How to Style Sneakers (aka Trainers)

How to Style Sneakers (aka Trainers)

I love sneaker outfits… on other people. I see photos, on Instagram and Pinterest, but when I try them on me, well, it never seems to work. Or I don’t even attempt it. Most days, lacing and unlacing shoes seems too ambitious. Then, I got inspired by a vlog by Brittany Bathgate which prompted me to put together these outfits with the four pairs of sneakers I own. I tried to do two outfits per pair but it was late afternoon and then I lost the light so the last pair only has one outfit.

Why do I try on outfits and take mirror selfies? Because I can’t tell what clothes look like on me by looking at them on their hangers. And because it curbs my appetite for new clothes. My goal is to only buy a small number of items each year. “Shopping my closet” is one way to figure out what I want to add or even IF I need to add anything. It also helps me define what my style is. I can go back through my photos whenever I need an outfit idea.

I recently added these Veja sneakers which are made with natural rubber. I saw them everywhere (online) and waited a really long time before purchasing them. They are more than I normally spend on sneakers but now that I have them and worn them, they are definitely worth it. I am willing to spend a little more on a sustainable brand. I also like that they can be styled a lot of ways.

The black Vans are also relatively new. Again, a style I saw everyone wearing. I probably didn’t need them since I have the Pumas which have a very similar look. Once they’re as broken in and comfy, I’ll probably donate the Pumas. Lastly, I have the New Balance pair which are cream and gold. They are so comfortable. I bought them used on Poshmark and love their retro look.

Four pairs of casual sneakers is not all that exciting but I’m very happy with them. And I promise I’ll wear them more often.

(You can see what I’ve purchased this year on this Pinterest board. Some of the items are sustainable. I don’t get any commission from any sales.)

#sneakers #trainers #tennisshoes #gymshoes

Low Buy Challenge: End of the Year Wrap-Up

The year is drawing to a close. Well, not exactly, but I’d like to think 2020 is almost over! When I started the Low Buy Challenge in January I didn’t know what we were all in for. Buying as little as possible, and trying to buy second hand has been really good for me. Good for my soul, good for my budget, and I think good for the planet.

Following the rules set forth by Signe of UseLess, I tried hard to only buy things that I really needed. Basics like t-shirts, socks and underwear were okay, as were worn-out items. I bought things that I had planned ahead of time, often letting them sit on my wish list for month before purchasing. I asked myself if they were something I didn’t currently have and were truly my style (as in, I would wear a lot.) One area I could use improvement: buying from sustainable brands. I relied on stores I know work for me such as the Gap and Nike. Not so eco-friendly.

Here are the last few purchases I made this year:

Dr. Scholl’s Snakeskin boots  |  Leather version

This boot purchase was a result of my entire shoe inventory. I had so many black boots (and few brown) and wanted something fun. I wasn’t sold on the snakeskin trend but these really convinced me.

GAP true skinny jeans

These jeans were a result of my denim inventory. I ended up getting rid of one very worn out pair of jeans and realized I only had one pair of skinny jeans which were actually too big.

GAP Turtleneck T-shirt  A much needed basic.

GAP Belted Cardigan  An addition to my “loungewear capsule” that is so soft and cozy it made me feel slightly better about winter weather.

Asics running shoes  That time again: new sneaks.

Athleta top  Been looking for this kind of workout top for a while.

Fossil Wallet (poshmark)  My previous wallet was also from Fossil and was really falling apart. I found this replacement used on Poshmark.

 

Total clothing additions for the year: 3 pairs of shoes, 4 pairs of pants, 2 pairs of shorts, 3 sweaters, 1 dress, 6 tees, 3 pj pants, 5 workout items, 5 underwear items, and 1 accessory.

 

Entire Shoe Inventory

Entire Shoe Inventory

Lucky Brand boots

Before we start, you might see a small white dog in a couple shots. This is Gabriel, our new puppy. He is a 9 month old, half Australian Shepherd/half Dachshund rescue.

I recently tried on ALL my shoes. I think it’s so helpful to try on everything at once. It really shows you how much you like what you have and don’t need new things just because they’re new.

When I was done documenting everything and tidying it all up, I decided to donate 4 pairs (open toe booties that just aren’t me, two ballet flats that I never wear and really don’t flatter me, and those vintage Dr. Scholl’s I thought I wanted but really don’t work for me), bringing the grand total down to 28 pairs. (Not included are: a pair of tall Hunter boots, a pair of Sorel snow boots and my Asics running shoes, which all reside in the hall closet.)

I pretty happy with this collection. I feel like I have everything I need. Some of my shoes are really worn which I’m okay with. It means they are well-loved. I’m getting my money’s worth and being more eco-friendly. And can I say, through this process I really came to appreciate that all my shoes are broken in and feel so good when I slip them on! I decided to give my brown Lucky boots a bit of shoe polish (remember shoe polish?) and they look so much better. Still very distressed but a darker brown than they were and I think they have a lot of character!

I will be swapping out my Asics for a new pair and maybe adding a pair of boots that are not black or brown. And those $4 rubber flip flops will most likely be replaced by these Rainbows.

I hope you enjoyed this inventory. I highly recommend doing one!

I Love Fall, and Jeans — An Inventory

I Love Fall, and Jeans — An Inventory

I thought I was immune. I thought, “I won’t get sucked into the Fall mania, shopping for jeans and sweaters and boots.” But I did. Yesterday, I was at Nordstrom Rack, looking at all of them. But, I did not buy any! I tried on 2 pairs of denim from Madewell but they didn’t look right. And the few sweaters I tried, including a super soft black cardigan, were also no-go. Lastly, I looked at all the boots. Craving some clog boots, or possibly some Doc Marten or Blundstone boots.

