Jessica’s Pared-Down, Style-Defined Wardrobe

This post is part of a Show & Tell series of posts featuring TROG readers and the capsule wardrobe-inspired changes they’ve made to their wardrobes and lives. Read all the posts in this series here.

Jessica writes:

I’m not a minimalist, really; but in the last year, my wardrobe has changed pretty dramatically. I went from a closet full of things I didn’t enjoy wearing, to a closet full of versatile mix-and-match pieces that I love. I discovered that I really like to wear layers, so I have a small selection of plain t-shirts with various sleeve lengths, and a larger selection of sweaters, cardigans, vests, and lace tops to wear over the tshirts. I have a moderate number of skirts. Here is a picture of the little capsule wardrobe I put together for a 5-day trip out of town to my mom’s: 24 possible outfits, 14 separate pieces.

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Thanks for allowing us this little peek, Jessica! I love the point you brought out that it’s not necessary to limit yourself to a certain number of pieces; the point is to invest in clothes that fit your body and your style and that you can wear and feel good in.

You can follow Jessica on Pinterest and if you found this post helpful or inspiring, leave her some love in the comments below!

Mindy’s High School Wardrobe Mastery

This post is part of a Show & Tell series of posts featuring TROG readers and the capsule wardrobe-inspired changes they’ve made to their wardrobes and lives. Read all the posts in this series here.

Mindy is the youngest of my three sisters, and by far the youngest participant in this blog challenge. 🙂 She writes:

Fall 2015 has been my very first capsule, and I am L O V I N G the concept, although I haven’t gotten picky and down to the details on it. One of my favorite parts about capsule is how it makes me be intentional about what I purchase, and even about what I wear. I tend to get stuck on a track, wearing only a few of my very favorite things over and over until I am tired of them, and I’m sure everyone that sees me is too.

At first when my sisters got started with capsule wardrobe, I was intrigued, but certain that it wouldn’t work for me right now. But Melanie was so excited about it, and so sure that I would love it, that I decided to actually try it.

I love so many things about capsule, but my absolute favorite part is the confidence-builder that it has been for me. I care about looking good, and when I don’t feel like I look good, that pretty much puts a damper on my entire day. Part of it I’m sure is that I care way too much about what other people think of me, but I think that as women, we want to look good, and need to be able to feel good about ourselves. When I love every piece hanging in my closet, it is so much easier for me to put on an outfit, look in the mirror, and actually like what I see.

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I L O V E fall. Everything about it. Pretty leaves, coffee, bonfires, blankets, pumpkin everything, hayrides, hoodies…it’s just wonderful.

Plaid will always be one of my go-to pieces in fall. So cozy, comfortable, and comforting! And I love how many ways you can wear it. Scarf, cardigan with cuffed sleeves, open over another shirt, pull-over sweater over it, or just by itself!

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Another one of my favorites this season has been my chambray button-down. If you don’t have one of these, go buy one. Such a simple, versatile piece! If I could wear mine every day, I would. This is the first piece that I applied the capsule method of paying a bit more for something that I absolutely love, and it hasn’t disappointed! This has been such a fun piece for me, as I can dress it up or down, depending on the occasion.

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​Needless to say, I am loving capsule wardrobe so far, and to all the skeptics, I would definitely say give it a try! The process itself is so fun, and you will not regret it! I can’t wait to start on my winter capsule!

Mindy, I’m so proud of the changes you’ve made and what a fabulous job you’ve done of implementing the capsule concept at the ripe old age of fifteen. You’re amazing!

This girl’s got good taste, y’all — you can connect with her on Pinterest, and if you found this post helpful or inspiring, leave her some love in the comments below!

Rosanna’s Freeing Wardrobe Makeover

This post is part of a Show & Tell series of posts featuring TROG readers and the capsule wardrobe-inspired changes they’ve made to their wardrobes and lives. Read all the posts in this series here.

Rosanna writes:

Wardrobe capsule….you could say I’m in the very beginning stages; this fall has been my very first attempt, but I’m sold already! I was telling a friend the other day though, that here in Pennsylvania, it might be easier to start your very first capsule in the winter or summer, versus fall or spring, because the fluctuating temperatures have made it a bit more of a challenge for me to know what to incorporate.

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This summer my wardrobe had gotten out of control with clothes just overflowing my drawers and closet. I was so busy with my garden, preserving, starting a business, and three little ones to care for. But I determined that by October 1st something needed to change. Enter capsule wardrobe! While I still feel like I may need to add a few key pieces (I’ve mostly been making do with what I already had in my closet), it has freed up my mind tremendously! I lost count of how many pieces I got rid of, but at one point I remember I was at #58 in items to get rid of!

