# adulting # budget

In Response to my Critics | Budget Wardrobe | Adulting

In today's video, I respond to some criticism I have received on some of my recent posts. One of the things I love about blogging is the dialogue we have in the comments section. There are many times, however, where I feel I am misunderstood. In today's video, I respond to my critics as I discuss my budget wardrobe for this year as well as the adulting controversy that took place on the blog.

Two key points that I hope you will take away from this video:

1. Quality vs. quantity is important when choosing your ten-item wardrobe. One aspect of this that many people miss is you must purchase the best quality you can afford. Do not go into debt over your ten-item wardrobe.

2. In my Teatime with Jennifer discussing adulting, I mention that all age groups (millennials, gen Xers and even some baby boomers) are struggling with adult responsibilities. I do not pin it only on the millennial generation. This adulting (or lack thereof) phenomenon is evidenced with the hashtags and the artwork, but also with Ben Sasse's New York Times Bestselling book, The Vanishing American Adult, which discusses many of the topics I brought up in my video.

I hope you enjoy today's video as I clear up some issues on the blog today!

Check out my interview with Collective Hub on the ten-item wardrobe and why it is so liberating.

Take my new eCourse on the ten-item wardrobe! With over an hour of never-before-seen video instruction, notes and quizzes, you will feel prepared to create your own ten-item wardrobe. For those of you who already do the ten-item wardrobe, this course will keep you on track and provide further inspiration. The course is self-paced and includes a lively comment section with other ten-item wardrobe enthusiasts. Enjoy!

Here are some great testimonials from people who have taken my eCourse on the ten-item wardrobe.

Dee D writes, "I'm enjoying this course so much. It's giving me a system for thinking about my wardrobe and organizing it in my mind. Usually I go into a clothing store and am overcome with confusion by the number of choices. It just makes so much more sense to lay out a plan first and determine where the holes are."

Emily L writes, "Truly loved this course Jennifer! I have been following your blog for years and I have also been following others that are focused on minimalism. I don't think I am quite ready for a truly minimalist lifestyle but the 10-item wardrobe is definitely a place to start. I have also been applying your principles to our home since our move last year. I have been gradually work on just keeping quality pieces around our home. It's a work in progress. With the upcoming change in seasons, I am more encouraged to thoughtfully go through each piece! Thanks again!"

Comment of the Week

This comment from Emily regarding the Adulting post, was one of my very favorites...

Hi Jennifer,

I am a long time reader of your blog and of your books. Thank you so much for your insight and inspiration.

I am a member of the younger generation as well; however, I do not define myself with just one word. I agree with your statement in this video.

I have older parents, from the baby-boomer generation. My parents worked "blue collar" jobs all their life. They were and still are very hard working. I don't believe I ever heard them make the complaint that they couldn't do something on a particular day. Occasionally, they would have rough days at work, but that didn't mean they wouldn't go back or that they would limit themselves after they returned home.

My father was a truck driver, retired now, who dressed for work. He would wear slacks, buttoned down shirts, and shined shoes while driving. My mother would wash, fold, and iron his clothes each week and pack them for him. He never wore a wrinkled piece of clothing.

My mother was a school cafeteria worker and she always dressed with respect for her job as well. They were never too busy to complete house work, teach me life lessons, or help me with my homework. I know I benefited from their example.

I was taught early in life that everyone has a job to do that benefits society in some way. No one person is beneath a job and everyone deserves respect. I started out working at McDonald's, and I have work my way through various jobs, and now have my dream job. I have learned a great deal from my previous experience and hold on to those good and bad learning opportunities. Those learning opportunities were very valuable and I wouldn't be who I am without them.

About dressing appropriately, I do believe it's a matter of respect. I recently attended both a wedding and a funeral. At each event I saw people wearing jeans. At the wedding I saw someone wearing yoga/workout wear. I was personally upset by this because I don't think those people were showing proper respect for not only themselves, but for the events, as well.

I'm trying to remember to be the change I wish to see in the world.

Again, thank you for the inspiration that I think many of us need and benefit from.

- Emily

Emily, I loved reading about your family. It's clear your parents did a great job raising you and showing you excellent examples of hard work.

I would love to know what your thoughts are on today's video. Debt-free living, budget wardrobes, living to please other people, adulting... I want to read your comments. Yours could be chosen as comment of the week on the blog!

Have a wonderful weekend and I will see you on Monday for a September Favorites video.

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Pam Long said...

I would like to share a funny moment...memory with you. In your response to viewers less than impressed with your new Zulilly clothing you mentioned that perhaps it was because they were being presented on hangers that they looked sad. During my childhood according to my Mother from a young age she had to battle with me to try on clothes that she was selecting. And 99% of the time I loved what she selected. And I also resented her being right all the time (haha!) One day it finally dawned on my Mom that I couldn't see the beauty of the outfit beyond the hanger and she pointed that out to me. Did we still battle, of course, but not as often.

