Monday, June 30, 2014

June Wardrobe Wear

Since January 6th, I've been tracking what I wear. My goal is to wear everything I own (except specific formal wear) a minimum of 10x this year or purge it. Days that I don't leave my house are spent in lounge-wear, which doesn't count.

had 4 days I only wore lounge-wear in June. 'Green' items have been worn 10+ times so far, 'blue' are on track with 6-9 wears so far, 'yellow' items have been worn 1-5 times, and 'red' items have not been worn yet.

This is my progress so far (ending June 30th):

Tops: I have worn all 15. 3 are in the green, 4 are blue, and 8 are in the yellow. Most worn item is my cream ruffled blouse at 19x.

Sweaters: All 6 have been worn. All are in the yellow.

Jackets/Blazers: I've worn all 5. 3 are in the blue and 2 are in the yellow. My burgundy leather jacket has the most wears at 8x.

Cardigans: I've worn all 12. 2 are in the green, 2 are in the blue, and the rest are in the yellow. My teal cardigan has the most wear at 16x.

Camisoles and tanks: I've worn all 6, with two in the green and 4 in the yellow. Most worn is my white cami with 23x.

Pants: I've worn all 18. 2 are in the green,  5 are in the blue, and the rest are in the yellow. My Rerock skinny jeans have the most wear at 27x.

Skirts: I've worn all 4. 1 is in blue and the rest are in the yellow.

Dresses: So far I've worn 7 out of 12. 1 is in the blue, 6 are in the yellow, leaving 5 in the red.

Necklaces: I have worn 25 of the 28. 4 are in the green, 3 are in the blue, 18 are in yellow, and 4 are in the red. My 3-strand mint necklace has been worn 16x.

Bracelets: I have worn 7 of the 10. 2 are in the green, 2 in blue, 3 in yellow, and 3 in red. My black bracelet has been worn 13x.

Earrings: I've worn 17 of 23. 6 are in the green, the rest are all in the yellow. My heart earrings have been worn 25x.

Belts: I have worn 3 of the 4, all in yellow.

Scarves: I have worn both 1x.

Coats & Outerwear: My trench has been worn 80x. My tan flats have been worn for commute 49x. Winter wear is all the same it was.

Shoes: I've worn 15 of my 17 pairs. 5 are in the green, 3 are in blue, and 7 are in yellow leaving 2 in red. My black pumps have been worn 48x.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Goals Review

This is how I've done on my goals thus far as of today! All calculations are exact to today's date and include purchases and purges not posted yet.

Goal: Wear Everything (except formal wear) 10x or more this year.

Progress: 'Green' means worn 10x or more. 'Blue' is worn 6x or more. 'Yellow' is worn 1-5x. 'Red' is worn 0 times so far.

Tops and camis (21 total): 5 are in the green and 4 are in the blue. The rest are in the yellow. Top worn the most is my white ruffled blouse (19 times) and my white camisole was worn 23 times.

Sweaters and cardigans (18 total): 2 are in the green and 2 are in the blue, the rest are yellow. My teal cardigan has been worn the most at 15 times.

Skirts and Dresses (16 total): 2 are in the blue and 9 are in the yellow. 5 are in the red.

Pants (18): 2 are in the green, 5 in blue, rest are yellow. My rerock jeans were worn 27 times!

Jackets and Outerwear (10): 4 are in the green, 2 are in blue, and 4 are yellow (This includes winter scarf).

Shoes (18): 4 are in the green, 3 are in blue, 8 are in yellow, and 3 are in red.

Accessories (67): 12 are green, 5 are blue, 15 are red and rest are yellow. Several items were worn more than 20 times.

Purged items: Due to fit, function, or condition I purged many items. Some items were worn, and account for a total of 35 'lost' wears. Some items in yellow replaced these items and should quickly turn green, and other items in yellow need to be replaced still.

The numbers aren't looking too bad. The biggest issue impacting my wears is that I don't distribute my wears evenly. I wear my favorites into the ground and neglect the rest / use them to break up my favorites marathon. I don't try to wear anything- all my wears are 'organic' and are my real, unplanned, choices. I have six months to go and should be on track to wear most things the 10x minimum. It does reinforce how I should be careful not to buy too much so I don't 'water down' my wears!

