Outfits

3 Easy Ways to Curate Your Closet

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In my last post, I talked about how I’ve had a personal style revelation.  I was very much inspired by Chic Ethique’s winter capsule wardrobe and planner, and it sparked a change in the way I looked at my style.  After setting aside time to think about my outfits, I pulled together a framework to help me define and refine my look.  Today, I want to share some of the things that helped me–if you’re in a style rut, too, I hope these help!

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  1. Keep track of your favorite outfits.  Confession: I actually don’t really like most of the outfits I’ve posted in the last couple of years.  They simply didn’t feel right, and part of that is because I was trying to mimic other bloggers’ styles.  That being said, there are a few that felt perfect.  I made a secret Pinterest board with all those looks and studied them.  Why did I like them so much?  What were some of the common elements and colors?  Once I had those figured out, I moved on to Step 2.
  2. Pick a color palette.  When I analyzed my favorite outfits, a few colors stood out to me: neutrals, deep green, burgundy, and red.  They kept coming up over and over again!  With that in mind, I made up a color palette for every season.  Having a palette is a good way to make sure that all your clothes for each season work well together, plus you can incorporate the shades that make you feel best.
  3. Define your style.  Part of the fun of clothes is playing with different styles, but I’ve found it’s best for me to limit the majority of my closet to two or three.  Having a mix of retro, boho, preppy, classic, athleisure, trendy, and vintage stuff always made me kind of dread putting an outfit together.  Nothing seemed to go together!  Now, though, I’ve come up with a name for what I want to see when I throw open my closet doors: Classic Romantic.  I love lace and girly dresses, but I’m also drawn to very simple and refined styles.  Think Anthropologie meets J. Crew.

Already, these steps have made my life so much easier.  Getting dressed in the morning is effortless!  I know that most of my clothes are interchangeable, which means pulling together an outfit is a piece of cake.  And it’s helped me curb my bad, bad shopping habits.  Instead of buying anything and everything because I think it’s “cute,” I have a solid focus for what I want to add.  It’s shopping with intention, y’all.

So what about you guys?  What’s your style journey been like?  Did you find these tips helpful?

Extras, Outfits

Outfit: Just The Same But Brand New

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It seems like lots of bloggers have been taking breaks lately.  It makes sense–the holidays can leave you exhausted and yearning for some relaxation.  And it’s a whole new year, the perfect time to reflect on what you’re going to make of the next twelve months.

Like many of you, I spent a few weeks taking stock, which of course includes Mox and Socks.  Ever since I started this blog, something seemed off.  Not the photography; I’ve learned to become a decent photographer in the last two years.  Not the subject matter; I’m a good writer.  No, it was something more fundamental–the clothes.

We as style bloggers struggle more with the identity of our clothes than anyone else.  Our clothes mean more because we want them to mean more.  Sometimes it’s difficult to figure out what exactly we want to say, and I’ve had that problem for years.

I never really understood why I didn’t like most of my outfits.  I had all kinds of rules governing how I chose my clothes, and I thought those rules would make me happy.  When they didn’t, I started to copy other people, trying to capture whatever it was that made their outfits stand out.

It took me ages, but I learned some key points that helped me figure out what my style was.  A Clothes Horse’s outfits won’t look right on me because they’re not me.  But this outfit?  She’d never wear it, but it feels exactly right on my body.

In a few days, I’ll recap some of the things I learned in putting together a new wardrobe for myself.  I hope that if you’re having problems with the things in your closet, I can help.

I’ve collaborated with thredUP again, and that site has been invaluable in helping me rebuild and refine my closet.  They had all of the basics I needed plus lots of unusual statement pieces, like this beaded cardigan.  (Side note: that thing is so heavy that my back still hurts–worth it!)  thredUP is literally the only company I can think of that offers (by definition) ethically-sourced petite clothing, so I feel really good about adding to my closet with the things I’ve found there, plus I know they’re going to fit me.

If you’ve never shopped with thredUP before, I have a little goody for you.  You can get 50% off your first-time purchase on their selection of Free People clothing using the code FREEPEOPLE50.  It’s good for up to $50 off!  So go on, check it out!

 

Outfits

Outfit: Santa’s Elves

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In the last few years, Christmas just didn’t feel the same.  I can’t put my finger on it, but I’d never want to sing carols or decorate or do any of the things I normally love.  My heart had none of its magical holiday joy.

But this year is different.  I’m back in the Christmas spirit!  The cold doesn’t feel so cold, I blast Christmas music in my car and sing all the way home from work, and I’ve even decorated my apartment this year.  While it might look a little sparse, you should know that normally my decorations can be summed up with one (1) stuffed fox toy.  But now?  Garland! Lights! Mugs! Candles!

