Viewing entries in
outfit inspiration

closet case study: sara's fall capsule wardrobe

closet case study: sara's fall capsule wardrobe

Capsule wardrobes are all the rage right now. First there was Kendi's 30x30, then Project 333, and now the Unfancy blog has added a whole new level of coolness to the capsule. For a very thoughtful and methodical approach, I love the Into Mind website. For me, capsule wardrobes aren't necessarily about finding crazy ways to wear things ("I'm going to wear my shirt as a skirt!"), but about wearing only things that you love and that all work interchangeably with each other.

Last spring, I started working with Sara, a mostly-stay-at-home-mom. We first worked on a post-baby transitional wardrobe (she'd just had her second son). Recently, she was ready to solidify her fall wardrobe. She'd started out with some basics and bought some great pieces on her own, but then wanted my help finding the last few pieces to pull it all together and creating multiple outfits. Since we'd worked together before, she knew I wanted to see some styles that inspired her, so she started a Pinterest board for her fall wardrobe. Here are a few of the looks she loved:

(Images: Atlantic Pacific, Karla Reed, Celebrity Street Style)

After we added a few new items, here's what we had:

Six tops, one sweater, two jackets, four pairs of pants, three pairs of shoes, and a scarf (see sources for exact or similar items at end of post). Seventeen pieces.

Here's a little of what you can do with seventeen pieces
(click on any image to start a slideshow):

Granted, Sara's activities are mostly casual in nature. Attire for rare occasions like weddings isn't included here, but there are plenty of options for date nights and other social events. If you are someone who works in an office, you could easily add a pair of trousers, a skirt, and a dress or two into the mix to multiply your options.

Capsule collections are a trend, but in reality, it's how I believe all wardrobes should work. In Sara's words: "When I open my closet now, I only see pieces that fit, that I actually wear and that are in season."
How many pieces would you be left with if your closet fit those parameters?


P.S. A few more sweet comments from Sara about our work together:

"You've changed my perspective on how I view my wardrobe and how I approach shopping. You really showed me how simple it is to mix and match items to create multiple outfits. Now I see what I need to make my wardrobe more complete and functional. When I go shopping now, I know exactly what items to look for rather than buying random pieces that simply appeal to me. I really appreciated your objectivity. You never tried to change my personal style. Rather you helped me identify it and showed me what pieces I currently have that fit that style. It was also helpful that you took the time to make a board on Pinterest and Polyvore. I ended up buying some of the items you suggested because they were perfect! All in all you really helped to boost my self-confidence. So thank you!"

Want your own capsule wardrobe? Go here to sign up for my 5 day capsule creation challenge! You'll get my capsule planner and emails leading you through the process of setting up your capsule! 

madewell picks

madewell picks

While we were in Boulder during July, I attempted to restart my yoga practice and signed up for unlimited classes at a studio a five minute walk from our apartment. The classes were great, except that there was a Madewell store next door. I'm being completely honest with you here, I actually only went in twice, thanks to my temporarily misplaced desire to shop. Aside from the initial excitement when Madewell first opened (it's a subsidiary of J. Crew) in 2006 and again when the Madewell store opened in St. Louis last year, I hadn't really done a lot of shopping there. But when I went in recently, the store was filled with hip, casual basics with artistic details and I found myself snapping tons of pictures (what I do to make note of items I like). Here's what caught my eye:

I saw one of the Madewell employees (who was not a skinny minnie) wearing this tank and it was adorable and very flattering. Also nursing friendly!

This ikat dress is so easy and breezy for hot August weather.

This is pretty much the perfect black dress - it would be flattering on almost every figure. It feels very substantial and well made in person.

This dress has actually been on my wishlist for a while. Great swingy shape for flowing right over spots you don't want to highlight and buttons for nursing!


I am in LOVE with this necklace, it has a very Marni feel. I'm going to try and DIY a version of it, but if that doesn't work out, I'll be buying this one. It has a cool sliding clasp which makes it adjustable, which is the holy grail of necklaces for me.

I love the Japanese technique of shibori dying, it makes such a cool pattern. I'm lucky enough to have a similar scarf by the fabric artist Rena Wood, but this one is great too.

Booties are my favorite shoes to wear in the fall, but I prefer not being able to see socks peeking out. These are thicker than the ones I usually wear and look comfy.

