Monday, June 4, 2012

30 For 30 For 12 Challenge - May Recap

Wow, four months down...8 to go! Here's my recap of the 30 For 30 For 12 challenge for May.

[Warning: this is a big post]
Summary of Items with Links to Pictures
Shoes/Boots: 6 pairs
Skirts: 7
Tops: 7
Sweaters/Cardigans: 4
Jackets/Blazers: 2
Pants: None

Dresses: 3
Other: 1

General Observations on April's Capsule
  • Again, I really liked having a cohesive colour palette to play with all month. My "base" colours were green/blue/aqua with a few pieces of orange, yellow and purple to make it interesting. My neutral for the month was chocolate brown. This little formula (basic colours, contrast colours, one neutral) works really well for remixing, and I can see myself getting better at selecting my capsules by using this.
  • Having all of my dresses made of t-shirt material was wonderful! They worked equally well for work and weekend as casual wear, and were superbly comfortable in every outfit.
  • I didn't miss having a graphic tee or a really casual piece in my capsule, as I've done in previous months. This made me think that maybe my rocker t-shirt look is maybe something that's fun for once in a while, but a look that I've evolved past. I was easily able to create casual looks out of dressier clothes by playing with accessories and outerwear.
  • Speaking of dressier outfits, I was able to build a few by combining separates instead of relying on dresses to fill the fancy gap. I liked rediscovering the versatility of separates in similar colours, and wearing them together to make a "one-piece" look.
  • I had a mix of items I've had in my closet for over 4 years and newer items in this capsule. It was great getting reacquainted with some of the older pieces and realizing anew how much I loved them. Just because I've had it forever doesn't mean it's boring or needs to be replaced!
  • Six pairs of shoes in a month is just the right number (especially when one pair is completely awesome and comfortable). I loved all of the shoes this month and didn't miss having a black or brown or other "standard" shoe at all.

What Got Worn the Most/Least
Shoes: By far, the shoes worn most were my aqua Fluevogs. Holy Dinah, I love those shoes! I wore them 7 times, which L would say is 7 times too much, heh heh. The zebra kitten heels got worn 5 times (love that kitten heel!). I wore the cowboy boots, the Kermit shoes and the blue suede shoes 4 times each, and the pale green Hilary Radley pumps only 3 times. 

Skirts: Most of the skirts were worn 3 times, with only the denim pencil skirt and the shiny green lace skirt getting worn twice each. At the head of the pack was the orange tweed skirt, which was worn 4 times. Who'd have thought that orange tweed is a wardrobe basic?

Pants: I didn't miss having pants in this month's wardrobe. 

Tops: I really tried to make sure I didn't have any duplication in my tops this month. Having 7 tops for layering worked well, and each one was worn twice, with the only exception the cobalt blue cowl-neck top that got worn 3 times. I do wish I had tried on the yellow striped shirt before I threw it in this capsule, though. It wasn't a comfortable fit.

Sweaters/Cardigans: I had a couple of misfires in the sweater/cardigan department, but I wore all of them twice, with the green cardigan getting 3 wears.

Jackets/Blazers: Although I wore the brown jacket three times and the chartreuse velvet jacket twice, I wasn't totally enamoured of either jacket, and didn't really wear either of them to their full potential.

Dresses: I loved all three of my dresses this month, as previously noted, especially the green Smoking Lily one (love that it is front/back reversible). The white dress and the green dress were each worn three times, and the blue Smoking Lily dress was worn twice.

Other: My brown sweater vest got four wears. It was great for layering over all the button-down shirts I'd included this month.

What I Would Do Differently Next Month
  • I felt like I relied on colour to do a lot of the work this month. My accessorizing was pretty minimal - many of the outfits really didn't need much. This month's capsule felt less challenging than previous months. Hmmm...what would challenge me for June? 
  • I should have tried on tops that I hadn't worn for a long time! Two of the blouses were a little snug in the boobs, and I didn't like two of the sweaters that I'd chosen.
  • When we had a few days of really hot weather, I was craving sandals or a cooler pair of shoes.
  • A variety of skirt cuts would have been nice: 5 of my 7 skirts were pencil-cut. Fortunately, the dresses helped make up for that, but having different shapes is nice.
What is Leaving My Closet
  • The yellow striped Ralph Lauren shirt is gone. It's survived a couple of culls (and I even hauled it out of the donation bag once), but while I love the colour, it's not the right size.
  • The green tuxedo shirt. Like the yellow shirt, I love the colour and the style, but it just doesn't ring my bell any more. 
  • The green/brown striped sweater. It's a good example of buying something (even though it was less than $5 thrifted) that isn't the right cut for my body. I'll re-donate it.
  • The green/cream striped sweater. Another top that isn't a great style for me.
  • The brown thin jacket. It's not great quality (not lined, and a cuff hem is coming undone), and I feel like I've had enough wear out of it. I'll be looking for another classic brown blazer in a better fabric to replace it.
What's on the Fence
  • The purple Jacob pencil skirt. I was originally firmly against this skirt. It's not lined, it has weird waist detail that makes it a pain to style...but I adore the colour, and once it was warm enough to wear without tights, I didn't mind the lack of lining. It's a keeper unless I find a better quality (lined) purple pencil skirt.
  • The brown Danier suede skirt. It's really a size too small, but I love the cut and the fact that it's machine-washable. I also have another chocolate brown skirt. Do I really need two skirts in the same colour? 
  • The vintage brown/green floral blouse. I've had it for so long, but it's such a great pattern and fits me so well! However, it has limitations: the buttons pop open, it doesn't wash great, and it's short in length so it always comes untucked. 
  • The Plum blue sweater with the buttons up the back. I love the colour, but I feel so booby in it. It's also starting to pill a bit under the arms. I'll keep an eye out for a replacement on my shopping expeditions.
These are back in my wardrobe for now, and may be removed after I've "rested" from them.

