Thursday, May 21, 2015

My Requests To The Personal Shopping Service, Stitch Fix, Have Been "Neutrals Only, Please" As Of Late. The Stylists Are Always So Nice About It, But I Can Imagine It's A Real Buzz Kill When You Work On My Fix. I Worry They Play Rock, Scissors, Paper To See Who Gets The Fun Job Of Pulling Clothes For That Fashion Daredevil In Colorado.

I feel I should have explained in my requests to Stitch Fix that I was sliding my way toward a "capsule wardrobe" lifestyle in recent months. That might have clued them into my very un-exciting requests. But regardless, the stylists at Stitch Fix have managed to provide me with nearly 50% of my simplified closet selections. And, as is the case with capsules, I love every piece and can use them each in multiple ways. Here are the goods.

First up, the Messi Lattice Neckline Top.

Oh, this is a gem! So comfy! So sexy! So able to hide wine stains! I love the way this fits and it's such a soft knit. I'd have worn it even more lately, but Colorado is now Seattle and I'm cold and wet.

Next we have this cute white, lace peasant top by Brixon Ivy.

I love this top because it looks super delicate, but it's machine-washable. I kid you not. I'm wearing it with the same pants I had on in the black tank photo. They are the Patrick Cropped Chino Pant by Level 99. They are one of the big splashes of color in my capsule wardrobe. Wheee! I know! I really feel I'm living on the edge when I wear them. Love the ankle length so shoes have their day in the sun too. These pants play well with everything.

Moving on to the gray t-shirt by Market & Spruce. This is one of my favorite pieces because it's a basic with a twist. Love the longer back! It makes me feel artsy and funky while I load the dishwasher. Which is much appreciated.

Now we have it paired with the Austen Utility Jacket.

I have wanted a piece like this ever since I read on a fashion blog that this type of jacket is one 'every stylish woman should own.' I have felt diminished until now. Thank you, Stitch Fix.

And now we've paired up our gray T/white jean look with a black blazer. The blazer by Kensie, to be exact.

The kind people at Stitch Fix met my request for a structured black blazer that wasn't overly stiff looking. I love this piece and have yet to find anything that it doesn't work with - I've even done it over a dressy sweat pant and met with success. Or so I choose to believe.

Now on to a couple of skirts, because I like to look like a girl from time to time, and I choose to believe that soon it will once again be warm enough in Colorado to wear something that doesn't fully cover the leg.  Here is the first one - the Evelin Printed Pencil Skirt.

It's a nice, clingy skirt that kind of sucks you in so you look better than normal -  like Spanx you can wear out to lunch with just a t-shirt.

Andy now the Raegan Floral Printed Swing Skirt.

Look at me! I'm wearing a pattern! I love this skirt. From heels to slip on sneakers, this skirt can go any direction you ask it to. I've paired it with a black T, peep-toe booties and a jean jacket because I'm hoping Geoff will ask me to go to dinner or shopping or to France (but we really don't have time for France right now. #goals).

And finally. The bag. Note the pictures of the gray t-shirt and jacket pairings. With the utility jacket, the bag is black. Yet in the blazer photo, the bag is brown. You are not seeing things. It is the same bag. I know, right? It's an awesome reversible tote bag from Stitch Fix. I can't remember who it's by, but it's wonderful and as long as I don't set it down in a spilled beer at a professional sporting event I will continue to revel in its versatility.

This really gives you an idea of the explosion of neutrals that have arrived on my doorstep in recent months. And you can kind of see how my capsule wardrobe works. Basically, everything in these pictures can, has, and/or will be paired with each other. And because I love each and every piece I will feel good and happy and joyous when I put them on.

Here's a link to get started on Stitch Fix yourself. I may even get a little discount if you use it which means more money available for youth sports. So, thank you.

Your patience is much appreciated, Stitch Fix.

gratitude: simplicity, eggs, candles from Target (eucalyptus and lemongrass), rainstorms while you're sleeping

thanks and love.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I've Been Watching A Lot Of Fitness Videos On YouTube Lately. They're Very Well Done And I'm Assuming Are Making Some Difference In My Overall Appearance, But I Struggle To Relate To The Teachers And Their Settings. Maybe I'll Post A Few Vids Of My Own - Appealing To The At-Home 40-Somethings. They'll Be Filmed In My Bedroom. I'll Be Wearing Pajama Bottoms, A Coffee-Stained T-Shirt, And I'll Be Sharing The Mat With Two Big Dogs And A Few Soggy Chew Toys.

I've had to amp up my fitness routine as we have a trip planned to Costa Rica next month so I'll be forced to wear things that include a good deal of Lycra and lack the coverage provided by my standard pair of skinny jeans. And even more distressingly, while I was talking and gesturing with my hands the other day, J.D.flicked my upper arm. While I was speaking. Just flicked it and it wobbled! Even though I was using that arm and you'd imagine holding it in the air would have caused the muscles to tighten enough to not wave. That was not the case. My upper arm waved like a chicken cutlet hanging from a wire. At that point I knew I didn't have a second to waste when it came to getting into shape.

