Monday, July 2, 2012

30 For 30 Challenge - June Recap

Wow, five months down...7 to go! I can't believe I'm nearly halfway there. Here's my recap of the 30 For 30 For 12 challenge for June.

[Warning: this is a big post]Summary of Items with Links to Pictures

Shoes/Boots: 6 pairs
Skirts: 5
Tops: 7
Sweaters/Cardigans: 4
Jackets/Blazers: 3
Pants: 2
Dresses: 2
Other: 1

General Observations on June's Capsule
  • Well, all neutrals was just as much of a challenge as I thought it would be...but also a lot easier than I thought! I didn't miss colour too much - being able to add it in through accessories and layering pieces like camisoles and tights really helped. FYI, I wore coloured camisoles/non-capsule layering tops in 18 of 31 outfits this month. Wow. 
  • I gave myself a double challenge this month by participating in Megan and Keely's "This or That: Trends" - bonus points for me! I rarely turn down a challenge.
  • 20 of the 30 items in this month's capsule were either thrifted or consignment pieces - I like that my capsules are consistently high in second-hand/new-to-me items in every category of clothing. 
  • Classics (LBD, black pumps, cream/white pants, cream jacket) really showed their worth. These items pulled their weight and helped me immensely in building outfits - they don't call them classics for nothing! 
  • I'm still making some of the same mistakes, like buying silhouettes that don't suit me! Sheila, be a smarter shopper! Just because it's great quality and a good name and it fits, doesn't mean you have to buy it. Pay more attention to the cut. It must make you look and feel fabulous.
  • Keeping a mix of closed-toe shoes and more open shoes (like sandals) is good for cooler days and dressier days in the office. 
  • "Completer" pieces like cardigans and jackets are still essential, even in the summer months. They kept me feeling covered up (and warm!), without feeling like I had too much going on.

What Got Worn the Most/Least
Shoes: Unsurprisingly, the walking shoes got the most wear. The black/cork wedges were worn 8 times (that's a Capsule Challenge record!), followed by the gladiator kitten heels at 7 times, and the cream flat sandals at 6 times. The classic black pumps were worn 5 times, which is certainly a personal record for wearing a simple shoe. The two pairs of Fluevogs were worn 3 times (the O'Hara cream sandal) and twice (the black and white T-strap), due to the height of the heel. Not the most practical shoes I own, but I love them dearly.

Skirts: All of the skirts were worn a minimum of 3 times, with the wrinkle maxi skirt coming out on top at 5 times. Holy smokes, I love that skirt! Washable, comfortable, and chic. I wore the cream pencil skirt 4 times - another instance of a classic getting its due.

Pants: I loved having my cream sail pants (worn 3 times) and the new white long denim shorts (worn 4 times) in this capsule. The only downside to light-coloured pants: they require more washing!

Tops: This is where I bombed this month; the things I lacked this most this month were classic neutral tops. I did not wear the black top with white piping at all, and the cream/white paisley shirt and the brown satin shirt (which is normally a classic for me) only got worn once each. The rest of the tops were all worn twice each.

Sweaters/Cardigans: Due to wearing more coloured camis as layering pieces in this month's capsule, I got heavy use out of all my sweaters and cardigans. The brown drapey cardigan was worn 5 times, the cream sweater (classic) was worn 4 times, the leopard cardi was worn 3 times and the black cardigan was worn twice.

Jackets/Blazers: The winner was easily the cream tux jacket, at 4 wears. I've had it for years, and it's been a classic in my wardrobe the entire time. Downside: needs cleaning frequently. I wore each of the other jackets twice each.

Dresses: I wasn't in love with either of my dresses this month. The LBD is beautiful on (wore it twice) and the leopard dress is comfy (wore it three times), but neither of them filled me with the joy of my Smoking Lily dresses from the May capsule. 

Other: Related to me "oops, I forgot to tone down the patterns in my tops" debacle, I didn't plan ahead for what I'd wear this corset top over. It was only worn once, and that's not because it's an orphan piece - my own bad planning is to blame.

