Seeking Simplicity: (Baby) Clothing Edition

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So out of the simple clothing posts I’m writing, this one is obviously the most fun, because tiny baby girl clothes are just the best! Ever since I found out I was having a girl, it’s taken a bit of self control not to overspend on adorable things for her.

Eaden is blessed to be the recipient of some beautiful hand-me-downs from my best friend’s daughter who is about a year older. They’re destined for greatness together, these two, so clearly it makes sense that they share a similar personal style:

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(Sidenote: the above picture was taken in March, and Eaden has so much more hair now! It’s nuts! I didn’t fully realize until I saw this.)

When approaching what to purchase for Eaden, I aim to limit it to a few simple and high-quality items in natural materials. For the summer, I love Burt’s Bee’s organic cotton camisole onesies, paired with some bloomers. I found a couple pairs of ridiculously cute handmade bloomers from Wee Vintage Baby. They’re perfect with the onesies or a little tank top or t-shirt.

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My other favorite for her is rompers. Classic, sweet, cool enough for the summer heat, and nothing beats the simplicity of a one-piece outfit! These two are from Peek and Numero 74.

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For scoring amazing, quality items that are gently used and super affordable, the Kidizen app is wonderful! Purchasing pre-loved clothing rather than new leaves a much smaller footprint on both the earth and our bank account. I also sell some of the things she outgrows, sometimes for exactly the amount I bought them for!
I’m fully aware that shoes are completely unnecessary for my crawling infant, so these leather t-strap sandals were sort of a petty splurge purely for my own amusement. (We all get to do those things once in a while, right?) Aren’t they precious?! I won’t be buying her more shoes until she walks though.

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We also have a few super sweet dresses, some headbands, various onesies, and footie pajamas. And a swimsuit, which also isn’t really necessary, but look at it! (below)
I believe a little bit of superfluity is alright here and there—it keeps things fun!

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She has two drawers- one for clothes she currently wears and one for things she’ll likely grow in to in the next few months.

Simple, and sweet. (Because getting dressed shouldn’t be complicated!)


Previous posts on simplicity:

The Process of Simplicity

Seeking Simplicity: Clothing Edition (Mine)

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Seeking Simplicity: Clothing Edition (mine)

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I wrote a post about simplicity last week, and the next day had a conversation with a friend about spending and budgets, thoughtful purchasing, and the guilt and shame that can sometimes surround spending money, especially on ourselves. For me, this has always applied especially to clothes.

I don’t consider myself a fashionista. I’ve never had the money to be one anyway, and it simply isn’t a priority for me. I don’t care about trends. I have my own taste that’s mostly unaffected by whatever is “in” at the given moment, I’ve always simply tried to wear what makes me feel good. For years, most of my wardrobe came from Target, sometimes Nordstrom with some Gap and American Eagle here and there. I very much appreciate good design and beautiful things, but felt like I couldn’t afford to splurge on good quality items. Most of my purchases were pretty impulsive and unplanned. I had favorite items that I wore all the time, but many things sat in my closet rarely being used at all. And then there were the things that clearly were just of such poor quality—I found myself replacing tops with holes and pilling, or stretched-out jeans, far too often then should be necessary.

As I began to dive more into the concept of simpler living, I frequently encountered the concept of capsule wardrobes, and of thoughtfully planned clothing collections built over time with pieces that are well-made, high quality, classic, and will last over many seasons and years. This was usually accompanied by talk of where clothing comes from and how it is produced. It turns out that cheap clothing usually comes at the cost of severe social injustice and environmental harm. There is an entire “slow fashion” movement focused on ethically made, high quality clothing. For some reason it has taken me a while, but I’ve finally begun heading in this direction. I’d like to share the experience here for anyone interested.
Please note that I do not consider mine to be even close to a true capsule wardrobe. I’ve read that by definition that would consist of 30 or fewer items (including shoes and possibly even accessories). I’m not there, and I’m not sure that’s even my goal, but I do want more simplicity in my clothing collection, as I believe it will streamline the process of getting dressed as well as eliminate clothing clutter and storage issues.

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First, during our big initial decluttering process, I rid my drawers and closet of everything unneeded. This included items that were stretched out, worn out, stained or torn beyond repair, as well as anything that simply didn’t make me feel good wearing it. I tried on everything I hadn’t worn in a while, and if there was just something off about it and I knew it was bound to sit unused for another six months, out it went. It’s amazing how many things I kept holding on to with a “just in case” mentality (and that was the same all over my house, not only with clothes). After all of that , I was finally left with the things I actually wear, and actually like. From there, it’s simply been a matter of identifying the holes in my collection or the pieces I’d like to eventually replace with a nicer, higher-quality version. And even the best-made things eventually wear out over time, so I plan to make replacements as needed.

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My skirt here is from a great little second-hand Instagram shop @hobbsgeneralstore. They post new inventory most Fridays. This sling from Kantha Bae is one of my favorite things for Eaden! Photo is from our family session with by friend Bianca Thomas (biancavalentim.com).

