the closet countdown

The Closet Countdown: The Morning After

It’s over. My one hundred day adventure in minimalist-style clothing ended yesterday. I’m relieved and a bit overwhelmed. I doubt I will repeat The Closet Countdown any time soon. But I grew. I feel it. I see it in the pictures I posted.

I have my “lessons learned” post in the works but in the meantime, I thought I’d go ahead and post a few initial reactions while they are still very fresh in my mind.

Last night, I pulled down my two bins of “unchosen” clothing. First thing this morning, I opened them. Right after feeling joy at seeing some of my loved items, my heart sagged a bit. There were literally piles of clothes around me that needed to be sorted.

I felt buried.

So I put on the dress I’d missed the most: my Merrell Emery in Manganese Ikat. Honestly, I didn’t like it at first. I felt like the color was “wrong” or the fit felt “off”. The dress was fine. I was just in a strange funk.

I thought about how I felt the last weekend of The Closet Countdown. Brave. Bold. Creative. Beautiful even. Immediately my posture changed. My face brightened. So I decided to wear the dress for the day and take a few pics (see for yourself at the end of this post ;)).

Flattering clothes – fit, color, style, hem length, etc. – matters very much. But the real style is inside. The moment we choose to see ourselves as someone worth looking at, we become more attractive. Our confidence and freedom from fear of what others think makes our smile brighter, our posture straighter. When I feel beautiful, the world around me is more beautiful. Brighter. And I feel connected to that beauty because I have found a tiny grain of it in myself.

That’s how I decided to feel this morning when I put on my “other” Merrell Emery Dress. That’s how I hope to feel every morning. 🙂

If you are reading this, know that you are beautiful. Maybe your hair isn’t “perfect”. Maybe your shape won’t ever be in a magazine. Maybe you’ve had a few bad days in a row that kept you from smiling. But inside you is beauty. You carry it with you wherever you go. I know because today I walked out into the world and I felt it. It’s all around us. Inside us. We just have to have the courage to show it.

Thank you for taking the time to read my words. I’m honored to share your company here on My Simplicity Quest.

Shine On,

G

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The Closet Countdown: DAY 100!!!

This is it. The final day of The Closet Countdown. Wow. Lessons learned will be posted soon. So strange how such a “silly” experiment has taught me so much. There are beautiful lessons all around us. We only have to look for them to see how many.

My heart fills with gratitude when I think of all the encouragement I’ve received along the way. Even just the “likes” on days when I thought my outfit was lame or my writing was lame (or both) really lifted my spirits. Thank you to everyone who stopped by along my one hundred day journey. I appreciate it more than I can say.

For the last day, I almost went with my Merrell Lily. But I decided against it because I will probably wear it again soon – regardless of all my new options. It is a tried and true favorite. I went with my super versatile Cameleon Rosy Pink Convertible Skirt/Dress/Poncho instead. There is more to the story on this interesting piece but that is for a different day and a post. Gotta keep it brief (right Nancy? 😉 ).

Day 100 Tuesday, October 8

  • BCG Black Cami
  • Long Black Leggings (forgot the brand)
  • Cameleon Pink Convertible Thing (worn as a poncho in the cooler morning and then as a skirt in the warm afternoon)
  • Merrell Black Barefoot Mary Jane Shoes

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Today is a light three mile run day for my half marathon training. When I started this, I didn’t know I would “get back into running” so I didn’t choose my running skirt or my leggings with a pocket that fits my phone. Looking forward to little things that that for sure…

Afternoon Run

  • BCG Black Sleeveless Top
  • BCG Black Legging Capris
  • inov8 RocLite268 shoes (with socks)

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Thank you again for stopping by. I wish you joy and eyes to see the lessons all around you. I encourage you to challenge yourself in some small way. Start with your closet like I did or with something else. Give yourself some boundaries. Dance inside them. Learn. Grow. Shine…

Cheers,
G

 

The Closet Countdown: Day 99 of 100

One. More. Day. Then it’s over. Tomorrow is my last full day of wearing items from my chosen 55 articles of clothing in The Closet Countdown. I’m excited. I cannot wait to open my two small bins of “unchosen” clothing that I stashed up on a shelf in my closet.

