How does a maximal shift to a minimal?

Hello Family,

I’m facing a big style shift right now. I would describe my former look as maximal to the max. As of late I have only been wearing 1 piece. Either a statememt bag, necklace, headwrap or earing but not all together.
I'm doing the same with my home. Pairing down becoming more minimal.
It is an odd feeling because my last style shift was 15 years ago. That was a 2 year oddsey of a fun jouney.
To be honest I'm feeling a bit lost.
In my home I've paired way down. The same with my clothing. I’ve this week off and have been nesting. I have 4 large bags of. Clothing and house hold items that are being donated.
My jewelry collection is huge and curated. I am hesitant to go through it. I dont know where to start. The only things I’m hanging on to are my hats and my headwraps.

So if you can give me any advise it would be appreciated.

Picture 1 is what i wear on the average

Pictire 2 is what i wore to church on sunday. The only piece is the statement necklace.

Truthfully i was not going to post picture number 2.

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • chewyspaghetti replied 3 years ago

    I would encourage you to hang on to good quality accessory items that you love. For the next couple years you probably won't wear them much, but there will come a day when you will probably want to pull them out again.

  • texstyle replied 3 years ago

    I really like your new minimal style in #2 - of course I'm just not a maximal person at heart. Maybe it's just natural as part of the whole nesting experience to want to pair down to more necessities? I don't have great advice for how to go from one to the other but I think you can easily get away with just one statement piece at a time since your statement pieces are very bold.

    I guess I'd say take your time, use a holding zone before deciding and enjoy the process.

  • Emily K replied 3 years ago

    You look lovely in photo #2.  I appreciate your maximal style, but #2 is nice also.  

    Having a little will change your whole life.  I know that it is hackneyed to say it--and it SEEMS totally obvious--but there's no way to actually "get it" until you live it.  My life-style got a lot more streamlined after my son came along.  My things, in general, aren't as nice.  I've had to let go of my original level of care and attention and perfectionism.  I purged and put away a lot of things in anticipation of motherhood and, by the time I got back to them, they were passé.  But, I'd still advocate putting away instead of deep purging because it COULD be the hormones talking.  

    And I will tell many people probably already have..that, most days, you will find yourself stopping to check, before you leave the house, just to make sure that your butt and breasts are covered.  Really.  It's that bad.

  • Janet replied 3 years ago

    I can understand the shift, considering your life and priorities about about to shift dramatically with the arrival of your new little one!

    I would suggest pulling aside the items of jewelry, etc., that you most love and know you could not bear to part with, that you know you will wear in the months to come. Then take the rest and put them into a holding zone. I just did this with a lot of my clothes, and it really helps me see and appreciate what I have, and takes the distracting extra stuff out of view. Then you can revisit the holding zone at some later time when the mood strikes. Or see if you want to pull something out of the holding zone when you find that one of your current favorites doesn't suit the outfit you're wearing.

    Good luck! Sounds like a great challenge to me.

  • Sisi replied 3 years ago

    You have already received excellent suggestions so I have nothing to add. I just want to say that I like this new look, a lot!

  • Angie replied 3 years ago

    I answered you back on the blog: 

    Ledonna, two things: what is causing the shift – the birth of the baby perhaps? Makes complete sense. And don’t pass on your jewellery. Pack it up first, and leave it in a holding zone. Keep a few pieces out to decorate your home with. I have a feeling that you will miss those pieces later if you pass them on now. 

    (high five, Janet)

    Ledonna, don't be ashamed of your minimal look. It's GREAT, and please keep on posting it. Follow your nesting feelings, and let them guide you through your big style evolution. Together with baby, you will reach a new happy balance that feels right for that leg of your style journey. 

  • Suz replied 3 years ago

    What Angie said. Keep the jewellery -- put it in a holding zone. Things like dangling necklaces and earrings become difficult with a baby and you won't want them then; but when baby becomes a teen, you will be ready for another shift. Meanwhile, your headwear may come in very, very handy on days when it is hard to take a shower! 

    I think this is a very natural style shift and makes sense. I also think you may be wearing your baby for a while and it might be fun to look for different baby slings/ carriers to complement your outfits. I wore the same one all the time and it was hardly fashionable; if I were doing it again I might try to get more creative! 

  • rachylou replied 3 years ago

    This is left field... but I think you might want to start considering the diaper bag. That will be a rather large feature and will no doubt impact how you feel about your outfits...

  • Style Fan replied 3 years ago

    I love both your looks.  It makes perfect sense that you would be pairing down your maximal looks.  I agree with others that your jewellery collection would be best in a holding place.  One day you may want to start wearing it again.  Who knows when?
    Rachy is right.  What about the diaper bag?  And all those other things that go along with babies.  Fun times.

  • texstyle replied 3 years ago

    Get super stylish maximal diaper bag - or two for sure!

