Monday, August 6, 2012

30 For 30 Challenge - July Recap

Wow, six months down...6 to go! I'm halfway there - that's so bizarre. Here's my recap of the 30 For 30 For 12 challenge for July.

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

Shoes/Boots: 8 pairs
The "stained glass" shoes disintegrated on their second wear and were replaced by the red kitten heels.

    Skirts: 4

    Tops: 5

    Sweaters/Cardigans: 5

    Jackets/Blazers: 1

    Pants: 2

    Dresses: 5

    Other: 0

    General Observations at the Halfway Mark
    This really has been a fun challenge so far - I definitely feel like my "style muscle" is getting stretched and is growing stronger! Funny how putting something into a capsule will very rapidly tell me whether it is a workable item worth keeping in my wardrobe. The duds reveal themselves very quickly.

    Shoes have been my biggest surprise in the past 6 months. I realized I've been using quantity to make up for quality. Who cares if a pair of shoes kills my feet, when I'm only wearing them once a year? Well...I do! At least, NOW I do. Shoes of poor quality are being looked at very closely (those that I really love I'm keeping, but they will eventually go), and if they kill my feet, they're gone.

    I'm also being a lot more judicious in my shopping choices. There are not many impulse buys when I have to consider, "When am I going to wear this? What month's capsule is this going into?" If I don't have answers for those questions, I put the item back.

    My wardrobe lacks basics. I don't require a white button-down shirt and black trousers on a day-to-day basis, but I do need grounding pieces for some of the more "out there" items in my closet. Not utilizing the basics I've got (like July's cropped black pants) means that I'm not wearing special pieces as often. I need a better range of good quality solid skirts, pants (to the extent that I wear pants, i.e. not much), jackets, tops, etc. I've been much more aware of this while shopping this past month, particularly since June's neutrals-only capsule.

    I'm excited to be nearing the end of my summer capsules (end of September) and to start planning my October-January capsules. I'm also beginning to wonder what I'm going to do when this year-long challenge is over.

    General Observations on July's Capsule
    • I loved this month's colour palette! Orange, teal and yellow sprang into being with the purchase of the floral Smoking Lily top, and pulling in the orange/teal Poetic Licence sandals. From there, it was easy to pull together "like" items and build the capsule.
    • I did more shoes and dresses than any previous month. I also did less tops and skirts than before. I deliberately considered that I prefer dresses in hotter weather, and worked to be able to layer dresses with cardigans and skirts to make them appear to be a top or skirt, instead of a dress. 
    • 22 of the 30 items in this month's capsule were either thrifted or consignment pieces - not all of these were new-to-me recent purchases either. I pulled out some of my older classics and rediscovered how much I liked them. 
    • I really appreciated basic, classic items this month, like the boyfriend blazer, the black cropped pants and the navy skirt. Classics don't have to be boring, either - my turquoise dress was also a great basic.
    • At 8 pairs of shoes, it felt like too many. I didn't have enough flats, and none of the heels were that comfortable, especially as the weather warmed up.
    • Some of the new-to-me items that I'd purchased early in the year and saved for a summer capsule weren't actually all that great. Fit and quality were issues. Saddest of all was the disintegration of the 80s "stained glass" shoes. 

    What Got Worn the Most/Least
    Shoes: And again - surprise, surprise - the most comfortable flats got worn the most. The Naturalizer gold sandals were worn to death, a total of 8 times. Runners up were the Jones New York black sandals and the Qupid grey ombre wedge sandals, at 5 times each. Trailing the pack (can you tell I've been watching a lot of Olympics coverage?) were the Poetic Licence platforms and the red kitten heels (3 times each) and the 80s "stained glass" shoes and the Fluevogs, at 2 times apiece. Sadly, and this was a surprise to me until I just tallied it up, the orange/yellow strappy sandals were only worn once! 

    Skirts: Every skirt was worn three times, except for the denim one, which was only worn twice.

    Pants: My black cropped pants were worn 5 times, more than any other bottom, including skirts! The teal pedal pushers were worn 4 times. Combined, this is the most I've worn pants as a category since starting this challenge.

    Tops: I can see where the duds were: right here in the top category. I wore the Armani top only once, as well as the orange tank with the beading at the neckline. The black tank was also only worn twice, but the shiny turquoise dragon top and the grey striped cuffed shirt were each worn 3 times. 

    Sweaters/Cardigans: Again, as in other months, cardigans and sweaters really pulled their weight. Each one was worn a minimum of twice, with the striped cardi and the Smoking Lily "Periodic Table of Awesome" cardi getting worn 3 times each.

