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how to buy clothes when your weight fluctuates

how to buy clothes when your weight fluctuates

I think it’s a pretty rare human woman whose weight doesn’t fluctuate. If not over the course of a month, certainly over the course of a life. It would be unnatural for it not to. A question I get a lot is how we we can choose and purchase clothes knowing that these fluctuations will occur. I’ve had my share of physical changes over the last 6 years and I’ve found a few pieces along the way that, while not good for the whole 50-pound swing I’ve experienced, are certainly good for a 5-10 pound fluctuation.

clothes for weight fluctuations

Madewell Danny jeans

These jeans apparently have “magic pockets” and while I question the validity of that claim, there’s definitely something special going on here. These are the only pair of jeans I’ve owned since March. It’s possible to only own ONE pair of jeans!

mindful closet blog: what to wear when your weight fluctuates

AG Farrah High Rise

Speaking of magic, I call these my magic jeans because they have fit me at multiple different sizes. Case in point, this photo was taken at least four years ago.

mindful closet: virtual personal stylist

Elastic waists have come a long way since my granny wore them in her nursing home.  I’ve loved this Madewell pair that look polished yet are so comfy (similar option here, ethical version here). While technically not an ethically made clothing item, these pants are an example of an article of clothing that has been used enough to have justified its purchase.

mindful closet: virtual stylist

A more recent elastic waist purchase, these from Me & Arrow, via St. Louis store Shop Descendent.

If you click through some of these links and are turned off by the prices, remember that there are always ways to do designer or ethical fashion on a budget. All of the Madewell jeans I’ve purchased over the last couple of years have been secondhand through Poshmark.

Do you have any pieces that have stayed in your wardrobe throughout wardrobe fluctuations?

P.S. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which may generate income for mindful closet. To see even more of my picks for flexible clothing, go here.

make your capsule wardrobe work for you + a giveaway

make your capsule wardrobe work for you + a giveaway

So it’s November 10, and I’m just now getting around to posting my “fall” capsule wardrobe. I really felt bad about that for quite some time, but you know what? Life was busy in October, the weather was 100 degrees, and that’s just not when it worked for me. But that’s the thing - capsule wardrobes only work when they work for you. If the “rules” don’t work for you, make up new ones.

Even a few weeks into this capsule, there are a few other things that are not working for me. If it’s not really warm, I just can’t make myself do the dress or the wide leg crops. I hate being cold! So those won’t get a lot of use. For winter, most of this will stay the same, but I purposely kept a few sweaters out of the fall capsule to save to have something “new” to pull out in January or February. To my surprise, I haven’t actually purchased anything new for fall, except for a $6 secondhand layering tee. There are a few things I purchased at the end of last winter that are just now showing up, but nothing purchased recently. I may find something I need to add midway through the season or I may not.

So here’s my not-perfect fall capsule, with some not-perfect photos to accompany it. 

*purchased or made ethically

make your capsule wardrobe work for you


First row: *Elizabeth Suzann Sullivan sweater, purchased secondhand, similar; *Free people long cardigan, purchased secondhand, similar; *Target striped black and white tee, thrifted; *LulaRoe Irma tunic, purchased secondhand; *Elizabeth Suzann artist smock

Second row: MOD black and white patterned blouse; Neiman Marcus cashmere poncho, similar; *Elizabeth Suzann black linen Harper tunic; *Vintage sweater, purchased secondhand; *Vince taupe sweater, purchased secondhand

Third row: *Off white long sleeve tee, Piko 1988, purchased secondhand; *Liz Clairborne cardigan, thrfited; *COS blue and white striped top, thrifted (Madewell Courier shirt is similar, also easy to find used on Poshmark); *Black Michael Stars dress, purchased secondhand, similar; *J. Crew blue and white striped top, purchased secondhand

mindful closet st louis personal stylist

BOTTOMS: *AG light wash jeans; *Madewell high waist dark wash jeans, purchased secondhand; Old Navy rust cropped pants, similar, similar; Madewell slim boyjean; Express black pants; *Everlane high waisted cropped pants; *Pact black leggings; *Black AG high waisted jeans (not pictured, oops!)

