how to create an everyday uniform

...Let me give you a window into an average day for me as a mom of 2 little kiddos. My kids wake me up before 6 almost everyday. I wear my pajamas around the house while getting the kids ready for school and I'm so out of it I'm lucky if my shirt is not on backwards. I maybe change into a slightly more adult-ish looking outfit to take my son to school, (aka turn my shirt around the right way). My shirt kind of smells because i really want to use natural deodorant (but it isn't working quiet right ... yikes). I come home with my three year old daughter and think, oh good, she is playing quietly, maybe i'll get ready for the day while she plays.

As soon as this plan is set in my mind, she starts to follow me around making a request for her third breakfast. I start to think about what kind of outfit I want to wear today, but my brain starts to skip around like a scratched CD.  I can't focus without my thoughts being interrupted with a request from my daughter and think in my head, "LEAVE ME ALONE". I love her, but as an scatter-brained introvert, this wears me out. 

I brush my hair, put on some mascara... and I feel guilty that I told my little girl to leave me alone in my mind. I throw on some workout shorts telling myself that I might work out today. 

Also worth mentioning, my daughter has worn three different outfits at this point (before 9am) & the one she finally lands on includes Christmas leggings and a watermelon dress.

Can you see why I need some simplicity in my life (and my closet...)? I'm working on sharing an idea for a solution to this problem tomorrow, but want to hear from you:  Is this at all what your life is like?  Have you figured out anything that's helped?

As I am on a mission to simplify my life & closet, i definitely find that sometimes life becomes more complex as a result of decision fatigue. 

here's an idea: create a uniform that helps simplify your morning routine.  here's what I mean:

How to create an everyday uniform

no, this does not involve joining the navy or getting a job at taco bell.  an everyday uniform is a consistent, pre-planned outfit you always have ready for a day of the week or occasion that makes you look and feel amazing.

First, define what type of day you need a uniform for.

Maybe it's Monday for you because Monday is one of the hardest day to get going with life/work/kids. Maybe it's getting ready for church that always is a sticking point. What will you be doing on this day and what kind of outfit would best help you to look and feel great?  Mondays are my sticking point.  I'm going to create a Monday Uniform outfit. 

second, Decide What clothes ideally would make you happiest for this type of day? 

Comfortable clothes? Professional?  Sassy?  Fun?  Is there a color or pattern you love that makes you happy? To create your uniform, start with your favorite clothes that fit the bill. Make it something you feel awesome in, but that also will be appropriate for you to handle the tasks for the day.

third, set out your clothes.

Put your 'uniform' pieces in a place where you can easily pull them together and put them on.

My Monday uniform:  the Allie top + Summer Cardigan from my shop (+  leopard printed earrings !), paired with Target jean shorts and birks

My Monday uniform:  the Allie top + Summer Cardigan from my shop (+ leopard printed earrings!), paired with Target jean shorts and birks

fourth, redefine seasonally. 

This could almost be a mini-capsule for you. I don't know if I like the idea of a capsule closet, but I think I this sort of applies the same idea on a smaller scale. 

I would love to see what your uniform would be + what it would be for if you give it a try! Tag me with your uniform on ig or share your uniform in my facebook community

If you are looking for some pieces like the ones above to help simplify your closet, these pieces will be available Monday in my shop

the simple closet challenge: 3 steps to a simpler closet that you can feel great about

Clothes. So simple, yet so complicated.

I feel fat in that. 

That shirt show my mom pooch. 

I'm too pasty for that skirt right now. 

I don't have anything to wear with that dress. 

That material is itchy. 

The simplicity experiment the simple closet challenge

is getting dressed for the day a pain point for you too? 

It is for me. I really like clothes & honestly am NOT looking to create a capsule wardrobe.

FYI..Capsule wardrobe is a term coined by Susie Faux, the owner of a London boutique called "Wardrobe" in the 1970s. According to Faux, a capsule wardrobe is a collection of a few essential items of clothing that don't go out of fashion, such as skirts, trousers, and coats, which can then be augmented with seasonal pieces. - Wikipedia

I love clothes, but it seems like I need more of a balance in my life between having the right pieces of clothing that I love & the courage to let go of ones I don't. 

3 steps to a simple closet

What to wear needs to be simpler.  I need to look at which pieces would help me to make an easier decision for what to wear that day & take a little stress of the morning routine.

I do literally have a small closet, but I know I have a lot of things in it that I don't wear & that I am holding onto for some reason: usually sentimental, possibly ridden with guilt (aka, I don't like this, but so and so gave it to me so I should keep it).  

