Jan 29th, 2020, 12:11 PM

A Maximalist Tries a Week-Long Simple Morning Routine

By Lauren Camerer
Capsule Wardrobe. Image Credit: Flickr/marcusjroberts
To see what the hype of having less is all about, I decided to undergo my own transformation into leading a simpler life.

Thirty minutes of lazing around have gone by. I finally decide to pull myself up out of bed and head to my closet to struggle with finding something new to put together. Of all my clothes, I typically reach for the same outfit combination and head into the bathroom to do my daily skincare routine. I could write a handbook on every internet-hyped product I’ve tried and how they all seem to fail miserably, earning them a dusty spot under my cabinet where all these sad products go to die. 

And when it comes to makeup — don’t even get me started. I have a whole drawer dedicated to old lip glosses that got applied a handful of times, as well as cracked eyeshadow palettes and mascaras that will dry up before I ever get around to using them. I bought all of these items with a way too specific yet unplanned event in mind for which I thought they could create the perfect look. You know the one.

Why do I have such an abundance of shit? A few years ago, I wouldn’t have thought twice about how many things I have (most of which I rarely use), but it’s becoming more and more apparent to me that these possessions are weighing me down. I can’t be too hard on myself (or anyone for that matter) for having such hoarder-like tendencies, because that’s all we, as a society, have become accustomed to. We show our love by giving things. We feel beautiful and important by having things. And while it’s all fun and games to collect items that inspire us and make life easier, it’s most important to ask ourselves why we are really holding on to all the pieces we keep. 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Feeling amazing lately with progress on streamlining my possessions. Anyone else feeling the need to detox from things?

A post shared by Julia (@itsblitzzz) on

So, with some inspiration from a minimalist YouTuber, A.K.A. the wonderful Julia @itsblitzzz, and for the sake of writing this article, I delved into a week of living simply to glimpse into a life that I could have. Let’s be real, though… I’m doing this for me. And my shoebox-sized apartment waiting for me back in NYC. 

THE BEGINNING:

My main focus here is wardrobe, so I decided to tackle that. I go to a fashion-focused university, so the idea of having a minimalist closet is one of the most daunting concepts of this lifestyle to me. I put away my green velvet flares and corduroy jumpsuit (to my dismay) and opted for my most worn, most cohesive pieces that I can pair with any of my other clothing options. Since packing a whole semester’s worth of clothes into a few suitcases to come to Paris, this step has already been done for me. Now it was just about living it out. 

This past year, I have really focused on coming up with a solid wardrobe that is consistent with my lifestyle and what I actually reach for on a day-to-day basis. I was adamant about doing this solely through thrift stores and clothing companies that were sustainable because I wanted long-lasting pieces that I was truly proud of discovering and that simultaneously allowed me to better to the Earth. Plus, I enjoy the thrill of the hunt in finding some keepers in the mix of very questionable sweater vests and 2000s low-rise jeans in the vast sea that happens to be New York City's second-hand clothing market.

This leaves me with what one would call a “capsule wardrobe,” which is basically a collection of your absolute essential pieces that can be dressed up for any life event and can be worn for practically all of the time. What I had twisted was my thought that the color palette had to be dull and the fit of the pieces had to be simple. Turns out you can create your capsule wardrobe any way that you please as long as it’s cohesive. In fact, some of my key pieces in my condensed closet right now are a fringe suede jacket, denim flared pants and cowboy boots. It depends on your personal style.

Image Credit: Lauren Camerer
 

THE AFTERMATH:

Changing my routine in getting dressed every morning has been a wonderful success for me. Although it was quite the transition from literally all to (almost) nothing from my perspective, it only took a few days to start getting used to a new groove. Yes, I still struggle with wanting to have more options, but it just makes me value the pieces that I do have and all the looks I can create with them. So, the capsule wardrobe has worked! Coming from a maximalist, this goes to show anything is truly possible. Having less takes the pressure off of coming up with the “perfect” outfit because you already have a wardrobe with your favorite well-fitting pieces to choose from. It also makes you appreciate each individual article that you own and pushes you to try to wear it in different ways to really get the most out of your clothing. 

We are the age that has looked up to famous people and Instagram influencers constantly; from seeing what they wear even to what they share of their day-to-day routines online, we can’t help but compare our lives and strive to have the things that they do. On top of that, marketing and advertising are hitting us everywhere we go, telling us that we need a certain product to be happy and beautiful. Once we get that thing we’ve been dying to get, we’re on to the next, ready to have even more. 

Something as simple as condensing and sticking with a wardrobe that makes you feel like your best self can be life-altering. Making up our own minds about what we need and love sounds simple, but if you really think about it, it becomes clear that most of our desires are coming from the world around us. 

THE LAST ACT:

Going simple in my dress felt most completed when I was simplistic in other areas of my life. I started to see how many day-to-day customs I could switch up with this new frame of mind. With my hair, which I usually curl and fuss over, I decided to either wear it natural or sleep with it twisted up so I could get the look I like easily. This lessens the hair products and hot tools I usually use to get ready for the day. I only wore just a few makeup products and let my real skin shine through. 

It almost seems humorous to me now, seeing how accustomed I’ve been to doing THE MOST day after day just to get ready for years. Especially thinking back to how I got ready in high school; I would adhere false eyelashes just to go and put in my eight mundane hours in class. I’m not regretful that I used to do that, because it was what I genuinely wanted to do at the time, but I’m glad that I’m far from that point today. 

As we get older, I think we all begin to prioritize where we put our energy into. In a world where we are accustomed to wanting the best of the best right NOW, it will take a lot to shift our thinking to wanting things that actually work for us and bring us happiness. Or will it take just a little?

It’s funny that doing less brought such a revelation upon me. So much so that I feel compelled to write about this endeavor, hoping that maybe it’ll encourage others to look deeper into the true meaning of why they have the things they do. Marie Kondo said it best in her show, "Tidying Up": does it spark joy? Though simple, this question directed at the things you own can put your purchasing and keeping habits into perspective. 

Image Credit: Lauren Camerer
 

So, if you’re looking for one, here is an omen to get rid of your junk. Donate it! Let someone else find it who might truly cherish it. As far as it goes for me, I will continue in my practice of wearing pieces from my capsule wardrobe. This has been an exciting new method for me to try and I could probably still muster up some more things I would like to say about it. But as we know now, my days of overdoing it are fading behind me. It’s time to make things simple.