September 29, 2015

Build a Wardrobe that Fits You NOW

Regardless of your size, you should wear what fits your body right now.

We tend to hang onto items that don't even work for our body anymore. They sag, squeeze, pull, and hang in all the wrong ways, but we keep them because of the memories of yesteryear. 

The trouble is, hanging onto yesteryear keeps you from embracing yourself today.

It saddens me when I hear women struggling to embrace themselves. It's especially heartbreaking when their struggle is tied to how they look. They're overweight, or they're not in shape, or they don't have the muscular legs they used to. 

Your physical body is one tiny piece of ALL you are, and yet, we let that one little piece dominate how we feel about ourselves.

What I've found in this journey of reducing, is that when I embrace who I am right now, and wear the things that fit my body now; I feel understood, accepted and ready to move forward. I'm not pulling and tugging or feeling squeezed. I'm wearing what's comfortable and most complimentary to my shape.

That may mean that I can't wear some items I really love, and that's okay. I can add elements of those styles to my wardrobe, like hats, scarves and other accessories.

I want to add one more thing, heart to heart. If you are overweight, please don't beat yourself up about it. If getting in shape is important to you then guilting yourself and thinking negative thoughts are most likely not going to help that goal. Personally, I'm a lot more willing to work on what I eat and engaging in exercise when I feel loved as I am. When I'm negative and demeaning towards myself, it defeats me and I'm rarely inspired to do anything about it. Be kind to yourself.

You are much more than your physical body. So take out all those clothes in your closet that don't work right now. Stop beating yourself up about it and put on something you love that fits your body as it is right now.

September 28, 2015

16 Piece Capsule Wardrobe

I don't like to give numbers on how big a capsule should be for you because all of us have different needs. But if I could choose a magic number for myself, it would probably be 16. To be upfront, I haven't whittled my capsule down this far yet and I'm not even sure that would work for me but I dream about it because it seems SO simple.

However, I'm not about making you reduce your wardrobe this tiny (unless you're like me and that sounds dreamy) but about helping you create simple capsules from the wardrobe you have. I've found that people work better in smaller numbers, so it's easy to create multiple 16 piece capsules WITHIN their wardrobe. This way, you can wear ONE 16 piece capsule for two work weeks and switch to the next one for the remainder of the month. You could continue doing this for as many capsules as you need.

Do you think you could wear a capsule wardrobe this small? If not, how low do you think you could go?

September 23, 2015

Choosing Versatile Pieces for YOUR Wardrobe

THE most important attribute of a capsule wardrobe is versatility!

Or as I like to say, mixability. Each piece of clothing must have double or triple duty to keep your wardrobe fresh.

1. A versatile item will play nice with other items in the closet.

In other words, it can be paired with almost everything else.  If it's a top, it can be worn with most of the bottoms. If it's a bottom, it can be worn with most of the tops. If it's a dress, it needs to be able to stand alone, but also partner with sweaters, tops, jackets and scarves.  If a piece is too outlandish or is the only one in your wardrobe that doesn't go with anything else ~ it's not versatile. It plays alone. You don't want a wardrobe made up of those types of pieces because you will not be able to mix and match.

2. A versatile item must have flexibility.

It should be able to be worn dressed up or down. Even a fancy shirt can be dressed down with a cotton skirt and sandals. A suit coat can relax with jeans and booties. Dresses with great lines can also be dressed down with tennis shoes or Toms. If certain clothing items don't have flexibility then it's good to re-evaluate why you have them. If you keep a dress or tux for a formal dinner each year, then possibly you need to hang onto it. BUT if you could replace that piece with one that had some flexibility ~ you'd get much more use out of it. More wear for your money!

3. A versatile item must harmonize with other colors in the wardrobe.

The best way to help you understand this is to refer to the color wheel. Colors can harmonize with each other in these ways:
  • Analogous - three colors next to each other on the color wheel (red, coral, pink)
  • Monochromatic - having one color or tones of one color (black, gray, white)
  • Triad - three colors equally spaced on the color wheel (yellow, red, blue)
  • Complimentary - directly opposite each other (red, green)

You get the idea, they need to somehow connect and work together.

When forming a capsule wardrobe, you want lots of pieces that are highly versatile. This gives you creative license to mix and match each piece and keeps your outfits fresh without wasting money or harming the environment. Guilt-free style!

