Thursday, February 27, 2014

Building a Wardrobe that Works

At one point after having four children, I had so many clothes that they couldn't fit in my half of the closet so they overflowed into the babies room closet.  Ironically, even with all of the clothes I owned there were several items that I wore just because I owned them, not because I liked them.  I had several random styles of shoes and several things in my closet they were a little small or big, but I was sure that I would need them in the future.  With the abundance of clothes I felt like I had nothing to wear and nothing that I really liked to wear!  

I decided to build a wardrobe that works.  In the book, "It's All Too Much,"  oranizational expert Peter Walsh says,

"We wear 20 percent of our clothes 80 percent of the time.  Shocking but true!  Many of the clothes in your closets are either never worn or worn so seldom that you would barely notice if they disappeared.  In my experience, there is no such thing as a closet without some clothing that was bought on an impulse, hardly worn (if at all!), and which now has a fine coating of dust.  True?  If you recognize yourself here, then you really don't need me to tell you what needs to be done."  

I wanted clothes that cordinate and acessories that really make the oufit look great.  I didn't want to keep wearing plain colored shirts and jeans; because I didnt have thousands of dollars to redo my wardrobe it has been a process over a few years.   I have determined a few keys that make my wardrobe work for me: colors I like, styles that I prefer, key pieces that I need for a great foundation.  

The first step that I took to build a wardrobe that works was to determine what colors I liked to wear.  I looked through my closet and realized my favorite things to wear were bright bold colors (or hues: see below).  Even though I thought my pastel pink shirt was beautiful, when I wore it I felt washed out and looked tired.  I also realized that I prefer to wear black and white as my neutral colors.  I also realized I didn't really like to wear cream colored shirts.  On the other hand, my oldest daughter feels like the colors that I like to wear are too bold for her.  She builds her wardrobe around the soft colors (tones: see below).  She looks great in cream and grey as well as other neutrals.  

Slowly I started to weed out clothes that I didn't enjoy wearing and I started to purchase clothes in colors that I felt happy in.

I like this color chart because it shows that if we build our wardrobe from either the Tint, Tone, Shade, or Hue we are able to have clothes that will mix and match together.  I think it is also important to determine what neutral colors to build our wardrobe around.  

There are so many styles of clothes.  I started to pay attention to what I prefer to wear.  I love classic tailored pieces that  are more structured.  On the other hand, my daughter prefers soft flowy pieces with scarves and soft details.  It has been fun to understand what we prefer.  As we see new trends it is easier to understand if it is a trend we would like to embrace or if it is something we can do without.  

I have learned a lot about different styles and colors from Dressing Your Truth.  She has a fabulous system.  The Cartigan Empire also breaks down different styles that help determine what style of clothes you prefer (see lower left side bar on this site).  

Building a Great Foundation:

Buiding a great foundation for your wardrobe.  

1.  Start with neutral shirts to layer with:  

My favorite neutral colors are black and white.

Select two basic colored shirts to layer with.  Mine are raspberry and navy.

If you have a great outfit with a dingy white shirt underneath it really ruins the look.  Black can easily fad and look old and worn.  I try to make sure my black and white shirts look nice so that all the outfits that I pair them with look their best.  

The colored shirts are perfect for layering with a cardigan or sweater.  

(my layering shirts are from Old Navy and Downeast)

2. Pants (5-6 pairs)  I believe having a nice pairs of pants is an essential part of any wardrobe.  I don't have a lot of pants, but I have tried to select a variety that works well.  I have some skinny jeans and some bootcut jeans to add variety.  Having pants that fit makes a huge difference in how we feel durning the day.  I don't store pants that don't fit.  I just have what works now, I enjoy these pants and wear them out!  

Workout clothes

3.  Create Outfits
By purchasing clothes in similar color tones, similar style, and having great basics, I am able to have a wardrobe that will mix and match well.  The outfit possibilities are endless.  I decided that I prefer to have about 21 outfits they all come from the same 6 pairs of pants.

I print a picture or these outfits and keep it on my closet shelf so that I can quickly get dressed each morning.  

4. Buy Items that Coordinate

I buy items that will cordinate with several different pieces of clothing.  I got this royal blue pencil skirt (picture below) for my birthday.  It is a great addition to my wardrobe because so many of the shirts that I already own will easily coordinate with it.

