minimalist

Simplifying. What, Why and How!

Cheers, Oh Simple Thoughts readers! My name is Rachel and I write at Our Yellow Door about amazing grace, joyful marriage, intentional care, the humble home, and

simplicity

. When Rachel asked me to write for Oh Simple Thoughts about having a simplified wardrobe, I literally got giddy.

That’s

how much I love simplifying.

My heart behind this post is to help you see why simplicity is so important, how it can lead you closer to Jesus, and how to carry that out practically in one of the most complicated areas of our lives: our closets.

Ready? Let's go!

The heart of simplicity is removing whatever distracts us from Jesus.

The discipline of simplicity is the process of eliminating the excess in order to focus on the important.

Excess gets in the way of what matters most. Namely, God and the things He has called us to.

In his book, "

Celebration of Discipline

", Richard Foster says, "The Christian Discipline of simplicity is an inward reality that results in an outward lifestyle. Both the inward and the outward aspects of simplicity are essential...To attempt to arrange an outward lifestyle of simplicity without the inward reality leads to deadly legalism."

Simplicity says, "I depend on and am satisfied by Christ, not my possessions. I do not need to try and impress others, because God's opinion of me is enough. I am not anxious about having more "things", because I know God will provide for me."

It is an attitude of the heart,

not a list of decluttering and organizing tips. And a great place to start is the closet.

Many of us only wear a fraction of what we own. Our drawers and hangers are stuffed with clothes we don't like, that don't fit, or don't go with anything else we own, and we struggle to put together outfits that we feel comfortable and confident in.

As women, I think our clothes can bring about an awful lot of anxiety for us, too.

Anxiety about clothing can distract us from God's providence and the natural beauty He has given us.

The anxious heart doesn't trust Him to provide for her needs, does not believe His approval is enough for her, and does not believe He has made her beautiful. The anxious heart isn't focused on the kingdom of God and His righteousness, but on itself.

Matthew 6:28-33
And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither spin nor toil, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown in the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we wear?". For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Clothes can also distract us from loving others well.

If you're trying to judge whether or not your friends are impressed with your newest top, check your heart. Are you wanting them to serve your ego? Are you more focused on yourself than them?

Before you get all huffy and march off in your cropped pants and patterned peplum top, hear me out. I'm not saying it's a sin to want to look nice. But if you are looking to other people to validate your worth based on the clothing you wear, check your heart.

We can eliminate closet anxiety and distraction by building simple wardrobes that are functional, well made, fit us well and make us feel good.

A wardrobe that has been carefully planned (pieces that we always feel confident in, pieces that can mix and match effectively, etc.) can eliminate SO much anxiety in our lives, leaving room to focus on things that are far more important.

So, how do you build a simple wardrobe?

1. Have a Plan

Know your style, the purposes you need your wardrobe to serve, and the colors you feel most comfortable in. Your wardrobe should serve and support

your

lifestyle, not the lifestyle advertisers think you should live. As purge your wardrobe and decide what "gaps" you need to fill, focus on buying clothes that work together well.

2. Quality, not quantity

Invest in pieces that are classic and well made. You will get more mileage out of a simple black dress from J. Crew than five flouncy clearance frocks from Target. (I'm guilty of this, believe me.) Buy less clothes so your closet is less cluttered. Make your clothes work for the space they take up.

3. Focus on fit

We don't wear the size labels on the outside, so if something fits better in a 10 than it does in an 8, leave your pride in the dressing room and buy the 10. Because, you know, a sweater that rides up like a frolicsome pony every time you move a muscle is annoying and will probably make you feel self-conscious.

4. Buy Ethically

Jesus is against the oppression of the poor. Unfortunately, our modern clothing industry does just that. Many of our clothes are made in sweat shops by underpaid (sometimes enslaved) people. Buying less clothing means you can invest in ethically made pieces. Check out companies like

Everlane

,

Tieks

,

FasionABLE

,

Noonday Collection

,

Better Life Bags

,

Fair Indigo

and

Raven + Lily

. If you need more ideas, here's a great

Ethical Shopping Guide

.

5. PURGE Everything Else!

If it...

