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Dear Mushka,

Capsule Wardrobe: How & Why I do It

Capsule Wardrobe: How & Why I do It

Why:

I don't drink alcohol, in part, because addiction runs viciously through my veins. For years, I fought a sugar addiction and just when I thought I had it mastered (face palm) God showed me a new one: Add to cart, add to cart, add to cart. An addiction to new, to the anticipation of something fun in the mail, to fleeting sparkle this world has to offer.

And so one April I gave up buying clothes for the month. It sounded easy, but proved to be embarrassingly hard, and left me changed. I've been trying out this "capsule wardrobe" idea for the last year, not to limit the amount of clothes I have in my closet, but to limit the amount of impulse buys I purchase for a quick burst of joy.

It's been challenging and rewarding and really really sweet. God is so ready to step in with his deep fulfillment as soon as we leave room, y'all.

What I do:

1. As we're exiting a season, the first thing I do is go through my clothes to remove anything I didn't wear or don't see myself wearing again. Pilling sweaters, jeans I couldn't sit in (because please), cute jackets I never once put on, etc. I also make a mental note of what worked and didn't work this season. Stretchy jeans and warm tops were a win, cardigans without buttons actually got in my way. I'll remember this for next year. Check.

2. Then I look at my clothes for the upcoming season. Are there items I know I won't wear? (Donate). What gaps do I realistically have?

We seem to have a tendency to buy clothes for an imaginary life. For example: "I'll wear this at Spring weddings or out walking on the beach!” Which is great if you actually have weddings to go to this Spring or plan to be walking out on the beach frequently. But for me, I may attend one wedding? And we have a total of 7 beach days planned this year. So one appropriate outfit will do it :)

3. With my actual clothing gaps, I make a list and set out to find those items within a week or two. My goal with a capsule wardrobe isn't to have this tiny little closet where only 31 pieces are allowed; it's to cut myself off from freely purchasing whenever the urge strikes. 

So March 1-15 I can grab what I need for Spring. And then, unless something vital rips over the next few months, no more clothing purchases. Which is so freeing! I don't need to glance at Target's new pieces, I don't need to pursue fashion bloggers Instagram accounts, which constantly beckon me to buy more.

I. Am. Fine. 

My Seasons: 

Spring- March through May. I focus on tees, loose bottoms (linen pants are a favorite of mine), dresses, and warm weather shoes. 

Summer- June through August. I focus on tanks, shorts, and bathing suits.  

Fall- September through November. I focus on long sleeved tops, jeans, and cold weather shoes. 

Winter- December through February. I focus on sweaters, outerwear, and things like leggings.

Where I shop:

I get 99% of my clothes from one of two places.

The first is ThredUP. I love ThredUP for a few reasons (not sponsored, by the way). 

I value ethical shopping, but I have a hard time finding companies within my price range or style. So an alternative way for me to ethically shop is to buy secondhand. I used to shop at Goodwill, but this isn’t practical with two little ones and honestly, it was getting harder for me to find pieces I really loved there.

But on ThredUp I can search specific brands I know I love, and then narrow down by item type, color, size, price, etc. It makes the search really easy! "Madewell chambray tank." Check! 

Prices are usually a good deal, though occasionally I’ll think “I could definitely get this item for less money at the store on a big sale.” But then, of course, it wouldn't be secondhand :)

I’ve learned that it’s just not worth it to keep pieces I don’t love so when my products come, I try them on with a critical eye. If it isn’t a 100% fit, back it goes. They now have a $2 restocking fee per item, but that’s worth it for me not to have an item hanging in my closet I’m not ever going to enjoy wearing. Just this month I ordered 6 things and returned 2 because they weren't perfect. 

Overall, it's a great experience. I definitely recommend at least browsing if you haven't before! 

Pro tip: If you like an item, add it to your cart ASAP and then decide if you want to buy. Items can stay in your cart for 24 hours before someone else has a chance to snag it! 

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The second place I shop is an online clothing boutique called August Cloth.

I originally began shopping from August Cloth because my friend, Crystal, started the company. And I'm always going to support my friends :) But I quickly saw the value of buying from a clothing boutique vs a big box store.

For one, the clothes are beautifully hand picked by one girl. If I like the first five things she releases, I'm probably going to like it all because the same eye is approving of and offering the items. It’s like a specially curated closet to choose from!

She's a real life mom of three (almost four!), business owner, wife, church goer etc. Her life looks like mine in many ways so we’re looking for the same type of clothes. Easy, modest, versatile, comfortable, cute. I don't have to sift through a lot to find a winner... I love almost everything. 

Additionally, the clothes are just a higher quality than what I was grabbing from Target or Old Navy. Their detailing is just a little extra, the materials are luxurious, and the fit is more flattering. People always comment when I wear a top from August Cloth. "That sweater is adorable, where is it from?" Because the products are noticeably special. And if I'm not going to be shopping all year long, I want my buys to feel like wins. 

Bonus: Everything comes packaged in a way that makes me feel special. The whole experience feels like a treat and I love knowing my purchases are supporting a family running this Kingdom race as hard as they can! 

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Okay, one more extra place I shop... Dear Mushka. Ha! But truly, I only choose and design tees for the shop that I actually want to wear. I always make an extra for myself; they layer well and point me back to Jesus. 

Want to hear me talk more about this? Follow along on Instastories where I'll show you my Spring picks! 