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This is definitely a practice that I plan to continue, and I want to thank Melanie for her insightful blog posts on capsule wardrobes!

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Thanks for your kind words, Rosanna! I’m delighted to hear that capsule wardrobe has brought such positive improvement to your life. Thanks for sharing some of your journey with us!

You can keep up with Rosanna on Instagram here, and if you found this post helpful or inspiring, leave her some love in the comments below!

Sara’s Classy Capsule Lifestyle

This post is part of a Show & Tell series of posts featuring TROG readers and the capsule wardrobe-inspired changes they’ve made to their wardrobes and lives. Read all the posts in this series here.

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Sara writes:

This is not a fad for me…this is a serious lifestyle change that I fully embraced over a year ago. I am currently in my fifth capsule and am still loving the process.

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Having less has given me so much more: more time to spend with my dog in the morning instead of contemplating what to wear, more money to spend on experiences rather than items, more mental free space to focus on projects and ideas that really matter to me, and more soundness in what my personal style and preferences are.

I’ve learned so much about myself and my tastes through this practice, and I don’t think the learning process will ever stop. You slowly notice a theme or certain patterns developing in your closet. My personal uniform is made up mostly of black, grey, or white, of sandals, and of maxi skirts or dresses.

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The idea of a capsule wardrobe started in my closet but has leaked into all facets of my life. I have narrowed down my make-up, my cleaning supplies, my books, and my photo albums. The KonMari Method, found in Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up really says it all: if it does not spark joy, get rid of it. You will be glad you did.

Side note: Stylebook is WELL worth the few dollars to purchase the app. Putting together different looks and combinations within a capsule is incredibly easy with their user-friendly interface.

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Thanks for sharing these fabulous photos with us, Sara! I LOVE your work look ensembles.

Follow Sara on Instagram at @micro_human. And if you found this post helpful or inspiring, leave her some love in the comments below!

Recent Goodie Realizations | Version 11.15

November Goodies

  1. My sister Krista gave me this gorgeous, ultra-cozy scarf for my birthday and I am loving it for the cold weather!
  2. I recently invested in a Dew Drop style diffuser from Young Living, and think it’s so much more classy-looking than my Tulip style Home Diffuser.
  3. Totally obsessed with the SPROUT Pregnancy app. I have about eight different ones on my phone right now, but this is by far my favorite! You can even hear a heartbeat.
  4. I just rediscovered Usborne Books, a home party company that was popular when I was little. I adore the books about Pipkin the inquisitive penguin, especially the one pictured above!
  5. Another current obession? These Tootsie Rolls. Why are they so delicious?!
  6. Caleb and I spent a little time at the mall on my birthday and discovered for the first time LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics. If you have a store near you, you’ve got to check it out! Such a cool place. Caleb is especially loving his new mustache wax and deodorant block, pictured above.

What are you obsessing over this month?

Alicia’s Less-is-More Closet Approach

This post is part of a Show & Tell series of posts featuring TROG readers and the capsule wardrobe-inspired changes they’ve made to their wardrobes and lives. Read all the posts in this series here.

Alicia writes:

Though I have not followed the capsule wardrobe idea to a T (no pun intended), the choice to live with less and make intentional shopping decisions has been life-changing as far as my closet is concerned. I love shopping for clothes. It’s like therapy for me. Actually, it practically bordered on obsession until recently.

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I remember reading several blog posts about the simplicity of the capsule wardrobe. I looked at my closet, stuffed with all seasons and all styles, and decided it was time for a change. It took me several days weeks to purge, organize, and delegate what goes to which store. Off-season clothes went in a plastic bin under my bed (this is a superb option for me as it’s easy to switch out seasons when the next one comes around!)

I don’t do well “sticking to the book” so to speak, but my shopping habits have decreased from several times a week to once every 1-2 weeks and only as needed. I haven’t “arrived” yet, but for the first time in my life I feel overall content with the apparel in my closet. As an added benefit, I have made approximately $80 in the past month on my purging efforts, thanks to Plato’s Closet and a nearby consignment store. Score!

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A few of my favorite fall/winter items: thrifted black boots, and Oxford hoes (Rue 21 clearance a year ago)
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Current favorite outfit: plaid + scarves (pictured here, both from Target) …so comfortable and perfect for school, work, church, and coffee with a friend. Basically, perfect for almost anything.

