Tracey's Minimalist Wardrobe


Tracey has an amazing story. An avid runner, she grew up all over the world, raised two boys, and became a practice manager for the US Public Health Service in both the public and private sectors. Tracey retired two years ago, but her interest in minimalism started long before- her balanced relationship with possessions is really refreshing, and I wonder if living in so many different countries made that possible. Now she lives between the US and the UK, spending time with family and traveling with her husband Jay. Tracey emailed (from Egypt, no less!) that while she once felt the need to doll up for posh hotels in London, now she's comfortable in a good jacket, trousers, clutch and vintage watch- and often the best dressed person in the place, I'd say, judging by these pictures! Tracey's wardrobe shows you can enjoy color, an active lifestyle, and a rewarding social life, even if you don't have a ton of clothes.

Tracey writes:


Dresses


Well, what can I say? I used to have scads of them.  But, I didn't like all the shoes, jewelry and handbags that went with them. So I ended up with these three. I prefer to wear dresses in the summer, but haven't quite found what I'm looking for. The black and white knit dress is a knock out with my tall black suede boots. The long dress is a maxi that is perfect for warm weather with my tan T-strap sandals or black wedges. The black wrap dress is my staple.  This one is not great quality, but it will do the job. I am holding out for a DVF in an appropriate length. Maybe this winter? Most of her dresses are shorter and printed in her summer collection.  I've had a really difficult time finding dresses in lady-like lengths. Hello out there! Designers, are you listening?


Shirts


I seem to have the most items in this category. This is also the category I would most like to update/replace. I have two white T shirts from The White Company London, excellent quality and very well constructed. This is my go-to store for shirts, jeans, and sweaters. One shirt is 100% linen semi fitted and the other is cotton with 5% elastane loose fit. My white zip with the neon pink trim is cotton with a chiffon back from Karen Millen- also a favorite store for fit and quality. I wear this with a white cami and white trousers with my tan T-strap sandals and tan messenger bag during the summer.

The black button down top was a panic buy before Egypt, when I realized I needed another white cotton top. I had to settle for black. I'll be amazed if it makes it through the summer. The ivory blouse is silk from Ann Taylor Loft and heavily used. I love the silk and will be replacing the aforementioned black shirt with a black silk wrap blouse from Eileen Fisher. The black and white top is a very lightweight loose weave sheer sweater from White House Black Market. I wear it with a white or black cami and black capri trousers and my black strappy heels. The black wrap top is a perfect fit but not great quality. It will last the year, but then I will replace it. Finally, the red top. This top is also cotton 3/4 sleeve with elastane and fits me well. It is from White House Black Market. I am dubious about purchasing coloured T's, as I like them very saturated and to be colourfast. If it fades, out it goes! My husband selected this for me, so I like to wear it for him:)

I would like to end up with 2 white T's, 1 Black T, 1 white cotton button down, and 3 silk blouses in ivory, red, and black. I plan on shifting that direction when pieces need to be replaced.



Jackets


I am SUCH a jacket girl! Any one of these paired with a great quality T shirt and a pair of jeans or trousers and I'm good. I also wear each of these with my LBD and black suede boots and I can go anywhere. I have a fitted black leather jacket thrifted for $24, a fitted jean jacket that matches my dark trouser jeans-White House Black Market, and a black tie waisted jacket from Classiques Entier Nordstrom. Ah colour! This red jacket is one of the few pieces I have that is not a neutral. I clearly don't have and aversion to colour, but I am very selective. Red is by far my favorite colour after white. I am also looking for a tailored white jacket.

Winter sweaters

I have three heavier weight sweaters. The camel sweater is a shrug from Macy's It's pretty warm but I prefer a wrap rather than a shrug to keep my front covered and warm. I will be replacing this one next year with a cashmere wrap. The black tie sweater is from White House Black Market and I purchased it last year and it has been worn tons! I will eventually replace it with a heavier tie sweater. The black scoop neck sweater is also from White House Black Market and I've had it for 8 years! It still fits me perfectly but is showing signs of wear. I haven't found a replacement I love yet :(

Sweaters, Camis, and Pants

I have 5 main sweaters, 3 camis, and 3 pairs of pants. Camis: white, ivory, and black. I've thrashed these, because I wear them almost everyday underneath most of my clothing. These are not great quality and I will be replacing them with silk tanks from Eileen Fisher and a nice white cotton one from The White Company London. Lightweight sweaters: 1 white and grey striped linen weave from the White Company London, 1 white 100% cotton from The White Company London, 1 white zip 3/4 sleeved White House Black Market, 1 black cashmere, and 1 black fitted cardigan from White House Black Market. The black cardigan has been utterly worn to death for 5 years and needs to be replaced. The cashmere I've had for 2 years and it has worn surprisingly well. It is a year round weight and a travel must.

