versatility

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. 🙂

20130728-101106.jpg 20130805-055018.jpg

20130818-102521.jpg20130818-102447.jpg

20130825-094025.jpg20130825-094100.jpg

20130715-074333.jpg20131002-224146.jpg

MerrellLilyWrapDress 20130905-145023.jpg

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!

20131005-180443.jpg

Sarong Series: Long Vest

20130910-061413.jpgGreetings fellow life traveler! Welcome to another post in my Sarong Series. In my quest for simplicity, nothing beats the practical beauty of my sarong. I hope that you can sense my enthusiasm for this lightweight, fringed piece of material. I believe it is an essential piece to a minimalist closet (or to any closet!). Versatility is the key to a fabulous wardrobe…

20130912-055513.jpgThe Long Vest is one of my favorites. I wear it over my Lily Dress as an easy, colorful accent. It also works well as a swimsuit coverup or a kind of a “robe” for those moments when you just need to step down the hall for something but don’t want to get out of your pajamas. It also works as an interesting layering piece under a sweater or jacket. Add a belt if you are feeling adventurous. This fun style lends itself to many, creative options!

Let’s get started with the Sarong Series: Long Vest tutorial! It stands out as one of those syles that seems complicated but as you will see, it’s quite simple and fun!

20130904-060316.jpg

Average Sarong Size Measurements:
Width: Approx 46 inches (117 cm)
Length (including fringe): Approx 66 inches (168 cm)

20130905-042703.jpg

Step One:
Place sarong behind you while holding opposite corners on the longest side.

20130910-050706.jpgStep Two:
Fold over body and hold by the top corners of the sarong, prepared to make your first tie.

20130910-050823.jpgStep Three:
Tie the two ends together in a very shallow first tie.

20130910-050928.jpg 20130910-051014.jpg

Step Four:
Take the two ends and tie them again in the same place to secure position.

20130910-051100.jpg 20130910-051139.jpg

Step Five:
Bring the knot up over your head toward your back…

20130910-051236.jpg 20130910-051330.jpg

Step Five (continued):
…until it rests on the back of your neck. Flip out your hair (if you need to) and you are good to go! Not pictured is the feminine drape it creates in the back, covering the bum and exposing the back. Such a lovely look. 🙂

Here are some other posts in The Sarong Series:

If you’d like to see some other examples of how I wear my sarong, please check out The Closet Countdown Page.

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you found the Sarong Series: Long Vest easy to follow. Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments below. I’m super happy to help!

Cheers,

G

My Barbie Doll Was A Minimalist

The ugly duckling is a misunderstood universal myth. It’s not about turning into a blonde Barbie doll or becoming what you dream of being; it’s about self-revelation, becoming who you are.
Baz Luhrman

Greetings! While on my simplicity quest, I often take tiny detours down memory lane. It’s part of the process for me. It helps slow me down a little because I have a tendency to rush ahead at full speed.

Sometimes, I remember things we lost in the fire. The memories skitter across my mind in random moments of thought. In this case, I was pondering a wardrobe that could go from day to night with only a few, minor changes. (Shocker that I would think about such things, right?).

Then I remembered my favorite Barbie Doll. Day to Night Barbie. Since I’m pretty sure she’s gone on to Barbie heaven, I did a little Google searching. Oh. My. Word. I think it was an early sign from the universe. An unexpected teacher with plastic skin, blond hair, and painted blue eyes…and an outfit that went from work to play in a matter of seconds.

Let me put this out there before I go on. With as much flak as Barbie gets for creating unrealistic physical goals for young girls I stand on the other side. Firmly. It’s just a doll. Just like my cloth baby doll. I learned to dress her and change her diaper. It’s a toy.

I’m in my thirties and have no desire to change from brown hair to blonde or hazel eyes to blue. In fact, I want more muscle tone than my Barbie had :). (I also had an early eighties fitness Barbie – bright blue body suit, legwarmers, and headband. Oh yeah…)

If anything, playing with my Barbie Dolls helped me decide what I liked about me. What colors and styles I preferred. What life I might choose to have. And like the Baz Luhrmann quote states, it’s not about becoming her, it’s about becoming me.

How was my Barbie Doll a minimalist? She could go from a day at the office to a night on the town by removing her jacket and hat and reversing her skirt. Genius. I’m still totally inspired. To help you have a better idea of what I mean, I’ve gathered a couple pictures and commercials I found. I had both the doll and the home and office set. Seriously.

20130910-060335.jpg  20130910-060310.jpg

Did you enjoy those? I know I did! During my search, I found another Barbie from my past that I had quite forgotten. But now that I see her – and the many ways she can wear one dress combination – I’m not surprised that she was mine as well. Dream Date Barbie.

20130910-060354.jpg 20130910-060421.jpg 20130910-060443.jpg 20130910-060541.jpg

One skirt, many options. Oh yes! See that sequined tube top thing? I made it into a skirt and added a tank top. Yep, early signs of a versatile wardrobe addiction…

Thank you, dear reader for taking this tiny trip down memory lane with me. I’m a bit of a nutter but if you can stand it, then I’m glad you are here. Cheers to you, wherever you are and to your wardrobe – may it always reflect who you are inside. 🙂

Sarong Series: Waist Tied Shawl

20130905-145723.jpgHello! Welcome to My Simplicity Quest and another mini tutorial on my Sarong Series! I love experimenting with ways to improve my minimalist style closet with versatile items. After posting pictures of my daily outfits in The Closet Countdown I received a few requests to share how I wear my sarong. The pictures and step by step instructions are my response.

I’m so glad you are here! I hope you learn something new and walk away with sunshine in your heart and a strange desire to go play with a super versatile, functional, and fun sarong! (you know you have one buried in your closet somewhere!)