Goal: Buy or receive a maximum of 45 items of clothing and accessories (not including lounge wear/undergarments only, changed to 35) this year.

Progress: I have purchased 25 items this year. It's on track for the original goal, but not for the modified goal. I only have 10 items left to purchase between July and December! I need to be extra careful from here out.

Goal: Stick to a budget of $1800 (not counting eBay sales or gift cards, changed to $2300) for the year.

Progress: I have spent $1043.94 out of pocket, $246.71 on gift cards, $288.81 on returns and eBay earnings. I have $1256.06 left for the rest of the year, or $125.60 each item (limit of 10 left) to spend. The budget portion is looking very good for me and I expect to have leftover and to meet my budget goal for the first time in my life!

Goal: This year's words were Simplify and Change. 

Progress: So far these words have rung true! This year I have changed and simplified SO much! I quit my job and took a new job in an entirely different field (stress is SO much less now). I reduced my closet to a total of 81 clothing items and 87 accessories! I have reduced from 261 items of clothing and another 130 (estimate, never counted accessories up until recently) accessories.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Urge to Shop

I spent the month of June tracking why and when I shopped online. I tried to condense the reasons into what I could identify as a trigger.


Sales Alerts / E-mails
These are my biggest trigger. When I get coupons/discount codes, it's even worse! I mindlessly click over and look, almost if it's a game and the winner finds the most things to buy that are 'awesome' and 'a great deal'.

New Arrivals / Curiosity
I'm hunting for things I have identified as 'needs' on my list. It's hard not to constantly check to see what great new things are available each day!

Spare Moments / Boredom
I spend a lot of spare time browsing because it's do easy to do and requires no effort. Laziness/ tiredness and procrastination are probably my biggest issues. It's not like there is nothing else to do- they just require more effort.

Emotional Distraction / Fantasy Indulgence
When I'm upset or stressed, shopping is soothing. I can mentally escape and fantasize about purchases and how they will make me look, feel, and fill a 'need' while 'completing' my closet (collection).

Fear Of Missing Out
I have a serious fear of missing out. I hate the idea of not getting that perfect item because it sold out! This fuels a lot of my habits around shopping- looking for the perfect item, then getting it before it's gone.

Looking Forward
I also notice I look forward to the arrival of the items I have ordered. When I am not waiting for any packages, I still feel the need to check my porch for boxes! It's disappointing for some reason to not have anything to really look forward to receiving. This probably is because I don't do much of anything outside of work and home, and don't have anything else new to look forward to.


There was not a day that went by that I did not at least LOOK to see what the new arrivals were at my favorite store. I often browsed several times a day. I was so used to it, I did it mindlessly without a thought or plan. Like taking a walk in the park and stopping to smell the flowers, but with the compulsion to take EVERY flower you liked back home with you.

The Plan

There are several things I can do to reduce my overshopping.

1) Cut down the amount of browsing I do (in progress- see yesterday's post!)
2) Find motivation to not shop (set a savings goal and a reason to save): Plane tickets to Mexico for winter vacation.
3) Find alternative things to do with my time other than online shopping! Gardening, playing outside with my daughter, reading, writing.
4) Set up more things to look forward to that involve spending time with friends and family, not getting new things delivered in the mail.

Friday, June 6, 2014

May Wardrobe Wear

Since January 6th, I've been tracking what I wear. My goal is to wear everything I own (except specific formal wear) a minimum of 10x this year or purge it. Days that I don't leave my house are spent in lounge-wear, which doesn't count. I had 3 days I only wore lounge-wear in May. This is my progress so far (ending May 31st):

Tops: I have worn all but one of my tops (15 total). I downgraded 2 others and purged another 4 (no longer in count).
The top with the highest wear had been my white ruffled blouse (3rd month running), at now 18 wears! I have had two tops make it to 10+ wears, and another 6 at 5+.

Sweaters: All 6 have been worn, and the sweater with the highest wear is my white cable-knit sweater at 5x so far.

Jackets/Blazers: My burgundy leather jacket is still at the top at 8x now.

