5 ways to inspire healthy consumption

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Throw back Thursday to my fall/winter capsule wardrobe shirt selection

I am in the process of thinking about a spring/summer capsule wardrobe, which got me thinking about consumption in general. The more I think on this subject the more I realize that I want to own less and consume less. I think in my fondest dreams, I would live with the bare minimum of belongings, each one precious or useful in some specific way. In reality, I am surrounded by a heap of stuff that just won’t seem to budge. I think I am in a better place than I was before but still have a long way to go. I know there are certain things I will never give up like my chef’s jacket from pastry school, or all my travel souvenirs. Still, as much as I purge, I always seem to be acquiring new things to fill the space left by what I have gotten rid of. I am starting to realize that downsizing is a two-part process involving purging and then learning not to consume in the same way as before. The second part fits in nicely with another goal I have of saving as much money as possible in the coming year. And when I do buy new things, I want it to be in a responsible fashion. Here are some strategies I will be trying to get me to my goals.

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Sorting/purging my jewelry will definitely be a goal

Do a large purge

This is pretty self-explanatory. I plan to do a spring purge in all categories with the goal of eliminating redundant items (read 6000 pens) and things I never use. This will get me ready for my spring/summer capsule wardrobe and I think will make my belongings seem less heavy.

Set a small monthly budget for certain items

I order to motivate myself not to shop impulsively, I am setting very low monthly budgets for things like clothing and homegoods. So far I have budgeted $40 a month for clothing and $0 for home goods. That doesn’t include things like toilet paper, but does include things like cute knick knacks at Target and random pillows. I have been using Mint to manage my money for a while, but lately I have been leaning in to this online budget software even more with my current goal of saving money. One thing that I am notorious (mostly with myself) for doing is buying a new outfit if I don’t feel like my day outfit is good enough for my night plans. Most of the stuff I buy during these sprees ends up in the donation pile, minus a few surprise gems. I think the key to avoiding this is a) not getting lazy with my outfits in the morning and b) storing a cute outfit or at least some jewelry and heels at work.

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Knick knacks and souvenirs displayed in glass cabinets

Take care of what you already have

While I sporadically do things like get my shoes reheeled and sew buttons onto coats, I want to make it more of a habit. I also want to spend time figuring out how to wear the clothing I already have in new ways so that I value each item more. One thing that I have already done is purchase two large glass cabinets to hold some of my favorite travel souvenirs and mementos. I still have overflow but it is nice have things displayed this way and makes even the silly things (ie plastic dinosaurs) seem important.

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A hand-me-down chair which definitely counts as second-hand

Shop second-hand as much as possible

I already shop second-hand for clothing and furniture quite a bit. The challenge will be doing so consistently and including things like gifts and appliances. It can be frustrating to shop second-hand when you are looking for a very particular thing, but I’m hoping that it can be a fun challenge. There are so many options for shopping second-hand these days, from traditional thrift stores to websites like eBay and Poshmark. It just takes a little change in mindset.

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Surrounded by stuff and cats 🙂

Make a list of everything that you own

This one is a doozy! After I purge, I plan to make a comprehensive list of everything I own. It sounds daunting just thinking about it but I am curious to see what benefits an exercise like this could yield. Will I feel richer and more satisfied with what I have? Will I want to purge more? Will I discover that I have things I thought I needed to buy? Will I be inspired to make new things with my huge tubs of craft supplies? These are all possibilities and I am excited to find out what happens that I can’t predict as well. I am not putting a timeline on this as I have no idea how long something like this will take. I may combine this with the purge process. They seem to go hand in hand. I will definitely keep you updated on my progress.

How about you? Would you try any of these strategies? Let me know in the comments.

xoxo Anna

My take on a fall/winter capsule wardrobe

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Hi everyone! I mentioned in an earlier post that I was going to share more about my capsule wardrobe choices, and that is what this post is about.

First, I have to admit that I didn’t do a ton of research about what technically makes a capsule wardrobe a capsule wardrobe. Most of my knowledge comes from seeing what other bloggers are doing and being inspired. I feel like, as capsule wardrobes go, mine is pretty large, maybe even too large, but I think it is a good place to start. I’m sure that over time certain items will rise to the top of the clothing heap and others we get donated. I didn’t include shoes, jewelry or bags, but I could see doing that in the future. I like taking the process gradually. It somehow makes it less unnerving.

My process for creating my capsule wardrobe was somewhat “Marie Kondo” in that it was based on my gut reaction to any given item. First I stored away all my very summery clothes to get them out of the way. I plan to purge them come next spring/summer. I also stored away anything costumey or super fancy. I divided what remained into several categories: “I can’t even look at you anymore!,” “Meh,” “I love you but you don’t fit,” and “You’re a keeper.” I donated the first two categories, stored the third and what was left became my wardrobe for fall.

I didn’t purchase anything new for my capsule wardrobe, although I may purchase one more outerwear option (I have my eye on this coat). Everything I chose had to fit my body in the present moment.

So (insert drumroll)… here are my choices:

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I kept a total of 12 tees and tanks. For this category, I seemed to favor basic items and a few graphic tees.

It was interesting to notice during the purging process what my heart was gravitating towards. I seemed drawn to simple graphic patterns and textures, rich earthly solids, and the occasional pop of red or purple. This is especially obvious when you look at my long sleeve top selections below. This category is by far the largest, which I guess makes sense for a fall/winter wardrobe.

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I’m especially happy with my dress selections. 4 out of 5 of these are recent purchases from ethical clothing lines. I like their simple lines and subtle colors.

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I’m also pleased with my skirt selection. I chose a sequined mini (thrifted), a denim midi (thrifted), and a black pencil skirt (H&M, a few seasons ago). For pants, I went with 4 pairs of high-waisted jeans and 2 pairs of leggings.

I am least excited by my outerwear category. This has always been a tough area for me. I long for a structured, minimal coat collection but never seem to be able to make it happen. I don’t hate the things that I chose, I just don’t love them now that I am looking at them, so I guess this category needs some work.

Finally, I chose four scarves. There wasn’t any particular reasoning behind my scarf choices. In fact, I think I might narrow it down further to just 1 scarf, the red and white striped one.

I am very excited to see how these pieces come together into outfits. I will be sure to share some of my favorites on the blog!

So that’s it for my fall capsule wardrobe. How about you? Do you feel like you are ready for fall, fashion-wise? Let me know your thoughts in the comments 🙂

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scarves

xoxo Anna