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Friday, February 24, 2017

Capsule Wardrobe - 9 Items

Capsule wardrobes are everywhere. People are curating their wardrobes. Well, what does this mean, you ask? It means stripping everything down to the basics. So, you ask, how do I do this? Where do I start? Don't worry, it's simple. But first, a little background.

Why build a capsule wardrobe?

Minimalism is a movement that advocates getting rid of the things you don't need to make room for the life you want. Sounds simple, right? Well, it kind of is, that's the beauty of it. If you find yourself opening your closet and squeezing your hand between tightly packed hangers wondering if you'll pick out something interesting, you may be in need of a wardrobe clear-out.

What I did (and how you can do it too)

Firstly, I'd like to point out that I'm probably a minimalist at heart. I don't really hold on to "stuff" and I tend to enjoy any opportunity to get rid of unnecessary clutter.

My first step was to yank everything off the hangers one by one. I picked out each item of clothing, took a good look and decided one of three things:
  • Option #1: I love it and I wear it all the time
  • Option #2: I haven't worn this for over 2 months. Hmm, maybe this isn't my style
  • Option #3: What in tarnation heck was I thinking when I bought this? (I'm looking at you, leopard skin leggings!)
So after picking out each item, if the answer was #1, it went into the laundry pile, ready to be washed and hung up in my (now spacious) wardrobe.

If the answer was #2, I put it into the clothing donation bag. It's easier if you put these items straight into a bag rather than letting them gather in a pile on the floor.

As of today, I have released two bags stuffed full of good quality clothing. One of the items was a white peplum top. Never worn, great condition. Somebody will find it at their local op-shop and it will be perfect for them. I am happy for them because it sure as heck didn't suit me!

And finally, if the answer was #3, these items also went straight to the donation bags. The only exceptions were things with holes in them. No op-shop wants a pile of moth-eaten clothing on their doorstep. It's more work for them to get rid of these items and it's probably better karma to throw them in the bin before you make the trip. For example, I had a beautiful black merino jumper from Katmandu. I have worn this jumper all through two (or was it three) winters and it suits me perfectly. Unfortunately, due to my enthusiastic use, it now has three holes on one elbow and four on the other. *Sigh* into the bin it goes.

The basic steps to a clutter-free capsule wardrobe

  • Open your wardrobe (Phew! That was the hard part)
  • Go through your hangers and pull out everything you haven't worn in the last couple of months
  • See what's left (Hint - it's probably the stuff you wear all the time)
  • Store the stuff you don't need or want OR donate it!
You may find after your clear out that you don't have as many clothes as you thought. Resist the urge to run out and buy new stuff to fill it up. Give yourself time to live with the new, smaller wardrobe. One of the advantages of having less clothing is knowing that you love absolutely everything in your wardrobe and it takes far less time to decide what to wear!

Things I have discovered since building my capsule wardrobe:

  • I no longer have to decide what to wear - no more throwing things back on the hangers and mixing and matching weird looks
  • The things in my wardrobe are the things I feel most comfortable wearing - I can comfortably grab anything and know that it will work
  • I have released all the clothing that I was never going to wear anyway - it's a lighter feeling every time I open the wardrobe
  • Even though I have less stuff, I have more things to wear - I have discovered hidden treasures squished in the far reaches of my hanging space
My wardrobe was stacked so full of hangers that I had to prise apart the layers to see what was in there. After my decluttering adventure, I can now see what I have to wear. I have discovered (or should I say rediscovered) a number of t-shirts that I absolutely love. I am now going through the process of hand washing all of them, one by one and returning them to their rightful place. 

Unexpected benefits of a capsule wardrobe:

  • No more illusions - I have less clothing than I thought but that's okay. Before the clear out, my wardrobe had the illusion of being "full", yet I still had nothing to wear. Now I know where I stand.
  • Less stress - deciding what to wear in the morning is not all that much fun. Now I know what I'm going to wear. If I happen to wear the same thing a few times, at least I know it's perfect and suits me well.
  • More space - now I have more space in my wardrobe and more space to think about the things that really matter in life. I may buy a couple of new basic items but overall, I'm comfortable with my leaner, minimalist wardrobe.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Summer Beach Essentials

Summer Beach Essentials by violetfrog featuring a red beach towel

It's summer in Australia so here are the summer beach essentials for the Christmas and New Year period! 

