January 2015 Accountability Update

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…

Telling the Truth

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):

Purged Items - January 2015

I purged all of these items from my closet during mid-January.

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.

Additional January 2015 purged items

I let go of these three items since my mid-January culling session.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

New January 2015 items

I added these eight items to my wardrobe in January 2015.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

In Conclusion

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.

Your Thoughts?

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!

52 thoughts on “January 2015 Accountability Update

  1. I also buy my walking shoes on EBay — same brand and same style over and over again. I have had very good luck with on-line shopping for shoes but terrible luck with clothing.

    • I’m a bit hit or miss in both areas, Dottie. But now I know better to either look for free shipping and free returns or only buy things I’m absolutely sure will work (like my walking shoes).

  2. Hi Debbie! It seems we are always in style-synch! I also bought a lovely cobalt (also a key color in my palette, along with grey!) long sleeve t-shirt from lands end and it is SO SOFT. I wear it immediately out of the dryer. Love.

    For underwear recommendations, I would say try the warners panties that say silly things like “no muffin top” and “no wedgie” on them. They are really comfy and come in fun prints (and solids). You can find them at Kohls and a few other places, and are quite reasonably priced. They are my go-to for everyday because they last forever (when the dog doesn’t get them). I do wash them on delicate in a lingerie bag and air dry them though.

    I’m also noticing that you are more proactive in returning items that might not work for you- so congrats on being proactive and picky! I’ve definitely learned this habit from reading your blog and am happy to say that I’ve bought and returned 5 pairs of boots before finally settling on a great pair of Alberto Fermani ankle boots! The best part…. $500 retail for $220!! I love sales…. sigh

    I also wanted to share how I manage my yearly budget. I don’t like doing monthly budgets either because I try to shop (well, purchase) a lot more during clearance, and then take a shopping hiatus the following month. I’ll add things to my bookmarks, and then check back periodically until they go on sale. If they sell out before then, oh well. Anyway… I make a spreadsheet with a plan for what I’m going to buy when for the whole year, with the anticipated price per item. This helps me plan my replacements, like bras and t-shirts, etc. Then if I spend more earlier, I have to adjust my items for the rest of the year. Making this virtual sacrifice stings a bit and really helps reign in my spending. Sometimes I have to take an item and move it down to the bottom, where I keep a wishlist for next year, or extra items for if I swap something else out. This helps me keep my priorities in line. The best part of using a spreadsheet is that it totals your projected spending automatically so you can play around with it pretty quickly and see the impact of any impulse buys. I have started to add in all my makeup purchases… they might be getting a little out of hand.

    • Err… I should clarify that the LABELS of the underwear say that, it’s not printed on the fabric! lol!

    • You can use Shopping Notes to alert you when the price drops, so you don’t have to check back yourself. The only downside is that it doesn’t account for size or color.

      • Great tip– I was using another tool but it only works on certain websites. I will have to check this one out. I do sometimes enjoy checking in on things though… I guess it is just part of the compulsive shopping behavior.

    • Thanks for the underwear recommendations, Sarah. I will check that out. I also appreciate your sharing your yearly budgeting process. Sounds like a very good way to manage everything. Since I’m a data junkie, I just may give your method a try. Congrats on finally finding a good pair of boots! I’m at 3 pairs now that I had to send back, but I ordered two more yesterday and hopefully one of them will work. There aren’t as many grey boots available as brown or black and I prefer to try to find them online for more choice. It’s also less time consuming, especially since returns have gotten so much easier and there’s no shipping or return fees for many retailers.

  3. I am just buying less and less these days. And my purchases are considered, rather than the random acts of impulse I used to indulge in.

    Over January I bought 4 things, a pair of boots, a shirt and a Longchamps bag all on 50% sale plus a Tiffany chain. In December I bought 3 things on 50% sale – a cashmere cardigan, a coat and a scarf. I am pleased that ALL my purchases work together to make complete outfits and work with everything else in my closet.

    I also succesfully STOPPED myself fom buying certain things that I was drawn to. I have a lot of pants and jeans in my closet and I really don’t need anymore regardless of the great discounts.

    • Sounds like you’re doing very well with your shopping, Carolyn. Good for you for buying things that work for you and leaving behind things that you didn’t really need. I used to buy things on sale all the time just because it was a “good deal,” but that’s how I ended up with so many benchwarmers! I feel proud of myself for sitting out the January sales. I did end up getting some of my new items on sale, but I didn’t go to shop a sale. I just got lucky when the things I went to the mall for happened to be on sale. Win, win!