Susan Virgadamo said...

Love your site but wasn't very happy to have to watch an almost 2 minute advertisement before seeing your video. I understand you need to have an advertisement but 2 minutes is way too long.

Anonymous said...

One doesn't have to spend a lot of money to dress well. You know that; I know that. Heck... we live it. I shop at consignment shops, where one can find really top drawer clothing for a fraction of the price. (It does require patience and luck, however.) Also, I shop the stores that I generally do well in (Anthropologie, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, but I go to the clearance racks. I have found a lot of really great items more than half off their original price. Another way is shopping online (if you know what you want and are sure of the sizing.) You can get better discounts online most times than in the stores. Sometimes I will look in the stores and try it on, but actually buy it online. And if you can wait until Black Friday, online shopping is even more heavily discounted, AND you don't have to go anywhere near a mall!

And @Susan Virgadamo: I find with those long ads, that if you click on your "back" button to go back to the previous page you were on, and then immediately click on the "forward" button to get back to Jennifer's page, then click on her video, you can bypass the ad altogether. But, ssshhhhhh.... Don't tell anyone!

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Hi Susan,
All ads have a "skip ad" option about 4 seconds into the advertisement. Thank you!

karla kane said...

Thanks for the wisdom you share Jennifer! Keep it up;)

R.S. said...

What Madame Chic (well, now I consider YOU Madame Chic) has taught me is that being a daily connoisseur means living your best life, whatever that means for you, right now. What I've enjoyed most about your channel is seeing how your style has evolved with the changes in your life. It has inspired me to continually refine my taste and adapt my style to family life, our financial situation, and even weight fluctuations as pregnancies have come and gone. It's not about one particular style; it's about having true style, an inner beauty, so to speak. It's about moving through life with elegance, grace, and even grit. It's about being grateful for what IS and always doing your best.

In yesterday's Wall Street Journal there was a fine editorial about how the author (Greg Opelka) is bothered by the ubiquitous use of "no problem" over simply, "no thank you". He wrote, "The polar ice caps of language and etiquette have been melting for decades, and the inconvenient truth is that we've been too busy to care." I couldn't agree more, and I thank him - and you, he should know about you! - for shining a light.

Keep up the good work.

ICU aus B said...

Oh wow! In this video you demonstrated again, what a true lady you are. You responded so kindly and gracefully to all those (sometimes really unfriendly) comments. I admire that you even went through all the trouble. Most people wouldn't even have bothered to respond to their critics, I'm sure. I think you always look presentable and very beautiful, no matter what you are wearing, be it Tory Burch or zuliliy. It is so wonderful that you have achieved the goal of being debt free. Thank you for all of your work. I do hope that there'll be a new book by you soon. All the best to you and your family and safe travels. Inga

Sandy said...

Wonderful video...very graceful.

Ewa said...

Good way of handling the critics! But I looked at the reviews of The Vanishing American Adult on Goodreads and it seems likea book I would steer clear of, politically. Just sayin'.


karen said...

I so enjoy your books, videos and blog Jennifer! We are all a study of one, and just because I don't always make the same choices as others doesn't mean I can't appreciate their views and opinions. My clothes come from the boutique section of my Salvation Army thrift store, zulily and Costco! I'm in a season of life (my children are grown) where I could buy expensive clothing-but I choose not to. Being a good steward of God's blessings is important to us, we choose to invest in ministry, our grandchildren and travel. Others may choose differently...and that is perfectly fine.

Emilia Barreto said...

Hi Jennifer, this video is so genuine, thank you. I've seen the other videos you address, and honestly, I did not know about the controversy regarding your sartorial choices this Fall. Well, thank you for your openness in responding to your readers, it sounded like a conversation I was having with a friend. I look forward to your series on living debt-free as it is also one of my priorities. Though I wasn't aware of the first controversy, I had seen the 'adulting' video and read every comment. As I first saw the video, I had mixed feelings. I thought it was a little judgmental because you seemed not to have considered socioeconomic situations and, especially, because you came across as someone who does not have any trouble 'adulting.' I have to confess that, even before your response, I had changed my mind about my first point. Yes, there are always circumstantial constraints, but there is also a dominant culture in our society telling us it is ok not to 'adult,' and, I believe you are questioning this culture, precisely. I have to tell you, questioning it, as boldly as you did, is brave, and I applaud you for doing that. Thank you for making me think about what bothered me and why it bothered in the video. I now understand that your point is not targeted at individuals, specifically, but a society at large, and I completely agree that we need to address the difficulty we have to 'adult,' to dress appropriately, to disagree with what seems the 'new normal' when it is expected that we say 'yes' to everything, all the time. I appreciate your courage in bringing this up, don't shy way from it, but don't forget to let us know that you also have difficulties, as you just did in this video. It makes you humane and very relatable. Enjoy your time in Europe! Emilia

thesimplelivingmom said...

