Monday, February 15, 2016

Shakin' It Up: Wardrobe Challenge - Stained Glass Dress

I'm not sure why I suddenly decided that Now Is A Good Time to do a wardrobe challenge, but I'm prone to fits of industriousness (and hormones). Who knows?
I'm not going to overthink it. If you want to know what I'm doing and play along, by all means, do so. More details below.

  • Blouse -  Antonella, vintage 70s, thrifted; last seen here in December 2015 under a Desigual dress
  • Dress - Tangerine Jill, consignment; last worn here in July 2015 with more orange
  • Boots - Prepare Guide, Fluevog; last seen here in January while getting my freak on with the yeti coat (again)

It was our group photo for the end of the Stair Challenge at work, and my team was orange. Plus, I thought it would be fun to wear all the colours of the teams. Ended up, I didn't even get in any of the pictures, since I was the one who took them all.

I really love this dress - I wish I had been in a more upbeat mood today to enjoy it. After a really quiet weekend, I had nothing this morning. No oomph, no rah-rah, no enthusiasm.
I got stuff done at work, but mostly I just didn't want to interact with anyone...and when that's your job, that's not always the best. However, my quiet spells don't usually last very long - I'm sure I'll be back in my groove tomorrow.

The stuff:
Awesome wooly boots! They are actually made of wool, lined with butter-soft leather. Very comfy!

Simple bling:
All that colour did the talking for me - I didn't need a lot of accessorizing.

  • Leather obi - local, thrifted
  • Earrings - local
  • Lapis lazuli ring - Wendy Brandes

Okay, so I don't even have a name for this wardrobe challenge, but I counted how many days are left in my fall/winter season (my closet gets swapped out twice a year: once at the end of March, and once at the end of September), and gave myself that many closet items and shoes. As of today, that's 46 items. I don't plan to count my "soft tops" that don't live in the closet, or any of my tights or slips or layering pieces.

I spent about an hour puttering around, pulling out what I wanted to wear and then thinking about what each item would go with. I want to make sure I can wear every item at least once, ideally more than that. Whittling it down to 46 was hard.

My jackets and dresses:
Yeah, there's a fair bit of crazy in there: the Gaga-shouldered red coat, the tropical bomber jacket, the yeti jacket. The dresses are a mix of fancy and practical - I actually checked through my calendar for all our social engagements coming up over the next 46 days (I felt very clever for even thinking of that). There is a lot of fun stuff coming up, plus some travel in there too.

  • Dresses: 7
  • Jackets: 5

My pants and skirts:
I'm still trying to get through all of the non-worn stuff since September (like that turquoise suede skirt in the centre), so I tried to pull all of those items, to start. I also wanted to re-wear some of my new-to-me items that I've only worn once (I see a few skirts/pants there that fall in that category). I also need a wide range of moods, from casual (for hanging out on the weekend) to shopping (easy on, easy off), to work (must look presentable), and to party (fun things!).

  • Pants: 3 
  • Skirts: 9 

Sweaters, tops and blouses. I don't know if we're going to get a lot of really cold weather, but I need to be ready for a wide range of temperatures. 

March is a tricky month, since it could be very warm or very cold. And there will be rain. That's practically guaranteed.

  • Sweaters, tops, blouses: 14

Because I'm not counting  my soft tops, I won't need a ton of pieces to work with all of the jackets.

And shoes! When I did my 30 For 30 For 12 Challenge in 2012-2013, I did between 6 and 8 pairs of shoes/boots per month.
I stuck with that here as well. No one's grading me on this challenge - if I change my mind and want to wear a different pair of shoes, I can. There might be some new Fluevogs in my future (hee) as L's and my anniversary is coming up soon!

  • Shoes: 4
  • Boots: 4

Two pairs of high-ish heels, but nearly everything else is flat or low-heeled.
I did learn from doing my previous year-long challenge, that you have to choose fairly practical shoes when doing a capsule. Aside from the two pairs of heels, all of these shoes can be worn for hours at a time with no pain.

So - that's it! I'm going to make all of my outfits until the end of March out of all of those clothes. As I rummaged through my closet, I ended up weeding out a huge pile of clothes. Items that I wasn't excited to wear? Gone. Items I love but don't wear much? Re-evaluate: can I wear 'em around the house? Do they stay and get packed away, or do they have use in spring/summer?

I realize - as a closet maximalist (I will never be a minimalist wardrober) - that this is what many people's full wardrobes look like. For me, having a lot of items to choose from in my regular wardrobe means I can wear pretty much whatever I want - there is always something that will go with it in my closet. However, I do tend to go back to the same things over and over, I get tired of older pieces, and want new ones. This challenge is just a little shot in the arm to excite me about my clothes during these last rainy, grey days of winter. I'll probably add and subtract to this as I shop over the next 7 weeks too - no more than 45 items, though!

What do you think? Would this be enough clothes for you, or would you be overwhelmed with choice? I know from my own previous experience that I'll get sick of some of these pieces, or fall out of love with some, or fall madly for others. But above all, that creative spark will be fanned - it's going to be fun!

You know who else likes fun.
"Is it me? Are there shoelaces in there?"
I have to watch him like a hawk. Little monster!


  1. I check your blog every day, excited to see what you do with this challenge!

  2. Looking forward to following along with your challenge progress Sheila! :)

    I would think 46 items would be so restrictive, but I'm currently working with a lot less (as I'm almost exclusively wearing maternity clothes now) so maybe it's not as hard as it seems. I have no doubt you could make a lot more than 46 outfits with what you've picked, excited to see how you wear them all.

  3. Fanning the creative spark - that's the part I love. I think you're going to have a blast, and I look forward to every outfit. I only have about 60 hanging pieces total, for all (two) Florida seasons (hot, and less hot). But maybe I'll try this challenge with 40-ish pieces. xo


  4. While I haven't done a challenge in ages... I am looking forward to yours.
    Lately it seems like I am just buying and editing - which is a vicious circle i need to break free from.

  5. Very impressed to see you setting this challenge. I've clearly not been blogging enough to feel the need to do something like this. I'm going to take notes for future reference though.
    And the dress is crazy and fab and ought to have cheered you up no end. Sometimes we're a bit flat after a busy weekend. Am sure you're back in the groove already x
    Anna's Island Style


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