The Closet Countdown (should have called it The Closet Countdown Challenge) has been a beautiful part of my quest for simplicity. A one hundred day reminder that I must wade through some complicated issues to get to the “simple life”. I have no regrets.

Monday’s activity for my half marathon training is “Stretch and Strengthen”. So I chose an outfit that included leggings so I could catch a session of yoga later today without a full-on change up. That is one of the things I had hoped to accomplish with this fun experiment in the first place. If you missed yesterday’s outfit, please go here.

Day 99 Monday, October 7

  • White Cotton Tunic
  • Black Leggings
  • Merrell Black Barefoot Mary Jane Shoes
  • Multi-Colored Scarf

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If you are reading this, I am grateful for you and your time and your willingness to read my words and see my attempts to find my simple style. I wish you great things for your small act of kindness. 🙂

Cheers,
G

The Closet Countdown: Day 98 of 100 (So close…)

Two more days. Just two more days and The Closet Countdown will be over. Yesterday’s post is evidence that I’ve decided to ignore my insecurities and play a little with combinations I haven’t tried before. This little experiment has definitely helped me get more comfortable in front of a camera. Though the poses feel so redundant… 😉

Another one outfit day. Just me and my Merrell Emery…and a big black leather Gap brand belt that I scored at a thrift store in Austin for pennies.

Day 98 Sunday, October 6

  • Merrell Black Emery Dress
  • Gap Black Wide Leather Belt
  • Merrell Black Luxe Strap Sandals

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Thank you for stopping by and bearing with me as I face the final days of this strange yet very rewarding experiment. I’m grateful for your time as always.

Cheers,
G

Weekend Photo Challenge (and Day 97 of The Closet Countdown!)

It’s a combo post, folks! I celebrate the 97th day of The Closet Countdown (a 100 day long, self-imposed experiment in clothing minimalism) by participating in Esther’s Weekly Weekend Photo Challenge. She is a doll. A sweet, fun mommy who happens to be drop dead gorgeous. Please go to her website to learn more about this fun challenge. (Thank you, Eszter for inviting me to join!)

This week’s challenge: Love Those Outfits

After living with only 55 Items of clothing, you’d think I’d love the outfits less. Not true. While I do miss some articles, I’ve learned to love some of my chosen pieces even more. It is a good feeling to have a favorite dress (my Merrell Lily of course!) snuggle up even closer to your heart.

Here are a few of my outfits I love from the past 97 days. 🙂

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Please check out the other bloggers who are participating in The Weekend Photo Challenge:

Junette from http://mamassecret.blogspot.com/
Elle from http://an-ayla-a-day.com/
Tams from http://nakedbeautyblog.com/
Tisha from http://dailyeasyrecipes.wordpress.com/
Mary from http://contrarymom.wordpress.com/
Danielle from http://momseyeviewnyc.wordpress.com/
Katie from http://acuriouskatie.wordpress.com/
Fanni from http://theblackberryboys.wordpress.com/
Ginny from https://mysimplicityquest.wordpress.com/
Donna from http://thelondonmum.me/
Casey from http://veggiesandglitter.com/
Eszter from http://kukolina.wordpress.com

Last but not least, here is my outfit from today. My last Saturday of The Closet Countdown…

Day 97: Saturday, October 5

  • Merrell Black Lily Sleeveless Dress
  • Merrell Black Luxe Strap Sandals
  • Black “Packable” Hat (Sun ‘n’ Sand Brand)

Thought I’d show you the front and back of this dress this time. I love the crisscross design. And the “hat” shot is for you, B!

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The Closet Countdown: Day 96 of 100 (Yea!)

The end is near. So near. Feels like Christmas is right around the corner. I’ve missed my other dresses and other “superfluous” clothing. The joys and challenges of The Closet Countdown are things I will treasure for a long time.

