WIW ALLGO (A little less going on)

I know this outfit (#1/2) doesn't look like much and is kind of different from my usual matchy matchy, but I felt pretty good wearing it. I first started out by pairing the matching floral blouse and skirt like I did in #3/4 (http://goldenpig.lookfab.com/p.....-and-mini-), but I didn't really feel like doing super matchy matchy. Then I thought, well let me try denim on denim like Angie's post, but couldn't figure out a way to do it that felt right for work. So I ended up going with the denim shirt with the floral skirt, and pairing it with very simple silver accessories (a disc necklace with my children's initials on it and a plain silver bracelet). Still had a bit of matchy matchy with the silver purse and silver sandals, but overall a more subdued, "normal" look. But I still felt really good in it, and got lots of compliments on the skirt and my outfit. I think I'm getting this urge to simplify a little and have a little less going on. Not all the time, but sometimes. I just don't want to have everything perfect and fussy all the time. And I don't want to stand out all the time or look like I'm trying too hard. Don't worry, I'm not completely rejecting my matchy matchy gene (how could I not resist the fun of #4!).

But I'm feeling the urge to try to simplify my life a little bit. Things are so busy and chaotic with work, kids, and our home is a complete mess, it looks like a medical bookstore, scuba shop, and toy store all exploded. We both tend to be sentimental hoarders and I have so little free time to try to clean up. I really want to start purging stuff and stop accumulating. I bought and read the Marie Kondo book a while ago, but I've barely scratched the surface. I have Simplicity Parenting and now The More of Less on my nightstand (I also signed up for the Uncluttered course that came free with that book). Just not sure how to do it with my closet though...I like so much of it! The thought of trying to reduce my wardrobe by half makes me nauseous! I've done minor purges before and pass stuff onto my sister, so almost everything left sparks joy! I did my whole handbag month (for 3 months, LOL) and only ended up purging one purse (the most expensive one, granted). I have more than enough dresses to wear a different one each day for over a month. Same with skirts. I think I need an intervention (wish Angie or someone could come edit my closet!) I just don't think I can become a closet minimalist, it's not in my nature. But I can try to stop adding so much. I returned all the Target Marimekko stuff except for swimsuits for DD (it all looked awful on me with my belly pooch and not that great quality). And I'm planning to return most of the Banana Republic stuff I posted in my last K/R, except maybe the palazzo pants for fun. The floral suit is just not happening. I want to feel more relaxed and blend in a bit more and the floral suit is the total opposite of that goal.

So I felt rather peaceful in my outfit. It still had pattern (which I love) and a tiny bit of matchy matchy with the accessories, just not so hypermatchy. It reminded me of my ALLGO outfit I posted a couple of years ago (#5/6 and http://goldenpig.lookfab.com/p.....blue-jeans for fun baby pics!) I always felt like simple was boring, but simple can be freeing too. I still love matchy matchy, but wanting to explore my ALLGO side too.

Guess our time is up! Thanks for letting me lie down on the couch and vent for a while! 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • JAileen replied 3 years ago

    Oh come on - if you only had five dresses in your closet you'd still have a mad house because - two jobs and three kids. You really enjoy your matchy matchiness (and so do we) so don't get rid of it. Maybe just collect it more slowly in the future.

    If you do get rid of stuff, don't forget, I'm first in line to buy your map bag!

  • Runcarla replied 3 years ago

    Ditto! Don't change what works for you. Organized chaos and all that.

  • goldenpig replied 3 years ago

    JAileen, you're too funny (and correct!). I forget that it's not the stuff, it's my life that's messy! My anxiety with purging is that occasionally I miss something I purged. Like I asked for the white Zara jacket back from my sister and have been wearing it a lot lately. And that combined with not wanting to spend any more is making me want to hang on to a lot "just in case". I'm glad you like the map bag, it's one of my favorites. I wouldn't ever sell it, I was lucky enough to inherit it from Rae, one of her flea market finds! I'm sure I have other stuff I should let go of though. That OC swap I went to a few years ago (http://goldenpig.lookfab.com/p.....shoe-shots) was a lot of fun and I enjoy seeing things in rotation, like my rust skirt on Ms. Mary.

  • shedev replied 3 years ago

    You really have some phenominal things in your closet. I don't really think that it is a great idea to just get rid of half your items to be minimalist if they still spark joy. I think there is a lot of value in letting your heart and head both be done with an Item before letting it go. I've slowly been reducing the amount of my stuff. If I'd gone faster, I would have been more likely to replace more of it.