What's your favorite work-horse item?

September 21, 2015

Comfortable Dress Capsule

There is nothing simpler than throwing on a dress for an immediate pulled-together look. It's especially awesome when the dress is stylish AND comfortable. I shared on Wednesday a little bit about style with versatile dresses and promised to give you some examples today.

The capsule above is full of versatile dresses. They have beautiful lines, varying textures and most of all, comfort. ALL of these dresses exude a level of easy movement and classic simplicity.  They can be dressed up with a suit jacket and necklace; or dressed down with a cardigan and scarf. I'll talk more about layering dresses with other clothing items in a future post. You want a dress to be as versatile as possible to increase your mixability within a capsule wardrobe.

I love the idea of a capsule full of dresses, but honestly, I'm not sure I could ever do it. I love my jeans too much! :)

Are the dresses in your closet versatile and comfortable? Do you find yourself returning to them often or avoiding them?

(P.S. I've begun sharing Capsule Wardrobe tips on Periscope several times a week. If you'd like to follow along, you can find me @catherinedenton on the Periscope App or watch on your desktop at: )

September 16, 2015

How to Find Your Unique Style

When I first started culling my wardrobe to make life a little simpler, I really struggled to figure out my style. It's kind of important to have a style when you only have a few items of clothing. I wasn't even sure I had one. So in order to find out, I started observing what I was drawn to ~ even if I didn't have those pieces in my closet. I paid attention to color, cut and style. Patterns began to emerge and I began to discover what pieces fit me, my body, and my lifestyle.

Here are some ways to find your unique style:

1. Create a Pinterest board just for outfits.

Begin pinning every outfit or piece of clothing you love. (You can follow my Pinterest boards here!) There's a really simple way to add the Pinterest button to your browser so no matter what site you're on, you can pin an awesome outfit. OR if Pinterest is not your thing (whaaaat?) you could cut out magazine outfits and make an actual board/notebook of them.

2. Pull out ten favorite items of clothing from your closet. 

Don't think about it too much, just run and grab them as fast as you can. Lay them on your bed and see what you have. This is probably a great indicator of what things you love. My guess is they are the most comfortable, best fitting and most signature pieces of your wardrobe. Take a long look at them and maybe even take notes on why you love each piece as you do. Several themes will likely emerge as you make your list. On my list, I kept saying similar things about different pieces. I discovered that my most important style characteristic was comfort. I found that my style tended to be: comfortable, classic, and casual.

3. Look around your home.

Often the colors we love and the ways we decorate our home has a direct correlation to our style. Is it whimsical? Or filled with color? Is it minimal? Do you prefer cool colors or a lot of white? Are their antiques everywhere? You might prefer vintage. Do you have quilts and dream-catchers? You might be more bohemian. Take a hint from what you surround yourself with. My house is fairly neutral with big colorful art popping around everywhere and that's exactly how my wardrobe ended up ~ lots of neutrals with big pops of color.

4. Whose fashion do you love?

Do you have someone whose outfits you love? Can't wait to see what they wear next? It might not be a celebrity; it could be the girl in the office next to yours or that mom at the play group. Someone that stands out in your mind could be a big clue on what interests you. It might not be the exact style you'd choose but there may be something in it you would like adding to your wardrobe. Maybe you love how she always wears a long necklace with tees or perhaps her bags are to die for. Decide what draws you in about that person's style and take note.

5. What do you want your wardrobe to say about you?

I quickly found that some of my wardrobe pieces sent an immature message, when I want to be taken seriously as a middle-aged woman. What do you want your wardrobe to say about you? Quirky and fun? All business? Original? Nurturing? Colorful? Intelligent? Outgoing? Make a list of what you'd like people's first impression to be of you and see if your wardrobe matches that list.

After keeping notes and pinning for awhile, set aside some time to examine what kinds of styles keep reoccurring on your boards and/or in your notes. Try to reduce your favorites until you can describe your style in three words. Those three words will be your guide from here on out. When you think about purchasing a new piece, consider first if the new piece will go with what's in your closet and then compare it to your three words.  When it's time to go shopping for something new, I keep in mind that I want it to be: comfortable, classic and casual. 

You might think keeping things casual means I never dress up, but that's not the case. I simply choose versatile pieces that can be dressed up or down with accessories. I own several well-loved dresses that fit the bill for "comfortable, classic and casual" whether for a fancy occasion or daily wear. I'll share examples of this on Monday and  talk more about choosing versatile pieces next Wednesday.