Yesterday I only wore two different outfits. And I’m still quite proud of my sassy little pose. 🙂

Today is just one outfit. It’s a casual farewell to my Summer wardrobe. I’m also celebrating the thirteenth birthday of one of my favorite young ladies on the planet (I included a picture of her below). Since my decision not to have kids, she has been like a daughter to me. I’m blessed beyond measure for someone who has so little…

Day 96 Friday, October 4

  • Ann Taylor Grey Boat Neck Top
  • OP Pinkish Coral Shorts
  • Merrell Brown San Remo Sandals

20131004-134105.jpgHere is a previously posted pic of me and H:

20130721-173415.jpgThank you so much for stopping by and sharing my journey. My heart is warmed. I wish you many adventures!

Cheers,
G

The Closet Countdown: Day 95 of 100

As the final days of the The Closet Countdown slowly putter along, I find that I’m both excited and a teensy bit sad. I like challenge. But I also like it when the challenges are over and I get to reflect on lessons learned. Bittersweet. 🙂

Yesterday, I changed clothes three times and I posted pictures to prove it. Even included my running clothes for fun. 🙂 Besides a morning trip to the grocery store and perhaps a therapeutic run in the afternoon (it’s my Prozac), I plan on sticking to one, simple ensemble today.

Day 95 Thursday, October 3

  • Merrell Black Lily Wrap Dress (they don’t make it any more. sigh.)
  • Merrell Black Luxe Strap Sandals (love the almost retro look of these shoes!)
Took me almost one hundred days to finally get a little sassy in front of the camera. :)

Took me almost one hundred days to finally get a little sassy in front of the camera. 🙂

Here is another image featuring the Lily Wrap Dress:

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As always, I’m glad you stopped by. Thank you.

Cheers,
G

PS Here’s a picture of my afternoon run outfit (before the run of course…)

  • BCG Brown V-Neck Top
  • BCG Black Leggings
  • Merrell Barefoot Bare Access Arcs

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This is Snickers the Wonder Dog. 🙂

The Closet Countdown: 7 Days Left

The Closet Countdown is almost over. Only seven days remain. Wow. In honor of the fact that there are so few days to dress from the same 55 items (and to make up for my failure to post a current, weekly update), I’m going to post my outfit on a daily basis until the bitter/beautiful end. 🙂

This will also be a way for me to test my iPhone posting skills…

Wednesday, October 2
Morning (having dinner guests over later so this will change)
Plaid Cotton Big Shirt, Black Leggings, Merrell Brown San Remo Sandals, Brown Leather Belt (a recent score from a friend’s giveaway pile!)

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Afternoon Run (about 4 pm)
Massimo Grey V-Neck Shirt, Black Leggings (yep, the ones from this morning), and my inov8 RocLite268 shoes (no socks).

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Casual Dinner With Friends
Merrell Black Emery Dress, Merrell Brown San Remo Sandals, Snazzy “New” Brown Leather Belt.

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Thanks so much for stopping by. My little heart and my kooky closet are full of gratitude.

Cheers,
G

The Closet Countdown: Weekly Update #5

20130805-054950.jpg Thirty-five days down and sixty-five more to go on The Closet Countdown. It’s amazing to me how much can happen in a week. I feel like clothes help tell our story. That’s probably why we have closets full of items we don’t even wear any more.  Through this experiment, I find that one dress can now tell many stories. It’s my adventure closet. Because that’s how I see life. 🙂

The Lily was the star again this week. I wore it to an open mic night with my sarong* tied into a bag (I’m a nut when it comes to using that thing in about a hundred different ways…). I got compliments on the dress and the bag (sarong). Sweet! It amazes me because I wear that dress all the time (as I’m sure you’ve already gathered).

People are just not as focused on us as we are. How liberating!

Last week, I had dinner with friends and I wore my Merrell Lily Wrap Dress (soon to be featured in its own post). Same great material with sleeves and a wrap style.