Christmas in Australia is a little different to the snow-covered wonderland of our northern neighbours. We have barbeques, beach cricket, yacht races, picnics and dinner in the backyard. Instead of mince pies and roasts with potatoes, we often have salads, seafood (especially prawns) and fruit salad for dessert.

What you will need: Plenty of shade, sunglasses, dressing with a 50s feel but with a modern twist, and some Christmas reading on your Kindle!

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

I have tried a multitude of makeup products from the ponciest counter at David Jones and Myer to the $5 displays at the local chemist. I have had custom-made foundations, stick foundations that make you look like an extra in a zombie movie, tinted moisturisers that make you look like you dunked your head in oil, and makeup that looks fine in the morning, only to disintegrate into a bubbling mess at the end of the day.

My previous faves were Revlon New Complexion foundation and Garnier BB Cream, however they never had the right colour for me. Many of my fellow olive-skinned beauty aficionados will understand the frustration of finding a great product only to find nothing in our shade. In my experience, many makeup companies believe that people generally have unusually coloured skin.

I have come up with a few names for the shades I have seen so far:

Vampire White
Coral Calamity
Bizarrely Pink
Sunburned Lobster
Oompa Loompa Orange
Eggplant Nightmare
Questionable Sunbed Accident

Here's a tip for makeup companies - people don't generally have bright pink skin.

Soooo, to make a long story short (too late!) I have found a foundation/tinted moisturiser-type product that actually matches my skin tone.

And the best part? The prices are fantastic.

So without further ado, I unveil... (Get it? Unveil? Argh)

Coral Colours Tinted Moisturiser - Natural Tan

This is the best thing ever. It goes on smoothly, you don't need to use much and it looks totally natural on olive skin. Yippee!

My other great discovery was this amazing Argan Oil Mascara

I have been using argan oil as a beauty treatment but a hidden benefit of argan oil is the ability to help grow and thicken eyelashes (and eyebrows, if you like that sort of thing!)

I am also excited about the expanded range of products that includes BB Cream and other argan oil based products. The company is local to Melbourne (Brunswick) and the prices are phenomenally good.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Summer #2 Essentials

Watermelon home decor
290 AUD -

Logitech UE Smart Radio (Black)
245 AUD -

Sass & bide white jeans

Converse Planet Shoes
85 AUD -

Amanda Rose Collection chain necklace
52 AUD -

43 AUD -

Now that Summer #2 has begun (it used to be Autumn but the seasons have moved), I thought I'd take a moment to celebrate my fave purchases at the moment.

I just bought myself a Kikki-K diary (yes, I know it's March, don't judge) and I'm loving the cute decorations and the fact that it fits in my bag easily.

My Logitech UE Smart Radio is playing all my custom stations while I'm cooking and my shower bluetooth speaker plays Pandora. It's a thing of beauty.

My angel necklace is my favourite accessory right now and I rarely leave the front door without my Sass & Bide jeans. They were a perfect fit but it seems I have managed to drop another size (when I most certainly didn't need to) and now I need to get some tighter skinny jeans. Not that I'm complaining or anything!

Here's to Summer #2. Let the warm weather continue!

Monday, March 07, 2016

Messenger Bags - Binge vs Deal

1 415 AUD -

With a Stella McCartney bag (around $1500), I can prance around saying "I've got a Stella McCartney bag!". The novelty may wear off after about 20 minutes. Then I could buy a big bag of rice and eat that for the rest of the year.

Alternatively, I could pick up this lovely Tom Ford bag ($130), and nobody would know the difference unless they followed me around with their heads tilted at a strange angle.

I recently bought a new messenger bag and paraded it around, revelling in its multi-pocketed glory. The only thing I failed to consider was the strange metal hook at the front, generally used to secure the bag but who has the time to do it up when you're going to open it again?

So I'm happily strolling into the crowded whole foods shop when I feel a tug around my shoulder. I keep walking but the tug gets stronger. I try to walk further but I find I am walking on the spot and not getting anywhere. It is only then I realise that someone has grabbed my bag and is trying to yank me out of the store. I plan my attack. I hone my ninja moves. I wait for the right moment before turning around...

To find that the large metal hook had clipped onto the clear plastic panels hanging over the doorway. By now people have turned to look at me, fists clenched, tangled in plastic and slightly confused. I quickly revise my ninja attack, settling for calmly untangling myself from the mess of plastic drapes and casually walking into the store.

I really know how to make an entrance.