Looking Forward to Wearing Again
  • The aqua Fluevogs. Oh my gosh, I am going to miss these funky, statement shoes. They were extremely comfortable and got even better as the month wore on. I might have to include them in Wild Card outfits just so I can wear them again. 
  • The blue suede pumps. Such a classic, and incredibly comfortable. They need to be re-heeled, I've worn them so much.
  • The Michael Kors cowl-neck orange sleeveless blouse. I felt like a million bucks in this every time I wore it. I had planned to wear it with the purple pencil skirt, but never made that outfit happen - I ran out of days!
  • The emerald green Smoking Lily "Hama" dress. I loved this every time I wore it - I highly recommend this dress if you think you might want a piece by Smoking Lily. It's like wearing pajamas.
How I'm Feeling About the Year-Long Challenge So Far
I'm still really enjoying this challenge - I'm excited about upcoming months, and trying different things, like a month of nothing but neutrals, or a limited colour palette with unusual colours.

As I mentioned last month, getting dressed or picking an outfit has been so much easier when you have less choice. What I noticed this month is that my shopping habits are really becoming obvious to me: when I would have bought "okay" items in the past (particularly thrifting or consignment shopping), I'm being really fussy about only getting things that are "just right" and that will fit into one of my planned monthly capsules.

I've started pulling items together in my closet for upcoming months (would you believe July's is nearly done?), and any staleness or impatience I've had with the current capsule is easily mitigated by having a little browsing session of shopping in my own closet! New items are slotted into their themes right away, and items that will be in my Fall/Winter capsules are set aside (I haven't planned any of those yet, and won't really get into them until I take my fall/winter clothes out of storage at the end of September). The anticipation of the new few months' wardrobes is half the fun!

I love getting feedback from all of you readers and fellow bloggers, and I've been getting good reactions from my coworkers and friends about my capsules, things like, "really stepping up your game!" and "always such interesting combinations." I do feel like I'm stretching myself creatively, and for that alone, this challenge has been and continues to be worthwhile for me.

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.
May 1st
May 2nd
May 3rd
May 4th
May 5th
May 7th
May 8th
May 9th
May 10th
May 11th
May 12th
May 14th
May 15th
May 16th
May 17th
May 18th (Part 1)
May 18th (Part 2)
May 19th
May 20th
May 22nd
May 23rd
May 24th
May 25th
May 26th
May 28th
May 29th
May 30th
May 31st

Let's vote! You can vote for your favourite outfits here (you can select more than one outfit, it's okay!):

What outfits rang your bell? Vote as many times as you want! free polls 
What About the Wild Card Outfit?

I used my May Wild Card for this outfit here, to go to my nieces' dance recital. I love that dress so much - it might go into one of my summer capsules.

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. I love these posts so much. I know that they might be a pain to write but they are such a great summary of what you've learned and this knowledge is very helpful to other bloggers. I think May was my favourite month so far!

  2. The 17th was hands down my favorite, but this capsule was sooo cute. I loved the colors, the prints, and especially the shoes.

  3. I have to say, this is my favourite capsule so far. Considering the colors that you focused on, there should be no surprise there! Will be sorry to see some of these pieces disappear for a while but am already loving what you're doing this month. Thanks for wrapping everything up so nicely for us xx

  4. I really enjoy these recaps at the end of the month...and I find myself thinking about my own combinations as I read through your thinking process. I found myself thinking that in the month you wear mostly neutrals that the accessories will return big time.

  5. I really loved this capsule too! My fave outfit is with the green dress and obi belt :-)

  6. Your analysis is so in-depth you could really write a book about what you've learned about wardrobe staples, for example, six pairs of shoes are perfect for one month of wear. Wow. My fave outfit was May 10 and your wild card look, but you look fantastic in all your photos. It's interesting what you said about letting colour carry too much of the load. I look forward to this month to see how you work your neutrals to the same wow factor. So far, so good!

  7. Yes, Sheila these recp posts must be a mammoth effort to put together but I really enjoy them and like others, it helps me think about my wardrobe and how I could get more out of it. My hands down favourite outfit was 9th, that orange top is sensational. My favourite kitty pic is the 28th! Could you be given special dispensation to keep wearing the blue Fluevogs?! What a great pair of shoes.

  8. it's so good reading these recap posts and seeing what a difference it's making for you with the challenges - like changing your buying, appreciating what you have more. I really need to use what I have in my wardrobe and stop buying new things. I saw that all the time but I feel especially guilty when I see how well you're remixing so many nice outfits out of a monthly capsule!

  9. Awesome capsule!! Each one is better then the last it seems!!

  10. It's really fun to see all the outfits together on one page - because you really see the color palette that you used! And it was hard to pick one favorite, so I picked a few!

  11. Thanks for the recap. I am enjoying your blog, it does make me think about my own wardrobe.

  12. Thanks for this wicked re-cap! I voted. I voted a LOT. Especially for the beautiful aqua Fluevogs and the gorgeous Smoking Lily dress. I love-love-love what you do with colour!

  13. Wow - that was a long post! But a great one :) Thanks for sharing. Great summary and love the color combos.

  14. I loved the color palette of the May capsule! Your combos were striking and even though I'm not a huge Fluevog fan, I must say the aqua shoes really did look great with the outfits. I love seeing colorful shoes. It makes me happy.


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