Cardigans: I've worn all 12. I purged two that I wore 1x each. Two of my cardigans have made it to 10+ wears and 3 more at 5+. The top worn cardigan is my teal cardigan at 12x.

Camisoles and tanks: I downgraded a camisole to lounge-wear and purged another that I think I've only wore 1x in the 3 years I have had it. I have worn all 6 of what is left (typo last month). My white camisole has already been worn 22x.
Pants: I've worn 19 pairs so far, but have purged one pair. Two have made it to 10+ wears and five more are at 5+. My Rerock jeans are at 26 wears, still on top! 
Skirts: I have 4 skirts- I had 5 but purged one. I've worn all, with my leopard skirt still on top at 6x.
Dresses: So far I've worn 4 of my dresses. My blue zipper dress has been worn 6x, still on top!
 Necklaces: I have worn 24 so far! My mint 3-strand necklace has gotten the most wear at 13x. Two others have made it to 10+ and five more at 5+.
Bracelets: I have worn 7 so far. My black bracelet was worn the most at 10x, still on top!

Earrings: I've worn 16 pairs of earrings. My heart earrings got the most wear at 24x, still on top. Five pairs have reached 10+ wears!

Belts: I have worn 3, my grey pants one 3x.

Scarves: I have worn both 1x.

Coats & Outerwear: I have worn my winter hat 73x and scarf 72, my grey coat 91x, teal 1x (too tight still), and my white puffer 1x but have since purged it. My pink trench has been worn 38 times. My black winter boots were worn 68x and my purged black flats 32x for commute. 

Shoes: I've worn 10 pairs so far, and my black pumps have gotten 47 wears so far!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Learning Lessons

I can clearly see I am slipping in terms of control and in terms of meeting my goals or wishes. I've been too consumeristic and got drawn into the sales once again. I got overconfident and allowed myself yet again to slide into the abyss!

The Triggers

Last month was a difficult month for me. I had a high amount of stress and anxiety both with serious issues at my current job and with interviewing for the new job. Once I got the job, more anxiety about leaving the company I've spent the past 8 years with!

I did get the job! But the job is in the city and the office is much more up to date and professional than in my current place of business, and I will be working with the clients directly for the first time. I felt I needed to upgrade, get a few things that are more 'in', and up my professional game wardrobe-wise.

I saw a lot of really great items in all my favorite colors and styles come out at my favorite retailer. Then, the stores had a couple really great sales on! I reasoned that I was 'just trying' things to see what I would like best and return the rest, and once I bought it was easier and easier to go whole hog and just keep buying. 'Why not' was my new motto. Online shopping is tricky and you never know what will work out, but I am also a easy fit and don't have trouble finding flattering things. This was doubly-difficult because things I really loved were selling out, and while I know that they usually restock later, I had a huge fear of missing out. I couldn't bear the idea of not having the chance to get the items I really liked later on. 

I found a lot of dissatisfaction in my wardrobe and finally was able to let go of several things I've been struggling with out of guilt for having bought them in the first place. I think I may have shopped more to counteract how I was feeling and to 'fill the hole' they left so to speak.

I also was having a very successful month with my eBay sales, which gave me a false sense of security with the budget. 

The Ugly Truth

You may have seen my long list of purchases (see here, a total of 15!) but I also returned an even more shameful amount (21 more)! Some things I really wanted to work out but just didn't (or had to get in a different size) but most were impulse buys (25% off already reduced prices) or cart fillers (buy one, get one 50% off) for the sales.

WHBM Returns:

Dark denim skinnies (didn't really need)
Cobalt jeans (didn't really need)
Navy draped capri pants (not practical, wanted to try something new)
Navy straightleg trousers (nothing special though they were really nice)
Printed ankle pants (horrid fit, wanted to try something new)
Scarf print blouse (too big, not special enough for price)
Rhinestoned cardigan (too 'granny')
Black flowy ruffled top (too overwhelming for my frame, didn't need more black)
Black and white sheath (too fitted, not special enough for price)
Printed cami (too small, re-bought in correct size)
Printed cardigan (Too big, re-bought in correct size)
Printed flowy blouse (too big, not special enough for the price)
White blazer (too 'blingy' / not versatile enough)
Floral tiered dress (too slinky)

NY&Company Returns

Coral printed top (hated the off-white in the print)
Blue printed blouse (too tight and cheap looking)
Navy lace top (too big, not as nice as I imagined)
Navy trousers (perfect! But wanted as a suit with the blazer so returned)
Navy blazer (too big, so sad because it was really nice, and it sold out)
Two more pairs of navy trousers (mistake, reordered the blazer in other sizes and they sent me pants!)

