When Thrifting Works: and a pep talk on creativity

Monday, March 7, 2016 5 No tags

Have you joined my Newsletter list yet? Click here, or sign up in the sidebar. I’ll email you when I publish a new post, with a few extra thoughts. My email list is where I get super vulnerable, and share all of my darkest secrets. Not really. But I’m definitely friendly and not spammy.

My 12-month style challenge: everything secondhand

Fact: Thrifting is not fun until suddenly it is.

The magic happens when you find that first piece of clothing that makes your heart beat a little faster, and causes you to break out into a slight sweat until you have examined the piece and concluded confidently that there are no tears, snags, rips, holes, stains, or pilling. And in that moment, you feel like you can do anything.

Or at least, you feel like thrifting a capsule wardrobe for a year is something you don’t have to fail at.

This color block sweater was one of the first items I found, and I love its boxy cut and fitted short sleeves (you’ll have to trust me on that). A few weeks later, I found this tweed jacket (it’s tweed + a jacket so you know I love it).

When two thrifted items come together in one outfit and work so harmoniously, I might as well be wearing a solved algebra problem, for all the satisfaction it brings me.

My 12-month style challenge: everything secondhand

Outfit details: Color block sweater: thrifted/$4, Tweed jacket: thrifted/$2, Black corduroy pants: AG/old, Black boots: thrifted/$9, crossover bag: Modcloth/old

The past few weeks I have been super busy, trying to finalize my second product line for my paper shop, and just catching up on things that were being neglected (not that I ever let laundry pile up or anything…).

Creative outlets are necessary to my health and well-being, and sometimes I wonder if I really need a blog and an Etsy shop to satisfy that need.

But then I realize that is just the practical, reasonable side of my brain speaking.

The truth is, my wardrobe is a solid foundation for my other creative pursuits, and while it is not necessary to blog about my style challenge in order to benefit from it, writing about it and connecting with readers keeps me accountable, and forces me to think about my clothing habits a lot more.

And my clothing habits are only proving my theory that getting dressed in clothes you love, gives you a daily advantage.

I am pretty real sure that my Etsy shop wouldn’t progress if I lived in pajamas and oversized t-shirts. And I’m pretty sure I would’t love working on it as much as I do if I didn’t feel so creatively fulfilled in other areas of my life.

So how’s that for a creativity endorsement? It’s Monday. And you can make this week as creative as you choose. Whether that means not eating the same thing you always eat for breakfast, finding a solution to a small problem, finding a way to enjoy the mundane chores on your to-do list, writing down your thoughts on being a mom, sending a letter to a friend, or finding a new work out.

BE CREATIVE TODAY. It’s for your own good.

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My Capsule Wardrobe Problem (and a vintage wool blazer)

Monday, February 22, 2016 2 No tags

First things first: Sign up for the JenEric Generation Newsletter in the sidebar! I only email you when I have something important to share with you, like when there’s a new post.

12-month style challenge: Thrifting my way to a perfect capsule wardrobe

A few weeks ago I made my clothing rack dreams come true. And now I have a problem. But first:

If you can’t relate to dreaming about owning a clothing rack, let me try to help you understand: a clothing rack makes your clothes look like they live in a magical boutique where everything for sale fits you–and your style–perfectly.

When your clothes are visible, and hanging harmoniously on one modestly sized garment rack, it’s hard to be overwhelmed in the morning.

Most days, I feel like a paperdoll choosing the appropriate outfit for the day. Tea party? Birthday bash? First day of school? Check, check, check. (Just change “tea party”, “birthday bash” and “first day of school” to: church, mom’s group, and working from home.)

And for some inexplicable reason, seeing your clothes outside of your closet is an eye-opening experience (speaking as my three-dimensional self).

When I transferred my clothing from my closet to my mini external closet, I was unable to overlook a fact that I have known deep down inside, but never openly admitted…

Dear Tortured, Creative Soul: be stylish, be free

Thursday, February 18, 2016 4 No tags

Dear Tortured, Creative Soul: here's why you want to be stylish.

Photo of Stacy London for Into the Gloss.

Dear Tortured Creative Soul,

I used to be obsessed with the TLC show, What Not To Wear. I would still be obsessed if it weren’t currently off the air. But that’s a sad story for another day.

On that show, women of all ages, shapes, and sizes, were nominated by their goodhearted, better-dressed friends to be made over by the capable non-couple, Stacy London and Clinton Kelly.

One of the big life-lessons I learned from that show growing up was that it seemed there was a well-established trend among moms that their kids came before their appearance.

That was a common confession when Stacy probed them in her best-friend-but-also-a-shrink kind of way, as to how they had gotten into the habit of calling a shower the extent of their personal care routine.

“I’m just so busy taking care of my daughter. She comes first.” 

It should have been the theme song. And Stacy’s answer was always the same. She would hug that mom, look into her weepy, tired eyes, and say authoritatively:

Thrifting Finds: tweed skirt 2 ways

Monday, February 15, 2016 7 , ,

Okay, I’ve talked a lot about my rules for thrifting a capsule wardrobe for 12 months, and some of my challenges so far, so I think it’s high time I start showing you some of the things I have found!

I’m happy with my success so far. At the beginning of this challenge, I was genuinely worried that I wouldn’t find enough pieces I liked to build a capsule wardrobe. I think it’s safe to say that’s a fear that won’t come to fruition.

First up, let’s talk about this Zara tweed skirt. I have always had a thing for tweed. It adds texture to any outfit, and as long as the cut is modern, I love a little tweed in my wardrobe!

This skirt practically jumped off the rack and into my cart a few weeks ago at the local Best Thrift Store, and I took it home with me for $6! I have a black and white tweed skirt from the LOFT that I’ve worn for years, and even though this black and gray one will serve a similar purpose, I decided to get it since my other skirt is such a staple in my capsule.

This skirt will go with pretty much anything, but here are two of the ways I will be wearing it:

Thrifting a capsule wardrobe: Zara skirt, jacket, and boots all thrifted!

Outfit details: Tweed skirt: thrifted/$6, Jacket: thrifted/$3, Boots: thrifted/$9, Purse: H&M, Earrings: Etsy/gift, Bracelet: flea market