Simplify Your Style (Without Spending a Fortune)


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Last summer, we moved across country. And then I had a baby. Moving makes you acutely aware of how. much. stuff you have… And having a baby means accumulating more of said stuff. So, once we settled in the house with the babe, I was suddenly on a mission to simplify. It was kind of the opposite of “nesting” in a way. I wanted to throw out everything. And I mean everything.

I knew I wanted to start with my clothes, so I began by pulling everything out of my closet and laying it on the bed.

Before                                                                 After




Next, I went through every article of clothing and got rid of everything that was torn/stained/ruined somehow. Next, I pulled out anything that didn’t fit or wasn’t my style anymore. Things I’d been holding onto from pre-baby that I thought I’d wear after… News flash: your body isn’t the same, even if/when you lose the weight. I ended up with a strange collection of a pair of jeans, some flowy pants, and a few random tops. So when I donated 85% of my clothes, I sat down with my mission to simplify in mind, and truly thought about what I was going to do. Here was my plan of attack:

  1. Think about how you want to feel, rather than what you want to wear
  • I wanted to be able to feel put together.
  • I wanted to be able to pull out a bottom and a top and have them go together.
  • I wanted to feel comfortable without staying in my pajamas all day. (Confession: been there, done that.)

Post-baby bodies are different, as I mentioned, and I was tired of feeling uncomfortable in things that didn’t really work for me anymore. I also had a C-Section, and my incision area is still regrowing nerves, so too-tight pants weren’t going to cut it. And, as we all know, time is of the essence when you have a screaming infant, so if I could pull out any two articles of clothing and have them work with no problem, I was golden.

  1. Think about what you want to spend

I would have loved to shop at JCrew, Madewell, Anthropologie, all of the places that have a style that I love. But—budget said no. (Hello, building-a-business/work-at-home-mom!) Once I got over the fact that I wasn’t going to buy a $200 silk top from Anthro, I started keeping track of the pieces that I liked from those stores, and finding similar styles at more affordable shops. My go-to stores became Gap, Old Navy, and Loft. (P.S. The Loft’s Lou and Grey line is amazing.)

  1. Find your Uniform

After I found what I liked in theory, I had to try things on to see what I liked physically. Again, post-baby body here. Several trips to the mall, disappointing dressing room sessions, and lots of time on Pinterest—drooling over clothes I’d never wear—later, I finally figured out what worked for me. I established a uniform, if you will. Each piece I picked fit my stipulations (listed above) and wouldn’t break the bank. For me, it’s a loose-fitting—but not boxy—top with jeans or a slim skirt. I’m only 4’9” so boxy and poufy don’t work for me.

  1. Keep it Simple

Since I only bought what I loved and knew fit, there is no need for me to try on, throw off, scoff, stomp my feet, or get irritated when I need to get dressed now, and that makes getting out of the house quicker (and my husband hide less while I’m getting ready). Plus, most of the places I shop have crazy sales throughout the year. I nearly always buy everything on sale. In fact, all three of the items featured in my photos below were on sale (and under $40) at the time of purchase. Everything I buy can be dressed up with heels or wedges or dressed down with Birkenstocks or sneakers. Without further ado, a few of my staples:

Gap Pocket Tee. I bought this in a few colors and wear it with everything, and I do mean everything.IMG_4775

Skinny Jeans. These happen to also be Gap, but I have 3 pairs of jeans: black, dark, and medium. Incidentally, my other two pairs are Loft… same style, different color. (And they were on sale for $29 at the time!)


Button- up Chambray Shirt. Also Loft, and worn by itself, over a tank, or tucked in with a skirt. Super versatile.


After going through this whole process, I feel confident that I can leave the house feeling put together and good about myself. And, I’m one step closer to conquering my “mission to simplify.” Please, just don’t ask me to cut back on my shoes…

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Born and raised in Southern California, Rachel is a Nashville newbie, but that didn't stop her from becoming a know-it-all about her adopted city. After her husband was offered a job in Brentwood last summer, they packed up their house, pup, and Rachel's 8 month pregnant belly, and traded their beloved Long Beach, CA for East Nashville. As if a cross-country move and new baby Holden (born 9.20.14) wasn't enough, Rachel started her dream business—launching leather goods line, H. & Clark, in January of this year (a far cry from her background in non-profit development and management). She loves to read, eat, write, and eat some more…and does some yoga to counteract all of the eating. As a self-proclaimed California girl who never thought she would leave the Best Coast, Rachel is amazed every day how comfortable she feels in Nashville and loves nothing more than spending time with her little family exploring everything the city has to offer: music, parks, museums and food—especially the food.


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