In Conclusion

I've never gone THIS overboard in my entire life in a month's span, not even with Black Friday shopping. I'm not sure why this happened, especially when I was doing SO well! I can kind of see my triggers, but still I don't really understand my loss of control. I ignored the budget and item limit, and didn't tally up the damage or numbers until June. I didn't even imagine it was so much (though I knew it was bad)!!

I loved so many of the things I bought, I wasn't willing to part with them to make up for my mistakes (something I told myself I could do easily). The only redeeming quality is that I have already worn all my purchases (most of them several times!) except the dress, which is waiting for my first day at the new job. I do really love them and see them continuing to get worn and loved. On the flip side, I derailed myself from all the progress I had made. I actually purged so many things that I only ended up adding 8 items to my total count, and didn't exceed the extended budget or item count for the new job. But I bought haphazardly, without a plan, and STILL need a suit! I think I tried just about every item that piqued my fancy. And I only have 11 items or less to add this year. Oye. Not to mention that my extended budget and item limit was perhaps too high. I didn't spend much time thinking about it, and I may have just used it as a justification to do what I did.

I've considered a shopping 'stop' for the rest of the year, but I can't without literally white knuckling through it. I only have 11 items I can add/replace until December 31st, and while I probably don't literally need anything except perhaps a suit, I really have things I could really use (wardrobe 'holes') and plenty of things I really want to upgrade/replace. Overall I want to use this experience as a tool for me to learn, and I will be thinking of ways to help myself not do this again. I may institute a monthly item limit like Debbie Roes until I can hopefully look at shopping in a different light. Another issue is that I shop almost exclusively online, which is always available at my fingertips. I may need to limit how much time I can spend online shopping and start limiting my exposure to temptation.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

June 2014 Budget

Originally $1800/year, can add in gift cards and ebay sales. I added an additional $500 and an expanded item number because I started a new job this month.

No more than 35 items this year (was 45, then reduced to 25 and expanded to 35 after accepting the new job) and must fit in with my shopping questions.

Spent this month: $6.54 in eBay profits, $59.95 out of pocket.
Totals: $1037.40 out of pocket, $246.71 on gift cards, $295.35 on returns and eBay earnings.
$1262.60 left for the year out of pocket.

25 new items entered my closet this year so far total (I dropped one gift I received as it didn't work out for me), including gifts. I can buy or receive up to 10 more items this year.

What Came In:

WHBM Coral Print Dress- $66.49
I truly love this dress! It needs the straps altered like almost all my dresses which will be next month. It's super pretty and will work for a variety of occasions from work to a wedding, etc. Even my husband loves it! 10/10.

I'm happy to report I did NOT go overboard this month! Next month is pretty much already set with two items pre-ordered (available 7/7), provided they fit well!

Month 6 Wardrobe Status

I've decided to do an updated post since I have done a lot of culling and purchasing again this past month. So here's a state of the union as of today!

The Count

Blazers and Jackets- 5 (same)
I have a classic black blazer, a dark grey shrunken blazer, and leather/faux leather jackets in dark teal, burgundy, and black. Looking in the future for a light grey or white/cream blazer or jacket.

Work Dresses- 7 (added 1)
I have sheath dresses in black, cobalt blue, white&tweed, white colorblocked, and dusky blue, a blue cowl neck jersey dress, and a polka dot halter sundress.

Fancy Dresses- 4 (same)
I have a red lace sheath dress, a sequin mini dress, a bodycon tiered emerald dress, and an ikat printed sheath dress that's too short for work but is really nice for summer weddings/formal.

