It’s time for my first accountability update for 2015. As long-time readers know, these monthly reports are where I share what came into and left my closet during the previous month and how I did with my shopping budget and rules. It’s my way of keeping myself honest and on track with my wardrobe and shopping goals. Yes, I know I’m late in sharing my 2015 goals, but I’ve had a lot of 2014 wrap-up posts to do. I plan to finalize and publish my goals next week, so stay tuned…
What Left My Closet
Not long ago, I shared the results of my mid-January closet culling session, as well as an updated wardrobe inventory. Here’s a reminder of what left my closet at that time (see this post for more details):
However, since that time, I decided to let go of three additional items:
- 1 jacket
- 1 top
- 1 pair of boots
The jacket and top were slated for donation, while the boots were returned for a refund.
Why I Let Go of These Items
In addition to posting photos of what left my closet, I also list why I decided to release those pieces from my wardrobe. I feel that pinpointing our reasons for purging closet items can help us notice patterns and avoid future mistakes. Here’s why I let go of the items pictured above:
- Black long knit jacket – The sleeves on this jacket were always a bit short and had a lettuce-edge hem that I didn’t really like. I also felt the jacket didn’t fit me all that well, plus I own a similar alternative that I much prefer to wear.
- Black and white striped tee – You all know that I love stripes and wear a lot of black. However, this tee was just too flimsy and not at all warm. I recently found a better alternative (see below), so I opted to pass this one on.
- Grey boots – These boots were a Christmas present from my husband, but they were a bit too tight in the instep area (I have very high arches and insteps). Rather than take the chance that they might not stretch out enough to be comfortable, I opted to return the boots. I’m now searching for a suitable alternative, as I definitely would like to have a pair of grey boots in my wardrobe (grey is one of my key neutrals and I often found myself wishing I had grey boots last fall).
What Came Into My Closet
During January, I added 8 new items to my closet:
- Two long-sleeved tees
- Three workout tees
- One long-sleeved lounge wear tee
- Walking shoes
- One pair of earrings
Here’s a photo of my January closet additions:
Three of the new items are replacements and one was a gift. Five of my January additions fit into the workout/lounge category. I previously didn’t include such items in my accountability updates, but I decided to change my approach. I believe that all areas of our wardrobes are important and merit our attention and consideration. It’s far too easy to neglect key wardrobe categories and I want to learn to shop wisely no matter what I’m buying.
Writing these monthly updates has helped me learn a great deal about my shopping habits and motivations and has enabled me to gradually make positive changes. There have been a lot of ups and downs along the way, but my commitment to learning and growth finally kicked in toward the middle of last year. I still make mistakes, but there are far fewer of them these days. If you’re struggling with your shopping, I highly recommend that you take the time to write out what comes into and leaves your closet each month and why. It will be time well spent and will pay off in the long run, I promise!
Why I Added These Items to My Wardrobe
Here are my reasons for adding the items pictured above to my closet:
- Black print tee – I needed a few new workout/lounge tops and I liked the print on this one. Most of my tops in that wardrobe category are solids, so I liked the idea of adding a print or two.
- Black and white striped tee – This tee replaced the striped top pictured above. The fabric is a thicker weight, so I think it will be warmer and stay in place better.
- Cobalt tee – This tee replaced the one that I returned earlier in January (see this post). It’s the same brand/style as the black and white striped tee and fits me well. I prefer long sleeves over ¾ sleeves these days, as they stay in place better and are easier to layer under toppers.
- Silver earrings with green stones – My husband bought these earrings for me for Christmas but forgot that he had them! I had admired them when we were in a local boutique and he went back and bought them for me. I love the shape and the green stones and the fact that they are lightweight. I believe that I will enjoy wearing them.
- Green printed V-neck tee – This is another lounge tee than I bought because I liked the color and print. I’m not sure if it will work out, however, as I wore it recently and found that I had to keep adjusting it throughout the day. I do move around in the fitting room, but sometimes we can’t really be sure if something will work for us until we wear it, and then it’s too late to return it!
