Simplicity with Statement

I've been a sewing fool these days!  I took a few days off last week and spent them in the mountains with good friends.   Wow!  Apparently, it was just what I needed to recharge and implement all of my grand plans and schemes...  And while I've been getting prepared for the season with The Tiny Closet Shop (psst, omg, you guys are going to love the new stuff I'll be rolling out), I've been sewing ferociously enough to even sew a few pieces for myself (yay! new clothes!).  One in particular is maybe the coolest item I've ever owned.  Drama much?
I have been daydreaming for the what seems like the longest time of curating a collection of dusters, robe jackets and kimonos,  A simple streamlined body suit or a chic white tee and high rise jeans with... a beautiful, artsy statement piece.

It took me a while to grab the time to actually design and make one but after about a year of collecting fabric, snatching up cool prints or textures wherever I found them, I am finally making a few of them to help me with my very simple daily outfits.  This one is my favorite.  Obviously.   
Handmade mud cloth and hand-painted as well.  Instead of tidying up the ultra soft cotton strands along the edges, I let them go freely.  No hems needed.
 I wanted to add an artsy ruggedness to my blank canvas of jeans and a tee.  I'm just ecstatic over this piece.  And very grateful it turned out how I wanted.  Style and fashion truly do influence.  Wearing this original piece inspires me to be laid back, real and unapologetically creative.  What a great attitude to just put on and go, huh?  Simplicity.  With a statement.

 Oh and...

 Speaking of attitude, I feel like I've recharged mine.  The mountains did a number on me.  Theo, with his perpetually perfect timing, was able to record a moment of my newfound peace. 
Hope you liked the newest edition to my Tiny Closet!  And here's to the rest of the week!  May it bring you good vibes all the way to the weekend.
Thank you for visiting!
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How To Build Your Own Tiny Closet: Final Step

Prepare your shopping list.

It's time to create your shopping list for the season!!  We've compiled data on how we want to feel in our clothing.  We've listed what kind of clothing and styles make us feel that way.  And we've organized, customized and purged our closet.

We are ready to go shopping...

But wait!  Like all mindful shopping, it's best to go in prepared.  I'm sure all of us have experienced the difference grocery shopping with a thoughtful list made ahead of time as opposed to shopping without a list.  And shopping hungry?  Forget about it.  Well, chances are, you're past ready to go shopping for a new and improved Fall collection because it's Fall.  Now.  And what are you going to wear to that meeting you have on Wednesday?  And what about getting a new jacket for your morning runs?  And isn't it time you finally got a new blazer for work?  .... We usually always need something and we usually never feel like we have time to get it or shop for the right one.  So shopping tends to be rushed and a bit annoying for those everyday things.  Let's get out of that, shall we?

Shopping should ALWAYS be fun.  Why wouldn't it be?  But with blah everyday wear, we tend to buy the wrong thing or the new "it" thing or it'll-work-for-right-now thing, because it's easier.  Get what you really want.  And if you've completed steps 1-4, you're getting a really good picture of what that is.  So make a list!

And not just any list.  An informed, very specific list.  Because that's exactly what you'll be buying.  Take a look at the difference.
The list to the left tends to be what is in our heads when we go shopping.  Yikes!  Wouldn't it be better walking into a store or going online with the list to the right?  Know what you came for.  Go in and buy exactly what you want.  

A shopping list is not a browsing list or an ideas list.

And I love browsing!  I love leafing endlessly through the racks!  I live in the busiest part of a bustling city because I love being surrounded by retail.  But when you're walking by a display case and then finding yourself in a dressing room 20 minutes later, know the difference between shopping and browsing.  Those two activities shouldn't go together.  See it in a window?  Sure, go in, try it on, take a selfie.  And leave it in the store to return back later prepared.  When I browse, I usually see something - or lots of things I like.  9/10 times, I do not buy right then and there.  I make a mental note or take a photo for future reference when I plan to buy in the future.  

