Why a Closet Declutter is Important for your Self Confidence

We’ve all been there. You’re already running late. Your toothbrush is hanging out of your mouth while you sort through hanger after hanger, and you can’t find anything to wear. Everything in your closet either doesn’t fit, or makes you long for your body in college – so you wear the same exact outfit you wore the last seven times you went out. This makes you feel bad about yourself, so when you do put on that outfit that fits, your self image has already plummeted to the floor. That my friend, is how you know it’s time for a closet declutter.

Now I’m going to start this post off with a real sucker punch to the throat for you. If you know me in real life, you know I am petite. I am an overwhelming five feet tall, towering over all the little kids in Target. (You get the picture. I’m tiny.) HOWEVER – It is COMPLETELY possible for petite girls to have issues with their self confidence and body type. Let me say that one more time for the people in the back.

IT IS COMPLETELY POSSIBLE FOR PETITE GIRLS TO HAVE ISSUES WITH THEIR SELF CONFIDENCE AND BODY TYPE.

Alright, I’m going to go off on a little rant before we start to talk about the whole closet declutter thing. If a petite girl goes shopping with her friends, and makes a negative comment about her own body, she likely is immediately met with comments like “oh please, you’re so skinny” or “yeah right, you can wear anything you want!” Now tell me – how is that being a supportive and uplifting friend? Yeah, it’s not. Just because petite girls may not have the same issues as their beautifully curvy friends doesn’t mean shopping for jeans is all unicorns and rainbows. Because let’s be honest – it’s a real shot to your womanhood when you can wear a dress from the girls section in Target.

Anyways – whatever your reason is for dreading getting dressed in the morning, it’s time to tackle it and get rid of it. For me, that means going through your clothes and finally getting rid of those things you’ve been holding on to for three years that “might fit again one day.” I find the easiest way to do this, is to empty out all of the contents of your closet, and go through each piece one by one. As you put items back into your closet, make sure they actually fit your body today – not last year.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment with all your old clothes. You were so much smaller when that cute maxi dress fit, but now it’s more like a tube top on you. Your thighs didn’t rub together when you used to wear that pencil skirt, but now you can’t zip it all the way. That peplum top fit you so well until you started breastfeeding, and then your boobs said otherwise.

Whatever your reason, whatever the memory – get rid of it. It can be so depressing and a huge blow to your self confidence to wake up in the morning and look at the same closet full of clothes that don’t fit anymore. They serve as a constant reminder of what was, instead of what you are today.

Now I am preaching to the choir in this post ya’ll. Like I said earlier, I still am a fairly petite girl, but pregnancy took my body out back, beat it with a stick, and left me with a jiggly mess. I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss my pre-pregnancy body. However I’ve come to love my body the way it is today. My flat stomach is now graced with a beautiful mom pudge that hangs over my pants – and that’s ok. It’s a reminder that my little body GAVE BIRTH to a 7 1/2 pound baby girl. My thighs are much thicker than they used to be and are covered with stretch marks. But that’s ok, because they helped support my ballooning belly for nine months. Because of these things and many others, so many clothes in my collection don’t fit anymore.

Let’s even go beyond the fit of your clothes. Chances are, you aren’t going to wear that sequined tube dress that you always wore on your GNO’s in college. If you’re a working professional now, you probably don’t want to wear that tube top to the office. If you work from home or are a stay at home mom, you may not need quite as many dress slacks and blouses. It’s ok for your style needs to change as your stages in life change. Don’t hold on to pieces just because of the past.

Anyways, every time I got dressed, I would pick out the same cute little tank top and think to myself “maybe today’s the day it will fit.” And every time I was met with the same result. It hugged my belly much tighter than it used to, and it would be impossible to nurse my daughter in. Today I decided to stop being so hard on myself and remove the temptation for those negative thoughts. I purged my closet of all the clothes I’ve been holding on to for the last year and a half that “might fit again one day.”

Now when I open my closet doors, I am met with satisfaction. I can see all the pieces in my wardrobe that fit my body today, not tomorrow, TODAY. Is my wardrobe as large as I would like it to be? Of course not. I will hopefully add new pieces to my collection over time. And that’s ok! Our wardrobes should be like our stages in life, constantly changing and evolving to keep up with one another. Don’t let your closet become a place of despair and harsh thoughts. I challenge you to go home, declutter your closet and leave yourself with a little bit of happiness when you get dressed in the mornings.

