What I Wore: Relaxation Mode

I recently checked out the book Present Over Perfect from our local library. While it focused more on religion than I really connect with, it did share some interesting perspectives on busyness. I’m still processing how the book connects to slowing down my own life, but one thing I did takeaway is that I need to give myself the permission to slow down. So that’s exactly what I focused on this week. I spent our final full week of summer break in full on relaxation mode.

I decided to take a week of my early morning workouts so I could sleep in and start the school year feeling rested. I took naps during the kids’ down time instead of hustling and bustling around the house to knock items of my to-do list. I didn’t put any pressure on my outfits and didn’t manage to take photos every day. But, I did want to keep up with my summer posts and share what I do have.


Today was my 39th birthday! After a busy weekend, all I really wanted was a chill day around the house, and so that’s what we did. I kept my outfit simple, but I struggled with how to accessorize. In the end I decided the belt and necklace felt a little too done, so I took off the necklace. I do love the addition of the leather belt with the basic tank and shorts.

Tank (c/o Everlane) // Shorts (DIY cutoffs, cute Levi’s option) // Flip flops (Rainbow)

Belt (Gap) // Necklace (c/o Natalie Borton – get 10% off here)


There’s nothing really standout about this outfit, just another basic summer mom look. When I’m taking it easy around the house and not putting in the extra effort to pull a look together with small styling details this is typically how I end up. Comparing this outfit with Monday’s makes me realize what a difference a few simple accessories make in a basic outfit.

Tee (old from Nordstrom, similar) // Shorts (DIY cutoffs, cute Levi’s) // Birkenstocks


We had a major temperature drop, so I started in this outfit, but after freezing my booty off at the park I came home and changed into my jeans for the rest of the day. After such a warm summer, these random cold days are a welcome change. I thought I would love the contrasting slim long shorts with the boxy crop sweater, but it didn’t look quite the way I imagined in my head. But, my other cutoffs were dirty, so I went with what I had available. It was much, much cuter with the jeans in the afternoon. 🙂

Sweater (c/o Everlane) // Shorts (DIY cutoffs) // Flip flops (Rainbow)


I love, love, love the easy styling of these striped tees and tanks. The design and small details, like the amazing drop dolman sleeves on this one, really make them stand alone and carry the outfit. Though I wore no accessories I still felt much more pulled together than I did on Wednesday.

Tee (c/o Tapered Collection – size up for stripes) // Jeans (Madewell via Poshmark) // Flip flops (Rainbow)

Well, that’s it for my summer of pushing myself to get ‘dressed’ each day. I’m really excited about the progress I made in terms of seeing the value of putting together outfits, even for days at home. We start back to work on Wednesday, but with a week of Professional Development and inservice days I’ll be continuing my casual outfits for a bit longer.

I want to ask, do you find you are a ‘natural’ relaxer or do you have to specifically give yourself permission to make it happen?

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    1. Hi, Paige! I love the styles in your post this week. All summer long your blog has been such an inspiration to me for putting effort into my outfits even on non-working days. So thank you!
      I tend to be the type who suffers from free-floating guilt whenever I feel I’m not “doing enough”, and I’d like to work on that. Even during the rare moments when I let myself watch something on tv, I’ll grab an article from a little basket I keep of stuff that has to be mended (there’s always something with two growing boys) and sew. I also love to work out in the morning, and it’s really hard for me to force myself just to take a day off from it. But as a result, my knee is acting up. I definitely need to work on that. You do SO much, that I think your putting a concerted effort into forcing yourself to relax is a really healthy thing. Great post!

      1. Holly,
        Thank you so much! It sounds like we’re very much the same. I feel guilty about relaxing and am always trying to find something I can be multi-tasking at.

        I’m sorry to hear about your knee. If that were me, my head would know and say it was my body’s way of telling me to rest, but I don’t think I’d let myself.

        The book has some interesting suggestions about why people are like that (like me, and sounds like you). Have you read it?

        1. Paige, thanks for your kind commiserative words about my knee! – so sweet. No, I haven’t read Present Over Perfect, but I love that title. I’ll definitely check our library and see if they have it. Hope you have a wonderful day!

    1. I’ve been contemplating reading Present Over Perfect for awhile now! (Maybe I’ll finally have to make it happen?) An honestly? I think relaxing looks different from day to day for an individual — and then especially over the course of time. Some days I find it more relaxing to do the dishes and start a day with a clean kitchen, other days I want to watch TV for just a bit before bed and somedays I just choose sleep. I had hoped that the book addressed more of the issue of contentment and letting go of perfectionism — something me and my non-relaxed self struggle with greatly!

      1. Laura,
        I think you can find different takeaways from the book depending on what resonates with you. I was really struck by her personal ‘diagnosis’ into her busyness and perfectionism, so that’s what I focused on. I think if you were hoping to find some ways to let go of perfectionism, it may be a good read. But maybe check it out from the library?

        I agree that I often find I can’t really relax with a looming list of chores or to-do’s, so I inevitably have to tackle those first. But, I sometimes let that to-do list get too long or it starts to turn into major projects and I don’t let myself have time to just chill.

    1. I loved Present Over Perfect and would highly recommend her cookbook/memoir Bread And Wine which has similarly wonderful insights but less religion.

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