Sunday, April 1, 2012

30 For 30 For 12 Challenge - March Recap

Two months down...10 to go! Here's my recap of the 30 For 30 For 12 challenge for March.

[Warning: this is a big post]

Summary of Items with Links to Pictures
Shoes/Boots: 7 pairs
The olive heels (Marina Luna) crumbled the first time I wore them, so they were chucked. They were replaced by the brown Nine West heels.

Skirts: 6
Tops: 6
Sweaters/Cardigans: 2
Jackets/Blazers: 4
Pants: 1
Other: 1
General Observations on March's Capsule
  • This month brought the first enactment of the "if it falls aparts" rule. My olive shoes started to crumble into bits as I wore them, so I subbed in the brown Mary-Janes, which ended up being a good swap.
  • Having a few neutral basics (fairly plain brown shoes, a plain olive blazer, a black pencil skirt, black trousers) really helped when I wasn't feeling motivated to create an elaborate outfit. It reminded me how useful these basics can be, and also that there's nothing wrong with a simple outfit.
  • I only had 6 tops this month, and although two of the dresses acted like tops in some outfits, it felt like I didn't have enough. 
  • Having two red skirts (even though they were different shades of red) felt like too much duplication. I also realized I'd bought an item that I didn't love (the red electrical Smoking Lily skirt). It didn't fit that well, and the length isn't good on me - I wasn't motivated to wear it.
What Got Worn the Most/Least
Shoes: I enjoyed the variety of shoes this month, and I'm learning to make sure I have at least 2 pairs of shoes that I can shop and walk in for longer than a few hours. Comfort is becoming king! I wore the olive Hispanitas the most (due to the holiday in Vancouver, principally), but all other pairs were evenly worn with 3-4 wears each.

Skirts: The blue squid skirt got the most wear (4 times), and all other skirts were worn 2-3 times. A pretty even distribution. I was reminded how much I love the black vintage skirt, but was vexed by the zipper not staying up on the red suede skirt.

Pants: When I first got my black skinny trousers in March 2010, I was very unsure of them. This month, I am all over how versatile they were. They lost a couple of buttons off the front, but they proved themselves to be a great wardrobe staple. Surprisingly, I'm not really missing more pants/trousers in my capsules. I'm really not a pants person.

Tops: As mentioned above, I felt like I didn't have enough tops to wear. The teal crow shirt was easily worn the most at 6 times, partly due to being able to reverse it so that the crow print was on the back. All other tops were worn 2-3 times.

Sweaters/Cardigans: I only had two cardigans in this capsule and no sweaters. I wore each of the two cardigans 3 times. I kind of wished I'd picked a colour other than green for one of them. 

Jackets/Blazers: Based on last month, I had selected another denim jacket to wear for my Casual Fridays, but the Smoking Lily one turned out to be an orphan, as I had forgotten that it only looks right when it's worn done up. I ended up only wearing it once. The other jackets and blazers were worn 2-3 times each.

Dresses: Adding dresses into my capsule was the best decision I made this month! I loved the option of being able to layer them or wear them plain. There is nothing easier than a dress when you want to look put together without a lot of effort. I wore all of the dresses 2-3 times each.

Other: I wore the vest 3 times. 

What I Would Do Differently Next Month
  • More colour! I really started to crave bright colours as the month went on. The muted palette in March ended up feeling very dull as the month wore on. I ended up using things like my yellow leather jacket (outerwear) or bright camis (not worn on their own) or funky tights (accessories) to punch up the colour factor a bit.
  • More tops! The balance between tops and bottoms is not quite perfected. In February I had a ton of tops (10 tops and cardigans/sweaters, plus 5 blazers/jackets), but this month I had 8 tops and cardigans/sweaters, plus 5 blazers/jackets).
  • Two graphic tops was one too many, even though one of them was reversible. A graphic element does limit an item's wearability.
What is Leaving My Closet
  • The olive heels were removed immediately.
  • The teal kitten heels were abandoned in Vancouver. They were cracking and the colour was rubbing off.
  • The olive Hispanitas boots. I feel like I got enough wear out of them, but they were starting to look beat up. They also weren't all that comfortable. I will be looking for a short boot to replace these.
  • The red electric pattern Smoking Lily skirt is going to Megan at The Fashionable Bureaucrat as soon as I wash/iron it. Mental note: don't buy things with linen content.
  • The red suede skirt. The zipper popped open whenever I sat down. 
What's on the Fence
  • The sleeveless olive cardigan. It's a nice piece but I don't love it that much. 
  • The burgundy sweater dress. I feel like I've worn it enough. 
I packed these away with my fall/winter wardrobe and we'll see if they are still appealing when I unpack at the end of next September.