If you are looking to buy a new skirt and it will require you to buy new shoes, a new necklace, and a new shirt to go with it, it probably isn't right for your wardrobe!   Look for something that works well and offers a variety of possibilities.

Our appearance has a tremendous effect on how we feel and how productive we are.  

My daughter's softer style

My daughter and I have enjoyed organizing our wardrobes together.

The result of wardrobe organization is:

1.  Our closets look amazing and organized!
2.  Everything in our closets fits and works for us! 
3.  It is so much more fun to get ready when you know of several great outfits that work!
4.  You feel better and work better when you are comfortable in your clothes and with who you are!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sharing a Room

Before our baby was born our two youngest children had their own rooms.  If possible, I really like the baby to have their own room so before she was born we moved our 3 year old daughter and 5 year old son into the same bedroom.  Being a boy and girl I knew that they probably wouldn't share a room long term, but it has worked out really well because they are close to the same age and go to bed at the same time.

I will admit, I have been surprised how much they have enjoyed sharing a room.  They are good friends!

When it came to decorating, I wanted their room to look nice but I didn't want to spend a lot of money because I know eventually I would like to have our 3 year old daughter share with the baby sister.

Twin beds- we purchase from Pottery Barn (I bought the floor models at a discounted price)

Nightstands- both kids have their own nightstand for their own personal things.  One was free the other was $7 at a thrift store, I refinished them.

Duvet Covers- I made them out of flat sheet and ribbon (less than $20 each)

Pillow Shams- Bought the blue one at Homegoods, sewed the pink one.

Accent Pillows- Pottery Barn and Homegoods

Lamp- Our 5 year old wanted an orange lamp.  He picked it out at Hobby Lobby.

Rug- Pottery Barn

Nightstand accessories (boxes and mailbox)- Hobby Lobby and Pottery Barn

Big letters- clearance from Hobby Lobby, I painted them white

Their room is small, I didn't want to add a dresser.  We put the clear plastic drawers in their closet and they work perfectly for their little clothes.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine's is one of my favorite holidays! 

My husband and I were able to celebrate Valentine's Day at a black-tie fundraising event. 

I enjoy assisting the kids as they make their Valentine's boxes.  We braided hearts in the girl's hair and sent them off to school with bags of Valentine's for their classmates.  The younger kids and I get to spend the afternoon visiting their classrooms and attending their parties!   

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Question: How much screen time should kids have?

I was recently asked this question:

Question: We just got an iPad and my kids think they need to play on it... Do you guys allow your kids to use technology?

Here is my answer:

We live in an ieverything world.


With all the amazing technology we try to make sure we have balance.  We want to remember how to live life without focusing on a screen.  

I have often told our children:
"When you grow up and you talk about your great memories of home, you won't say that you have such fond memories of playing on the ipad and watching TV together.  You will remember the forts that you built with couch cushions, the silly plays you acted out, and fun things that you made."  

I really believe that life is meant to be lived, not just watched on a screen.  

That said, we use technology a lot in our home, we just have a few simple rules that we try to follow.

The oldest kids usually have homework on the computer after school.  They take turns with the ipad and the computer to complete their homework.  

The oldest kids usually are pretty busy on weekdays with homework, piano, soccer, and church activities.  If they have time and they have to complete the following before asking for screen time:
Read their personal scriptures
Do their reading
Do their chores
Have their homework done (if it is a school night)

The 3 and 5 year old that are home durning the day have more time so they have to have their scriptures read (we read as a family in the morning or I read to them) and they have to do a worksheet or their reading (I use "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 easy lessons) before they can watch TV or use the ipad.  

They can use screen time for about 1/2 hour before they have to do an active activity.  The exception is on Mondays, I do a lot of my cleaning and they get more screen time on that day.  

Our 5 year old claims that since our baby was born in September, I let them have a lot more screen time and even ask them to watch a movie sometimes! :)  Technology can be a blessing because it keeps them busy when I am taking care of the baby :)  

We really live in a different world now with so much technology at our fingertips.  Technology has changed so much over the past 10 years.  When our oldest two children were small we didn't have much access to any technology and they were so creative and played together so well, they never expected to be entertained.  I try to teach our other children how much fun it is to play together and not just expect that constant entertainment from a screen!

Related Posts with Thumbnails