capsule wardrobe

Simplify September: Calendar and Details

Photo by  Steinar Engeland  on  Unsplash

In less than 24 hours, it will be September 1st. Because I am a planner--and I think many of you are too--I'm posting the details of the Simplify September project TODAY! That way, you can hit the ground running tomorrow morning! 

The whole point of Simplify September is to make our lives less complicated. Things tend to get busier and busier during the last few months of the year. Simplify September is a way to slow down, scale back, clean up and figure out what's really important to you. That way, when the holiday season hits (believe it or not, it's just around the corner), you'll know who, what and how to prioritize in order to spend as much time as possible with the people who mean the most to you. 

There are five elements to the Simplify September project: 

1.) The 30-day Simplify September calendar (posted below)

2.) The Simplify September Meal Plans. Week One here. Week Two here

3.) The Simplify September capsule wardrobe

4.) The Simplify September reading plan (more info below)

5.) The Simplify September workbook (more info below)

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO ALL THESE THINGS.

You can do some of them. You can do most of them. You can do none of them and simply follow along and see what other people are doing. Pretty much everything in the Simplify September project can actually be done during any month of the year. 

 The Simplify September 30-day calendar is at the bottom of this post. 

Each week on the calendar, we take on a different area of life. In week one, we clear the physical clutter. In week two, we calm the mental chaos. In week three, we simplify our schedules; and in week four, we work on our relationships. Some of the items on the calendar repeat themselves. That's because they are REALLY THAT IMPORTANT. If you find one suggestion extra helpful, try incorporating it into your daily, weekly or monthly routine. 

On Sundays, we meal prep and reflect.

Every Sunday, I will post a new meal plan--with recipes. The meal plans will be updated weekly. Week one is here. Week two is here

I will also take time to reflect on the previous and upcoming week; and I encourage you to do the same. I've created a workbook for each week that includes questions to help you with those reflections. 

If you want the Simplify September workbook and weekly encouragement from me in your inbox, sign up for the Simplify September email list below. 

You can find information about the Simplify September capsule wardrobe here. This includes links to most of the items I'm wearing next month. 

And finally, the Simplify September reading plan is so simple that it doesn't need it's own post: Simply read one chapter from the book of Proverbs every day for the next 30 days. There are 31 chapters in Proverbs, so you'll have to read two chapters one day this month. That's it.

One more thing before you go...

In addition to my Tuesday Truth (Tuesday mornings at 7 a.m. PST on Instagram Live), I'll be doing some bonus Instagram Lives throughout the month. I'd love to have some of you join me on those Instagram Lives to talk about the Simplify September project and what you're learning through it. Send me an email and we can try to set up a time for a LIVE CHAT!  I'll also be using the #simplifyseptember hashtag when I post something related to the project on Instagram. Feel free to tag your Simplify September posts with the same hashtag! 

Everything about Simplify September is supposed to make you feel more calm, more organized and more present for the people and things that matter. If something in this project makes you feel stressed out or frazzled or anxious or not good enough, DON'T DO IT! 

I'm so excited to calm the chaos in our minds, relationships, time and possessions with you! Let's Simplify September together! 

Simplify September Calendar

This calendar was designed by my friend  Amy at Amy's Art Table . 

This calendar was designed by my friend Amy at Amy's Art Table

On Fall Fashion Trends and Dressing Confidently with Style Thief Fashion's Erin Stoll

Photo by  Pete Bellis  on  Unsplash

Photo by Pete Bellis on Unsplash

I met Erin Stoll of Style Thief Fashion five months ago, and the experience changed my life. Ok, maybe meeting Erin alone wasn’t life changing, though she is pretty fantastic. Erin and I met at Rachel Hollis’s RISE Conference. Going to the conference, soaking in wisdom from Rachel and the other speakers and meeting an AMAZING tribe of women who have now become REAL LIFE FRIENDS has made a huge impact on my life and this website.

Erin is hilarious, real and so freaking adorable. I knew we’d be friends from our first conversation. Thanks to the magic of social media, we talk weekly—sometimes daily—even though she lives in the Midwest. Watching Erin rock her fashion styling and wardrobe editing business (while working full time for Special Olympics and being a wife and mom) is a huge encouragement to me to keep pursuing MY dreams, despite how busy the rest of my life might be.