The Inspiration Behind Our Apparel

The Inspiration Behind Our Apparel

Today I’m sharing the inspiration behind our apparel designs. All of these pieces are printed ethically in Nashville. They are so versatile and can be paired with jeans, yoga pants or even a pleated skirt.

Watch the video to see me try on each item or simply click the links below👇

The Thicket Tee

The Thicket Tee is a baseball style T-shirt in the softest material. I sized up to a medium because I like to tuck in the front and always like it when my tees are long enough to cover my backside.

It has a beautiful wildflower sketch design on the front which I love with the more masculine style of the raglan tee. 

It is reflective of John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

This is personally one of my very favorite chapters in all of scripture. I love the reminder that Jesus is the vine and we are the branches and that we NEED the vine to accomplish anything.

I also love that I can wear this shirt for all four seasons!

The Thankful Tee

The Thankful Tee is the exact style as the Thicket Tee but has navy sleeves. It is reflective of Psalm 118:1: "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever."

It reminds us in midst of incredibly joyful seasons (marriage! child! travel!) and incredibly hard seasons (pain, suffering, death), to give thanks to Lord always and for everything. For His love endures forever. 

The Precious Tee

I love to knot The Precious Tee on the side and pair it with a pair of jeans. It’s also super cute under a cardigan in the winter. It is reflective of Matthew 19:14: "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."

We pray this tee sparks conversation and change in our country in regards to racial reconciliation. Our mixed-raced adoptive family is wearing these tees with joy!

The Blessed Tee

The Blessed Tee is supposed to mimic a mama bear but it’s for anyone who feels blessed! It's originally from our Sapling Line, collection surrounding motherhood. It reflects Proverbs 31:28: "Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her."

The Grace Hat

The Grace Hat is perfect for covering up my hair on those bad hair days😂

The word "grace" is embroidered on this soft wool-blend hat for a beautiful reminder of this promise found in 2 Corinthians 12:9: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

STYLE: THE BEST JEANS (ACCORDING TO YOU ALL)

STYLE: THE BEST JEANS (ACCORDING TO YOU ALL)

Somewhere along the way, my 2010's low-rise jeans (and early 20's body) went missing and I realized I didn't have a great pair of jeans anymore. I'd purchased random pairs here and there but really just wanted a go-to brand and style I could turn to as needed. 

Enter: Y'all

I asked, via Insta-story, for your favorites and received hundreds of replies. I also received an equal amount of "please share your list, I need a good pair of jeans, too!" And so. This list!

The top ten jeans, all mentioned multiple times and well loved by you all! 

10. Old Navy

Would it be a Favorite Jeans post without the mention of Old Navy? They've been around for a long time and put out an extra affordable pair. The last pair of ON jeans I purchased was the opposite of flattering on my body, though, so maybe it's time for me to try out another? The mid-rise and high-rise skinnies were recommended the most. 

9. Athleta

Athleta tends to be more pricey than I want to spend, but every single time I buy a piece from there (via ThredUp 99% of the time) I am so impressed by the exceptional quality. I know these jeans would be worth the price tag and would be comfortable enough to, like, bike all over the world in. 

8. Levi's

Specifically the 721s and the 311s. Levi's have been around forever and clearly know what they're doing. These come in a zillion washes, different lengths, and can be found at places like TJ Maxx pretty frequently. What's not to love? 

7. Wit and Wisdom

My sister-in-law has long raved about these jeans from Nordstrom and I was happy to see that so many of you love them, too. They have a stretchy waist band for extra comfort and look pretty dang cute. 

6. American Eagle

I bought AE jeans back in high school/ college and apparently they're still a great place to buy denim. Tons of you recommended all sorts of their pairs- jeggings, high waisted, etc so it looks like there's something for everyone. I know AE has sales pretty regularly, making these very affordable. And bonus, they come in various lengths! 

5. Able 

Specifically these in the Carla wash. They may be the most expensive on this list, but Able is a ethical company doing beautiful work and they also happen to make high-quality clothing. The downside is that these don't come in different lengths-- I'd have to get mine hemmed or rock the cuff. 

4. Universal Thread

Is it any surprise that Target has managed to come out with jeans we can love? Tons of you talked about these and so, of course, I immediately grabbed a pair to see what all the fuss was about. I haven't worn them much yet but they seem to fit well and allow plenty of movement. And less than $30. 

3. Kut from the Kloth

I'd never heard of this brand, but it sounds like a ton of you received them in your Stitch Fix box and couldn't love them more. They're in the $80-$100 range it looks like, but word on the street is that places like Nordstrom Rack & TJ Maxx often have them so check there! 

2. Madewell 

These are a little pricey (most in the $100-$135 range) but without a doubt, Madewell jeans were the most beloved jeans I heard about. Comfortable, easy to move in, and flattering. According to you all, they hem for free & will take $20 off a new pair if you bring in any old denim to an actual store. Available in petite, regular, tall. 

On my to-do list: Get thee rear into a store to try on lots of pairs and find my favorite! There's one in the Green Hills Mall if you're local :) 

1. Madewell Roadtripper

Okay, I just mentioned Madewell jeans but the Roadtrippers, in particular, deserve the no. one spot because I got an an absurd amount of messages with hearts and smily faces and lovey words over these. They're only $75 (low for Madewell) and just about the best jeans any of you have every worn, apparently. How did I not know about these?! 

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And there you have it! I have a few I want to try; I'll be sure to let you know my favorites in a few months. 

[& if you need a cozy tee to wear with your jeans, I hear this is a great place to find one!]