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The M Dash

Live with purpose.


Stop Doing These 13 Things if You Want to Improve Your Life and Your Wardrobe

A to-NOT-do list for the woman who wants to simplify her wardrobe, do less laundry, and never eat soggy pizza again.

By Madeleine Kim

Lately, I’ve been trying to figure out why canceled plans are so satisfying, and I think I’ve come to a conclusion. It’s not that I don’t like doing activities or seeing my friends (actually, I love both of those things). It’s that the free time that results from a canceled plan feels like a bonus. It’s the same logic that makes snow days more exciting than weekends and a gift card to your favorite store even better than straight-up cash. You feel like you’re getting something extra, something indulgent.

On a similar note, I’ve been on the hunt for small things to stop doing—things that don’t significantly improve my life (or make it worse) and take up time and effort (or in one case, just ruin pizza). 

In case you want to follow my lead, here are 13 life edits I’ve come up with that have made a huge difference.

1.

Washing clothes every time you wear them.

With a few notable exceptions (underwear, workout clothes, anything you wore while making s’mores), most of your clothes don’t need to be washed after every wear. In fact, washing your clothes less frequently can help them last longer and lessen your environmental impact. To keep your pieces fresh between trips to the laundry, just give them a few spritzes of The Laundress Fabric Fresh (they even have a version specifically for sweaters). Or, rely on pieces treated with Polygiene, an all-natural anti-odor finish.

2.

And when you do have a load of laundry, stop washing with hot water.

Washing your clothing in cold water is better for the Earth, because it uses less energy and reduces the amount of microfibers that end up in the ocean. And if that’s not enough to convince you, cold water is also better at fighting stains.

3.

Reheating pizza in the microwave.

Grab a baking sheet, set your oven to 425°, and wait until the cheese is bubbly. Trust me.


4.

Wearing painful shoes.

Humans invented self-driving cars and made a life-saving vaccine in less than a year. We shouldn’t have to suffer for chic footwear, and with advances like these, we don’t need to: Trade your uncomfortable shoes for pumps with heels specially shaped to provide extra support, flats with memory-foam footbeds, and loafers made with a manufacturing technique borrowed from ballet slippers that creates maximum flexibility.

5.

Saying “sorry” instead of “thank you.”

Are you really sorry that you took three days to reply to that Friday afternoon email? Probably not. Instead of saying “Sorry for my slow reply,” say, “Thank you for your patience.”

6.

Avoiding white after Labor Day.

I’ve always found this rule ridiculous, especially after I found out that it may have classist roots. And even if you put aside the rule’s questionable history, avoiding white means robbing yourself of so many great fall and winter styles, from ivory-toned cozy sweaters to pearl-colored stretch pants.


7.

Living by “seasonal” colors altogether.

By the same token, why limit yourself to season-specific palettes at all? Wearing unexpected shades makes you look extra stylish and helps you stand out from the crowd. I’ll be wearing pastel green sweaters and bright yellow skirts to this year’s holiday parties. Come spring, you can find me decked out in hunter green and burnt orange.

8.

Downplaying your strengths.

If owning your strengths makes you uncomfortable, repeat after me: I’m not bragging, I’m telling the truth.

9.

Waiting for the perfect occasion to open that special bottle of wine.

Why not flip the script? Make an ordinary day feel special by opening that bottle you’ve been saving, because life’s too short not to drink really nice wine on a random Tuesday.


10.

Waiting for the perfect occasion to wear that special outfit.

The same applies to clothing. Why wait for a party to debut your stunning new silk slip dress when you could wear it today? Better yet, declare your next meal a formal occasion, and ask everyone in your household to dress to the nines, just to switch things up.

11.

Living by trends.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t get those ‘90s-inspired jeans or that cow-print bucket hat, but following trends is all about balance. The majority of your wardrobe should be classic, versatile pieces that can be worn lots of different ways and won’t go out of style (think: black cigarette pants, white cotton T-shirts, and denim-style jackets). From there, you can incorporate a few trendy pieces to achieve the looks you want without turning your wardrobe upside down every season.


12.

Stressing about caffeine intake.

According to The New York Times, “coffee in moderation” means 3-5 cups daily and could lower your risk of mortality. This piece of news is almost as good as that month when everyone was talking about the antioxidants in wine and chocolate.

13.

Separating work and weekend wardrobes.

While some office dress codes are more restrictive than others, many companies have gotten more casual since the pandemic. Use this as an opportunity to make your wardrobe do double duty and maximize your outfit options. Casual-ify a work dress, pair blazers with jeans, and invest in Power Casual pieces that transition seamlessly from work to weekend.

Written By

Madeleine Kim

Madeleine Kim is a Brand Manager at M.M.LaFleur, where she started out as a stylist. She loves developing styling-focused content and creating newsletters that bring the M.M. community together.

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