Showing posts with label Fashion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fashion. Show all posts

What I Really Thought Of Stitchfix



I have always liked shopping for clothes.  I like trying out different styles in a dressing room, and I like finding a good deal.  

However, since having kids I find myself enjoying clothes shopping much less than I used to.  It's just not as fun to try on new jeans while reminding my kids to "sit right outside the dressing room door", and "please don't pick on your sister", and "it's your brother's turn to play a game on my phone now."  So I find myself ordering a lot more things online.

When Stitchfix came on the scene a couple years ago, it felt like every blogger was trying it.  I thought it looked interesting, but I still ended up shopping for myself most of the time.  Last year for my birthday though, my sweet friend Ashley gave me a gift card to try Stitchfix!  I put it off for quite a while because I was still not feeling like my figure had equalized after having Georgie, but finally this fall I created an account.

What Stitchfix Is

In case you've been living under a rock (or just don't follow any fashion bloggers), the way Stitchfix works is that you pay a $20 "styling fee", they send you a box of clothes that they think you will like, and then you choose what you want to keep and send the rest back.  If you keep something, that $20 styling fee applies toward your purchase. 

Worth noting here is that if you choose to keep nothing, you lose the $20 styling fee, and the fee is also charged per box they send you.  I did not realize the fee was charged per box at first and was confused when my gift card balance dropped by $20.  I contacted customer service though, and they refunded me the $20 because of the confusion, which was really great of them.

After each box you give them feedback so they can try to send you items you will like better the next time.

My Experience

I requested three boxes from Stitchfix before I spent all of my gift card money.  The pictures in this post are with items from my first box (I ran out of time to take photos of the second and third boxes).  I thought the first box was pretty close to my usual style.  The red top was really "me", the sweater and shirt were super soft, and the earrings were gorgeous!



(Items: red shirt and jeans.  Shoes are mine.)

The only thing that I didn't like were the jeans.  Every pair of jeans they sent me, in all three boxes, were too loose in the waist, so I probably should have sized down.

I ended up not keeping anything from that first box, even though I liked the items they sent me.  It was mostly fit and price issues.  Some of them fit fine, but didn't "wow" me enough to spend the moneyon them.  The sweaters and shirts ranged from around $40-50, the pants were probably around $50, and the earrings were $30.  (I should have kept the packing slips they sent me so I could have given you exact prices - I'm sorry about that.)

The second box they sent was filled with half hits, half misses.  I received a shirt (around $40), a dress (around $55), jeans ($50), a pair of green ponte pants ($45), and a short-sleeve sweater ($40).  I liked the green pants and the sweater, but once again - they didn't "wow" me enough to pay that much.  Thankfully I had requested an "extra" with this box, a pretty bralette with thin straps that would work well under a lot of my own sweaters, so I ended up keeping that.

The last box was by far the best!  I received a cute pair of leopard print duck boots ($70), a yellow sweater ($40), a black shirt with pretty details ($40), another pair of jeans ($50), and a black quilted moto jacket ($80).  I loved every item in this box, except the jeans because of fit issues again.  The detail on the black shirt was cute, the boots were fun, and I loved the jacket.  But as I sat there trying to decide what to do, I realized I would never pay that much for these particular items in a store.  I would wait for a sale, or see if I could find a similar item elsewhere for cheaper.  In the end I decided to send everything back.  Thankfully I had ordered another "extra" bralette with the last box, so I purchased that and didn't lose my last $20 on the styling fee.




(I might have enjoyed playing "fashion blogger" for a day, ha!  Derek took these photos for me, so I guess he got to play "fashion photographer" too.  Items: cardigan and earrings.  Dress and boots are mine.)

Are You Noticing A Theme?

Overall, I was impressed with the fact that most of the pieces they sent me did actually fit my style pretty well!  I really liked almost everything they sent me.  I was very skeptical that they were going to be able to pinpoint my style with only a few questions on their site, but they did a pretty good job!  How can I get a job as a stylist?  I think that would be super fun.




(Item: gray shirt.  Pants and shoes are mine.)

When I filled out the questionnaire, for most items (except jeans and outerwear), when asked the price I was willing to spend, I selected "the cheaper the better".  I had heard Stitchfix items were a little pricier than what you might find at Target or JC Penny, and I found that to be true.  Even with selecting "the cheaper the better", I still found that most of the items were more than I would usually spend.  I shop clearance quite alot, and I shop at less expensive stores, so I'm used to lower prices for items like the ones they sent me.  I probably won't request another box unless I decide I want another bralette, just because my style description should probably include the phrase "won't spend more than $30 on a top, because she knows she can get a cute sweater for $15 at Walmart".