Pants: 1 white jean-The White Company London, 1 dark wash trouser jean-White House Black Market, 1 black slim ankle trouser-Nine West. The white jeans are amazing. The trouser jeans fit like a glove and are very tailored and hemmed for heels. The black trousers are terrible. They were a panic purchase three days before leaving for Egypt when my beautiful Max Studio trousers bit the dust. I have had them tailored and repaired for 12 years and they just couldn't take any more! As I travel with one pair of trousers, they were my star piece and launched me into a bit of a crisis last minute. Try finding black trousers the end of March with Spring/Summer clothing in the stores! Needless to say, the pants have lost their color and shape after only 5 weeks and I will be returning them.

 

My outerwear consists of a wool winter coat from Principles-Ben de Lisi purchased 3 years ago at Debenham's in England. I have 3 scarves: 1 white and lightweight from Zara, 1 ivory midweight handknitted from a shop in Capetown supporting women in poverty, and 1 black heavyweight knit from Calvin Klein. My hat is Dubarry from Ireland faux fur (very Dr. Zhivago) and the leather gloves are trimmed in fur from Italy. I have a trenchcoat I have worn for 5 years in all seasons and it's terrible. Even layered it doesn't keep me warm. I don't know why I kept it for so long! I am saving for a Burberry tan trench with a warm lining. I am by no means a label snob, but I have no qualms about shelling out good money for quality pieces that will last a lifetime with care :)

Running Gear

I am an avid runner and have been since I was 14. I learned over the years what gear is essential, especially here in Colorado where we swing from negative temps to 100 Fahrenheit. I will run outside as low as 34 and draw the line at 80/85 in summer, while the altitude makes the sun absolutely burn exposed skin. 80 here feels like 90 at sea level. Here are my essentials:
  • Asics running shoes- the only brand I will wear. Too many broken toes to go with anything else. Since I run in all black or a little white, I like a nice bright shoe, solid color if possible, for fun (and so drivers don't hit me...I've had a few close calls). I mainly trail run with a mix of suburbia so I go with a heavy duty shoe. 
  • Black socks- two pairs suffice because I wash every other day all my running gear, as I run 5-6 days a week. Mostly I can hand wash what I need and it will be dry by morning-even when travelling. 
  • Woolen hat, fleece ear band, and fleece gloves for wind or winter. 
  • Tunes- essential. This is a cheapy MP3 that I just grab and go, no fussy gadgets here! I usually get 3 years out of it, then I recycle and buy a new one for about $30. I make 3 playlists and download an e-book from the library and only listen to it when I run. The story keeps me motivated during less than pleasant weather. 
  • 2 short sleeved shirts, quick dry- 1 white, 1 black 
  • 1 pair black cotton bike shorts and 1 pair quick dry running shorts- I wear these two together because I like to be covered and the running shorts are always so short. The bike shorts keep the runners in place and from rising during long runs. 
  • Hoodies-1 lightweight for wind/rain, 1 heavy weight for snow/temps below 50. 
  • 1 black long sleeved shirt, quick dry- needed all year round. 
  • 1 pair long black joggers. These are tight like leggings and give added warmth in cooler weather. They double as black leggings with my tall boots and Wellies. 
  • Loungewear- Loungewear is a dirty word in our home. It makes us sloppy and lazy and we seem to just fall out of routine when we wear it. That being said, when I'm sick or on particulary blustery, snowy, wet days, I will occasionally wear my joggers and a hoodie to "lounge" in with a good book and a nice hot cup of coffee. I love being able to utilize what I already have. 


