Style and Styling

Style by Subtraction

3 Things EVERYONE Can Let Go Of!

Happy day, Reader Dear!

How are you doing? Are you ready for a new season? Feeling like it’s time to try something new?

Well… Style isn’t always about more. Sometimes it’s about less.

We think about building style by adding, like when we Add 5 to our wardrobe for a seasonal refresh. BUT… How about getting to our style by subtraction? Yes, by taking away. I know that’s not what retailers want you to do. And definitely not blogger/brand ambassadors making a percentage when you click and buy. (That’s why I turn down brand ambassasor offers. I want you to buy only what you need AND makes you feel fabulous. AND I don’t want my income to come from encouraging buying. It’s not responsible stewardship of our gifts. Nor is it sustainable. Now, if you want to become a client and pay me directly, that’s LOVELY!)

Not everyone wants or needs to pare back their wardrobe! BUT asking the following question is a clarifying exercise.

Quick Q: What would you grab from your closet if you had 15 minutes and were leaving the rest behind? (You can relax! All your important people, pets, papers and sentimental items are safe and sorted!)

Answering that question is a simple way to get to the things you would subtract, given the opportunity. Not ready for that? Start small! Here are three things that EVERYONE can subtract from their wardobes!


  • Subtract clothes that do not fit. (That you won’t pay to alter.)
  • Subtract shoes that hurt your feet.
  • Subtract gifts that you don’t love. (Regift, sell or donate.)

This may sound drastic, but TBPH–most of us could use a little subtraction. And no one needs shoes that hurt their feet!

Now What?

What do you wear on repeat? Not what you think you wear, but what you really wear! Don’t know? Start this today! (AND refine your style in one month!)

We want to know YOUR essentials. The essence of your style.

AKA: What are YOUR Daily Dozen? ( Here’s my last spring’s Daily Dozen. And the previous winter’s Dozen. (Because no, not everyone is in the Northern Hemisphere NOR is everyone reading this when it is written!)

My Daily Dozen won’t be yours. Because I’m not you! And isn’t it LOVELY that we all get to be ourselves?

Finding Your Style Backwards

Once you know what you DO wear, looking at what you DON’T wear can be just as illuminating! What do those unworn pieces have in common? Maybe the color makes you look tired. Let it go. Find one that makes you glow. Maybe the fabric is itchy. Let it go. Look for fabrics that feel good on your skin. Maybe you feel dumpy in it. Let it go. AND avoid buying more of those in the future!

Try Something New!

No, that doesn’t mean BUYING something new. Try new combinations! Or try copycatting someone else’s style or Outfit Recipes You can try something like the French Outfit Formula.). These try-ons will teach you what you do and don’t want your style to feel like! If it doesn’t feel authentic, it’s not you. Note: New and challenging does NOT mean inauthentic. Sometimes our style needs a good stretch! (Just like our muscles!)

How About You?

What is it time to subtract from your wardrobe? Anything? Do you like a good clean out? Or does the idea strike terror into your heart? Is your answer Both! ? That’s okay, try getting rid of the three items above, the ones EVERYONE can let go. And see how you feel afterwards.

Stylishly yours,


  • Sally in St Paul

    I love that you don’t push specific items or the idea of BUY MORE generally, Liz. It creates credibility and trust knowing that you are giving your true expert advice without that kind of influence. I am happy to report that my wardrobe doesn’t have any of the 3 categories you outlined! (I have a few pairs of pants and one skirt that are feeling a bit tight that I’ve moved to a holding zone to reassess later.)

    • Liz K

      Thank you, Sally! The purchase push is ubiquitous and I just can’t be that person! I’m glad it’s appreciated. AND I’m glad you don’t have any of the Big Three Throw-Outs! Wishing you a wonderful weekend!


    Getting rid of items that don’t fiit me right now is very difficult because I’m heavier!! Physicians are messing with my thyroid med’s and my other physicians have put me on nutritional drinks!!! Frustrating to say the least!!! I know I need the nutritional drinks for dialysis because I’m feeling better after a few months!! Anyway!!! Subtrating for me at this time would be setting aside some items for now!! I need to establish my dozen!! I’m still having problems dressing due to severe pain!! Love reading your post!!! So glad your back!!!

    • Liz K

      Glad to hear you’re feeling better, Natalie. Getting medications right is a delicate balance we are always working with Mama. Sounds like setting those items aside might be a good idea!

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