My Wardrobe

Two thrifted coats- one winter, one year-round.

Two year-round and two summer dresses; two thrifted, two purchased new.

Two bottoms, secondhand.

Three sweaters and two linen t-shirts, secondhand. Update: I sold the sweaters.

Five pairs of shoes

Accessories: One purse (thrifted), one pair of sunglasses, one wedding ring and watch. I have one pair thrifted gloves. My hair is my scarf.


I'm not one for selfies, but this is typically what I wear everyday. People see me in a coat a lot, so it makes sense to wear nice ones. See the Michelin Man in the last photo? It's the warmest thing I've ever worn, like snuggling the center of a roasted marshmallow.

I have one pair of leggings for under clothing- I was the first one in my middle school to wear them with skirts à la Claudia Kishi, and two girls in health class made fun of me. A year later, they weren't friends anymore and were wearing leggings with skirts like everybody else. But I was over it and on to wrap dresses or something. 

This isn't a capsule wardrobe (I hate that term). These are all the clothes I own. Nothing is in storage. I didn't mean to keep my closet small or 'curated,' but I keep only what I wear, and shop only when I need something. I don't feel hampered or constrained- I'm 25, live in a city with four seasons, travel to tropical and freezing climates, work, socialize with friends, volunteer, and attend formal events. Counting pajamas, intimates, socks, and exercise clothes, I have 40 items.

I'm sick of shopping and curious to see how long I can wear just the clothes I have now. It's more than plenty, and I revel in the private joy of infinitesimal cost per wear. To see my current spring wardrobe, click here.


Watch, ringdress sunglasses / pump / shirtdress / platforms / sneakers /  skirt / Coats, similar here and here / t-shirts / boots heels / bag jeans / Sweaters, similar here and here

Paris to Go

Cleaning and Organizing Our Apartment

Like many things in life, I learned how to keep a clean home from Mr. Rogers. We take off our shoes, wash our hands, and change out of our street clothes right away, hanging coats and keys in the closet. I make the bed when we get up, and wipe the bathroom after a shower. If there's one thing I learned from Iron Chef, it's clean as you go- keeping up with chores prevents messes from getting out of control.

Our basic system for managing clutter is this:

  1. Learn not to purchase or keep useless things.
  2. Create a place for everything.
  3. Don't use organizing equipment. 

For storage, we make do with things we already have. A few built-in cabinets and closets, shoeboxes, and old gift boxes store what can't be folded or stacked. Owning less means our home stays neat without fuss- items can fall out of place without making the home feel like a disaster zone. We don't have kids, but my stepfather's house and yard are flawlessly tidy, and he and my mom have six kids, four cats, and full-time jobs (their home is four times the size of ours). La Reine de l'Iode is a great example of busy parents with a neat apartment, and they have more stuff than us. Cleaning, like regular exercise, is one of those things people feel they should do more of but never have time for. If these families can do it, so can single, educated 30-somethings who somehow found time to read the Divergent trilogy.


Living room

Daily Dust furniture, books, and speaker with a lint-free flour sack towel. Brush fur off the couch.
Weekly Vacuum; wipe surfaces with water and vinegar.
Monthly Sprinkle baking soda on couch; vacuum after thirty minutes.


Daily Make the bed. Our bedding is simple: mattress pad, fitted sheet, duvet, pillows.
Weekly Vacuum, wash sheets, air out mattress and bedding, wipe TV, phone, cable box.
Monthly Wash mattress pad. Twice a year, I wash the comforter. Four times a year, I wash the pillows.

Bathroom Spray vinegar on sink, shower, tub, and toilet and wipe away- it takes minutes. Vacuum and scrub floors weekly. Since we're renting, we added stainless steel adhesive hooks by the shower. They hold the weight of wet towels, but unstick and re-stick easily.

Kitchen Do the dishes, dry the sink, and wipe range daily. Scrub the sink, vacuum, wash floor and wipe counters, table, and chairs weekly. Clean oven with baking soda and laundry machine with vinegar monthly. Click here for my kitchen inventory.

General Scoop litter box twice a day or more; scrub with baking soda and vinegar weekly. Sanitize computers, phones, and iPad weekly. Mop floors and wash windows and door handles with water and vinegar monthly. Clean cabinets, closets, and under appliances bimonthly. Wash ironing board cover and clean iron in a vinegar bath bimonthly. 



Coat closet Umbrellas, hats, gloves, scarves, keys, and my purse go here. We keep shoes in their original boxes or an old wine glass box.

Linen closet Towels, cloth napkins, and cleaning cloths here. The top shelf is our makeshift liquor cabinet.

Office closet Small but important collection of books and necessary files, passports, etc. Old shoe boxes hold, from top: 1) vacuum cleaner bags, pens, paper tape, Polaroids 2) my husband's air ticket stubs and business cards in an old Ferrero Rocher case 3) Headphones, chargers, and adapters (rechargeable batteries stay in their items). Alaia boxes make the best storage because they're beautiful and buckle shut.

Entry closet Reusable bags go inside the shopping cart, and the ironing board in the recess next to it. Our cat carrier holds their passports and brush. There are extra wine glasses on the top shelf with a tool set underneath. Cat food, reusable bamboo utensils in a Pierre Herme box, and steamer/iron on bottom shelf.