Shoes 

  • Wellies: These are Hunter's purchased at Aston Bourne in England. They are quite fitted through the leg and quilt embossed on the exterior. They are my rain and snow boots. They are my country boots when we are in Devon or Stow-on-the-Wold hiking through the fields. I've done 8 miles in these babies and nary a blister. Because they are so fitted, they look great with jeans tucked in or black leggings (aka my running joggers). 
  • Black suede boots. These are thigh high suede by Cole Haan. I've had these for 8 years and haven't had to resole them yet. They have an almond toe, slender heel, and Nike Air technology in the foot bed. Where have you been all my life? I scrunch them down to the top of my knee and they look amazing. They are fabulous with black leggings or jeans tucked in. I wear them full length for a sleek look with my dresses. If I want a little flare, I tuck them inside about 6 inches then roll the tops down three for a cuffed edge. I have had so many compliments on these boots, women have tried to buy them off my feet! 
  • White Pumas: I know white tennies are a cliche, especially being American, but hey, I love white in the summer! I am a Puma girl. I have foot issues (remember the broken toes?) so I have to have comfortable shoes for lots of walking. I can't wear Converse and I don't like Nikes. In the Autumn and Winter, I purchase these in black. I wear them without socks and they go with me when I travel. I will wear them with my black trousers, tee, and black jacket and I'm set for a day of being on my feet. I've even worn these to the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall, walking 8 blocks then perching on a park bench to discretely slip into my heels that my husband was carrying for me in his jacket! 
  • Black wedges: I purchased these from White House Black Market 5 years ago and they are still beautiful. They have cork sides and 3 silver discs up the front. Very sexy. I was even whistled at and told how sexy my shoes were one summer day! These are great with black capris and dresses. Pretty much everything! 
  • Black driving slippers: These are leather Coach shoes with a silver tab across the vamp. Very disappointing. They have not worn well in the 5 weeks I've had them. They are uncomfortable and make my feet numb. I will be selling these and purchasing a pair of Everlane loafers instead. 
  • Black ballerinas: These are black leather by Jessica Simpson. Not really a fan of her shoes, I was surprised by the fit and quality. It's easy to give these a polish when they need a spruce up.
  • Black strappy heels: These are black suede heels by Dune. I will keep these forever. Dune makes a great shoe and this one is elegant and lady-like. It looks great with trousers, capris, or a dress. 
  • Black heels: These are black leather by Gucci. They have an almond toe, very slender heel, and understated platform. Well worth the money spent 8 years ago. I wear these year round for all occasions with everything. 
  • Tan brogues: These are my walking shoes when I need a bit of polish. Pumas don't always cut it. I prefer these over ballerinas. I love a bit of "sass" and these have it! 
  • Tan T-straps: Love. These. Shoes. These are my second pair of Sam Edelman T-straps. My first were cork and I repaired and resoled them so many times, my cobbler said he couldn't help them any longer. I sent them to Sam Edelman to see if they could be fixed again but they sent me a kind note and a check for replacement value so I could buy another pair! This pair is saddle tan because they discontinued cork 12 years ago! 
  • Nude wedges: These are Calvin Klein nude thick strap wedges. I didn't really need these but boy did I wear them last summer with all of my white! They look great with black and a tan handbag. 
  • Nude heels: These heels are by Aldo. It's hit or miss for me with this company. Not liking the quality lately, but these are a classic style, very comfortable, and have gold hardware on the back. 
Shoes are an investment for me. I only buy leather and prefer a leather sole (except for my Hunter boots). I have a local cobbler that keeps them in good repair after each season. I would like to get this category down to 8 pairs.

 