  • UmmLila replied 3 years ago

    It feels better once you get past the plastic toys everywhere stage. I'm happy with a full closet but I don't like clutter and papers everywhere -- makes me feel stressed out. I like the low key looks.

  • Sally replied 3 years ago

    I only have one kid but work full time and often look after international students so have a busy life. I find a full wardrobe and things all over the house adds to the craziness. I sometimes pack clothes away and live from a capsule wardrobe for a season then go back to my pieces I packed away.

  • Aida replied 3 years ago

    Natalie I totally understand the urge to simplify! I go back and forth with this. Sometimes when life feels hectic I want simple outfits... and sometimes it feels perfect to complement the craziness and wear something equally hectic! I think it can be tougher to balance as mood dressers, doubly so if you've got an eclectic streak. Personally I feel that there's room for both kinds of outfits BUT if you aren't feeling it in the more ALGO looks, or they're actually causing you stress getting dressed, then definitely simplifying is the way to go. You could always box some of your stuff up instead of straight up purging and set the box aside; my hunch is that to make this really useful you'd have to set aside quite a bit, say 1/3.

    I adore both the full floral outfit in #3 AND the very simple and classic look in #5. Both are amazing outfits on you! For #1 I want the shirt tucked or semi-tucked so it will play a little better with the pretty skirt.

  • catgirl replied 3 years ago

    Aw, Natalie!  Both of these looks are wonderful and suit you beautifully.  There is nothing wrong with having a few different styles, and you certainly have the need and skill for both simplicity and matchy-matchy ALGO!

    I have to say, it cracks me up that you have a small collection of books on simplifying. :)  My house is a similar disaster - only one kid, but he is messy and active in sports so there is gear everywhere, and DH and I both work really stressful jobs, and we have five pets that are always shedding, barfing, kicking litter around, getting in the trash, or tracking in dirt.  And none of us are particularly orderly or neat.  We have piles of unread New Yorkers and Sports Illustrated and InStyle.  Because we are just always on the go, sometimes the house feels like a way-station.  Just yesterday I told DH I was going to go nuts if we didn't get the house clean before my parents come and I have my surgery.  On the other hand, there's so much I'd rather do, and cleaning quickly becomes my last priority when there's a better offer.

    Wardrobe-wise, I think you take the time to figure out what truly makes you happiest and stick with that.  Sometimes - at least for me - it's hard to differentiate the immediate gratification of buying from the joy of owning and using.  It's like the difference between being smitten in love and the post-marriage long term commitment. :)  

    Also, I know you and I can both get caught up in the hunt and obsess over an item (*cough* polar bear clutch).  That's no longer fun for me, and I am trying to learn to let things go before I buy them, rather than after. 

    One thing I see is that your love of matchy means you collect entire sets of things like the Target collabs or the BR outfits.  Do you enjoy that kind of collecting or do you do it out of compulsion and FOMO?  I know that I bought those patched Mother jeans the other day partly out of FOMO panic - I looked online and saw they are sold out, so I immediately started stressing that I would regret not getting them.  But that kind of shopping doesn't always result in a happy purchase for me. 

    So,, if collecting sets really makes you happy, then maybe allow yourself to do that to appease your matchy love, and simplify elsewhere. Your stuff should lift you up, not weigh you down. 

  • Aida replied 3 years ago

    (Una, a little off topic but I think it would be a GREAT idea to get the house picked up and cleaned before your surgery, even if it means hiring someone to do it. You will feel sooooo much better while recovering! We do this before trips or any major Life Thing, because nothing beats coming home and relaxing to a clean house.)

  • Sterling replied 3 years ago

    First off, congratulations on deciding to make changes in your life.  (I am not saying that you need to make changes, only that taking control of aspects of your life is empowering.)  So I support you completely.  

    Here is what I read in your post:  you love your wardrobe and purging is a challenge.  Can you imagine how lucky you are?  Most women I know in real life are not in love with their closets.  Forum members are among the lucky few.  

    So I wouldn't suggest purging until you are completely ready.  By this I mean you find items in your closet that you don't wear because you no longer like the color, the style, the fabric, the fit.  Weed through your closet slowly and comfortably.  

    You should focus your energy on putting a halt to accumulation.  Only knowing you through posts, I want to say this may be hard.  It could be a really fun challenge for yourself.  I wish you success.  Post often so we can support you.  