I love hearing about the positive changes you’ve been able to make to your shopping habits, Alicia! Thanks for sharing!

Check out Alicia’s blog, Musings of a Twenty-Something to get to know her more, and if you found this post helpful or inspiring, leave her some love in the comments below!

Guest Post | A New Mama’s Life-Changing Diet + Supplement Journey

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Photo credit to Lexarie Photography

It’s a privilege and honor for me to introduce to you today my friend Brittany Musser of Natural Wellness Mama. Brittany and I, though we’d mostly lost contact in recent years, go way back…we were two of about ten baby girls born during the space of about eight months within the church our families were a part of at the time. (As you can imagine, this made for some pretty epic birthday parties when we were little tots.) Fast forward nearly a quarter-century, and here we are starting our own families. Brittany has been an inspiration to me over the last year or so especially as I’ve followed her health & wellness journey, particularly with the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan and the growing Plexus trend. And since health and wellness are NOT my areas of expertise, but something I believe we’d all do well to pay more attention to, I’ve asked Brittany to share her story here today. I’ll let her take it from here!

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Life takes on a whole new meaning when you become a mother. You are responsible for this new little life that demands your constant attention and care. All your time is dedicated to the wellbeing of your child, and things get put on the back burner…and often times, they tend to be important things. Important things take time, dedication, determination, and energy. And those are exactly the things that I lacked as a new mom and I didn’t have any extra to spare. It felt like all my time and energy was being put into this new role of being a mom and I was VERY determined to be the best mom I could be. Motherhood is one of God’s greatest blessings, but the struggle is real. Motherhood is HARD. And in the midst of all the chaos there are many important things that can be put to the wayside, but one in particular is your health.

I found this out first hand in the weeks and months after giving birth. I knew I should be eating healthy and taking my vitamins to nourish myself and my baby, but cooking healthy takes a lot more time and preparation and energy, and taking my vitamins seemed to be the last thing on my mind when all I wanted to do was sleep. I quickly realized taking care of my health became much more of a challenge since becoming a mother. I would make excuses and tell myself that I am in a season of my life where it is next to impossible to take care of my health. But, we can NOT rely on our own strength or it may very well be next to impossible. Ask God to give you the desire to take care of your health and to walk with you on the journey. Your body is God’s temple, so let’s make taking care of His temple a top priority.

I have also learned that I owe it to my husband and my children to take care of myself. Our children deserve healthy, energetic mamas! We as mothers are not doing our families any favors by neglecting our health. Instead of using our children as an excuse for not having time and energy to take care of ourselves, let’s use them as our motivation! I like how Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison say it in their first book, Trim Healthy Mama:

Our body is not only our own. You are your husband’s investment and your children’s role model. Attaining a healthy weight and learning the art of maintaining that weight is not only a gift to yourself, but is one you keep giving your husband and children throughout the years.

I believe we can take this statement and apply it to general overall health and wellbeing. Maintaining our health and vitality is not only a gift to ourselves, but to our families and to God as well. Since becoming a mother and going through some struggles myself, helping mothers recover and maintain their health is a new found passion of mine and I would like to share with you a few of my favorite tools that I use every day.

Two years ago my mom gave me the book Trim Healthy Mama as an early Christmas gift. I was VERY skeptical at first, and thought it was just another unhealthy diet that promoted the use of toxin-laden diet foods. Yuck. But, it actually turned out to be one of the best gifts I was ever given and changed the way I look at food, and is hands-down my favorite tool for maintaining my health. I love how it is written from a Christian perspective, and chock-full of information. I am by nature a researcher, so I LOVE to read informative books, however long they may be.

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The “THM” way of eating is a family-friendly lifestyle change that was designed to optimize your health while keeping your sanity, which is especially important for all us mothers out there. It is low glycemic, protein-centered, and focuses on the importance of not spiking your blood sugar. Being gentle to your blood sugar is a must if you want to lose weight and is vital to your overall wellbeing. Too much insulin has an inflammatory effect on the body, and when you don’t have enough, your body’s cells begin to starve. A little bit of knowledge on how blood sugar reacts to different foods will make a huge difference in the way we look at “eating healthy.” Even healthy food can be dangerous to our insulin levels.

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In addition to the THM plan, I also supplement. To quote Pearl and Serene again:

It would be nice to say that a whole foods diet can give you all the vitamins and minerals you need, but this is the real world. Let’s face it, we need a few extras to keep our bodies protected and running at optimum.

