My Colorful New Minimal-ish Wardrobe Strategy

Where I am as I write this:

View from my mom's balcony, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Every year the spring infects my mind with color. I pin flowers and color palettes and bright clothing to my various online moodboards. But I’ve never fully committed to cultivating the garden of my wardrobe. Color is intimidating! How will I know what goes with what? I’ve dabbled, sure, but I've never gone as bright as my Pinterest would suggest.

This year is different.

Last year, I discovered manifestation and began a journey of self discovery that has transformed my life. I’m uncovering and stepping into more and more authentic and unapologetic versions of myself each day. This year I’m going bold. But how? I have a new strategy.

At first, after hours and hours of online shopping, which happens every time I feel the need for a wardrobe overhaul/update, I decided to outsource the job to a styling app called Wishi. My experience has been mixed, so far, but I think I’ve found my footing with it, not to mention the right stylist, so I’ll follow up with an update on how that goes.

Working with Wishi introduced me to the idea of thinking in outfits. As a minimal-ish human, I rarely ever think in outfits. I mostly try to cultivate a color palette where everything goes together and I can mix and match. #capsulewardrobe When I started to think about punching up the color, I thought that maybe as long as I love the color of everything I have, it’ll all work together, somehow. Or, that as long as my outfits are very eclectic, I can get away with pairing anything together. But actually buying outfits was new to me… it still fit into my idea that as long as everything I have is something I love, there will be a unifying theme that will allow me to mix and match, but it also guaranteed that I’d have at least one outfit in that category where everything went great together… and, being minimal-ish, I don’t need to have that many outfits anyway, so I can wear the same well-constructed outfits over and over, right?

That was the first a-ha. The second came during a transformative Soul Ascension coaching meeting when my coach, Kaylyn Rutkowski, helped me realize that if I’m already grounded in my worth, then I don’t need to achieve anything in order to be worthy. I don’t have to pursue anything with the goal of achievement in mind. I can focus on helping people and, the most impactful realization for me, on expressing myself. That was a revelation worthy of another blog post. All of a sudden a world of possibility and freedom opened up to me. Expressing myself was a good enough reason to do anything. I immediately realized that spending time styling myself was a worthy use of my time, whereas before, I’d held an only partly conscious belief that it was too frivolous. Feeling good in what I wore was important, but I wasn’t going to spend time talking or posting about fashion with the outside world, or spend too much time cultivating my wardrobe.

The thing about that, though, is that, like anything else I do, my fashion is intrinsically tied up with my values. I have all kinds of values that dictate what I wear and buy and why. And those values are worth discussing. So is simply expressing myself. Suddenly, there are plenty of good reasons to think, write, and post about what I wear. Hooray! I feel expanded.

Enter: the style board. Those squares with solid backgrounds and collaged photos of outfit components had been in my peripheral understanding since the Polyvore days, but they weren’t for me to engage with. Suddenly, after all of the above realizations, I was drawn to building style boards of my own. I had scattered tabs on all of my devices of clothes that I liked and tons of disorganized Pinterest boards… but deciding what to buy was pretty difficult since it was all so random and scattered. I did some research, as I do, and decided to try Shoplook. Let me tell you, it is a GAME CHANGER.

Thinking in outfits for the first time, I decided to put together a new Muay Thai outfit for myself. I’d been craving some new gear since all of mine is black and winter-y. I’d had my eye on a couple of colorful pairs of Muay Thai shorts, so I downloaded photos of them and kept the websites where I can purchase them on my phone’s browser. I cropped and uploaded the photos to Shoplook, removing the backgrounds, which they make very easy, and proceeded to start looking for sports bras that might go well. I scoured some of my favorite sites, as well as good old Google Images for sports bras that I liked the colors and cuts of, and downloaded photos of all of them. I cropped and uploaded them and then started a style-board, choosing my favorite combo from the bird’s eye view of all of the photos next to each other. From there I continued to search for the necessary accoutrements: silk scrunchies for my curly hair, barrettes to pin up my growing-out undercut, the boxing gloves I’d already purchased, and some shorter length handwraps for my narrow alien hands. I selected which photos to download based on my intuitive understanding of the color palette, cropped and uploaded them, and then experimented by dropping them into the style board and seeing what I liked best. All of a sudden, I had a super cool outfit for Muay Thai class where everything went together! And I knew that each of these components could easily be incorporated into other style boards and outfits as I continue to build out my wardrobe. Whaaaaaat?!

Here's the result:

All of a sudden, ten cute sports bras, that I would otherwise have had a very difficult time deciding between, were pared down to the one that went best with the shorts I liked. It’s not a perfect process. There’s a lot of intuition and experimentation that goes into it. But all of a sudden I feel a new level of confidence, inspiration, and self expression in how I add items to my wardrobe. All of the items I’ve already found and liked are in my digital photo album to be paired with new outfits, and I know that once I have most of my existing wardrobe items photographed and included in my digital closet, deciding exactly which new hair clip or belt bag to add to my collection will be a breeze. I even added the items I had decided to use on my style board to a dedicated “Wishlist” Pinterest board that leads back to the purchase page of every item I’ve decided I want to buy, so that I can keep track of them as I make space for new items in my budget. #organized!

I'm planning a Going to the Gym outfit that will feature outerwear and a gym bag that will go well with the new workout clothes I've styled, an Airport outfit that will feature the hand-crafted backpack I bought here in Mexico, to use as my personal item, that matches the new suitcase I've been planning to upgrade to now that my old one is on its last legs, with cozy clothes to match. It feels responsible and sustainable to curate my closet this way.

I’m so excited to update my wardrobe with confidence and share my hot new ‘fits with the world!

Space Miami x Unlimited Martial Arts Brooklyn Rainbow Muay Thai Shorts

MPG Sport Amara Sports Bra in Beeswax

Good Side Mini Silk Scrunchies in Chartreuse

Empiree Colorful Waterdrop Hairpins

Splendore Bombshell Leather Boxing Gloves

Everlast 120" Pink Handwraps