My Mental Health Journey: What I've Learned So Far

May 10, 2018

May is mental health awareness month. While of course mental health is something we can and should be mindful of every single month of the year, this is as good a time as any to be reminded to step back and re-evaluate how we are taking care of ourselves and our loved ones who struggle with mental illness.

There's been a lot of talk this week about mental health on social media. Earlier this week, Ryan Reynolds (star of the Marvel film Deadpool) opened up about his struggle with anxiety in an interview with the Daily Times.

Capsule Wardrobe: Worth It Or Not?

May 02, 2018


I'm sure that at some point over the past few years, you've all heard the phrase "capsule wardrobe" thrown around. For the longest time, I steered clear of the capsule wardrobe idea, because I assumed it meant something similar to "throw away most of your clothes and only keep a few outfits." Who wants to do that? Not me. However, after some procrastination and a little research, I recently found out that this assumption is actually not what a capsule wardrobe is. 

So what in the sam hill is a capsule wardrobe? 

Supposedly invented in the 1970's by London fashion designer Susie Faux, a capsule wardrobe (loosely defined) is a collection of a few essential seasonal clothing staples that: 

1. Don't go out of style
2. Can be mixed and matched with ease, and 
3. Serve as the "base" of your entire wardrobe (they can be dressed up or down, or paired with accessories).

The idea is to be able to narrow down your closet to the items that you really need and wear on a weekly basis - no more, and no less. You keep the clothes that are currently in season on display in your closet, and then you store the ones that are out of season. If it's summer, for example, you can see all your summer options at once when you go to get dressed in the morning, without having to dig past sweaters, coats, and other out-of-season items.  The result is that you'll be left with clothes that you can mix and match with each other to create many looks with minimal brain effort. If I had to use a few words to describe it, I'd say capsule wardrobing is bringing a sense of "focus" your closet and your life: It's keeping access to only what you need and stowing the extra visual clutter.

Sounds nice enough. But how do you *do* a capsule wardrobe?

That's the tricky part. If you do a quick search on google, you'll find that everyone has their own "guidelines" for how to create a capsule wardrobe. Some people say your capsule wardrobe should have 37 pieces; some 33; some 12. Some people include shoes and seasonal items in the count, and other's don't. Some people say it should be based on a certain color palette, others say it should just be clothes that you will wear on a daily basis. The list goes on and on.

Ain't nobody got time for that. 

All of those rules and numbers seemed pretty intimidating, and to me they feel the exact opposite of detoxing, de-stressing, and de-cluttering your life. But I started reading more and more articles by women who said that making a similar capsule wardrobe helped to bring a sense of simplicity and mindfulness to their lives.  

Naturally, then, I decided to try my hand at creating a capsule wardrobe for myself to see if it's all it's cracked up to be. Here are my practical tips for how to do the capsule wardrobe thing  - and still maintain your sanity.

1. Listen to your own life.


This is the most important step, and it's crucial whenever you're trying to adopt any trend or new idea: Adapt the concept to best fit your life, your personality, your needs, and your style. There is no cookie-cutter way to make a capsule wardrobe- or anything in life. You need to take into account that your capsule wardrobe is going to look different than everyone else's, because you are a unique individual with a unique style and unique needs. The biggest mistake I made is trying to force myself to be like other people. 

When making your capsule wardrobe, it's such a personal process. You need to be in touch with your life. For example, If you are a working professional with a corporate job, your capsule wardrobe will include more business-professional pieces, and might include a large number of pieces for different functions. If you're a stay-at-home mom, your wardrobe might include mostly casual pieces, with a few skirts or blouses for special occasions. If you're a student, it couldn't hurt to keep a few professional pieces, but you're going to mostly want comfortable (and stylish!) tees, sweats and jeans, amirite?

The first step, then, is to evaluate what "genre" of clothing you wear on a daily basis (whether it's casual, business casual, business formal, or something else!) and to make sure that you're keeping enough of those pieces intact. Be aware and listen to the rhythm of your own life; you're the person who's going to be wearing 100% of this wardrobe, after all!

2. Start with the seasons


The main tenet of the capsule wardrobe is that you should have one capsule wardrobe - one different focused set of clothes - for each season: One for Spring, one for Summer, one for Fall, and one for Winter. 

