I am not a minimalist, per se, but years ago I learned that living with less and making conscious consumer choices made my life easier and richer. I love simplicity, such as a minimal wardrobe with mix & match items that I love to wear (this can be a bit difficult in a 4 season climate). But I've also been finding that I've fallen into old spending habits (ie. daily Starbucks and purchasing art supplies or clothing items I don't need or use). My biggest challenges are books, art and art supplies. I need to remember to exercise patience, use libraries (which I love), and though I wish I could support every artist I do make a point off giving local/handmade gifts, and recognize that there are often opportunities to think creatively by using the stuff you have. My girls often make gifts for family & friends (which I love) or do things for loved ones instead (making memories, which I also love). A few things I have to keep in mind before I make a purchase are:
1. It has to be useful, beautiful (to me) & fit properly.
2. Good quality at a good price.
3. It should make me feel good.
4. When something comes in, something must also go out (replacement).
5. I really need to pay attention to personal style and what I love to use/wear.
Because of the support I've received online in past projects, I've decided that I want to share this decision to return to simplicity for personal accountability. I want to reduce my spending and my consumer footprint as well as making things easier for me, both for dressing every day and for cleaning and organizing my home. I was inspired recently by @styleapotheca on instagram who discusses a NO BUY or LOW BUY YEAR and shares some great suggestions:
1. Remember your WHY for shopping and for stopping (saving, reduce debt, environmental, etc).
2. Create a list of RULES (borrow, recycle, replace, wait 24 hours, etc).
3. UNSUBSCRIBE from emails & social media feeds that tempt you.
4. Create a BUDGET (consider an app to track spending).
5. Take an INVENTORY of what you have (put everything you own in one spot, ie. clothing, and then declutter - keep what you wear over and over again).
I'm starting with my wardrobe (this is my inventory)...I used this as an excuse to take photos around my community:
Bench jacket, Reitmans 2-button jeans, JoeFresh vest, Aritzia TNA sweater, Aerie plaid shirt, Walmart brown leather belt, Blundstone boots, David Rice necklace, handmade gloves
Ralph Lauren wool blazer, Lands End navy turtleneck, Reitmans jeans, ROOTS purse, Bass Pro cowboy boots, Reitmans burnt orange sweater & navy cami, Banff bracelets
3. Miller Mural:
Banff t-shirts, Reitmans moto jacket & jeans, Peru striped scarf, Walmart animal print scarf, Bob's wedge booties, Hoodoo Designs silver necklace & bracelet, Stella & Dot wrap bracelet, Mary Jane's Farm turquoise earrings
4. East Lake Park:
Suzy Shier khaki t-shirt, Denver Hayes black turtleneck, George short sleeved blouse, JoeFresh long sleeved blouse, Reitmans jeans, Dsign Step shoes, handmade Tomoko silver earrings, handmade glass necklace
5. Nose Creek Park:
Out of Print Pride & Prejudice sweatshirt, Danskin sweats, Steve Madden animal print white sneakers, Old Navy plum sweater, Oranj leggings, Skechers animal print black sneakers, Reitmans grey top, H&M camo leggings
Aerie plum henley, Reitmans jeans, GAP denim jacket, Tieks animal print flats, Boody bamboo black scoop neck top, Garage black t-shirt, Bench hoodie, ROOTS black purse, Levi black leather belt
7. City Hall:
Ralph Lauren black dress, Calvin Klein shoes, JoeFresh black wool coat, Terra Siemeritsch handmade wool shawl, Cheryl Bakke Martin handmade glass earrings, H&M plaid dress, Van Heusen necklace, Joe Fresh trench coat, Coach purse
La Vie en Rose blue nightgown & robe, La Vie en Rose grey nightgown & Aerie robe, JoeFresh batik nightgown & hotel terry robe, Aerie plaid pants & Garage black t-shirt
9. Punta Cana:
Reitmans cargo shorts, Aerie grey tank, H&M harem pants, Boody white t-shirt, Guess sleeveless dress, GAP t-shirt dress (I have one khaki & one navy), Birkenstock sandals
I wear Reitman's jeans as at 5'2" it can be difficult to find pants that fit my waist, hips and short legs and these always fit perfectly. I also donated my dress pants because I live in a place that dark jeans, a nice blouse and dress shoes suffice as formal office/meeting wear. I have 5 pairs of jeans that fit really well and that I love to wear. I also tend to invest more in purses (I like classic pieces and own three) and shoes (I tend to stick to 8 pairs to fit my shoe rack but currently have 9) so they last a long time. I have also learned to invest in layering pieces as southern Alberta weather can fluctuate dramatically due to the proximity of the Rocky Mountains. My lingerie is reduced as well to include 3 bras (wireless/t-shirt, underwire/dress, and work-out), undies, socks (argyle and wool) and two swimsuits (a bikini and one-piece). I tend to get most things in black or grey because I love the colours and they really mix and match well with everything in my closet.
AIRdirondack Art Project
Alberta (above) +