I really enjoyed both of those videos and this one as well! Thank you for talking about being responsible and not going into debt to buy clothing/other things that you cannot afford. It's important to address current social issues and I applaud you for it! I didn't know your family had gone debt free. Way to go🎉 We are working our way towards that as well. We own our car now and have eliminated many other debts and are saving for the future... but still have a ways to go, lol. So excited to read more about this and more budget friendly wardrobe choices. I'm a stay at home, homeschool mom too so I am always on the look out for the kid/baby friendly clothing that still looks presentable! Thanks you all you do! Looking forward to reading more about your adventures!

lfc said...

Commenting on your wardrobe like that is definitely rude.

I looked up the book you mentioned. One of the things I always find puzzling about the whole set of complaints about "adulting" and extended adolescence is the complaint that people are putting off marriage until their thirties. I'm never sure what that has to do with maturity. Statistically, the longer you wait to marry and the more education you have, the more likely you are to stay married. Seems pretty sensible to me to wait until you're settled and have a sense of what works or doesn't in a relationship. Also, I find it hard to imagine anything less adult than jumping into marriage out of a desire to be seen as hitting adult milestones as opposed to, say, settling down with someone you love and are compatible with.

Also, a lot of what people think constitutes adulthood is historically a blip on the radar. Single family dwellings are basically a post-war invention. It's not a catastrophe that people are rethinking the economics of who to live with and when; it's just a different historical moment.

Anonymous said...

It bothers me that people, like Ewa, would avoid books that are different from what they believe because it "makes them uncomfortable". What point is there in always reading things that dovetail with your belief system? Learning new things sometimes requires a bit of discomfort. Sometimes the discomfort is telling you that you might not have all the answers and that you may even be wrong *gasp!!!* I have put the book on my library list ( I don't buy books anymore -- sorry, Jennifer -- but just another way not to be in debt.) because I have noticed people across the board having trouble "adulting", and I blame the tendency in our society to disvalue homemaking skills, like cooking meals from scratch, or keeping the house clean, or even taking care of our own children, and to favor making money to buy things. And if we can't make enough money, we just get it on credit. I think we're due for a paradigm shift on this soon. There are just so many blogs about returning to simplicity and living a sustainable life.

Anyway, thank you for such provoking posts! Anything that gets people to think....

Kait said...

I'm SO happy to see a more empathetic tone towards the "adulting" topic in this video with a more complete and respectful discussion of multiple generations. I wish this had been the tone in the original adulting video! I think you would have received a much more positive response to the "adulting" video had this been the tone, where it came across much more judgemental and smug. And let's never start a video again with "I'm going to blame (x group of people." This definitely created the misunderstanding you mentioned which put you on the receiving end of the millennials' ire! Sincerely, one of your harsh millennial critics who's doing fine at adulting thanks you very much. Lol. :) P.S. Thanks for this video--it was a great return to the Madame Chic we know and love! Keep speaking from the heart with love and a little vulnerability--it's very impactful!

Ewa said...

I read the reviews, and read about the author's politically projects, and am not interested on a looked that appears to be not even partial, but partisan. A decent sociological study - why not. I understand this may bother you, though.

Ewa said...

...on a looked --} on a book. Rogue spell check;)

Ladylike said...

Hi Jennifer,

I'm very surprised to hear that some people criticized your wardrobe choices. I didn't see those comments here. Those must have been on your other media outlets. I think your clothing is lovely this season, even though some of the colors are not my personal favorites for myself. Perhaps, it would be illuminating to explore Carol Tuttle's 4 different energy types. She explains why some people prefer crisp white shirts, for example, and others prefer softer textures and tones. I like a crisp white shirt on myself, but I would never expect someone else to wear the same, if it isn't right for them.

I would very much like to hear more about your debt elimination and budgeting techniques.

As for those who stated that today represents the most difficult time economically, I have never heard such nonsense! You are a perfect example. You created a career for yourself through the inventions of modern technology. My son is 17; he is about to apply to college; we've done a great deal of research, and there is so much financial aid available to those who need it. I feel very optimistic about his future. It's true that you have to work hard to get what you want; no one is going to hand anyone anything on a silver platter.

As for my parents and grandparents and great-grandparents, my family history is similar to yours, Jennifer. My great-grandmother whipped cream and ground coffee by hand, did all the laundry by hand and still had snow white linens. She sewed her own dresses and had to heat the stove with wood for cooking. There was no refrigeration, no elevator in their building, no hot water. My mother wrote a children's book about her grandparents called "When I Was Little in the Old Country." My grandmother also raised four children by herself in Berlin during WWII with little food or heat! My parents were both hungry at times when they were growing up. They both had single moms that worked. They both created a different lifestyle for me and my siblings through their determination and labor. As for my husband, his work isn't glamorous by any means, but he provides well for our family because he his willing to do the work that others are not willing to do.

Warm best,

Jess said...