Bags

UGGGGHHH! This category (next to shoes) is excessive and needs some work.
  • Black Kate Spade bag: This is my staple. I will use it until it falls apart. I am not a slouchy bag girl, so I like that it is smaller, lighter, and structured. 
  • Brown Brahmin leather bag: This looks far better than it shows. It is a great neutral and year round bag. It is embossed leather. I won't replace it when it breathes it's last breath. This bag is beautiful and garners tons of compliments, but it's heavy and I'm tired of the shoulder and neck pain despite the very few items I carry in my bag... that's another post. I may pass this along in September. 
  • Jeweled clutch: This encrusted clutch is by Dune London. It was a total vanity purchase. Remember my comment about being decked out for cocktails at a posh London restaurant? Well, here's the proof! This item is the last remaining vestige of the glamour fantasy. I truly love this bag when we go black tie. Which seems to only be an occasional city "do" or the Opera. I'll keep it for now and revisit in December. When I do take this bag, I dress in all black and only my diamond stud earrings. 
  • Snake skin clutch: This was a great find at a vintage shop in The Lanes in Brighton, England. This area is my stompin' ground. The clutch is pure snakeskin inside and out and completely handstitched; there is a matching wallet inside. When I travel, this is my cosmetic bag and I use it if I need to for a night out. This will replace my Brahmin bag. It holds just the right amount-keys, wallet, phone, and lip. 
  • Messenger bag: Ah, my beloved, my workhorse, my Holy Grail. This messenger is 100% leather from Roots in Canada. I have had this bag for 8 years and it neither shows wear nor tear. It has a beautiful patina and has softened with age. This is the only bag I travel with and if I had to pick only one bag, this would be it. I would single-handedly change the fashion world by pairing this little baby with black tie. Maybe I should.... 
  • Crocodile bag: My husband purchased this for me as a gift in South Africa last year. He asked me if I wanted black, but I knew it had to be oxblood. I would love to replace my tan and black heels with this colour as my neutral. I love oxblood with white, camel, navy, and black. He also purchased me a wallet from the underbelly of the croc, while the handbag is made from the back. 


This is where I keep my jewelry in a small closet in the dressing room. The two ivory boxes are mother-of-pearl from Vietnam and house my bracelets and necklaces. The small black box is mother-of-pearl and ebony from Egypt and houses my earrings and rings. My watch (vintage Rolex, before they got chintzy) sits in front and my perfume is to the right. I have one signature scent- Coco Chanel Parfume (the original, not Mademoiselle) that I wear daily and have for over 20 years. I have never felt the urge to change because the scent works well with my body chemistry and I get so many compliments. I have men approach me and ask what perfume I'm wearing because they would like to purchase it for their wives or girlfriends! The two vials in front are essential oils from Egypt. I rarely wear any other perfume, but really liked the spicy fragrance of these two, so I thought I'd mix it up a bit from time to time just for fun.

Bracelets: 1 set sterling silver bangles from Saudi. These were a present from my parents. One gold bracelet with South African coin from the 1800's purchased on a trip to Capetown, one sterling silver bracelet with antique Roman coins, one Tiffany and Co. necklace, a gift from my husband years ago. I double it and wear as a bracelet with my watch and various charms from my travels around the world. I purchase one charm from each country we visit or in which I lived as a child.



Tracey and Jay

Thank you for sharing your minimalist home and wardrobe, Tracey! Follow her on Pinterest for more inspiration. This post contains affiliate links, so if you click on them, I make a small commission. Thank you for your continuing support!

Paris to Go

49 comments:

  1. Wow, this was so fun to read! Tracey you have some beautiful things, congrats on your retirement it sounds like you're having a blast. Your winter coat is swoon worthy oh my gosh! Thanks for sharing a slice of your life with us internet strangers :)

    Ariana, I look forward to the next post. (And I'm working on my stuff for you still.)

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    1. Yea! Great, thank you. No rush, I really appreciate it!

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    2. Your welcome! I love to read about how others live minimalist lives as it is different for everyone. I was honored to share my version here with Ariana :)

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  2. What an enjoyable read, Tracey. You can tell you really take care of your clothing and reading how you wear them is so helpful too. I enjoyed the recommendations on where to shop. How lovely that you keep a charm from each country. Thank you Ariana and Tracey!

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    1. Hi Joanna! I love how Tracey takes everything to the tailor and cobbler, and how all the items have a story attached to them. She also uses pieces in ways I wouldn't have thought of before. Very inspiring!

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    2. Thank you, I'm glad it was helpful! I find that purchasing a charm is something small and I can wear it everyday on my bracelet. It makes me smile and reminds me of the wonderful places and memories.

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  3. Very. Inspiring. Fewer clothes can work with many styles+lifestyles. Keeps me calm: i know I have enough. Few good quality possession, and very often indeed the best dressed one...

    Thank you for this series Ariana! And thank you for contributing Tracey!

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    1. Hi Emma! I'm looking for some more tiny wardrobes to feature- a grad student, a single working girl, etc., preferably thrifted. If you are interested or know someone please let me know!