Any guesses as to what YOUR three fashion words might be?

September 14, 2015

Capsule Wardrobe: Pajama-Style

You know those days you have a ton to do but just want to stay in your pajamas? This is a capsule full of cozy items ready to mix and match in the most comfortable way. Soft shoes, loose-fitting shirts, cozy sweater, and flannel-style leggings give you the feeling of pajamas with a look that's put-together. You can meet your day with confidence and coziness!

What's your favorite comfy outfit (and does it involve leggings)?

September 11, 2015

i love books

It's no secret, I LOOOVE books. They're the pumpkin to my pie. I keep a book with me at all times ~ which transforms any place I have to wait into a new adventure, university or craft class.

Right now I'm reading: Rising Strong and Creativity Inc. I'm due for a really good fiction book though, any suggestions? (Just not horror ~ I don't do horror; I'm jumpy enough as it is!)

September 9, 2015

7 Reasons You Should Try a Capsule Wardrobe

We all want to feel good in what we're wearing. Whether you're a stay-at-home mom or a career girl, knowing what is in your closet and not being overwhelmed by it will make your life simpler.

I'm not going to give absolutes on how many items you must have in your wardrobe because all of us are different therefore our life requirement for clothing is different. I keep a super minimal wardrobe (about fifteen pieces) because I have that freedom ~ I work from home and I don't need formal work attire. BUT some of you at corporate jobs or fashion industries need what's suitable for that.

Let me give my definition for a capsule wardrobe: a set of clothing particular to your style and fit, that you can mix and match effortlessly. Every top goes with every bottom. Every outer layer compliments each outfit. (Optional: Each shoe can be worn with each combination or a good mix of them.)

You might be wondering how limiting yourself to a capsule wardrobe could help. I assume you've probably had the dilemma of standing in front of your packed closet wondering what to wear. I also bet that you have a few go-to pieces you wear as much as socially possible. What if your closet was full of only those type pieces ~ the pieces that fit you awesome, feel comfortable and make you feel amazing when you wear them? Does that sound better than trying to find that one top crammed in the middle of the closet you have to wrestle to get out?

Let me share a few more reasons:

1. A Capsule Wardrobe reduces stress. 

You go to your closet knowing that everything goes together and fits. You've chosen your colors, your patterns, your cut and style of clothes and you love them all. You pull out a top and know exactly which bottom you'd like to wear with it today. You don't have to scuttle through tons of accessories because you have a select few necklaces and scarves to choose from. It's almost like wearing a uniform, except that your uniform is culled to your preferences.

2. A Capsule Wardrobe helps you access your favorite clothes, because they're ALL your favorite. 

I know that sounds impossible but stay with me. Say you only have 20 pieces of clothing in your capsule wardrobe (don't panic I'm not going to make you only have 20, this is just an example) and all of them have been purposely selected by you because they feel good on and they accent your best features. You are no longer digging through all those colors you thought were cute but never looked good on you; or the jeans that you thought fit you well until you wore them for a day and hated how you had to keep pulling them up; or the dress that always seems to call your name but when you put it on it emphasizes your middle. Having a capsule wardrobe eliminates all this frustration because the only things hanging in your closet are your favorites.

3. A Capsule Wardrobe sets you apart; you are able to take ownership of your style. 

When you are able to weed through your mass of clothing to your favorites, you will discover your style and what actually looks best on you (without worrying so much about fads). You will understand a little more about yourself. Are you bold and colorful? Are you dressy and classic? This process will help you establish what it is you love about yourself and how you present that with your clothes. (I share more about that process next Wednesday) You will feel your best and it will set you apart from others because you will have a style all your own. When you have a style, people notice. I have a friend that always looks put together. She often wears a simple top with a jersey skirt and sometimes a necklace. When I see her, I don't think "shirt and jersey skirt"; I think "put-together". Her style is simple but sweet. Looking "put-together" is easy with a mixable capsule wardrobe.

4. A Capsule Wardrobe saves money. 

Knowing what you have and what you need are two components often missing when we go shopping. I have scoured sale racks and brought home things that were really marked down that I never wore past one time because although in fashion, it went with nothing else in my closet or it was really not my style. Having a capsule wardrobe helps you understand what types of clothing/colors work for you and what to put back on the sale rack. Saving money from "guesswork shopping" will help you have extra funds for replacing a favorite piece when it wears out with a better quality item.