Excellent video, everything was well said. Absolutely modern America has shied away from "what we can afford" in almost everything, and that is hands down one of the biggest lessons we are trying to teach our children. This idea that we must by expensive, fancy brands to be classy, or whatever we are trying to project, is just ridiculous. I found a Banana Republic, beautiful cream sweater at the Goodwill for $6. Could I have afforded it in the store? Yes, but I would never have paid that much for it. People can definitely spend all sorts of money buying expensive name brands, and that is their choice to do so, but just because someone spends less money on clothes, does not mean that they cannot be classy.

On adulting, someone made the accurate comment that it's a relatively new thing to have single homes in this day and age. And while that is correct, I would disagree with her assumption about why people are doing it now. Partially, she is correct in that we do it now to save money, just like how it was done many years ago, multi-generational families had to live together just due to the cost of living, and while that is definitely true of certain families today, panning society at large, there is a decent amount of young adults living with family, and living off their family, not contributing to the household. Unfortunately, these parents are enabling their children, even though it is coming from a good spot of wanting our kids to be taken care of. The other thing that is lacking from these new multi-generational families in modern age is the amount of respect and belief in what our elders have done before us. In history, it was just plain hard to live to old age given everything going against people. Old people were given honor, and were recognized to have knowledge that young people didn't. This is definitely lacking in today's society, especially in America. I don't think it's quite comparing apples to apples when you look at those who stay home with mom and dad today vs. those who did it 50 or more years ago.

Vicki Zimmerman said...

Hi Jennifer,

I am floored by people's harsh and rude responses to both your budget-friendly wardrobe and adulting vlogs. Please stay authentic and true to yourself as you have said by being happy with your choices and pleased with living a full life that stays within your budget. How can viewers not see that you and your family have accomplished an amazing feat to be debt-free. What an achievement that so many of us would love reach. In fact, I can't wait to hear more and more about it, and as I've said often, I love your grace and style and learn so much from you and whether that's living or purchasing a certain way, it's doing so in the best way and in the quality that one can afford. Sending huge hugs to you from Southern California!

mominapocket said...


Keep doing what your doing...you are bringing awareness of civility, beauty, and order into lives. Our culture is at an all time low...one can tell by the films, music, art and literature produced.

Marissa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alicia Damron said...

I'm enjoying your videos about your life changes very much! I agree with most everything you've said here and feel like you aren't rude at all. I guess I am an older millennial, just barely made the cut-off, and I don't feel like millennials are hopeless or a terrible generation as a whole. Of course, some of them aren't living up to their potential, but that's true with all generations, as you said. But anyone who says this is the worst time to come of age seems like a defeatist. Yes, there are challenges, but look at the WWII generation (as you pointed out) or the civil rights era. Every time period comes with its unique challenges that successful people will figure out how to overcome. And every time period has people that will moan and complain about how they can't get ahead because of circumstances beyond their control.

I personally think that because of the 2008 recession smart millennials will grow up with the understanding that preparing for a rainy day is important. They will save and invest and live without debt, much like the ones who grew up in the depression era. At least, that is the impression I get from the millennials I'm exposed to. Debt free living is a huge thing for them.

All that to say, please don't let your critics get you down. It sounds like you became a target for their frustrations when all you've done is speak the truth. I'm looking forward to more videos!

Alicia Damron said...

Also, I enjoyed your closet tour but I think you're right in thinking that people can't get a real feel for the look of your clothes when they are on a hanger. I hope we get to see a fashion show video...I really enjoy those! Maybe just take quick videos as you're exploring Europe while wearing the different outfits and then compile them into one video? I'd love that because I could see the clothes in real life :)

Sheila O'Donnell said...

I liked this video, even though I wasn't crazy about the Adulting video. Not because I don't agree with you. I actually do almost entirely. This is a tired subject and one that every generation iterates over. The arguments are always the same, and I like to think this little place on the internet is beyond that.

In terms of issues that are both societal and personal, hearing about how you got out of student debt would be much more fascinating than hashtags and goofy posters. Getting out of debt is a concrete thing with actionable steps, and can no doubt lead to a more enjoyable life. Thoughts on adulting memes go nowhere.

As a side note, anyone that criticised your new wardrobe is insane. I was thrilled to see your new pieces! I'm decked out in J Crew factory clearance clothes at the moment, so I appreciate your reminder that chic and affordable aren't opposing forces!

lfc said...

How do you know that? That's my main issue with this whole discussion - it's missing data. It seems right to you that kids aren't contributing but how do you know you're not just universalizing based on a few examples you've run across? Ditto with adulting - where's the actual data on any of it as a problem? The internet is great at amplifying bubbles, which makes me suspicious of all these pronouncements.

Sheri said...

