June 06, 2015

Lesson 219: 22 Items of Clothing = 30 Outfits

Yesterday I told the extended version of my fashion and style story. It was surprisingly fun to look back at my clothing past, evaluate, and recognize true change. Afterall, that's the point of this blog, right?!? Growth. Change. Maturity.

I ended the post with a little fashion show in which I pretended to be a fashion blogger and showed off one outfit. Y'all, I'm hooked!

Wait. No I'm not. 

But I was playing around with my closet today and realized I might have something of value to offer you sweet readers. And so, I decided to do one more fashion related post. 

What will follow is thirty outfits created from twenty-two items, an entire month worth of ensembles (as Fancy Nancy would say). Its goal is to demonstrate the principle of having items in your closet that mix and mingle with joy. 

A few disclaimers. First, I am not a fashionista. These are just clothes for normal people, doing normal things, on a day to day basis. There's nothing overly spectacular or interesting, just form-fitting clothes that look nice together. 

Second, originally, I was going to use my purse, bracelets, necklaces, whatever. But, that was too much work. Imagine if these outfits were accessorized with bags, jewelry, make-up, hairstyles, hats, etc. The possibilities open up even more.

Third, in the summer, I dress for air conditioning. I get cold super easy, so often during the summer months I wear jeans and / or something long sleeve. Sorry if you don't do that. 

Finally, I'm not planning on sourcing the items for two reasons. One, it would take too long to find links and such. Two, most of these items are available in most of the normal stores you already frequent and so if you look, you can find them. If you have a specific question, feel free to comment!

The Clothes Included:

Tee Shirts
- basic mint tee
- white pocket tee
- light gray graphic tee
- white / gold polka dot graphic tee
- dark gray muscle tank

Button Downs
- white collared button down
- light chambray button down
- pale pink hippy button down

Warm Tops
- green cargo jacket
- cream poncho sweater

- white pull-on shorts
- newport blue crepe shorts
- light denim worn-in skinny jeans
- gray skinny jeans
- black joggers
- basic green shorts

- gray TOMS
- mint sneakers
- cognac sandals
- light tan wedges

- yellow printed scarf
- multi-color feather scarf

I wanted to start with something more standard, but this was the first picture of the bunch that I actually liked, so we'll start here. 

White Shorts / Mint Tee / Printed Scarf / Cognac Sandals

Change the pants. Change the shoes. 

New tee. Add a jacket.

Switch in new shorts and shoes. 

I'm not sure I'd actually wear this outfit, but it's in sequence so I had to include it. 
Move on to the best shirt ever created. 

Change your shoes, and pow! You're ready for a date.

And just think of all the ways you could accessorize this look in white. 

For example, feather scarf and sandals?!? Just one of many.

Time for new pants and tennies!

Keep the pants. New top, throw on a jacket, switch out the shoes.

Too hot for pants, but cool enough for a jacket and TOMS. Maybe an outdoor concert, where pesky ants could bite your feet?!?

Oh no, it's so cold, you should probably include a scarf.

Ahhh, I'm burning up.

My new favorite "Pick Samara Up From School" Outfit. 
Graphic tee / Jacket / Denim / TOMS
(Note: Ford had just woken from a nap and was ready for his mama to stop trying on clothes and start focusing on his lunch. I was waving to appease him!)

Next, an outfit so basic I would venture to say, every mama should own it! But remember, what do I know?!?

A more feminine version of the button down, with a more masculine jacket. 
(Note: Numerous kids were ignored in the making of this blog post.)

Pretty in pink. And white.

And for a date ... new shoes.


I like pink and green. Outdoorsy and pretty?!? 
(Note: Can you tell my braid is starting to struggle.)

How 'bout a top that's easier to wash. Why, Hello!

I'm cold. Love the chambray.

Wait. If I wear one less shirt, it's less laundry to do.

What if I have to go to the country club and want to look sporty / casual / preppy?!?

Has anyone else jumped on the "jogger" train? Because I think these are the new yoga pants. C.O.M.F.Y.

I included the muscle only because I think that these "joggers" are supposed to worn with muscle tees ... and I had one. 
(Note: I might have pulled it from the dirty clothes pile, which is why it looks a little wonky.)

I'm cold again.

Except my legs. They're hot. 

Maybe something a little more casual and colorful?!?

No. It's summer, and I'm really hot. Really, really hot. 

Hold the phone. Did I just put on a white pocket tee?!? Frankly, there could be an entire post devoted to the versatility of a good, white pocket tee!

One that I have no intention of writing. 

Now some food for thought. Consider what kinds of outfits I could make if I added:

- a pair of dark denim
- white skinny jeans
- a white and black striped muscle tank
- a light gray boyfriend cartigan

I'll bet by just adding those four items I could come up with another 30 outfits.


That's it.

Can we all just give Mark a round of applause for the constant putting down of his book to pick up the camera today?!? He did a great job. Thanks, Mark.

I'd love comments! What do you all think? Is this how other people dress? Sometimes I think I'm dressing like normal people, but then I walk through South Park and every teenager I see looks infinitely better than me. I don't care so much, but it does make me wonder, do I look weird?!?

Also, after this photoshoot, we headed up to Charlotte for dinner with my brother and his family. And I didn't want to wear any of the outfits from the shoot, because I was over them.

So I wore the white pocket tee, the white shorts, and the TOMS.

And felt good all night long.

Lesson Learned: It works, y'all. It really works. 


