Being Basic

Sometimes it's okay to be a basics bitch. In fact, I'm all about it right now. 

I've been trying to reduce and scale back on all fronts: product, lipgloss, bedding, clothes, and shoes (holy crap the shoes). But, I've also been diligent in getting things to the tailor (my best friend essentially) and replacing my well-worn basics, from undies to the classic striped tee, for more substantial basics.

That means better well made pieces to go the extra mile, and if my bank account can afford it - something a bit on the luxurious side (my bank account called and said no way jose). So instead of spending $10 on a white tee every season, spend $30 for one with better fabric that will last all year and maybe the next. By the way Everlane has some of the best tees around.

Yep, let's get rid of the crap + clutter and replace it with fewer amazing pieces. Basically my mantra for the year if you haven't noticed.  

Here are a few other basics that I've been detoxing then upgrading. It might be a good starting block for you too (if we're on this same decluttering kick together):

- socks: we're on our feet all day long, its only wise we treat our feet to scratchy-free material that also allows for breathability. I got my socks down to about 18 pairs.

- underwear (also known as panties): I actually went through my underwear drawer and realized I owned too many. I couldn't even remember the last time I purged them. To the trash went the lace thongs, overworn, and faded pairs, and in came cotton or seamless pairs. I've pared this down to 16 pairs, all mostly from the Calvin Klein (never fails) line. Panty lines have been MIA ever since. 

- bras: one thing I learned while working in bloomingdale's intimates section is to never skip on support. Did you know that 4 out of 5 women wear the wrong bra size? An ill-fitting bra can cause back-pain and ruin an outfit - with that being said get fitted next time you go bra shopping. If this is a little foreign, this article has lots of more bra knowledge. I have a good set of bras (5 pairs to be exact) all from Calvin yet my t-shirt bra was in desperate need of a replacement. Which, of course I did.

- cami/white tee/black tee/striped tee: Find the best quality your money can get you for each (or whichever fits your life) and donate/sell the others. Like I said, Everlane and Marine Layer are great contenders to keep in mind. Both produce shirts in small batches and only with the finest materials while staying aware of their carbon footprint.

- sweatpants: told ya I was basic. But in all honesty, we all need a pair of lush sweatpants that can take our Sundays from 1 to 100 real quick. I found this pair from Nike and have never ever looked back.

- This might be a good time to revisit your "uniform" and replace any pieces you've worn to bits with a few higher quality items that can hopefully stand the test of time.

Feel free to chime in and add your basics (and where from) in the comments. 

P.s. Keep in mind, Rome wasn't built in a day and neither should your wardrobe. Take your time (and budget into consideration) when building your closet.

The Investment

Lately I've been cruising the city streets with blinders on. Avoiding sales and cute spring wear after a long winter is BRUTAL.

The battle is twice as hard once I go online. The internet is such a timesuck and these Piperlime sales are not helping.

Every now and then, I'll add something to my cart and immediately x-out of that page. I admit it, I love to shop but I love traveling more. My Poshmark corner (where clothes wait to get listed) is a constant reminder of my love and how it hasn't previously helped in the travel department. In fact the only thing this pile gets is an exasperated "UGH" from the boyfriend... Like every day.

Does any of this sound familiar? If it does, I feel you.

You're probably wondering why not stop shopping completely. Speaking from experience; cutting myself off would only lead to an insane and unplanned shopping spree. 

So, in an effort to save up for my trips and hopefully build up my closet (wishful thinking) I decided to go the route of investment shopping. Hopefully these tips will help you too.

Investment shopping would:

1 - give me a purpose and a goal to work towards

2 - prevent mindless shopping (very important)

3 - free up space by getting rid of similar (lower quality) items

4 - help establish my lewk by only investing in pieces that I've carefully thought about

I've put this plan into action last month and so far it's been going good. The first two pieces I decided to roll this plan out with were an Equipment shirt and this Acne leather jacket

Here's the break down:

1 - goal: an Equipment signature shirt + Acne leather jacket

2 - mindless shopping has stopped. Instead of spending $400+ on things I didn't need, I started saving $160 a month for my investment pieces. Plus, I've been able to save an additional $350 per month for my future trips. All in all - lots of saving!! By December I will have enough for a jacket (got the shirt last month on eBay) and will have enough by summer for my winter trips.

3 - every month, there's a mini purge and lots of things have been Poshmarked or donated. It can be a little hard at times to list everything, but small changes will lead to big progress.

4 - establishing my look is a work in progress, but I'm getting there!

So what do you think, are these helpful or not so much? Are there any investment pieces in your closet and how did your big purchase?

photo credit: one, two, three, four, five

Establishing My Lewk

For those of you working on decluttering your apartment and/or closet - I feel you. I totally understand the feelings of anxiety and confusion when it comes to minimizing the closet. FYI, currently struggling with the shoe collection which is kind of crazy and a first world problem if there ever was one.

There simply had to be a way to a better part with unnecessary things. 

After a night of sorting through denim (some even witnessed high school) my nerves were at an all time high (clutter will do that to ya), I decided to unwind by pinning. Don't ask why - it just works. So there I was pinning my dream bedroom which turned into a few inspirational quotes followed by a few aspirational spring looks. 

Then it hit me - I can use Pinterest as a way to declutter my closet.

Yep, I see those blank faces from over here, so let me explain and start from the beginning. 

Pinterest has given me a way to store all my favorite looks by pinning what made my heart flutter. In turn it gave me an idea, or rather an outline of my lewk - something concrete I can look at and say "ah, that's so me."

Pinterest also gave me a checklist of sorts: items that should remain in my closet and things that gots to go.

Being that I grew up in the age of H&M and Forever21 you can bet there is an influx of NWT (new with tags) crap hanging around waiting to be worn. After experimenting with trends and figuring out what styles worked best on my frame I finally have a clear and concise sense of style that feels like me. 

So whenever I feel the urge to hold onto a pair of sequined booty shorts, I'll give my Pinterest board a look over and remember that it's not part of the road I'm headed towards. It's also pretty handy when cruising and reminding myself that nope culottes aren't for me (but they are cute).

For those of style-searching and experimenting with the latest trends, I say keep a Pinteres board and keep a record of either what you wore, looks you would like to try, or looks you absolutely love. It'll help give you an idea of what you lean towards and what you wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole. Another great tool and if you want to take a step further is getting The StyleBook app- it helps you store outfits and manage what you already have in your closet.

Now let's get the conversation going, how did you all figure out what your style is? Do you also keep a record of your favorite outfits and how?

Photos by Lydia Hudgens