Think of browsing as compiling really fun research.

There is a process of getting from the left list to the right list.  The list to the left is what you start with.  It's your search reference.  The list to the right is what you are left with after narrowing down your search to the perfect item.  I usually use shopping sites like Shopstyle.  Looking for wide leg pants?  Find a pair you love.  Narrow it down from 30 to 10 to 5 to 1.  Til you find a pair that is totally YOU.
And online mega stores like Asos or Yoox are helpful for in-depth searches, options and comparisons...  Get pages and pages of black, midi, skirt options.  Because it's okay to not be sure.  You're browsing.
So I know you're probably very familiar with shopping sites and searching for what you want.  But when you're not exactly sure of what it is you want but you know you're looking for a "black wrap dress", solidifying what that is makes you less likely to become distracted by something that is maybe more hip and new, or cheaper or, etc....  

This browsing and "compiling" is specifically connected to Step 3.   Using the formula of activity//location//feeling.  In step 3 you listed how you want to feel and then what those emotions looked like in the form of clothing.  Step 4, you assessed what you already have in your closet and what you need to add to it.  So now today, you are putting the work of those two steps together to create a shopping list.  

The right list example is the product of searching, comparing, pricing, and making sure it goes with how you want to feel when you wear it.  For each item on your list, once you've found "the one",  I always Pin it.
This is the list as a Pin board.  These are not "options" - these pins are exactly what you're going to buy.  A visual list of what you want to complete your capsule wardrobe for the season.  The plethora of options you worked through is now trimmed down to a complete shopping list.  Satisfying, no-guilt shopping.  It took a little time but don't all things that are worth having?

Now, as you probably know, my closet is literally Tiny.  But that is not what The Tiny Closet is about.  Yes, The Tiny Closet is about having a minimal lifestyle but I think people misunderstand minimal as being next to nothing.  It can be that but that's not what it is entirely.  It is having what is necessary.  No junk, no clutter.  It is only what is purposeful and streamlined for your lifestyle and use.  Everything has its place and it's purpose.  

Sooooo, what's purposeful and complete for me is 28 pieces in my closet.   Your shopping list may be a small list of just 2-3 items.  Or it may be a very long list.  It's your lifestyle, it's your wardrobe.  What if you like having a different style every month?  What's wrong with buying a new wardrobe every month??  Nothing!  Are you on TV a lot?  Performing constantly?  Or do you just have a whirlwind social life of constant events?  Awesome - your collection of clothing should reflect that.  So if that means having 3 closets, so be it.  Mindful shopping and having a wardrobe you absolutely love is the purpose of these steps.  

The end goal is just never having to say again, "I have nothing to wear.".

That concludes the 5 Steps to having a Tiny Closet of your own.  Looking fabulous everyday and totally loving your closet shouldn't just be for celebrities and people with personal stylists.  Shop mindfully, take the time to customize your clothing, toss items you no longer love and wear the heck out of the clothes you have!  Thanks so much for reading and I hope I've helped even a teensy bit in managing and looking at your wardrobe differently.
Happy Monday to youuuu!
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How To Build Your Own Tiny Closet: Steps 3 & 4

Why do we buy clothes we don't like?  Why do we buy clothes we don't want to wear?  How does that happen?  I've been working on those questions for a while and I've found a few reasons...

Welcome to Steps 3 & 4 of building your own Tiny Closet!

In my last post, we stepped away from our closet entirely and took time to outline our lifestyle and daily activities.  Then we took that birds eye view of our day-to-day and attached feeling to it.  Yes to feelings in our wardrobe!  How do you want to feel when you shop for groceries or catch up with the girls for drinks?  When you go out for that Friday date night?  When you're waiting for your flight?  It's all about the feels, ladies!  Not only does style and fashion emote, it also helps you emote whatever kind of feeling you have to share.

So!  On to 

What do your feelings look like?

