Friday ReBlog: Why I Own Wooden Hangers

Janice over at the Vivienne Files had a post this week on making your closet feel like the clothes shopping experience you love most – in other words, bringing light, space, and visual appeal to your clothes storage area.

One of the big ways she achieves this is with wooden hangers, and I have to say, I agree with her.  Having my clothes all on similar, lovely-looking hangers helps make me feel closet-happy. Wooden hangers take up enough space that you’re reminded not to crowd the rack, which is also a big contributor to me loving the way my closet looks.

Another surefire closet-happiness booster? Having a cohesive color palette. Our closet is open, so I see it every time I walk into the master bathroom; I notice when a color is glaringly out of place or the racks are packed to the gills, and take a moment to decide whether it’s time to weed through my wardrobe again.

Going back to hangers: best of all, all my lovely hangers are thrifted – folks cleaning out their closets tend to donate in packs so I’ve been able to assemble very similar hangers for all my hanging garments.  Check your local thrift store to see what you can find!

Read more about my love for wooden hangers here.


Have a great weekend, Thrifters!

Friday ReBlog: Decluttering by Color

Janice over at The Vivienne Files is doing a two-parter on decluttering, and her first method is based on color. (No surprise given she’s a master at building capsule wardrobes based on color palette!)

It’s worth the read-through on your own, but a few highlights that caught my interest:

“You’ve got to WANT to accomplish something – your own personal something – when you plunge into this process. If you’re currently perfectly happy with your wardrobe as it is, don’t do this; there’s nothing to be gained!”

I think where the impact lies in this great insight is not avoiding a cleanout when you’re happy with your wardrobe, but defining your “personal something” when you’re unhappy with your closet but don’t know why. No one wants to spend a lot of time and effort decluttering according to someone else’s rules or approach only to still be unsatisfied with the results!  Take a few minutes to write down (or talk through, or Pinterest, depending on your style of learning) what you’d like to achieve from a closet makeover: a consistent color palette, a style refresh, to end up with only clothes you thrill to wear, etc.

That brings us to her second observation I want to engage:

“With all the respect in the world to Marie Kondo, I’m NEVER going to feel joy from a black tee shirt, but having a handful of them is really important to being well dressed, in my life.”

I don’t particularly care about defending Marie Kondo, but I do think (depending on your personality and style) that it’s possible to have an entire wardrobe composed ONLY of things you love – right down to your knickers. (Maybe underwear’s especially important in this category since only you will see it, but it can brighten up your whole mood to know you’ve got Animal underpants on under an otherwise somber or formal ensemble!)

An undershirt I thrifted at one point comes to mind. No one was ever going to see it, since it was designed to be worn as a base layer.  But it was made of the softest Pima cotton, and it felt luxurious every time I put it on.

My point isn’t to be dissatisfied with your wardrobe if your really practical pieces don’t “spark joy,” but to encourage you not to settle if you feel rather “blah” about a practical piece – it’s scratchy, worn out, cheap, doesn’t fit quite right… There’s likely an alternative out there just waiting to be thrifted that will give you, if not joy, a little more pleasure when getting dressed.


What are your thoughts on making sure you have figured out your raison d’être before decluttering, or about having your mundane pieces “spark joy”?  Scroll down to comment!


Friday ReBlog – “One Piece at a Time” Wardrobe in Action

Sarah at Becoming Gezellig used The Vivienne File’s “One Piece at a Time” method to build her capsule wardrobe and lucky us, she shared the process!  This is a great post if you want to see an all-at-once graphic of someone’s capsule wardrobe and/or if you’re curious about building a wardrobe by adding one piece at a time, not just buying ALL THE THINGS at once and hoping they work out.  She gives great pros/cons and thoughts about how the process will shape her future capsules.

In an ideal world, actually living into this process slowly makes a lot of sense to me: start with one outfit you love, then slowly add a piece here and a piece there that complement and expand your starter outfit.  Sticking to this patient pace would help you discover where your holes are (“hmm, it’s getting chillier and I only have one thin cardigan…I’ll select a sweater as my next add-on”) and how pieces play together (“I love this luscious blouse…what if I mixed it with the cardigan I already have and tried it with the skirt I own in addition to pants?”).

It’s how I live into a capsule during the season I’m wearing it – for example this summer I’ve been looking for the “perfect” blue sheath dress to go with my 2 pairs of summer work shoes and the white denim jacket I love and already wear – since I own one in white know it would be my style and would go with oodles of accessories.  I don’t need to go out and buy 5 different dresses or blouse/skirt combos to scratch that itch.  I can take it slow.

On the other hand, when you’re restyling a section of your off-season wardrobe to escape the urgency of “it’s freezing out, I need a sweater NOW,” this gets harder.  You aren’t wearing the clothing day to day, so you don’t get to “know” it – how it lays, whether it’s warm or cool or itchy on its own, if those snug pants are going to feel like sausage casing by the end of the day – and you don’t know how it’s all going to play together.  You have to make educated guesses based on what you *think* you want and how things look in your mirror at home (as you try not to sweat while layering on sweaters and corduroy in Atlanta June heat).