Jennifer, thank you so much for the wide variety of interesting material you address on your blog! I am certainly older than you, but find that your messages are relevant and thought-provoking. I've been a long-time reader of your blog and books and have recently enjoyed your 10-Item Wardrobe ecourse. I appreciate you sharing the process of culling and creating your seasonal wardrobe and am inspired to try it myself! The fact that you have shown us a wardrobe that is realistic for your lifestyle is an inspiration to everyone. We don't all need to wear the "typical Essential French 10 item Wardrobe" that is so frequently touted on other blogs. It's more about being stylish and appropriate in one's own life situation. It is important to be true to your own budget and preferences and not take advice from people who prescribe a "one-type fits all" wardrobe. I love hearing ideas for shopping from more affordable places. I am excited to hear your tips for how you've managed to become debt-free. That is something everyone should see as an optimum goal in life! I applaud you for giving us inspiration to be good stewards of what we have and how to manage it effectively. Please keep sharing with us from your heart and there will be plenty of Madame Chic followers that will be there to listen. You have every right to share what's on your heart. It's time for people to realize that there are many opinions/ideas out there and we must not be so quick to be negative and critical when someone's opinion does not completely agree with our own. Unfortunately, social media has proven to be a vessel for people to rant and criticize each other...it's really a shame! Thanks again for the great inspiration you continue to be for so many!!

Anna Wegner said...

Wow! Lots in this video. :) I have enjoyed all your ten item wardrobe videos. It's been interesting to see different years with different wardrobes. They are an inspiring frame work that can be personalized. Thank you for being authentic with your life and budget, and responding with class and poise to criticism.

I agree that this is not the only hard time in history, and in many ways, it's much easier than the times that have passed. I like to read historical fiction, partly because the stories help bring the events to life for me. You can read stories of the early pioneers in America, or World War 2 in Europe or anywhere in the world, and they will give you a realization of the hardships of the time.

I'll be looking forward to more that you have to share. :) Keep it up!

Anna Wegner said...

PS. Your wardrobe and trip to Europe reminded me of this blog post from over 6 years ago. The author spent some time in Italy with her family and talked about taking a simple wardrobe of fewer, better clothes. It really stuck with me, and I just realized that it's very similar to your 10 item wardrobe.

Anna Carini said...

I so appreciated your budget wardrobe this year - I'm also on a strict budget, and it's encouraging to learn from you!

Also, I was reading the Vanishing American Adult when I watched your video, so I thought it was a great topic. It's a great book and has interesting ideas to discuss! I wish blogs and social media fostered better discussion, but it seems we lose all manners online, especially because we're not face to face. Thanks for bringing up important ideas! It's refreshing especially among women, where we can get caught up talking about less meaningful things.

Margery Hilburn said...

Those ads are driven by You Tube not be the maker of the video. My experience is that if I watch Jennifer’s videos on her blog they don’t come with ads. Most videos on YT have ads. Is your experience different?

Wellyboots said...

I think I get what you are saying, but what I feel Jennifer is trying to get across is not so much when you get married or where you live and with whom, but that there is a generation of people not embracing responsibilities as they grow, with acceptance and joy. People seem happy to stay immature. It seems youth and immaturity is the new "cool". Past generations may have shared dwellings with generations of their family members, but they worked hard and contributed to society as individuals. They were happy to be "adult" with the associated responsibilities.

Wellyboots said...

Of course there are exceptions in every instance and era. However, I'm talking of these modern negative attitudes as a general pattern of things.

Wellyboots said...

When you find the data, please share it with us so we can all benefit from it? I'm sure research has been done on this subject.
With respect,

Wellyboots said...

Thankyou Jennifer.
I didn't know people had criticised your choices of clothing this season.....That's not chic!
But living within your means, in a stylish way, all whilst living DEBT FREE is definitely CHIC! ;)

Em said...

Hi Jennifer,

Thank you for this video. To be honest, I had no idea you had been criticized for your wardrobe choices. I thought your 10 item wardrobe this fall was very refreshing, especially for those of us who follow a budget.

I think you addressed the subject of "adulting" appropriately, or as my dad would say... "You hit the nail on the head."

I would love to hear more about your debt free living. What a great feat to live debt free?! Oh, the places I would go.

Thank you,

mandyjacks said...

Oh bless. I cannot comprehend people being critical of you. There is much to lament in our culture but you, my dear, are NOT a part of the problem. Keep being a light! I am so thankful for you. So thankful. Your content is life-giving.

Kate said...

Hi Jennifer,
first time commenting but I follow you for some time now. I appreciate a lot your authenticity and goodwill. The sneak peak to the life of mom of 3 AND a full time lady always inspires me :)

I think commenting on someone's choices, especially those of esthetical or financial background is very inproper. Your graceful answer to that is more than this indelicacy deserves.