What I Would Do Differently Next Month
  • I think I will repeat a Neutrals Month in the Fall/Winter months, to see if I learn my lessons this month. Going back to loads of colour for July solves most of my issues, but also makes me realize that colour is very much a "masking" agent for not really putting a lot of thought into workable, functioning classic items. 
  • I relied far too heavily on patterns, instead of making sure I had some good solid basics in all categories. I needed more solid/non-mixed-colour-patterned tops in particular, and two of my skirts (the Smoking Lily gingham and the swirly seersucker skirt) were very similar.
  • *sigh* Again, I should have tried on the pieces that I hadn't worn for a while. I forgot how high-waisted the black/white piping top was, and it didn't work with any of my bottoms without showing belly (ugh).
  • Just because they're neutrals doesn't mean they'll all work together! There are "families" of neutrals: browns/taupes, greys, creams/whites. I had issues with greys and browns not working together. I didn't plan enough for each of the grey/brown families, so didn't have enough to wear with either of them. 
What is Leaving My Closet
  • The black top with white piping is gone. What a shocker. I didn't even wear it once! 
  • The Noa Noa puffy-sleeved black wrap cardigan. I don't like it that much - it hits too high on my waist. Anyone interested in it? It's about a size 6-8 but is adjustable. The sleeves are real big, heh heh.
  • The Willi Smith swing jacket. Wrong cut on me, but a great jacket. It's going to my girlfriend, Cat, who looks amazing in trapeze cuts.

What's on the Fence
  • The white/taupe paisley shirt. I like it, but I don't love it. I think I will keep it, but maybe it just needs some colour for that awesome pattern to pop. 
  • The cream sweater. Surprised? I've actually been on the fence with this since before this capsule. I've begrudgingly acknowledged that I needed a basic cream sweater, and I love the cut, but this sweater is a smidge big on me (hello, boobs!) and it's a wee bit see-through. Keeping it until I find something better.
  • The LBD. It's such a great basic, and I love the shape, and how it looks on's a black dress. So boring! Eh, back in the wardrobe it goes, until I find one that's better.
  • The leopard dress. Great fabric, great pattern (although a little small of a leopard pattern for my taste), but it's a little high-waisted.

These are back in my wardrobe for now, and may be removed after I've "rested" from them.

Looking Forward to Wearing Again
  • The wrinkle maxi skirt. Man, this was so awesome to wear! However, I do have a lot of other  maxi skirts.
  • The gladiator kitten heel. A completely practical and yet fabulous shoe. 
  • The white denim shorts. I've never had a pair of shorts that fit this well. I loved how these felt on and can't wait to bring them out again next summer. A total classic.

How I'm Feeling About the Year-Long Challenge So Far
I am actually shocked at how much fun I am having with this challenge. At nearly the halfway mark, I thought I would be getting frustrated or bored with the remixing, but I am so pumped every month! I love the planning out of the wardrobe in advanced, and I am literally spending hours in my closet, playing with combinations. 

What I'm seeing now when I'm planning out future capsules is that I'm consistently starting to pass over some of my pieces, and I'm looking for classics. I'm thinking that I may have to re-use some of my "discovered" classics in the Fall/Winter capsule months because they are so useful. 

And speaking to that, when I'm shopping now, I'm really paying attention to the "classic factor": how pieces are going to work with items I own, and how versatile they're going to be. I also noticed that I've been passing over neutrals in favour of colour when shopping; this neutrals-only month has been a good eye-opener about that habit. I don't actually have much in the way of black or white/cream basic tops, and this is something that I need to remedy.

I'm enjoying the feedback from people in real life, as well as (of course) you fellow bloggers and readers. I still feel like I'm stretching my creative muscle. This month in particular, I think I stepped up my game with accessories and camisoles.

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.
Jun 1st
Jun 2nd
Jun 3rd
Jun 4th
Jun 5th
Jun 6th
Jun 7th
Jun 8th
Jun 9th
Jun 10th
Jun 11th
Jun 12th
Jun 13th
Jun 14th
Jun 15th
Jun 16th
Jun 17th
Jun 18th
Jun 19th
Jun 20th
Jun 21st
Jun 22nd
Jun 23rd
Jun 24th
Jun 25th
Jun 26th
Jun 27th
Jun 28th - Pt. 1
Jun 28th - Pt. 2
Jun 29th
Jun 30th
Let's vote! You can vote for your favourite outfits here (you can select more than one outfit, it's okay!):
Vote for all your favourites! free polls 
Note: I can only have 30 choices in the poll, so if you choose one of Jun 28th's outfits, please specify which one in the comments. Thanks!