It's sometimes hard to find a patterned neutral scarf (I know, poor me) and this one is a wool blend, so would actually be somewhat warm.

Another cool geometric necklace.


Good stuff, right? Is anything here going to make your wishlist?


(this post contains affiliate links)

summer uniform: white+denim

summer uniform: white+denim

After blogging about my bargain find, I thought it'd be fun to put together a few looks to show how I'd wear the white top.









Click images for sources

Click images for sources

So many different looks with such a simple piece...

emerson fry for less

emerson fry for less

Emerson Fry is a line that was started (as Emerson Made) in 2009. In the beginning, the line was small and Emerson herself was the model as well as designer. This image has been one of my favorite style inspirations since I saw it (I believe this is the "mod" dress from
Spring 2011).

emerson fry mod dress

As the line has grown, she's added more and more classic, simple, and beautiful garments. They all seem as though they'll never go out of style. Currently, I like the Drawstring Raglan Dress and the Italian Motoretta Dress (below).

Another look I love, and one that is super popular around the interwebs is the Caftan Dress (below, left).

I was looking at it recently when I realized that I had something extremely similar bookmarked on Amazon (above, right). Same cut, made in the same country (India). I wouldn't hesitate to invest in one of Emerson Fry's chic dresses, but for this guy, I think I'll pay $25 instead of $238.

This is more boho than my usual style, but I feel like I lean a little more boho in the summer - it's hard to pull off in the snow, amiright? Does your style change from season to season?

bloggers who rocked maternity style

I understand that many people could care less about being pregnant or babies, and to be perfectly honest, I was that person a very short time ago. I promise that this blog isn't going to turn into all-maternity-all-the-time, but maternity style is definitely a challenge and we could all use some help. Not to mention that it seems like everyone I know is pregnant! Has it always been this way, and I just didn't notice? In any case, while this is maternity style inspiration, rest assured that these are all bloggers who I've followed before and after their bumps turned into babies, so there's inspiration for everyone.


all images via

all images via

Ahn from 9 to 5 chic is exactly that: chic. Here are her top maternity tips and here are all of her maternity posts.

I love Audrey from Casual Glamorous's easy, edgy style. Go here for her maternity style posts.

Through Audrey, I discovered Marian from Marionberry Style. Here are her maternity tips and here are all of her maternity style posts.

Tanesha from Girl With Curves is currently 8 months pregnant and has managed to stick to mostly non-maternity wear.

A couple of other recommendations: Emily Henderson, of Design Star and all-around awesomeness fame, wrote a great post recently about her maternity must haves. A local girl who knocked it out of the park is Carmen from The Ruby Zipper. And just in case you're thinking, ok, but all these girls just have these cute tiny bumps, here's a post keeping it real. Love it.


P.S. Have you liked mindful closet on Facebook?? Please do, I'll love you forever ;)

in lieu of maternity outfit pics

Not feeling much like taking photos of myself these days, but these two outfits (comprised of non-maternity items) are representations of ones that have been on repeat recently.

maternity outfit st  louis personal shopper.jpg




maternity outfit.jpg

For times when I've wanted to look slightly more spiffy, this one (with a rubber band through the buttonhole of the jeans) is still working for me.


So far, so good...

layering piece: fur vest

So, I don't do too well with cold weather. I grew up in coastal Alabama, where we regularly wore shorts on Christmas. Living in St. Louis has made me realize the importance of layering for warmth, and one of my favorite layering pieces is a fur vest.  

As I was pulling images from my Pinterest board for this post, I realized that three of them were of Wendy from Wendy's Lookbook, who has clearly mastered this piece. Above, under a trench, below, over a cardigan and with wide-legged denim. 

image via  

image via 

image via  

image via 

I also love the vest over a striped tee, patterned blouse, or a black dress and it's guaranteed to keep me warm! I was lucky enough to find mine at a thrift store, but here are a few options at various price points.

From left: 6 Shore Road via Shopbop, $175; Favorite Faux Fur Vest via Forever 21, $39.80; Standout Faux Fur Vest via Forever 21, $39.80; and BCBG, $598

Although I wore my vest all winter last year and plan to do the same this season, I'd say this is a trendier piece that you may not want to spend the big bucks on. Anyone else out there trying out this look?