Deciding what to wear should make me feel good about myself.  Half my clothes are aspirational for how I think I should dress and what I think I should fit into, but end up making me feel so bad that I just end up wearing a sweatshirt & leggings instead. 

What is in my closet should be helping the people that make it to thrive.  I sometimes worry about where things are made. Am I unintentionally supporting a system I don't want to support by wearing certain brands of clothing that are made in unsafe factories or by children? 

This week, I'm going to start to unpack our closet and share with you guys how I am going to address these issues that I have with it. And you can join me! WOOT! 

Make sure you are on our email list to get our free printable on how to to begin the process of decluttering your closet. I shared some on how to start this process in our community group on facebook.   

Here's a basic overview of the process:

how get started on your simplified closet challenge

  1. TAKE EVERYTHING out of your closet & drawers 

    • (you could also do this one section of your closet or one drawer at a time)

  2. sort each piece into the categories below by picking it up & asking yourself...

    • Does this fit?

    • Have I worn this in the last 12 months? Will I wear it again? 

    • Do I love this piece or is it serving an important function?

    • Is it damaged?

keep sell purge-atory simple closet categories

KEEP is your yes bin. 

SELL (or giveaway) is your "not keeping, but it has some value." For me, if I can sell an item, it leaves a little wiggle room in my budget to find an item I truly love to replace it or can lessen the guilt of getting rid of an item.

PURGE-ATORY is the indecision pile. Set a reminder on your phone to re-evaluate these items in a month. If you have not missed them, give them away or sell them. If they are really sentimental - consider making a SMALL sentimental box to put in storage. 

shirts on wooden hangers one delightful shop

Then step 3, start to put things back. I'll get more into this soon, but I would suggest putting things with like items. (ie all workout clothes go together, all tank tops go together so you can find them easily)

HANGER TRICK: put hangers on backward to use as an evaluation tool to see what you are really wearing. If in a month or two, there are a bunch of things that haven't been turned around, maybe you want to consider purging them as well. 

A simple, ethical (with some grace) closet full of clothes you can feel great in is the idea we are developing products around at One Delightful Shop.  

We are super excited to share more with you all about that soon!  Jump in on our challenge by getting on our email list & printing out the printable that we'll send you soon to get started.

In the email, we'll also give you a way to join in on the closet challenge.  If you join in, we'll have a little something special for you during our one delightful shop site relaunch!

xo, katie bowling

this is not really about jeans

let's talk about jeans

This is not your normal fashion OOTD. 

It's 'food week' here technically - that's what I claimed it was. I love food & I associate it was being happy & celebrating & I want to celebrate everyday ;) :) :) Basically that has resulted in me being frustrated most of this year trying different things to lose weight. I am the heaviest I have ever been in my life & I spend a lot of time feeling discouraged about that.

This fall at a low point, I told Philip, my husband, that I wanted to get a new pair of jeans. I only had two pairs & both barely fit me so when I would wear them, I would feel crummy about myself. I carry all my weight in my butt so when you see me looking put together its because I am showing you the top half of myself....which I prefer. Or I have stood a different way to not draw attention to the my legs.

So Philip and I went into J.Crew and every pair I hated the way I looked. I could squeeze myself into ones with some spandex, but then they felt uncomfortably tight. If I sized up they looked weird and saggy. Then we went into GAP and I was on the verge of tears. The sales associate was so clueless and had no idea why I was on the verge of crying asking about different pairs of jeans.

I finally ended up with these jeans even though they weren’t exactly what I wanted. I feel okay with them and am grateful that every time I put them on...it doesn't feel like I am condemning myself. I basically lived in these jeans all winter because I felt like they were something easy put on and I didn't feel bad about myself when I put them on. I didn't have to over think it. Even though I felt self conscious about my pasty skin - which is a whole other body issue that I probably will have to address too.

This is about more than jeans though. This is about learning to love and accept myself. This is about giving myself grace, but not giving up on myself either. It's all a confusing dichotomy that have I am on a journey to figuring out.

I have a feeling I am not alone in this battle of learning to love myself - my personality quirks, my physical body, my bad habits...

I’m not sure if I am making sense - and this is not a plea for encouragement. But a statement saying if you also have had some of these thoughts too, I’d love you to know you - you are not alone in trying to figure this out.

As we are wrapping up some of this week on food...(l’m still working on all my meal subscription taste tests 😉 ) we are starting to talk about our wardrobe next week & letting go of guilt & feeling good about what we wear.

xo, katie