However, there is the convenience aspect to consider as well.  For people who don't like to shop for themselves, or for whom shopping is very difficult, or people who don't like to spend a lot of time browsing online, I think paying a little more than normal for the service would probably be worth it.

And it's worth it to try it if you're curious too!  I had so much fun filling out my style profile, and when they sent me a box it was exciting to open it.  It felt like a present since I didn't know what would be in the box!  I'm so glad my friend gave me a gift card, because I probably never would have tried it on my own, and it was a fun experience!  

My advice if you try Stitchfix would be to always include an extra that you know you could purchase with the $20 fee if you end up not wanting to purchase any of the other items they send.  I recommend trying the Free People barrettes, obviously.  I have two of them now, and I really like them!

Have you ever tried Stitchfix? What did you think of it?



Currently... | November 2019


Wearing: These new duck boots that I ordered here.  At first I felt a little clunky in them.  But I know they will be great for ice and snow this winter, so I kept them and they've been growing on me!



Drinking: Coffee with a splash of half-and-half.  Derek and I made a no-fancy-coffee pact for the month of November, and I'm trying my hardest to stick to it.  It is embarrassing how much I can spend in one month on just coffee!

Picking: Rock for behind the new wood stove that Derek is installing this week.  Our old house had a wood stove, and I loved that thing.  It added a coziness to the living room and was a life-saver when the power would go out.  I could even cook on it!  We decided we wanted one in our new house too, but I had a terrible time picking out the rock for it.  Our old wood stove had this really pretty grayish natural rock behind it, with lichen even growing on the rock, and it was so pretty.  But real rock is expensive, and fake rock doesn't grow lichen.  I made a decision though, and Derek took the week off to get the rock up!  It's going to look good I think.



Reading: Long Before Luther by Nathan Busenitz. The subtitle is "tracing the heart of the gospel from Christ to the Reformation", and it looks really fascinating!  I just started it.



Preparing: For the girls' birthday party this Saturday.  I have struggled for a long time on how to handle birthday parties with five kids.  Five individual parties each year was out of the question, but I also didn't want them to never have a birthday party during their growing up years.  I still don't know exactly what my plan is, but this year I decided we'd do one combined party for the girls, and one for the boys in the spring.  The girls requested a "princess tea party" birthday.  I just ordered candy canes so I can hot glue the curved part onto plastic cups - you know, to make little "tea cups".  I'm fancy like that.  Hey, you would be shocked how hard and expensive it is to find a basic teacup these days, so I had to improvise!

Feeling: Like I need next week off after all this party prep.  But moms don't get vacation time.

Trying: To be more consistent in my Bible reading.  I typically wake up before the kids each morning to read, which works great when I can make it happen.  However, I'm finding that other days the kids pull me in a million directions right after I wake up, which leads me to sometimes forget.  I've been feeling especially spiritually weary lately, and I know it's because I haven't had enough consistency in my daily quiet time.  This week I've been settling the kids with their breakfast and sneaking away while they eat, and that seems to be working better!

Following: Speaking of Bible reading, I started this Bible reading plan in earnest, and I am loving it.  It's been a while since I tried to read the Bible within a certain time frame. At first I was a little intimidated by the sheer volume of reading each day.  Now that I'm into it though, I am loving reading bigger chunks of Scripture at a time.  Going in-depth with one section is important and meaningful, but I'm at a stage in life where increasing the quantity of Bible reading is more doable.  The name is fitting, "keeping the feast".  I feel that way right now when I finish reading for the day, like I've had a feast.

Sporting: A new hair color!  I tried to edit this photo to make the color the most accurate. It's basically a little darker and richer than my natural color, and on my previous honey-highlights, it has a red-maroon tint.  Last winter I went with straight-up burgundy hair, so this is a subtler version of that.  I'm told it will fade out really well, and I'm liking it alot!



Wondering: If you've noticed that my blogroll in the sidebar has expanded a bit?  I found a few new blogs lately that I'm enjoying!

Considering: A social media break.  I took a Facebook break for the month of December last year, and it was so lovely.  This year I'm considering taking a break from Instagram too!  Just trying to figure out logistics of how to still share blog posts and still get Christmas photos printed into books easily (since I normally use Chatbooks connected with my Instagram).  Question: how do you typically read this blog?  Do you come to new posts through social media, or do you use a blog reader, or just type in the url when you want to read new posts?  I'll put a poll below.



Listening: To Christmas music.  Yes, I am.

Watching:  Derek and I recently re-started watching The Middle from the beginning.  We were watching Blue Bloods for a while, but we needed a break from drama.  In general we are more comedy-type people, and we relate to the Hecks!  Maybe you have to be from a certain type of family to appreciate that show, because the only people I know who have loved it as much as we do are other members of my family...but we all find it hilarious.

