All of a sudden, about a month into the capsule wardrobe experience, it hits ya.  
You’re over it.
You’re done.
There can’t POSSIBLY exist one more way to wear that same dang item of clothing for the eleventy-billionth time, and you’re kinda ready to forget the whole thing.

Wanna know how I can see inside your brains like that?
Because…that’s me, too!!

After the newness wears off, a capsule wardrobe lifestyle really starts boiling down to the nitty gritty.  The point is to shop less, spend less, use what you have, be wise with purchasing, etc….but then…you go into Target.  πŸ˜³  And they beckon you.  Those rows and rows of perfectly styled, too easily justified, cheap price-tagged clothes just a calling your name in the softest, sweetest of whispers…

“Come, weary one.  Come distract yourself from your cray cray day with this innocent, budget-friendly shirt that….oh…OH….well, looky there!  It just hopped on into your cart!  It must NEED you to give it a home.  Now.  See?  Don’t you feeeeeeel beeeeettttterrrrrrr…?!”

And yep.  You and I both know that for about as long as it takes to snip off those tags and wear that new shirt for a half day, we DO feel better.  Because it’s satisfying to own, to purchase, to possess items.  We all have that urge to shop when we’re down, stressed, bored, etc.  It feels good for a few minutes, hours, days…but then…it’s just one more thing taking up precious space in our crammed full closets of despair and ill-advised purchase choices.  πŸ˜©

How to avoid the ever-present siren’s call to spend willy nilly?  Outfit inspo and restyling items you already have in your capsule!  I love making a little game out of pinning outfits that are mostly made up of pieces already in my capsule, (and if you’re in the mood for some fun spring inspo, check out the Cotton Stem Pinterest boards for ideas!).  But first, let’s take a look at styling and restyling that tried and true denim we all love!

Whether or not you wear a lot of denim, we can all agree it’s around to stay.  For me, it is a big part of my wardrobe in all seasons, because it can be dressed up, down, all around.  I stay home with my four little girlies half of the time, and then I run a home decorating biz the other half, so I very much appreciate the versatility as I constantly switch gears between play-dates-at-the-park-Erin and meet-design-clients-for-a-consult-Erin.  Split personalities, but thankfully my trusty denim can roll with the punches! 

So…it’s finally happened.  I’ve grown old enough to cycle BACK THROUGH the popular styles of my youth, and I think it’s hilarious that only a few years ago, I wouldn’t have been caught dead in the bell bottoms of my middle school days.  πŸ˜³πŸ˜‚

But you know what?  The cut is now more subtle, the material is nice and stretchy (#MomPooch πŸ™ŒπŸ»), and I think adding a pair o’ flares into the mix is a fun way to change it up from skinnies 24/7.  For me, I prefer to wear them with a comfy wedge sandal instead of flats to really elongate my STEMS (…get it…?  See what I did there, guys…?! πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜‰), and this particular pair (LINKS BELOW! πŸ‘‡πŸ») is one of the most comfy pairs of jeans I’ve owned!

Another classic I keep in my wardrobe pretty much year round is a good denim jacket.  I’ll link my very favorite one below, and this bad boy has been with me for years now!  Mix it up with some army green chinos and a flowy top, or I like to add it to a roomy, cozy shirt dress for a bit of structure.  Our weather switches up SO MUCH here in Oklahoma, so it’s nice to have a versatile, lightweight outerwear piece….just in case. πŸ˜‰

And last but not least…the distressed denim skinny.  Probably the most-worn item of clothing I own, and there’s a reason: so versatile!  I go Mommin’ in them, I go on date nights with the hubs in them, and so much more in-between!  For the last five or six years, these very jeans have remained my very favorite pair of distressed skinnies (I’ll link them below!), and guess what…so inexpensive!  They’ve held up so well for such a low price tag!  These are a mid-rise, which is quite important to me after four babies in five years.  πŸ˜©πŸ˜‚  Gone are the days of the hip-slung jeans for ol’ Cotton Stem, but I gotta say…these bad boys do the trick AND I don’t feel frumpy since they aren’t up all the way to my pits!  High fives all around! πŸ™ŒπŸ»

Hope this gives you a few ideas for styling and restyling your denim pieces, guys!  I’d love to hear your favorite way to wear denim: skinnies, flare, jacket, shorts…?  And be sure to follow along on Instagram and Pinterest for more capsule outfit inspo and ideas! πŸ’‹


(If pictured item is out of stock, I’ve linked something similar for ya!)

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  1. Everything you post is so inspiring!! For a comfy home and style πŸ™‚ keep creating !! I find myself coming to your blonde and Instagram for style tips and of course home inspiration


  2. Mary says:

    Love love love reading your blog & IG posts! I look forward to your IG videos everyday. You always make me laugh! You are so inspiring and always so happy which makes following you such a joy! Thank you! πŸ™‚
    P.s. I am obsessed with your rings, esp the big one. Any ideas where I can find one like it? Thanks πŸ™‚


    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      Hey Mary, thank you so much for that! Made me smile. πŸ™‚ And I think you mean my stacked wedding rings? Those were custom designed by my husband and I for our 10 year wedding anniversary, and the jewelers at J. David did the work for us–they did an amazing job, and I just about peed my pants when hubs drove me to the jeweler and told me what we were doing for our 10th anniversary. πŸ™€ I’ll never forget it!

      • Mary says:

        You’re welcome! I really enjoy following you. You are so great at what you do. What a wonderful gift for your 10th anniversary – so very sweet! 😊

  3. Lucy says:

    You just seem so genuine and personable. Thanks for the tips and I love following along on IG and your blog!

  4. Jenifer says:

    Erin, is there a capsule that has more business casual clothing ? I can only wear jeans on Fridays!

    Thanks, Jenifer

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      Hey Jenifer! You might check out A Carried Affair’s blog–I think she’s doing a biz-cas one!

  5. Kimberly says:

    I am so waiting for the Momiform capsule thread. I have a fresh c-section scar and jeans bother me so much (3M post partum). Luckily, in August my new wardrobe will be scrubs πŸ˜‰

  6. Rachel Shepard says:

    I have fallen in love with your insta stories and now your blog❀️ But can I just say that I’m waiting very impatiently for the day you tell us all about your wedding ringπŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜‚

  7. Jen says:

    Your capsule wardrobe is so inspiring! Please keep sharing.

  8. Jennifer says:

    I want to find that bag you have on your links but it keeps bringing me to Pinterest not a link. *pout* Any suggestions? I have been craving a leather bag/tote like that for ages!!! TYSM xo

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