PS – anyone else find the number of Target hangers in their closet disgusting? 😀

 

An Honest Stitchfix Review

Alright guys, I finally bit the bullet and tried out the Stitchfix clothing subscription box. If you haven’t heard of it before, it really is a neat idea. You fill out a pretty extensive ‘style profile’ where you answer questions about your lifestyle, clothing choices, likes and dislikes and so on. You are then ‘matched’ with a stylist and they curate a box of five pieces and send it your way. The initial styling fee is $20 just for the box to be curated, and then you have the option to purchase each piece on top of that – so keep that in mind. You are also given the option to set a budget for each type of clothing and accessories, based on how much you’d like to spend per piece. It really is a neat idea if shopping has become a hassle to you, whether it’s because of a lack of time, little ones, whatever! So here it is, my honest Stitchfix review.

The box arrived within a week of my initial contact. Everything came wrapped up nice and neat within this tissue paper and pretty box – points for presentation!

The first item in the box – the Liverpool Mirabella Capri Skinny Jeans. These jeans were $68, which would make them the most expensive pair of jeans in my collection. Let me preface the rest of the post by saying this. I am a bargain hunter. The clearance rack is my best friend and I never pay full price for anything. I recently saw a cute romper in Target that I loved, and it’s full price was $24. I waited and waited for it to go on clearance, and recently purchased it for $8. So needless to say, I had a really hard time justifying $68 for these jeans.

I will also say, I had a really hard time not purchasing them. I didn’t buy them mainly because of the price of the whole box, but we’ll get into that later. But anyways, these jeans ya’ll. They were amazing. As you can see, they don’t have the typical zipper and jean waistband – they’re elastic. ELASTIC YA’LL. They rose high enough on my midsection to hide my mom tummy and kept it nice and tucked in. I’m also extremely short, and the length on these jeans were absolutely perfect.

I will also be vain for a moment, they made my butt look good. I seriously loved everything about these jeans. The material, the stretch, the waistband, they were a great pick to include in my box. I will definitely be on the lookout for this brand in department stores, and hope I can score a cheaper pair!

Next is this sweet Callum Tulip Sleeve Blouse. This is the only item from the box I kept, priced at $38. Now $38 is a high price for me to pay for a blouse. But I’m currently in a state of awkwardness after having my daughter. I’m not unhappy with my body at all, but my body has changed so much that most of my dressier clothes don’t fit very well anymore. This top fits me perfectly, and made me feel so pretty!  It’s a soft polyester and has a light texture all over, with overlaying cap sleeves. It falls at my hips just right, and doesn’t hug me in any of the wrong places. I mainly kept this top because I can easily dress it down with jeans, or dress it up with a nice pair of slacks. It was definitely another winner of a pick in my box!

Next we have the Romey Cold Shoulder Knit top, coming in at $28. It is a super soft cotton blouse that is light and airy, perfect for summer.

I loved the detail of the sweet cold shoulder sleeves, and how they gathered into a subtle knot at the edge. Cold shoulder tops usually look funny on my petite frame, but this blouse hit in just the right spot on my shoulders. This blouse was very pretty and fit me well, I just couldn’t justify another $28 on a cotton t-shirt.

Lastly, we have the Tasha Knit Dress for $48. This is the main reason I did not keep my entire box. The dress fit well in length, and didn’t fall too far down underneath my arms (which is a usual problem for me). But the style of the dress just wasn’t me. I felt it made me look a little bit older, and I didn’t see myself wearing it often. The material felt nice and was decent quality, it fit very well, It just wasn’t my style.

I also received a pair of earrings that I totally forgot to take a photo of, so here’s a photo from their website.

They were very pretty, and would have fit into my collection very well! I just can’t justify $28 for a pair of costume jewlery earrings. I will say they were nice quality and by no means felt cheap, they just weren’t worth $28 to me.

So let’s round all of this up. Separately, all of these items would have cost me $210. Which is just absurd to me. However purchasing the entire box was $157. My favorite items were really just the tulip blouse and jeans, and I honestly saw myself donating the rest of the items within a year or so. Coming down to those two main pieces I loved, It just wasn’t worth the $157 to purchase the whole box.

If that’s within your price point and in your budget, then that’s wonderful! This is definitely a great service to receive pieces you may not find on your own. I’ve just reached a point in life where I regularly clean out my closet (or entire house) and get rid of the things I don’t find myself using or wearing. For $150, I just felt like I could go out and purchase more items that I would love and enjoy much more.