For this reason, ever since I began my THM journey, I have tried my best at keeping a supplementation routine as described in the book. I am so thrilled I came across Plexus products, because they work hand-in-hand with THM! Especially because it helps stabilize your blood sugar. This is my second favorite tool! My supplement routine has been greatly simplified, but at the same time, I feel like it’s more complete and effective. I was super skeptical when I first heard of Plexus. All I heard about was the “pink drink,” which I just assumed was full of junk. But I didn’t realize Plexus is a complete health and wellness company with numerous supplements and vitamins, and even a probiotic. So after researching the ingredients and discovering how nourishing they are for the body, I decided to give Plexus a try.

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At the time, I was also dealing with severe fatigue, yeast, and hormonal issues after having my baby. But after the blues and fatigue didn’t improve much even after my daughter was sleeping through the night and I was six months postpartum, I knew I needed to do something about it. A lot of people might say that is normal after having a baby, which is true to an extent. But just because something is deemed normal, does not mean that’s the way it’s supposed to be and that we just have to live with it.

I am happy to report that my health has greatly improved since starting Plexus supplements six months ago. The Slim has given me energy, cleared the brain fog and also boosted my milk supply for my still-nursing little girl. Our yeast issues have been resolved thanks to the probiotic, and to my delight, my eyesight has noticeably improved after adding in the XFactor as my multivitamin. All this combined with eating the Trim Healthy Mama way, and I have never felt better. Health is really such a blessing.

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Trim Healthy Mama is not just for crunchy mamas and health fanatics, and Plexus is not just for people with health issues or weight to loose. Both are beneficial to people from all different walks of life to help us maintain our health and vitality! So let’s encourage each other to make healthy choices for ourselves and our families, and to allow ourselves grace on the journey.

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You can get in touch with Brittany on her Facebook page or on Instagram (@thenaturalwellnessmama).

Have questions we could all benefit from hearing the answers to? Ask away in the comment section below! Did you enjoy this post? Let us know! I’m hoping this won’t be the last we’ll hear from Brittany here at The Realization of Good. Until next time…best wishes for your pursuit of health + wellness! ❤

Krista’s Perfect Chambray Find

This post is part of a Show & Tell series of posts featuring TROG readers and the capsule wardrobe-inspired changes they’ve made to their wardrobes and lives. Read all the posts in this series here.

Krista is the oldest of my three sisters, and being my main girl as such, had to put up with all my crazy excitement about capsule wardrobe back in Fall of ’14 when I first started the project. Fortunately, it didn’t take too long before I convinced her to give it a try for herself, and of course I dived right in helping her go through her stuff, take pictures for Stylebook, and shop for the missing pieces. She didn’t mind my older sister bossiness for once, and we had a blast!

She writes:

I think the biggest thing that I have found vital to compiling my capsule wardrobe is remembering that cheaper is not always better. I grew up shopping in thrift stores and Goodwill; the only times we shopped for brand-new items was with a coupon or during a great sale, and even then we mainly only shopped the clearance racks. While this concept sounds fine, usually (in my case at least) this means buying poorer quality as well.

When I first started implementing the idea of capsule wardrobe into my lifestyle last fall, I purchased a pullover sweater that I found really cheap and loved. However, when I pulled it out this fall to add it to my wardrobe, I realized quickly that it really just looked far too worn out. In hindsight, I should have searched for one that was similar but made with higher quality materials before spending the money to buy one that only lasted me one season.

This season I was on an extensive search for “the perfect chambray shirt.” I found one at Old Navy that I thought I could fall in love with someday, but of course, that is just plain down the WRONG attitude. So I decided to put this “it’s ok to spend more on better quality/something that you absolutely love” theory to the test. I found my lovely chambray at Maurices, and since being thrifty is still engraved in my body, soul, and mind, I was even able to get $10 off!

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Image via Maurices.com

This shirt has been a game changer for my wardrobe.  I’m sure that by now I don’t have to convince you to go buy one for yourself; its versatility is downright noble. I’m eager to see how well this shirt wears. I’ve probably washed it 5­-8 times since I bought it in the beginning of October, and it always comes out just as soft and comfy as when I bought it. One downside for me is that it does tend to wrinkle fairly easily, but I feel like that’s a small price to pay for how well it fits me and how comfy it is. I’m so excited to find other exciting bits of this capsule wardrobe adventure!

Thanks for sharing your [very wise] insight on the budget-mentality side of the capsule concept, Krista!

You can keep up with Krista on Instagram here. And if you found this post helpful or inspiring, leave her some love in the comments below!