so I have it under my other favorite dress! Below is a pic of the shoes for this outfit, and as you can see i’m doing a lace thing here. The black overdress is also from TJ Maxx, for $19.99, and these shoes were from Kohl’s last season, for $40. Sunglasses from Dollar Tree, $1. All these items have held up pretty well, (I like to nap in this black dress) so I’m pleased to give them a “good quality” report!

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This black cotton shirt is great- it’s soft, and flowy, and can be worn backwards, with a deep Lacey in the back, or forwards! It’s Lacey-ness also makes it great for layering, because other bright fun colors can show through. I am wearing it here over the White Dress, with the Lacey deep V in front, and a little black patent leather skinny belt over it for some shape. I love these shoes because they are so cute and go with everything, but they are poor quality. I can tell they’ll make it only a season :( Poor quality means garbage that just hasn’t made it to the dump yet, so I won’t promote this brand. If/when I find a quality substitute, I’ll absolutely let you know. Earrings from savers ($1). And here is a pic of me wearing it out to dinner with my girlfriends!

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I love this time of year in Texas, because you can wear more than one layer of clothing with out perspiring through all of them and ruining your clothes, and your mood. Layering allows for so many more combinations! The first pic is the first ensemble of the White Dress Project, that I wore out during the day. I layered my white and black striped shirt, and showed it tucked and untucked for fun.

That evening, it got chilly, so I switched from black flats to boots. For the record, I do try to get most of my clothing second hand to minimize waste. I hate how many thousands of pounds of clothing make it into the landfill each year, so by supporting thrift stores I’m reducing waste. However, if I really can’t find what I need, I’ll head to TJ Maxx, my next favorite! This store reduces waste because they take otherwise unsaleable items from bigger stores, and sell them reduced! It’s a win win! The third pic is of the boots that got swapped out at about 7pm when we went out for date night. The boots are vintage from Savers, my favorite thrift store (owned by Easter Seals, so shopping here raises my self esteem for doing good deeds), and the shirt is from the Limited. I hope you can find one just like it at your local second hand store, but if not, then I want to promote quality brands. A single quality product may prevent many more poorly constructed and rapidly discarded pieces.

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In effort to maximize what I have, and truly appreciate the potential in each piece of clothing making the cut into the closet, I decided to start the White Dress Project. I have a white (or eggshell, if you will) lace cap sleeved dress, that came with the belt shown, and I’m mixing it with as many pieces as possible. I’m hoping to come up with a week’s worth of outfits! I find that my creativity is conjured up out if necessity, so I’m imparting a false sense in this case by pretending that I’ve traveled to Paris, and only this bag wasn’t lost by the airlines. It’s a win win situation really, more creativity, and permission to daydream about Paris to get creative! Here is the dress of the week. The belt is wide elastic with a faux leather bow.

Hope I can come up with some original ideas!
<3 Meg

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shift dress with jeans and a belt

shift dress with jeans and a belt

In Northern California in March, one can wear a black shift dress over a button down white shirt, and throw on a belt to jazz it up. The next day you can wear that same shift dress again with a cardigan and switch up the shoes for another look entirely. In Texas in March, (like this past week), at 4pm on a patio the public should be thankful I’m wearing a shirt at all. It’s too hot! Many people say that they can’t get away with fewer clothes, or at least as few as those in warmer climates because of the change in seasons. As few? Perhaps not, especially given the variation on footwear. But they still have more variety when it comes to maximizing each piece. As an aside, I bellieve layering with thing layers is also a more effective method of staying warm.

My one tank top is worn alone, varying the bottoms from shorts to skirts, and that’s it! Bea Johnson of the ZeroWasteHome blog shows this perfectly in her post, and her photos are below. What a genius! Leave it to the French ;) She, incidentally, is a Northern Californian, via France, who studied art and lives a minimalist life.

 

basic shift with nude booties

basic shift with nude booties

black boots and white button down underneath

black boots and white button down underneath

basic shift under a black leather skirt

basic shift under a black leather skirt

under striped long sleeve shirt with a belt

under striped long sleeve shirt with a belt

 

worn as a shirt over pants

worn as a shirt over pants

worn as a skirt under a white loose tank with a scarf

worn as a skirt under a white loose tank with a scarf

worn as a shirt under a flowing pink skirt

worn as a shirt under a flowing pink skirt

 

 

 

 

 

Aren’t these the coolest?! They are by AnnaLeena. She has several shapes but I enjoy the classic rectangle the best. It looks like you could use both the top and bottom rungs for hanging if you’d like.  I love the idea of showcasing your clothing as artwork. Not to mention that seeing all you own before you would increase the likelihood of each item getting used more frequently. No room for fat pants here, and definitely nothing lurking in dark closet corners.

 

women's minimalist wardrobe organizer

most simple and beautiful clothing rails for the minimalist closet

 

 

 

These can be found on her website at http://www.annaleena.se/shop/.

