30 for 30 recap: Summer Edition

Looking at all the outfits brings two thoughts to mind:

First, it’s kind of cool to see a gallery of your “outfits” all together like this. It’s kind of like an a-ha moment of “oh, so that’s what I look like everyday…”

And secondly, I think…Holy crap, that’s a month worth of outfits! From only 30 pieces in MY closet.

30 pieces of clothing are a lot in retrospect. And I think if I had wanted to make this challenge harder, I could have. Like including shoes and accessories as a part of my 30. But I don’t think that was the point. At least not for me. I think the point was learning that I DO have something to wear. And that BUYING SOMETHING NEW every time I feel like I don’t have anything to wear is just silly. It’s learning to make do with what I have and stop thinking I need something else to make my closet complete. Trust me, if you have as many clothes as I do, you’re pretty much set.

With that said, I am not a completely reformed woman. There are things I still want to buy this Fall… but there are few things I am keeping in mind as I head into the Fall shopping season.

1. Continue to utilize what I already have in my closet. I’ve decided I am going to do this by… (and don’t laugh)… writing down all the outfits I plan to wear  this September (at least on the weekdays) out on a piece of paper.  That’s 20 outfits I already have in my closet today that I am going to pre-plan to wear this month.  The list won’t be set in stone, but I think it might help me resist the urge to buy a new blouse, skirt or pair of pants if I already know I have something to wear. I’ll let you know if it works!

2.  Set a monthly clothing budget. Believe it or not I’ve never done this before. Mostly because I think in the past I’ve been in denial about how much I actually enjoy spending on clothing. The blogger from J’s Everyday Fashion has a great post about this (click here to read it). She sets a clothing budget for herself every month and doesn’t go over it (so she claims). At the end of the month she is out of the red, doesn’t feel guilty about her purchases and has clothes she actually loves, not impulse buys. Now her clothing budget is substantially more than mine will be, but I think its important to pick a number that’s reasonable for you personally and of course works with your financial situation.

3. Do your research… look at clothes in magazines and online.  I have been going back and forth about this but I think ultimately it helps more than it hurts. I have noted that picking up fashion magazines and looking through them often encourages me to buy more things than I actually need, but at the same time looking through them as well as viewing pictures online also makes me realize the trends I would like to try and trends I hate. The bottom line is… I know I am going to be buying those magazines anyway because I enjoy them very very much, so might as well treat it like research (although now this sounds like more of a justification of a previous habit rather than something new I am keeping in mind as I head to the mall). Either way, I believe its important to figure out what you really want. And then go try and find it for the price you are comfortable with.

For example I know now after flipping through the latest edition of People Style Watch that me and peplums? Never going to happen. However the black leather trend this fall? I think I like it. Although for me it will mostly likely be faux leather.

Do you have any tips for sticking to a clothing budget this fall? Let me know!

day 30: the end!

T-shirt: Urban Outfitters, Jeans: Levi’s, Necklace: American Eagle, Glasses: Derek Cardigan from ClearlyContacts.ca

I am trying to wink in this photo, but am failing miserably…

It’s the end of an era! Well no, not really. But it is the end of Holly and I’s 30 for 30 challenge. I am happy, relieved and excited its over.

I am looking forward to accessing the rest of my closet… to not taking my photo everyday (props to style bloggers for doing this!), and looking forward to going shopping!

As for what I will buy now that it’s over? Well, to tell you the truth I’ve already treated myself to the in stride jacket from lululemon. I’ve had my eye on for a while. I’ve wanted a great zip up jacket from lululemon since my university days, but I never bought one because I thought they were too expensive. And then I realized I am a grown woman with a full-time job and I am tired of not buying things that I really want, or have wanted for several years because they are too expensive (within reason of course). Because most of the time I end up buying cheap substitutes that I don’t love… and then after buying the cheap substitutes year after year I’ve basically bought the more expensive item I loved a couple of times over. I understand that most of us need the large amount of money up front to purchase these expensive investment pieces, but with the money I’ve saved by doing this 30 for 30 challenge I realized I could afford the lululemon jacket.

I think that’s one important thing to take away from this 30 for 30 challenge: your closet should be quality over quantity. Buy the things you want and love. Don’t buy something just because its ok…. or it works. If you have to pay a little more for something you will love for years to come then pay the money upfront and stop lusting after it. It’s far better to have a closet with fewer items but items you absolutely love, as opposed to a closet with a ton of items but nothing that you can’t wait to wear.

day 28 and 29: Long weekend

Day 28 (was Saturday….)