What have you all been up to?

Linking up here.




Sometimes I Just Feel Chatty



Well, I guess this is the week for chatty posts.  I might be losing steam on my Write 31 Days project, but I'm more inclined to think this has just been a busy week and I'm feeling more like chatting on here than anything else.  Here are a few things that have been going on with me.

I've been running all over creation this week, because for the first time in my life, I am volunteering politically(!).  I have mentioned before about how I wash laundry for a nearby pregnancy resource center, and I was excited to be involved in that way.  The pro-life cause has been close to my heart for as long as I can remember (I have a post coming up about that), and I'm always looking for ways to help wherever I can.

Well, I also happen to live in a state where abortion is legal until birth, and this just horrifies me.  So when I heard there was an effort afoot to stop late-term abortion in my state, I was on board.  I signed up as a volunteer petition circulator, and I've been running all over the place trying to meet up with people in my circles and gather signatures to get a measure on our 2020 ballot!  I'm also gathering up my courage to try petitioning in front of the library, but for now I'm just trying to get everyone that I personally know who is interested in signing it.  This is historically a hard state in which to pass pro-life legislation, but I'm hopeful we can at least get this on the ballot and let the people decide.  But anyway, that has been taking up alot of my time this week.

We've also been running to catch up on schoolwork, between Columbus Day on Monday and different petition meetings (though I'm totally going to take the opportunity for a little civics discussion with my kids while we are getting signatures).  Aside from a tricky week though, this fall has been going pretty well as far as school goes.  We are getting way more accomplished per week than we did last year!  I am hoping to get around to either sharing out curriculum or a typical homeschool day-in-the-life next week, so stay tuned.

Hunting season is upon us, so Derek is going to be in and out during the day for a couple weeks here. I am taking the opportunity this weekend to see some friends I don't usually get to see, so the kids and I are going to visit one of my dearest friends from childhood!  You might remember me writing about visiting their ranch before.  It's really neat for the kids to see what kind of work a real ranch entails, and learn more about where food really comes from...and then it's lovely for me to catch up with my dear friends!  I am so blessed that so many of my childhood friendships have lasted, and these ladies are such a gift to me.

Also, on my personal Instagram (that I'm totally open to anyone who is reading this following, so if you want to follow me there, don't be shy) I did a little chatty video/story about how I'm trying to make a better effort at writing down memories of my kids.  Maybe I'll turn this into a longer post next week as well, but if you watched that story, this is the memory-keeper I mentioned.  I think it's going to work pretty well if I can just manage to be consistent with it.

I guess that's it guys!  The kids are watching a Christmas movie that we rented from the library (we are starting early this year), and I'm off to make some fudge to hopefully bring with me on our visit to my friends' ranch tomorrow (I'll probably use this recipe, minus the food coloring - its so easy!).

Also, the sweater you can see the corner of in the picture at the top of this post is from Walmart.  PSA, because they have some great sweaters this year!  Also, this is my nail polish, and it's a really pretty shade for fall.

How has your week been, Friend?


How I Kept My Hair Under Control In New Orleans



I have had a long, contentious relationship with my hair.

It's too much to get into that whole story here, but let's just say that when I hit puberty my hair decided to rebel against me.  It frizzed and curled and waved and did weird things, and I've been wrestling it into submission ever since.

Thankfully this is typically very easy to do in my usual dry climate.  I straighten it, and nothing really messes it up unless it gets wet.  There is no real humidity to speak of.

Well, last time I went to New Orleans, I learned what humidity truly was.  I would go outside literally for two minutes, and I'd come back in and my hair was doing that weird frizz/curl thing it does.  It was bigger.  The frizz obscured all shine.  My bangs were sticking straight out to the side of my head in a strange attempt to curl.  It might have even made me cry one day when I realized how ridiculous I looked (please keep in mind I was hugely pregnant and hormonal, which may have also been a factor).

For our second trip to New Orleans I was determined to plan for the frizz, and though my hair didn't 100% held it's ground (is that even possible in New Orleans?), I have been overall pretty pleased with how it's held up.  This is what I think went better this time.



Hair Training

I mentioned this briefly before, but I've been training my hair recently to need less washing.  Part of this method includes brushing your scalp oils into your hair each night, which is supposed to be good for it.  This is totally anecdotal, but I suspect that the scalp oils have helped my hair hold it's shape a little better in this humidity.

