Taking It Easy

I shot this outfit about a week ago as a back-up look and now I finally have a chance to share it along with a few blog and style related things that have been on my mind. I suppose this will serve as a sort of mini Closet Mission Check-In since it’s been too long (yet again) since I took a moment to ‘check-in’ about where things are at. So here’s what I’ve got on deck:

  1.  A proper ‘Hello’.
  2. Where my BLOG brain is at.
  3. Where my STYLE brain is at.
  4. How this outfit says it all.

Style Bee - Unexpected Contentment


1 | A PROPER ‘HELLO’

There’s been a lot of new folks checking out the blog lately, in large part thanks to the totally rad Caroline of Un-Fancy and in small part due to my recent Canadian Shopping Guide. But with everything going on I’ve yet to say an official, ‘Hello and welcome to Style Bee!’. So here it is! I’m so glad you’ve made your way to my little corner of the lean closet loving interwebs. I know there’s a whole lot of other awesome places you could be and a ton of great ways to get your style fix so I really do appreciate that you’re doing some of it here.

A bit about me:

I started Style Bee in 2013 as a creative outlet where I went on tangents and ramblings about my personal style and ‘stuff’ I thought I should have until I realized it was mostly nonsense. Then after discovering some amazing blogs like Un-Fancy and Into Mind I started my own sort of CLOSET MISSION through which I’ve since been making an effort to buy less, ask more and make carefully considered additions to my wardrobe. It’s been a ton of fun and a huge learning experience and even though there’s a good chance it won’t ever be fully complete I’m totally OK with that.

Now let’s hear about you:

Where are you at with your style and perhaps your own closet mission?

  • Just starting?
  • Old hat?
  • Intermediate?

I’d really love to know what it is about personal style that makes you tick!

For me it’s making a real effort to shop responsibly and only add items that I’m completely smitten with. Which brings me to my next topic…


Style Bee - Unexpected Contentment


2 | WHERE MY BLOG BRAIN IS AT

To be honest I feel like this is the first moment I’ve had to come up for air in a long time. The blog has been growing and as much as I’ve been trying to keep up with it’s momentum, I’ve also had tunnel vision. As much as I say ‘No’ to opportunities that I know aren’t a good fit, once in awhile I say ‘Yes’ to opportunities that might not be the best fit and I’d like to try and improve on that. I’ll be the first to admit it’s easy to get carried away when people want to send you beautiful things and even pay you to talk about them, especially when you’d love to blog for a living.

So I’m working to bring the blog back to an even more authentic and genuine state. The truth is I love blogging more than I love getting new stuff, which might seem counterproductive given the way the fashion blog industry runs but regardless, it’s the truth. Of course, when the stars align and I get to add an amazing new piece to my life, I’m all for it but the whole process of planning, shooting, editing, writing, publishing and sharing is what I truly adore.

For example: I used to have my posts drafted days in advance. I’d tinker with photos and copy, show Dave my drafts, agonize over what to share on Instagram (in a fun way). I’d double and triple check to make sure everything was just right, then I’d schedule a publishing time and head off to sleep soundly.

Lately though, I’ve been scrambling. Shooting posts the day before, frantically trying to write copy and tie things up late the night before, if not early the morning of, forgetting to share things, putting off emails and well, it’s been mega stressful. Somewhat self-imposed sure, but stressful nonetheless. That pesky old day job hasn’t exactly left me twiddling my thumbs lately either! Oh and I almost forgot I’m supposed to be planning a wedding, AH!

But instead of letting myself run any more ragged I’ve decided to put a hold on partnerships and collaborations for a bit. I’m going to regroup and refocus on what it is about this space that I love so much, which is building beautiful content, writing little stories and connecting with awesome, like minded people who love making sense of their style. So that’s what I’ll be up to for the next little while!


Style Bee - Unexpected Contentment


3 | WHERE MY STYLE BRAIN IS AT

It’s hard to believe but I haven’t shopped since August. Well, actually I bought a pair of black skinny jeans last week, but they weren’t right so back they went. Being busy has played a huge part in my accidental shopping fast (more on what that’s about here) but I also just haven’t really felt like it. I’ve felt like I should because I write a fashion blog and it certainly hasn’t been for lack of temptation.

