Friday, October 5, 2012

30 For 30 Challenge - September Recap

Sorry for the delay - these posts take a long time to write and format!

Eight months down...4 to go! That seems so close! Here's my recap of the 30 For 30 For 12 challenge for September.

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

Shoes/Boots: 7 pairs

Skirts: 6

Tops: 4

Sweaters/Cardigans: 4

Jackets/Blazers: 3

Pants: 1

Dresses: 5

Other: 0

*Both of these items were/became damaged during the capsule and were replaced by the items listed directly above them.

General Observations on September's Capsule
  • I think this was probably my weakest capsule so far in the challenge. Part of the problem was that I was at the end of the spring/summer clothes in my wardrobe, and was working to fit in as much as I had left in the closet, but still build a cohesive capsule. Although I did give myself permission at the outset to repeat as many items in capsules as I needed (my escape loophole), I haven't done that at all. It's more challenging that way (and I do love a challenge!), but this did make for a difficult month.
  • September was a very changeable month with regard to the weather. Half of the month was still smokin' hot, and half was quite autumnal. This meant that half of my clothes weren't really appropriate for half of the month; linen, light clothes and sandals didn't work at the end of the month, and wool and sweaters were too hot for the beginning of the month.
  • 10 of my items were not thrifted, consignment or swapped. Still liking the high numbers of second-hand items. I am buying (and retaining) higher quality footwear - it's well worth the expense for the comfort!
  • Having two items fail this month was really disastrous. I lacked the brown skirt that layering a brown dress would have given me; although I had the brown pants, I could only wear them with my highest heels. The purple dress that was substituted left me unsatisfied and disgruntled. The teal velvet jacket was a pleasant surprise, but that left me with two teal tops (including the teal cardigan), which wasn't really needed. I needed a functional red top/jacket to replace the damaged red suede jacket, but didn't have another one in my wardrobe available. 
  • Two wardrobe orphans revealed themselves: the Dex swing jacket (never a great cut on me) and the purple skull cardigan (limited for options to go with it). I love both items, but they require a larger pool of clothing to make them more versatile - not so good in a small capsule. 
  • Having 5 dresses in this capsule was fun - I got to do a Dress Week! - but really hampered the versatility of the rest of the capsule (especially after losing two items). Five dresses in one month is a LOT. My dresses all performed as excellent layering pieces (as a top or a skirt) at various points in the month - discovering my own creativity in layering has been a really cool thing. 
  • As I've lamented a few times, I should have tried things on beforehand. *sigh* I'm also carrying about 5 lbs extra from a year ago (keeping in mind I haven't worn most of these clothes for a year or more) and things aren't fitting like they used to. 

What Got Worn the Most/Least
Shoes: The two pairs of flats (the red Fluevogs and the brown/silver sandals) were worn the most at 5 times each, followed by 4 times each for the beige booties, the red suede platforms and the tan fringed platforms. The two pairs of more traditional - and higher -  heels (the teal pumps and the rust/teal t-straps) were each worn 3 times.

Skirts: The denim long skirt was worn the most, at 4 times, followed by the coral pencil skirt at 3 times. All other skirts were worn only twice each, due to the presence of so many dresses.

Pants: The brown trousers were worn twice. I would have worn them more, but they're so long they didn't work with the lower heels/flats in this capsule. 

Tops: My tops were hit and miss this month, with the kimono-style top getting the most at 3 wears. The brown peacock blouse and the red Chinese brocade top were each worn twice, and the ill-fitting gingham top was only worn once. It was not a good month for tops, overall, I feel.

Sweaters/Cardigans: I had a large total of sweaters/cardigans and jackets/blazers combined, which meant less wear in each category than in previous months. The cobalt blue cardi was worn thrice, and the teal cardi and the orange leopard cardi were each worn twice, with the aforementioned wardrobe orphan skull cardi only being worn once.

Jackets/Blazers: The loss of the red suede jacket/top meant I ended up with a brown/teal imbalance in my completer pieces, not to mention that the Dex swing jacket didn't really work that well in this capsule. I only wore it once, followed by two wears of the teal velvet jacket, and three wears of the good ol' basic brown blazer. Don't mess with the classics! 

Dresses: Much as I love dresses, this was too many - although as I said, I'm really glad to have been able to slip a Dress Week into this yearlong challenge. Both the Spanish ladies dress and the polka dot dress were worn 3 times each, followed by two times for each of the other dresses. 

Other: There weren't any "other" items this month. Didn't miss 'em.

What I Would Do Differently Next Month
  • 7 pairs of shoes did prove to be the magic number. It allowed me to have walking/shopping shoes, a variety of heel heights and colours, and a mix of openness in the styles to accommodate the weather. Next month (October) will be an adjustment to incorporating boots into the capsule.
  • TRY THINGS ON. It was hugely frustrating to go to wear things and find out they were tight (not to mention it made me feel bad). 
  • For September's capsule, I didn't do enough planning around wardrobing each item, to make sure that pieces went together (I'm looking at you, swing coat). Hopefully, my marathon try-on session before the October capsule debut took care of that.
  • Less dresses, and more mix and match pieces. Layering things as the weather gets cooler will be a bigger deal.

What is Leaving My Closet
  • The gingham blouse. It doesn't fit. Why did I even buy it?
  • The purple dress. It also doesn't fit (it's too big). I think I bought it for the colour. Better that it goes to someone else. 
Oddly, not a lot is leaving my closet this month. I like a lot of the items in this capsule; they just didn't all work together the way I wanted them to.

What's on the Fence
  • The beige short booties. Like, don't love 'em. The rocker style is maybe something I'm over.
  • The swing coat. I love everything about it, except for the cut. 
These are back in my wardrobe for now, and may be removed after I've "rested" from them.