But this part is important: When you're not using all the out-of-season items, don't throw them away! Just store them under your bed or in a plastic storage bin in the closet. For example, in the Summer, if you are clearly not going to wear sweaters or wool ponchos on a daily basis, just store them, and bring them out again in the Fall and Winter.  You'll be amazed how reducing some of the visual clutter in your closet makes such a huge difference in bringing a sense of freshness to your life. 

But let me make a few little disclaimers: If you live somewhere with no seasons, or if you're a low maintenance person, this might just be silly (Or maybe you live in Southern California like me, where we basically only have Summer and Cold Summer). That's okay. You can still create a capsule wardrobe for each season, depending on what styles you want to wear that season or whatever inspires you. It can be refreshing to change things up every three months. 

Or, if that feels like too much effort for you, you might just want to do this twice a year; put together one capsule wardrobe in the Spring/ Summer, and then wear those pieces till Fall, and then put together another capsule wardrobe for the Fall/ Winter. It's up to you. You're the boss here. But the idea is to stay focused on the season, and recognize that some pieces will stay in your wardrobe all year round. 

3. The number isn't important


Really, it isn't. You don't need to have 33, or 37, or 40, or 12, or any of the conflicting numbers I've read on style blogs. 

How many pieces should you have? 

As many as you need. 

You know what you wear, you know what you need on a day-to-day basis. You know how many is too many or how few is too few for you. My capsule wardrobe ends up being around 25 pieces (not counting shoes), and that seems to be more than enough for me. But I sometimes cheat and borrow some out-of-season items like different jackets, just because. There's no rules. 

4. Narrow down what you're working with


Before you start making your capsule wardrobe, make sure you won't be keeping or storing any "dead weight." Get rid of items that you don't fit anymore or just don't like. 

Your capsule wardrobe should only be comprised of stuff that you know fits, that you would 100% wear right now today, that fits with your lifestyle, that is in season, and that you like. Bonus points if you make it a point to only cultivate a closet full of clothes that flatter your body type, or that all are part of a coordinated color palette - but those aren't required. 

For the sake of simplicity, it also helps to narrow down what you're going to include in your capsule wardrobe. For example, some articles of clothing that don't change all year round probably shouldn't count. Such as, workout clothes, tank tops / camisoles, pajamas, underwear, and accessories. To keep it simple, I don't include any of those in my capsule wardrobe. Let's just stick to actual clothes clothes. 

5. Keep it basic


One of the beautiful things about a capsule wardrobe is that you can be as basic or fancy as you want; but for just starting out, I'd recommend you keep it as basic as possible. Don't underestimate the power of your little black dress, your white tee, your black jeans, and other such "fashion staples" that can easily be mixed and matched. 

However, don't listen to me. Only you know what's a "basic" or a "staple" for you. I tried to match up my own style to "must-have basics" according to fashion magazines; I went out and bought the praised white oxford button-up, the dress slacks, the black high heels - but I found that I just didn't wear them. Instead, I gravitated towards other kinds of basics, like chambray tops, black and white tees, skinny jeans, and colored button-up tops. Once again, be mindful of your own life and follow what you know you'll wear and feel confident in.

6. Just keep trimming


As the year goes on and you rotate seasonal clothes out of your capsule wardrobe, notice if there's anything you never wear.  If you haven't worn something not even once in a few years, that may be a good indication that it's not an essential for you, or doesn't fit you, or doesn't flatter your body shape. Take a step back and examine why you don't like it / don't wear it, and determine if it's best to donate it or throw it out. 

But if the reason you haven't worn it is because you're not confident in it, deliberately try wearing it in your daily life for a week, just to try it out. You'd be surprised how it can grow on you as you explore and your style evolves. 

What I love about capsule wardrobes is that it reflects an outlook that I think is a good outlook to have on life in general: use only what you need, and be conscious of your own unique style and beauty. At the end of the day, they're just clothes. But they can be an integral part of loving yourself, taking care of yourself, and building confidence. So choose carefully, and have fun with it! 

My capsule wardrobe


Here is my capsule wardrobe right now: it consists of 16 tops, three pairs of pants, and several shoes, graphic tees and jackets that aren't pictured. Because my dress code at work is business casual, most of my wardrobe is styled along that profile. However, I do have a fair share of random items in here. 