Let's flesh it out.  Using the last list we made which was:

activity  // location of the activity // feelings for the activity  

We are now going to figure out how we can accomplish that desired feeling while doing each daily routine.  So taking an activity of mine, with its location and how I want to feel doing that activity, let's discuss what it looks like to feel sophisticated and modern:

Grocery Shopping  //  Costco, Farmer's Markets & Trader Joes  -- sophisticated, modern

  • dress flats
  • high waist pants and jeans
  • drapey tee
  • linen dress
  • black gauchos
  • dark full length jumpsuit
  • leather mules
  • tapered leather harem pants

What does sophistication look like to me?  What does modern look like to me?  The clothing listed above are my personal definitions for each.  I didn't pick them because those clothes look sophisticated and modern on anyone, I picked them because they look so on me.  Otherwise, I could've picked a beautiful cream shell dress or a trench coat or a pair of tall equestrian boots only to end up feeling fat, short and frumpy, a far departure from sophisticated and modern.

Rachel Zoe first question as a personal stylist to her clients was always, "Who do you want to look like?"  No, she wasn't going to go out and buy that exact same wardrobe for her client but by asking that question, she could then ask "Why?"  and that "why" was most important because there was always emotion behind it.
The client didn't want to look identical to Halle Berry, 
the client wanted to look like how they felt when they look at Halle Berry.

If you don't nail down what the feelings you want to exude during your day look like, you have a higher chance of becoming distracted and persuaded to buy something else that won't be quite as impactful to you.  And that's why we have items unworn month after month - year after year.   To me, sophistication well fitting basics. To another, it could be a floral dress.  Make it personal.  It's your closet, after all.

Can't find the exact looks that match how you want to feel?
Easy.  In the design world, we call them tear sheets and mood boards.  Start putting your magazines to work!  If you wrote that you want to feel sexy and strong when you go hiking on Sundays, start narrowing down what "sexy" and "strong" look like to you, cutting it out of magazines, saving online images and everything in between.  Start a "Closet Feels" board on your Pinterest account (I know you have one) but categorize the board for each activity and emotion that you listed in the previous steps.  

Get a very clear idea of how you want to feel in your clothes so that no compromises are made for your image.  
Take your time in this step.

Alter it, Store it, Purge it
You've figured out how you want feel, you figured out what type of clothing will accurately emote how you want to feel and look in your daily life.  Now it's finally time to take a look at your closet with a fresh new perspective and make some decisions!  Chances are, you've got a fabulous, workable closet that just needs a little organization, definitely some storage, some alterations here and there and then some purging.

Let's start with purging...
No humming and hawing here, guys.  Can I part with this??  Does it work?  Dragging your feet is a sign of compromise!

Compromises make for a boring generic closet, which is no good.  

If you feel yourself becoming indecisive about what you should keep and what you should toss, consider these questions:

  • When was the last time you wore it?

If it was a year or more, and it is NOT an heirloom piece (meaning it bares no special significance and will not be passed down) then toss it.

  • Does it fit perfectly?

If it does not fit perfectly, can you afford the proper alterations?  If so, set up an appointment that day with a good local tailor.  If you don't wish to alter it or it cannot be altered, toss it.

What's great about purging is you get to donate your amazing clothes to someone who will indeed think they're amazing.  You can also do trades at higher end thrift and consignment stores (psst, that's how I got my beautiful Catherine Melandrino eyelet dress, by trading in my Vera Wang garden party dress!).   Then there's also gift cards and cold hard cash for giving your clothes to places like Crossroads and Value Village.

Time to Alter!
For those pieces in your closet that you love but there's that one thing about the fit that you don't love so much - and for those dry-clean only pieces you never got around to sending in, now's the time to alter and clean!  Get one bag for alterations and one bag for dry cleaning.
Sidenote ** Is dry-cleaning unrealistic to your lifestyle?  Make a mental note to avoid buying "dry-clean only" clothing in the future.

