160. Getting dressed can be a keystone habit, creating an easy wardrobe / INSIGHTS from the 30for30 closet remix

This is a continuation of the insights we had in the #moms30for30 challenge, where we wore 30 items of clothes for 30 days.  

This challenge was a way for us to shop our closets, wear clothing items we never wear (cause we always stick with familiar, right!?), put together outfits, and get dressed each day. 


In this episode we cover:

  • The power of visual data aka taking dorky outfit selfies
  • How getting dressed can be a keystone habit that has a ripple effect in other areas of your life
  • Paying attention to how you FEEL when you get dressed  
  • The personal goal I gave myself for this challenge versus the goal I have had in past challenges
  • Can comfort and style co-exist (for the under 60 crowd?)
  • How taking the time to observe and edit your wardrobe can make getting dressed simple and easy
  • Same clothes but different looks, using accessories and the rule of three
  • The breakdown of my numbers in doing this challenge 
  • Building a capsule wardrobe is not about having all of the options. It is more about having a handful of great items that you love
  • My encouragement to empower you in dressing how YOU want

Products recommended here may include referral links to Amazon. If you click through and buy something I may earn a commission, at no cost to you. 


Simple Pleasure

Is a handheld fabric steamer.  

I bought mine last year and have used it for things like drapes and curtains, thrifted items, and most of my shirts. 

It is easy and fast to use and the satisfaction of seeing those wrinkles and creases steamed out is making this my simple pleasure!

This is the one I use. 


Mentioned and related links:


Full transcript 


This episode is part two of the insights that I am sharing on the moms 30 for 30 to 3430 Challenge, where we were wearing 30 items of clothes for mostly 30 days of the month of February. So I have been sharing my own insights as well as those insights of the women who joined along in the challenge and shared their experience in the Facebook group. Okay, side note about the Facebook group, the simple on purpose community Facebook group, I want to tell you two things. The first is that if you have applied to enter, you need to answer all of the entry questions. So if you haven’t been approved yet, go back and do that. If you’re interested in joining, be mindful of that. Don’t close that window right away, answer all those questions. And the second point I want to make is, I really encourage you to be a minimalist with your Facebook groups, and only join this one if you want to be an active member, because this group is a place for community discussion. And that means participation. So if you feel like participating isn’t something that you’re going to be doing, then just keep listening along here. Keep reading through the email, don’t worry about joining that group. And I don’t want it to come off as harsh. But for any of you who have ever run an online community or an in person community, you know what I mean? It takes engagement to succeed and to create a community. And that is what I want to challenge the members of that Facebook group to be doing to become a community. That is the reason why I created it not for a place for me to share more things, or to post a discussion question once a week, but a place where you can come ask questions, ask for advice, share your befores and afters, share your ideas, share your insights, share what you thought about these episodes, this is your place for simple on purpose community. So if you are interested in that, then feel free to join us. I’ll make sure to put a link to that in the show notes. So this is a follow up to our last episode where I was sharing some insights that we have had around during the 3430. Those insights centered on getting dressed in your favorite items versus the familiar clothes, you always reach for some shopping mindsets and approaching the trends of fast fashion. All well trying to learn your style. I dug into also the notions of pride versus vanity. So if you’re interested in that, and you haven’t heard it, go back and listen to that as well. I wanted to pick up with the insights that I saw a common theme around a common theme I heard from the ladies who joined was how helpful it was to actually take a photo of themselves each day. Right? Could you imagine your camera roll after a month filled with pictures of you getting dressed rather than 276 forehead selfies of your child. It was actually this exact contrast, that helped me reevaluate my whole approach to Instagram. About six years ago, I looked on my Instagram feed for the month that I was doing this challenge, and was struck by how many pictures that were of me versus my kids. And it really changed how I wanted to approach Instagram and the things I wanted to share around me in my life and less about my kids. So I’m going to link a post on that in the show notes. If you’re interested in that. That’s an old post that I think is still really relevant today. Let’s continue this though on the power of visual data, the power of taking photos, through taking photos of yourself getting dressed each day. What I heard women share that one, it helped them keep accountable to this challenge. I mean, if you can share 30 photos, you can share 30 outfits that you have gone through the process of doing this. It helped them keep accountable. When they were sharing these photos every week, it helped them keep keep them accountable. It helped them see what looks good on them. This was my experience too. And taking photos of myself. Whether it’s a certain color or a certain shape, it just gives you kind of fresh eyes to look at it helped people see what patterns of something they were always wearing. And this encouraged them actually to try new things. It helped them plan how they wanted to approach getting dressed how they want to take care of their clothes, and one woman even shared Yeah, I think I need to iron more. And that’s something that maybe we just don’t think about. But seeing that visual feedback. It’s like oh yeah, that’s something I could do. K shared remember I’m just going to share first initials K shared that as a stay at home mom, I don’t have to get dressed up and head out and I am a comfy dresser as much as possible. So for me getting out of sweatpants is a challenge. So I didn’t get dressed every day. But I did do well. I found on the days I got dressed first thing in the morning, I was more productive than on the days I didn’t get dressed or got dressed later on. For example, I got my workouts done earlier my day and my task lists were organized sooner. So my day and myself were more important together because of how I dressed I found that interesting.