Today, Erin’s sharing her favorite fall trends, the five pieces you MUST have in your wardrobe at all times and how she edits women’s EXISTING WARDROBES to help them feel more confident. I know you’re gonna love Erin as much as I do by the end of this interview…

Jenn Prentice (JP): Oh hey, friend. Thanks for chatting with me. First thing is first, tell everyone about yourself.

Erin Stoll (ES): Why is this the most difficult question? I am so many things! I will narrow it down to this: I'm a wife, mama, lover of people and shoes. I live in Omaha, Nebraska and I love coffee and chocolate…probably too much! 

JP: We met in April, only a few months after you launched Style Thief Fashion. Since then, I’ve watched you and the business BLOOM. You just hosted a styling session with Evereve, and you’re headed to Omaha Fashion Week. Tell me more about Style Thief Fashion and what inspired you to start it.

ES: I have loved fashion my whole life. As a teenager, I read Vogue and tried so many trends (some good and some that were so SO bad). It took me a long time to find my style; but through trial and error, I eventually discovered it. Basically, I would see a look in a magazine and think "I have a dress like that and I could find a similar shoe and add some jewelry." I figured out how to put my own spin on the trends I saw while staying true to what worked for me. Eventually, friends started calling me and saying "Hey I'm going on a date and I don't know what to wear!" or "I want to come borrow your dress, shoes, jewelry." I loved helping them find the perfect outfit.

I had the idea to start a blog when blogging first became big, but I talked myself out of it. I thought: "Why would anyone listen to me? Other women have blogs like this. It’s already been done." You know, all the things we say to hold ourselves back. But then I turned 40, and I felt fearless! Around Christmas of 2017, I had friends at my house for a solid week, asking for my help styling them for their holiday party, holiday getaway, etc. I thought: I could do this ALL DAY. So, I decided to go for it, and I launched Style Thief Fashion in January of 2018.

JP: Where did the name come from?

ES: The name Style Thief came from the idea that I would "steal" looks I saw in magazines, on Instagram, etc. but still make them my own. With my business we are essentially taking away your old look and finding a new you. 

JP: I love that tagline because it feels easy and accessible; and I think a lot of women feel intimidated by fashion and trying to stay “on trend.” What’s your goal with Style Thief Fashion?

ES: My goal is to help women find their unique style and feel confident, no matter what. I’ve struggled with my weight and accepting my body since I was young. Growing up, I would put on outfit after outfit trying to find the perfect thing and end up in tears on my bedroom floor. I’m a lot more confident in myself now—though I definitely still have my days. I want to encourage women that no matter what their size, no matter what is going on in their life, they can feel amazing in their clothes and their bodies when they understand what works for them.

JP: How does the styling process work?

ES: It's important to me that each client I work with focuses on who she is TODAY. We start by clearing out the "clutter"--physically and energetically. I know it sounds "woo woo," but women tend to emotionally hold on to clothes that they used to wear because of a memory attached to them. Or they hold on to clothes because they reflect a size they want to be again. I firmly believe that your wardrobe should reflect you NOW. When we find what works for your body, your lifestyle, your job, your life NOW, you aren't clinging to the past or waiting for the future. You are embracing who you are and that is the path to finding your true style.

JP: Yes, yes, yes!!!!!! I could not agree more with everything you just said. So, let’s dig into that a bit more. How do you think clothes impact our lives as women?

ES: I think clothes have a tremendous impact on women—even if we don’t want to admit it. How many times have you had a great day then you put on a pair of jeans and they feel tight? Or you go into a dressing room and your "normal" size doesn't fit? Or how much money have you spent on an outfit you don't really like but you wear it to fit in with the moms at school, or you want to look "on trend"? While we shouldn't let the size of our jeans or finding the perfect outfit have so much control over our mood, we can't deny that when we have on an outfit that fits our body, is comfortable, or makes us feel powerful, we can take on the day-whatever that looks like for you. When you know your unique style, you can get dressed without all the other drama getting in the way. If you know that when you open your closet you LOVE everything inside and it ALL fits, you can move on and focus on your family, your career, your relationships--the REALLY important stuff!

JP: This is why I’m doing a Simplify September Capsule Wardrobe. Less time worrying about clothes. More time for other things. Speaking of September and clothes. What are your top five fall trends?