Each season will vary a bit, but not too drastically in South Florida, so I’m approaching my entire wardrobe as a whole, not as much by season, though since it’s currently May I don’t plan to add a jacket or sweater any time soon.
Here’s what my clothing collection consists of right now:

-4 pairs of jeans
-3 pairs of soft, light “boho” style pants
-3 pairs of shorts (2 denim, 1 soft printed)
-10 tank tops (I wear tanks nearly every day, including for workouts and the beach and as a base layer under sheer tops. Most of mine are still the cheap ones from Target, but I’m gradually replacing them as they wear out, while also narrowing down to no more than 7. Everlane makes my favorites.)
-5 basic t-shirts (and I just pre-ordered this one, which I’m pretty happy about!)
-2 nicer tops that can dress up a little
-4 tunic-type tank dresses, for pairing with jeans or leggings
-2 other dresses- one floor-length black and one for looking somewhat professional when needed
-4 skirts (which I don’t wear much, but can’t seem to part with)
-4 (I think?) long-sleeved shirts
-6 sweaters (3 cardigans, 3 pullovers)
-1 winter jacket
-Lounge and workout wear (I’ve probably got too many pairs of leggings, but I live in them at home, and for yoga, and also wear them under tunic-length items sometimes or as pajamas if I’m chilly. Versatile and so comfy. In this category is also a small handful of tops that I only wear for sleep.)
-1 swim suit
-Underthings (Nursing for the third time around meant new bras, as none of my old nursing bras were in any kind of usable condition when we pulled them down from the attic. I chose Cake Maternity, and they’ve been my favorite ones yet. I have 4 nursing bras that I rotate. Undies are pretty much all simple cotton, nearly all the exact same style in various shades of black, blue, and grey.)
-Shoes: 9 pairs, which really still sounds like too many. My beloved Birkenstock sandals are my go-to, but they’re getting older and I was feeling that they looked too grungy and casual for certain situations so after months of inner debate I purchased these from Olukai. These are well-made and comfortable, and will go with practically everything I wear. I wear sandals year-round, probably at least 80% of the time. I also have a pair of Teva flip-flops for the beach, to avoid messing up the leather of my other sandals. The other pairs consist of a pair of Toms casual sneakers, Merrel barefoot trail runners, regular Asics running shoes (which don’t get out much these days, thanks to those Merrells!), a pair of crocheted black Toms classics which are almost exclusively for shooting weddings, a pair of boots, and a pair of sparkly and awfully uncomfortable flats that I wear only for the very rare dressy occasion.

Making that list was quite a bit more difficult than I’d expected, but I think that’s pretty much everything. It may have been overkill to catalog my entire closet for you, but I think it’s a good foundation for future posts on this topic.
I would like to pare this down even a little more. I think I held onto some duplicates (especially tank tops and loungewear) because I was afraid of not having anything to wear in between laundry loads, but I’ve found that having fewer items to wash makes it pretty easy to wash more frequently. I’m getting into a habit of putting a load in each morning, and folding the one from the day before at some point during our morning school time.

I’ve made a few purchases recently and feel that I won’t need anything new at least until after the summer.
– I mentioned the “Wild + Free Mama” tee above, which is from my favorite homeschool inspiration source.
– I also just bought a pair of light-wash cropped jeans (see photo) from Nordstrom’s Treasure&Bond line. I honestly wish I’d sought out a brand that is more focused on ethical production, but I did like that at least a portion of proceeds is given to charities. Here’s a list of more ethical jeans brands that I’m curious about for the future.
– And finally, my new sandals (see above)—Olukai has an outstanding commitment to the environment and their community in Hawaii.

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Thrifted

Something you may not know about me: I’m not a huge fan of shopping in malls. I have heard some ladies describe shopping as “exhilarating” and “energizing”, but while I don’t completely hate a few hours at the mall, it overwhelms me. I always leave exhausted. Then I discovered the wonders of thrift, antique, and vintage stores, and I think I understand what my mall-shopping friends are talking about. It’s a bit like treasure hunting, and I love it. So here are some of my finds from this week…

I have been wanting a nice floppy hat for gardening and the beach- this one is perfect :)

wooden bowl and spoon- always on the lookout for food photography props

two vintage pillow cases- I always see project tutorials that call for them.

I love this mug for my tea- such a lovely color

a nice, big, simple vase for flowers

I got three of these plates- I love dinnerware that has a handmade feel

The pattern on this skirt- oh I just couldn’t resist.

paisley shawl

This just amazed me- dated 1899 and super heavy (cast iron). I had to get it.

This box is now holding fruit on my kitchen counter.

Pretty patterned butter knife

This lens… doesn’t actually go on any of my cameras, but again I just couldn’t pass it up. I am interested in learning about how to make homemade lenses, which can give a very interesting tilt-shift/Lensbaby look. If I can’t use it for that I might sell it, because it is in great condition.

When I was exploring downtown a few days ago, I found an antique mall that looks like it will easily replace my favorite on that closed several months ago. Seth was fussy so I only glanced at a few things before needing to leave, but I am planning on going back in by myself soon and taking some time.

Have a beautiful week, friends!

-h

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