More Of/Less Of

“More/less” is a great exercise when trying to sort out change in our lives. I use it quite a bit in marriage counseling: “To make this relationship better, I would like more of . . .  and less of . . . ” It helps us see change as incremental as well as possible.

On a far less substantial (but not meaningless!) level, I like to apply this exercise to my wardrobe. Of course, I’ve had the fantasy of a complete change. The wind blows through my closet and removes everything except my three favorite things, and leaves a big fat check. I get to start from scratch!

Given the unlikelihood of the above, here’s my current more/less list, and I’d love to read about yours:

Less/Fewer (means: oh yes, I already have some of these!)

  • Schmattes. You know, inexpensive pieces that look it. Stuff I should have left at the thrift store, because it really only applies to housework and jogging. And even for jogging, I can do better.
  • Snoozers. My word for pieces that just have no design, passion, shape. A boxy tee shirt, shapeless jeans, I’m getting sleepy.
Ok, it’s a classic but my style can do better. Source.
  • “Cheap” purses. Again, it’s not about price point because I have thrifted some awesome bags. But the department store purses that look mass-produced aren’t coming home with me anymore.
You’re not wrong, little purse, you’re just wrong for me. Source.
  • Black skirts. Nothing wrong with these either. In fact, I just love them too much. Way too much. Look away!
  • Crap fabric. Feels and looks insubstantial, and you know it will not withstand two washes before falling apart.


  • Pieces that thrill me. The ones I cannot wait to wear, and want to wear all the time.
  • Easy dresses. Not too fitted, not too fussy.
Like this, the Karina Josie dress. Easy and fun.
  • Eye catching footwear. This season, some personality sandals with a little heel.
Sam Edelman Trina sandals. You will be mine. Nordstroms.
  • Beautiful jewelry. Of any price, not necessarily the gasp-price. Something that makes me say ooooh, not “This matches.”
Wendy Brandes’ exclusive design: Pomegranate necklace, $190
  • Unexpected pieces and color combos (See, e.g., the J. Crew lookbook). Metallic? Ruffles? Sequins? Chambray?

I keep these lists with me when I shop, and it keeps me from straying. Over to you – what are wanting more or less of in your closet?


All our thoughts are with the brave rescuers, the injured, and the families of the victims of yesterday’s tragic bombings in Boston.

“Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.” – M.L. King

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  1. You know I was walking through Target today and everything I picked up I asked myself, "Will I still think this is great in two weeks?" I left there with nothing and was happy because I want to rid myself of the bad habit of buying for instant gratification. I need to think long term. Schmattes and Snoozers be gone. ( sometimes I do find really good stuff at Target just not today)

  2. So ironic…I just spent HOURS pouring over the Karina dresses on the net yesterday, and that one, the Josie, figured-in quite heavily. And here here to saying no to cheap purses. I'll do a cheap clutch as a one-off, but for my big handbags for everyday, quality is where it's at.

  3. Loved this post. Schmattes and snoozers! I love your terminology! I think I'm with you on excluding schmattes and snoozers from my wardrobe too. And all for shoes with personality – great idea!

  4. More easy summer dresses for casual wear, fewer capri's (or maybe none). More well-made neutral basics (without going overboard). Fewer shoes bought for "outfits" that I never wear again. More pops of happy colors like my new cobalt blue ballerinas.

  5. Yes, yes, yes. "Oh, these pants are just a little tight." How many times have I said that and bought something that makes me so uncomfortable, just because I am too stubborn to go up a size. No more of that.

  6. I do this all the time with my wardrobe. It really works, it also helps to constantly clean out your closet, it makes you think so much harder when you then buy something. I have to buy more classics and less colorfull things, I am the opposite. Great post.

  7. Oh, that's hilarious. I admit, sometimes I do buy jewelry that "just matches" and too much binging on stocking up items (if I like that sweater in one color….does it REALLY add anything to my life and general happiness to get the same one in three colors?). I think I might just print this and carry it with me in my purse at all times!

  8. Yes!! Exactly!! That is exactly what I need to do myself. I just need to kick myself in the tush and get it done. Thank you for the inspiration.

  9. I actually need more very basic T-shirts in a comfortable fit. All I have are black and white tops, and then several wraps and cardis in black and white, too. And more comfortable but cute shoes!

  10. Your list is pretty accurate. Actually right now – I really don't want anything else in my closet. I've had influx after influx of shopping, gifts, thrifts, and way too much indulgence. I do still want more quality, better fit, and ethical fashion. I want less crap, fewer man made materials, and closet orphans.

  11. I have those sandals!! Love them–they are super comfortable, right out of the box, which almost never happens for me and my grumpy feet. Plus I love the orange/leopard/silver combo would shouldn't work but somehow does.

  12. I like the "more of less of" concept. I'm going to use that in other areas, too. I want less too worn items that should have stayed at the thrift store and more casual glam summer dresses because what's easier than that? Debbie @

  13. What I really need to learn to do is stop buying pants that are almost right in the fit, because I think I need them. I especially need to stop doing this in thrift shops, where it's all too easy to rationalise. And shoes I think will probably stretch and be comfortable. Just because it's so hard to find cute/stylish shoes in my enormous size doesn't mean I have to put up with pain.

    And I definitely hear you on the handbags!

  14. I think I just need to buy less of everything… But it's hard when I see something colourful and vintage and unique, and it fits, and it's cheap…
    Shoes with personality – yes, I need some of them. I have seen some I want SO much but can't afford. Oh well.
    I probably don't need any more coloured tights. Apart from green ones, which I don't have and obviously need. Oh just look what you have started, Patti, I am arguing with myself! xxx

  15. This is great. I definitely need less black skirts; I am mildly obsessed and it's ridiculous but can't really think of anything I need more of. Well, maybe more perfectly fitting pants and therefore less of the pants that are perfect but will do in a pinch.

    Also, those shoes are amazing.

  16. Oh, sandals. The eternal hunt for the perfect sandals every year… Def more of them. Less of ALL the things that don't fit me anymore!
    Becky 🙂

  17. You do make me laugh! I just let my heart rule my head – if it's loud, ridiculous and totally inappropriate I buy it hence why my wardrobe is full of feather boas, 6 inch platforms and satin dresses. xxx

  18. I definitely want more casual , but nice pastel trousers and things, not shapeless me casual, and less cheap jewellery because it stops me wearing my good stuff. This is a useful exercise.

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