SHOES: Danskos; Nine West black chelsea boots, similar; Eileen Fisher mules ; Blondo booties; Vaneli black suede block heel ankle boots

Read all my blog posts about capsule wardrobes here.  Download my Capsule Wardrobe Worksheet here

This post contains affiliate links, which may generate a few cents of revenue per click


a color i want to wear: rust

a color i want to wear: rust

I'm pretty color-averse, but lately I've been really drawn to anything and everything rust-colored. Although associated with fall earth tones, it's been showing up on everything from underwear to accessories for spring. 

mindful closet: spring color

(bra, necklace, sunglasses, print, bag)

In addition to the items above, I've been bingeing on Reese Blutstein's Instagram feed and loving all the rust sprinkled throughout. 

mindful closet: obsessed with reese blutstein

Any colors you're getting excited for as the weather warms up? 

(this post contains affiliate links)

new year's eve trends

new year's eve trends

How did everyone do over the holidays? I had a great time with family, but I'm ready to get back to normal eating and sleeping and life!

Of course, there's still one big night left before the end of the year. The question is always whether to buy something new or wear something you own for New Year's Eve. Luckily, with rental services, you can wear a new-to-you gown without having to shell out hundreds of dollars for something you're probably not going to want to wear again. 

Here are a few of my picks for trends in evening wear, all available from Rent the Runway. 

(Click photos for links to items)

Cutouts: if you've been keeping up with your barre classes (uh...), you might feel brave enough to try one of these. Or not.

Jumpsuits are a fun way to be dressed up but still comfy. Do a jumpsuit with culotte pants and hit two trends at once. 

Off the shoulder has been big for both casual and dressy this year. Always helpful if you prefer a little arm coverage. 

Do you have big plans for New Year's Eve? What are you wearing? There's still time to order a rental from Rent the Runway, and if you use this link, you'll get $30 off your first rental. They're not paying me for this blog post, but I will get a credit if you sign up through the link! 

I'm pretty excited about my NYE plans - I'll be going to the STL Symphony New Year's Eve concert, and I'm going to be interviewed on the live broadcast. We'll be talking about orchestra fashion - if you're not sure what that is, make sure to tune in! ;) Listen to the live broadcast Saturday night at 7pm on 90.7 KWMU or online here

Happy New Year!

P.S. Have you signed up for my email list yet? Only one email a month, and this month, I'll be talking about some big plans I have for 2017, as well as events and sales. Sign up below. 

fall capsule wardrobe review

fall capsule wardrobe review

I spent the month of December planning, organizing, and shopping for my next capsule wardrobe, but somehow never got around to blogging about it. Today, I'm at jury duty, which turns out to be the best place for me to get some work done!

First and foremost, I really do like the concept and decided to continue it, adapting it to my needs. I learned a lot from the fall version and will try to avoid making the same mistakes. One mistake I made was having too many warm weather items. Once cool weather hit, I felt like I was wearing the same sweater constantly. Even I need a little variety, and yes, I did start to get a little bored with what I had. Also, a few of the items in my fall capsule only got worn once. Some of those made it to the donation pile. Some were for special occasions, and in the future, I don't think I'll include them in the capsule.

Since I didn't have enough cool weather items, I bought a few (this layering tee, this tunic, this sweater, these jeans) towards the end and started wearing them. It would have been ridiculous to wait until January 1 to get use out of them. I'm also not going to limit myself on accessories next time - I'll be wearing necklaces and scarves with abandon. 

rick owens velvet leather jacket


Because I've focused and edited my wardrobe over time, many items got worn multiple times a week. Yes, clothes do wear out faster when you have fewer things you wear more often. I'm choosing to think of this as a positive (replacing things means I get to shop, which is my favorite activity), but it is a little frustrating when you invested so much time looking for those pieces only a few seasons ago. I knew many of these things were on their last legs, but it seems as if they've all given out at the same time. I ended up with quite a long shopping list of items to replace. One was a dressy black coat, and I "invested" (I don't think clothes are ever a real investment, but at least I could resell this easily if I wanted to) in a Rick Owens jacket from the online consignment store The Real Real (above, similar version here). I also got this Madewell purse as a Christmas gift from mr. mindful closet and I really love it - lightweight AND functional!