Tops:


1. Blue silk short-sleeved blouse 
2. Black button-up 
3. Chunky-knit sweater
4. Knit blazer
5. Tank blouse
6. Black knit tee shirt
7. Flowy casual cold-shoulder top
8. Striped knit tank
9. Light wash chambray
10. Casual strappy tee
11. Casual strappy tank
12. Leather jacket
13. Plan grey blouse
14. Casual black cut-out tank
15. Casual tee
16. Denim jacket

Pants: 


1. Black jeans
2. White jeans
3. Blue jeans

As I said, some items weren't pictured (Ok tbh they were in the wash). But there you have it! My capsule wardrobe for Spring 2018. I've had this for about two weeks now, and so far, it's going well; I haven't at all felt like I "don't have anything to wear" or can't decide what to wear. I love it for its simplicity, its focus, and the fact that it reminds me everyday that everything I have is everything I need. It really does help you to be satisfied with less, and that is why I love it. 

Are you going to try to form a capsule wardrobe? Need help? Comment down below what your staples are! 

Happy missadventuring!

Love,
Amanda 



Why We Should All Stop Stressing About the Future

April 25, 2018


I don't know about you, but as a young adult, I sometimes get overwhelmed by the enormous task that is living my life. I'm sure I don't need to tell you that being in your twenties is both an exciting and terrifying time: we've officially hit the part of our lives where we have no experience to draw on for what comes next, and each step is farther than we've ever been before.

How to Set & Accomplish Goals

March 18, 2018




Now that we're almost three full months into the year, I have finally finished my 2018 Dream Board, a visual list of my goals and dreams. If you know me, you'd probably say, "Typical Amanda!"Or, "Procrastination level expert!" However, this isn't merely accidental. While most people prefer to set goals on January 1st, I actually like to take a slightly different approach to reorganizing and revitalizing my life.

Ten Things I Learned From Moving On My Own

January 08, 2018


As many of you may know from following me on social media, last week I (somehow) moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to San Diego.  Which means I had to pack everything I own into my 2014 Nissan Versa, and drive 500 miles and almost 10 hours along the length of California.  I still don't know quite how it happened, but it happened, and I learned quite a few things the hard way.

Surviving Engagement Season When You're Single AF

December 11, 2017



Alright everybody, this is not a drill. According to the wedding industry, Christmastime is the most popular time of year for people to get engaged.  Your social media feeds, family reunions and mail boxes are about to be inundated by the flood of engagement announcements from (statistically, several) happy couples you know. Amid the hallmark-worthy engagement ring photos on Instagram, the good news dominating discussions at parties, and an overall rise of PDA for the duration of the season, it's time to make a game plan if you have any hope of staying sane during this epidemic crisis.

Ten Pairs of Pajamas to Wear All Day

December 04, 2017



I think it's time that this blog actually provided you with something useful to help you survive in the world.  Since the key to surviving life is a good pair of pajamas, I've put together a list of ten pairs of pajamas that you will want to wear all day. 

The Beginning Adult's Guide to Wine

November 19, 2017



As the holiday season creeps closer, gatherings with family and friends start filling up the calendar, meals are shared, and toasts are made.  Maybe in the past you've just chosen a wine at random whenever someone offers you a glass because you don't know the difference; maybe you're hosting a few dinner parties this season but don't know which wine to serve, or maybe your mom asked you to pick up a bottle of wine or two to go with Thanksgiving dinner and you don't know how to decide.  Either way, if you are a bit lost when it comes to wine and you feel that it's about time you started to learn the ropes, you're in for a treat.

Beating the Blues

November 13, 2017


"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain." 
-Vivian Greene



Do you ever have one of those days where no matter what you do, nothing seems to be going the way it should?  Or no matter how hard you try, one thing after another gets in the way and you still haven't put a dent in your to-do list? The longer I have been an "adult", the more of these days I seem to have!

My Easy, Everyday Makeup Look

November 06, 2017

I don't know about you, but makeup is one of those things that I have always struggled with.  I didn't really start playing with makeup until I was like 18, which might be one of the reasons. Many lazy, half-done makeup looks, cringeworthy experimental phases, and many, many youtube tutorial binges later, I have finally learned a simple makeup routine that actually works for my busy adulting lifestyle.

Hi, You!

Yeah, you! Welcome to my blog! I'm glad you're here. I'm Amanda, a 22-year old writer from California who's on a journey through the messy, crazy process of learning to be an adult.

Let's be honest, adulting is painful. That's why I started this blog, to share life discoveries, hacks, insights and tricks to make your life just a little bit easier.

In case no one told you today, you're beautiful, you're loved, and you're not alone in the #struggle. Stick with me and we'll make it through this wild ride!

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