20130805-055018.jpgI spent my entire Saturday wearing my incredibly versatile sarong as a dress (yep, the same one I used as a bag on open mic night). Cool, comfy cotton on a hot, summer day. The more I let go of my things, the easier it is for me to relax. Simplifying my life is not on my “someday maybe” list of things. It’s happening every day. So on days when I choose to kick back, I do it with all my heart. I feel like my brain load is lighter.

Tossed another item. A jacket. No big deal. I just realized that I seldom used it. Too bulky for a run and not water resistant. I’m down to 52 items. Now that I’m over my t-shirt withdrawals from last week and because I committed to run a half marathon in January (oh my!), I’m probably going to supplement with some active wear.

Another item is on its way out… Did you know that leggings can get runners? Like those terribly unattractive things you can get in pantyhose? Did you? I didn’t. Until Tuesday. I have a runner in my leggings. I confess that they are BCG brand (one of my favorite, inexpensive brands of athletic clothing found at Academy Sports) so they probably weren’t meant to last forever. Good thing I kept three pairs of leggings for my “bottoms” category. Still peeved but prepared to make the best of it by using that pair for home only and perhaps under a tunic/dress.

That’s all for this week. Thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU for taking the time to read this. It’s nice to have company along the journey. Cheers!

P.S. I added a few more pictures on The Closet Countdown Page.

*The sarong is pictured in a photo in my Mini Minimalism Experiment: Three Days One Dress.

The Closet Countdown: Weekly Update #3

20130721-165933.jpgTwenty-one days of The Closet Countdown and I’m still doing okay. Still learning a lot. It’s how I roll.

Last week I did a little bit of walking/running and I already know I miss my athletic leggings with the nifty little pocket in the waistband. I did keep leggings but I chose a versatile style that could be used for athletics or regular apparel. No pockets. I’ll be fine…I guess. My teal skort has pockets but my black one doesn’t. Only two athletic items with pockets might get to be a little bit inconvenient.

While I’m on the subject of inconvenient, washing clothes in the shower is not working for me. I like to make showering as efficient as possible. I do not enjoy the extra time it takes to squish, rinse, roll in a towel, then hang my clothes. Lighter items like underclothes and tank tops aren’t bad but it becomes impractical when it comes to larger items like leggings and dresses. So I use the washing machine a little more frequently. I love being outside and that means sweat in the summer. I refuse to stay indoors more so I can keep my clothes cleaner longer. I have my priorities.

I continue to search for the “flow” of minimalism. Just enough simplicity to give me more freedom to focus on what matters most without creating superfluous work. I’m getting there. Slowly.

Though I do try to wear other dresses, I keep coming back to the Lily. I wore the black one twice this week. The first time was to an open mic night event at a coffee shop. I paired it with my favorite sarong as a long vest (as seen in my Mini Minimalism Experiment: Three Days One Dress).

On Saturday, I really tried to wear something different to an outdoor concert. I did that girlie thing where I tried on about five different outfits before admitting I just really wanted to wear my Lily. I was going see a band that played a combination of Motown and funk. Had to go classic little black dress.

I am so glad I did. When we got there it was raining. We set up our chairs to reserve our spot and hoped it would clear up soon. Eventually, the sun came back out and the rain clouds passed. Perfect weather for a summer evening concert. My chair, however, was soaked. I didn’t care because the Lily is made of a swimsuit-like material. I can’t say it was comfortable sitting in a damp chair but unlike a friend who came in white capris, I was fine. Especially since I love to dance. With the movement, the dress dried quickly. I seldom sat down entire night.

Next summer, I’ll buy a few more colors and wear the Lily to every event. It’s the perfect dress for travel and a life full of everyday adventures.

As always, thanks for joining me. I appreciate your time and I promise to keep you posted on my “progress”. Cheers!

P.S.

  • I’ve posted more pictures on The Closet Countdown Page.
  • The band we saw is Matchmaker Band from Austin, Texas. Excellent musicianship and super sweet crew. If you are ever in need of the best Motown/Funk band in Texas, please look them up here.

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