I don’t think we touched on this last episode. No, I don’t think we did. But getting dressed is what i i consider from this especially it’s a keystone habit. A keystone habit is a habit that creates a ripple effect. For instance, many people say working out is a keystone habit because it’s likely to encourage you to do other healthy habits like eating healthier lunch that day or drinking more water. You’re you’re following through, you’re having a ripple effect on other decisions you can make to keep you in line with this habit of being someone who works out. So getting dressed seems to be a keystone habit in helping some women feel ready for the day feel prepared, feel motivated, and I can definitely echo that I feel like this was the boat I had been in to. Especially winter, it’s, it’s winter here, it’s easy to just wear comfy clothes all day and then throw in a big coat and boots to distract from the sweats in the hoodie that I’ve been wearing all day. But as I got dressed, I felt more ready, I felt more ready to get stuff done. And just like Kay shared, it’s really about paying attention to how you feel. And it’s weird. Because we all logically know this, we know logically, getting dressed, changes how I feel, maybe helps me feel more ready. But we forget how it feels, we pay attention to how that feels. And this is something I paid attention to a lot this month, because I would normally just see the kids off to school in the mornings, and still be in my pajamas and kind of stay like that for a couple of hours. But as I made more and more of an effort to get dressed earlier and earlier in the day, even if I was still wearing comfy clothes, I just felt different. I felt fresh, you know, fresh socks wearing a bra, it just hits different when you are dressed. And speaking of comfy clothes. That was my own underlying goal of this challenge. So every challenge I do, I give myself a goal or reason that I want to do this. And in the past challenges I’ve done about seven of them. My main goal was often putting outfits together. And I would spend a lot of time creating outfits like considering what shoes I want to wear with it, what jacket, what accessories I want to put with it, and that those were the photos that I was sharing. They were completed outfits. But this time around, it was different. I didn’t want to focus on creating outfits. I wanted to level up my sweats. I wanted to level up where I was at a bit. But I still want it to be comfortable and look stylish in a way that I felt was stylish. Which I’m aware comfort and style is like a commercial for Northern reflections or something. If you have that clothing store where you live. But you know what? Maybe they’re right. Maybe by the time you’re dressing yourself at 60 or 70. And you want just comfort and styles because you’ve learned a few things about life. Life is too short to wear shoes that pinch pants that you don’t feel good in. And I think pandemic life has really shifted our focus on comfort and soft clothes. And now for me personally, I wanted to challenge myself to add in style because I feel good when I dress in a style that feels like me. And not just what I had been doing which is one big wall of black cotton sweat black sweatpants black hoodie. So this challenge for me I wanted to move from living in the sweats I bought at Costco to feel like I’m wearing what I want to wear, you know, wearing those outfits that I’m still find myself pinning on Pinterest, wearing something that makes me feel like me, that makes me feel a bit ready. And to make it comfy. And I think this is getting easier. I think it’s getting easier as fashion kind of opens up beyond what we’ve seen over the years. Have a lot of skinny legs, a lot of leggings. And I think it’s a really nice look. I think it’s really flattering look. But for me, I know, I prefer to wear a St Jean I prefer to wear looser jeans, I think it balances my body shape a little bit more. I don’t know about you. But if I’m wearing tights, like maybe I’ll wear them to work out. But even that I’m wearing looser and looser, were called pants. But if I’m wearing tight pants, I find myself getting frustrated. And I have to realize at one point of the day like I feel uncomfortable physically. So I’m getting annoyed at everything. And I fatigue wearing these tight pants, my legs fatigue, what’s happened is I’ve lost my tolerance. I’ve lost my tolerance over the past two years. But there is a senior citizen aged part of me that has no desire to rebuild that tolerance. Not if it’s possible for me to find looser pants, I still feel good. And I don’t know about you. But another interesting thing happened during the pandemic. So on one hand, I’m wearing sweats. On the other hand, I’m starting to make these purchases online. But it’s like, I just get to a point where I’m like, I can’t keep living in sweats.

