Here's What Living Out of a Suitcase for a Month Taught Me about Fashion

It’s that time of year when everyone is taking about the next big sale. From the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (my personal favorite) to Amazon Prime Day and now Target’s version, July seems to be bombarding us with sales. I know that little voice in the back of your head is probably telling you that you need to buy, buy, buy because that’s what everyone else is doing. But at the end of the day, they’re all just sales and they’re all just material things. It’s taken me a long time to get to the point where I realize that while I love fashion and I love making cute outfits, having a closet filled with clothes I never wear will never satisfy me.

I wanted to take today to stop spamming about sales posts and talk about something that has been on my heart lately and that is what I learned about fashion over the last few months. If you’re new here, my husband and I just moved 4,000 miles across the country from Georgia to Alaska. We decided to fly since we had a newborn and only brought what we could each fit in a large suitcase. I panicked at first because I didn’t know how I would feel about not having my full wardrobe at my disposal but I learned a few lessons about fashion from living out of my suitcase for a month and I’m so excited to share them!

The best outfit is one that involves jeans and a t-shirt

I’ve always heard people say, “I’m a jeans and a t-shirt gal” but I never really understood what that meant until that was literally all I had to wear. I’ve always been the type of person who felt the need to cover myself up and hide and was never confident enough to JUST wear jeans and a t-shirt until we moved to Alaska. I’ve talked briefly about my love for these Universal Thread T-shirts and I swear that they are the holy grail of t-shirts. I have three or four of them now and they’ve become such a closet staple over the last two months. Now that the rest of my clothes are here, I’m still reaching for these guys which means it’s definitely time to purge all of my other t-shirts and stock up on these bad boys.

The same can be said for my Wildfable Mom Jeans that I’ve been raving about since buying them in May before our move. They were the only pair of jeans I wore the entirety of the month we were without our household goods. I love how versatile they are but also I love that they, along with the t-shirts, helped me to create a put together “uniform” that made it easy for me to get dressed everyday. If you’re a mom you know how hard of a task that can be some days! While I’m super happy to have my go-to TopShop Mom Jeans back (and be able to fit into them again) I definitely find myself still reaching for the one pair of jeans I had before. I also packed a pair of high waisted denim Universal Thread shorts that gave me the same vibe as my mom jeans but in short form. I didn’t wear these nearly as much but they were a great option to have for those hotter days and further proof that the jeans and a t-shirt uniform is the way to go.

A good pair of shoes can elevate any outfit

Back in March (I think) I decided to splurge on a pair of Madewell Gemma Mules. I loved the classic look and knew I would get a lot of use out of them. At the time, I had no idea that these would quickly become my go to shoes. In fact, other than my tennis shoes, they are the only shoes out of the four pairs I brought with us on our move that I actually ended up wearing. While these shoes are technically a “splurge” the $100 price tag is completely worth it when you realize how much they change the look of an outfit. I know I can throw my Gemma mules on with almost any outfit and instantly elevate it to a more styled look. I call pieces like this no brainers because the ability to pair them with an outfit to create that appearance of effortless style is incredible. Even if the mule isn’t your style, I highly recommend having a go to pair of shoes in your wardrobe. One pair that you can literally slip on and elevate your outfit.

You don’t need to spend a ton of money to have a good wardrobe

I jokingly say all the time that all of my clothes come from Target and living out of a suitcase for a month definitely taught me that it’s 100% true. Almost everything I wore over the course of May-June was from Target. If you’re a familiar face around here then you already know that Target is my go-to for affordable fashion. Time and time again I am blown away by the quality of some of the products I’ve gotten from Target. You’re definitely going to strike out sometimes (like with the buttons falling off of the dress I wore for our maternity shoot) but more often than not, you can find some real gems at Target. I’m not saying that all of your clothes should come from Target because I do believe in buying high quality pieces to act as staples in your closet (like my Gemma mules) but this definitely proves that you don’t need an infinite clothing budget to have a good wardrobe or style.

Trendy doesn’t equal style

Before my pregnancy, I really struggled with feeling the need to keep up with the latest trends. I would spend dollar after dollar on clothing I would wear maybe once or twice or worse, just leave hanging in my closet. As I’ve moved through life the last year, I’ve realized that a trendy piece of clothing doesn’t actually equate to having a personal style. In fact, I would say that trendy clothing often times forces us to disregard our personal style in favor of keeping up with the joneses. I’m a fan of a more classic style or pieces that I know are going to be timeless (like anything in a cognac color leather) over the latest trends. Since we moved to Alaska, I’ve purchased one article of clothing and that was a 4th of July t-shirt. The more vintage style graphic t-shirt adds a pop of color into my wardrobe and doesn’t actually say anything patriotic except for the coloration so I knew I’d get use out of it (also it was only $6). I would rather spend money on one piece of clothing I truly love and can rewear over and over again than something that’s a hot new trend. That’s not to say I’ll never try a trendy piece of clothing ever again but it’s just not my priority anymore and I’m okay with that.

You can make a ton of outfits out of a few basic staples

I’ve been obsessed with the idea of capsule wardrobes for a few years now but I always said I would never, ever be able to have one. What I learned after living out of my suitcase for a month is that I absolutely can have a capsule wardrobe. In fact, I much prefer the simplicity of only having a few items that are versatile enough to make multiple outfits over a wardrobe bursting at the seams with clothes I never wear. Even if I mostly dressed in the same uniform over our time living out of suitcases, it gave me enough confidence to say without a doubt that I can continue to purge my wardrobe and convert to capsules. I’m so excited to start replacing some of my worn pieces with staples that will last me through seasons and years to come and be able to have the flexibility to easily create outfits without overthinking it.

Great accessories can make any outfit unique

Can you get tired of wearing jeans and a t-shirt everyday? Maybe, but what I learned over the past few months is that accessories can make all the difference when it comes to changing up an outfit. I’ve already mentioned the Gemma mules but having a second pair of shoes, like a wedge, that I can switch out and a staple bag makes changing up a look really easy. By far though my favorite way to accessorize lately has been with my WildBird ring slings. I own three and each of them are totally different giving me endless possibilities when it comes to accessorizing my outfits. I’ll be looking to switch out one of them for a color or pattern that more suits my current wardrobe but so far they have been a fun way to change up my uniform.

Do you have a capsule wardrobe? Leave your tips/inspiration below!