I’m trying to pin down what’s caused my heart to grow three sizes this year.  Maybe it’s the fact that there’s snow on the ground.  Maybe it’s because I’m working out more to control my seasonal depression.  Who knows?  Who cares?  I’m just happy to buzz around town buying gifts and wrapping them and taking Moxie out for winter walks in her smart fleece jacket and red boots.

Happy Holidays, you guys.

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Outfits

Outfit: Hazy Shade of Winter

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Hello!  Even though it’s only been about a week and a half since I last posted, I feel as if I’d been gone a good deal longer.  So much has changed–you can like comments on Instagram! It’s white and snowy in Chicago! And I’ve given up my dreams of being a famous blogger someday!

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Let’s talk about that last point in a little more detail, okay?  I’ve mentioned time and again that blogging stresses me out, and a couple weeks ago, I laid out some of the things that really bother me about the whole process–the biggest are the time commitment and blogger backstabbing. I got to the point where I started to question what I was even doing with this blog.  Did I really want to turn it into a career one day?  Or would I be better off dialing it down to a hobby?

I knew I needed some time to think about it, so I took a week off.  Really off.  This was the first time I completely disconnected from the whole operation.  No posts or likes or comments, nada.  And you know what?  It felt great!  I binge-watched Gilmore Girls, hung out with friends, and slept in on the weekend.  I didn’t think about how I needed to document everything so I could turn it into an Insta story.  I simply enjoyed myself.

And I gave up my dream of turning Mox in Socks into a career.  Far from being sad about it, I’m really very relieved.  I did a lot of reflecting on what it takes to become a popular blogger, and I don’t have it in me. I’d rather spend my time doing other things and maybe picking up some new hobbies.  Maybe I’ll really get into sewing like I said I would, or I’ll develop a passion for dance or I’ll just move to Korea and teach English.  Who knows?

So what does that mean for the future of Mox and Socks?  Well, not much is going to change on the outside.  I love photography and fashion, and you can count on me to always have a couple of outfit posts a week.  But you might not hear from me all that often.  No, if you want me, I’ll be lounging around my studio, reading a book and scratching Moxie’s ears.

 

Outfits

The 5 Worst Blogger Habits

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I’ve said over and over (and over) that blogging burns me OUT.  I get stressed about numbers and the types of posts I do and (not) working with brands–it’s overwhelming!  For so long, I really wanted to turn this into a career, but it’s gotten so exhausting that I finally decided to veer in the other direction: blogging for fun.  Now that I’ve taken some time to chill out, it’s got me thinking about the things that bothered me about blogging with the hopes of making it big. Here are my top five worst blogging habits!dsc_0180

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  1. The follow/unfollow game.  So…I have to confess that for a little while, I would go around following and unfollowing to build up my fanbase.  I stopped after a short time because I felt really crappy about it.  I mean, it’s happened to me, and it sure as hell doesn’t feel great.  On a related note, I also had an app that showed me who unfollowed me, and every time someone did, I’d get so worked up and take it way too personally.
  2. Working on the blog 24/7.  Poor Moxie.  There were so many nights when I’d come home from work and park myself at my computer to churn out a post, and Mox would just sit patiently waiting for me to play with her.  I felt bad, but I justified it by telling myself that one day I’d have more time to spend with her.
  3. Doing posts just to get attention.  You know those Ipsy bag reviews I do each month?  I kind of hate them.  They actually take up a lot of time and setup!  I would be super diligent about producing them, though, because they seemed to get a lot of traffic.  This month when I got my bag, it was really a joy to open it and know I wouldn’t have to write up this massive post about the pros and cons of each eye shadow, highlighter, and skin-firming moisturizer.
  4. Excessive self-promotion.  Don’t get me wrong–self-promotion is necessary to growing your blog.  I got a little obsessed with it, though.  Every day during my work breaks, instead of reading a book or joining a conversation with my lunch pals, I would leave comment after comment on Instagram in the hopes that I could entice more people to follow me.  (This was my strategy after I scrapped Point 1, above.)  And really, there are really only so many times I can say  “Aww so cute!” about a baby pic in the #livelaughlove hashtag.
  5. Getting jealous/envious.  There would be times…lots of times…that I would feel pretty bummed about someone else working with a particular brand or getting more followers than me.  And now and then, that “someone else” would be a friend.  That’s not right.  Now more than ever, it’s so important to root for our friends’ successes, and I want to cheer them on!