I picked up a few items in August when I was getting antsy for Fall (see my Fall Wish List) and it’s only just started getting cool enough to wear them! So as much as I’ve been tempted by amazing Autumn style (hello ES Cold Weather, Jesse Kamm and DOEN!), I haven’t felt compelled to pull the trigger on anything quite yet. This is very new for me so I’m just letting it all sink in.

Now, I could interpret this a couple ways but I’m choosing to see it as a very positive sign. I dare say, I’m legitimately content with my closet and my style at the moment. So instead of chasing the next new addition, I’m just going to take a deep breath, literally and sartorially, and enjoy what I have.

Saying it (or at least typing it) out loud already makes me feel better. I can’t wait to dig into my FALL 10 x 10 CHALLENGE on Friday and take a closer look at a few old and a couple new-ish favourites that have not had a lot of face-time yet on the blog.


Style Bee - Unexpected Contentment


4 | HOW THIS OUTFIT SAYS IT ALL

So just how does this outfit say it all? Well, for one, I didn’t even plan on shooting it but I had my hair done for another style post and while I was setting up the studio in my favourite old tee and vintage jeans I thought why not shoot this one while I’m at it. Turns out this is the most accurate representation of my style I’ve captured in ages and probably one of my all-time favourite looks. It’s relaxed but stylish, comfortable yet presentable and downright minimal in every way.

This t-shirt is my favourite. I know, I say I like a lot of tees, and I do, but this one, the Box-Cut Tee from Everlane, was my first purchase from them and to this day, probably my favourite. I’m making a mental note that I need to just ditch my other mediocre tees and only wear/buy this style going forward. My one wish is that it didn’t have a pocket but I can definitely live with that. Size note: I’m wearing a M and usually order S. 

These jeans are vintage, fabulous and funny story…

I bought them at Episodes while I was visiting my wonderful friend Hannah in Amsterdam. I tried on about 20 pairs of black Levi’s and when the perfect pair slipped on I knew they had to leave with me. In my haste, I ended up bringing the wrong pair back to her apartment, where I realized my mistake in horror. I made poor Hannah and her partner Ben come all the way back to exchange them in a frenzy before we caught a boat-ride along the canal. But I wore them out that very night, to the Red Light District no less, and they’re an all-time closet favourite now! I’ve linked to some great black vintage (and new) options below.

This bag was the result of a great collaboration that I’m so glad I did and these boots are probably my favourite shoes ever, sorry if you’re sick of them, I just can’t help myself!

The key thing is that every part of this look has a small but important story behind it and I love how it feels when they all come together. That’s what personal style should be about, right? Bringing small but tangible parts of your life together to give them a whole new meaning. Not just trying to be the first to wear or share some new ‘must-have’ item.

Thanks for indulging my stream of consciousness friends! See you on Friday!


Style Bee - Unexpected Contentment


Box-Cut Tee Everlane (I’m wearing a size M) | Vintage Levi’s from Episodes in Amsterdam (similar vintage here and here | modern versions here and here) | Tirhas Saddle Bag c/o FASHIONABLE | Mars Boot by Rachel Comey (Also in All Black, Black/Brown and I’m obsessed with this shearling lined pair) | Earrings c/o CLAUS (also LOVE this pair and these are epic) |



This post is not sponsored but does contain affiliate links. When you shop via the links above I may make a small commission from a sale. Thanks for supporting the brands that support Style Bee! 