Looking Forward to Wearing Again
  • The Desigual dress. I actually didn't pack this away. I might need to wear it as a Wild Card item at some point. It's so beautiful.
  • The black vintage pencil skirt. I rediscovered how much I love this very flattering and high-quality skirt. Yay!
  • The "Queen of Faeries" blouse. I've loved this for the entire time I've owned it. I feel happy when I wear it.
  • Both the leopard blouse and the floral blouse. I might have to dig out the leopard blouse for another capsule.
  • The black skinny trousers. They may also find themselves in a capsule after September.
How I'm Feeling About the Year-Long Challenge So Far
I am still enjoying it - it is a lot of fun to put together, plan and anticipate. A month feels just right - and I felt like there were a few more outfits I could have made.

I did find myself reining myself in on my purchases or opportunities for new clothing; last night, I turned down a pair of brown corduroys and a cool sweater that I couldn't see myself hanging onto for a capsule. In the past, I would have taken both items. I also limited myself when shopping (either thrifting or shopping new) to items that I really loved and could wait to wear.

I am excited about my next 6 months of capsules! I have actually planned out most of May's capsule and have themes (mostly colour-based) picked for June-September. Knowing that I have themes means I can shop specifically for them, if I choose.

I am looking at my closet with fresh eyes, and wondering what will be still there by the end of September when I pack away my spring/summer clothes. Anything not worn by then will have to be seriously evaluated as to whether it will stay or not.

Now...To refresh your memory, here are all the outfits together. You can click to embiggen them, and click on the dates to go to the original posts.
Mar 1st
Mar 2nd
Mar 3rd
Mar 5th
Mar 6th
Mar 7th
Mar 8th
Mar 9th
Mar 10th
Mar 10th (2nd outfit)
Mar 12th
Mar 13th
Mar 14th
Mar 15th
Mar 16th
Mar 17th
Mar 19th
Mar 20th
Mar 21st
Mar 22nd
Mar 23rd
Mar 24th
Mar 25th
Mar 26th
Mar 27th
Mar 28th
Mar 29th
Mar 30th
Mar 31st

You can vote for your favourite outfits here (you can select more than one outfit, it's okay!):
What outfits rang your bell? Pick as many as you want free polls 
What About the Wild Card Outfit?
I did another Wild Card outfit for an event at the Art Gallery. However, I am putting this dress in the consignment bag - I didn't love it that much and really should not have bought it. I have amazing dresses and other items in my closet that would have been better choices.

Full disclosure: In April, I intend to have more than one Wild Card outfit, as I'll be doing 2 costumes for the Steampunk Expo, and my girlfriend is having her 40th birthday party - maybe I'll find something in the capsule to wear to that, I don't know.

At the end of the year (next January), there will be a vote for Best Wild Card.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my capsule and reading the recap! Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for reading if you made it this far!



  1. 5, 10, 13-2, 17, and 23 were my favorites. Hands down my top fav was the 17th.

    I've been loving your remixes. Having a theme sounds like a great way to approach this, especially since you'll be able to shop for upcoming themes.

    Can't wait to see your wildcard outfits. Sounds like an exciting month coming up!

  2. In looking at all your outfits, it is remarkable to me how you strike the same pose in so many of them. (Look at the top line!). As I followed your capsule, I became convinced of the necessity of a leopard blouse...and it eludes me thus far. I think I want one that is somewhat sheer. Looking forward to April's capsule.

