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3 New | 3 Old – Minimalist Wardrobe

My aspiring minimalist wardrobe has been getting what feels like a near-total makeover this summer, with many more things finding their way out than finding their way in.

As I make a concerted effort to buy and keep only those pieces that

A) Look good on me
B) Make me happy
C) Conform to my own personal style

I have been able to drastically reduce and simplify my shopping. That, in turn, reduces my stress AND my spending, and hones my critical thinking skills as relates to what pieces I want to add to my wardrobe and (more importantly) what pieces I don’t want to add.

As a relatively large-homed American, I don’t have the need to create a capsule wardrobe that gets rotated out and packed away in its off-seasons. (My walk-in closet was one of the biggest selling points for this house.) It would be a time-consuming waste of space and effort for me to move clothing from my closet into storage bins or the basement or another room, just because it was out of season. That means I miss out on the fun of unpacking stored clothes and falling in love with them all over again BUT it means I am always prepared for St. Louis’s unpredictable and rapidly changing weather systems because I can pull either a coat or a cami from the closet at any moment. (Srsly. It’s mid September and tt was 74 degrees with 94% humidity at 6:30 a.m. That’s hotter than it was at that time in July. I would like to speak to weather’s manager, please. I’ll wait.)

There are a few pieces I still need to add to my wardrobe for fall/winter (The perfect black turtleneck? Anyone? Anyone?) so I have been doing a little bit of shopping. More like “keeping an eye out” than actively shopping, really. So here are three pieces that I have added to my wardrobe in the last month, and three pieces I am most excited to get back out once the weather (finally) breaks and we get some real autumn. (If we get the same thing as last year, where it was 85 degrees until November, and then turned 40 overnight with zero fall weather at all, I am going to return this entire year for a refund, I am not kidding around.)

In With The Old

ASOS Maxi Dress in Spooky Trees

ASOS Curve Maxi Dress in Spooky Trees (Past Season)

I have owned this dress for years and years. Five or six at least, I think. In it I feel as if I am the enchanted dark forest that little children get lost in, and I embrace it. It has always been too long on me, but I have been able to occasionally wear it with a combo of skirt clips and belts and black magic. Recently I wised up and took it to a local seamstress for alterations. She cut a good 6″ off the hem and now it’s the perfect, free-flowing maxi length on me. I am so excited to wear it again this fall.

ASOS Bat Print Scarf

ASOS Bat Print Scarf (Past Season)
ASOS Bat Print Scarf Detail (Past Season)

Likewise am I always enchanted with this bat print scarf. The black and white print monochromatically matches most of my ensembles, and is subtle enough that you can’t necessarily tell what you’re looking at right away, so it’s easy to wear way past Halloween season.

Frye Veronica Bootie

Frye Veronica Bootie in Black (Similar available here.)

I always love getting these babies out in the fall. Something about wearing big stompy boots makes me feel much more connected to the earth, somehow. Like a Weeble, harder to knock me down maybe. These also make a satisfying sort of jangle when I walk, and if you’re large-calved they’re a great way to be able to wear a somewhat taller boot without losing all sensation in your leg, or busting out the zipper in a knee boot.

Anyway, I have been rocking these bad boys for at least six years, and I love them more each passing year.

In With the New

ASOS Design Curve Mini with Box Pleats

ASOS Design Curve Mini with Box Pleats

I needed a new version of a classic mini-length (knee length on me) black skater skirt in a jersey knit, and all summer I hunted high and low for one with pockets, but alas alack, it was not meant to be. Finally I bit the bullet and picked up this one, which fits perfectly. I will most likely wear it once or twice a week for the next few months, pockets or no. Available here.

Abound Long Sleeved Everyday Tee in Stripe

Abound Long Sleeved Everyday Tee

I am always in need of striped tees, in fact I have one in every neutral color from The Gap, but I really liked the wide/deep neck and the cream/black colorway on this one. It’s long sleeved but a nice light material so a perfect transitional and layering piece. When I wear it I like to pretend I am vaguely French, like Meg Ryan’s effortless Cote d’Azur look in French Kiss. (J. Crew calls this look a “striped artist tee” and I can totally go for that description as well.)

Halogen Leather Moto Jacket

Halogen Leather Moto Jacket (Nordstrom)

I was IN NO WAY intending to invest in a leather moto jacket this fall. At all. Not on my radar. I am looking for a new winter coat (what is going on with this teddy style, does that even work for plus sized women, it looks like I won’t fit in a car, what.) However, I had the grandmother of all stress induced fits on Sunday and if I didn’t get out of the house I was going to go bonkers. I took myself to the local Nordstrom Rack, where I ran into this baby (similar, mine has black hardware) on sale at almost 2/3 off. Although I am doing wardrobe minimalism, I know that it makes sense to pick up good quality classic pieces when you see them, even if they’re not on your list (the leather… it is so soft.) So I did go ahead and buy this. I am in love with it, and I am even more resentful of this stupid summer weather we’re having in September, because I cannot yet wear it.

This could be my outfit of the day, but this weather refuses to live deliciously.


My actual outfit of the day because it feels like 102 degrees, and I have to go to the garden center.

So that’s it! My three old/three new for mid September. Have you been editing and curating or attempting a minimalist wardrobe? Let me know what old favorites you’ve rediscovered in the comments below!

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