5. A Capsule Wardrobe saves time. 

I can't tell you how many times I've been rushing to get ready trying on a plethora of outfits only to have nothing work, either it fit awful, one piece was in the laundry, or nothing matched. It's so frustrating to think you have an outfit ready to go only to realize there's a tear, or a button missing. With a capsule wardrobe, everything goes together so if I realize one top has a stain, it's easily fixed by grabbing the next one on the rack. My mornings are calm now and getting ready goes so fast. I love how everything fits so I'm not wasting time trying on stuff that doesn't work.

6. A Capsule Wardrobe means that buying less gives you the option to buy better. 

When I say "better" I mean two things: quality and fair trade. Since you'll be buying less and staying within your capsule wardrobe, you'll be able to save the money you might have spent on unneeded sales items to purchase great quality. Quality clothes are more durable and save you even more money in the long run. It also enables you to buy from ethical companies who have to charge more to be sure their workers are receiving a fair wage. It's good for you and it's good for others.

7. A Capsule Wardrobe reduces consumption and saves the earth. 

We are such a consumeristic society and we continue to send the message to companies to keep producing MUCH more than is truly needed because we keep purchasing crazy amounts each year. Landfills are full of our over-consumption. What would happen if we all stopped buying so much? I don't think it would take long for companies to back off production to avoid a huge loss. It may seem like a little thing to reduce your spending by reducing your wardrobe but it actually helps the world. We're not only stopping over-production but we're changing the mindset and message that "more is better". By changing our mindset, we change the future.

A capsule wardrobe may sound limiting but I've found it to be extremely freeing. Intimately knowing every piece in my closet helps me decide on outfits quickly and feel good in them. It doesn't matter that I don't have a perfect figure, I've culled my clothing and kept only those items I love that work with my body shape. Knowing everything fits and enhances my body gives me confidence for whatever the day holds.

Have you ever considered creating a capsule wardrobe?

September 7, 2015

Capsule Wardrobe: Autumn, Cool Colors

I adore creating mix and match capsules of the smallest proportions. This set is about as perfect as they come: 5 tops, 5 bottoms, 1 dress, 1 jacket, 1 sweater, 3 accessories, and 4 pairs of shoes. Simple, perfect. Everything goes with everything in a great mix of cool colors and varied patterns. It's also casually dressy without being uncomfortable.  Comfort is the most important attribute to me. I am not a believer that fashion pain is gain. I believe comfortable clothes build confidence. The more comfortable you feel, the freer you are to do good work.

What's your favorite outfit in this capsule?

September 2, 2015

Five September Goals

Well Hello there! I'm back from my long summer break and honestly, I missed you! (Hugs all around)

Since it's now September (already?!) I thought it'd be good to ease back in with a few goals for the month. Since I didn't post any goals throughout the summer, I'll just jump into this month's goals!

September has to be one of my favorite months because it signals the beginning of my favorite season (and boot weather!).  I once heard that you usually love the season you were born in. If that's true then it works in my case (I was born in November); I relish cooler nights and warm fires.

Now for the fun part, my five September goals:

1. Use smaller font on the blog. (See how I did that? One goal done!) Upon returning to blogging, I found that I honestly didn't like the huge size I had been using; so it's back to medium for me.

2. Read Rising Strong by Brene Brown. I've started it this week and I can tell this book is going to push me ~ in a good way. Forward.

3. Have one Pumpkin Spice Latte (and try to find a good Paleo recipe so I can have more guilt-free). I ate Whole 30 over the summer and felt so amazing that I'm trying to stay Paleo as much as possible with an occasional treat here and there when celebrations call for it (and the coming of Autumn deserves a celebration in my book ~ sorry if's that's too blogger cliche).

4. Streamline my Instagram feed. I'm a little obsessed with Instagram; so many beautiful photos, so little time! But I feel like my own Instagram feed has been kind of all over the board so I'm wanting to work on creating a more cohesive feel. I'd love it if you joined me! My Instagram handle is: CatherineDentonPhotos.

5. Paint, paint, paint! I have a lot of time now to focus on my art and I am currently painting a LOT. I want to continue this and branch out in some ways I've dreamed of for awhile.

What about you? Any goals you'd like to reach this month?