  • La Pedestrienne replied 3 years ago

    Yes -- your baby will be the only "accessory" people notice for the next few years. :D If you have the space to save things, do. I purged a few things that I miss now in a frenzy of baby prep. There's no way to predict where you'll be style-wise in a couple of years.

    Rachy is right -- consider the diaper bag, and also whatever wraps/slings/etc you plan on carrying the baby in. Wraps and slings became my substitute for clothes shopping during my first year of parenthood. There are some beautiful textiles out there, and the bonus is they help you bond with the LO. 

  • Sterling replied 3 years ago

    This interests me.  I wonder if it has to do with nesting.  Perhaps you are devoting your energy to other things and it is reflected as a minimalism?  

  • shedev replied 3 years ago

    I like look 2. There is a sort of serenity to it. I think the holding zone is a good idea.

  • rachylou replied 3 years ago

    Also, I wanted to ask how you felt about the black and grey ... and maybe brown too. I remember you saying you used to wear a lot of black and had wanted to move away from that. I mean, you could do minimal in colour. Minimalism doesn't have to be industrial. You could do minimal in dashiki. Just some ideas. The silhouettes of your two outfits above are great, but I confess to not feeling your spirit coming thru because of colour.

  • deb replied 3 years ago

    Ledonna, you look beautiful in your paired down look. I highly recommend you keep all of your accessories. When your style changes again, you will be able to work them back in with little financial output. I speak from experience. In five to ten years, go through your pieces again, then purge.

  • La Pedestrienne replied 3 years ago

    The other thing... you're having a girl, right? I'd highly encourage you to hang on to accessories. She might find some of those pieces very special someday. The jewelry and scarves that have been handed down to me from my mother, grandmother and aunts are some of my most cherished objects. (Books, too! I'm glad my family never gets rid of books!)

  • cindysmith replied 3 years ago

    What Angie said. Out stuff in a holding zone. You may want it later, you may want to share this part of you with your little one someday, or you may want to actually wear them again in the future.

    Even though #2 is more minimal, it still has a very LeDonna flair to it. We all evolve, Sometimes slowly and subtly, sometimes in radical seismic shifts. Either is perfectly fine, and it's just part of being human.

    You do you. I look forward to seeing what that becomes :-)

  • Joy replied 3 years ago

    You look gorgeous in maximal and more minimal. I agree with keeping those accessories. Your little girl will want to use some of them to play dress up, so put some aside that you don't care for besides the ones that you may want to wesr again. Accessories cycle like everything else.
    Do start thinking about and picking up at least one diaper bag that you love and wraps to carry the baby and cover ups if you plan to nurse. They will be part of your outfit for many months. Maybe Tem can create dome for you. Baby girl head wraps to go with yours would be fun.
    Regarding jewelry, that little one will make you a minimalist with tiny grabby hands and wanting to teeth on your jewellry.

  • Vix replied 3 years ago

    Hi LeDonna --

    Well I'm a fan of how you do maximal, but these new minimal looks are great too.

    I wouldn't read too much into it now -- perhaps you just want to be able to focus as the last phase of your pregnancy is here and the minimal looks help with that? 

    You may find your happiness overflowing once your daughter arrives and decide it needs happy happy joy joy color/texture/pattern/jewelry, or you may be in that new parent haze where it's a good day if you can find your underwear, let alone accessories.

    All great ideas upthread about how to store and sort. Will be fun to see how it plays out for you!

  • shevia replied 3 years ago

    You look beautiful in both pictures. You are focusing now on the arrival of your daughter so you are drawing in your energy to the essential. Things will change over the years in ways you cannot predict.

    My daughters love, love, love going through my jewelry which I have collected over many years of thrifting. I suggest you put it in a holding zone as wisely suggested above.

  • Ledonna N. replied 3 years ago

    Thank you,thank you, thank you for the affirmations, wisdom and sound advice.

    It feels as if my brain is on autopilot and all I can do is clean, clean, clean.

    I've turned into both Bea Smith and Martha Stewart at the same time. I'M FAR FROM THE DOMESTIC GOODESS. I found myself vacuuming curtains yesterday.

    I have a large jewelry wadrobe cabinet so I will sort and store everything into there. For some reason I forgot that when my grandma passed I received all of her jewelry.

    I am having a girl so maybe she will want to play dress up in the future. Thank you all for pulling me back from the ledge as if it were.

    Truthfully i have on grey sweatpants in the 2nd pictures. So getting dressed is almost a challenge.

    Amazon Prime has become my home as well as thrifty store called Once upon a child.

    What I am going to splurge on is 2 diaper bags. So many choices so I'm going to take my time researching and deciding.

    I also love the idea of the baby wraps. I'm going to invest in a few of them. They are colorful and bright. I will be on maternity leave during the summer and look forward to all of the new opportunities.