However, it also caught my attention, that your wardrobe for this season might be of different quality and durability than the previous ones. As I myself struggle hugely with a very limited budget (financial and time wise), I often buy the so called fast fashion and try (usually without much success) make it last as long as possible. Unfortunately after every 3-6 months things start to look worn-off and 7 gaps in a 10 ten item wardrobe is stressfull and not something you can fix with 100dollars:) That is why I would love to hear on your thoughts after this season and next years as well - when pieces will come in and out more frequently. (Because, you know, I hope you will continue blogging for years :D)

Thank you for your smile and taking life simply the way it is

Kathryn Wind said...

"The greatest generation" was my immediate thought when I first heard of the backlash against your "adulting" video. That generation lived through not one, but two major national crises, both so individually significant I don't think we in this era can even wrap our minds around how difficult they must have been.

The thing is though, hardship was not relegated to just that moment in the ever distancing past. My parents have spoken of the economy being so bad when they married in the 70's that new reports advised young people to choose between having a house and having a family... "you couldn't do both".

My parents had just as shaky an economic start as my husband and I are now experiencing, and though I remember times being tough, I also remember how they strove to bring beauty and joy into our lives...

It occurs to me that what defines a generation, as well as an individual, is not the hardships they are given, but the way they respond to those hardships.

Additionally, I must say I am positively floored at the criticism you garnered in regards to your wardrobe, especially since I remember, when I first discovered your channel, comments complaining that your picks then were too expensive! This seems to be a "darned if you do, darned if you don't" situation. I must say I am refreshed and inspired by how you show your principles remaining consistent, though the way that plays out changes as your situation changes. In a world where it seems every YouTuber is simply showing off how "perfect" their lifestyle is, you remain authentic. As a fellow mom of young children, I applaud your dedication to "showing up to life" each day, even in this messy, time-strapped, cash-strapped season.

Thank you for being you, Jennifer! Keep up the great work!

Angela said...

You are wonderful, refreshing and "authentic". I've always enjoy reading your posts. Way to go on being debit free! Keep on inspiring and being your classy self.

Susan Hamel said...

I know you didn't have to explain your wardrobe budget to us, but I'm glad you did. I just did a budget for my very small amount of spending money that I have each month. For complicated reasons it is separate from our household budget. I use this money for haircuts, beauty products and clothing, you know, girl stuff! It gives me a feeling of privacy in my male-dominated household. Anyway, it worked out that my clothing budget is $250, like yours, twice a year. I love your choices they suit you perfectly!

I have been thinking a lot lately about debt-free living. I have been listening to the Dave Ramsey show and finding it educational and inspiring. I can't wait for you to do your videos/posts on your debt-free story.

Elizabeth Lukes said...

I'm sorry you received such ire. Didn't other express concern that your displays were too expensive in years past? You can't please everyone. I've enjoyed reading your blog and watching you evolve. Your mention of your Grandfather's WWII involvement reminds me of my own Grandparents' experiences. I just got a copy of Nella Last's war - a diary of a war-time Mom in the U.K. and I read it slowly because even though I know the outcome it makes me sad anyway - she worries about her soon-to-be-a-soldier son. As far as adulting goes, the most immature person I knew was a baby boomer and she got abruptly ill and died and when she was gone I thought "ok, what really was the problem I had? Maybe I was the problem." And now I just forgive everybody for everything, though sometimes that takes a few days. Everyone has the potential to be an impulsive child, especially when typing things online. Thank you for your blog....

Sherrylynne said...

You present thoughtful information and provide for a reflective dialogue that is valuable to me. I am grateful for the time you take to prepare and present the text, pictures and videos at no charge. I really appreciate your work because you demonstrate a chic lifestyle of an educated woman, writer, wife, mother, educator and appreciator of the arts. It is so refreshing. I enjoy other Francophile writers and photographers but you are one of the few who are married with children tackling how to balance all the real facets of life with some style, level-head and a smile. Thank you!

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Hello ladies, Thank you so much for your comments. I am so grateful to all of you for being a part of the Daily Connoisseur community. Thank you for your input and for your support. I truly mean it. God bless you!

Janessa said...

I am in favor of staying with in your budget for sure (Dave Ramsey!!), but also social justice and eco-friendliness. Sometimes these do not go well with a small budget when purchasing new. I have used a combination of splurging on brands such as Patagonia (probably not your style Jennifer, but there are plenty out there that would work for you) for a few things that were too hard to find second-hand. I have three girls eight, five and two. I know all about the size changes and went through that scenario last fall, purging much that was too big since losing weight after reading The Beauty Detox Solution. (Thanks for that Jennifer...the ripple it has had on my friends and family is incredible!) I purchased quality second-hand items on Thred Up, Swap.com and Poshmart. I like that I can search for brands, specific sizes, and items from home. Thrift store shopping is not happening this season of life. I guess if you can find ethical clothing on Zulily, than awesome, but I say quality second hand is a fantastic choice when on a small salary. I stay home and my husband is a teacher. So happy for you and your family and the wonderful choices you are making. Thanks for your influence! Your voice matters!

Amanda Garcia said...

