Spring Cleaning My Closet… Again

Source: Photo by Arno Smit on Unsplash

Honestly, I feel like I’ve been purging my closet and my house for the entire last year. Last spring, after I did my winter-to-summer closet switchover I pulled out every single piece of athleisure and fitness clothing I own and put it in a drawer. Rather than just wearing the same 3 items over and over again while working from home, I challenged myself to wear every single item and donate what I no longer loved.

Then, last fall I did the same thing with all my winter clothes. I wore all of my sweaters with my joggers all winter long and added those I didn’t love into the donate pile.

Well, now it’s spring again.

Even though I’ve bought very few items over the last 6 months, I still feel like I want less stuff.

I want my closet to be able to breathe. I want to love everything I wear. I want less things, but I want everything I own to be awesome.

Of course, it’s a constant challenge to want LESS when everything out in the world is designed to make you want to buy MORE.

Since we are in that odd spring period of time with in-between weather, I went ahead and packed away all of my heavier winter sweaters and long sleeve tops. I also pulled out all my in-between weather clothes from storage and hung them right in the front of my closet.

Once again, I’m challenging myself to wear every single item at least once. At the end of the day, I’m going to give myself the same little purge quiz I always do:

  1. At any time throughout the day, did I feel uncomfortable because of the item’s fit?
  2. After a full day, do I feel messy, disheveled, or super wrinkly?
  3. Do I feel GOOD in the clothes or crappy?

While I haven’t had much luck selling on Poshmark lately, I figure by donating great items to the local thrift store someone else can find them and love them!

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March Thrift Haul

Are you shocked that I have a thrift haul? Me too! I haven’t thrifted or shared a haul since November because I’ve been hunkered down, but I did spend about 20 minutes in a thrift store this month between doctors appointments and came away with some fabulous stuff that I can’t want to share with you!

{Pssst, you can read about my previous thrifting adventures here}

Books, Books, Books!

My library has been closed forever and I miss just browsing through the aisles picking up anything that strikes my fancy. My local crappy thrift store has a couple rows of books, so I decided to give it a try and found these:

  • You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
  • The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
  • Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime by Val McDermid
  • House of Night: The Beginning – this had 2 books in it (Marked and Betrayed) by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
  • Matched by Ally Condie
  • The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand

Each book was around $2, so it was a pretty low risk purchase… 6 books for $15 total. I’ve already read a most of them (you can find my 2021 Book List here) and plan to give them away to anyone who wants them when I’m done.

1 Dress that Led to 2 Dresses

When I was on my quick browse of the thrift store, I saw a dress that caught my eye. I normally don’t bother with Old Navy because it’s pretty inexpensive to buy it new and it doesn’t typically hold up well in the long term. However, this dress had a nice fabric that didn’t seem to pill easily and even had a built-in slip. I loved the print too… the only problem was that it was a medium and my boobs typically require a large. It was marked awfully high for the thrift store at $19.99 and the fitting rooms are closed, so I decided to pass and took a quick photo before I left.

Off I went to my doctor’s appointment and as I was waiting there alone in a room wearing nothing but socks and a paper robe, I decided to waste some time by perusing Poshmark. I used a few different search terms including: Old Navy dress, Old Navy midi dress, and Old Navy tier dress and within a few minutes I found 2 of the dress I was looking for in a size large! One on the sellers had the dress available in both the black pattern and a yellow pattern, so I bundled them together and sent an offer for $38. And she accepted!

Here they are:

And just for funsies, I put them on and pranced around my front yard to take a couple outfit photos:

As it turns out, the size large fits great… so the medium would have probably been too snug in the bust. I ended up paying $19 per dress (+ shipping) but used some money sitting in my Poshmark account so it was even more of a deal. Got to love secondhand shopping!

I’ve already worn the black version of the dress out and about with a moto jacket and booties. Once the weather warms up, I’ll add the yellow version to my rotation with a cute pair of sandals.

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Universal Standard Athleisure Mystery Box Review

While clicking around on my social media, I recently came across an ad for the limited-edition Universal Standard Mystery box. I have been eying the brand for a while, as it has a great line of luxe classics in a super generous size-range, but hadn’t yet completed an order because they are a bit pricy. I read some Mystery Box reviews though and decided to give it a try!

They offered Mystery Boxes for one week, ending on 2/17/21 and these were the options:

  • Loungewear box: 3 pieces for $95 (valued up to $290)
  • Athleisure box: 3 pieces for $95 (valued up to $292)
  • Tops box: 3 pieces for $55 (valued up to $250)
  • Bottoms box: 3 pieces for $120 (valued up to $421)
  • Classic box: 3 pieces for $98 (valued up to $434)
  • Petites box: 3 petite pieces for $95 (valued up to $302)
  • Dresses box: 3 pieces for $98 (valued up to $358)
  • Polished box: 3 pieces for $145 (valued up to $469)
  • Premier box: 3 pieces for $165 (valued up to $571)
  • Luxe box: 3 pieces for $198 (valued up to $708)
  • Surprise Me box: 3 pieces for $75 (valued up to $310)

I considered the Classic box of wardrobe staples you can mix and match, as well as the Luxe box of elevated styles made from luxurious fabrics.