37 thoughts on “Taking It Easy

    1. Thanks Christina! My favourite is BeautyCounter Sheer Lipstick in Currant. It’s the one I’m wearing in this post. They’re pricey at $38 but seriously better than any lipstick I’ve ever tried (YSL, NARS, Smashbox, Hynt, ILIA). So lovely to wear, good endurance and they never dry out my lips, which are always dry otherwise. Hope that helps! xo

  1. I, too, am grateful for your openness about life and blogging and your dedication to remaining as true to yourself as possible. It is certainly a hard thing to do when social media is telling us what we have is never enough. I love your posts and having the chance to get to know you through them a lot more than I love looking at pretty things. My blog has taken a major back seat lately. My life is all over the place and I’ve been dealing with hard personal things so sitting down to write and shooting outfits seems daunting. Not to mention the fact that I simply don’t live a life that allows me to shop all the time. It seems “uncool” to publish photos where I’m not wearing something new and I’ve been stuck feeling like I can’t measure up or I’m trailing behind because I don’t have this season’s “it” shoe or pants. It’s sad, but I think it’s all too easily to be discouraged by fashion, despite its many pleasures. I often find myself posting just because I feel like I need to, and that’s not at all why I started my blog. Thank you for this post. It reminded me there is real value in a slower paced, more genuine space for expression.

    1. Gabi, Your comment really hit home and I so appreciate your honesty and sharing where you’re at. I must tell you that you’re honestly one of the few people who’s posts (both on your blog and insta) I look forward to most, because your perspective always feels authentic as well as being beautiful to look at, even when it’s just a sleepy pup or a tiny corner. I seriously always show Dave your home interior shots and say, this is SO FREAKING GOOD!

      But you’re totally right, social media and fashion have a particularly potent influence and it runs the full spectrum of emotions for me too.

      Forget the nonsese and focus on looking after yourself lovely lady! If and when you’re ready to post again you’ve got a dedicated reader right here! xo

    2. Gabi, I just wanted to say — I love your blog and I would actually love to see someone post “real” outfits that don’t feature the newest hottest things. What better way to connect with other people in a similar boat? 🙂

  2. Hi, Lee! Thanks for the warm welcome. I found you through Un-Fancy, which I stumbled upon just before Caroline took her year off – the absence of that blog just as I was getting my style figured out and closet whittled down left a big hole for me in terms of guidance and vision, so I wish I would have known about you sooner!
    In terms of style, I’d say I’m intermediate. While I never went full capsule, I think I ended up in the same organic state as Caroline did – pared down to only the things I really love and wear, but not beholden to a set number of items. I work full time (in a business-casual-ish setting) and am a mom to a toddler, so my style can best be summed up as “striving for polished, minimal, and pulled together while being as comfortable as possible.”
    Looking back through your recent outfits and posts, I’m torn. I find this post probably the most relateable, so thank you for that. But from past outfits and posts, I’ve really started to think about how I want to begin to upgrade some of my pieces (slowly!) with an eye on sustainability going forward, and I think I would not have considered some makers (like Elizabeth Suzann) as something for me , especially price-wise, until I saw the styles on you. I appreciate the fact you have clued me in to some great companies that I may not have known about on my own!
    I’ll likely be on board with the fall 10×10 – I did the Un-Fancy remix and it was challenging but instructive. You’re a pro at it though so I’m looking forward to picking up some good inspiration! Keep it coming!

    1. Hey Brandi! Thanks for sharing your current style status, I seriously love how you described it. ‘Striving’ is such a good word and applicable to so many facets of personal style. I’m sure you’re much more polished, minimal and pulled together than you give yourself credit for, especially as a toddler Mum, that’s no small feat!

      I would definitely say this is a super casual look for me in terms of both the looks that make it to the blog and how I dress for day to day. I like the ‘elevated casual’ look and that’s definitely what I strive for (and Elizabeth Suzann does it impeccably). But sometimes something super relaxed and basic is just right.

      Hope you join me for the Fall 10×10!! xox

  3. Seriously, such a good and refreshing post Lee. I love when you open up and go a little behind the scenes about your blogging life. I particularly love what you said about “not just trying to be the first to wear or share some new ‘must-have’ item.” Also, my jeans and tee heart is so happy about this super simple outfit! xo, Caroline

    1. Caroline, you’re just the best, lady 🙂 You are such a positive force and source of inspiration to me so thank you! SO pumped for our Winter Remix. It’s honestly making me dread winter WAY less haha. xoxo

  4. Hi Lee!

    This was a great blog post! I love this look – It really is easy but so stylish. I’m wearing that exact Box cut tee right now, and it’s the best!