Jennifer, I love that you open the dialogue for conversations that need to happen to further our society!

In my opinion, your wardrobe is lovely and I'm very happy for you regarding your recent life updates.

Every time I load my dishwasher, stick a load of clothes in the washer or adjust the air conditioning, I have a moment of gratitude. Yes, ironing, dishes, cooking, and cleaning can be thankless and never ending tasks. However, I am so blessed that we have running water, temperature control, a stove and microwave, etc. In some parts of our country, not to mention others, many struggle with getting the basic necessities.

I'm reminded of a poem:
'Thank God for dirty dishes,
They have a tale to tell.
While others go hungry,
We're doing very well.
With food and health and happiness,
We shouldn't want to fuss.
For with this stack of evidence,
God's been very good to us!'

Have a lovely weekend!

Elizabeth said...

Dear Jennifer,

I am a long time reader/viewer of your blog and love your books as well. I admire your values and ideals, and am raising my teen daughters to eventually leave the nest as responsible, confident adults. (You may enjoy this book, by the way: "How to Raise an Adult" by Julie Lythcott-Hains. It is a wonderful book, and I've heard the author speak.)

I rarely post comments but am moved to do so today. The reason I am writing is this: You do not need to justify yourself to your critics by posting follow up videos like these. Just keep doing what you're doing, and ignore the negative comments. Stay the course. Continue to put your beliefs out there in your thoughtful, empathic manner. Defending yourself in follow up videos in an effort to provide clarity to your critics is a waste of time, and frankly, beneath you. You have many more supporters than haters, so take heart.

Keep up the good work.

DD said...

Hmmmm... Seems some don't know what Zulily is. It's not a line of cheap clothes. It's a clearinghouse of merchandise of all price points. Some shoes on the site might sell at full price for $19.99; others for $250, but from the Zulily site they are all a fraction of their full retail price, whatever that is. Some of the stuff is VERY high quality, but it's all relatively low cost. Had a friend who thought any thing reasonably priced was junk till the day we showed up in the same blouse. She paid $300+. I got mine at a consignment store for less than $10. She still doesn't shop consignment but ... oh well!

Star dancer said...

Isn't the goal of education to openly share new ideas? I don't understand the emotional reactiveness to differing ideas and opinions. I'm baffled.

Jennifer, I love your blog and find it encouraging, informative, and well...entertaining.
I applauded you for your honest, well-founded ideas, methods, and suggestions.
I loved your fall wardrobe selections, especially the burgundy maxi; I thought it a delightful change from your traditional attire and look forward to seeing you in it. Isn't that really what fashion is? A bit of fun?

Debt-free living is wonderful, being a good bit older than you I can tell you. It eliminates a whole lot of stress. It's a super goal, especially for a young family. You are seriously one in a million. One never know what the future holds, sickness, job loss, natural disasters, divorce, and knowing that you are debt free eliminates a great deal of emotional stress.

Enjoy your life girlfriend.

Patricia said...

Jennifer, before posting this comment, I automatically thought "How can any one of your continuing readers find any fault with your current '10-item Wardrobe' or 'Adulting' videos?" You always preface your comments so that any viewer (especially a regular)knows that you are expressing your own thoughts based upon your own experiences and your own and your families' values and lifestyle. I applaud you for standing your ground toward anyone who denigrates your budget wardrobe this year or your observation that "some" millennials are not even attempting to pull their own weight economically. My words, "Instead moving back in with their parents (sometimes even with children of their own) and opting to let their parents (their children's grandparents) keep them afloat." My husband is an estate planning attorney and without naming client names (He strictly adheres to attorney/client confidentiality, of course), but will sometimes tell me, shaking his head, tales of anonymous "kids" now in their 30s and 40s living with parents and continuing to conduct their lives as if they were still adolescents; thereby inhibiting their parents' personal lives, draining their retirement funds, not to mention their peace of mind. This scenario is not at all the generational living of years gone by i.e. "John Boy and the Waltons." Those who view their lives from a much different vantage point will stop reading and viewing your Blog. Others, like me, will continue to champion your effort to bring the values of truly caring for family and friends, and even strangers in public and in private by dressing and conducting yourself appropriately for the circumstance and venue, living within your means with grace,thereby demonstrating to yourself, your spouse, your children, your friends and acquaintances, the inherent worth to society as a whole by conducting ourselves as fully participatory inhabitants of this fellowship on the Blue Planet we call Earth.

Maureen said...

Hi Jennifer,

I'm sending you a big virtual hug! Thank you for this classy response to your recent criticisms and simply for being you. It saddens to me hear some of the comments that others left about your wardrobe and unfair accusations regarding the "adulating" post. You are courageous to share your life with the world, and I admire your strong character and big heart. I hope you and your family are loving your time in Portugal!



The Price Family said...

Hear! Hear!

Jane said...

Me thinks you hit a nerve with those who criticized your views on " adulting." The exact people that need to hear it. I couldn't agree with you more.