Looking Forward to Wearing Again
  • The red suede platforms. These are rock stars in my wardrobe. They kick ass.
  • The red Chinese brocade top. I love this top so much. It's such a great fit, and so unique.
  • The Spanish ladies dress. It's probably the coolest dress I own. And it reminds me of going to Camden Town near London (England), where I bought it.

How I'm Feeling About the Year-Long Challenge So Far
Another not really fun month in my challenge. I fought with myself, my clothes and my outfits. I found myself getting frustrated with the things I'd put together and not really wanting to wear any of it. I questioned sticking with the challenge, but focused on looking forward. Unpacking my fall/winter clothes and putting away (and clearing out) some of my spring/summer clothes gave me a fresh appreciation for those items.

Again, I didn't have any black in my wardrobe this month - not that I need black, mind you - and I wanted it. Making sure I have a balance of neutrals in each month is something it's only taken me 8 months to figure out (ha!). I had the white skirt (didn't utilize it to its fullest potential), and the brown pants (hardly worn), but denim was the real workhorse this month.

Not having jeans or casual wear in these capsules (no jeans since the cropped skinny ones in the February capsule) means that I dress up more - and I like it! I don't miss the layered rocker t-shirts and jeans on Fridays. It's just not a look that I'm wanting to do, and I don't miss having those clothes in my capsules. Maybe the "rocker" look is something I'm past. I mentioned this in last month's summary, and it still feels right. I do wear that stuff around the house, by the way. It's not like those t-shirts are gathering dust, heh heh.

My shopping has gotten much more focused and refined. I'm buying a lot more basics in solid colours, and patterns with good versatility. I've been able to see where I have holes in my wardrobe (basic bottoms, sweaters, tops, blouses) and shop for those. I've made more careful purchases that are more considered as to how I'm going to be wearing them, and less impulse purchases.

As the months go by (and they go so fast!), I am seeing the clothes that aren't getting selected start to pile up. I'm cleaning out my closet little by little every month, and clearing out things that have just been sitting there. It feels good, both that my closet is getting such a thorough weeding, and that every item is being looked at and scrutinized for its functionality and place in my wardrobe.

October is my favourite month of the year, and I'm really excited about the capsule I've put together for it. Onward! Four months to go!

Now...To refresh your memory, here are all the outfits together. I didn't have as many outfits this month (only 28), so yay! I can make the thumbnails bigger.You can click to embiggen them further, and click on the captioned dates to go to the original posts for more pictures.

Sept 1st
Sept 2nd
Sept 4th
Sept 5th
Sept 6th
Sept 7th
Sept 8th
Sept 10th
Sept 11th
Sept 12th
Sept 13th
Sept 14th
Sept 15th - Pt. 1
Sept 15th - Pt. 2
Sept 16th
Sept 17th
Sept 18th
Sept 19th
Sept 20th
Sept 21st
Sept 22nd
Sept 23rd
Sept 24th
Sept 25th
Sept 26th
Sept 27th
Sept 28th
Sept 29th
Vote! You can vote for your favourite outfits here (you can select more than one outfit, it's okay!):

Click for your favourites! free polls 
What About the Wild Card Outfit?

I used my September Wild Card for this outfit here (scroll down to Kim Cattrall's suit), which I just wore this weekend to go out for dinner with Elaine. 

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. The more I read about your doing this, the more intrigued I become! You always look great, and it's evident you put a lot of time into combining pieces for a stylish effect.


  2. I love reading your reflections on the month's styles. You have a great open, creative mind about dressing and you are unafraid to try new combinations - I am learning from you!

    Of course, my favorite *picture* is the one with the little black-and-white rascal in it : >

  3. It was hard to pick a fave because you look really beautiful, but I smiled when I saw my pick in the lead, at least right now. If we pick the right pony, do we get to buy shoes?

  4. I love your recaps. They really give me things to think on when editing my own closet and have helped me think in terms of remixable items versus the orphans. I'm still working on bridging the gap of different item 'personas', but your capsules have been a big help to me!

  5. Oh yeah, forgot to say Happy Birthday! And I will try my best to get a party dress pic to ya!!


  6. Count me in amongst the fascinated, Sheila - thanks for describing your process in such detail. I enjoyed all the dresses (thanks again for hosting Dress Week of Horrors!), and thought you did amazingly well, especially considering the weather and the two wrecked items.

    I couldn't help but vote for a bunch of outfits, but my faves were 14, 21, and 27, probably because I wish I was wearing them!

  7. Excellent recap! You have nerves of steel. I would have caved when faced by your challenges but it's great to read how you've navigated the obstacles. I voted Sep 15 pt 2. WOW WOW. That's my FAVE!!! Boom. But you have so many winning looks.

  8. So interesting to see how your style is changing over the course of this challenge; I would never have guessed you would tire of the rocker look, but I can see looking at your daily outfits all together like that that you have been trending toward a more feminine and fun look.

    I definitely have been learning the value of neutrals in my closet as well this year.

    Happy Birthday!

  9. I actually think this month had some of my all-time favourite items from your closet, including the dress with the stars and circles on it, the not-polka dot dress, and the red artsy diamond shoes. I'm totally in love with those dresses and you look amazing in them. I do accept asymmetry in bow placement ;)


  10. Whoops! Left my comment on the poll page. Need caffeine!

  11. Every month when you do your recap it inspires me to go through my wardrobe even more. I'm culling the hoard and getting more focused through this-thanks!!

    My favorite overall outfit was September 12th's because...... VIZZINI!!!!!


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