  1. I feel inspired! Everything looks fun and comfy! But any advice for this first-time mom who is 3 months post-partum with child #1, but she doesn't know what to expect from these last five pounds of her post-baby bod? And let's get real, we want more than just one kid. So do I buy new clothes that fit now and get rid of stuff that doesn't fit as well as before? Do I hold onto things I like from pre-baby and hope to wear them again? How many questions is too many for one blog post???
    Steph Pitzer (first time momma with an overly packed but sadly outdated wardrobe)

    1. Hmmm. I'll answer and maybe some other mama's will too. :)

      a. About the last five pounds. I'm pretty sure I don't really think about getting back into clothes or buying anything until 6 months or so, because you just don't know. And honestly, if you are nursing, your body will change again when you stop doing that. A lot of times when you get back to your pre-pregnancy weight, even if your number is the same, everything feels like its in different places. I think this is what has made my "process" feel so long. The constant gain and losing of weight! But, I'd say if you want the mix and match look start slowly buying things that aren't so form fitting ... a cute jacket, shoes, bags. Those kinds of things. For the most part those are the items I've spent money on until now.

      b. Get rid of pre-baby clothes or not. Others might answer differently, but I'd say be honest with your assessment and get rid of the clothes you really didn't like before pregnancy. If you didn't like them then, you probably won't like them now. I think in the weird transition time I kept some items that worked with the off-shape, but never had plans to keep them long term. If you loved something before, look at the hanger and still love it, I'd probably wait it out. But if you want a streamlined closet, you could put those clothes somewhere else, in a bin under your bed or something, so when you open your closet, you still like everything you see. Then if the last five pounds goes, you can try them on again and see if you love them. I think the problem comes with physically seeing a bunch of clothes you can't where. It's that type of thing that makes you feel like you have nothing to wear.

      c. One suggestion. The shorts I have in these pictures with the elastic band are all over the place right now - JCrew, Banana, Gap. They are super comfy and I think surprisingly flattering. They are the kind of thing that might look good now and if you lose a little pregnancy weight.

      P.S. Your baby is SO cute! Well done!!!!

    2. As a mama getting ready to go through the post partum transition for the fourth time I would say think about if you find yourself wishing you could wear an item. While pregnant and postpartum I can look at items and if I wish I could wear them/look forward to the day they fit again, they are a keeper. If I don't feel that way it can go. Also, if you plan to have baby #2, I found that when I got pregnant I would go through and pull out anything I didn't wear between pregnancies, even if the time frame between the two pregnancies wasn't extremely long, it gave me an idea of what I probably wasn't going to wear after the next one either. I was very very ill after baby #2 and got down to a very unhealthy weight, not by choice, and after that I also got rid of anything that didn't fit during that period bc I wasn't ever going to be smaller than that.

    3. i agree with katherine and lynsie -- the pregnancy/postpartum/nursing/normal pattern is really hard on the wardrobe. i've found that i have a lot of out of fashion things in my wardrobe, but i just don't LOOK in my closet that often because i'm wearing only maternity stuff, etc.
      tossing stuff that you don't wear between pregnancies is a great idea. i've been pregnant and/or breastfeeding for nearly 4.5 years now with no break, so there are lots of things i haven't worn and it's time for it to go.

      however, i also think that the idea of a full "capsule wardrobe" just doesn't work for moms. i keep the shorts i wore today JUST for the postpartum period -- they will (hopefully) be too big in a month or so. but it's like a newborn onesie, when you need it you need it!

      i also had a hard time parting with my work clothes. i don't need a whole professional wardrobe anymore now that i'm not working full-time. i held onto stuff bc it's nice...but when/if i do reenter the workforce it'll surely be out of style anyway, so why keep it?

  2. Katherine! What a great post!! I haven't been too good about keeping up with blogs lately. Glad I caught this one! I love all your outfits! :-) One question: what is this white button down shirt that every mom should own? I do have a couple button downs, both denim/chambray, and I find myself wearing them all the time, especially since I'm still nursing! Anyways, you look beautiful and I love reading your blog! You're a great writer!!!! xoxo

    1. Thanks friend! I appreciate all those kind words.

      I think what I meant was that all mamas should own a white button down that fits them, that they love! Not necessarily the exact shirt that I have, but just a go to that is great! Comfortable, but perhaps can also have a bit of structure to it.

      I like white, because as you'll find elsewhere in the blog, white is classic in and of itself ... and it's a great backdrop for everything else. So you can where the white plain and look beautiful. Or, you can use the white to highlight something else.

      This particular shirt is from Banana Republic. It's their oxford shirt and is 100% cotton. I bought it about 1 1/2 ago. :)

  3. Let's talk about your white button down..what brand/where did you buy?

    1. Hey MG!

      I talk about this a bit in the comment above. But I bought this one at Banana Republic last January. It's their Oxford Shirt and is 100% cotton.


    2. ha. whoops! I originally tried to post this comment at like noon but I had an issue. So I came back later to post it and didn't read your responses to the other comments!

      Thanks, K! As we move, I'm doing a lot of purging and thinking about my own wardrobe. A white button down has never been in my wardrobe...and now I'm realizing how big of a tragedy that is.

      You're an inspiration :)

  4. Love this post!! Keep on experimenting with what you already have- shopping your own wardrobe is economical, and FUN! I'm trying to go more towards the minimalist side, but I think I might be a clothes hoarder... ;)


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