Honestly, I have yet to really embrace Fall, I mean style-wise. I’m not putting much effort into getting dressed. Maybe that’s a good thing. I keep meaning to spend some time putting together outfits and getting inspired but I’ve been busy working, doing home reno and running middle schoolers around. Today, with those jean-craving feelings still lingering, I decided to try on all my denim. And non-denim. Are you excited? Well, here they are: my 17 pairs of pants.

JEANS

I’m really happy with all my jeans especially the Lucky black ones. All the GAP jeans are faves as well as the Citizen of Humanity and Madewell pairs. The H&Ms don’t get chosen often but I think they look good. The one pair I might retire are the J. Crew ones, mostly because they’re so thin and rip more every time I wear them. Also they’re a little too low rise. I’ve gotten a ton of wear out of them in the 4 years I’ve owned them. The AG jeans are also starting to show wear and are a little too big (Skinny jeans aren’t supposed to be baggy, right?) I documented all my pants with the same white GAP t-shirt and my Lotta from Stockholm clogs, but many of these would look better with boots since they’re fairly cropped. I think the only addition I could make would be a pair of medium wash skinny jeans that really fit.

NOT JEANS (AKA CHINOS & TROUSERS)

Now the “slacks”. Don’t you love that word. Or trousers. The first pair is from a great brand Scotch and Soda or Maison Scotch for the women’s line. They look good but are tight. They are a beautiful thin chino fabric. The Old Navy chinos are a lot more comfy. And then the Top Shop trousers are really too big and never get worn, but they seem so ideal. IDK. I’m torn about the Old Navy ochre-colored chinos. They feel good and are a nice change from all the blue and black. Definitely look better with different styling. The army green chinos are an old favorite, too big now, but can’t give them up. I’m warming up to the camo pants but don’t wear them with a tuck because they do a weird are-you-pregnant thing. And those plaid pants! Can’t wait for the holidays! Some of these won’t get worn much in Fall and Winter. Not sure what’s missing here.

What do you think? Should I add a new pair of jeans or stick with my Low Buy Challenge and wear what I have?

#jeans #tshirts #clogs #cloglife #useless_lowbuy #2020wehaveplenty

How to Shop Smart in Fall

How to Shop Smart in Fall

Keeping in mind the Low Buy Challenge, I have not been shopping very much. I avoided shopping ‘because it’s Fall’ and reminded myself that I don’t need any more clothes. I don’t need the new styles. I know what’s “me” and I have so many items in my closet that are tried and true. I pulled out my fall/winter clothes and integrated them back into my closet. Hello sweaters and boots. Definitely don’t need any more of those. Jean? I’ve got plenty. It feels really good to realize that. If I do add something, it’s been on my wish list for a while and I only purchase what I truly need. Here’s what I’ve gotten over the last few months:

J Crew black watch Crimson plaid tuxedo pants (thrifted)

I bought this pair of plaid pants at a consignment shop I recently found. It’s a great place to sell clothes as well! I love extending the life of old items.

Gap pull on shorts in black

Then I found a perfect pair of black shorts on sale at the Gap. I probably won’t wear them much until next year, but they were exactly what I had been looking for all summer.

Gap vintage wash crewneck

I also got a soft tee in a forrest-y green that I will probably wear as a pajama top.

Vans Old Skool skate shoes

The best addition was these Old Skool Vans. I finally caved into Pinterest influence and got them! They look so cool with so many outfits, I’m so excited to wear them. Also very happy I found them for a great price because they are kids’ (I’m a youth 7/Womens’ 8.5) and they were on sale.

Gap softspun joggers

Gap truesleep modal joggers

Aerie weekend jogger

Finally, I picked up two pair of PJ pants at Gap and one pair of sweats from Aerie. It was not easy finding loungewear these days and I really needed to upgrade my pajamas.

I think this will wrap up my fall shopping!

New Wardrobe Additions and Things I Want For Fall

New Wardrobe Additions and Things I Want For Fall

As you may know, I’m working on a low-buy challenge this year. Since I last wrote about it at the end of June, I have bought only a few items.

Madewell Camp Shorts

I LOVE these shorts. They are decadently HIGH-WAISTED and that is everything to me right now. I want them in white but they’re sold out now. I sized down a size. My original inspiration was these by The Great.

Nike Icon Clash Shorts

I’m such a minimalist. I go for solid black… or white. So explain to me why I chose these crazy patterned shorts? Other than they had them in my size and they were flattering. Uh, also, they match the weird sports bra I bought back in June.

Nike Swim Top

Ha ha. I bought this to go with the above shorts. Only it’s not a sports bra. It’s a swim top. I actually found the matching bottoms but they were a no-go. So, I figured, this was a two-fer. I can wear it to workout in or to swim. (I had not yet realized I had already bought the matching Icon Clash Bra.)

 

That’s it! One pair of shorts and one workout outfit. And workout clothes don’t even really count when we’re talking wardrobe additions, right? Right?

I keep looking through my closet and browsing online and I keep coming back to the thought that: I DON’T NEED ANY MORE CLOTHES. Sorry for shouting. I could have just bolded or italicized that. Maybe I’ve just been too busy to shop. Cleaning out the basement, going to the beach, kids starting back to school, training a puppy. I’m just living my life, you know?

But, here are a couple very carefully selected items I might buy this Fall.

RE/DONE Jeans

I’ve been wanting these for a while. It would be a splurge. I’ve heard you can give them your measurements and they will work with you to find the perfect fit. Did I hear that from another blogger? Or did I dream that?

Babaa Cardigan

Oh, the elusive perfect white cardigan! I think I should just go ahead and get this really nice one.

Everlane Grey Cashmere Turtleneck

I may finally pull the trigger on this sweater. Haven’t found another I like better.

 

And probably a pair of clog boots. 😉