 

 

Outfits

Thanksgiving in List Form, Part 2

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Every year, I like to put together a list of the things I’m thankful for.  Without further ado, here’s what I’m celebrating:

  1. My new camera remote!  I don’t know why I didn’t shell out the $10 for it before.
  2. Having long hair to play with.
  3. The sliver of bed that Moxie allows me to sleep on.
  4. All of my friends and family, who keep me sane at home, at work, and elsewhere.
  5. Living in a town full of astounding architecture.
  6. Coffee, especially when it’s good (but even when it’s not).
  7. Little House on the Prairie (the books, not the show).
  8. Lightroom’s teeth-whitening tool.  I can drink all the coffee I want and never worry about stains!
  9. thredUP.  I buy something from that site at least once a week.  I’m obsessed and I don’t even feel guilty about it because it’s a sustainable/ethical way to buy clothes and it ain’t that expensive. (Not sponsored, I just really love it.)
  10. Inspiration.
  11. Improvement.
  12. Falling in love for the first time.
  13. Moxie Girl!
  14. The new pie shop that opened down the street from my apartment.  I guess I’m not moving now.
  15. The boldness to steal candies from the vice president’s office.  Worth it.
  16. My car.  Even though it’s old and beat up, it still gets me from A to B with very little fuss.
  17. Finally having platinum blonde hair.  It takes a lot of upkeep, but I think it’s the color I was born to have.
  18. Traveling by plane for the first time!  Can you believe I never flew until this year?
  19. Enjoying my day job.
  20. Netflix randomizers.
  21. My glasses.
  22. Being happy with my body.
  23. Blogilates.  Cassey Ho, you’re my hero!!
  24. Breaking up with my boyfriend.  Ultimately, I think this was a good thing, so I’m gonna do my best to feel thankful for it.
  25. My hiking group.
  26. Lazy days off.
  27. Productive days off.
  28. Being petite and living in a time when body positivity/inclusivity is a thing.
  29. Hungryroot.
  30. Velvet.
  31. Treat Yo Self Day.
  32. Being able to stick up for myself.
  33. Living alone (well, except for a certain fuzzy someone).
  34. Being healthy and able-bodied.
  35. My gram’s mashed potatoes.
  36. Podcasts.
  37. Having access to plenty of good books.
  38. Animal shelters.
  39. Easily finding the humor in most situations.
  40. Doggy daycare.  Yes, it’s a thing.  Moxie and I love it.
  41. Milk chocolate.
  42. Getting to leave work at the same time every day.
  43. Grubhub.
  44. Central heating and air conditioning in my apartment.
  45. Moxie’s “hugs” when I come home from work. (Really, she’s just stretching on me, but let’s pretend it’s a hug.)
  46. Everything Lush makes.  The bath bombs, lip tints, shampoos, everything.
  47. Being a woman.  Right now that’s not an easy thing, but I’m glad to be who I am.
  48. My education.
  49. Flannel sheets.
  50. Always having a big Thanksgiving meal.

Even if you’re not celebrating Thanksgiving, what are some things you’re thankful for?

Outfits

Outfit: Blowing in the Wind

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Remember how I said that the only thing that could hold me back from taking pictures was bird poop?  Well, that got tested this weekend.

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You might notice that my clothes and hair are askew in nearly every picture. When I went out to take pictures, it was a scant 35 degrees, and a wind advisory was in effect.  Great gusts of 35 mph blew across the trees, and it was a challenge for me to stay on my feet!  It seemed as though the wind would take a breath now and then only to come back and blast even more furiously than before.

Thankfully, it blew perfectly horizontal, so I never had to worry about my skirt flying up.  It stayed put the whole time, if a little sideways.  And it’s not like anyone was around to notice, anyway.  Normally, this spot is full of people and pets, but no one wanted to be out that day.  Can’t say I blame them!

At one point, I had to run back to my car to warm up, but after my hands were warm, it was right back to it.  At least I kept my coat on the whole time!

I can’t be the only one who takes pictures under extreme conditions, right?  What’s the craziest thing you’ve endured to get good photos?

 

Outfits

Outfit: What Big Ears You’ve Got

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While blogging originally started out as a fun hobby for me, it’s had so many unforeseen benefits.  I’ve entered into a very positive, supportive community, made amazing friends online and IRL, and I continue to learn every single day.  One of the most significant pluses, though, is how I’ve come to see my body.

Being dissatisfied with my figure was something that I accepted as a matter of course.  I was underweight at one point in my life, and I never used to feel like my body was “right.”  Every time I lost a few pounds, I’d feel bad about how my clothes fit–and the same was true whenever I gained a few.  I never looked at myself in the mirror and just felt good.

And yet, after looking at photos of myself day in and day out, I got familiar with what I looked like in an objective way.  I saw my body for what it was.  I stopped making judgments about my hips or my thighs or my (lack of) breasts.  More than anything, I was looking at my clothes, not the person in them!

And maybe that’s part of it–over the years, I’ve learned what looks best on my body, and now I stick to styles that I know will flatter me.  For the most part, though, I think seeing my figure so much has made me get used to how I look.  Sometimes we come to love what’s familiar to us, and that’s been the case for me.

It’s been freeing not to worry about it, and the only thing that prompted me to write this post was the fact that I didn’t like my hair in these pictures.  What a wonderful thing it is just to dislike my hair for a day!

It’s true that every now and then, I still get down about my bod, but I no longer feel like I did a couple of years ago.  Most days, I’m simply happy. And for that, I’m extremely thankful.