I wonder what Marie Kondo would think of the organizational skills of my 20 year-old self.
At 20, I was boy-crazy and scatter-brained, leaving half-eaten sweet potatoes in vacant cupboards around my home as I ruminated on the kind of jaw line my future children would have if I married Brandon… the handsome stranger I sat next to in class with whom I could barely exchange morning pleasantries. While admittedly it was a strange and unsanitary place to store half-devoured root vegetables, it brought me joy to open a random cupboard and find a healthy midnight snack waiting for me that served as brain food as I wasted the night away with my romantic ruminations.
When it came to clothing, I never parted with a single piece in my younger years. Instead, I went the “creative” route and repurposed outdated clothing as makeshift wall décor. I called my wall Death Row, as every bare spot of it had clothing hanging on display that was awaiting the trash bin that I could not yet part with. My room often looked like a failed art exhibit of a child who was overly encouraged for her artistic acumen at a young age. All of my organizational habits made sense and brought me joy, but made the outside world around me anxious and resentful of yams.
I think if Marie Kondo saw my room and organizational skills then, she would have smiled, bowed and then slapped me across the face for the stupidity that I called “joy.” She would then wipe away my tears of shock, give me a colorful box and politely tell me to get my shit together. That is exactly what would have happened.
In stark contrast, if Madame Kondo met Annie Moore, blogger at AwakenAndBegin.com and mom of 2, in her twenties, she would have stared knowingly into her eyes, sat at her feet and humbly asked, “Teach me, for I must learn thy ways.”
Annie has always loved keeping things tidy - she was organizing before Marie Kondo was a thing. Any true organizational junkie would know Annie’s original tidying idol, Julie Morgenstern, who taught Annie all that she needed to know about getting her household in order and running on maximum efficiency.
Annie started her blog to help other Moms conquer the seemingly impossible task of being a Mom in an organized way. Annie recently had her second child and has been dealing with the style challenges that come with the postpartum body. In true Annie fashion, Annie had developed a comfortable and efficient ensemble that worked for her: yoga pants, t-shirt, and a cardigan. However, after wearing this outfit practically day-in and day-out, Annie had gotten into a style rut and needed to try something new to find her pre-pregnancy style again.
My goal for styling Annie was to find some classically structured and tailored pieces that I knew would resonate with Annie’s affinity for order while simultaneously helping her branch out from the comfortable cardigan-shaped box into which she put her style. Let’s take a look at what clothes are bringing Annie joy now!
Jean Jacket + V-Neck Tank + Black Mid-Rise Jeans
This first ensemble will stand the test of time. Annie will be able to wear it 5, 10, 25 years from now and feel stylish, and when it no longer brings her joy, she can offer it up to her great grandchildren or nieces and they can find a new generation of joy in these threads.
The jean jacket is a timeless piece. It is the perfect neutralizer for any outfit, making special occasion dresses suddenly wearable for day-to-day and providing a bit of structure and order for any casual outfit. The key here is finding a jacket for Annie that had no embellishments and had a straight uncropped cut. The less detailing and the more generous the fit, the more outfits she will be able to pair with this jacket in the future. We paired this jacket with a gorgeous emerald V-necked tank that shows off Annie’s neck line and elongates her frame. To finish off the look, we replaced Annie’s day-to-day yoga pants with a pair of black mid-rise skinny jeans that still offer a bit of stretch and structure while being comfortable in the process. The necklines are timeless and the colors are bold but simple - this outfit oozes order and casual all in one breath. To tie it all together, we have given Annie a pair of pointy toe neutral flats that work to elongate her leg line and offer a timeless look.
Black and White Polka Dot
A button-up is the aesthetic dream of any person who adores order and organization. However, button-ups can be unapologetically boring. By the time I get the last button secured, I sometimes find myself dozing off in a pool of my own drool out of boredom. To make a bit of a compromise, we went with a fun and feminine understated polka dot patterned button-up for Annie that has a gorgeous mesh lace peek-a-boo back. Rather than button up from hip to collar, this top is tied and knotted at the bottom and gives Annie just a hint of whimsy in this tailored look. The top itself is structured, but the polka dots offer a bit of orderly visual interest without being overwhelming. The look is completed with a simple pair of mid-rise black skinny jeans and the same nude point toe flats.
Wild Card Wrap Dress
The dress was a wild card. I knew that the camo-esque pattern would be a calculated risk for Annie, and that it didn’t necessarily fit in with the order and structure of the previous two outfits, but it’s always important to give a gentle push outside of one’s comfort zone. This wrap dress is made for Annie’s body as the wrap highlights her tiny waist, creating a gorgeous hour glass silhouette and offers a short enough skirt hem that makes Annie’s legs appear like they go on for miles! Even better, the thoughtful wrap can easily be pulled away for easy breast-feeding activities. For those who are hesitant to try out patterns, camo and camo-esque patterns are a surprisingly good introduction.
Does It Bring You Joy?
When developing your wardrobe, it is vital that your clothing gives you joy – otherwise it will just accumulate dust in your closet. However, sometimes even the most organized of us can get into a style rut of only gravitating toward things that make us feel fashionably safe. That’s when it helps to get some outside perspective and find some new things to shake it up that still bring you joy, albeit from a different perspective.
To get your next organizational fix, visit Annie’s blog at AwakenAndBegin.com to see a feature post that she recently completed about yours truly and check out all of her awesome content on getting your house in order!