Friday, January 30, 2015

Less is More

I've been thinking about what my motto for 2015 should be. A few years back, I decided that I was going to embrace the idea "When in doubt, be bold." It really helped me to gain confidence and try loads of new things that I didn't think I could. But now, I feel like my life needs a new focus.

Moving makes you really evaluate your life. Especially if you are doing a huge move like I did! I realized that I have a lot of stuff. The hubby and I made a real effort to get rid of a lot of stuff before we moved but we still have so much. And I don't really think that I need that much stuff.

As a fashion blogger, especially one who sews, there is this sort of unwritten expectation that you have to provide newer, bigger, more fabulous outfits all the time. So most of us end up with closets and dressers and vanities overflowing with stuff! It can be quite paralyzing to look at these piles of things and try to decide what to wear.

As I was packing (and, later, unpacking), I kept catching myself asking when the last time I wore a garment was-six months, a year, or more?? Obviously, I do have fancy frocks and things like my vow renewal dress that won't get worn very often but much of it was everyday type clothing or hats or gloves or whatever.

I've come to realize that I really enjoy wearing a simple but well put together comfortable outfit. Things that are fussy, require special undergarments or have bold and crazy prints tend not to get worn very often. I wear a very basic makeup look almost everyday and while I like to play with makeup for a night out, I prefer a very natural look. And I don't really like wearing red lipstick.

So where does this leave me? I looked at myself in the mirror and said "Stephanie, you have enough clothes. You even have enough clothes to have a fashion blog and keep your readers from getting bored."

I still love sewing and I will be adding to my wardrobe but I want to do it more strategically. I will not get distracted by quilting cottons and I will make comfortable basics to fill in the gaps in my wardrobe. I want to also do more costuming this year and learn to do blackwork embroidery as a new creative outlet.

I'm going to be evaluating my wardrobe this year and weeding out things that I don't love and things that aren't really practical for Florida weather. I will focus on using things I already have-hats, jewelry, patterns, fabric-instead of buying new. If I do decide to buy new, I want to invest in quality things that will really be used in my wardrobe. And I want to spend more of my free time doing other things I love like reading, biking and going to the beach rather than feeling like I *have* to be sewing all of the time.

So this year my motto is going to be "Less is More". 


  1. Very nice, I like your motto.


  2. One of my Art students just said. Less is More in class, recently!
    That stuck with me too! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  3. Yes! I agree completely. That was my whole aim last year with the blog...and while I sewed a lot more than usual, I never felt pressured and I made a lot of practical items.

  4. This post is just so amazing. I have a very deep lack of basics in my closet, but my closet is jam-packed full of other stuff. I don't do New Year's resolutions, but I am doing the Vintage Pattern Pledge and am using it to make up basics for my wardrobe. My fabric stash is huge enough to allow me to be frivolous without spending money on frivolous.

  5. Poignant, wise motto and approach to life. I really appreciate that you raised the point about fashion bloggers - vintage or otherwise - feeling like they constantly have to top their own last outfit (if not those of their/our peers, if only subconsciously). Surely being who you are and wearing what makes you happy and comfortable should trump such things, but it rarely does. I foresee more fashion bloggers taking your lead and paring down to their true current favourite styles and garments and not just focusing on constantly buying new clothes all the time, as the years go on.

    ♥ Jessica

  6. I know how you feel! As I ventured back in to sewing I decided I wanted to sew garments that pulled together effortlessly. Your motto is great and adjusting your hobbies is a step in the right direction. Shine on!

  7. Yay! This is so important; shopping and making new clothes is so much fun, but with too big of a wardrobe it's easy to get hooked on acquiring and not actually wearing the things you buy to the fullest potential (you know...from personal experience at least). Can't wait to see what kind of posts this resolution generates!

  8. I know how you feel. I'm mostly working on sewing up a wardrobe, and I want to be happy and comfortable. I'm still a student, and I don't have much money to be super frivolous. I need to go and look through my closet and see what hasn't been worn in ages now.

    Carla, TinyAngryCrafts

  9. Oh, I so understand where you are coming from! I collect gloves and hats and shoes and, and, and.... And yet I really have to push myself to actually wear them unless I'm using them in a photo shoot. I will wear gloves to church, but hardly wear the hats unless I'm going out to a special evening event.

    It's really a tricky balance to find; I love the beautiful vintage pieces, but if they just sit in the back of my wardrobe gathering dust why am I really buying these things?? Mostly for blogging? Probably... I think I need to think a lot more about why I buying, and whether or not it really fills a hole in my wardrobe. Thank you for this wake up call Stephanie! ❤

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

  10. I think that's an awesome motto. I've been struggling myself with the feeling that I always have to keep buying, and I'm actually setting myself a little "no shopping" challenge this month to try and rein it in a little bit. I do think there's something about the internet and social media that can create this sense of pressure, like we have to live up to what all the other bloggers and Instagrammers and doing. I think limits can really help inspire creativity. It's easy to buy a new thing, but it's more fun and more challenging to give something that you've had in your closet for years a new spin.
    I think the way that you've broken things down really makes sense. You know yourself and what you like, and you're recognizing that you're not necessarily buying for your real life. I think that's something I could stand to work on myself.
    Jessica, Zella Maybe

  11. Goodness, this post is so incredibly relatable! Like you, we just made a massive move, and I have felt very overwhelmed by my closet and accessories! But I often feel, as you mentioned, pressured to continue to provide new outfits and looks for my blog! I am so scared of wearing the same thing and sharing it on my blog to the point where it is stressful sometimes getting dressed! And life shouldn't be like that. And sometimes I think "Do I even notice when bloggers repeat items? And if I don't will my readers notice when I repeat items?" It's taking some great getting used to to that notion and I'm glad to see other bloggers out there reevaluating their closets and items. And I look forward to your classic and simple looks that I'm sure will be a breath of fresh air among the fanciful and high maintenance looks one sees elsewhere.