- hasn't been worn in the last year

- is torn/stained beyond repair

- is poorly made

- doesn't fit your life/style

- has four identical twins

- makes you feel self-conscious

...get rid of it! If the clothes are in good condition and would be a blessing to others, consider donating them.

My hope is that you can create a simple wardrobe that ultimately leads you closer to Jesus. I want you to be confident in His provision and love for you, and to feel comfortable in the body He has blessed you with. If you want more thoughts on having a simple wardrobe, check out

this post

!

Under Grace,

Rachel

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Thanks so much Rachel for sharing about this subject that I know is so dear to you! It means the world to have you here today and I am so grateful for all this truth and encouragement! 

ALSO*** There is a flash giveaway happening on my IG account from now until 10pm EST. Go check it out and enter, and use code OST15 for 15% off any item in the

HalfPintPrints

shop until the end of the month. ENJOY!

Capsule Wardrobe // A Journey to a Life of Less

Happy Monday dear friends!! We had the best and most restful weekend ever. We picked blueberries on Saturday, like oodles and oodles of blueberries. It was so much fun. Ben and I took Piper with us out to a little house on the edge of town where we met several families form our church. The kids loved Piper, and she got to run around in wet grass chewing on sticks so basically it was a great time for all. We spent the rest of the weekend resting (literally...Ben and Piper slept on the floor in the living room for 4 hours) and working on projects! It was such an awesome weekend! I know many of you have heard me talking about this capsule wardrobe, and so many of you have expressed an interest in hearing more about it! So guess what? your waiting time is over!

I have been working on this post in my mind for several weeks now. Do any of you other bloggers out there do that? For whatever reason there are some posts that are so daunting to sit down and write, and this has been one of them for me. But this journey has been too good not to share with you all so here we go.

Capsule Wardrobe. This seems to be quite the trend now in blogland, but let me let you into a little secret. It is a trend, because creating a capsule wardrobe is so freeing. It allows you to stop buying into consumerism, and really figure out what makes you look and feel great! 

Let's back up...

What is a capsule wardrobe?

 It is a mini-wardrobe made up of versatile pieces that you love, and feel great in. The average number for this type of wardrobe is anywhere from 30-50 pieces, but more than that is really heading in the direction of a traditional closet. 

So why create a capsule wardrobe?

Well here is my answer...I needed to start fresh. The transition from college sorority girl to wife has been a tough one in the style department for me. I have felt that most of my closet reflects a previous life, and does not fit or compliment the life I am called to living now. I found myself taking hours to find an outfit to wear, and throwing half of my closet on the floor in the process. I would often feel defeated to the point of tears...all because of clothes. I would use phrases like, "I have nothing to wear", "I don't like how this fits", and "I think I need to change" all the time. So when I discovered the capsule wardrobe idea through some other awesome bloggers like

Valerie

, and

Rachel

, I knew I needed in on this. 

For me this was more than just cleaning out my closet, but a chance to turn over a new leaf. Gone are the days of forever 21 items for the sake of them being light on the wallet...I will save my money to buy items that I love, that look good on and make me feel comfortable, and that will last! I love this quote below, it really embodies what I am striving for! 

Also, this is more than just building an awesome and versatile wardrobe. It is about creating a wardrobe that does not rule over me. A wardrobe that does not cause me to believe lies about my body or possessions, but allows me to not think about my clothing. I desire to not worry about my clothing because as we see in Matthew 6,

"Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing...And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, but I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."

This journey is more about getting to a point of contentment and rest in my clothing. It is about coming to a point that consumerism does not entice me, my clothes do not have dominion over my joy, and I can feel confident in the body the Lord has given me!

My first step was to do some research. I read several other blogs that I love about how they began the process to creating a capsule wardrobe. Check out these awesome ladies below. Next, I spent a whopping $8 and downloaded

Hayley Morgan'

s ebook

The No-Brainer Wardrobe

 and began to read it immediately. 

I loved this book! It was so practical, and Hayley gives you action steps at the end of each section so you can take it all one step at a time, and you are never overwhelmed. I began by going through every item in my closet, and made a no pile, maybe pile, and keep pile. 

Keep Pile-

this was only made up of items I truly loved, and have worn in the last 2-3 months. These were items that I didn't have to try on to remember why I love them, they are my go to's and the ones that I simple could not throw out.