  • Hem your pants and denim
  • Take in skirts and dresses
  • shorten tops, coats and dresses (yes, this can be done)
  • dye those lackluster items that still have importance (going pro with this is best)

Altering your clothes to make them more for you is already making a huge improvement to your wardrobe
and will definitely get you closer to feeling wonderful in your clothing.  Don't underestimate the power of custom alterations!!  Sometimes it's the the only solution you need.

Start making room for your capsule!  You don't have to wear every article of clothing you have all year long.
Some clothes weren't even built to be worn every day.  Besides,

Having all the clothes you own in front of you all the time is distracting and can even feel chaotic if you have a large collection.

Storing away pieces will even make them more special to wear when it's time for the perfect occasion and season.  Not because it's simply there and clean.  So put away those fun Summer beach maxis, swimsuits, floppy beach hats, flip flops, cutoffs and cropped jean jackets.  Put away anything you can't see yourself wearing during the season you are in right now.  Yes, many items in your closet can be layered, re-styled - fine.  But for those that cannot, get 'em outta sight.

Get some bags of silica or cedar chips and buy some nice flat boxes to place all of your out-of-season pieces in.  Label the season/s for each box (Spring/Summer or Winter Only) and store the boxes close by but away from your closet.

Focusing on what you have to wear for just the current season will help you determine what you need 
for the current season and set you up to shop for clothing with purpose, focus and higher standards.

Can you believe we haven't even gone shopping yet??
Steps 3 & 4 are all about reconditioning the perceptions and needs we all tend to have of shopping and building a wardrobe.  These steps are largely about customization!  Because it's integral to make your closet yours.

If you really think about it, clothing sold for everyone can't possibly fit everyones body and tastes perfectly, so get in there and redecorate a little!  I so hope I have helped you in doing this.

Come back on Monday for the important final step in building a Tiny Closet you love!  It's time to put together your shopping list!  Thanks so much for reading and we'll pick back up on Monday :)  
Aaaaaand (drum roll please) The first piece for Fall is now available to purchase at The Tiny Closet shop!!!!  Early-access for subscribers only.  Store will be open to all on Monday 10/3!  
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How To Build Your Own Tiny Closet: Step 1 & 2...

The concept I've had for my Tiny Closet has been a work in progress since the day I started recording how I shop, style and wear clothing.  I'm happy to say it is now a concept fully realized and one that I am finally ready (and so excited!) to share.  The challenges I faced with discovering my personal style, feeling great in my clothes and wishing to have a fabulous wardrobe are challenges that I've found many other women facing as well.  Well, hey guys I've created a solution!  It's about 5 steps and today, I am sharing steps 1 and 2.  Yes, these steps are simple but don't be surprised if they keep you busy for a while!

Back in 2011, it started with me just experimenting with the clothes I already had in my closet.  Being unemployed, I was no longer able to shop and was resigned to wearing and styling only what I already owned.  This went on for a while - maybe even a year.  Then, after months of styling and re-styling my closet, by the time I was able to start shopping again, my entire perception of buying clothing had changed.  A concept had also began forming in my head based on two ideals (or fantasies) I had:

You can always look good.
You can always have something fabulous to wear.  

Is it really so impossible to always feel spectacular in your clothes?   To always have something amazing to wear?  With all the shopping we do, with all the money we've spent on clothing, we still look in our closets and feel like we have nothing to wear... Does anyone else think that's kinda ludicrous?  

I was in the middle of cleaning out my closet, once again, stuffing more clothes into a big bag to be donated and it hit me.  These clothes I was getting rid of were indeed, for someone else.  I wasn't dressing for my lifestyle.  

This led me to taking a step back from my closet, forgetting it completely for a moment, and assess something else.

Assess your life.  What do you need to dress for?
Yes, we're all busy.  Some of us, more than others.  But regardless of who you are or what you do, much of our days consist of the same activities.  
What activities do you do every day?  Where do you go?  What are the main reoccurring events in your life?  
Figure it out and write it down.  