I finally decided on the Athleisure box. Here is their description of the box:

For the ones who prefer comfortable pieces to move in, or chill in. Pick this Mystery Box, and our stylists will select a 3-piece athleisure outfit (valued up to $292) specifically for your closet. Think anytime styles that are soft & stretchy enough for your morning yoga and afternoon nap. Oh, and expect the unexpected. We’re talking the best of our best sellers, styles you haven’t thought to try, and even never-before-seen exclusives! Yes, that means you could be the first to see and wear our newest styles directly out of the box.

Why I picked this one:

  1. The price point was $95 (just over $30 per item) which I was okay with.
  2. When I click through the Universal Standard website, I tend to gravitate towards the more casual options.
  3. I can wear Athleisure when working from home, mix it in with my normal wardrobe, and also to exercise.

Before I completed my purchase, I did a quick search online for promo codes and found one for 10% off, so after tax I ended up paying $90.63 for the box. Once I submitted my order, I received a survey where I could let them know my preferences. Questions included whether I preferred crew or v-neck tops (v-neck always!), and my color preferences of colorful or neutrals (I picked neutrals, hoping for black and gray).

Unfortunately, they apparently sold a bazillion Mystery Boxes and everything was taking much longer than usual to ship. However, they were really good at sending updates. I received an email on 2/24, another on 3/4, and then another on 3/9.

The last email said that they wanted to make up for the delay and decided to do so in three different ways:

  • They mailed out a special gift. I actually received it just 2 days later and it was a bottle of Soak (an eco-friendly laundering wash) and delicates bag. Also, they sent a super soft mask with filters. It looks like the Merlot mask on their website (retail $15), however the ear loops are not adjustable and it doesn’t have any logo on it.
  • They’ve added a 4th item to the Mystery Box.
  • They sent a special 15% off code towards my next Universal Standard order.

I finally received my box on Sunday, 3/21 and immediately opened it and tried everything on. Before we get into the try-on’s, I wanted to write a quick note about their sizing options.

As I mentioned, they have a generous size range that fits from a size 0 to a size 40. They have their size 0 as a “4XS” which means that my typical size 10-12 would be a “XS”. However, many of their tops are very fitted and I tend to like a more flowy fit up top, so for the athlesure box I ordered a size S, which they say fits 14-16.

For the past month, I’ve been nervous that everything would be too big, but as you can see that was not the case. If you decide to order from Universal Standard, keep their size chart in mind and maybe even do some measurements before placing your order.

Item #1: Gabby Cropped Mesh Leggings, retail $78

I was hoping to get a pair of leggings in my Mystery Box, so I was thrilled to find these inside. One of the things I had heard about Universal Standard was that their leggings fit so well and the fabric is both strong and incredibly soft. I tried this pair of leggings on as soon as I opened the box and I left them on for the rest of the day because they are so amazing.

They are high waisted, so they suck my tummy in a bit without being uncomfortable. The mesh isn’t scratchy at all and the fabric is even softer than my favorite pair from Athleta. The size S fit me well, but they are very stretchy so it is possible I could have sized down to an XS. I like to be able to breathe in my leggings though, so I’m happy with the larger size. Throughout the day, they didn’t bag out or start falling down my waist at all.

Item #2: Lauren Core Sweatshirt, retail $85

This looks like a standard black crewneck sweatshirt, but the fabric is super lightweight, silky and soft. It has really good drape to it and by sizing up I got a little extra slouch, which I enjoy.

I threw this on with my Gabby leggings on Sunday night for some 4-wheeling around the yard and to run out to pick up dinner. I think this looks cute with leggings for a casual athletic look, and I also think it will be great with joggers and even jeans for a cooler spring day. This sweatshirt along with the leggings are my favorite items in the box!

Item #3: Foundation Short Sleeve Crewneck, retail $48

The foundation crewneck is made from fine ribbed jersey and it is fitted and once again… super soft. It is light and breathable, and according to their website many use it as a layering top and people typically size up on this item.

I’m glad I did end up sizing up for the box, because as it is this top is certainly hugging my curves. It is soft and lightweight, but I would not feel comfortable wearing this out and about unless it were layered under something. I’m also not a huge fan of the crewneck and would have much preferred a v-neck version. As it is, I think I’ll either use this for layering under sweaters in the cooler months or perhaps add it to my pajama drawer to wear to bed.

Item #4: Easy Active Tee, retail $58

I’m not sure if this tee or the foundation tee was my bonus item, but one of them is extra for the box taking so long to be sent out. This active tee is made from sweat-wicking, antimicrobial fabric that can be used for working out or weekend errands.

Once again, I would have preferred a v-neck option, but otherwise this tee is fine. I like the color, the fit is okay… it’s just a basic t-shirt. This one will most likely be added to my workout clothes drawer. While I prefer sleeveless tops for indoor cycling, this one would be useful for a yoga workout or outdoor walk.

Overall Thoughts:

I didn’t really know what to expect from the Universal Standard Mystery Box, but I was pleasantly surprised with what I received. I very much love the leggings and the sweatshirt. However, both of the tee’s are just ‘okay’ for me. I would have much preferred a v-neck option, even if there was just 1 item in place of the 2.

The overall price ended up being $90 for the entire box, which broke down to $22.50 per item. The overall retail price of my box was $269. However, I also received a face mask (retail $15) and a special scratch off code for a free crew neck tee (retail $50). Unfortunately, the code will not work for their v-neck options… so I will most likely pass on that offer.

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