ES: Only five? Ok. I can do this…

1.) A great fitting pair of dark or black denim. While I still love a distressed jean, this Fall a clean pair of dark or black denim will take you from the soccer game, to work, to date night.

2.) A (faux) leather jacket. I also love the look of a moto jacket for fall. It can be dressed up or down. 

3.) A blazer. Menswear inspired blazers are big this fall! Herringbone, tweed and plaid are all great choices. Keep the color neutral and the fit slightly oversized. 

4.) A black boot. Something like the classic Chelsea boot will go with jeans, dresses and skirts; and you can find a version of it to fit your budget almost anywhere!

5.) Prints! I would choose a button down shirt in one of the following: plaid, animal print or floral. All 3 prints are big and can be worn in countless ways. Choose your favorite and rock it with all of the above. Or pop a print in a dress, shoe or jacket. 

JP: What are your top five wardrobe staples?

ES: This is easy! 

  1. 1. Denim Jacket. It will always be the number one item on my list
  2. 2. Black Dress  
  3. 3. Chambray Shirt
  4. 4. Three pairs of jeans (I know I'm kind of cheating here!) A distressed boyfriend jean, a clean darker denim, and a lighter wash. 
  5. 5. Basic tanks and tees in White, grey, black and a stripe. 

If you have all of the above, you can build SO MANY outfits! 

JP: Well, I gotta say I’m breathing a sigh of relief. I have everything you recommended in my closet, which is good since I’m not buying any new clothes, shoes or accessories until next May. Let’s shift gears again. Two more questions, both a bit more serious. You have daughters. What do you hope they know and understand about clothes and their bodies and how are you trying to model that through your work? 

ES: Whew! Girl this is THE question right here. Well first I want them to love and accept their bodies, and I know the best way to do this is to model this behavior for them.  I still struggle with this some days. It is a journey and I'm still on it! I focus on what their bodies can DO not what they look like. I also let them pick out their own outfits! They know what they like and I love watching them express themselves with their clothes. 90% of the time its not an outfit I would choose for them. My oldest literally throws on whatever is clean, and my five year old would wear a tutu and sequins every single day! But if they feel great, that is what matters! We'll see if I'm still feeling this way when they are teenagers!

JP: Last question. I’m asking everyone I interview this one. At the end of your life, what type of legacy do you hope to leave?

ES: I hope they say that I made them laugh and that I had the best shoes! Ha! No, but really, I want the people I work with and the people I love to know that I believe in them. I want them to feel as though I inspired them to embrace who they are. It took me so long--WAY too long--to do that for myself. So I want to give women permission to embrace who they truly are, and help them find a way to express who that is through their clothes. I want my family and friends to know that I love them FIERCELY and that its never to late to find your inner badass! She's in there!

JP: So where can people find you and get in touch? 

ES: I'm on Instagram at . They can also email me at stylethieffashion at gmail dot com.

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Simplify September: Capsule Wardrobe

Photo by  Alexandra Gorn  on  Unsplash

It’s now October 2nd. The capsule wardrobe experiment is over, and I could not be happier. I have included a few updates that I made to the Simplify September capsule wardrobe below. Here are my final thoughts on capsule wardrobes in general:

  • If you like fashion or variety, a capsule wardrobe is probably not for you.

  • If you have a well-edited closet already, no matter how many pieces you have in it, a capsule wardrobe is not for you.

  • If you live in a place without discernible seasons (ex: the Central Coast of California, where it could be 85 degrees one day and 65 degrees the next), a capsule wardrobe is not for you.

  • A capsule wardrobe is meant to simplify the “getting ready” process. If, at any point, doing a capsule wardrobe feels stressful then A CAPSULE WARDROBE IS NOT FOR YOU.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Confession: Being a fashion blogger is top three on my list of dream jobs. You get free clothes, an excuse to take selfies and a rabid fan base that thinks you look good in just about anything. Count. Me. In. 

The problem with fashion blogging, is the materialistic world in which it exists. Having things and looking a certain way in those things have always been my achilles heel, and being a fashion blogger would only feed that beast. Ironically, I've come closer to my dream of fashion blogging in the last three and a half months of NOT buying clothes for an entire year. The beauty of posting outfit selfies while not buying clothes for a year is that it removes (most of) the materialistic aspect from the equation; and that's what I'm hoping the Simplify September Capsule Wardrobe will do too. 