  • JAileen replied 3 years ago

    I read Marie Kondo. Here's my 2 cents for making life easier. It may apply or not:

    Have someone else clean the house. Every week. This is important. If you can afford Kate Spade, Chanel, etc. you can afford this, and it will make your life better. No stressing over dirt. You will be spending time with your kids instead of the vacuum. You still have to pick up, though. When I worked I LOVED coming home to a sparkling clean house.

    This one might be controversial: Don't get any pets. Kids make it messy, but pets, especially dogs, make it dirty. They are lovely, and I love my two to death, but they really do make the house dirty.

    I empty this much dirt and dog hair out of the vacuum every week!

  • BrieN replied 3 years ago

    You look great in these photos, as always.

    As long as there is a place for everything, your wardrobe is the last place I'd worry about.

    DH and I have sentimental hoarder tendencies as well, so it is an uphill battle, one well worth fighting. It is so wonderful when the house is tidy. I think it makes everyone feel more peaceful.

  • Debbie replied 3 years ago

    Natalie you look amazing. I am not sure how you do everything you do!
    My Grandson's room was sending me over the edge so I hired my cleaning lady a few Saturday's ago and we went through the entire room. It was well worth the money. It is organized and my grandson is actually excited to go and play in there. I can't recommend getting help enough.

  • SandyG replied 3 years ago

    Natalie, I always enjoy reading your detailed posts and reflect on them because I was a young, busy mother who loved clothes, too. Hunting for vintage items, seeking higher quality and armor to help make a hectic life with children and spouse seem serene, was my soothing and collecting instinct and how I kept my brainpower. At least I looked smart even if my youngest refused to wear required school socks or laid in front of the school bus to protest kindergarten. 

    I recently read a couple of things that would have rocked my world when I was busy with family chaos. These seriously changed the way I look at organizing, house work, and raising children. The first relates to how we think and act habitually, our brain habits. The second is a way of viewing an organized life. Both new to me, but a wow, must try, must share. See what you think?


  • goldenpig replied 3 years ago

    Thanks for all the great advice and encouragement!
    I'm not trying to reduce by a set number but I would like to make things a little easier for me. Sometimes I stand in front of my closet and have no idea what to do because it feels overwhelming. If it was a little tidier and easier to see everything it might be better. Plus I think I need to start planning my outfits the night before to save time dithering in the morning. I always think "Oh, I'm going to do a major purge" but then when I get down to it, it's hard to let go of much. I did do some last night and filled a shopping bag with shoes that are either redundant or heels a bit too high, old purses that are a little too small for all my stuff, few shirts that I never reach for, etc. Whenever I get together with my sister I let her go through it and she usually takes most of it, and is happy to get new stuff for her wardrobe (since her budget is more limited). Also if I end up regretting getting rid of something, I can usually ask for it back. Has only happened with a few items (maybe like 3-4 items over the last few years), but it's nice to not have it be gone forever. 
    Una, I totally hear you on the FOMO and trying to collect everything as a set. Sometimes it makes me really happy (like having the Kate Spade Japanese floral items). With the Banana Republic florals, I think I initially bought the purse and the skirt, but then was like "well, I should get everything while I can", but it turns out the suit blazer isn't really that practical for me and doesn't feel right with the skirt--it feels like TOO much. So I'm learning to strike a balance between the hypermatchy when it feels right but not going overboard. I do think you will feel better having things tidy before your surgery. I agree, it's ridiculous that I have so many books on organizing/simplifying. I just need to get cracking!
    Sterling, you are so right that I need to work on slowing the inflow because I'm not that good at outflow!
    JAileen, we do have housekeepers come every other week. It makes such a difference! They don't organize though. My nanny helps tidy up, put away dishes, fold laundry. I think I need to just be the one to start weeding stuff out though. We used to have two cats but they both died about a year ago due to old age/illness. We'd like to get another pet but my goal is to get the house cleaned up first.
    Ummlila and Debbie, agree that they toys are out of control. I need to start there!
    Sandy G, thanks for the links! The first one doesn't work for me though. The second one is very interesting.

  • catgirl replied 3 years ago

    Natalie, another realization I had as I opened yet another package this week - how much unnecessary time and money I spend on things I MIGHT want at some future point. Again, FOMO. Or maybe Fear of Regretting Later. I've learned to ask myself - "Do I want and need this RIGHT NOW?" Because there is nothing I need for some imaginary future at this point. Just a thought. Thanks for letting me learn as I follow along with you.

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