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  • ann taylor and erin loechner

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    Happy Birthday, 30.

    08.26.2013 / LIFE

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    Today is my thirtieth birthday, so naturally, I’m feeling absolutely, 100% on top of the world. Thirty sounds legitimate, like when you give your married name to the hostess at your favorite restaurant for the first time. Table for two, please. I’m Thirty.

    I’ve always loved birthdays for the perspective they provide. Like New Year’s Day, birthdays are a chance to celebrate the passage of time, the wisdom gained. But with birthdays, there are no resolutions to shame and guilt ourselves into changing the pesky details of our lives that make us into perfectly imperfect human beings. Instead, they’re mile markers we pause and wave to as we pass by, leaving past years and mistakes in the rearview mirror. Goodbye, 29. It’s been real, 28. I don’t miss you a bit, 27.

    ann taylor and erin loechner

    Still, there’s something to be said for milestones, and I always take a moment to reflect on a meaningful word for the coming year. Last year’s word was, to be quite honest, Endurance. I had just birthed a baby of my own and was feeling tired, worn and anxious about the rocky roads ahead. I’d survived pregnancy and labor and delivery – but could I survive a transition into motherhood? (I did. And I am. And I will.) So although I’m feeling wistful about leaving such a strong and capable word behind, I’m excited to welcome a new focus for year thirty of my life: Edit.

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    It makes so much sense, really. I spent a decade of my 20-something self building and growing and more-ing: working nonstop in Los Angeles, managing multiple businesses, fostering new friend circles both online and off. And then Bee arrived, and as she became more, I became less. My work became less and my time became less and my personal desires became less. (My jeans, however, became more. Let’s be honest here.)

    Katherine F. Gerould once wrote, “Simplicity is an acquired taste. Mankind, left free, instinctively complicates life.” And for me, this is true. More of everything means more of everything – more fun and more ease and more results, but also more tension and more fear and more stress. And this year, I’m aiming for less.

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    Most of this perspective has manifested itself internally, choosing less for myself in subconscious ways: fewer opportunities, fewer close relationships, fewer appointments on the calendar. But I’ve also realized a more conscious, unexpected twist: editing my things. Specifically, wardrobe.

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    I’ve talked about this before, and am happy to say I’ve been making progress. Bins of unnecessary excess have been donated, new purchases have been thwarted. Getting dressed takes approximately zero time in the morning, and the laundry piles are considerably few. By wearing the same basics day in and day out, I’ve taken a red pen to my closet and ruthlessly edited the extra and the more and the plenty, all of which provided endless options that I’d tricked myself into thinking were necesarry. More clothing does not equal more options. Smarter clothing does.

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    So what have I been wearing? Funnily enough, Ann Taylor asked me to show you, both right here and on Pinterest. White button-down shirts, a casual black dress, strings of everyday pearls. Printed bottoms and versatile flats. Classic pieces paired with well-worn basics like denim jackets, vintage tees and thrifted scarves. Quality items with a long shelf-life and even longer list of possibilities.

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    And on the morning of my thirtieth birthday, I feel thirty. I feel edited and self-aware and comfortable with less. Because less almost always makes room for more.

    Image Credits: Ken Loechner for Ann Taylor

    • Happy 30th Birthday Erin!! these everyday basic are definitely classics :) love your picks and style as always.

      • Thank you so much, Amanda! High praise coming from a stylish gal as yourself! ;)

    • A literary/style/birthday post. I love it. Those printed pants are amazing. Oh my gosh. I love them! Mom outfit that’s not a mom outfit.

      Ditto on the editing. We are slowly ridding ourselves of about 70% of what we own to make room for our next baby. It’s been cathartic, emotional, and freeing. Stuff be gone! xo always

      • I LOOOOVE hearing that, Koseli! There is so much beauty in the edit. :)

    • Happy Birthday!! Love this post :)

    • You are amazing, and you make 30 inspiring. Happiest of birthdays.

    • Happy birthday to you! =) Less is more rings true for me as well. Wishing you a delightful day!…. + new season of your life.

    • oh friend, you are beautiful inside & out, and most definitely thirty & THRIVING! xoxo marisa

    • Happy birthday!

      Thanks to this post, we now have matching pants.

    • Happy birthday, Erin! I feel the same about birthdays — good to reflect on the markers of time, but not get caught in a cycle of guilt and shame because of an age. I hope you have a fabulous birthday!

    • Happy Birthday, Erin! I love the pictures of downtown. :) Hope your day is wonderful and filled with joy.

    • happy happy birthday Erin!!! I hope you have the best birthday ever :) Enjoy every minute! xoxo

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