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Simplifying Style and Beyond

the style line carolyn rush

Photos by Bridget Badore for The Style Line

That which you hold, holds you. What a  painstakingly true statement. Relationships, clothing, food, conversations, even simple thoughts. It’s become apparent to me that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

I started reading about minimalism when I moved to New York just under a year ago. Ever since then there’s been an impetus that drives me to simplify my life. It is time to strip things out to help me find out what being Carolyn Rush really means to find my sense of place. So, I challenge you to answer the question: “What defines you?”

the style line carolyn rush

And maybe more specifically, what defines your style? Answering the uniform question tells you what you wear the most. Both men and women wear 10% of their closet 90% of the time. That’s insane!

the style line carolyn rush

Think about what looks good on you and what you buy the most and keep buying that. Having an occasional statement piece is also necessary, but having a closet full of statements is unrealistic and will lead to clutter. In a more scientific explanation, it alleviates the mental energy and time you would have to spend on trying to put together an ensemble. No reason to stick to a black turtleneck and levis like Steve Jobs, but it’s safe to say that he was on to something. 

This concept comes across in an ebb and flow. It doesn’t mean go raid your closet and purge everything you own. Things that enhance your life change daily, so it comes down to being aware of what brings you joy and has a purpose. Your sartorial self will thank you.

The classic “What would I grab?” tells you what you consider relics. What is so important that you couldn’t replace it. Mine would be… My essential oils? All my “old family photos” are in the cloud so who am I kidding…

the style line carolyn rushAh, relationships. This is the crux of our happiness! My grandmother used to tell me, “A whistling woman and a crowing hen never comes to a very good end. (English translation: “Be yourself and surround yourself with people who like that person.” Find people that build you up and invest in them. Spend time listening to them. When something reminds you of them send it to them. Most importantly be thankful for them and make sure they know how you feel. Be intentional and make space for those who make you who you want to be.

The reality is, I’m writing about minimalism, so let’s keep it simple. Basically, we have the freedom to pursue the things in life that give us most value. Isn’t that incredible? New York life is unapologetically overwhelming, and it’s crucial for me not to lose sight of what’s important. The most irreplaceable in my life are my relationships and space for creative thinking. I don’t want time spent simply for the purposes of reorganizing my closet or room.

So if all else fails and you forget the question above, make sure you can address the single most important question directing you to a higher purpose: “How does this add value to my life?”

Photos by Bridget Badore for The Style Line