Chi Shine Infusion Spray

I knew I was going to bring this spray on this trip, because last time we came my best hair day was the day I had used this product.  I just spray it over my hair after blow-drying and before straightening, and it makes my hair smoother and shinier, and that seems to tamp down in the humidity-induced frizz. (It's only $8 on Amazon today, which is a great deal!)

Joico Humidity Blocker Finishing Spray

This is the big guns.  I sprayed this on my hair every time I left the hotel in New Orleans.  It's basically like a very touchable hair spray.  Even after spending most of the day walking around outside, my hair looked like this:



It waved a little, but didn't frizz or stick out weird.  With my hair, I call that a success.

All my southern friends, how do you keep your hair under control in that humidity?

Especially if your hair is sort-of curly like mine?  I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I do think my hair strategy would have to change if I lived down south.  This shorter style I usually sport is doable in dry weather, but requires a lot of maintenance when you breathe a significant amount of water in with your oxygen.


 Me and Derek, and I just went with my curls (with my humidity blocker spray) at the end of our trip.

Stuff I Like | April 2019



It's May 1st!  It snowed yesterday, and there is frost dusting my porch as I write this, but I can hear the birds chirping from the tree just outside my window, and golden rays are busy melting the ice.  So  it's a typical start to the month.  May there be more golden rays, more rain and dew, and less snow this month!

On to what I enjoyed in the month of April.


Bible.is App.  

Derek randomly decided to search for audio bibles one day, and he found this great app!  You can get the ESV version of the Bible for free to listen to through the app.  But my favorite part is that they have a normal reading and a dramatic reading.  The dramatic reading has music in the background, and the actor does different voices.  It's so fun to listen to!  Different sections of the text are linked to well-done videos too.  It's just cool!


Skylar's Scent Club

(The link is a referral link that is supposed to give you 25% off? And then I get a credit if you decide to try it.)

I have a tiny weakness for subscription boxes, and in April I decided to try Skylar's Scent Club.  Skylar is a company that makes perfume that is supposedly more natural and less "toxic", which is nice...but to be honest, I just signed up because I like things that smell good.  Each month they send a rollerball with a  limited-time scent.  In April they sent one called Magic Bloom, and it was so fresh and happy-smelling.  May is going to be Vintage Rose.  I may be checking my mailbox daily until it arrives.


Spearmint Oil For Laundry. 

Speaking of things that smell good - that is also the reason I have a little essential oils stash in my cabinet.  I just don't buy alot of the claims made about essential oils, but I do know that I like nice-smelling things, so I use them for some things around the house.  In April I felt like I had a ridiculous amount of laundry, but the process was made just a tiny bit more fun by putting a few drops of spearmint oil on a dryer ball.  Each time the dryer is running my laundry room smells like a pack of gum.

It's the little things.

This is where I buy oils. (Another referral link here that is supposed to give us both a $10 discount.)  And I feel great about the company, thank you very much my oil-selling friends.  You know I still love you guys!


The New Little Women Movie.

Last year they came out with a modern movie version of Little Women.  After a very long wait in the library hold line, I finally watched it yesterday, and it is so cute. I loved it!  It stays true to the characters, and doesn't "dirty up" the story at all with modern nonsense.  It's basically the same as the old movie, but set in the present day.  It was very well done!  I honestly don't even know how it got a PG-13 rating.  Aside from a scene with some teen drinking and making out, it was pretty clean.  I'll definitely watch it with my girls when they are older.



A New Swimsuit.  

Guys, you don't understand, this has been a months long process.  After having Georgie, I knew my old swimsuits were just not going to cut it anymore.  I bought a new top last summer to tide me over, but it was time to hunt down something new and more flattering.

I've been eyeing swimsuits all winter, I ordered a couple items that I ended up returning.  I finally found these bottoms a few months ago that were a little higher waisted, so they smooth out my tummy lumps nicely.  I've been on the lookout for a top to match, and finally ordered this one.

It's a winner!  I've found it!

I may order another pair of the swim bottoms just for a different look, but I finally found something that makes me feel pretty good about visiting the pool this summer.  Victory!  A picture of the swimsuit on me is in my Instagram stories today if you want to see (I'm not sure I wanted a permanent record of that on my blog, haha!).


None Like Him by Jen Wilkin.

I'm late to the party on this one.  I've been listening to this audiobook about God's attributes after my Bible time in the morning, and it is very good.  I usually end up taking a full page of notes on each chapter, and she gives Bible verses for further study of each attribute.  Highly recommend!


Spring Flowers.

In late April, I finally found some flowering trees!





Spring is officially here now.

What new discoveries did you make in April?