    I’m really interested in the ethical, sustainable clothing (like ES), so I’d be excited to see more about your pieces and outfits in that vein. I just got my first ES pair of pants after finding out about your blog and I’m committing to making the switch to buying better and less often.

    1. Thank you so much Sarah! It really is the best tee, right? Elizabeth Suzann is my favourite for sure. I have two of my favourite items by her in my Fall 10 x 10 so I look forward to playing around with those a bunch. Happy Friday! xo

  5. from a few of the comments it sounds like I have a different opinion but I don’t mind (if anything, I really like) your collaborations and sponsored posts – that is, if they stick to your vibe & your goals – which they do from what I’ve seen. They are also always clearly noted as ‘sponsored’ or ‘collaboration’ – something I appreciate because I know that ‘x’ comes from a normal persons budget and ‘x’ comes from your success as a blogger, making it easier to set my own expectations for a wardrobe.
    Your blog has been a way for me to discover new brands, new styling, and also, perhaps selfishly – to see some of those smaller, upcoming designers that often have trickier shipping / return policies modeled on a real person and styled to perfection (thanks for that! : ) ). To expect you to be able to afford all these amazing pieces that we love on the blog full price is unfair (in my opinion) – some of these sustainable brands come with a higher price tag given the great ethical practices behind them. Should you pay for what you want? Sure. But should you be rewarded for bringing joy and new styles into our inboxes/ blog world? Also yes. And your collaborations – especially that fantastic purse line you did – was just a celebration of all your hard work paying off – a brand recognizing your creativity and wanting to bring it to a bigger market.
    this turned into a longer stream of conscious than I planned so I’ll sign off with a ‘you do you’ – because from these comments we love it and will follow you on whatever journey you take us this fall | winter | spring. Collaborations, interviews, wardrobe edits, style posts – I can’t say there has been one I haven’t looked forward to reading. Can’t wait to see what you are bringing us in the future xx

    1. Karine, Thank you so much for sharing your opinion and insights on this topic. I really appreciate it. For the most part I feel the same way about sponsorships when I see them on other blogs. I think, ‘Oh Wow, they’re on that brands radar.’ or ‘Good for them!’ or ‘Dammit, I wish I got that gig.’ haha but I think where I went astray is that I was losing my own creative vision and voice in the process of trying to do justice for the people I was featuring. I also just had way too many scheduled back to back and no time to bring it back down to earth with some ‘real’ posts which I think would make all the difference. Just living and learning over here!

      I definitely intend to continue featuring the designers and brands that I love and new ones that I discover and believe in. I’ll just need to approach it with a clear head and open up my timelines a bit.

      Thanks so much for the positive feedback, really, it means a lot to know that what I’m putting out there is having a positive impact on someone.

      Have a great weekend! xo

  6. Lee, this is one of the most relatable posts I’ve read on your blog! Screw the feeling of “counterproductivity” – you are headed someplace beyond that!

    It’s also my favourite outfit post, I really like that’s what *something* in you intrinsically went to wear while setting up your shoot but turned out to be something that could also be shared and appreciated. As much as I enjoy looking at people’s blogs for new clothes tip-off’s, etc there is something so enjoyable about hearing how (especially secondhand) clothes ended up with a particular person and how they make them feel. One of my fave summer dresses was found basically in a trash pile within a market outside Budapest a couple summers ago!! Whenever I travel, I thrift to help absorb the place I’m visiting so hearing your Euro jean story was spot on.

    It’s almost TGIF! Xoxo

    1. Thanks so much Jeska! Your comment made me feel great about sharing my current mindset and I really appreciate it.

      I love when clothes have a backstory too. Items found on trips always hold such a special memory and somehow just feel great to wear. Budapest looks incredible and so rich with inspiration.

      Have a great weekend! xoxo

  7. Hi Lee! I recently discovered your blog thanks to Unfancy and I love your style!
    As for my introduction, I’m still in the early stages but would very much like to implement a leaner closet. I do love my clothes but I find myself purchasing similar items again and again and the amount has become a bit overwhelming.
    I look forward to reading more of Stylebee!

