Posts by melissasue2

Melissa is a twenty-something, bronde-headed individual who works in the field of social work but some days doesn't feel all that social. This is the questionable account of her life.

Planning to Fail Pt. 2

So the whole point of a capsule wardrobe is to take away the stress of too many daily choices. Have you ever been to Cheesecake Factory? There are like 1243741942348203957 flavors of cheesecake to choose from (ok, there are actually only 33 flavors, but still). IT IS OVERWHELMING! You could always go for the classic, but then you might be missing out on the strawberry cheesecake, or the chocolate-diabetes-attack flavored cheesecake.

The same thing can happen in your closet. You probably have too many outfits to choose from (I know I do). This leads to spending extra time pairing things together, or trying on one thing and finding that it isn’t fitting the way that you would like, or maybe the colors aren’t right, or you can’t find the pair of shoes that matches with the shirt, etc. There are too many decisions!!

The capsule wardrobe curates 33 pieces appropriate (including shirts/pants/dresses/accessories/shoes/jackets) for the weather/season that you can easily choose from to reduce the daily stress. Courtney Carver, the creator of this project sums it up perfectly:

Remember that this is not a project in suffering.

Like I said in my post yesterday, I completely failed at this initial downsizing. What I did accomplish is picking 30 of my favorite shirts, 5 pairs of bottoms (pants/skirts), and about 5 dresses. I didn’t go through my jackets, blazers or shoes. See? Failing miserably.

BUT, I did take out a giant garbage sack of clothes that I was no longer wearing to be donated. These are clothes that I was flipping over morning after morning in search of my other favorite shirts. They were wasting my time and closet space! Not anymore.

I also came up with a challenge for myself because I have 29 shirts and 4 pants that aren’t my favorite, but that still fit/look good and I like them enough to not part with them at this point. What I have done is separated the favorites from the “just ok.”

For the next 3 weeks I can ONLY choose clothes from the “just ok” side of my closet for work and casual outfits. If at the end of the 3 weeks I have avoided the clothes, or dug into my favorites side to make an outfit, the remaining clothes are going in a box and being sealed away for 30 days. Then, if I don’t miss anything from that box, the box automatically gets donated.

I know it probably sounds a little silly, but I love a good challenge…even if it’s just against myself. Maybe I will eventually get to 33 items, or maybe I’ll find that I feel better at 40. I’ll never know until I try. Wish me luck.


Melissa Sue

Shed stuff for the right reasons. Define why you want to shed your stuff, or you will end up filling those empty shelves with meaningless stuff again. Having less than another does not make you a better minimalist and living with less is not a competition. The purpose of simplifying is to have more time and space for what matters most to you. – Courtney Carver,

Why I’m Planning to Fail This Year

Earlier today I attempted to whittle my closet down to 33 items in hopes of doing project 333. After going through all of my functional clothing, I have well over 100 items left in my closet. But you know what? I planned to fail at this project.

Sometime during this year I saw this short video featuring Sara Blakely talking about what failure means in her family. Each night during dinner, her father would ask Sara and her brother, “What did you fail at today?” and then celebrate their failure with them. No, he wasn’t a terrible, mean father. What he was doing was helping his children to learn that failure is not the outcome, but failure = not trying at all.How often has the fear of failure kept you from stepping outside of your comfort zone? Sara Blakely, creator of Spanx, grew up to be a billionaire.

We are guaranteed to fail at things, but that shouldn’t stop us from trying!

Like I said, I have more clothes to go through before I get down to the goal of a “capsule wardrobe” from project 333. But, instead of saying, “Forget this! I can’t do it!” I’ve created a new challenge for myself in order to get me closer to my end goal of 33 items for the rest of winter.

More on that tomorrow.


Melissa Sue



Daily Prompt: Stylish

via Daily Prompt: Stylish

Some of the best “style” advice that I ever heard was, “the things you like never go out of style.” Granted, this is not entirely true because, let’s be honest, there are some trends that need to go away and stay buried forever.

I recently helped my mother clean out her closet and I tried to convince her to get rid of all her chunky, wool sweaters that make anyone who wears them look like a box and feel like a scratching post (no offense, mom, just looking out for your best interest). Alas, a few of them made the cut to stay in the closet because she loved them and they make her feel great (and warm…obviously). She lives in Alaska and we both agreed that a few of these wool sweaters were needed.

Can I also mention “mom jeans?” You know why they are called mom jeans? Its because my mom has worn these for EONS. I have TRIED to get my mom’s cute little rump into any, and I mean any jean style, but what the hell! She loves those jeans. She grew up with them, they are legalistically speaking very modest, and they have come full circle. Now it’s all the rage to wear them. I will personally never slip into them because they make me feel like I have a 5 year old kid that I’m driving to and from soccer practice.

Another thing that seems to have come full circle is that purse style that buckles around your waist, is usually tri-colored (the more 80’s the better) but sometimes leather, with the main part of the purse on or around your rear. YES. Fanny packs. I saw fanny packs under pinterest style boards and just about passed out. Why on God’s green earth are these making a comeback?!?!

Despite my admonition for these styles, I will say that my mom is still extremely stylish. Not because of what she wears, but just because of who she is. While I will never put on chunky, wool sweaters, mom jeans or sport a fanny pack, my mom looks cute as a button at all times while donning these items. Her smile and bubbly attitude towards life can make anything look stylish.

So mom, here’s to you. The things you like will never go out of style because you are the one wearing them. I love you more than words can describe.


Melissa Sue

Thrifting: Do’s and Don’ts

Do: become a regular! Thrifting works best when you make regular-ish trips to your local thrift store. My mom, the thrifting queen, stops by her thrift store every Saturday. I like to go on late Friday afternoons because not as many people are in the store and I have more access to the dressing rooms. That might be too often for some, so find what works for you, and of course, your budget. Frequenting your store(s) helps you to learn when they put new merchandise out, and what days they may have huge sales (50% off!!!).

Don’t: expect to find something great every time. Thrift stores are not like Wal-Mart where you can walk to aisle 8 and find the item you’re looking for. Thrifting is a treasure hunt. Sometimes you score, and other times you walk out empty-handed. Walk in with an open mind each time!

Do: give yourself plenty of time to find items you have on your mind. (caveat: be very careful about having a narrow search in the first place*) For example, I have been wanting to find a white dress for an upcoming trip. Every time I make my thrifting rounds, I peek around for a white dress. I’ve been looking for a few months and I still haven’t found “the one.” Thankfully, I have a little more time to look around. So, if you are pressuring yourself to find an item for a trip or event in the next week, thrifting is going to become stressful and most likely, unsuccessful.

*Regarding a narrow search: don’t. ever. do. this. I am searching for a white dress that looks good on me. I’ve had enough trouble finding this as a (self claimed) semi-pro. If I were walking into thrift stores searching for a knee-length, off the shoulder, white dress made of cotton, I’d have more luck finding a unicorn. Stay broad, young padawan.

Don’t: leave without trying everything on! This is one of my mom’s biggest mistakes (love you, mom!). Yes, even royalty succumbs to the temptation. Sometimes she’ll be in the checkout line and spots an item that she missed. In the interest of time, she’ll throw it on the pile and buy it without trying it on. What happens to these items? Ninety-nine percent of the time, they are tossed into her donation box and end up back in a thrift store. That’s money you could have saved or used to buy something that doesn’t make you look like your grandmother’s couch cushion.

These are just a few to get you started! Feel free to add more in the comments below!