Fashion

A Change of Clothing

Lately, I’ve been feeling tired of most personal style blogs.

I’ve been tired of MY personal style posts, frankly (and that’s not just because the most recent one involved freezing cold snow).

I’m getting less and less interested in “what I wore” kinds of posts, and more interested in working with my own current set of clothing to figure out what I like wearing most and to streamline the daily effort of getting dressed (first world problems over here, don’t I know it).

I won’t pretend it hasn’t been fun to get some free clothing over the past year or so (this shirt being one of my all-time favorites), but I’ve grown increasingly uncomfortable with just taking pictures of wearing new stuff on a weekly basis.

What I’m more interested in is working through what I already own, figuring out what’s worth keeping and what needs to go, and thoughtfully deciding what I want to add to my closet.

And then figuring out how to make what’s left in my closet work as hard as possible. (One of my all-time favorite style posts I’ve done is this one about how to wear a neon pink shirt (let’s not talk about how I accidentally burned a hole in the front with the iron last week and had to get rid of it).

Those are the kinds of things I’d be interested in reading on other blogs, and the kind of thing I want to focus on here. I don’t want to just see a parade of new clothing that makes me feel unhappy about what I have in my closet. I want to feel inspired by the things already hanging in that closet.

That’s not to say I won’t ever again work with clothing brands I like, but it won’t be for the purpose of saying “hey, look. A shirt I got for free.”

What I need is more creativity in my closet, not necessarily more stuff. (Of course, I do have a good little list of things I want to add to my summer wardrobe in my head – don’t think for a minute I won’t share it here in the next few weeks).

(This post should be sponsored by my local thrift store, which is sure to be getting a big donation from me in the next few weeks).

Shirt: Gap // Sweater: Borrowed from Merrick // Skirt: Avenlie
Heels: Nine West // Clutch: Windsor

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40 Comments

  • Reply Ash February 24, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    First of all, you look so pretty and I still enjoy your style posts. =) I always appreciate your honesty and the way you stay true to yourself. I know I'd be pretty tempted by brand collaborations and "free stuff" but if you're genuinely feeling like moving in a different direction in terms of style posts I think it's awesome that you have the will-power to take a step back and reevaluate that. I'd be like, "But the stuuuff." As always, you're awesome. =)

  • Reply preethi February 24, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    I could not agree more. I sort of realized at some point a few months ago that I just wasn't really all that interested in reading plain old outfit posts, nor was I interested in writing them…so for the most part, I stopped. Granted, you have MUCH more reason to continue than I ever did, but I do understand the sentiment. I've been finding remixing posts much more interesting to read and write, although the latter takes significantly more effort (I did a blazers one recently and I made dan wait while I did a couple of outfit changes over the course of a couple days…he loved it, I'm sure).

  • Reply Meghan Splawn February 24, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    I would love to read about how you decide what to keep and what to donate and how you re-mix what you've already got. The Tiny Twig has a great e-book I bought a few years ago called the No-Brainer Wardrobe which I just devoured. I remember reading that in the 1950's most women had 8 pieces in their wardrobe – 8! How can you even restyle that? Best of luck with your closet purge!

    • Reply Janssen February 24, 2014 at 9:14 pm

      I read that book a couple of years ago and LOVED it – I need to reread it (but I won't be moving down to 8 pieces. . . ).

  • Reply Rebecca Lately February 24, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    This resonates with me. I have a personal style/beauty blog, and I am not feeling inspired by my clothing at the moment at all. I have fun putting together outfits and getting dressed. But, as far as putting them on my blog, I've been feeling very lackluster about it lately. I'm going to try a different posting schedule in March to see if that revives my creativity.

  • Reply RA February 24, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Thanks for this, and I look forward to seeing you work through your own closet. Would you consider doing a 30 for 30 or similar? I've found those to be really helpful (and not nearly as challenging as I had feared).

    If you have brands that want to sponsor posts, would you consider a giveaway? The couple behind Young House Love does that; they don't take any freebies for themselves. I also think a post that's like, "I got this free/loaner thing from this company, and I wore it for a week, and here's how it added (or not) to my wardrobe," can be way more helpful than straight-up outfit pictures stamped with "c/o". And in a situation where you get to choose an item from a company, how do you go about choosing? I think the why/how of clothing decisions make for a lot more interesting reading than the what.