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    2. Hi Ariana. I'm flattered. As for clothing goes, still a work in progress. Beauty routine is far more evolved and streamlined. I do have to warn you I am a pretty bad at taking pictures.

      Love what you do. Every single post.

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    3. Aw, thank you so much Emma. You are always so kind and encouraging. I look forward to your thoughtful comments!

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  4. What an account. Thank you for sharing.

    You guys make it look simple and doable. Wish I met you a few years ago, would have made my life so much better. Still do.

    Tracey, your handbag collection looks like mine.

    - Archana.

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    1. Archana, glad to meet a handbag kindred soul! I used to worry about being fashio able according to current trends. Travel has taught me there are well dressed women the world over with myriad styles and far fewer pieces than is standard in the closets of American women. I simply stopped worrying about everything and I purchase what I like. Period.

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  5. Still working on my minimal wardrobe. I recently pared down a LOT and am trying to cope with the panic of "I don't have enough!"

    Instead, I've recently found myself thinking "if I get that new item, then I have to get rid of existing item XX, because when will I wear it?" and I remember that I really like item XX and why do I want to replace it? There are really only so many clothes you can wear in a week and again, no one notices if you repeat things.

    Anyway, aspire to be the "best dressed person in the room" in the future, but not quite there yet. ;-)

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    1. So great, Jen! So what was your criteria for what stayed and what went? The biggest revelation for me was realizing nobody noticed when I repeated things. The panic will fade I promise :) everything I've given away and "regretted" I forgot about very quickly. I realized what I kept worked just as well, and it helped me find more creative ways to wear my remaining clothes.

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    2. A combination of a few things...one was anything that didn't fit correctly, if i had to fuss with a button or was itchy, it went out. Anything that I put on and spent time worrying that it didn't look good or felt self-conscious in went out. Then I read the Marie Kondo book and got into the "sparking joy" idea which is much more vague and subjective but was more of a "gut" reaction, and noticing what my favorite things to wear were. Some of these were unexpected, like the lightweight navy merino J. Crew sweater that I bought 3 years ago, and is the perfect weight for the Northern California climate and great for layering over a shirtdress or shirt. No matter how many other sweaters I've bought, this is the one that I keep ending up wearing.

      I wish that I had more local thrift sources with high-quality clothes...will try looking at some of the online consignment for alternatives when I need some replacements. I really do prefer thrifted and consignment to brand new--even on something in "perfect" condition there's something about the slight patina that makes it easier to wear and incorporate into my wardrobe.

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    3. I prefer it too! I actually wish there were better thrift sources here... it sounds crazy, and I shouldn't complain. But secondhand is really expensive here and most of it is garbage. Weirdly enough, I found better things in Ohio! The one Dior dress was $36 with the tags still on it in a thrift store there, and every pair of jeans I've owned in the past twelve years has been $0.50-$10 from a thrift shop in Cleveland. It's the patina that draws me too; I love the broken in look and feel.

      Have you tried Twice or Threadflip? One of my friends in the US always does well selling her clothes on those sites, but I wonder how the buying experience is.

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    4. I think in places like Ohio, nobody knows the value of what is in the thrift stores, so it's not over-picked or overpriced!

      I've found a couple of things on TheRealReal.com that I've bookmarked for later...a lovely white Yves Saint Laurent shirtdress for less than $100 and some brown Marni boots for about the same. Not super cheap, but you could certainly pay a lot more for new items that aren't nearly as nice.

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    5. TheRealReal is my favorite! I got my coat and red dress from there for less than what I'd pay at the mall. Seriously, how do Banana Republic and Ann Taylor get away with charging those prices, when there's designer stuff out there for the same price?

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    6. I have gone completely down TheRealReal rabbit hole and wondering why I ever shopped at the mall. Beautiful things at the same price. Plus, there is actually a variety of styles, not just what is "in" this season and which may not really suit my style. Just searched on brown boots to potentially replace my old ones and found so many great options in interesting styles at less than $200!

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  6. I love this! I'm a competitive cyclist so it was awesome to see another minimalist wardrobe that included outdoor activity wear (it's actually an area of my wardrobe that causes me some anxiety but I really don't think I can pare it down anymore without compromising my comfort - I'm a real wimp when it gets cold).