- Grey workout tee – I got rid of quite a few workout tees last month and will likely purge some more during February. I may not wear most of my clothes all that often, but my workout clothes are worn very frequently. This is a lightweight tee in a quick dry fabric. I bought it after I found that I loved the turquoise version below.
- Turquoise workout tee – This is the same as the grey tee in a different color. I love this turquoise shade and found that the top is great for going to the gym, as it stays in place well and is comfortable to wear.
- Walking shoes – These were pretty much an emergency purchase, as one of my previous walking shoes split on the bottom last month! I don’t think the shoes were defective, just worn very often! I found an almost identical pair on eBay (new) and bought them immediately. Since I have fussy feet, I often stick to the same model of walking shoe once I find something that works for me. Being able to find the shoes on eBay saved me some money, but I would have paid the retail price if necessary, as walking shoes are a staple wardrobe item for me.
I am very happy with most of my January acquisitions and feel they will work well for me. The only possible exceptions are the two print lounge wear tops, as the fabric may not wear and wash well (it’s 100% cotton, but all cotton is not created equally!). I need to find a way to better evaluate these types of items in the store so I don’t end up with clothes that don’t serve me well. If you have any tips to share in this regard, I welcome them!
January Budget Report
I have decided to decrease my clothing budget this year from $3000 to $2500. I probably could have lowered it more and may very well end up spending less, but I didn’t want to make too dramatic of a reduction and potentially sabotage myself. I am still relatively early in my recovery and I’ve found that making smaller and slower changes has been the right way to go for me. I am not going to have a monthly budget any more, but I will report how much I spend each month. If it turns out that I go overboard with my spending, I may return to monthly limits, but I’m going to try just having the yearly budget to see how it goes.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’d eventually like to be shopping on more of a seasonal basis. I don’t really need much in terms of fall/winter clothing, so I will focus more on upgrading my workout/lounge wear, as well as undergarments and sleep wear, for the first couple months of the year. When the spring/summer merchandise arrives in the stores, I will aim to purchase a few select items that I identified as last summer drew to a close (yes, in November – we have weird seasons where I live!).
I made quite a few returns during January, so I ended up spending only $33.50 by the end of the month. I actually found that number surprising, as some of my new items weren’t cheap. I could go back and date my returns in 2014, but that’s too much work and I came in under budget last year anyway (see my final numbers here).
So I will happily move into February having spent only a very small amount of my 2015 budget. My goal for this month is to upgrade my pajamas (especially tops) and underwear. I often used to neglect those areas of my wardrobe and make do with what I had, but now I’m committed to feeling good in everything I wear. If anyone has any recommendations for underwear that don’t ride up (I’m not really a thong fan but don’t want “Granny panties,” either), I’d love to receive them. I’ve been wearing Jockey “No Panty Line Promise” bikinis, but I find that the elastic wears out pretty fast and I have to replace them too often.
I usually include a “what I wore” section in my accountability updates, but I’m going to do things differently this year. Now that I’ve taken on the “Love It, Wear It” Challenge (LIWI), I’m going to do a separate update for that each month. I’ve already learned so much in just the first month that I’m excited to share my insights later this week.
I feel that I’m off to a good start for 2015 with my wardrobe and shopping. I’ve managed to pare down some more and the shopping I’ve done has been to address defined wardrobe needs instead of transitory wants. It’s usually not as fun and exciting to buy what we truly need, but it’s far more rewarding in the long run. I’ve already enjoyed wearing my new workout wear and walking shoes and I look forward to wearing my two new crewneck tees and earrings (just got those last week) very soon. I’m glad I returned the grey boots, as I’d really like to find a pair that is comfortable enough to wear all day. It may take a bit of time and effort, but it will be worth it in the end.
Now it’s your turn to chime in.
- How did you do with your shopping and wardrobe during January?
- Is the year off to a good start for you or did you experience some challenges and setbacks?
Please feel free to share your progress, issues, questions, goals, or anything else you’d like to express in the comments section. We’re here to encourage and support each other, so please feel free to ask for help if you need it. I wish you all the best in February and throughout 2015!