Let me throw something down right now.
I read “The Life-Changing Magic Art of Tidying Up” (affiliate link) and even though my mama taught me that hate is a strong word, I can tell you that I hated that book. It was neither life-changing nor magic and after burning a library waitlist space to get it, I was even more angry.
Phew. I feel better.
But I will say that there was one section that resonated powerfully with me: your clothes must bring you joy. You must feel amazing in them. You must want to put them on.
(If you caress them and thank them for being in your life, you really have consumed the Kondo Kool-Aid.)
I’ve never tolerated much clutter in my personal spaces, and each season, I go through my closet and drawers and get rid of the truly tattered, the seriously stained or stretched and the just plain awful items. But even after two babies and several moves, a few pieces just seemed to have their hold on me because:
- I wanted to love them.
- Someone else had gifted them to me.
- They were expensive when I purchased them.
- I was convinced that if I were just a little skinnier/taller/blonder/tanner they would be perfect.
You’ll remember that over the years, I’ve really tried to become more fashionable, including two attempts at using Stitch Fix before discovering Style Encore in Orlando. But after two kids and a few years of fluctuating weight and fitness, I really wanted a fresh start.
I went to my closet and gave myself just a brief moment to keep or toss (give away). I would say that I ended up with a 1:4 keep to toss ratio, and when it was over…I felt pretty great.
But I also had an empty closet.
So, my friend Monica, the owner of the Orlando franchise of Style Encore, asked if I wanted to work with superstar stylist Sandii again and it just felt like perfect timing.
Like the first shopping spree, Monica gave me a credit toward my clothes in exchange for featuring them on the blog. And like last time, I went over that credit and paid with my own money.
A few things that I told Sandii in the updated style profile: I work from home, where nobody but the baby sees me, so classy casual was the look I was going for. I wanted a few trendy or other items that I might not pick out for myself, and I wanted to play with some patterns or bright colors.
And I wanted to feel GREAT in my post-baby body — so the clothes needed to be nursing-friendly, fitted but not too tight, up for some wear and tear and budget-friendly.
She came through! The items she picked ranged from $4-24 and included pants, shorts, skirts, tanks, t shirts, cardigans and accessories.
I wish I had these shorts ($12) in an entire rainbow of colors. And the shirt — a perfect fit — was a steal at $20.
Most comfortable jeans ever ($24) and the red necklace ($5) is totally me. I even liked the striped shirt ($20) and I never would have been brave enough to try this on without her help.
Gross rental carpet. Sorry.
These polka dot pants ($7) are outside my normal comfort zone but paired with a cute tank top ($13), they were perfect for a friend’s party.
I call this my “Two Broke Girls” necklace and I love it at $10.
I wanted to keep about 75% of the clothes and the only reason I didn’t is that — don’t hate me — I had given her larger sizes than I turned out to be. (Thanks, carb cycling!) I had to put back an adorable pair of skinny jeans, a couple of shirts that just bagged too much for me and a few necklaces that I thought might be a choking hazard for my velcro baby.
All in all, I have a great new closet full of separates and thanks to Sandii, who sent pictures and styling ideas, I know how to put them together.
(J from J’s Everyday Fashion also did a shopping spree with Monica and Sandii — read all about it here!)
If you’re in the Orlando area, I highly recommend reaching out to Sandii. A few things to keep in mind about Style Encore:
- If you work with Sandii or another stylist, they will pick out a rack full of clothes for you at no charge. So it can be waiting for you when you arrive and you never have to try to navigate the aisles and aisles of clothes on your own.
- If you have a special occasion coming up — let her know! Style Encore sells gently used clothes, but you’ll find everything from very casual, low-priced items to super fancy designer duds. And Sandii is a magician at knowing what will look great on you.
- If you want to try the items on at the store — great! (I highly recommend planning a whole ladies night out adventure.) But if you prefer trying things on at home, which is what I originally loved about Style Encore, there’s a 7-day return policy. So you can buy everything, take it home and return what doesn’t work.
- Items average 70% below retail so if you’re Kondo-ing, looking for an after-baby makeover like me or just want to change your clothes out from season to season, this can be a huge budget-saver.
I had some anxiety about going down to so few items in my closet, but it’s made getting dressed every morning easier and OK…more joyful.