I was never much for accessorizing, or layering, or even wearing a lot of clothing. In fact, my own personal tastes used to seem to me like a complete contradiction of my love for fashion and styling. Especially when fashion blogging became popular, I was obsessed with all the diverse expression that came out of it. Everybody looked like small parades in all their clothes and bags and accessories. It made me want to change myself, make myself look more flashy, more interesting. I faked it for a long time. Fashion and style never really felt like they were mine. Probably because I just never saw a reflection of my own tastes. But then again I’m a minimalist - if I’m wearing more than 3 things, I feel burdened. I avoid wearing prints as they’re distracting. And though I love jewelry, i have little use for it on a daily basis. Because of this, I always thought I lacked style and fashion sense. But that’s just me I guess 🤷🏾♀️. That’s my style. And I’m glad I figured out how to like it. Otherwise I would’ve never done it on purpose and made it The Tiny Closet.
This year I’ve decided to return to what started it all. The Capsule. The Capsule is a part of my shop and the heart of my line. Maybe because it originated from the clothing I made for my own closet. It’s pieces tried and tested by me and friends and family and stood the test of time and wear. This year, I’ve decided to expand on this foundational wardrobe and truly make it a yearlong collection of versatile, layerable, simple statement pieces. More lengths, more necklines, more options. Pieces you can actually rely on, slip on and go. Last week, I launched a few pieces to kick off The Capsule and immediately hit my maximum capacity of orders. Had to close up shop til today! 😵 If you visited my shop over the weekend to find it closed, I hope you’ll return now to get what you were looking for... because what’s great about The Capsule is the pieces will never go out of stock. Why should they? They’re able to be worn all year long so they should be available to buy all year long as well. That just makes sense.
From years of shopping and owning countless cluttered closets, I think what I was subconsciously looking for in all of that was style. And what I inevitably learned was Clothes won't give you that. What’s great about style is, that’s all you need, baby! Your outfit can cost more than your rent but if you don’t have style, you may as well be a mannequin in a shop window. Style is the artist’s signature, an element that comes from within as a constant mood or feeling. And no matter your budget, your weight, your age, your body shape, style is completely attainable. And free. What’s interesting though is that even though style is so personal, it’s something a lot of us fake. Ya can’t fake feelings! But people do it all the time (even fashion/style bloggers) because for many, personal style can be hard to uncover. So we buy flashy designer clothing and look to others to emulate. Don’t do it! I didn’t find any kind of personal style until my adulthood but when I did, I loved it so much I ended up making a clothing line out of it. I think a lot of people would feel the same about uncovering their own style. I always thought it was something I’d kinda have to copy - until I read something that changed my entire outlook and eventually took me to the path I’m on now: When consulting clients, Rachel Zoe would always ask who they wanted to look like and why? The purpose of the questions wasn't so that she could copy the look for the client, but so that she could see the essence, the feeling the client wanted to possess for themselves and exude to others. 🤯🤯 . After learning this, I was definitely more equipped to develop my own style. I also had a better understanding of the clothing in my closet. And I was shocked to realize most of clothing I owned wasn’t even for me but for someone else entirely.
There’s been a lot of new developments going on behind the scenes recently with The Tiny Closet. To be honest, I’d created an entire Spring collection and then cancelled it all at the last minute. Artists, eh? 🤦🏾♀️ I was excited, I was rushing and I wanted to move on. Fast production of rushed ideas turning into Tiny fast fashion. No one deserves that. Especially not my treasured shoppers. No thanks. I decided to breath and start over. And I’m glad I did. I was slower, more thoughtful - the stuff quality is made of. I pared down my collection (yes, it’s even tinier now). But less is more and I’ll be rolling out many new pieces over the next season. More necklines, colors and versions. More versatility and go-to designs for your closet. More options on how to wear essentially the same thing. All year round. While wearing something new all the time is fun, I’ve learned that for most of us, it can turn into misery. And unless you’re a fashion blogger, TV host or pop star, you typically wear a version of the same thing every.damn.day. So let’s work with that. And get really good at it. Trust me, it’ll be fun 😘
The thing is I always want to look good. There’s no day where I look down and I’m okay with looking a mess. I may put on my “bloated” jeans that give no shape and my sad gray tee that brings out the grey in my skin - but I wouldn’t say I’m happy about it. 😤 So why do I do it? And also, where does this come from? It’s funny how our clothing for when we’re at our best weight and we look and feel fabulous, is fabulous. And then our clothing stash for when we look gross and weird and think we can’t be great is also weird and definitely keeps us from being great. . It’s like we’re punishing ourselves for “bad” feelings and rewarding ourselves for “good” feelings. It’s actually very patriarchal, which honestly, used to feel comforting (yikes!). Now it just feels like it has no place. Because it doesn’t. And it doesn’t have to be this way. . There’s also a sense of “liberation” when we feel gross or just focused on other things cause we have to get shit done. When it’s laundry day, we don’t give a damn and we’re wearing stained pants and bikini bottoms for underwear. I deserve to feel just as free as that when I’m dressing up for a date. . While I work on my upcoming collections, it’s caused a lot of reflection and I’m inspired to get all these negative doctrines out. Remove them from my designs and from my own personal closet so that I can be fully present to support women and how they want to feel in their clothes. . It’s a misconception that, as a woman, you don’t deserve to look good or feel free in your clothing - or you have to look so good that it’s an impossible standard and it should cause oppression. No thank you. My clothes, my rules! . So! If you’re feeling this way too, do what I’m doing and...Remove it! Anything ill-fitting, anything that’s there to support you not feeling great, anything meant to “hide” you or help you commiserate your period. Remove anything from your closet that makes you feel bad about the weight you’re at, your gender or being who you are. . As a minimalist myself, I just can’t give that stuff space anymore.
Being a retailer and also a dedicated minimalist can be a struggle for me at times. To excel at both harmoniously has its challenges, to say the least. But in order to feel good about what I do with how i live is i have a few rules: . Rule# 1: I don’t have clothing inventory. All orders are made to order by me. Clothing is only made when you order it. Which actually makes it even better I think❤️ . Rule# 2: I buy only deadstock fabric. Which is fabric that big designers and brands are finished with at the end of each season. Hundreds of thousands of gorgeous yards of fabric that are scheduled to go to landfills, I buy from to lessen the waste. Instead of having fabric made for me. . Rule# 3: Everything I make has a use and hardly anything is thrown away. I sell my samples that my models wear at the beginning of each season - or I use them to make other designs. I also use scrap fabrics for drafting new patterns and using them for dye samples. . This year, I’ll be making extra strides to bringing more of my minimalist core to work with me. Stay tuned for more on this🤗 And if you’re not subscribed yet, what ya waiting for? 📷: @portiabenoit taken by: @theomacabeo