    Jackets/Blazers: At 7 wears, the black boyfriend jacket is hands-down the most worn single item (not including shoes) since I started this challenge! What a versatile piece! 

    Dresses: As mentioned, I really made my dresses work this month. From layering my Smoking Lily floral under a skirt, to wearing a sweater over the yellow dress, I worked these dresses hard. The Smoking Lily dress and the turquoise dress were the gold medal standard here, at 5 times each, followed by the yellow dress (silver medal at 3 wears) and the two less versatile dresses - the Smoking Lily dotted dress and the grey dress - bringing in the bronze at two wears each.

    Other: Didn't have any "other" items this month.

    What I Would Do Differently Next Month
    • Well, as I'm nearly a week into my capsule, you can see that I reduced my shoes to 6. Eight was just too many - I would have liked another top instead, or at least some better walking shoes. Also, two pairs of shoes that were very similar (the yellow/orange and the teal/orange) meant that one got left by the wayside.
    • I missed having a few more unexpected colours to play off my rather rigid colour scheme. Being able to do a "non-theme" outfit is important to me. I hate being bored, and all that teal and orange got a little tiresome. 
    • I purchased both the orange tank and the black tank pre-challenge, and realized that I didn't really like them that much. A case of quantity over quality - these tops weren't that special. I also will be steering clear of cheaply made clothing from mall stores! While the teal pedal pushers were indeed awesome looking, they washed poorly, didn't fit well and overall felt cheap. Ugh.
    • This was a LOT of outfits! I did 34 outfits, more than I've ever done in a month. I don't know that I'll try to reduce my outfits...maybe I'll even repeat an outfit or two this month. It's not a crime! It doesn't always have to be different each day.

    What is Leaving My Closet
    • The red kitten heels (which replaced the destroyed 80s shoes) were given to my coworker. Bad quality, although a cute style.
    • The Qupid grey ombre sandals. Much as I love these, they were starting to fall apart.
    • The Naturalizer gold flat sandals. I did say I wore them to death, right? They were falling apart. I need to keep an eye out for a replacement for them for next summer!
    • The faded denim pencil skirt. Yes, cool buttons, but it didn't really ring my bell. I have other, better denim skirts.
    • The orange t-shirt-y tank with beading at the neck. Just didn't like it.

    What's on the Fence
    • The yellow/orange shoes. Yes, they're cool, and they are good quality, but they aren't super comfortable. Besides, if I can only manage to wear them once in a full month, how am I supposed to wear them when I have unlimited options?
    • The zig-zag sweater. I feel like I've gotten all the wear I can out of it. It's a limiting piece due to all that colour - but it's so fun.
    • The teal pedal pushers. I might relegate them to "wear around the house" status (i.e. I don't wear them in public). Just not good quality.
    • The grey dress with the ruffles at the neck. Yeah, it's cute, but it doesn't layer well, and it's a tad short.
    These are back in my wardrobe for now, and may be removed after I've "rested" from them.

    Looking Forward to Wearing Again
    • The Poetic Licence platforms. None of my shoes really range my bell this month, sadly. These are such awesome shoes - they're the best of the bunch. I think this has been my weakest month for shoe choices so far.
    • The navy swirly skirt. My own "re-bought" skirt (probably). Such a classic. I want to wear it in the autumn/winter with boots!
    • The Smoking Lily floral dress. The most comfortable dress ever. Love it.

    How I'm Feeling About the Year-Long Challenge So Far
    I've said this many times now, but I'm still having a lot of fun with this challenge, which is a good thing. There is no lack of clothing choices, and I really enjoy the intellectual exercise of looking forward to the upcoming month and putting together unexpected items. I can easily spend an hour in my closet, playing with what's in it.

    As I near the end of the spring/summer capsules, I do find myself looking at the shoes and clothing that I haven't picked out (for September) and wondering what will make the cut beyond that. I still have summery-type items that aren't going to make it into a capsule, I can see that.

    I am also starting to see that my emotional attachments to clothing and shoes (especially my Fluevogs) are holding me back from having a fully functional wardrobe. The Ivannas that I had in the capsule this month are not my favourite Fluevogs...but I keep them because they are Fluevogs. Is that something I want to do? Get rid of some Fluevogs (there, I said it!)? Because I might do that. Why do I have them if I don't wear them?

    Also as mentioned, my shopping is getting very refined. I am much more focused on what is going to work in a future capsule and what is just a fun item that I like a lot. Looking past January (when the challenge ends), I wonder how my future shopping is going to be affected. Will I go back to my old habits?

    And what will happen beyond this challenge? The last time I did a year-long challenge, things just carried on naturally and I went back to being able to shop new (even though I did cut back quite a bit on that). Will I miss the push that a restricted wardrobe gives me when I have my choice of everything again?