I’ll give you a peek next week on how that non-one-piece-at-a-time winter restyle is going – I think for now, other than tailoring some of the pants, I’m going to hold off on adding anything else until the weather is actually cool and I can see how the whole coalesces (or doesn’t! yeeps).


What do you all think of “One Piece at a Time”?  Helpful concept or are you too impatient/in need of clothing stat?  Scroll down to comment, and happy weekend Thrifters!


Monday ReBlog: Making a “Not My Style” List

I didn’t get to a Friday reblog last week (life…work…toddlers…you know), but I found a great blog post over the weekend so I thought I’d share it today.

Making a list of what constitutes your style can be really helpful as you’re piecing together a wardrobe.  But Anuschka at Into Mind flips the concept on its head – make a list of things that aren’t your style to help weed out what doesn’t work.  I particularly liked her idea to make a subcategory for “love it on other people, not for me” as those items can be distracting and disappointing when honing your own style (“I LOVE this, but I never wear it…”  “This looks great on my friend, why doesn’t it work for me??”).

A “not my style” list is even more helpful when you’re thrifting a large portion of your closet.  If you’re not rock solid on what constitutes your personal brand of style, sweet prices, the scarcity-based feeling that there are only so many secondhand clothes to go around, and the sheer smorgasboard of styles can combine to make you splash out on a great piece that isn’t really you.

So let’s make a list.  Here’s mine:

Great on others, not for me:

-skinny jeans (I keep trying these on, they keep refusing to let my circulation move freely)
-button down shirts
-dresses with short hems
-button down cardigans
-superoversized sweaters (I have one, I wear it at home or while pregnant)
-anything sheer (I’m not prudish but I’m definitely lazy and don’t want to add another layer to make sheer work appropriate)
-jewel tones

I just don’t like them (even if they’re on-trend):

-military parkas/utility jackets – always look too casual/busy with doodads and add-ons. Also I’m not in the military or going fly fishing anytime soon.
-super wide-legged pants
-twinsets (although one of my coworkers absolutely ROCKS these…shoutout to Patti!)
-faux suits – dressing all in one color when it’s not a suit (apologies to Janice of The Vivienne Files, and my mother-in-law).  I need more variety!


I’m sure the list could be longer but it’s late and my brain just overdosed on dulce de leche cheesecake.


Alright, Thrifters, let’s see YOUR “Not My Style” lists in the comments!  And tell me – do you think this is a helpful concept?



Translating Style from One Season to Another: Tips

Tuesday’s post was an exercise in thinking out loud about my own winter style; I know it’s helpful for some of y’all to read about how another person strategizes about their wardrobe.

But I wanted to do a short reboot with universal tips based on what I learned, because not everyone wants to read my inner style monologue.  If you process best via bullet-points and lists instead of story and narration, this post’s for you!

Tips for Restyling your off-season wardrobe

  • Thrift off-season.  It gives you time to go slowly, consider where your  holes are, and wait for the perfect piece.
  • Figure out what’s not working.  What do you dislike about your current lineup?  Is it the texture, the silhouette, the level of formality?  The way things go together (or don’t)?  Some ideas for getting your juices flowing to diagnose the issue:
    • Write about it
    • Talk about it with a friend who has an objective and stylish eye and knows you well
    • Scroll back through outfit pics to see what worked/didn’t (this is the #1 reason I use Instagram)
    • Go thrifting and try on some different styles to see if a new perspective helps
  • Figure out what works in a part of your wardrobe you love, then apply it elsewhere.
    • Silhouette/cut.  What’s the cold-weather equivalent of the silhouettes you love in your warm-weather clothes (or vice versa)?
      I’ve nailed down my summer work style – tapered pants and looser tops – so for me this would mean slimmer trousers + slouchy sweaters in winter.
      For you maybe it’s loving shorts and a 3/4-sleeve top in summer, so you do a miniskirt over tights/leggings and a blazer with rolled sleeves over a shirt in winter.
    • Color scheme.  What color scheme makes your heart sing in summer?  Find a muted, darker, or bolder version for winter. Or vice versa, lighten up your winter creams into white, navies into sky blue, aubergines into mauves.  Keeping it in the same color family also lets you use cross-over pieces in the transition months.
      (On the other hand, if you’re sick of one color scheme by the end of the season, it’s also a great time to adopt an entirely different palette.)
    • Fabric/texture.  If you love natural woolens or tweeds in the winter, try linen or cotton in the summer.  Silk, depending on the weight, works well across seasons.  If you love you some tencel, modal, or jersey in the summer, find the same fabric but in heavier weights (or just layer what you already have) for winter.

Caroline at Un-Fancy does this whole how-does-my-summer-style-get-winterized-or-vice-versa thing well if you need some visual inspiration.  So does Janice at The Vivienne Files – she visually walks you through putting together and accessorizing an outfit for each month of the year, with all the garments sharing the same style philosophy and color palette.  Amazing.


Do y’all prefer lists and tips, or narrative and story when it comes to thinking about style?

And what are your tricks for revamping a wardrobe you’re not currently wearing?