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    1. Michelle, keep what makes you comfortable during workouts. We put too much work into our sport to tug and pull at comfortable clothing. Besides, it throws my mojo!

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  7. What a great idea for a guest post series, Ariana! Maybe you need an example from someone living full time in Airstream?? *wink-wink*

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    1. That would be great! Could you email me? Thanks Kristy! I'm looking for unique stories and you have one :)

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  8. Thank you for the inspiration and contrast.
    Tracey, I also live in Colorado and will be retiring in the next few years (at the ripe old age of 36).
    I am an avid outdoors woman (bike, hike, ski, run, soccer) and have a capsule sport gear collection.
    If I ignored that part, I would guess I own about 50 items but I haven't counted.
    Arianna, I love your wardrobe and all the inspiration I find here.

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    1. Good on you! I retired at 43, and I am so busy! Comfort is key for me during runs. Definitely keep the gear you feel you need!

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  9. Do you wear a liner with your rain boots? If so, which one? I have some Kamik rainboots I quit wearing because they got too warm and weren't breathable.

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    1. Hi Erin, no I don't wear a liner. They are lined and breathable for me. I know that sounds weird as the exterior is rubber! I have worn these in the spring and summer with black shorts and a black T when it rains but is still humid/muggy out. They work brills! (I no longer have the black shorts)

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  10. Great post! I have just started having a minimalist wardrobe and really enjoy it. I love how easy it is to get dressed and that I always love what I wear. But... I still have seven bags of clothing ready for goodwill that I haven't had the courage actually remove from the house... These kind of inspiring posts help me see that I can let go of those bags and not be afraid to only have my minimalist wardrobe left.

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    1. That's awesome Camilla! What inspired you to start with a minimalist wardrobe? I know it can be scary- but you can do it! Look at all the stuff Tracey does without a ton of clothes :)

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    2. Thanks Ariana! For me it has been a process, as I grew up I often had the feeling of drowning in stuff but didn't know how to let go because I was nostalgic etc. Then last summer I read the book "Clutter busting" by Brooks Palmer and he really explained the mechanisms of why it's so hard to let go. After that I have been tossing and donating so much and it feels great! But I only recently had a look at my wardrobe again an realized that my former purges had not been enough: I could let go of more. So I'm still in the process of letting go but I'm enjoying living with less. Your blog has been a huge inspiration for me because you show how it's possible to live a good life with less stuff. I really like that you don't say "follow these ten steps" or similar stuff that so many bloggers do; all though that can be helpful I find that seeing how other people live happily with less is much more inspiring. So thanks so much, Ariana and now also Tracey, for sharing your stories! :)

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    3. That's great Camilla! I promise, you won't miss a thing! BTW, I love Brooks Palmer' s book "Clutter Busting"! It was the first book I read about downsizing and it's still in my book collection. I read it periodically, just to keep centered

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  11. Thank you so much for sharing this with us! I come to your website every couple days for new inspiration and information on how to live better. You never disappoint!

    It is my goal to live a simple, minimalist, zero waste life. I couldn't achieve this goal without you, and others like you, providing this kind of information. For example, It is a lot of work figuring out how to make a small wardrobe work. I especially appreciate Tracy sharing her workout wear info here.

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    1. Tracey is an inspiration! Thanks for your sweet comment, I'm so glad this was helpful!

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    2. Good luck to you! Living this way really does bring me incredible peace without feeling deprived.

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  12. Tracey--in terms of longer-length dresses, there's a new online company I've been looking at--

    http://www.mmlafleur.com/

    I also like their approach to more classic, simple designs and a capsule, minimal wardrobe.

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    1. The bento is such a cool concept ! Beautiful clothes, too.

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    2. Thanks Jen, I'll definitely check them out :)

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  13. Love seeing a different perspective! It shows that minimalism works for anybody, if you value it as a priority. Thanks for sharing, Tracy and Ariana!

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  14. This was a fantastic entry for so many reasons! I live a life with very little travel and stay at home with a baby under 1, but also run and have a part-time gig where I give public presentations. I have so much that it's embarrassing, but am starting to prune seriously and Tracey and Ariana, you have inspired me in a big way.