Maybe Pile-

 These were all pieces that were questionable. Maybe they would only be wonr a few times a year, or are really bold statement pieces so they are not super versatile, or I find myself unsure of how I look when I put them on. I tried them all on and narrowed this pile down a little more. In the end this pile was mainly made up of nicer dresses, bold printed skirts and tops, and I am planning to keep them for 3 months and anything that is not worn at all during that time will go. 

No Pile-

this pile was for every item that I looked at with slight hesitation, or did not feel confident in. If it was too tight, fell weird, constantly had me tugging and readjusting...it went into this pile. All of these items are headed to

ThredUp

 (such an awesome website for name brand and designer clothes), Facebook to sell, or Goodwill! 

Next, I bought all new hangers at Walmart (for just $30), and switched all my clothes to the new sleek hangers. It is amazing how much this little step lifted the spirits of my closet. My next steps are to define my

"uniform"

,

identify the gaps

, and slim down my current wardrobe (it is sitting at about 50 items, and I really want to get it down some to about 35-40 items).

So stay tuned, I will be sharing more in the weeks ahead about my progress, my uniform, and my final capsule wardrobe! 

Great reads/resources to get started creating your own capsule wardrobe:

Un-fancy Wardrobe Planner Worksheet

Val Marie's Wardrobe Series

Hayley Morgan's eBook

Vallarina Creative's Closet Journey

A Harvest of Blessing's Living a Life of Less Series

What do you think about the idea of a capsule wardrobe? Is it overwhelming to you? Want to join in on this journey with me?

A Harvest of Blessing

Stitch Fix Box #5

Alright friends, so these pictures were taken on day two of being a puppy mama...and I was tired, and I couldn't shower because of Piper whining, and so my hair is in pigtail braids, I look sleepy, and have little makeup on...so there ya go, 'tis life sometimes! 

But as always,

Stitch Fix

did not disappoint. This is my 5th box, and I am planning on continuing to receive monthly boxes as long as I continue feeling satisfied! I will give y'all a little insight into my life though (since that is what this blog is all about). I have begun developing a capsule wardrobe, which is a small, extremely versatile wardrobe made up of items that you love and feel very confident in. I will be sharing more in the months ahead about my journey with this project, but let's just say it has not been easy. I have purged my closets and drawers of TONS of things. So while I am continuing to do

Stitchfix

, I am going to be very particular moving forward with what I do and do not keep! 

This first top was my favorite in this box. My favorite color is pink (I blame it on my sorority in college, Phi Mu) and I have been wanting for a long time to add some pops of color to my wardrobe! So this was a keeper and I have already worn it three times since I got it!

The next top was really cute also, it is light and airy which is perfect for a hot Mississippi summer, and it is striped, which through the capsule wardrobe project I have found are a go to pattern for me. So keeping this one also! The teal necklace that I have on was also included in my fix, and while it is cute I have too many statement necklaces in this color already, so back it went!

This top you may remember from a previous fix, and while I love the original top that I received, this is the exact same top, just slightly different colors, so back it went. No need for two of the almost identical top!

The last item in my box was this striped maxi dress. The material was AMAZING, it was stretchy and soft, but sadly the dress was a little short. I am really particular about maxi dresses touching the ground for me, and because this hit around my ankles I knew I would not feel comfortable in it and would end up not wearing it much. So it went back also! 

I am really looking forward to my next fix. I have left VERY specific notes of things that I am needing to fill in some gaps in my capsule wardobe! So I am looking forward to see what my stylist picks for me in July! If you want to see m pinterest board with my capsule wardrobe inspiration check it out

here!

Try out

StitchFix

for youself and see how fun it can be to have a personal stylist help push you in your style!

Also, meet my sweet sponsor

Courtney

! Courtney has a heart for her husband and marriage just like me and her blog is just adorable. She has written incredibly heartfelt posts like this one to her

13 year old self

, and this one about

her husband's journey with Multiple Sclerosis

and the Lord's provision! She is joy to read! So make sure and go check her out!!

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Check out my sweet sponsor this month, Madison of The Wetherills Say I Do!