    1. I know - my silly pose looks even worse repeated, ha!

      I love my leopard blouse. I hope you enjoy the April capsule!

  3. You are the most styling organized woman I know! I like the recap of how you've mixed and matched through the month because it highlights how just a change of top can create an entirely new effect. I voted for 10, 23 and 24 (it's that fabulous dress!), but, yes, like Megan Mae, I like 17 too. Have fun in the months to come. I'm interested to see what's next!

  4. Naturally, I adore the Desigual dress -- I was tempted by it myself, but I think it would just be too short on my towering self -- but really, it was hard to pick a favourite, they're all so good.

    Pity about the red suede skirt zipper; I am so reluctant to let go of leather that I'll put up with a lot, but yeah, a zip that pops open whenever you sit down is a deal-breaker for me, too.

    I'm looking forward to seeing April's capsule!

  5. I love your recaps - so much outfit inspiration! Looking forward to next month :)

  6. I love these wrap-up posts. This process seems like such a great way to try everything you own and really pick out what you love and what just doesn't work.

    I'm not usually a fan of animal prints but my favourite outfit this month was March 7th. I love the leopard with the squid and I'm on the prowl for some shoes like those Jeffrey Campbell metallic heels.

  7. Hi Sheila! Do you consciously try to wear something different the following day? The 7th through the 10th seem to flow into each other, but other days show leaps of color and cut. Or is it that the colors you chose are harmonious together so you flow regardless of what you choose? And how did you separate out the clothes you were going to wear each month? (I might have missed that explanation.)

    Speaking of 'splaining, thank you for clearing up the octopus motif! Chthulhu makes perfect sense.

    1. Roberta, you ask such good questions!

      Yes, I always try to wear something different every day - I've always done that, nearly my whole life. I like variety. I have been trying to choose colours that will go together no matter what I wear them with, so that they do have good flow and none of them look jarring.

      I don't think I ever did an explanation! I had a bunch of new stuff that I hadn't worn yet, pulled a few pieces out that worked together, then looked for other things in my wardrobe that went with them, then pulled out some's very organic and not very rigid. I usually am not too far over or under when I select out my clothes (not that I've found so far, anyway). I've been trying to make sure that every element can be worn a couple of different ways, which has led me to make sure that I include some neutral pieces.

  8. Hey Shelia, I voted for the 17th (LOVE that dress!!, especially with the boots and yellow jacket--so very Diana Rigg!), the 22nd and 24th. You seem quite detail oriented so I thought I'd let you know you forgot to list your so cool "I love the (18) 80's " T on your list:)


    1. Ack! Thanks for letting me know, Tracy - I did indeed miss it. I've edited my list of tops to include it.

  9. I still can't get over the fact that there were so very few tops - i can't tell by looking at the pictures.
    that's master remixing.

  10. I'm afraid I voted for too many outfits :) It's just very difficult to choose! And like I have probably told you - I just admire your sence of organization. I would never be able to sit down and put together a post like this one!

    Yes, that's the problem with the thrifted clothes. at the same time when you can find real treasures, some of them were discarded for a reason. They might be not that comfortable or have hidden flaws. It has already happened to me to discover those "hidden flaws" once I brought them home. But well - for this prize it's not that important. there is always - try and discover part that makes thrift so thrilling.

  11. I still have to say that March 17th is my favorite outfit ever. Also, if you're talking about the sweater dress from March 6th, KEEP IT! You may have worn it a lo, but it's a great piece and looks fabulous on you!!! XOXO from Ohio, Usa

    1. Thanks, Kaylee! I might keep it...I'll see in the fall when I pull it out again.

  12. I'm madly in love with that aqua/sea foam sheath (at least that's how it looks to me in your pics) so I'm goin' with March 17.

    And also anything with Fluevogs in it...:o

  13. I love your recaps, and I love that you are learning so much about your wardrobe and your shopping and dressing habits!

  14. This is a fabulous recap! What a great challenge! It's crazy how different 30 pieces can look. You have to really look at an outfit to see what you've repeated. You are a remix master!


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