In case you missed it, my Simplify September project kicks off September 1st. It's a month-long project to go from chaos to calm the last few months of 2018 (or at least the month of September). Because I'm not shopping for a year, I created the Simplify September Capsule Wardrobe (which I'm releasing today so you have time to create one of your own) with items I currently have in my closet. While I linked some similar items below (not affiliate links), the goal isn't to make you feel like you need to purchase something.

The goal of the Simplify September Capsule Wardrobe is to show you--and myself--that WHAT WE HAVE IS ENOUGH. No article of clothing, pair of shoes, handbag, NOTHING can truly make us feel more confident in who we are. Sure, material possessions can give us a temporary high, but until we understand that who we are RIGHT NOW, THIS MOMENT, FLAWS AND ALL, is enough, we'll keep trying to fill a hole that simply can't be filled with the things of this world.  

Ok. Enough soapboxing. Here's how the Simplify September Capsule Wardrobe works: 

1.) Pick 30 items, including shoes, handbags and accessories but excluding pajamas and workout clothes to wear for the month of September. (Sidenote: When I wear workout clothes, it's because I am headed to the gym. I shower and change almost immediately afterwards. If you are into the athleisure trend, then workout clothes will need to be included in your capsule wardrobe.)

2.) Wear those 30 items--and only those 30 items--during the month of September. 

3.) Post your outfits on Instagram using the hashtag #SSCapsuleWardrobe. 

Here's what my Simplify September Capsule Wardrobe looks like: 

IMG_7172.jpg

Here are the principles I used to create it:

1.) Pick items in the same color families. 

2.) Choose items that will transition easily from day to night or work to play. 

3.) Decide what items you love and what you can live without for a month. For instance, I can use the same tote bag and minimal accessories for 30 days, but I need a variety of shoes. 

Other things I considered when creating a capsule wardrobe: 

1.) The weather 

2.) Upcoming activities and events 

Finally, here are some of my favorite items from my personal Simplify September Capsule Wardrobe: 

1.) Longchamp Tote Bag (mine is gray)

2,) Leith Tank Dress (color: tan)

3.) Billabong Sea the Sun Kimono

4.) Backless mules

5.) BB Dakota Faux Leather Jacket Update 10/2/18- I swapped this for a basic black top to wear on girl’s nights out. More versatile, and the weather didn’t end up being as cold as I thought it was going to be at night last month.

6.) Loft Boyfriend Jeans

7.) Distressed Black Jeans

8.) Striped cardigan

9.) Black bodysuit tank top

10.) Black maxi skirt - **Update 10/2/18- I swapped this for another pair of jeans.

I'll admit, I'm a bit nervous about this whole experiment. September weather where I live can be anywhere from high 80's to low 60's, so figuring out what items to include in my personal capsule wardrobe was a bit of a stretch. Still, I'm committed to showing you guys--and proving to myself--that I can get by on less and still feel confident in who I am!

Comment below if you're joining the Simplify September Capsule Wardrobe challenge, and let me know one item you're planning to wear! 

***8/21/18 UPDATE***

Some of you asked about the rest of the items in my capsule wardrobe. Here they are: 

11.) Graphic tee (You can design your own here!!!!)- Update 10/2/18- I swapped this for a more versatile blue button down shirt.

12.) Black v-neck t-shirt

13.) White v-neck t-shirt

14.) Tan Peep Toe Booties (similar here

15.) Cole Haan Sandals (similar here

16.) Black Peep Toe Booties (similar here) - Update 10/2/18- I swapped this for my favorite green jumper. I wear it all the time and should have included it in my capsule wardrobe initially. 30 days without wearing it would have been a BIG MISTAKE.

17.) Gray tank top

18.) Denim jacket

19.) Statement belt

20.) Cropped dark wash skinny jeans 

21.) Striped bell sleeve shirt (similar here)

22.) Gold Statement Earrings (similar here

23.) Basic gold stud earrings (similar here

24.) Lightweight black blazer (similar here

25.) Denim shorts

26.) Off white cardigan

27.) Gray circle cardigan sweater (similar here

28.) Off white tank- Update 10/2/18- I swapped this for a pair of statement earrings. Turns out, I DO like wearing a variety of accessories.

29.) Knit pullover sweater (similar here

30.) Floral shell tank top (similar here