I will say that they nailed the fit of all of my clothes. As I said before, I am very petite and finding clothes that fit me well (especially post birth) has become difficult. I was anxious to see how these clothes fit without being able to try them on first, and the stylists absolutely nailed it – everything fit perfectly! Ten out of ten stars in that section!

For really matching my style, I’d say they got a four. The tulip blouse I purchased is perfect, and really matches my style. The other items I did think were cute, but if I saw them while out shopping in Loft or JCrew, I may have just walked by them.

And lastly, the cost. Four out of ten stars here, and the reason I won’t be ordering another box. The prices of the items weren’t awful, but definitely more than I usually spend on myself. You also have to keep in mind the $20 styling fee as well. If some of the items felt a little higher quality, I may not have such an issue paying a higher price tag, but for me the quality just wasn’t there. Overall it was a fun experience, receiving a surprise box of clothes and accessories on your doorstep is something new and exciting for sure! If you have the room in your budget and are looking to treat yourself – give it a try! However for me, things just weren’t worth the extra cash.

 

3 Easy Tips to Style Your Family Photos

Family photos are one of those things you love to hate. You of course love the outcome – beautiful photos of your sweet family that you’ll cherish forever. The process however, isn’t as peaceful. As a mother and a photographer, I completely understand both sides. You want your family to look their best, because you don’t want sloppy looking photos to share with friends and family, right? One of the easiest ways to help your photos turn out the best they can be, is by planning your outfits ahead of time. I know, you can hear the kids and your husband grumbling already. The idea of matching clothes makes your family members cringe, but if momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy – so they allow us this one little pleasure 🙂 Here are a few family photo ideas for you and your tribe.

Don’t Be Matchy Matchy

My first and most obvious tip to you, is to avoid the super matchy. We all know the family that has photos done on the beach, and everyone is wearing white tshirts and dark wash blue jeans. While those photos are beautiful, they are very dated in my opinion. You can get so much more creative with your outfits! The usual tip I give to families, is to choose a color scheme with two or three colors to stick with. Within that scheme, you can add some prints and solids.

Family Photo Ideas

Take a look at the Clark family for example. Nicole choose a beautiful deep purple and gold as her main colors, and accented them with neutral colors like cream and gray. The different prints between she and the girls aren’t quite identical, yet the colors compliment each other perfectly. She found her pants and the girls dresses at Old Navy – which is truly the one place I always suggest people go when looking for outfits for family photos!

 Family Photo Ideas

The last time my husband and I had family photos taken, we got a few pieces from Old Navy that all coordinated perfectly. We chose coral and blue as our main color scheme. My husband’s shirt and my shawl came from Old Navy, and BOOM we had the perfect outfits. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, you can always count on Old Navy to have clothes across the entire store that coordinate with one another.

Take Care of the Kids First

Tip number two is honestly the most important one – buy your kids outfits first. Even if your kids are young, you know what brands of clothing fit them best and what they’re comfortable in. If your kids are uncomfortable, your photo session is more than likely going to end with frazzled parents and unhappy kids. To avoid mayhem, go with what you know! Whether it be Old Navy, Cat and Jack, The Children’s Place or Carter’s, find a cute piece that you know will be comfortable on your kids. Also, it’s getting harder and harder to find solid color kids clothing these days, so let them wear the bold prints. You can easily accent them yourself with solid colored pieces.

Layer it Up

The last tip is an easy one – dress in layers. Even if you’re getting photos taken in the summer time, you can buy a loose coverup and wear it over a tank top or t-shirt. Wearing different layers will first of all add texture and depth to your look. Layers can hide areas you may be insecure about, accessorize your outfit, and even act as a buffer. And by buffer, I pretty much mean kid proof. If you have your son wearing a plaid collared shirt with a colored shirt underneath, you have a back up plan. Just in case he gets a stain on his plaid shirt, no worries! You have his colored t-shirt as a backup that still matches.

As with anything, try not to stress about getting the perfect family photos taken. Your kids will pick up on your tension, and likely feed off of it. Not every single photo is going to be perfectly posed, and that’s honestly a beautiful representation of your family. No family is perfectly dressed and well mannered all the time. Embrace the crazy, let your kids make silly faces and enjoy yourselves. When was the last time you had family photos taken, and how did they turn out?