I need to buy something without an elastic waist, something that I can feel dressed up and put together like I want to feel that way again. So I have bought some things online over the past two years. And doing this challenge forced me to test them out because I was not making a time or place to wear these in my regular life. And as I used this challenge to help me like interview those clothes that I bought. I’m sad to say some of them are not going to work. They either sit wrong, they’re uncomfortable. And it’s just like I talked about last time some of them were the safe option. Some of them were too risky. You know that midnight impulse purchase filling that void. I talked a little bit about this. Last fall, I shared an episode about emotional shopping that I realized I was doing. And I’ll make sure to link that in the show notes too. As I went through the month, though, of intentionally wearing these clothes, paying attention to them, trying to make them work in different outfits, it helped me to understand what’s going to work, what’s not going to work, what I need to pass on. And it really also helped me remember my personal shopping rule, I need to try it on and I need to really love it. I think we kind of have this notion that you can be comfortable, you can be stylish, but I think it’s possible to be both, but it means trying things on paying attention. So I was paying attention a lot to how my pants felt how my shirts felt. I tried not to wear only T shirts in this challenge, which was something I had found myself doing. Lately, I tried to wear my different blouses, my sweaters, and I decided to let go of some of them if things still didn’t feel right if they felt annoying, because I can own things that I think look attractive or cute, and I like them. But if they’re not comfy, I’m probably not going to wear them. Because right, I’m a senior citizen and deep in my heart, you’re probably wondering exactly what I did wear this month. I don’t want to get your hopes up. But I don’t want you to think that I just wore like slacks and a vest. All month. Some of the outfits that I wore will be in the shownotes if you want to check them out. I think this is worth doing the work though, finding what feels comfortable on you what feels like your own style, because then it is just so easy to put them on. And that’s what I’m here for making things simpler. something interesting happened as I was doing this challenge. So I had COVID for probably I was in my pajamas. I didn’t get dressed at all for a good five days. And as I was recovering from it and starting to feel better i i put on pants like jeans and a shirt one day. And both my best friend and my husband made a comment to me like oh, what do you all dressed up for? And I think the shirt was cute. I mean, I wear it other times. But to me it was just a comfy easy shirt. And I had a conversation with my best friend. I was like, it’s so funny. You asked me the tell me I’m dressed up because it’s just a shirt. It’s just a pants like my hair is actually in a ponytail. And she’s like, Yeah, I think that was because you put red lipstick on. So easy way to look like you dried, add some lipstick. But what I think is also happening is we assume that someone who seems dressed up, took a long time to do that, because that’s what happens to us. Right? It you try on the pants, you try on the shirt, you make different combos. And eventually you just get frustrated, and you put on the safe and familiar thing you’re always wearing. So what I’m saying is, as you pay attention to your clothes, you can slowly start to one understand what you want more of and less of and remove the things that aren’t working for you. You can start to understand what you feel good and what you like to wear, how you like to wear it, and start to let go of the things that aren’t working for you. You can slowly learn your style, and start to let go of the things that maybe you like wearing them. Maybe you like that style, but you don’t feel like you, they’re not your favorite things. And this is something that I think I’ve personally done over time. But a challenge like this 30 for 30 always kind of speed dates your closet. The key no matter what, though, is to be paying attention and adjusting your closet as you go. And you don’t have to get rid of things. Just go put them in a box in the basement, go put them in another closet in the house, if you have one, just get them out of your space. The next insight I want to share is one that I had around wearing the same clothes but making them look different. And this is in the past, I had done a 3030 and really tried to mix and match my clothes, create a lot of outfit with a lot of outfits with just that 30 items. But with this challenge, this time I did something I’d never done before. And I repeated an outfit a couple of times, which we do in our regular life, right. I’ve never done it in 3030. But in our regular life, I think it’s really helpful to have some of those outfits that we love to go to. And I really don’t think anybody is noticing that we