    Questions to ponder...six months down, and six to go.

    Now...To refresh your memory, here are all the outfits together. You can click to embiggen them, and click on the captioned dates to go to the original posts for more pictures.
    Jul 1st
    Jul 2nd
    Jul 3rd
    Jul 4th
    Jul 5th
    Jul 6th
    Jul 7th
    Jul 8th
    Jul 9th
    Jul 10th
    Jul 11th - Pt 1
    Jul 11th - Pt 2
    Jul 12th
    Jul 13th - Pt 1
    Jul 13th - Pt 2
    Jul 14th - Pt 1
    Jul 14th - Pt 2
    Jul 16th
    Jul 17th
    Jul 18th
    Jul 19th
    Jul 20th
    Jul 21st - Pt 1
    Jul 21st - Pt 2
    Jul 22nd
    Jul 23rd
    Jul 24th
    Jul 25th
    Jul 26th
    Jul 27th
    Jul 28th
    Jul 29th
    Jul 30th
    Jul 31st
    Vote! You can vote for your favourite outfits here (you can select more than one outfit, it's okay!):
    Note: I've broken the poll into two to accommodate the extra outfits this month.
    Jul 1st to Jul 16th
  free polls 

    Jul 17th to Jul 31st
  free polls 

    What About the Wild Card Outfit?

    I used my July Wild Card for this outfit here (2nd outfit), for a friend's house party. I knew I'd wear those aqua Fluevogs again!

    At the end of the challenge 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. This was a great capsule - I loved all the colours.

      I got rid of a bunch of Fluevogs earlier this year. Every once in a while I think "Why did I do that" but mostly it was the right decision. Tastes change and it's not wrong to pass the joy along to someone else who will love them.

      1. Agreed. I have a couple of pairs that are going to go, I think. I just need to cut back overall.

    2. So many great ones this month! I'm super proud of you for realizing that even cute shoes aren't worth it if they aren't comfortable. Hopefully you'll be able to start phasing in things with more staying power and purge the stuff that isn't 'you'. Here's to another great month!

    3. How interesting that you are noticing trends in your choices from this! I wondered for a while if many of the shoes you wear were comfortable; I'm sorry to hear that the answer is no. I have very few I can't wear all day, but they're expensive and it takes me forever to find the right ones.

      I am so bummed the teal capris are not wearing well. They're absolutely adorable.

      1. I'm bummed about the teal capris too.

        Most of my shoes are fine for a day at the office, but I'm really noticing that multiple wears in a week are taking a toll on my feet. And that's a big no-no as I get older.

    4. I had to vote for July 31, because that yellow dress is so fun!

    5. Very interesting! And I love July 31st as well! Also, about the Naturalizers, it's hard to beat a pair of those! I have a pair that I have worn just about OUT! Love your recent posts as well -- the dark dress and the pink dress -- fabulous!! You look great, as always.


    6. You are a Wonder Woman to put together this recap. It's so thoughtful and valuable to hear your feedback on how this challenge is affecting your style choices and keeper/give-away items. I voted July 31 and July 13 pt2, but to be fair, some of the more tame colour combinations are just as powerful.

    7. I never thought I'd do a "30 for 30," but it looks like I'll be living out of a suitcase for the month of Oct. I plan to review your capsules so far for tips. I so appreciate that you've shared your experiences with us!

    8. I LOVED this capsule because of all the orange! My favorite was July 18th and I actually plan to duplicate that look this week, I'm excited about it! I do love July 31st though too, so it was really hard to choose, but I went with the 18th. Great looks overall Sheila!

    9. Although I'm not actually doing hte challenge-following your journey is really helping me refine my wardrobe. I did a purge again last nite. I'm going to list everything on a spreadsheet and start tracking number of wears. I found some orphans I've only worn once that will find a new home.
      This month's capsule workhorse the black boyfriend blazer inspired me to get one of my own. now if it would only get cool enough to wear it!!

    10. You and Megan Mae have made me rethink my shoe situation. I have so many that I like the look of but not the way they feel. I think I am going to start getting rid of some of them.
      As far as sandals, my Think! are my go to all summer long. I don't think I have worn any other all summer. Might as well get rid of the rest!
      I really enjoy your capsule wardrobe's.

    11. I agree with others, I'm very interested to read the insights you are getting from your shopping/wearing behaviour. And I've got to be with you on comfortable shoes, I recently gave away some lovely ones that just didn't fit my feet and weren't comfy. They looked lovely but it was either just look at them or release them to be worn by someone!


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