    1. Hey Julie! Thanks for the intro, so glad you found your way here. That’s what I found too. So many repeats when only 1 or 2 were pieces I really enjoyed wearing. You can check out this post I did on how to effectively edit your closet. A fun weekend project for sure! xo

  8. I’m new around here so here’s my intro.
    I think I found you via Unfancy, which I found through Into Mind – or vice versa – or maybe a good solid google search got me all of you! I’m not 100% sure.
    Despite those name checks I’m a spectator on this lean wardrobe thing. I love to look at it, but I love print, colour and sewing clothes so much I struggle to implement this sort of wardrobe myself. (That being said my husband has it nailed!! 😉 ) I’m more of an Iris Apfel kind of gal. Also I have about 3 different wardrobes that don’t have huge areas of crossover: day job, night job, and casual.
    However, what I have found by observing and doing self audits are the key elements that make me feel like me. Like, I’m a real trouser girl. Love me some pants. I love bright colours, bold prints. And bright blue and red are my colours. (We went to a funeral today and my husband said “It’s so weird to see you all in black”.)
    My commitment is to slow fashion though. I very rarely buy clothes except if second hand. And I sew most of my own clothes, using mainly second hand fabric.
    I’ve been thinking how I could do a 10×10. I would need to do it for work though – as my work wardrobe doesn’t really translate to my non work life. But 10×10 would be 2 weeks + of work outfits. I’m curious to see how it would go.
    I enjoy seeing how put together such minimal outfits look though, so I will certainly stick around. <3

    1. Naomi, Thanks so much for the intro and low down on your style status. I think it’s awesome that you’re embracing your love of colour and slow fashion without feeling pressure to go the lean closet route. If you’re happy with how you’re wardrobe works for you that’s what matters!

      Definitely consider trying a 10 x 10 for work or off hours! I think you might be a perfect candidate for the challenge because it will definitely help you streamline your personal style.

      Thanks so much for reading! xo

  9. Hi Lee!

    First off, thank you for your transparency and honest thoughts, they are so appreciated! It makes me just like your blog (and you!) all the more. It IS hard to keep a profitable blog and maintain the ability to relate to your readers. Keep listening to your instincts, they seem to be leading you well.

    Second, I love your outfit here! I bought that shirt last summer and never really liked it, and I think it’s because I had a small! I normally wear mediums in Everlane tee’s, so it definitely didn’t have the cute slouchy fit yours has. I love it! Those black jeans are epic. I can’t believe you had to go all the way to Amsterdam for them, ha! And never apologize for the boots. The color on those is pure perfection!

    1. Thanks for the kind words Andrea! Such sage advice and encouragement means a lot coming for you 🙂 I’m sure you’re no stranger to the balancing act that is partnerships and authenticity. No easy task!

      Glad you like the outfit! I don’t even know why I got a M because I never order up but I’m so glad I did. I had the tee in black but a size S and it didn’t feel the same. Seriously kicking myself for not getting more Levis when I was there!

      Have a great weekend! xo

  10. Lee,
    I’ve been a loyal reader for a few years now and I have to agree with Kiersten. It’s been really hard to connect with your blog and relate lately, especially when you say you haven’t bought anything, yet every post is filled with gorgeous things you got for free. Part of it may be jealousy, but part of it is pure unrelatability. I’d love to see some more piece repeats (besides the 10 x 10) and some more “real” outfits like the one above, that you’d wear on a regular day.
    I plan on doing the fall 10 x 10 with you, and I love that you’re willing to talk about this at all!

    1. Kat, thanks for your honest feedback. Totally hear your about the unreliability of blogs/bloggers that post a ton of ‘free’ stuff. Feeling a bit gross for ending up in that category but with a bit of course correction I think I can steer the Style Bee story back to where it feels right. I so appreciate your candid opinion and that you’re still here even after you felt a disconnect. Thank you!