The key to a minimalist wardrobe is reusing items for a multitude of purposes. 1 pair of shoes for 5 occasions is much more efficient and simple than 5 pairs for 5 events. This brings me to running shoes, which although I wear 3 times a week, still bother me that I can’t wear them with other outfits. This mainly irks me when I pack for travel, because they take up so much room in the suitcase! If I run for a total of 90 minutes while on vacation I feel I have wasted space in my suitcase. The solution to this I have come up with in beachy locations is to un barefoot on the beach (love it!), but what if there is not beach available? Or it’s cold? I know running shoes or sneakers could be worn with jeans, but I have a personal pet peeve about that. I like to think I’m European and view sneaker-looking-sneakers as fit for the gym only.  There  is an argument to be made that other shoes do not offer proper support, but being also a fan of minimalist and even barefoot running ( to strengthen arches and stabilizing muscles) a minimal shoe surely exists that also loks good with dress shorts? So my question to  you dear readers, is, have you seen any shoes that can do double duty during a work out, and on the street, in a fashionable manner?  A hybrid of both style, and function?

 

minimalist wardrobe uses multi-purpose items

a minimalist closet uses multi-purpose items

 

I really enjoy working out, but I also like to keep my life simple. Fewer clothes = less laundry, sounds good to me!  I do laundry for my husband and myself 2x a week, approximately Wednesday and Saturday, and it’s about 2-3 loads each time. I work out at most 6 days a week, alternating running and hot yoga, so I need three outfits. They are (drum roll please)

3 tanks

1 pair running shorts

1 pair capris

1 pair running leggings

2 sports bras (yes, I rewear one before washing. Hey, they’re moisture wicking!)

about 12 pairs of socks

1 pair running shoes

I have extra socks so I can work out each day and still have some for ankle boots. Since I live in Texas it is rarely too cold to run in shorts, but I can always layer with the pants or capris. I also don’t have a problem running  or yoga-ing in the summer in running tights. I actually prefer it since I am a major sweat-er, as in I think I sweat twice as much as normal people. Unrelated side note, I have had a dance teacher ask if I am ok because of my profuse sweating. Sorry, that’s just how my body does…moving. Anyway, I wear them all, wash, and repeat! Easy peasy! How do you keep your closet minimalist with work out gear?

 

 

To get the ball rolling I thought I should introduce myself, and my minimalist closet! So below are all the clothes that I wear in the hot months. I live in Texas, and we have two seasons: Death Valley Hot and Crisp. Below is Death Valley wardrobe, including shoes. Winter wardrobe is the same size, and would fit on the same closet rod but I get excited when I see open space in my closet; I can breathe!

 

Not pictured are my straw fedora, two skirts and one shirt in the laundry, along with the dress I am currently wearing (a basic black wrap dress). Also, my running shoes are in the living room, but I store them on the bottom “row” of the shoe rack, otherwise known as the floor. I do have in here my work out clothes on the bottom shelf, and my sun hat and accessories. I like to have everything in one place so I can easily imagine outfits coming together.

 

In the organizer shelf bins are (in order), socks, undies, and bras.

 

I tell you the truth when I say this is an honest photo!

 

I didn’t take a bunch of stuff out to make it look photo-ready, but I did, however, wrap up the guest comforter on the top shelf in twine. Looks cute right? I’m into twine these days. I get it from the dollar store and it makes everything look like it came from Whole Foods.

 

Inventory:
3 skirts (1 red pencil, 1 black pencil, 1 short cotton tribal print)
2 pairs of jeans (1 dark blue/ dressier and 1 lighter/more worn)
1 pair of shorts (mint green short shorts)
2 maxi dresses (both bright prints)
2 Little Black Dresses (one cap sleeve, one 3/4 sleeve)
1 denim shirt dress
about 6 cotton t shirt-esque tops
5 dressier tops

 

shoes:

gold flip flops

black t strap leather sandals

brown ballet flats
gray suede kitten heels
nude pumps
gray suede short boots
black wedges
tennis shoes

 

accessories:
3 gold necklaces
2 bracelets
1 watch
3 pairs earrings
2 rings (other than wedding band set)

 

Intimates:
2 bras (one nude convertible, one black)
12 pairs undies
14 pairs socks (half of these are technically part of the winter wardrobe to be worn with boots, but whatevs)

 

others:
1 pair jammy pants
3 cotton tank sleep shirts (I sleep pretty hot. These must be rotated, and also work great in the winter for layering)

 

Writing out everything I have actually makes me feel like it’s still too much. I feel like I should be able to commit to memory all I own. If I can’t remember it, I don’t need it!

Are you inspired to start purging?! I hope so! It feels as good as losing 15 lbs, but the satisfaction comes in a much shorter time frame. Let me know what you think!

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Tada!