Please scroll to the bottom of this page to find links to other mini-tutorials in the Sarong Series. 🙂

Let’s go ahead and get into Sarong Series: Waist Tied Shawl*. I wore leggings and a plain black t shirt to show off the sarong. However, when I’m out in the real world (and not my back porch) I think this style goes over flowy black pants nicely. I love how it can go from a skirt to a shawl in a matter of seconds.

20130904-060616.jpg

Step One:
Begin with the Tied Long Skirt. (My example uses a side tie but you may also use a front tie for the Waist Tied Shawl.)

20130905-144935.jpgStep Two:
Pick up lower corners of the sarong in each hand.

20130905-145233.jpgStep Three:
Holding onto the bottom corners (and leaving knot at waist in place), pull bottom hem up and over your back…

20130905-145257.jpgStep Four:
…Until it rests on your shoulders.

20130905-145328.jpgStep Five:
Fold arms and feel the snugly softness of your awesome waist tied sarong! I love the way it drapes and the look of the tie at the waist. So feminine!

If you’d like to see some other examples of how I wear my sarong, don’t forget that there are more pictures on The Closet Countdown Page.

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you found the Sarong Series: Waist Tied Shawl easy to follow. Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments below. I’m super happy to help!

Cheers,

G

*Most of the ways to wear a sarong in my Sarong Series are creative but also quite easy. Some of them require a foundation method first. For the Waist Tied Shawl (and the Tied Short Skirt), you need to start with a Long Tied Skirt. If you would like to see how I do it, please go to Sarong Series: Tied Long Skirt.

Other Sarong Series Posts:

Sarong Series: Tied Short Skirt

20130905-145738.jpgBefore we begin, I want to thank you for stopping by. Writing about and creating a versatile, functional (yet fun and stylish) minimalist closet stand as my current passions in life. Figuring out different ways to wear a sarong or scarf or how to wear one dress three different ways makes me happy. I hope you sense my joy and gratitude from wherever you are!

Let’s get started with the Sarong Series: Tied Short Skirt. (Make sure to read the entire article. There’s a surprise bonus to this fun little design!). I like wearing it this way because the shorter length makes it easier for me to move around throughout my day. I find stairs to be a bit problematic when I wear long skirts…

Most of the ways to wear a sarong in my Sarong Series are creative but also quite easy. Some of them require a foundation method first. For the Tied Short Skirt, you need to start with a Long Tied Skirt. If you would like to see how I do it, please go to Sarong Series: Tied Long Skirt.

20130904-060616.jpg

Step One:
Begin with the Tied Long Skirt. (My example uses a side tie but you may also use a front tie for the Tied Short Skirt.)

20130905-144935.jpgStep Two:
Pick up lower corners of the sarong in each hand.

20130905-144958.jpgStep Three:
Pull bottom hem over bum and tie corners just below previous knot. This creates an understated “balloon style” hem.

20130905-145023.jpgStep Four:
Tie again and you are all done! I love the double stacked knots. Because of the thin material, they are small and quite feminine.

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!

20130905-145057.jpgYour Tied Short Skirt has an ADDED BONUS…

20130905-145147.jpgThat’s right, folks! EXTRA CARGO SPACE!

20130905-145206.jpgThe balloon style also makes it easy to carry around a few, extra, light items. How cool is that? (Um…don’t overdo it on the extra items. It can ruin the look to have heavier items weighing down the hem. I know this from personal – and a little bit embarrassing – experience.)

If you’d like to see some other examples of how I wear my sarong, please check out The Closet Countdown Page.

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you found the Sarong Series: Tied Short Skirt easy to follow. Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments below. I’m super happy to help!

Cheers,

G

Sarong Series: Tied Long Skirt

20130905-054258.jpgIn my quest for simplicity, I have yet to find anything as versatile or vital to my minimalist style than a sarong. With a few simple changes, the sarong (also known as a pareo) adds color, personality, and perfect functionality to any woman’s wardrobe. Rarely do I ever leave the house without at least one tucked in my bag or draped as a scarf.

In the Sarong Series, we will explore some creative ways to wear what is essentially a large, lightweight, fringed piece of fabric.

Let’s begin with an easy and fun way to wear a sarong: The Tied Long Skirt. It looks great tied in the front and to the side. Personally, I prefer the side tie. It tends to stay “out of the way” while I go about my daily activities a little better than a knot tied in front. Though either way looks flattering on a female figure. 🙂 You will find instructions for both styles below.

20130904-060316.jpg

Average Sarong Size Measurements:
Width: Approx 46 inches (117 cm)
Length (including fringe): Approx 66 inches (168 cm)

20130905-042703.jpg

Step One:
Place sarong behind you while holding opposite corners on the longest side.

20130904-060400.jpg20130904-060432.jpg

Step Two:
Fold over body and connect to the side or the front.

20130904-060502.jpg20130904-060518.jpg

Step Three:
Tie the two ends together until sarong is secure against the body (waist or lower hip is fine).*

20130904-060616.jpg20130904-060632.jpg

*At this point, you may want to leave it with the ends hanging in a nice drape. Though it will be more secure if you continue on…

20130905-050008.jpg

Step Four:
Take the two ends and tie them again in the same place to secure position. Let ends fall in a nice drape at the newly formed knot.

20130905-050028.jpg20130905-050052.jpg

Step Five:
Saunter through your day in the cool comfort of a light but long skirt!

If you’d like to see some other examples of how I wear my sarong, please check out The Closet Countdown Page.

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you found the Sarong Series: Tied Long Skirt easy to follow. Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments below. I’m super happy to help!

Cheers,

G