October 16, 2023
There’s a song at the beginning of one of our favorite movies, Father of the Bride Pt. 2, that waxes poetically about the “Simple Life” and all the unassuming joys that accompany it. While life in NYC is not necessarily “tomatoes and mashed potatoes” we’ve sought to simplify our tastes and routines the last few years.
The never-ending cycle of trend-hopping can become unavoidable or even inescapable once you’re in it, but finding ways to soften the edges of your personal tastes through the rock tumbler of life helps you avoid getting swept up in the dizzying and dissatisfying Attention Deficit Hype Disorder that online culture creates.
Today, we wanted to talk about the idea of finding easy ways to simplify your routine. These aren’t cure-alls or quick fixes, but they are gradual steps in the long, continual process of sharpening a daily rhythm that feels true to you. After all, if you’re marching to the beat of someone else’s drum, it’s much harder for others to dance along.
One | Tone Down and Glow Up with Merit
It feels like the makeup trends over the last decade get more and more complicated with each year that passes. Between TikTok transitions and YouTube tutorials, finding any sort of solid ground to stand on legitimately feels overwhelming, when the added access to better products and information should actually be exciting! I (Anna) would consider myself someone who enjoys wearing makeup, but I need the products to be effective and somewhat simplified to avoid needless obstacles on the path to a great morning.
Their products are made to be versatile, buildable, and lightweight… aka simple. My everyday favorites are The Minimalist as a base, the Bronze Balm as a bronzer and shadow, the Flush Balm Cheek Color for my cheeks and lips and the Day Glow for a little extra glow. A minimalist makeup brand that’s cruelty free, safe for sensitive skin (their ingredients are non-pore clogging!), and easy to incorporate into your routine is exactly the kind of addition that makes it so much easier to silence the noise while alleviating clutter in your life.
They currently have a gift with purchase, where orders over $100 get a limited edition Proenza Schouler vegan leather bag! Did I mention the packaging for these products are stunning? We love an added touch of care when it comes to design.
When it comes to simplifying your routine, starting at the foundation (literally) is a great step to take!
Two | Invest in Classics
We’ve talked about it before, but when it comes to investment pieces in your home or wardrobe, we’ve found ourselves focusing on the classics. Every season, brands high and low pump out all manner of trendy pieces, and it can be tempting to invest heavily in what’s en vogue. When you find yourself attempting to balance your desire to try a new trend — eg, big pants, flared jeans, Y2K-core, etc — with what your budget is, we recommend asking yourself a few questions:
Will this still appeal to me next year (personal style)? Can I wear this for more than one season throughout the year (climate/practicality)? Will this cost me more in the long run because I’ll throw it in storage or have to replace it with something I’ll actually wear (sustainability)?
The answer to these questions generally guides our investment pieces — and usually with a solid degree of success. Maybe instead of the Celine flare jeans, you try the ones from Madewell? If you’re itching for a leather trench or blazer, maybe try to find one 2nd hand rather than poking around the Ralph Lauren Purple Collection.
On the other hand, if you want to invest in a pair of jeans, finding a high quality pair of straight leg denim is a great call, because it will never not be in style (and will last you long enough to prove that to be true). Or if you need a coat for fall that will layer nicely in winter, going with a tried and true brand like Barbour or Burberry will not lead you astray in the long run — after all, for as much as we all stress about money and deal with buyer’s remorse, considering your cost per wear over the course of 10-15 years (or even longer) is an important factor when measuring “value”.
Avoiding added distress in an age when some degree of riding the seasonal clothing rollercoaster is unavoidable can go a long way to simplifying your wardrobe and helping you make better choices with how you spend your money!
As far as how this affects your routine, trusting your closet for the long haul does a lot for your confidence in getting dressed every day. It’s one thing to buy a bunch of stuff you love, it’s another thing entirely to know how it all flows together over the course of time.
Three | Smash the Un-subscribe Button
How much information do you consume on a daily basis? How many newsletters do you get automatically delivered to your inbox each morning (hopefully ours)? How many notifications do you get from the apps on your phone every hour? Are you alerted every time one of your favorite YouTube creators releases a new video?
Do we need all the information all the time? Do you need to be alerted of every single thing happening on your phone across all of your apps and digital accounts? Maybe you do (there are legitimate reasons for some), but we decided a few years ago that we don’t. We leaned out our phone notifications (which you can turn off easily in your phone settings, and even customize if the “badge” notifications stress you out the way they do for us). We also removed any duplicative email sign-ups and newsletters that inundated our inbox (eg, we don’t need J Crew email notifications if we follow them on Instagram or frequent their site already, and we don’t need 4-5 news digests delivered every morning, when 1-2 will do).
We don’t always recognize it, but these individual notifications are all calling for our attention, fogging up our brain, and adding milliliters of stress to the always overflowing cups of our finite attention-span. The result of cleaning up our proverbial “inbox” was a simplified influx of information. We’re consuming a lot as it is, but this process gives us permission to “miss out” on a few things we didn’t need to know about anyways.
*This post is sponsored by Merit.