    • Reply Janssen February 24, 2014 at 9:15 pm

      One of the reasons I wanted to move away from c/o posts is that choosing items was taking SO MUCH TIME. It's much less time-consuming (and enjoyable) for me to shop for real, rather than pick out free things.

  • Reply Elisabeth @ Bella February 24, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    truth. we probably do need more of those style blogs – although i do love lots of style blogs for the sole purpose of helping me reinvent my closet. its rare (has it ever happened?) that i've purchased something from a blog post but i have certainly inspired to put together things i have in a different way after i've seen it on a blog πŸ™‚

    can't wait to read more about you working through your closet πŸ™‚

  • Reply Kathleen February 24, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    This is what I want to do too! Currently emptying my closet and trying to be brutal about it.

  • Reply Kayris February 24, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Have you ever read the New Dress A Day blog? If not, I'd totally recommend her! She takes hideous thrift shop items and turns them into fabulous items. Her style is not necessarily my style, and I like my skirts and dresses much longer, but she is inspiring. My daughter and I are turning a dorky pair of 90s gym shorts into a bag to carry her soccer cleats, and I'm debating what to do with a dress that is too big and has yellow spots from where someone spilled wine on me. Check her out!

    • Reply Janssen February 24, 2014 at 9:17 pm

      You know, I remember my mom showing it to me YEARS ago – I had no idea it was still going on!

  • Reply Shelly February 24, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    I love that idea and think that those sort of style posts are very interesting to read.

  • Reply Amanda Mustafic February 24, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    I basically stopped reading most outfit posts, unless I'm really invested in a blogger, so I totally understand your waning interest in these kinds of posts.

    I can't wait to see how you find new ways to wear the stuff already in your closet!

  • Reply Taylor Norton February 24, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    Have you seen this series? http://www.coletterie.com/category/wardrobe-architect

  • Reply Saskia February 24, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    Yes, please. I have a couple of style blogs I keep track of, but it's more out of a voyeuristic sense of seeing how the other half lives than actual interest, and I click through them very quickly. Not all of us have the money to be buying stuff left and right (or, if I'm honest, the inclination: new books? Yes, please! New clothes? Oh, okay.) Look forward to seeing what you come up with.

  • Reply Lauren and Joe O'Brien February 24, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Wow I totally agree. I used to wonder how SAHMs or WAHMs could constantly keep up with the latest trends/buy new clothes (vs. Me that buys 1-2 items/month) until I realized they were getting it free. That's why I like thisfelicitouslife's sahm wardrobe… it is all about mixing and matching and loving what you wear. And when she buys stuff it is normally classic stuff. I would love to see how you work through your closet/personal style.

  • Reply Paige Flamm February 24, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    I completely agree with this! I'm also in the same boat of digging through the closet and having a huge donation pile. My problem is I just don't really have all the basics to mix and match to do great outfits with, so I feel like I'm having to invest in that right now. I seriously got rid of way more graphic tshirts this weekend from Pacsun, Aero, and American Eagle that I've been wearing since high school than I should admit too… Here's to finding a new, grown-up, but not completely over the top wardrobe…

  • Reply lucy February 24, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Longtime lurker, first time poster – I had to comment today! Love the post and love your thoughts – although I have some clothing budget, I can't afford most of what shows up in all of the "c/o" outfit posts, and when the outfits rely on that new dress/top/pants/bag, it's hard to get any inspiration from it. But don't stop the outfit posts – just show how you're being creative with what you've got! And lastly, your skirt today is inspiring me to make a skirt with some clearance fabric in a similar pattern I got this weekend – I was fighting the skirt idea until I saw your skirt today. πŸ™‚

    • Reply Janssen February 24, 2014 at 9:16 pm

      Oh, there will definitely still be outfit posts – it'll just be more of an emphasis on how I'm working with my current clothing, rather than a parade of new clothing.

      (And I LOVE this skirt. It was actually a midi skirt which I can't really pull off, so I made my mom hem it for me when I was in Las Vegas last month).