Here's an example of my life seen through my daily, reoccurring activities and where they take place.

Work // Home

Fabric Sampling  // fabric stores and warehouses

Walks with Theo & Finn  // downtown

Dinner Out  // local restaurants

Drinks or Lunch w/ Friends  // local bars

Grocery Shopping  //  Costco, Farmer's Markets & Trader Joes

Fabric Runs  //  warehouses

So, as you can see - the daily, reoccurring activities in my life are (surprise!!) not glamorous.  Ignore the list written in the photo above - that was written just as a fictional example.  The list written above for this post is my actual life.  I spend most of my time in my home or in big dusty warehouses.

Daily events are usually not glamorous.  They're not particularly special or something you look forward to.  And that's precisely why they can be a struggle to dress for.  It doesn't have to be that way though.  Getting dressed for the Grammy's?  Exciting!!!  Getting dressed to go to Costco, not so much.  But I bet you would've found the most perfect dress to walk the red carpet.  Let's find that perfect outfit to take you bulk grocery shopping!   And maybe you don't care what you look like when you're grocery shopping or mailing your Zappos returns, and that's fine.  But who says we can't look fabulous doing those things?  
If you know what you do everyday and where you go everyday, you'll have a clearer picture of what kind of 
lifestyle you're shopping for.

Now make a list of activities you know you'll most likely be doing and places you will likely be going this season.  Like this:

Camping // Big Bear

AfroPunk  //  Fancy Dress Ball L.A.

Thanksgiving Dinner // Home

Birthday Parties //  Restaurants/Bars

Anniversary //  Hotel somewhere...

Visiting Parents & Friends // Seattle

These are activities and places you can prepare to dress for and plan to shop for.   If you have a ton of birthdays coming up and your friends tend to party big, you know you'll need to be prepared to dress for the occasions.  Attending a baby shower?  Getting ready to cheer for your kid at their soccer games?  These are events you can be prepared to dress for and prepared to shop for if you don't see anything in your closet that fits those occasions.

Shop deliberately.  Avoid wandering into department stores to "see what you'll find".  
I don't go into clothing stores unless I have intent to buy a specific item that I already planned to get.

How do you want to feel in your clothes?
Yes, we all want to be comfortable.  But beyond that, how do you want to feel?  What kind of energy do you want to exude?  Me personally?   I want to be able to catch myself in any mirror anywhere I am and think Yaaaaaaassss!  

Clothing and styling can create moods and set intentions.  What kind of mood do you want to have?
Next to every activity you wrote with their corresponding place, write one or two words describing how you want to feel when you're doing that activity.  Here's my example:

Work // Home  -- light, easy

Fabric Sampling  // fabric stores and warehouses  --  sophisticated, creative

Walks with Theo & Finn  // downtown  --  feminine, cosmopolitan

Dinner Out  // local restaurants  -- romantic, feminine

Drinks or Lunch w/ Friends  // local bars  -- bohemian, pretty

Grocery Shopping  //  Costco, Farmer's Markets & Trader Joes  -- sophisticated, modern

Fabric Runs  //  warehouses  -- light, easy

For whatever reason, I want to feel these certain ways while doing my various daily tasks and activities.  Wearing clothing that speaks exactly what you want to say while you're wearing it, that flatters your self expression, is my definition of feeling fabulous in what I'm wearing.

I think the reason why we believe we have "nothing to wear" is because we are not aware of how we want to 
feel when we're wearing our clothes.  
What we see doesn't align with what we want to feel, so the clothes are left unworn.

For the longest time, I wore jeans and a tee when I would pick fabric samples.  The fabrics I would view were always in huge, dusty warehouses with big sweaty guys walking around.  So I dressed the part.  But I would always feel grungy and boyish.  Drab and frumpy.  I didn't look like I was part of the world I had created and it was bringing down the mood of my creativity and finding beautiful, inspiring fabrics.  When I began dressing up to visit the various warehouse, I immediately noticed a difference in how I felt.  And also how I acted.  Not to mention when I would put colors and prints against myself in the mirror, my own reflection and outfit complimented my activity.  I felt like a creative, sophisticated designer.