Except, here's the thing. I know my weaknesses. I don't like to jump through a lot of hoops to get some exercise in and, while I have days I can devote an hour to fitness, there are other days I can only want to spare 15 minutes. I need a workout program that doesn't take too much effort or require a lot of time.

So I'm doing a few extra booty tightening sessions on YouTube and I found the dumbbells and a few of my old sculpting DVD's to dust off and put to use too. My main fitness thing though, has been and always will be, yoga. I truly believe almost everyone would benefit from a little daily practice. Even if it's just for 10 minutes. A simple series of yoga poses will get your circulation going, improve your posture and balance, calm your mind and help get you in the present moment. And, because I have hermit tendencies (and an unpredictable schedule), I can do yoga anytime in the comfort of my own messy bedroom with sites like YogaGlo or GaiamTV.

I know I'm more apt to exercise regularly if I don't make the whole process such an ordeal. If I can slip on my shoes and head out to jog around the 'hood (or a couple blocks, if I'm being honest) I'm more likely to do it than if I need to find a class time and drive to a club. And I'm more likely to want to exercise if what I'm doing makes my head and heart feel good - yoga for the win there. But that's just me.

So I'm going to forge ahead with my beefed up, but steadfastly simple fitness routine until we hit the beaches of Costa Rica. I currently look a little like a chicken in a swimsuit, so possibly with some toning and a few trips to the spray tan salon I'll look like a slightly more muscular, bar-b-qued chicken instead. I'm keeping my expectations in check.

I'm wearing this.
If this rain keeps up I'll be needing to add a snorkel.

gratitude: Bobbi Brown's Beach perfume, tortillas from Whole Foods, a weeded garden, family yoga sessions

thanks and love.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

My Capsule Wardrobe Project Has Been Like A Juice Cleanse For My Closet. I Feel Leaner And Cleaner. And I Was Able To Detoxify My Life A Bit Without Having To Pretend I Like To Drink Kale.

I’ve been claiming a life shift as an excuse for not posting since before the summer started, but human evolution takes time. Right? Anyway, I think lately I’m really getting somewhere with this transitional thing. I’ve been channeling simplicity. Quality over quantity. This must be a sign I am clearly aging maturing.

It started in my closet. I really pared down for April and lived with only 27 items for the entire month – this included scarves and shoes. It was not easy. Not only from the standpoint that I had less to choose from every day but, dear God, keeping a handful of clothes consistently clean is no small feat. There were points during the month where I wore ridiculous combos (fancy sweats and a blazer??) simply because I had nothing clean. Or I’d pull out a pair of jeans from the laundry basket and spend 10 minutes cleaning the dog paw marks off the legs before I left the house.

Anyway, it has changed me. I no longer want a walk-in closet bursting to the seams with color and pattern. I know what I like to wear, what I feel my best in, and I’d rather have a smaller number of those items available to me than any amount of colorful t-shirts and wild printed tops. No one could be more surprised about this change than I.

I feel a little less wasteful too. In the past I’d wear something for six hours or so and toss it into the laundry bin, because who knows what it touched? And it seemed perfectly okay fill up the washing machine with steaming hot water and run it for an hour because maybe there were cooties on those jeans. But now, unless something is visibly stained or smells like fajitas I’ll usually hang it back up on the rack. I just can’t afford to have my favorite pair of boyfriend jeans lose too much rotation time.  So I’m adding less to the wash and not needlessly using precious water to wash perfectly clean items.

I also feel like this exercise has made it easier for me to think about things. Like some of my headspace has opened up because I’m not wasting my brain energy coming up with an outfit for that green ikat top I want to love, but don’t. I don’t have to think too much about what I’m putting on and I know whatever I do choose, it will be something I feel great in, so my brain can move on to other things - like what I’d like to learn and do or how to decorate our dining room. I feel like I’m making some progress in my life (finally). It’s the kind of progress that isn’t totally visible to the naked eye, but more the kind I feel inside.

It’s even made me take a closer look at some of my friendships in my life. I see better now how I could improve my role in some of them a bit, but I’m also honestly recognizing those that just aren’t really clicking anymore. I want to feel good about the relationships I have and I'll admit there are one or two that have been making me feel pretty bad for quite a while. I may have to let go of them. It’s painful to consider, but it actually feels worse to be in a friendship that feels empty, than it does to release it and make room for something better.

So basically, it’s been a lot of simplifying, paring down and streamlining, and as a result, I’m gaining clarity. It feels good. I highly encourage you to give this fashion diet a try. I don’t know if the results I’m getting are because clothes have always been such a big part of my life so it makes sense that shifting there would have a ripple effect or what. But I really feel the smaller wardrobe has triggered some bigger changes. And I am welcoming them with open arms and spacious closet.

I'm wearing this.

These are literally the only pair of pants I had clean. I'm relieved, and surprised, it's not snowing.

gratitude: the smell of our dogs, peonies, a glass of wine, talks around our kitchen island

thanks and love.