  • JAileen replied 3 years ago

    I love #2. It's really nice.

    Babies love to grab stuff. So I stopped wearing any dangly earrings and even necklaces. But they stop eventually.

  • Karie replied 3 years ago

    Just chiming in to say I agree with what the others have said: go through your jewelry and keep out what you truly love, put the rest in a holding zone, get a fancy diaper bag, some colorful baby wraps, and perhaps add more color in your minimal outfits. 

  • Barbara Diane replied 3 years ago

    Are you feeling like you with this shift, or are you feeling like you are missing something? That would make a difference in what to do.

    If you don't want to go through your jewelry now, you don't need to. 

    If you have pierced ears, I'd suggest having simple studs to wear so that the holes don't close up. I had to have mine re-pierced because I stopped wearing my dangly earrings when my eldest kept grabbing them.

    I love and wear jewelry that I didn't wear for years, so I support keeping jewelry. I was also going to suggest saving clothes for dress up. And I hope you are keeping some of the special clothes that you have loved. I have clothes in a memory area. And do you think you will wear your new clothing style if you go house dancing? (Not sure I got the name right, but you know what I mean. :)

    And, out of curiosity, I thought your style was always max to the max. What was it before that?

  • Bijou replied 3 years ago

    Ledonna I think when you become a Mum your style evolves. When breast feeding I needed tops that opened at the front to give access, but that I didn't need to strip off. Wrap tops worked well for me, as did having a light weight shawl or muslin to pop over whilst the baby was attaching and also so that he would not get distracted mid way through feeding (babies are the most inquisitive creatures and get distracted easily when feeding away from home).

    The diaper bag is going to be your new best friend, it goes everywhere with you and I had two to provide me with some variety. Some people like backpacks (especially if Tem is going to be using it too). I had a great bag that was able to be slung over the handles of my pram and we went for daily walks around our neighbourhood to grab a coffee, hang out in a park and watch butterflies, visit the library (if baby was asleep in the pram) or even pick up some groceries. That walk was always a highlight of the day for both of us. I was very sad when my son outgrew his stroller!

  • Ledonna N. replied 3 years ago

    JAileen-It's great to know that the baby will stop grabbing eventually. I love my hangimg jewelry.

    Karie- I'm loving the baby wraps. Im researching the best ones. The. Colors are great. I'll start looking for wrap tops. I've already in a number of shawls amd cover-ups.

    Barbara Diane- I'm feeling like a teen like an awkward teen growing through a growth spurt. A great recommendation about the earings. Maybe i can find som unique studs for the time being.

    My sister is part a great support system
    She has agreed to watch baby girl once a month so that I can go Housing. Yes, you said it right. I am keeping some of my dance outfits. I don't think I would be able to live with dance and music in my life.

    My style before Max to the Max was very sweats, mom jeans, and tennis shoes. I was just leaving the Army after 10 years headed into the corporate and college school years. I had no clue. That is when I stumbled upon "Fashion blogs" eventually lurking on Ylf for a few years and eventually finding my groove.

    Bijou- what great advise. I'm blessed to live in a community with plenty of wakable parks and that baby girl will be born at the beginning of spring. Your suggestions are wonderful

  • Column replied 3 years ago

    I don't know if I can offer tips on "how," but I encourage you to go for it! Nothing requires stripping down to the basics of what is important like the caretaking of another human life. I think you are on the right track (and you look great)!

    My only experience to offer is that when my first child was born, I realized I would never wear jewelry unless it was right in front of me and I didn't have to think about it. I decided I would wear my best pieces every day so as to look "dressed." Those were gemstone earrings and a diamond chip pendant (including my wedding rings and a watch, which I wore anyway). I called these my "uniform jewelry," and I wore them for about 12 years. Every. Single. Day. Funny, since I have had time to actually think about style, I really haven't worn these pieces since. I realize now what a gift those minimalist years were--sort of like "enjoy your china on a daily basis; don't save it for special occasions." Good luck and blessings on the days ahead!

  • Echo replied 3 years ago

    LeDonna, it feels like FOREVER that baby is grabby and you cannot wear what you did before, but in the grand scheme of things, it is but the blink of an eye. Please don't get rid of pieces that mean something to you. After 2-1/2 or 3 years, you will be able to wear those things again.

    And your DD will be interested at some point, although it may not be until she is 30 or older. So if something speaks to you or carries emotional weight, please give it free boarding until it really matters.

    It is natural for your style to evolve. Don't hesitate to go with something simpler if that's what you are feeling. But if a piece is valuable and meaningful to you, don't get rid of it just because it's not convenient for a while. If it was just something fun with no emotional significance, then let it go and find something new when you are able or when DD is older.

    I don't always comment, but I ALWAYS read your posts. I am always wishing you the very best in your life, your relationship and your little one.

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