Pharrell Williams says "Fashion has to reflect who you are, what you feel at the moment and where you're going."  I wholeheartedly agree.  

I hope you have fun exploring these first steps in creating a wardrobe you love!
Be sure to come back on Thursday where I share the one thing I always do before I shop for new clothes (and it works every time!).   Steps 3 & 4 later this week!

Thanks so much for reading!
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My Tiny Closet: Up Close & Personal

Welcome to my final completed Tiny Closet!  A closet of 28 pieces, including jackets, coats and heirloom pieces.    But that's not exactly all.  This is my base closet.  A foundation to build from - but I'll get to that in a minute.  

Now, for those of you who are not familiar with my concept of The Tiny Closet, it's actually more of lifestyle...
The Tiny Closet is about having small, simple collections of clothing throughout the year that are carefully curated and personalized for you and you alone.  It's forgetting about what you "should" buy and what you "need" to be wearing and it's all about focusing close attention on your own lifestyle, routine, social life, and likes.  Oh, and the weather is an important factor too!  It's not about ignoring the evolution of fashion or trends.  It's about making trends work for you.  And if they don't - leave em' and wait for the next wave.

It sounds pretty easy but creating and maintaining a Tiny Closet is more challenging than you think!  Maybe because when you're carefully collecting new items for your wardrobe, the process completely eliminates mindless shopping, frequent needs to shop and addictive hoarding.   And I think we ALL have fallen prey to those symptoms and tendencies.  It's a waste of money, space in our closets and a vast waste of our time when we're deciding what the heck we're going to wear every morning!

Anyway, with my closet as the example, as you can see - I'm really into one-pieces and roomy drapey fit.  Dresses, jumpsuits, flouncy tops and oversize designs - it's what I like to see on myself and what I feel so comfortable wearing.  Regardless of what I'm told I should wear based on my height, weight and age.
My closet is newly finalized and ready to be built upon.  What I mean is, all of these pieces are the remaining gems from cleaning out and pairing down my closet over the past couple years.  It took a long time!  And each article of clothing actually belongs to its own capsule wardrobe.  So what I intend to do is build upon each of these pieces an even Tinier capsule wardrobe for each season.  And as each season passes on to another,  I will take my capsule wardrobe and store it away to make room for the next.  

