A Week Of Crisp, Clean Outfits With Paige Marchi From Style This Life
The Good Trade's Week of Outfits Series highlights women that have personally inspired us to shop and live with intention. Each woman takes her own unique approach to slow fashion and demonstrates how beautifully sustainable fashion can come to life. Today we're excited to share a week of outfits from Paige Marchi, a sustainably stylish high school math teacher and the blogger behind Style This Life!
// ABOUT PAIGE //
Age | 40
Location | Denver, CO
Occupation | High school math teacher and mom of four
Where To Find Her | Her blog and Instagram
Favorite Brands | VETTA for their versatile stand-out pieces, Everlane for affordable basics, and Nisolo for quality shoes
The past three to four years has been a time of huge transition in my approach to shopping, style, and fashion.
I have always loved clothes and the thrill of the ‘hunt.’ I used to take great pride in my ability to find the best bargains and I spent time each weekend scouring clearance racks and thrift stores for deals. After years of buying just to buy and without giving much thought to what I actually wanted to wear and felt good in, my closet was maxed out. Filled mostly with fast fashion items I had worn only once (or not at all), I was totally overwhelmed and uninspired by my huge wardrobe. I decided it was time to pull in the reigns on my shopping habit.
After so many years of shopping as a hobby, I wasn’t sure I had the willpower to cut back. I thought following the structure and rules of a capsule wardrobe would help me stay on track. I started my blog four years ago to help hold me accountable as I navigated those first few capsule seasons and weaned myself off of my constant consumption of fast fashion.
I’ve never looked back. Over time, my approach to capsule wardrobes has changed based on what I needed at any time, but the idea is still the same: less is more. As I selected items that deserved a place in my small wardrobe, fit, quality, and style became more and more important. I have really settled into a style and color palette I love and it feels good to be more confident in my choices.
As I reduced my wardrobe I also started paying more attention to the the conditions in which my clothes were made. Now, when I shop for something new, it is a much slower and more conscious approach. I always look at ethical makers and secondhand options first because it’s important to me that my purchases aren’t doing more damage than good. This allows me to slow down and process if I’m shopping to fill a hole in my wardrobe or if it’s a passing urge.
While I prioritize making ethical purchases, it is important to me to only buy what I love. Occasionally this means I will buy from a fast fashion brand when I can’t find an ethical option that meets my needs. I am also much more strict about what I keep. If I don’t love it—I mean really love it—I don’t keep it.
I don’t have a set rule for how many items I keep in my closet at any time, but I do try to be aware of accruing too much. To help me keep things in check, I keep a log of how often I wear each item I own. Not only is it a reminder of how much I already have, even in my pared-down wardrobe, but it also is an indicator of items I’m not wearing. This helps me make better purchases moving forward and also helps me to see when it’s time to let an item go.
What started as a capsule wardrobe experiment to break a habit has turned into so much more. I now crave a slower, simpler life and am constantly working toward that goal. As a family, we try to keep our possessions to a minimum (or as minimum as can be with four kids), we don’t overcommit in an effort to preserve our downtime, and we are working to teach our kids the value of experiences over things.
I love neutrals and I love investing in good basic items. As I’ve worked with fewer items in my wardrobe, I’ve discovered how far adding in standout shapes or textures goes.
This morning, after a week off for spring break, felt early and I had a hard time getting into the swing of things. This simple combination was perfect for an easy Monday morning outfit. I love the look of wide leg pants. With my height and proportions, they work best with a more fitted top and slight heel.
I kept my accessories simple to let the all black outfit and wide leg pants take center stage. And I’m forever wearing my brown shoes to warm up the outfit and create another element of interest.
After a long winter of jeans, sweaters, and boots, I was craving some new styles for spring. This shape of skirt is a new style to me, and is one I’m excited to experiment more with. Being in the early stages of spring, I paired it with a lightweight turtleneck sweater and boots. A denim jacket, big hoops, and messy waves add a bit of fun and whimsy to the styling.
After experimenting with new items and different combinations yesterday, I fell back on some of my most worn items today. I have had this sweater for almost 18 months and I’ve worn in 47 times. It was my first big, scary, sweaty-palm investment piece purchase and I have loved it since the day it arrived. It is so easy to dress up or down, washes well, has a texture I can’t get enough of, and takes a simple jeans and sweater outfit to the next level with the unique shape. This outfit is my style version of comfort food.
One benefit of documenting my daily outfits on Instagram and my blog is that it allows me to reflect on how I felt in my outfits. This process has really helped me hone in on shapes and styles I love. As I look back on the week, I realize this is the spring version of yesterday’s cool-weather outfit. Same brands, same shapes, and one of my favorite looks. The lighter color palette and different fabrics make it feel like a totally different look.
Here I am in the places I spend the most time—my kitchen and my classroom. First coffee, then all the math. Casual Fridays undoubtedly mean jeans and clogs, of course with a comfy sweatshirt or tee. I was thrilled to find this sweatshirt secondhand after seeing it on another Instagram account. This rust color gets me every time and I think it’s just as important to have comfies I love to wear.