  • Reply Morris February 24, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    I love to see real clothing posts rather than "β„…" posts. I find that it is nice to see that the items are actually attainable. I love your blog and will continue reading no matter what because I don't feel like you sacrifice your content on a fashion post. However, I have found that a lot of bloggers pretty much just post the pictures with a β„… these days. I have unfollowed probably 50% of the blogs I used to read. I love to see something that says "borrowed from my sister" because that is more realistic to my lifestyle.

    • Reply Janssen February 24, 2014 at 9:13 pm

      I WISH I had more "borrowed from my sister" items – moving away from Landen has really made it tough!

  • Reply smalldog February 24, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    I really like this post. I'm getting tired of most fashion blogs I read as well, and for the same reason. I've actually unfollowed most of the ones still lingering in my feed. I'm also much more interested in learning how to use what I already have instead of coveting more. That's having style rather than following fashion.

  • Reply Ashley February 24, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    I just got rid of tons of stuff from my closet…such a great feeling. I'm at the stage in my life right now where I'm shopping from my own closet. It keeps me creative, that's for sure!

  • Reply Liz February 24, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    This is why your blog is my favorite to read.

    • Reply Janssen February 24, 2014 at 9:16 pm

      Thank you! Seriously, this is so nice.

  • Reply Meg {Boo Boos & Briefcases} February 24, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    One of the reasons that I love your blog is that you're always so honest and relatable! I'm a big closet purged and have found myself mixing up my clothes more than ever before (a fun challenge). But I won't be sad when it's finally time to put away the sweaters and pull out some cute spring & summer clothes again!

  • Reply Alli Aars {You have your blog, we have Aars} February 24, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    YES!!! So with you here. I've been on a "remix my own closet" kick, and it's actually super fun! Your outfits inspire me. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Lisa {MoneyHipMamas.com} February 25, 2014 at 12:48 am

    Your honesty and blogging integrity is refreshing and inspiring. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Dana Weinstein February 25, 2014 at 1:14 am

    I understand how you feel. It's incredibly hard when I see the blogs that just post expensive clothing over and over again and all I can think is, I can't afford that, so I kind of don't want to look at it. Instead, I've started using other people's what I wore posts as inspiration for how I can put things together in my own wardrobe. Now, I do find things I want to buy also, but I love seeing new ways I can put things together.
    That being said, I'm also in the process of massively cleaning out my wardrobe to try and get rid of the things I've given up on trying to wear.

  • Reply Michael and Tasha February 25, 2014 at 1:46 am

    Thank you! I've been lurking on your blog for a while, and while I don't think your outfit posts have gotten too out of hand, I've quit reading several other blogs because I can't relate to c/o posts. I like seeing how real people with real budgets and no real free clothing coming in the mail unless it's Christmas (yay Christmas!) make their closets work.

  • Reply Iris February 25, 2014 at 2:44 am

    Can't wait to see what you come up with. Hey, where and for what occasion would you wear an outfit like this one you have here? Some of the style blog posts I like are the one piece multiple ways kind where bloggers post how they wear it for different occasions. I would be interested to see how you take a mom outfit to a date night outfit or church outfit or office outfit.

  • Reply Becca February 25, 2014 at 6:21 am

    Ah, I'm so happy to hear this. I'll go ahead and admit that I really can't stand personal style blogs. I don't really find them inspiring (our lack of budget could have something to do with that), but I do, admittedly, find them a little vain. I know they're wildly popular and so I'm sure I'm just really behind the curve on this, but I'd rather hear how a mother deals with real-life issues with her children, or how she organizes or decorates her home, or what she cooks for her family on a budget, or what she THINKS about, rather than what she wore every day.