These capsules will only consist of about 3-4 pieces and they are festive, fun and purely seasonal items.
Ah!  What a fun, free, non-guilty, non-wasteful way to shop, right? And you're truly building a closet you adore and will always want to pick from.
A little about my base pieces:  This leather midi skirt is delicious!  With the softest, warm leather it can be worn with so many things for Fall and Winter.  I wore it best with a slouchy tee and animal print flats.  But it also went beautifully with stiletto boots and a cropped tee.  I am very fickle with skirts so this friendly, stylish midi skirt gave me the room and freedom I am usually lacking when it comes to not wearing pants.
This semi-orginal dress is phenomenal.  I adapted it from a Vogue pattern and I love it for both everyday errands and going out to dinner in the Fall.  Amazing!  I wore it with some stacked leather boots dangling earrings - and another time with a statement necklace and flats.
This romper is an original design of mine.  A statement piece that I made when experimenting with loose jumpsuits.  I love wearing it with my multi colored sandals!  This palm-printed onesie will be apart of my Summer capsule in 2017.  
And my all-time favorite maxi I bought years ago is still a gem!  I literally cannot count all the times I've worn it.  Not to mention how I've worn it: as a skirt and as a strapless dress.  This piece will be apart of my Spring and Summer capsules for 2017 for sure.
My "heirloom" items are next - they're the only pieces that will not be in capsules.   Including this cheap but unforgettable iconic dress that I never wear but for that one evening event I have to go to that calls for it, which happens just a couple times a year.  And I relish it every time!  I wore it only once for the blog.  And it was fabulous.
My vintage coat with a built in wrap is also much too special to donate.  I very rarely wear it but when I do, it's always to pair with something very casual.
And the top of my prized pieces is my wedding dress.  A two-piece Max Mara number made in Italy. Simple, and super modern.  Just like me.  Since I ended up being two hour late for the big day, I missed out on photographs.  So my husband shot me in it a year later.
The few folded items I have is two pairs of shorts (a pair of linen shorts and pair of cutoffs), a black lycra body con dress that I like to wear under loose tops and sweaters, two tee-shirts I designed and a cool T by Alexander Wang jersey skirt.
When it comes to denim, the more worn and ripped, the better. I have 4 pairs.  Including one that is not worn but in pristine condition and for neater, more finished occasions.
And of course these vintage 501 Levis.  I prefer a little spandex in my jeans but I put up with a little resistance in these completely non-stretch oldies.  The high waist is perfect my for cropped tees!
And the last of my heirlooms is this gigantic embroidered circle skirt.  I wore it best with a bra top in the desert.  And also with a turtleneck and boots in the Winter.
These are the boots!  I shared some of my shoes in these photos.  The little group you see at the bottom of the clothing rack are most of my favorites but I didn't bring out all of them.  I want to focus on the clothing aspect of building a wardrobe.  
 My plan for shoe shopping and maintaining non-wasteful capsules in shoes is purchasing one pair of shoes per season that will go with nearly all of the items in that capsule.  So that means I will have around 4 new shoes a year.  Thoughtfully picked for each season.

I look forward to collecting more pieces for this Fall season.  And by the way, Fall officially kicks of this week!!  What are you looking forward to adding to your closet this season?  Keep visiting while I create my first capsule wardrobe for Fall 2016 using some of the Fall pieces I already own and 3 or 4 new pieces! 

Hope you enjoyed peeking through my Tiny Closet and getting more familiar with the concept for a Tiny lifestyle :)
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Just One Piece is All You Need

I already talked about my uniform, which is a lifesaver.  But going further, more and more, I'm leaning towards 

one piece.one piece.one piece.  
Flattering, feminine and simple.  Jump into it or throw it on over your head and voila, instant outfit.   
The concept I had for this dress was truly simple.  Basically how I want to wear all my clothes but I get peer pressured into wearing jewelry.  I love jewelry, truly, but my natural inclinations are more to admire from afar rather than join the party.  And friends may say (like they always do!) that this piece begs for a necklace.  But a bangle here, a ring there, the simplest of sandals and a high neckline is genuinely what I needed this outfit to be.

You can check out my other favorite one-piece go-tos here and here.  Both fabulous game changers for streamlining a closet. 

Enjoy your Monday! 
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Keeping It Together

Whew!  Happy Labor Day to you!  And if you were lucky enough to get time off, well cheers to you.  I hope you're all enjoying yourselves, regardless.

 And speaking of labor.  This girl has been workin it.  From both ends.  Upside down.  

And I know I'm not the only one movin and groovin - it seems like everyone has got some big thing, some big project, some tireless goal - ladies, can I just say

 All the comments, the emails, the orders in my shop.  You have ideas, thoughts, and opinions - thank you so much for not keeping them to yourselves.

I opened an online store this Summer and I didn't know it was a dream until it came true.  I've been wearing a lot of hats these days and I admit, I've been getting my butt whooped.  But I'm trying to keep up, trying to keep it together.  I am in love with what I do and I'm working hard to keep it from slipping away.

My daily outfits have never been more for function than what they are now.  For errands I wear a new uniform I've evolved into wearing everyday.  And while indoors (with the air conditioner off because it causes too much wind) I must have my arms and legs free of drape so I end up wearing very fitted tops and bottoms.  It's 85 degrees and my machines are buzzing along like I'm in a sweatshop.