Why I Won't Be Sorry To Turn 30


(Note: We took a trip to the beach recently - vacation recap coming soon - and I got this dress from Pinkblush just in time before we left!  They sent it to me for free in exchange for the feature I am including in this post, but I totally used it as my dress for an unofficial 30-year-old photo shoot on the beach!)

There is something about those decades skipping by that seems a little more of a big deal than normal birthdays.  Some of us mark the 10 year increments with bigger birthday celebrations (that's me!), but I think for a lot of people there is a twinge of sadness or anxiety in growing older.



In less than a month, I will be turning 30, and I'm not bothered by it.  Not even a little bit.  Here's why.

1. Growing older means more experience.  

You all know I'm a talk radio fan (honestly, I listen to way too many shows and podcasts), and Rush Limbaugh often says how he is never sorry to grow older, because it means he has more experience and knows more than he used to.  I have to say, I love that.  I've adopted his attitude over the years, and especially as I've been surrounded by wise older people.  Some of them are decades older than me, like my parents or grandparents, some are people just a few years further down the road of life (ahem, like my husband), but I always look at them and think about the experiences and growth that they've walked through and I haven't yet.  So the passing of a year, even a big year like 30, is just another year that I've grown and matured and learned more.

2. Let's be honest, 30 is not that old.  

We all like to joke about how old we are getting when these decade markers pass us by, but really, the early 30's are still relatively immature.  We all think we know more than we actually do.  Just watching the people in my life who are approaching 40, I see the difference even that one decade makes in maturity and wisdom.  I'm not naive enough to think I have no more growing to do.  Thirty is still very young (maybe not always in a good way).

3. I'm surrounded by people who love me (and vice versa).

It is not lost on me how much of a blessing it is to enter my 30's with my own family established, and surrounded by family and friends who love me.  I think maybe the hardest part of getting older is not being quite where you thought you would be, whether that's professionally, relationally, or personally.  Being surrounded by the people who are most important to me, feeling like I belong somewhere, was always one of my biggest hopes for 30, and so my heart is full. When I look to the years ahead, I can expect a continuation and maturation of the fun I've already been having with my husband and kids and family and friends, and that's a blessing!

4.  I've figured out who I am.  

Maybe this is just me, but I've always had these arbitrary marker years in my head, ages that I look ahead to and think "Wow, when I'm that old, I will have arrived."  Well, I haven't really arrived because every time I reach the magical age there is another marker age on the horizon.  But 30 was one of those years for me.  When I thought about 30, I envisioned having figured out my own identity and style, and feeling confident in who God made me to be and what He wants me to do.  And maybe it's just the power of suggestion, because of the mental picture I've developed surrounding the age of 30, but I do feel like I've figured out who I am.  I just think 30 is going to be good.  (The next marker age is 36, in case you were wondering.)









(Speaking of style...I think one of my favorite parts of this age is that I've figured finally figured mine out.  I like to try new trends, but I fit them in around casual and feminine basics - this dress from Pink Blush is a good example!  PinkBlush is my go-to for maternity clothes, but I love PinkBlush's non-maternity clothes too because they are the right cut for my grown-up, post-baby body, with tons of flattering options.  Thirty means abandoning the juniors section for good, and finding brands that look good on my figure, and with options like Pinkblush I'm okay with that!  You can check out the dress I'm wearing here.  It's a perfect beach dress, right?)


5.  Each year I live on this earth brings me closer to Jesus.  

Each year I live is that much longer I have to grow in my walk with the Lord and learn to serve Him better.  Life on this earth is only an incredibly small sliver of eternity, and for those of us who have trusted in Jesus for our salvation, we have eternity in Heaven to look forward to.  And anything good that we experience here will be magnified and perfected there.  Really, how can I be sorry to grow older when I think about that?  Every year I spend here is one year closer to when I'll see Jesus face to face.  As a believer, there are only good things to look forward to when you take the long view.

Was 30 a good year for you, or was it hard to leave your 20's?  Or if you are in your 20's, do you look forward to or dread turning 30?  

Comment below, I want to hear!




A Commentary On Postpartum Shopping



Postpartum Shopping, how do I loathe thee!  Let me count the ways.

Do you remember on What Not To Wear, how Stacy and Clinton found that mom of x-number of kids who got all frumpy, and during the wardrobe trashing session they found that she was still wearing maternity pants when her child was two or three years old?  For the first time I understand that lady, and I fear I could become her.

Right now I have exactly three pairs of jeans that fit me.  One of pair are really no longer flattering on me and generally not fit to be seen in public.  One pair fits wonderfully (thank goodness) and are a wide-leg bootcut.  One pair are my skinny maternity jeans.

And that's it.