What About the Wild Card Outfit?

I used my June Wild Card for this outfit here, for L's birthday party. I can't wait to wear those Fluevog boots in a capsule!

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. My favourite was definitely 3rd June. That sequinned tunic looks amazing with your gorgeous maxi skirt.

  2. Wow Sheila! i am So Stoked that you're doing another neutrals challenge in the fall!!!! w00t!! Go Newts!

    heehee, enough of me gloating ;) it's a lot of fun to see all of your outfits together like this, esp. with the color 'taken out' can see the essential Sheila style is still allll there! and i can attest that it IS a huge challenge to remove one element that you're so used to relying on, but you learn so much about your own style that i would recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone. Just look at Sheila this month!! Yowie Zimbowie!

    "Just because it's great quality and a good name and it fits, doesn't mean you have to buy it. Pay more attention to the cut." yep, wise words for us all. also, when you brought up the different 'families' of neutrals - another very important point. that's where saturation, tints, warm vs. cool come into play. and the importance of walking shoes - i just did a week with three inch heels and a pair of sneaks - no 'walkers', and i really missed them.

    i can't pick a fave outfit but i am head over heels with you in those white sail pants! so long and lean and elegant, yet ready for anything. i've even been plotting whipping up a pair for myself, as a blatant copycat ;)

    and if no one else bites, i'd be up for the Noa Noa cardi. I've been looking for a dark neutral shrug and this is very very like. hugs to you and little V, steph

  3. I was especially impressed that you did neutrals while doing the This or That challenge - but then again I've come to expect nothing less from you, you always look amazing!

  4. My fave part of this capsule has been the fact that you wore lighter neutrals. Everyone turns to black/dark brown, but I love the greys and whites you pulled. Congrats on making it through another month, and quite a challenging one at that.

  5. You're doing a great job with the challenge so far. I think neutrals would be easy for me, but tons of color would be tough.

  6. I just voted and it is really interesting to me that in spite of your thinking that the LBD is sure got a lot of votes.

  7. I have to say your neutrals challenge has opned my eyes to the need for mkore neutrals in my wardrobe!! I'm a pass over the neutrals to the bright colors gal but I can seee where I need more-at least tops -wise!

  8. Hi Sheila! Specifying my June 28 vote as for Part 1 (because of how great that wrap top is on you), has flushed me from lurk-dom. I came across your blog just before the project started and really enjoy following along.

    Like tinyjunco above, I appreciate your articulation of needing to pay more attention to cut - I can still totally fall in love with a garment's fabric despite the cut not being right, but will also find it hard to resist a particularly great fit or silhouette even if the colour/print doesn't quite suit me, with the end result of clothes that are hard to wear taking up space. It's so cool to see how your year of 30 for 30 is shaking this stuff out. Brilliant!

    Your multi-coloured Gabrielli shoes in this month's capsule are fantastic - was it really hard not to include the Prepare Guides? Thank you the work of documenting and cross-referencing your garments in such detail, and for being so awesome and hilarious.

    - Amber

    1. Hi, Amber! Thank you so much for posting a comment! I really appreciate you reading my blog.

      Amazing what we can learn about ourselves (and fashion) when we shake up our regular routines and try new things, isn't it?

      Glad you like the colourful shoes - yes, I want to wear the Prepare Guides again and again! I pet them sometimes in my closet. Hee!

  9. I was terrible about commenting this month, but I really loved how you took on neutrals. Like you, I rely heavily on color, but I have been finding lately that a good neutral outfit can work really well too, if you combine the shades well. If I go with grey, I try to mix several greys so there is depth in the textures and hues. I usually bring the color into neutral outfits in my shoes. :)

    Too many favorites to choose from!


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