Jean Jacket: American Eagle, White Tank: Plenty, Jeans: Bedo, Shoes: ALDO, Earrings: Anthropologie

Day 29 (was Sunday…)

Jean Jacket: American Eagle, Dress: Von Maur (U.S. Department Store), Sandals: Sam Edelman, Purse: Matt & Nat

This is me in front of Il Caminetto, Italian Restaurant, in Whistler. Yes, Andrew and I headed up there once again, to escape the hustle and bustle of Vancouver. It’s become our new weekend getaway and we love it! Every time we go up, its our goal to try and find new restaurants to eat at and new activities to try. This time we hiked the Chief in Squamish on our way up to Whistler. The view was breathtaking! And we have tons of photos to share with you later this week. We also rented bikes and took full advantage of the awesome biking trails around the Village. Next time… we plan to tackle the frisbee golf (or frolf) course together… its 27 holes!

Have you ever been to Whistler? Do you have any activities or places to eat that you would recommend?

day 27: how will I wear my pink midi skirt in the Fall?

Blouse: LOFT, Belt: Ardene, Skirt & Earrings: Anthropologie, Shoes: ALDO

Day 27 was Friday. Which means I have 3 more days to go! Now that my 30 for 30 challenge is coming to an end, there are some items of clothing I can’t wait to stop wearing. Whether they are summer clothes that I am looking forward to retiring until next year (like my cute colorful shorts that I wore here on day 7 and here on day 22) or clothes that I can’t wait to get rid of via a clothing swap… I am ready for fall fashion! Which means cleaning out the closet, making room for new additions and wearing cozier fabrics.

But one item I am hoping I don’t have to say good bye to just yet is this midi skirt. I absolutely love it. And when I first got it, I was afraid I would find enough ways to wear it, but I have found I love pairing it with blouses and cute flats (like I did here on day 11!). But now I am wondering if I can transition this skirt into fall. Maybe with some tights and cute ankle boots and a light sweater?? What do you guys think? I need some styling advice.

day 25 and 26: purse and boots

Day 25 (was Wednesday…)

Blouse: Anthropologie, Necklace: ALDO, Jeans: BDG from Urban Outfitters, Shoes: ALDO, Purse: Matt & Nat

I love Matt & Nat! They are a Vancouver brand that makes purses from recycled materials. This purse I got last year for my birthday from Andrew. It comes with a longer strap, but lately I like just using it as a clutch.

Day 26 (was Thursday…)

Dress: H&M, Scarf: Gap, Belt: ALDO, Boots: Feetfirst

Not quite fall yet, but I just couldn’t resist putting on my favorite pair of riding boots. I’ve had these for 3 years and they’ve already been to the cobbler once. I am little embarrassed to admit, how much I love boots. I have seven pairs currently, and already plan on buying these ankle boots in black from Urban Outfitters as soon as my 30 day challenge is over. Boots just make the world a better place 🙂

Check out Holly’s Day 25 outfit!

day 24: hurry! quick! pose!

Shirt: Joe Fresh, Skirt: Gap, Necklace: Anthropologie, Glasses: Derek Cardigan from Clearlycontacts.ca

Click here to see Holly’s Day 24 outfit here!

It’s always funny trying to find new backdrops for all these picture taking excursions. This one I found with my friend Tylor while walking around the neighborhood. It’s actually someone’s shed in a backyard… and I felt a little nervous about stumbling onto someone else’s property without permission (that’s my good ole’ honest Midwestern values)… but Tylor convinced me it was ok. So he quickly snapped a few shots of me before I ran off, fearing for my life… or at least the fear of just a stern talking to.

Tylor is staying with Andrew and I for a few days (I am telling you, the guests just don’t stop at the Ash and Andrew household) before he heads off to Germany for a whole year! He’s teaching overseas for the second time and although we know he’s going to have an amazing time, we will miss him a lot!

Follow him as he travels all over Europe through his blog: Tylor in Trier.

day 23: blue on blue

Cardigan: Costa Blanca, Tank: Old Navy, Jeans: BDG from Urban Outfitters, Flats: Winners

7 days to go… and there’s a few of things I am looking forward to when this 30 for 30 challenge is over.

1. to go shopping, of course… 🙂

2. accessing more of my closet than only 30 items

3. no longer taking daily outfit photos.

…There are days when I just don’t want to have my photo taken. Like today. Days like today, where I changed my outfit 3 times before leaving the house, pulled my hair back because it was so frizzy today and felt fat.

But do you ever have days like this?