Skirts- 4 (same)
I have a teal, a black and white colorblock pencil skirt, a watercolor floral, and a leopard printed full/a-line skirt. 

Work Trousers- 12 total (added 1)

High heels length- 4 (same)
I have a dark grey pinstripe, thick wool herringbone, black skinny/straight fit trousers, and one mid-grey wider striped flare trousers.

Mid heels length- 4 (same)
Cobalt blue, black shiny, chocolate brown, and greyish tan colored trousers.

Flats length- 4 (added 1)
Light tan, mid-grey, and black trousers. Cobalt ankle pants.

Casual pants- 6 (added 1, downgraded 2)
Black velvet leggings, grey jeggings, dark grey bootcut jeans, dark denim skinnies, mid blue skinnies, and denim trousers.

Tops- 15 (downgraded 1 to maternity wear, put 4 in the sell pile, added 3)

Work- 11 (let go of 2, added 2)
White ruffle blouse, white ruffle tiered tank, white with black geometric print ruffled blouse, geometric print black and white tie neck, black and white polka dot print tie neck, black ruffled blouse, black slim tiered tank, coral printed tank, cobalt flutter sleeve top, cobalt print cami top, blue and white striped top.

Work/Casual- 3 (same)
White peasant blouse, green chain print peplum, coral dolman sleeve top.

Casual- 1 (let go of 3, added 1)
Black empire waist flutter sleeve tunic top.

Sweaters-6 (no change)
Black, red surplice, blue v-neck, black flutter sleeve, white boatneck, purple cowl neck sweaters.

Camis and Tanks- 6 (no change)
White, black, purple, teal lace v-neck camis, white tank, purple lace straight cami.

Cardigans- 12 (added 2)
Blue, teal, watercolor print, burgundy, red, black sparkle, black and white leopard print, purple, black and white colorblock, cobalt print, grey print, and  dusky blue open cardigan.

Coats- 3 (no change)
Teal, dark grey winter coats, 1 coral lightweight trench.

Shoes- 19 (trashed 1, added 2)

Flats- 4 (trashed 1, added 1)
2 purple leopard flats (one is a worn pair I use to commute), 1 black print, 1 tan print flat.

Mid heel- 3 (added 1)
Green wedges, tan pointy toe heels, and dressy silver sandals

High heel- 7 (same)
Black, burgundy pumps, black cutout booties, black, white&gold sandals, black, brown gladiators.

Boots- 5 (same)
Brown, grey, black winter boots, black, brown leather boots.

Necklaces- 29 (added 4, put 1 in sell pile)

Bracelets- 10 (same)

Earrings- 23 (was gifted 1, added one)

Belts- 7 (same)

Scarves- 3 (same)
Navy and green print, paisly print lightweight scarves, and black ombre scarf winter.

Hats-1 winter hat (same)

Outdoor clothing (doesn't 'count'):  9 (added 1)
Navy print tank, green ruffle tank, burgundy ruffle henley tee, black oversized tee, coral ruffle tank, denim shorts, blue hoody,  bootcut jeans, ripped dark denim jeggings.


Last time I accidentally didn't include coats in my total clothing count (was 75, should have been 78). My current count is 80 pieces of clothing so I have overall added only 2 items after purges and purchases.

I didn't do an accessory count last time, which would have been 86 total. I'm now at 92, so I added 6 items. My entire inventory is 172. I do have a few further things I may purge but overall this number is pretty solid and I do not plan to grow over this total, but slowly shrink. My biggest issue is that I need to upgrade some of the things I own.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

11 Item Plan

I have an 11 item limit for the rest of the year. I took my need/wish list and made it fit into this format so that I could have a nice structured list to work from. I did this weeks ago and forgot to post it!

Item 1- A great colored or printed summery dress.

Item 2- A replacement trench coat.

Item 3- A new winter coat.

Item 4- A nice pair of heeled leather boots.

Item 5- A fitted white top.

Item 6- A raspberry colored cardigan or a replacement cobalt cardigan.

Item 7- A replacement black cardigan.

Item 8- A black or other neutral colored skirt.

Item 9- A colored or printed top.

Item 10- A pair of low heels.