I'll keep working on a post about my shopping list and the full winter capsule, but I'm not stressing too much about the fact that I didn't have it ready to go on January 1. It's all a process and I'd rather buy the right things at the right time than buy something mediocre in order to have it by an arbitrary date. 

Happy New Year! 

client lookbook

client lookbook

Just for fun, a summer lookbook I put together for a client recently:

st louis personal stylist
st louis personal stylist
st louis personal stylist
st louis personal stylist

As always, there are many more combinations to be made, but only so much time...

what do I wear to Powell Hall?

what do I wear to Powell Hall?

Feeling like you're wearing the appropriate thing is a huge part of feeling confident in your clothing. As a former classical musician and orchestra staff member, and current "Symphony wife", and personal stylist, one of the questions I get asked most often is, "What do I wear to the Symphony?"

The great thing about the concert hall is that, while people may have felt intimidated in the past, there's no longer a dress code. (There is one for the musicians on stage but that's a whole other blog post.) The general idea is to look "nice", and there are levels from business casual to dressy that are all appropriate. There are also different kinds of concerts. While a cocktail dress would be appropriate for an evening "orchestral" concert, it would probably look out of place in the sea of toddlers and parents that attend a Sunday afternoon Family Concert.

I don’t think it’s ever appropriate to wear sloppy sweats or pajamas in public, so I’m certainly not going to say they’re ok to wear to a concert. However, I'm here to tell you that you can wear jeans to Powell Hall. You'll want to leave your sweatshirt at home, but with a jacket or nice sweater, jeans fit right in.

If I were forced to categorize the dress code, I’d probably say business casual. Since the phrase business casual is something that people struggle with as well, here’s what it means for the Symphony: for men, slacks and a more casual top (knit top or sweater). Or it can mean jeans, but with a dressier top (jacket or dress shirt). For the women, it can mean a dress, pants, or jeans (with the aforementioned dressier top half).

Need a visual? Here are a few examples:


This is how you can do "nice" for the men and still be warm and comfy. Dark wash jeans look more polished than something with fading or distressing. (sweater, shirt, jeans, jacket, boots)

The ladies can also be comfy and still appropriate in a stretchy knit dress and classic boots.
(dress, scarf, boots, bag)

Step it up a notch by adding a jacket and tie to your shirt and jeans.
(jacket, shirt, tie, jeans, shoes)

When in doubt, always keep it simple. A sharp jacket, heels, and (again) a dark wash make these jeans totally event-worthy. (top, similar jacket, jeans, shoes, bag, necklace)

Guys can do sharp jackets too. This outfit is for Eddie.
(jacket, sweater, pants, shoes, socks)

A beaded jacket and statement necklace show off an eclectic style.
(Jacket, jeans, bag, shoes, necklace)


So now that we’ve established that it doesn’t have to be a “fancy” occasion, one of the great things about going to Powell Hall is that it can be a rare chance to dress up, should you choose to do so. If you're a clotheshorse, a concert is a great chance to pull out a suit, or to wear one straight from the office if it's your daily uniform. (Suit, shoes, tie)


Pull out that cocktail dress that hasn’t seen the light of day (or night) in a year.
(Dress, jacket, shoes, earrings, clutch)

Lastly, as I mentioned earlier, there are many different types of concerts at Powell Hall. For the most part, I’ve been speaking of attending what are called “Subscription” concerts. These are the regular, weekly, straight-ahead classical concerts (like this weekend's Vivaldi Four Seasons). The Symphony also plays live music for movies (The Godfather in March), concerts with video game music (Final Fantasy in May), tributes to rock bands like Journey, and concerts for kids and families. For all of these, the attire is a bit more casual. On the other hand, for the yearly Gala and New Year’s Eve concerts, black tie is totally acceptable.

Bottom line is, it’s hard to mess up. You’re welcome at a concert even if you do show up in your pj’s, I just wouldn’t recommend it. For your own confidence, you know.

What do you wear to Powell Hall?

(this post contains affiliate links)