[30 in 30] Aaaand…That’s Done.

Remember almost 30 days ago, when I made you look at all those pictures of my clothes?

Well. The 30 in 30 Remix is just about over and it turned out to be so easy, I kinda forgot I was doing it.

Which means I forgot to update y’all on my progress. Whoops! I do hope my radio silence on that topic hasn’t worried you, because I stayed on the wagon. I was the picture of 30 in 30 sobriety and only wore my designated 30 items.

And I didn’t shop until last week, when I did take advantage of some ridic sales and stock up on utterly practical things like t-shirts. Seriously. 30 days without impulse purchasing, and the first thing I buy are basic white and gray t-shirts that go with everything in my closet and mean I can stop wearing the one with the big hole in the elbow. Everybody wins!

Okay, maybe I also bought another pair of cords. In a pinky-purple color this time, happy sigh. Because I love J. Crew cords and they were on clearance for $14.

And… right. On Friday, I used an Anthropologie gift card on a top to wear in a photo shoot. Which was for work. Which meant the top was both free and tax-deductible.

Those hardly even count as an impulse purchases in my world. They’re just good common sense. So, I dare say, two months of wardrobe experimentation has reformed me.

I’m spending less time obsessing (in a self-destructive way) over what I wear, because having a less overwhelming amount of choice means that I’ve identified a couple of good go-to outfits that work in a variety of situations. Which lessens the “I have nothing to wear!” panic attack stuff. If it’s a situation where I’m likely to be nervous about my ensemble, I decide a few days ahead of time what it will be — no last-minute switcheroos allowed.

I’m also having more fun playing dress-up again. I rediscovered a lot of accessories that had been sitting neglected, and oh so pretty!

And, I seem to be less prone to bad decision impulse purchases — probably because I have a much better sense of what I have and what holes I could actually stand to fill. Non-hole-y t-shirts for example. I also want one of those big drape-y cardigans that don’t button, because it would go with at least 25 of my 30 items.

Looking back, I think the Six Items or Less challenge proved too taxing for a lot of the same reasons that diets generally fail: It was really hard and restrictive, I felt cranky all the time and prone to cheating, and then guilty for said cheating. Vicious. Cycle.

In contrast, the 30 in 30 plan was more of a “healthy lifestyle change.” A real one. Not the women’s magazine version, where “healthy lifestyle change” is code for “totally impractical and restrictive diet advice that will make you hate us and yourself.” It gave my wardrobe decisions a little more structure and purpose, without taking all of the fun out of the whole getting dressed experience. In fact, it put quite a bit of the fun back in, since I had plenty of choices about what to wear and can now shop without the requisite post-shopping guilt attack.

As for what comes next? I think I’ll just keep on 30-ing. I’m going to do a quick edit — swap some of the current 30 out for things in the reject pile, because I ended up not wearing them as much as I thought I would. And there are one or two things in the reject pile that I’d like back, though not nearly as many as I expected. I also want to bring in some spring-ier options, because hello, it’s March! (I’m just not on speaking terms with the snow flurries we had this morning.)

Going forward, I could see myself instituting a Quick 30 Edit at the beginning of each month or two, to keep things fresh/interesting/seasonally appropriate. Not saying that would be everyone’s cup of tea, of course! But since I do enjoy recreational shopping and have no interest in giving that up altogether, being more aware of what I’m actually wearing would definitely help make the occasional splurge less guilt-inducing.

Thoughts? Do you employ any kind of regular wardrobe editing to keep closet anxiety at bay? Do you suffer frequent shopper’s remorse, or do you have a good sense of what you need/want/can afford to buy?

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “[30 in 30] Aaaand…That’s Done.

  1. I like the idea of moderate (healthy?) restriction, of making decisions based on a limited number of items and feeling less panic as a result. I am generally pretty moderate in what I buy, but every once in a while I push the boat out and go a bit overboard. (New jeans, for example, will do that quickly. My recent credit card bill is testament to this.) Glad to hear the update, and wonder if the influence will be enduring. Keep us posted.

  2. When I first heard about the challenge I was all set to try it. And then when I counted how many items I’d put on it, I came up with…24. Fashion is so NOT my playground and I suppose I’m lucky in that because my wardrobe is so limited, I really don’t stress about what to wear. (When I was laid off a few years ago my big budget cuts consisted of A) growing out my hair, and B) buying no more clothes. And then I moved apartments, which is fantastic for closet-weeding, and everything I have fits with no problem into one small closet.)

    I found that the only times I had buyer’s remorse, it was always one of two things. I love gorgeous vintage dresses but don’t really feel comfortable in most of them (old-timey fabric is so unforgiving) so I realized I had spent hundreds–maybe thousands–of dollars on things I literally never wore, which was just insane. I wish I’d had the guts to do the obvious thing and start wearing them, but instead I got rid of most of them and instead just vowed to not buy any more. The second is that I don’t buy anything unless, when I look in the mirror, it’s a quick, immediate YES. Not that everything I have makes me look like Helen of Troy, but I found that I had too many clothes that were “almost right”–skirts that looked cute but that were just a tad too tight around the waist, or a great top that would rise up just a tad too high if I raised my arms. So I corralled all the knowledge of 34 years of dressing myself (well, more like 29 of ’em…) and now I really don’t buy anything unless I get that immediate “yes,” and I know that I’ll wear it.

    The result is less stress, but the price is a wardrobe that is excruciatingly boring by the standards of anyone who’s even a hint more into fashion than I am! You know, maybe I should do the 30 for 30 challenge–not to prune my closet but to figure out new ways of wearing things. When I discovered scarves last year I felt like I was at Disneyland.

  3. Elise

    The most helpful thing I ever did in terms of wardrobe-editing was to Pick a Color. Yes – every fall, spring, and summer I choose one color that I commit to for four months for non-basic purchases. E.g., for shirts/blouses, skirts, sweaters, and accessories. Inspiration doesn’t have to come from capital-F Fashion, although I did do burgundy a few autums ago per my instructions from Vogue. I take cues from interior design, food, makeup, and just what I’m feeling. Last fall was navy blue. This spring is shaping up to be slate/stone, which I guess is technically called Greige (not depressing when layered with my out-of-season colorful garb!) For summer, I am feeling lime green, although we shall see.

    One you’ve decided on a color, the only rule is you have to stick to it, so if I find a REALLY CUTE coral top in a baby-blue season, no deal. Even if it’s on sale! It makes shopping and dressing so much simpler, and you might be surprised at how often you hear compliments on how colorful and stylish you’ve become.

    After a few cycles of One Color, I had pared down my wardrobe into black, white, grey, and denim flattering basics plus the best pieces from each season that carried over (I donated or swapped the rest.) My only caveat is to make absolutely certain a new color works with *your* color. Yellow is beautiful on a hanger or on tan or deep cocoa-hued ladies…not so much for an entire summer on a milk-pale redhead like myself! I did save the yellow argyle knee socks, though – you never know…

  4. Pingback: [Never Say Diet] A Weekend Without Mirrors | Beauty Schooled

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