Cultivated Wardrobe Outfit Ideas

Thoughts on Shopping + 4 Effortless Summer Looks

Has anybody else struggled with shopping lately? Because I certainly have.

I’ve been having trouble pin-pointing just exactly what it is, but it seems to be something about this time of year.

Maybe I’m over the heat? It is hot. Like, HOT.

Maybe all of the ‘back to school shopping’ is wearing on me? Buy. Buy. Buy.

Maybe I didn’t select an adequate variety for this season’s capsule? I am still freakin’ hot.

Maybe I’m not immersing myself in enough of the right kinds of literature? You know, the type that leaves you wanting less and being content more?

Maybe it’s a little bit of all of those things.

And although I did thoughtfully add three dresses to my wardrobe mid season this summer (a capsule ‘rule’ I’d yet to break), I still feel this compelling urge to finish off my wardrobe. Which of course somehow translates to adding items to my master list, wanting to buy and feeling obliged to acquire.

Except, my wardrobe will never be finished.

So why am I trying to finish it?

I’ve always struggled with living in the future. I think it’s what makes me an excellent planner + goal setter. But it’s also what makes me struggle with being content in the right now.

Since practicing a capsule wardrobe I have become much more aware of my impulse shopping triggers and habits. So much so that now when I feel the urge to needlessly shop, I can identify that it’s really something else entirely that’s out of balance — and not the pieces in my wardrobe.

For me, it’s usually one of the following areas that needs some attention:

1. My diet. I’ve been craving (and indulging in) so much sugar lately. Gosh darn sweet tooth.

2. Time spent in nature. Summertime is arguably an easy time to get out and explore nature, but it’s been tricky some days with seriously-stupid-hot weather to strap on some babies and even just go take a hike in our woods.

3. “Me time”.  Also known as ‘having my thoughts to myself’.  Also known as lingering in the shower, on the toilet, etc. in order to have said thoughts to myself. Hahaha. (TMI?)

Right now I’m fighting the urge to buy buy buy, as we near the end of the summer season, and turning my focus on these areas instead. Also, this recent Be More with Less blog post was an excellent resource that helped me bring further clarity to my already observed tendencies.

On top of that, I’m diving back into my trusty Stylebook app and trying to look for some unexpected outfit combinations that I’ve overlooked — ya know, just to try and shake things up a little.

Now, I know almost everyone already has fall on the brain but in the interest of not getting too carried away at the thought of being able to comfortably wear jeans again (Gah!), here are four tried and true looks to inspire us all to finish out this summer season with a little skip in our step… If not sweat on our brow. ;)


Thoughts on Shopping + 4 Effortless Summer Looks via Thoughts on Shopping + 4 Effortless Summer Looks via Thoughts on Shopping + 4 Effortless Summer Looks via


Thoughts on Shopping + 4 Effortless Summer Looks via Thoughts on Shopping + 4 Effortless Summer Looks via Thoughts on Shopping + 4 Effortless Summer Looks via


Thoughts on Shopping + 4 Effortless Summer Looks via Thoughts on Shopping + 4 Effortless Summer Looks via Thoughts on Shopping + 4 Effortless Summer Looks via


Thoughts on Shopping + 4 Effortless Summer Looks via Thoughts on Shopping + 4 Effortless Summer Looks via Thoughts on Shopping + 4 Effortless Summer Looks via

. . .

If you liked today’s post, you can shop it and support The Lovely Laura Life at the same time by using these affiliate links:

01 / Short sleeve tee (made in USA)

02 / Black pull on shorts (sold out), similar but structured + made responsibly

03 / Utility jacket (old), similar

04 / Bag, gifted to me by Lily Jade last year

05 / Black footbed sandals

06 / Floral maxi dress (sold out), similar with sleeves

07 / Peep toe booties

08 / Chambray button down (secondhand), similar

09 / Jean cutoffs (secondhand, J Crew)

10 / Jean jacket (old), similar

11 / Tan slide sandals (sold out), similar

12 / Sleeveless tank (made responsibly)

13 / Jean shorts (secondhand), similar

14 / White converse, buy them secondhand instead


All photos by RJ Rogers Photography.

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  • Reply
    August 12, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    I relate to this….for me, it’s when I’m procrastinating with my writing (my “job,” if you will). If I know I need to be writing but don’t have any inspiration, it’s much easier to browse the internet and try to figure out what I “need” for next season. Then I justify it, like “I don’t have any warm pants, I need warm pants!” I even catch myself saying things to my husband like, “If I only had an extra $3000, I’d never buy anything else again.” Of course he just laughs. I’ve yet to figure out how to conquer this impulse — I’m beginning to think it isn’t possible? In fact, every simplicity blogger I read confesses to having *not* conquered it. I think sometimes the two are mutually exclusive…being active on social media doesn’t exactly encourage contentment, at least not for me. I guess I’ll start trying to be content with my uncontentedness, haha. Anyway, as always, I appreciate your posts. Post more, <3!

    • Reply
      Laura Blanton
      August 15, 2016 at 7:38 am

      Amen to the part about social media not always encouraging contentment. And I do think there is truth in your statement about it not being possible to ever fully achieve complete contentment. But I’m trying not to look at it as a ‘moment of arrival’ any more — and therefore being frustrated when I again and again fall short. I’m *trying* to view it more as a mode of transportation, much like happiness and even joy. It’s something I get to choose. Thanks so much for your encouraging words Julia. They mean so much! :)

  • Reply
    Lauren @ Lauren, Etc.
    August 12, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    I’ve been struggling with this urge to buy lately, too. Things have been a little stressful in our house, so I’ve been feeling the need to treat myself with a purchase or two since actual time off to relax is not an option. I also recently checked a purchase off my shopping list, and it felt so satisfying! It also made me notice I don’t have much on there, so why not aim to try to get more of these purchases completed. It’s been tough to fight the urge, but hopefully I”m successful!

    • Reply
      Laura Blanton
      August 15, 2016 at 7:40 am

      Yay for making lists and checking them off! (That feeling never gets old) I hope you’re able to find a way to destress — because living with sure ain’t fun — sending good vibes your way! :)

  • Reply
    August 18, 2016 at 11:56 am

    I’m also struggling with the shopping issues, in part because I feel like my style is changing. Also, fall is always the most tempting shopping time for me– feels like a fresh start after the long hot summer. Trying to focus on other ways to nurture myself, but it’s tough ;)

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