      So happy to have you join in on the Fall 10 x 10! It’s going to be great and I definitely plan to share lots of other repeated items once it’s finished too. Cheers! xo

  11. The box cut tee was my first purchase at Everlane, too! Too bad they don’t sew the sleeves folded anymore.

    1. That’s so funny! I feel like it was one of their first styles that I really coveted and contemplated. Now they launch so many news things every week it’s hard to commit when something better could be launching a week later! haha I guess that’s just my FOMO talking. xo

  12. Lee, I love this outfit! I’m fairly new around here, so by way of introduction, I found your blog through someone’s 10×10. I have always wished I knew how to dress well, but didn’t really get into the style and lean closet thing till about a year and a half ago, so definitely still learning! I think the draw for me is the confidence I feel when I know an outfit really works, and also what you said about each piece having a story that’s part of my larger story. One thing I have really appreciated about your blog is that you gravitate toward shapes that seem rather daring to me, especially the looser tops like the ES and J+J tees; it’s so fun to see how well they work for you- gives me ideas for myself! 🙂 So here’s my applause for your choices to keep it real and stay true to what you really love in this process-thanks!

    1. Hannah, thanks so much for the introduction! So happy you found Style Bee 🙂 It’s been a couple years for me now and I’m still learning too. I think that’s part of the fun! For me personal style is all about empowerment so I love that finding confidence is a key driver for you too. So glad you’ve been inspired by some of the less conventional pieces. Thanks for reading! xo

    1. Thanks Emily! I’m sure it’s entirely doable, I just need to listen to my gut more 😉 haha It’s hard to go too wrong with good jeans and a t-shirt, right? xo

  13. Thanks for sharing Lee, and thank you for your honesty. You’re not the first blogger to struggle with the sponsored post-advertorial-should-I-or-shouldn’t-I conundrum and you certainly won’t be the last. Take the product offers and sponsorship as a testament to your hard work. There are a gazillion blogs out there and yours stands out because you take care to create relevant, good content. Bravo. I admire you for taking the time to pause and evaluate Style Bee and all that it means to you and your readers. If you want to eventually grow your blog into a full-time career, check out Wit&Delight and see how blogger Kate Arends has navigated that route. I used to blog about sustainable fashion and now I’m on the other side of the fence as the owner of a recently launched online shop to sell Canadian sustainable fashion. I admit to having sent you an email just last week about a collaboration – one of many emails in your inbox I’m sure! Speaking now on behalf of Canadian small businesses in the sustainable fashion industry, I can say that we want genuine representation as much as bloggers do. I take the time to reach out to bloggers whose values align with mine and I look for opportunities to create content that is of value to readers. All the best,

    1. Thanks so much for the kind words and encouragement Malorie! Sorry I didn’t have a chance to reply to your email (yet!) but congrats on the launch of your shop, how exciting!! I love Kate Arends work and have such admiration for how she’s built her career. Wit & Delight is one of my all-time favourites. Looking forward to connecting via email soon! xo

  14. Happy to hear your perspective on collaborations / free products! It’s always hard for me to stay connected with a blog when everything is c/o and I was worried that Style Bee was headed in that direction. I know it’s probably at odds with turning blogging into a career, but know that this reader appreciates it!

    1. Thanks for the feedback Kiersten! I feel the same way about it and I’m really glad you stuck around! It’s definitely a tough balance to strike but I’m working on it 🙂 xo

  15. This is one of my favorite outfits for me (I own that exact t shirt, sized up like you, love it and own it in light gray). You look stylish and effortless, and like a real person which is why I loved, and have followed you for years!
    I’am so glad you are taking a collaboration break. Not only did you seem stressed by it, but it was just too much stuff.
    I’am VERY excited to do the 10×10 with you!
    I tried to buy that bag in black, because I actually need a lightweight crossbody, but they couldn’t get the code right (lots of disclaimers that weren’t written anywhere). By the time it got all figured out I t just became too stressful for me, and felt bad so I didn’t get it. I might save up, and buy the Stowe since that always looks amazing on you.
    Have a great week! Xo

    1. Thanks Jodie!! So excited to have you on board for the Fall 10 x 10! It’s going to be a good one and it finally feels like Fall here now. No worries about the bag, it just wasn’t meant to be. Definitely consider The Stowe! It’s my personal favourite and SO well made. Thanks for the support babe, you rock! xoxo

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