It's 95% humbling but 5% glamorous when I get to see gorgeous everyday gals looking amazing in my clothes - or when someone recognizes me on the street and tells me my work matters.  Those moments are worth everything.
 This Labor Day means more to me than it ever has before.  Maybe because I've never worked this hard.  I have a lot of plans this coming season but I worry I won't be able to get them all done.  I worry I won't be able to fully create what I want to share or have enough time to bring my ideas to fruition.   I'm sure so many others feel the same.  But this holiday is a reminder to continue believing in hard work and that it is incredibly powerful.  And timeless.  It will always bring results.  

This holiday also reminds me to step back and celebrate the work.  All of our great work!
So here's to believing in our work, our efforts and the wonderful payoff.  

And to those of you interested in my doings, I so hope you stay interested and patient with what I plan to share.  I think you'll love it!
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Less Choices, More Freedom

 We make a lot of choices during the day.  But did you know there is scientific evidence of emotional, mental and physical fatigue from making too many choices in a day?

The dominant reason why I've recently decided to cultivate an even tinier closet is because, to put it simply, I'm busy...
 After years of searching, experimenting and creating my own personal style and wardrobe, I know what I like.  

And sure, I'll have events to go to here and there, host parties, go camping, travel, and do many fun things that call for something "a little different" to wear... but for the most part, day in and day out, I've got things to do!  Daily.life.things.to.do.

So!  Like Obama, like Jobs, like Wang, Lagerfeld and everyone else who has figured out what they can live without in order to have the creative energy to put towards more interesting things than, "what am I going to wear today?": 

I found a uniform.  
 The tee, I made.  The pants, I made.  And the shoes?  Those are Sam Edelman.

I walk in it, work in it, sit in traffic in the back of an Uber in it, eat standing up in it and even nap in it.  Every morning this outfit is waiting for me to slip into and get moving.  My choice-fatigue just got a little less fatigue-y.  

The less choices we have, the more freedom and energy we can put to other things.  Like, for example, energy to put towards these various questions I always leave to the last minute - or just don't get to at all:

What kind of outfit should I wear to that Fall wedding?

What cool stylish costume can I wear for Halloween?

Should I start wearing headbands?

What kind of dress do I want to wear for New Year's?

Should I start wearing proper women's pajamas instead of a big t-shirt?

What kind of camping wardrobe should I put together for the Fall/Winter season?

Would I look good in a cargo jacket?


Ah!  Now if I can just start meal prepping...  I might just be able to rule the world.
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Railroad Stripes

If you've been following me, even for a short period o f time, you know I love stripes.  A strong horizontal stripe on a big cozy top or dress is my thaang.  So I suppose it was only a matter of time that I fall in love with railroad stripes.  It's really the classic cotton/linen that is associated with railroad striping.  And the fact that I also adore linen and Japanese cotton, well why didn't it happen sooner??

But I actually didn't want to like it.   The strong, durable, breathable blue-collar fabric originally used in mens labor uniforms is now trending in high-price minimal clothing with words like "collective", "capsule" and "pop-up" used to sell them.  $500 for a railroad stripe dress?  Come on people, it's just manual labor cotton!

So as per usual, I had to make one myself.
Recognize the design?  It's actually a further adapted design from this dress.  And I love it.
Love it!!
What's great about this type of linen is that over time, it will turn slouchy and lived in.  Almost like denim.  Like a well-loved pair of jeans.  I already want to wear this everyday so it looks like it's going to part of my Fall capsule.  Here in L.A., it runs around 80 degrees until November so I'll be getting some good wear from this wear-and-tear-stable piece!
Currently experimenting with shoes and accessories with this dress.  
We shall see!

Happy, happy Monday!  
And speaking of Monday, this chic little "work" dress is perfect for my weekday grind.
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