I might be able to get away with the one pair of wide-leg jeans until I can squeeze back into my regular pants again, but the problem is that this doesn't work with a lot of my wardrobe.  I basically learned how to dress in part from What Not To Wear, and I remember all the tips for how to pick flattering clothes that hide the not-so-favorite parts of your body.  Well, after five kids, let's just say my stomach will never be the same, and I'm okay with that.  I do have skinny arms and thinner legs, so what I usually do is wear skinny pants, and long shirts with a flowy or semi-loose fit through the torso.  Then I do a handy little half-tuck into the front of my pants, or a nice knot on the side of the shirt, and wholla!  I camouflage that little post baby-flab around the middle.  

For this look to work though, I need a good pair of skinny jeans.  A lot of my looser-fitting shirts are too voluminous to wear with my one pair of wider-legged jeans.  And you might remember that my only pair of skinny jeans that currently fit are maternity pants, which aside from being maternity pants, are not so good for tucking.

I will not be that lady who wears maternity pants too long.  Stacy and Clinton are echoing in my brain.

So, last Friday I packed up all five kids and headed to the mall.  I needed to make a return anyway, and I thought, why not see if I can find a pair of skinny jeans while I'm there?  It should be easy!  In and out.

I probably should have recorded some Instagram Story videos for you all while I was out, because it's been a while since I shopped like that, and I have thoughts.  Here is what I would have said if I had been shopping with a good friend by my side.

1. First, we stop at the front of JCPenny to return a sweater I decided I didn't want.  We have to wait a while because the line is long and there are only two store clerks.  I spot some velvet ribbon choker necklaces next to the line, which catch my eye.  I pick one up and turn it around and realize there is no necklace clasp in the back.  It is literally just a velvet ribbon tied onto a piece of cardboard for $7. Let's just put aside the fact that I could buy the exact same piece of ribbon at Joann's for a dollar and take note of the fact that this is a very dangerous style.  Yes, let's just tell young girls that it's a good idea to tie something around their neck in such a way that any psychotic adolescent or serial killer could just give a good yank and choke her to death!  Am I the only one who sees a problem with this?  I don't even tie my scarves around my neck in a way that would make it easier for some stranger to choke me.  Safety first.  You never know when you might come across a psychopath. 

2.  We make the return and head to the back of the store, where the brand that looks most like my style resides.  I look around and grab a few pairs of skinny jeans.  Plus, you know, a sweater or two.  We head to the dressing room, and I have the kids sit right outside the door.  Note to self: bring the iPad loaded with a movie next time.  I hand them my phone so they can play a game instead.

3. I forgot how awful postpartum jeans shopping is for my self esteem.  On the plus side, I only have to go one size up from my previous size.

4. I try on about 10 pairs of jeans three different times, while calling out every 60 seconds or so to make sure none of my children have wandered off.  If there is one thing I picked up from Stacy and Clinton, it's to dress the body you have, not the body you want or think you might have someday, but that's kind of hard to do when you know that you're going to get skinnier as things shift back over the next few months.  I'm kicking myself again for getting rid of my size-too-big jeans that I wore after previous babies.  I should have hung onto those last year instead of purging my closet!  Then I wouldn't be here sucking air in to button a pair of pants because I know I should buy the tightest pair I can so I can get the most use out of them while losing the baby weight.

5.  When did low rise jeans go out of style?  Seriously, when?  I haven't had to buy jeans in a while, and it's like a whole new world.  All I can find are mid or high-rise jeans.  They are all hitting me right in the middle of the post-baby flab, which 1) is uncomfortable, and 2) is super unflattering.  Maybe if I wear a smoothing undergarment...

6.  I try on the most promising pair of denim again and sit down for a second.  That's when I remember why I always buy low-rise jeans.  My stomach pooches out where the jeans should be sucking it in, and there is a funny wrinkle in the crotch.  No.  Oh no.  It's the return of the 1980's style mom jean!  Who decided bringing back high-rise jeans was a good idea?  Because these are all basically high-rise jeans to me, even the "mid-rise" jeans.  High-rise is the new mid-rise, and I've never met a pair of high-rise jeans that didn't look funny on me when I sit down.  Is this the best we can do now?  Haven't we grown beyond 80's jeans as a society?  What is happening!

7.  I chuck all the jeans and decide to try another store.  Maybe H&M.  That's where I got my (great) pair of maternity pants after all.  Why can't I just wear my maternity pants again?  Oh yeah, Stacy and Clinton come back to remind me.  I head across the mall with my brood trailing behind me.  Georgie is thankfully sleeping like an angel through all this.

8. H&M has the same problem.  I grab a pair of "shaping" "mid-rise" jeans that look suspiciously like the high-rise denim I just left behind.  Then I find one pair of low-rise pants buried in the racks.  Hooray!  Off to the dressing room.