Item 11- A white blazer.

Items I can 'sub in' if I cannot find a suitable item in the mentioned above, but are most likely on the list for next year:

A dress for my 10 year reunion.
Replacement sweaters (last year's are looking rough!)
Another top in a color or print or texture.
A great handbag.
A great neutral pair of low heeled sandals.

May 2014 Budget

See last month's budget post here!

Originally $1800/year, can add in gift cards and ebay sales. I added an additional $500 and an expanded item number because I start a new job in June, which is a much more professional office and I needed a few things.

No more than 35 items this year (was 45, then reduced to 15 and expanded to 35 after accepting the new job) and must fit in with my shopping questions.

Spent this month: $69.70 ebay after fees, $100 gift card for mother's day, $380.03 out of pocket
Totals: $977.45 out of pocket, $246.71 on gift cards, $288.81 on returns and eBay earnings.
$1322.55 left for the year out of pocket.

24 new items entered my closet this year so far total (I dropped one gift I received as it didn't work out for me), including gifts. I can buy or receive up to 11 more items this year.

What Came In:

Isola Low Pointy Toe Heels in Taupe, $49.99
These are the BEST heels I've ever bought. Super comfortable and gorgeous color. I'm constantly contemplating a pair in another color! 10 out of 10! I needed a heel this height because many of my pants have shrunk in length and no longer look good with my heels.

Fergalicious Replacement Flats, $29.22
These flats are a great replacement for the black flats I wore into the ground. I'll miss the others because I loved the pattern better, but these are still great and comfortable. 9.5 out of 10.
WHBM Tweed Dress, $60.80 plus $15 tailoring
This may be the best dress I've ever purchased. It's super flattering and fits wonderfully- I only had to get the shoulders taken up for a perfect fit. 10 out of 10. Will wear my first day at the new job!
WHBM Coral Bib Necklace, $28.12
This is a very pretty and lightweight necklace in a color I've been wanting for a long time. 9.5 out of 10!
WHBM Striped Knit Top, $59.28
This top is pretty fabulous. The stripe is a mid blue which is great because it goes with so many things I already own. 9.5 out of 10.

WHBM Printed Cardigan, $46.56
Gorgeous cardigan. This is really a stunner- beautifully made with exquisite detailing like crome pyramid snaps and little studs and rhinestones sewn into the pattern. This is one of those things I will probably treasure forever. 10/10.
WHBM Printed Cardigan, $41.78
Another gorgeous cardigan in all my colors. I wasn't willing to pass this one up! 9.5/10
Anne Emma Necklace, $9.80. 
I really have been wanting to refresh my necklace options. I may have made a mistake on this one based on color, I have not figured out what to wear it with yet though I really like it. Jury is out right now.
Anne Emma Necklace, $9.80
Pretty necklace that is replacing my broken rhinestone necklace. I really like this one! 9.5/10
Anne Emma Necklace, $9.80
I love the vintage feel of this one and how versatile it is. 10/10.
WHBM Printed Ruffle Cami, $22.80
This top is right up my alley with the color and print. It looks great with my blue and my teal cardigan and will look really nice under my blazers as well. 9.5/10
WHBM Chain Neck Tunic Top, $83.60
This top is gorgeous. I paid full price, something I NEVER do! I actually didn't mean to purchase this top, but there was no going back. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this top. 11/10!

WHBM Skinny Jeans, $38.00
These are replacing my ripped skinny jeans. These fit PERFECT- much better than any other jean I own. 10/10.
WHBM Cobalt Perfect Form Pants, $55.58
These pants are really awesome. I love the look and fit. 10/10
WHBM Gold Motif Earrings, $19.00
These are super pretty and are very versatile. I've been needing earrings in a gold metal tone, and these are perfect. 10/10.

All in all, I'm not sure what to think. I'm happy with my purchases but I went pretty overboard when it comes to the NUMBER of things I added. I also purged a few more unworn things this month and several of these items are replacements, but I'm going to do a follow-up post to all this soon about where I'm at. I think I really failed in the sense that I didn't NEED everything I bought, and still NEED a real good non-black suit and will need a winter coat, boots, etc.