KBieda said...

I'm anticipating you will delete this comment, but why do you blog if you don't allow/expect some criticism? You've deleted all of the negative comments from the previous post, and I'm assuming you are doing the same here. I know it is your page, but I've lost some respect for you because you feel a need to address the "haters."

Let me make clear - I actually agree with everything you said. However, I would have expected that you would not post a "reaction" video; it makes you seem caught up in how others see you.

Margaret Anne said...

Well, this was another wonderful video. You are so gracious, and I admire you for standing up for what you believe. We were always taught to "speak the truth, in love," meaning with kindness, and this is exactly what you do on this channel. I suspect some of your critics are feeling a bit guilty about their lifestyle choices, hence their chagrin. I so admire your goal of debt free living. I even told my husband about you, and he says way to go! We live well beneath our means, and try not to get sucked in to the culture of flashy materialism. We are raising our teen daughter with this value, and I have shared several of your videos with her. I can point to you and say, See? This is an elegant, young family and this is how they roll. Your example is truly a breath of fresh air.

Debby Burchfield said...

You are an inspiration to women in every generation. I am a baby boomer and I love your perspective on life, respecting others, and graceful living.
Keep up your great work!

Summer Smith said...

STANDING OVATION!!!!!!!!!!! COMPLETELY AGREE! I look to even further back, whenever I cross the west in a car and think of all of the pioneers had to overcome just finding water and shelter!!?? We may not have perfect economies and situations, who does?!! But wow. We have also so much to be thankful for. When you think positively or negatively, that's what you will bring about in your life I am a tried and true believer! Stop thinking negatively and you'll get GOOD results, not perfect but good. There is so much to be thankful for in this world, even despite the terrible shooing in Las Vegas.

I'm so thankful I've found you as a sanity barrier in this strange world we are living in. I also had this exact book on hold at the library, excitedly waiting for it to come in! Thank you again and once again, enjoy your travels!

ilsa said...


First of all tnaks for your authenticity and your honesty in your blog.. I have been followingyou for years and you have always been a source of inspiration with your poise and grace...I'm a baby boomer and I completely agrre with you about the "adulting " challenge.. here in Spain looks like teenagers years go from 11 to 30 or more!!!! and if they think that thoseare difficult times , yes they are, wehave just to look backbarwds to our fathers, in my case, or grandfathers... we have a horrible civil war,and they go trought them... and today OMG, just 2 weeks ago a 20s instagramer commit suicide because she was loosing followers... what are we teaching to the younger generations?????

Life it's not perfect but is real LIFE...

On the other hand , if you have the opportunity while travelling go to Porto (Portugal) we have a 5 days escape last week.. and I feel so confortable whit that city.. not only the foor its wonderful but also the people are so nice and charming in and "old fashion" sort of way...

Thanks again and take care!!!

Warmest regards form Barcelona (Spain)

Maureen Parker said...

I just wondered ..don't multiple ten item wardrobes for every season year after year add up to a huge quantity of clothes? If you buy good quality they will last for years.

I am trying to u derstand the concept.....

Hannah said...

I am a fellow mom of three, homeschooling work at home mom (born in 1983) and have always loved your blog and videos. After watching this one I love you even more! You have spoken such truth with grace in the midst of criticism. I appreciate your choices and respect you sharing openly. I couldn't agree more with all your thoughts and perspectives on our current society. Thank you!!!! Keep it up--and probably with every one criticism there are 100 people who agree w you:) just remember that!

Looking for the Good in the World said...

I was very impressed with your video responding to your critics. One of the beauties of our society is that there is much room for variety of opinions and tastes, as well as budgets. One of the dangers is that there are people who seem to want to squelch that freedom. My body type, coloring, and the climate I live in (all 4 seasons!), mean that many of the clothes you show wouldn't work for me. I may be "adulting" here when I say that I don't expect you to change your style for me, and that I have learned a few things from your blogs and videos anyway, and have been much inspired by your philosophy! It is so easy today to go online, click a few buttons and have new clothes shipped right to our doors (expensive or "clearance", take your pick). I wonder if some of the people who don't like the adulting video would feel differently if they spent a season with their grandmothers at a time when most women shopped at the fabric store and regularly spent hours or weeks sewing clothes for the entire family?

Emma Knight Peel said...

Jennifer, you are always beautiful, eloquent, dignified and graceful. I agree with everything you have said. People these days get offended so easily and don't like any difference of opinion, and don't know how to express that without getting their feathers ruffled and making a scene. I wish we would have to go through hard times, wash clothes by hand, stand in bread and cheese lines for food... Our society has become so spoiled. We need to be humbled. That's my opinion. This is your channel and you should be free to express your beliefs and not have to explain yourself. Your wardrobe is lovely, and presentable, which is your main point. Thank you for doing these vlogs. I always find your information uplifting and delightful. Love you!