If you’ve been here before (hello!), you’ll know that at the beginning of the year, I wrote a little about this year being my year of ‘thoughtful spending‘. This meant attacking the vast piles of clothes in the top of my wardrobe, working out what was wearable and what wasn’t (tick), sending what wasn’t to charity (tick!), and having a good hard look at how in future, my wardrobe could be a) smaller and b) more user friendly (work in progress). Of course once I started on my home wardrobe, this started to filter down to my holiday wardrobe. Here’s how I got on in my quest to pack like a minimalist.
I’ve always been a terrible impulse buyer: I’ll make purchases that I love but don’t actually think about whether they’ll go with anything else in my wardrobe. Over the last few weeks, as I’ve gone through everything that I own, sorting and matching, making outfits and discarding unworn and unwanted, it seems that the vast majority of my favourite outfits are black, white, grey or denim. And a quick look through my Instagram confirms this: jeans, Converse, t-shirts, black jumpers, grey sweatshirts all appear on a regular basis. I wonder, therefore, why I keep buying pink things?!
This week, my faves at hush homewear challenged me to take their online style challenge: a little fun online quiz that helps you work out your style personality, and I was genuinely pleased and surprised when the result came back that I’m ‘minimalist’. YAY! Finally, in my mid-forties, I’m actually working out my own sense of style.
I’ve always really struggled with packing, and this is probably because I’ve packed blue dresses and black dresses and cream dresses, red shorts and pink tops (I could keep going). I’ve opened up my case on arrival and despaired at my inability to pack sensibly. All those things require different shoes and accessories, which of course half the time I’d have no room for, or forget. So this got me thinking about whether it’s possible to pack like a minimalist with my preferred palette of black, white and grey. Surely it should be easy, as everything should mix and match?
- Black loose beaded joggers, Next, £38
- Black lace bralet, old, but similar at M&S, £18
- hush loose asymmetric hem dress, old but new hush Piper dress is very similar, £59
- hush Kate dress, £49
- Karl Lagerfeld t-shirt, T K Maxx, £18 (similar here)
- hush boyfriend jeans, £75
- White boy fit shirt, old from Boden (similar here in the sale, £17.85)
- Havaianas flip flops, Coco Bay, £18
- Black skater loafers, Next, £35
- ‘Girl Power’ t-shirt, Etsy, £6.99
- I’ve spared you the picture of my vest tops, knickers and toothbrush, etc, but other random stuff here includes (from left to right): Chanel Le Vernis nail colour, ESPA Optimal Skin Proserum (tiny sample received with larger product – so handy for travel); Bobbi Brown Long-wear Cream Shadow Stick (my absolute fave, in Golden Bronze – great for blue eyes); Evo End Doctor: absolutely amazing hair strengthening, pre-blow dry cream – more of this soon; nail scissors: T K Maxx; Living Proof shampoo and conditioner (travel sizes pinched from a hotel and now filled up with my own favourite shampoo and conditioner); watch: rose gold Citizen Eco-Drive: pressie from Mr E; reading glasses: an old Gok Wan for Specsavers – love the cat eyes.
Since Friday, I’ve been at Universal Orlando Resort, Florida for Mardi Gras (more of this later) and I decided to put my new found skills into practice, packing the above, plus a few basics. I’m feeling very grown up about it all and am happy to report that this really is the new, minimalist packing system of my dreams, although I did forget the flip flops (it was a bit awkward walking down to the pool in Converse, oh and I forgot my swimming costume), but apart from that, I did really well. Highlight outfits for me were: the hush Kate stripe dress with the skater loafers (terrible hotel mirror picture below), the black beaded joggers with the white shirt and Converse, and for schlepping around the parks, the hush boyfriend jeans rolled up at the ankle with the cat t-shirt. Ooh, and top tip, if you want to wear shorts but feel a bit self conscious in them, always team them with an oversized top: a billowy silk shirt or a loose Breton will balance you out.
So far, so minimalist. I think I’m onto something here, and I’ve got a few more trips lined up to really hone my craft. Watch this space!