repeat clothes. I’ve even found myself some seasons of life, that I have a weekly uniform of certain clothes I’m wearing on certain days because I think that’s the outfit that works for the schedule. I have that day like Oh, I do this thing on Thursdays and I kind of am wearing the same thing because of what I’m doing and because I feel like that outfit works for it. So we we repeat outfits all the time. It’s helpful. It’s normal. But for the sake of this challenge, as I realized I was repeating an outfit, I thought how can I make it different? So I wore the same pants I wear the same top but I changed my hair I changed my shoes and it felt different. I’m so aware this is not a mind blowing inside but here it is. We can make things feel fresh. We don’t have to rely on just clothes. We don’t have to over focus on Just clothes, it’s other things too. It’s the shoes, the jacket, the hair, things that can change it up. So if anything, it just inspired me to pay more attention to changing those things up a little bit. This insight feels obvious, but I’m leaving it in, I’m leaving this episode because sometimes, we need to be reminded of the obvious. This last insight kind of goes along with this point. And that’s around accessorizing. Because it’s something that maybe we don’t think about. But it is a way to kind of bring a lot of our own personality into what we’re wearing, and kind of feel like a little bit self expressive in what we’re wearing. So in the Facebook group, si shared her outfit, she asked for input, she would share the new things she was trying from colors to accessorizing, to layering. And she referenced an older post I had written on the rule of three, and she was encouraged by it, and she was trying to liven up her outfits. So a side note on what the rule of three is, that’s an older post I have on creating an outfit, I’ll link to that in the show notes. The rule of three, I did not invent this. But I found it really helpful to read the rule of three is wearing three things which would be usually your top, your bottom and what they call a Completer piece. And this takes you from wearing closed wearing an outfit something that looks intentional, something that looks put together. Like let’s say you’re wearing pants and a sweater, and you put a big scarf on, or let’s say you’re a t shirt and jeans and you put like a little jacket over top. So she shared that she had read this post on the rule of three and she’s in a warmer climate. So she was trying different accessories to bring in that third piece to change things up. What she shared was I do think adding more interest is key. I’m trying some bigger, bolder earrings, necklaces, I feel like they make the outfit more interesting or dressed up. I was even thinking of doing a 30 for 30 Challenge where I would try to wear 30 different accessories over 30 days. I think that’s so fun. And I love that she’s kind of taking what she’s learning here and seeing what else can I build on? Like, how else can I challenge myself and grow in this. And I’ve challenged myself with something like this before, I used to try and wear different hairstyles in a different way every day this. I think this was pre kids, when I think about it, really. So maybe you want to do something like this, maybe there’s something you feel like you don’t use enough that you want to bring back into your life, maybe nail polish, maybe eyeshadow, maybe even some women have shared with me, they’re gonna try this with spices in their kitchen. Like I want to just challenge myself to use these things more. For those of you who are interested in the numbers part of all this, I realized I hadn’t shared that yet. I did this challenge for a total of 26 days. So remember, I was in my pajamas on the couch sick for about a week in that. So by the time I was stretching into March, I’m like 26 days is good. I don’t want to have to think about this anymore about what’s in my 30. And what do I feel like wearing today? Because it does take some mental effort, right. So here is the breakdown of the clothing that the clothing items I had, I had five pairs of pants and 17 shirts. And in those shirts, I had seven blouses. So pretty much anything that’s not a t shirt,