9. All duds.  Not only do we have the same funny-looking-when-I-sit problem, but I realize H&M's target audience (at least for jeans) may be slightly younger than me now (scary), and the difference between jeans geared toward juniors and jeans geared toward misses are how they make your derriere look.  I don't want to draw undo attention to my derriere, thank you.  So even the low-rise pants are a no.

10.  I realize that the aforementioned "mid-rise" skinny jeans at JCPenney may be my best bet after all.  They were better than the H&M jeans, and they were cheap since JCPenney was having a big 60% off sale.

11.  I buy the JCPenney jeans.  They are only transition jeans after all. 



On the plus side, I found four tops and a skirt (remember, 60% off!) on my quest to find ONE pair of jeans.  Insert sigh.  At least my top half will look good.  Cross your fingers for me that I can actually fit into my collection of low-rise jeans at some point in the future (or tell me where you've bought flattering jeans recently!), because otherwise the future of denim is looking pretty bleak for me.

How To Transition To Fall Fashion (Without Melting)

Note: I received the dress below from PinkBlush in exchange for a blog post. All opinions are my own.)


Do you know that pumpkin spice flavors hit Starbucks this weekend?!

I can hardly believe it, but autumn is upon us.  I am not sorry to say goodbye to summer and welcome fall, because it means we are that much closer to meeting our baby girl!  (Plus, I love fall.)

What I am not so excited about going into September is playing the "what should I wear?" game.  I always want to break out the long sleeves and boots this time of year, but the truth is, the technical season of summer doesn't end until September 22nd - and the weather knows it.  It's hard to infuse a fall vibe into your wardrobe without also melting in the heat (especially when you are largely pregnant).



I have developed a few guidelines over the years though to help me walk that tricky summer-weather, early-fall line.

Switch to fall colors.  

For early fall, I look for lighter-weight pieces in fall colors or patterns - then I feel fall-ish without resorting to my sweaters and sacrificing a comfortable body temperature.

Add in a brown leather or suede bag.  

I have summer bags in various colors, but I save the brown leather bags for fall.  It's amazing how just switching the color or fabric of your bag can make an outfit seem more pre-fall appropriate.

Go with the booties.  

Avoid the tall boots until it actually gets cool enough to not melt your feet, and invest in some warmer-weather booties.  I like the ones with cutouts so my feet can still breath when the temperature is summer-like.

Wear summer on top, fall on the bottom (or vice versa).  

I think during these early fall days it's totally appropriate to go with different seasons for each half of your look.  Wear some shorts with a light top and cardigan, or wear something short-sleeved with long pants and boots.  Just make sure the colors are all fall-appropriate to tie it together.

Don't put away the dresses!  

I rely on dresses a lot in the summer heat, and I see no need to change that in the early fall when the weather is still warm.  I just apply tips #1 and #4 to my dresses and go from there.  I'm really liking this new dress from PinkBlush going into this fall!  It's short enough to keep me cool, but the long sleeves with the crochet really give it a fall feeling to me.









Does anyone else have as hard of a time knowing when and how to transition to fall fashion as I do?  What works best for you?






Capsule Wardrobe While Pregnant - Why And How




I've mentioned that I am feeling the need to organize everything right now, and a few weeks ago that manifested in the decision to create a capsule wardrobe.

I did a 30x30 challenge several years ago, but beyond that I have never tried putting together a capsule wardrobe.  I think the last straw for me was realizing that I have been wearing the same 10 pieces of clothing for the past few weeks, mainly because my dresser drawers are stuffed so full of clothes that it is too much work to pull everything out and see what's going to work while I'm pregnant.  What's the use of having all these clothes if I don't wear them?  Why do I even have all these clothes anyway?  I haven't worn some of them in years.

So I spent a couple days listening to podcasts about capsule wardrobes, which were really popular a few years ago.  I think the trend has faded some, but the underlying idea is still really useful - which is to create a mix and match wardrobe with a limited number of pieces.  To get the full experience, you are supposed to wear only those pieces for 3 months and not buy anything new.

Why?

I decided to give it a go with a couple goals in mind:

1. To clean out the old clothes that just aren't doing it for me anymore.  I tend to hold on to old clothes much longer than I should, hence why my wardrobe is outrageously large right now, even though I only wear probably half  of it.  I don't want the extra clutter around after baby comes, so this seemed like a good time to tackle it.