  • Reply Nicole February 25, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Love, love, love this! I can't wait to see the process in action and outfits you come up with. You've got great style so I'd be more than happy to take any closet rejects off your hands. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Kaitlyn February 25, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    I have been on a similar quest lately! I stumbled upon the "Daily Connoisseur";s blog recently & it has revolutionized my stance on my wardrobe. I realize this all sounds dramatic– I'm just so excited! Her blog has helped me understand what I need to have in my wardrobe, how to always look my most put-together, and exactly what pieces to add to my wardrobe. She is a proponent of the "10 item closet" (not just 10 items, though). You can see an overview of the concept here: http://dailyconnoisseur.blogspot.com/2011/02/10-item-wardrobe-getting-started.html
    and you can see an example of a seasonal (Winter 2013) wardrobe here: http://dailyconnoisseur.blogspot.com/2013/09/my-ten-item-wardrobe-fallwinter-2013.html. A few weeks back I spent a couple of hours on her blog, then spent several hours clearing out my closet, and then spent another hour or two creating an Excel spreadsheet of all the items I need in my wardrobe vs. what I currently have. Getting dressed & cultivating a chic daily wardrobe has become a hobby I'm quite excited about. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Lara February 25, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    YES! Thank you! Outfits that are primarily "c/o", no matter how cute they are, just aren't relevant to me. Not that I'm upset that you get free clothing – you've worked hard to build your blog, and it IS cool that you get some stuff πŸ™‚ – but it is refreshing to hear you say that you want to work with what you have. I think that is where most normal women find themselves.

  • Reply Samantha Seufert February 25, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    I love the idea of working with what you have. Every time I see cute blog posts with fun outfits and I then see "c/o" I get sad because I just can't afford to keep buying new things!

  • Reply Ocarina February 27, 2014 at 4:33 am

    Such a great post! I really like the way you run things you're doing on the blog through a bit of a critical process (and tell readers about it) – it's one of the reasons I find your blog so real and refreshing. And since I'm making my once-in-a-blue-moon comment, can I just say that your recipe for inside-out carrot cake muffins was outstanding – I am so making them again…!

  • Reply runtspickins February 27, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    Have you ever read the blog called puttingmetogether.com?
    I stumbled upon it more recently and I've been hooked! It's a modern style blog that is SO realistic. She helps you "reimagine" what you already have and teaches you all kinds of things from choosing what to add to your closet, how to make one piece work in many different ways, etc. The thing that I really love about the blog is that everything is so practical. It's not $100 blouses and $300 boots. She shops mainly Old Navy and Target (as well as other practical places) so it isn't always "find something similar to this…" it's more like, "I got this at (practical store) and you can have the EXACT same one". Check it out!

    Runt
    http://www.runtspickins.wordpress.com
    If responding please email me at runtspickins@yahoo.com

  • Reply emandtrev February 27, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    I love and appreciate this post so much. First off, your blog is one of my very favorites, so I would read it regardless of what you're posting about. Really. You're just a breath of fresh air (as cliche as that sounds). I love me a good style blog, but truthfully…I'm kind of a t-shirt and jeans sort of gal on most days. But…I found myself jotting down a whole bunch of items, shoes, makeup, etc. that I would never need or be able to afford. I love getting some ideas, but I'm with you. It's kind of great to work with what I've already got and then supplement here and there with a few favorite new pieces. You're great at what you do! I love that you're so honest with your readers. Keep it up, lady! You've got yourself a fan. But you already knew that, right? πŸ™‚

  • Reply Brynn March 5, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Janssen, thank you so much for writing this post. I have been reading personal style blogs for about 4 years now, and have been blogging my own outfits for just over a year. I, too, feel weary of most personal style blogs (and I really dislike most of the "big" fashion bloggers). I recently weeded my Feedly and unsubscribed from a ton of blogs that featured new clothing pieces over and over and over again. The kinds of blogs that I love to read are smaller ones that are focused not on buying tons of new things and trying to be groundbreaking with their outfits, but on curating a closet that is remixable and perfectly suited to their lifestyle, budget, and comfort level. I'm so happy that you wrote about how this is what you're thinking about leaning towards. I love your outfits and although we have completely different body shapes and lifestyles, I find myself inspired by you and your personal style very often. As a blogger myself, my favorite kinds of posts to do are ones that stretch me to really examine and use what's in my closet instead of buying new things constantly (30×30 challenges are my favorite!). I guess what I'm trying to say is, I am eager to see where this new insight will take you in the blog. I do hope you'll continue to create outfit posts!! I'll certainly be following along πŸ™‚

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