I had three sweaters, three T shirts, and for cardigans. So altogether, I had 22 items for 26 days of outfits. And I know I could make more outfits. If I wanted, I could still put more like looks together from what I had. I think these numbers are so helpful. Because it can really put having a wardrobe into context, that if you like the idea of having a wardrobe of clothes you love, it can feel overwhelming about having all of the options, you don’t need to have all of the options, you can have just some great pieces, a few great pieces, you don’t need a lot, you don’t need to spend a lot of money. For me some of these items in my 3430, I had thrifted or they were Hami downs. Some of them have even been in past 30 for 30 challenges. I’ve had some of them for years. So investing in an item can also be worth it. And just a side note, and encouragement. If you do this type of challenge. It is helpful, you do end up with helpful data. For me, I was packing for a trip after doing this challenge. And I went and looked through the photos I had taken to help me decide what outfits to pack. And it just made it super simple. And I know it’s a total dork move. But that data was helpful. As we wrap up these insights, I want to sum it up with a point that we covered in the last episode about taking pride in how you’re dressing versus feeling like it’s shallow to focus on it. And I just want to empower you in everything to do this one thing. I want to empower you to dress how you want. We have lived generation after generation of women being told how they should look what they should wear, what being a woman should look like having femininity defined for us. But you get to decide how you look. You get to dress however you want. And I think that can be a fun thing. But most of all an empowering thing. And I just really want to empower you to dress how you want whatever that looks like. Thank you to the ladies who participated who took the time to join this challenge to share their thoughts to share their photos to share their insights. And thank you so much for bringing these insights to me that I could share in this episode, I feel that it gives a very rounded view on what is possible with a challenge like this. Before we do this simple pleasure, I want to quickly remind you about the 2020 survey, I do a survey of free spring a feedback survey. And I asked about you your life, what topics you want more of what you want less of, because I wonder about these things, I wonder. And rather than waiting for an email or a message from you that you might not ever send, I’m just going to come out and ask you the questions. Because these things are helpful for me hearing what you have to say, is really helpful for me in deciding what I’m going to spend my time and energy on. I’ve already been considering some changes I’m going to make in the coming months. And I’ve also had some great feedback on episodes that I cannot wait to share with you. I think the ideas are really clever, really timely and really relevant. So stop by the website or link in the show notes and take a moment it shouldn’t take any more than a few minutes to do I would appreciate your feedback on that. Wrapping up with a simple pleasure. I chose this one that was something I’d been thinking about for a while but it just seemed like the right time. And that’s a fabric steamer a portable fabric steamer. You know you might see those ladies in the fancy department stores lugging around this big thing. And then using that steam wand to take out the wrinkles and the clothes. Like this is the small version. This is the handheld version of it that you plug into an outlet. And what I’ve come to decide is this is the modern day woman’s art and this is what we use now women used to be ironing clothes all the time. And maybe you’re like no no throwing it in the dryer for 10 minutes that’s how I iron things. That’s how I do wrinkle insurance like that can do the trick but the steamers next level guys next level D wrinkling because even if you do put like a blouse in the dryer sometimes that arms get all like twisted up the colors Curlin even the way you lay it out after the dryer can make wrinkles. So I’m I decided to buy myself one last year. And I just love using it. I love the satisfaction of watching the wrinkles be steamed out sometimes Kate lady nerd confession time, sometimes I take before and after photos just for my own satisfaction. And then I like show them to my kids and they’re underwhelmed. But it does bring me satisfaction. Some of my favorite uses of it are using it on my curtains. Because yeah, I’ve had these curtains for 10 years. And the I have washed them once in a while but they still look wrinkly. Use it on those curtains, get them all nice and smooth. I use it most often on my shirts to smooth out the wrinkles, sometimes even that folding line from folding them, I

get this big crease down the middle. So what I do is I keep that steamer in my bathroom, I just plug it in, it heats up in like less than a minute. And I just bring in my clothes and hang them on the towel rack, no ironing board no like hot, burning metal, dangerous thing that your kids cannot be around. And I think is just so easy and satisfying to use that. So I’m going to link to the one I have in the show notes. I hope you’ll head to the show notes regardless because the show notes. I tried to put a lot of links in there based on what we’ve talked about to help you go deeper. And I’ve also got the feedback survey link in there. I hope you’ll take a minute to stop by and fill that out. Alright friends have a great week.



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