    Part of what I appreciate is that some of Tracey's items come from somewhat accessible - I mean literally, that the items are mass-produced and not all extremely expensive like top-end designer-wear - fashion companies. I live in New York City and while I have shopped secondhand for years, it is very difficult here to find those amazing-story deals like a Dior dress for $30! I have been very lucky but it is not really possible for most people to create even a very small wardrobe in that manner here. Tracey treasures and wears well things like a vintage Rolex, but also White House/Black Market clothing. I love that!

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    1. Aw, congratulations on your new baby. It's so nice you get to spend time together right now, in France the moms get a lot of time off so they can bond and get to know the baby's personality. I wish the US was that way- when my cousin had a preemie, she barely got two weeks off work, and she'd been one of the company's top performers for years. Your job sounds really interesting (and if you have any tips on secondhand shops in NYC I'd love to find some new addresses! I get really overwhelmed in New York and I think I don't know how to explore it properly).

      Tracey's writing style and selection was so enjoyable to read. I agree, sadly the $30 Dior will probably never happen again, so it's nice to see her wardrobe- plus she's had so many experiences, including motherhood, I haven't had yet, and it's fun to see how minimalism applies in those situations.

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    2. I made a lot of mistakes early on and purchased clothing that was all over the board. I have a very difficult time finding pieces of good quality, fit, and thrifted. I always check vintage/second hand stores first, but have found "corporate" options that serve me well. I have a difficult body shape to dress as well. I have a large bust and smaller waist with curvy hips (coke bottle) shape. Sounds delightful? Think again...I have to tailor all my shirts and jackets in order to fit my waist or I look like I'm wearing a potato sack! That's why most of my jackets and winter coat have a tie sash. Find what fit works for your body type and choose your style ie. Classic, bohemian, soft and subtle etc. Then stick to these rules and all your clothing and accessories will blend. Good Luck!

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    3. I am so thrilled that you both replied! I was worried that I didn't express what I was getting at -- I am new to paring down and some part of me thinks, 'I can't live with a small, useful, loved wardrobe unless every item was a steal, or made in Italy before the kinds of issues that 'Deluxe' highlighted, or before I finally get my hands on vintage Ferragamo boots' - that kind of thing, that each item must be 'perfect' in how it was found, manufactured and what it cost. I have a draft email to me going through my much too big wardrobe and your site and profiles are a guidebook that people live exciting, connected lives with much less than may be typical, and are happier for it.

      Ariana, I also love the variety of your entries even though I won't get to Paris for years and don't have food allergies. One of the places where I have found great things in NYC is Beacon's Closet - in Brooklyn though there is one in Manhattan. I found a no-name Italian leather satchel that people have asked me about, assuming it was Chloe, for $17, and a Narciso Rodriguez dress for $25 at the store closest to me. Those are my steals and I have had the bag for 9 years and it was clearly carried for years before that, and the dress for 3. I do find the Goodwill and Salvation Army are too picked over even for books, and the same for hospital charity shops, which I visited when going to prenatal visits. Some love Housing Works, where sales benefit charities supporting people struggling with homelessness and AIDS.

      Tracey, I believe you about how hard it can be to find things that fit perfectly but part of me does think it shouldn't be hard because your figure sounds *delightful* especially as I look at me and at my 7 month old!

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    4. Thanks for the information! Those sound like amazing finds. The satchel is probably better quality than Chloe actually. How awesome that it's had such a long life span.

      I'm sure you are a glowing new mom. Tracey brings up a great point, thrifted items often need to be refashioned or tailored- I love going on Pinterest and seeing how women transform old men's shirts found secondhand into cute dresses, oversized t-shirts into cowl necks, etc.

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    5. Hang in there, being a new mom is tough on the body! I've been a size 12 to a size 4 and everywhere in between. What I've learned is to dress my body at my current size with the right fit. Some items in my wardrobe aren't ideal pieces but they do the trick and I keep a running list of items for purchase or replacement. Then, I try and be patient. Enjoy your little one, they grow so fast :)

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  15. I keep returning to this blog almost daily now and it has a great impact on me, I must admit! I am becoming more and more minimalist oriented each day, I even bought a new closet to force myself to cut back on clothes! :D Thank you for these types of posts and zero waste approach, it is a great inspiration :)

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    1. This is so nice of you! What a sweet comment and what a good idea to limit closet space :) But you do so many cool things with your clothes, I need to start trying more DIY's like you!

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