2. To give me some space from the things I'm holding on to "just in case".  My situation is a little unique since I'm pregnant - I don't want to get rid of everything right now, since some of it may be what I need for that postpartum transition when nothing fits.  However, once I'm over that stage after the baby comes, I'm hoping that working with a smaller wardrobe for so many months will give me a good idea of the things that are really useful in my wardrobe, and the things I can let go.

3.  To have less things.  The end goal (which will probably take me a while to achieve) is to have a MUCH smaller wardrobe with only things that I really like, and to give me more specific parameters to work within when I'm buying new things.  This will be a process because of factors like the need to have different clothes for different seasons, and not being able to afford to replace "meh" items all at once.



How I'm Doing This While Pregnant

When I first started feeling like I wanted to try a capsule wardrobe, I thought maybe I should wait until after baby before attempting this.  But the clothing excess just got to be too much and I decided to go for it.  My friend Cassidy made a good point that pregnancy is actually the ideal time to start a capsule, because you are already working with a limited wardrobe anyway!  

The capsule I ended up creating is largely made up of things that I can wear whether I'm pregnant or not, with just a few maternity items mixed in - I think this will be perfect to give me more of an idea of what items would be useful in my wardrobe after baby.  I can replace the maternity items I really liked with non-maternity alternatives - either from my closet or the store.

One thing I am NOT doing while pregnant is actually giving away my "meh" items.  I do remember what things I liked before I was pregnant and what things I never wore, but that postpartum time can really throw you for a loop.  I want to have options when I'm working through that transition phase, before my body goes back to normal.  I'm putting all my "maybes" in storage, and then after I feel relatively normal again post-baby, I'll go through them and get rid of the things that I still don't want.



My Process

Here is what I did to assemble my capsule wardrobe.

1. Pile everything on the floor and start sorting.  

For my purposes, I sorted into a "Like It" pile, a "Maybe" pile, and a "No" pile.  The "No" pile was pretty small, sine I'm not getting rid of too much until I see what fits after delivery.

2. Store the "Maybe" pile, get rid of the "No" pile, and organize the "Like It" pile.  

I sorted the "Likes" into categories, so a pile for cardigans/sweatshirts, a pile for tops, a pile for pants, etc.  Since I'm doing this for a maternity capsule, I did a separate step in here and sorted each category pile into a group of things that would work during pregnancy, and things that won't.  I put the things that don't fit back into a separate drawer until after baby.

3. Think it through.  

At this point I was left with a bunch of clothes that I could wear while pregnant, so now the goal was to narrow it down to the things that I WANT to wear while pregnant.  I sat down with Caroline's capsule planner, and thought it through a bit before I started.  Some of the pages in this planner didn't quite fit my situation since the goal was to make a maternity capsule, but it was still helpful to slow down and think it through before I started.  

4.  Start narrowing it down.  

The capsule planner suggested to pick 8 items that you like and that you find yourself wearing a lot, so you can see what it is you like about them.  I did that and ended up with a basis for my capsule!  After I had those 8 and had thought through the rest of the planner, I grabbed the list in this post to fill some things in.  I tried to think through each item I added to make sure that it would mix and match with more than one other item, and to make sure I really did actually like it.  It's crazy how confusing a large wardrobe can get when it comes to my affection for certain pieces.  I had to think about whether I really liked the piece as a whole, or whether I just liked one aspect of it (the color, or cut, or whatever).

5.  Commit to the capsule.  

After all that sorting, I ended up with 40 pieces, not including shoes or accessories.  This is pretty large for a capsule wardrobe, but I allowed myself some wiggle room because 1) this is my first attempt, 2) I am working with a growing belly and changing seasons at the same time, and 3) I fully intend to further narrow it down as I figure out which pieces are my go-to's within this capsule.

Here is the final selection (excuse the fact that these items were hastily laid out and aren't exactly wrinkle free - done is better than perfect):

Tops






Pants


Skirts


Dresses




Finishing Pieces


Hopefully you can see how these will all fit together, but if not, expect to be wowed by my outfit-making skills! I'll try to post periodic updates on Instagram and this blog over the next few months.

What Now?

My goal is to only wear these 40 pieces until after baby comes!  I will allow myself to switch out a couple items when the weather turns cooler (short for pants, tanks for long-sleeves, etc.), but for the most part, this is it.  I am actually really happy and excited about the items I ended up with, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that I didn't have to purge my closet of patterns and color to make a capsule wardrobe!

(Update: It's been a few weeks since I wrote this post, and I've been sticking to my capsule.  I can already see which pieces are working for me, and which ones aren't, and I'll be allowing myself to make a few adjustments in the next few weeks as the weather gets cooler and the belly gets bigger!)

Have any of you tried a capsule wardrobe?  
(If you are a blogger, post please!  I'd like to see!)










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