Pantry Wine glasses, tea cups and saucers, and drinking glasses. I keep a limited selection of bulk ingredients in jars or repurposed whiskey bottles. Salts and spices I use often go in wire shelves above the sink.

Cabinet Cutting board, one of two small appliances, baking soda, extra jars, and swing-top bulk wine bottles. You can't see it very well, but repurposed amber glass bottles of vinegar and homemade laundry detergent are in there.


Kitchen Two pots, one pan, one baking tray, and two glass baking dishes go in the oven. With this minimal equipment, we've cooked for 25 or more (all plates, bowls, and jars are oven-safe). To save drawer space, we hang utensils using the same stainless steel hooks as the bathroom.

Bathroom Laundry goes on a shelf in the built-in hot water heater closet. My stuff is in a Ferrero Rocher box. The Dopp kit holds an electric razor and pharmacy items.


Our closet is impossible to photograph (there's a cat under the sweatshirt in these photos). We hang shirts, suits, dresses, my jeans and skirt on wooden hangers and fold everything else. I use this method for folding socks and this for underwear, lingerie, and t-shirts. Seasonal gear (swimsuits, ski pants) goes in the silver suitcase on the bottom. I rolled my husband's ties and stuck them in the box from our drinking glasses. It goes on the top shelf of our closet, behind the helmets.  I don't know how to hide our ugly cable box and modem, but I shortened the cables with toilet paper rolls.


To see more photos of the apartment, click here or visit Apartment Therapy. For a detailed rundown of cost of living and moving expenses in Paris, click here.


Kartell Componibili, vintage from LeBonCoin
Ikea sofa from LeBonCoin, similar here
Habitat Ikebana bed from LeBonCoin, similar here
Rocker, Eames
Linen sheet set, secondhand
Dining table from Leboncoin, similar here
Ikea chairs, LebonCoin
Thrifted flatware, Arne Jacobsen for Georg Jensen
Copper mugsgifted
Weck jars, secondhand
Steel spoon, similar here
Steel spatula, here
Paper lanterns, LeBonCoin
Nkuku wire shelves

Paris to Go

Caring for Shoes Naturally

Pumpsdress, both thrifted

My first trips to Paris were podiatric disasters. Shoes I'd proudly worn ten years disintegrated as I realized how sedentary Cleveland life was. Turns out, pillows made of marshmallow clouds and rainbows hurt after walking here to Chateau-Rouge in them. Figuring out what shoes worked best in the city took a lot of trial and error, limping around the flat, and wasted money, but now it's down to a science and will hopefully spare you harried shopping trips and hallux abducto valgus deformities. Note: These tips are for leather shoes. Sorry not sorry, I don't have any synthetics. Leather breathes, keeps feet cool, and softens with every wear. After a few uses, leather soles have great traction.

Natural waterproofing

Brush a small amount of beeswax and a few drops of lanolin, jojoba, or olive oil onto shoes to make them water and stain repellent. Olive oil is often shredded by internet trolls, but leather experts recommend it. It's an ingredient in many shoe creams and won't breed mold when used properly. Buff with a soft, lint-free cloth (like a flour sack towel).

Cleaning and deodorizing leather and suede

White vinegar removes salt stains, dirt, and grime from all types of shoes. Use one part water and one part white vinegar to discourage mold. To restore suede, apply vinegar-water solution using a natural bristle brush (any clean scrubber will do). Gently brush suede in various directions to scrub dirt from fibers. Use a piece of bread or art gum eraser to remove stains. Wipe insoles lightly with white vinegar and dry (preferably in the sun) to deodorize. Alternately, leave orange peels, clove buds, or baking soda in shoes overnight.

Breaking in new shoes

Paris shops heat-stretch their own shoes (even secondhand pairs) for free. Rub beeswax around the insides to soften and lessen their bite. It sounds counterintuitive, but stockings and low-cut socks enhance comfort and prevent blisters. I wear Swedish Stockings; one French option is Cervin, which are plastic-free but not vegan- 100% silk, produced in Sumène, readily available secondhand in Paris (they boil the worms). During colder months, I wear no-show socks over stockings. They keep feet dry and are invisible in heels.

Maintain your investment

After a month of use, a competent cobbler can attach half-soles and rubber toe pads without ruining the original leather. I like Cordonnerie des Belles Feuilles. Resole shoes when necessary, before they wear out. Polish with beeswax and sweet almond oil- according to Brian Atwood, "You just want the protection and to bring the luster back; you don’t want polish to add any color. It’s like moisturizing your skin.”

Proper storage

Store shoes in dust bags in their original boxes. Some boxes come with polaroids stuck on them, which is demeaning. If you need a photo to remind you what's inside, you have too many shoes. Plastic shoe trees and boxes encourage mildew and mold; unvarnished cedar shoe trees absorb moisture and prevent leather from cracking. The prettiest are 36€ at BHV (BHV is the worst, but cordonneries tend to carry ugly, expensive embauchoirs). For shoes worth over $200, get the kind with ventilation slots and brass knobs. For shoes worth over $700, use lasted shoe trees.


Paris to Go