  4. Debbie- great job! What a teeny spend- and you appear to have gotten some great items! The printed workout tees- if they don’t work out, could they work for sleep (since we don’t move around as much when we sleep)? It’d be a pity if they won’t work out at all, but you can’t win them all!

    I love seeing the *whole picture* and plan to do that going forward on my blog as well. I didn’t buy a thing this month (not even the stuff that *doesn’t count*) but I did get a back-ordered scarf that came out of this year’s budget instead of last year’s because of the timing. So, 1 pretty printed scarf at just a few cents over $20, in my colors, and has been worn at least 4 times already. Not too bad!! It has inspired me to think about getting another scarf because I’ve enjoyed it so much- and I thought I wasn’t a scarf girl! I think I’m getting more into more streamlined, simple looks and scarves are a great way to bring color and print into the mix without it being overwhelming or fussy. I do have to think long and hard first though. The shopaholic in me always reacts like this- oh this jacket is divine, I’ll take 3 more please! And then I realize I only needed 1, or that I got tired of it and now have too many, etc.

    • Oh- forgot to add, I’m on a ‘5 piece wardrobe challenge’ for the year, where I can only add 5 pieces per season or 20 items total. This is for shoes, clothing, and accessories but I did not include undergarments or lounge/workout, since I have relatively few needs and they come out of a different budget (I will account for these going forward). So 19 items left to purchase if I need them/find them, and my budget was $1500 so I have just under $1480 left.

      • I am really surprised that this challenge hasn’t caught on more in the blogging world. I think it’s sort of overshadowed by capsule wardrobes, to be honest. Good for you for taking it on!

    • I’m sure I spent a few hundred dollars, Meli, but all the returns I did overshadowed most of my new expenditures (I had more returns in my purge/inventory post). I think that the two printed tops may end up as sleepwear, like you suggested. I am definitely less concerned with things staying in place while I’m asleep 🙂

      Sounds like you did well with the new scarf. I used to be really into wearing scarves but have gotten away from it lately. Since I still have quite a few scarves, I’m going to push myself to at least see if I want to be wearing scarves again. You’re right that they can be quite versatile and help to tie our other wardrobe pieces together. I’m glad you’re enjoying experimenting that way.

      What you wrote about the shopaholic tendency to buy three or more of something just because we love it hits close to home. I really try to stay away from multiples now. I may buy two of something from time to time, but I’m probably going to try to stop that, too, as I’d really like to have a smaller wardrobe while still having a lot of variety. I look forward to reading about your 5 piece French wardrobe challenge this year. I may opt to do that next year, as I hope to have my wardrobe in much better shape by the end of 2015.

  5. Hi!
    Debbie- I think its a huge step forward that you feel you can set a yearly budget instead of monthly installments 🙂
    I purged 14 items last month because they were either too large or too loud. I’m finding that I like quiet, understated pieces (except for a few graphic/band shirts and my vests). I’m currently participating in a capsule wardrobe challenge which makes it easier not to shop right now. I bought 0 new items across the board (clothes, accessories, or other) in the month of January. I still have my item limits and budget in tact which feels great.
    Best wishes for everyone else’s continued progress

    • Congrats on purging so many items last month while bringing nothing new in, Angel. I think it’s also great that you’re getting more in touch with your style preferences. That is one of the best things you can to do cultivate a workable wardrobe. I don’t like clothes that are too loud, either, but sometimes I would buy them because they were “in.” But when we buy things that are true to ourselves, we’re much more likely to wear and enjoy them.

  6. Gosh you have got off to a good start this year! Me – not quite so good. Like Meli 22 I am doing the 5 piece challenge, but bought 5 things in the January sales so in theory no more till spring. We shall see…

    • I think it’s great that you’re doing the 5-piece challenge this year, Alice. If you’re happy with the 5 items you bought and they work well in your wardrobe, I would say you did well last month. I’d eventually like to shop just a few times per year and do very much what you and Meli are doing. I think I will be ready to do that next year. I wish you the best of luck with your challenge. If you buy a few more than 5 each season, the challenge could still be a success. If we set goals and don’t quite meet them, we often still do far better than we would have without those goals.

  7. I didn’t buy anything in January! Yay! I wear and recommend Soma Embraceable hipster panties, found at http://www.soma.com/store/product/embraceable-lace-hipster/570000761?color=&catId=cat5339341&fromSearch=true&scPos=pc2-596.363623437803-0. I love the material, super soft and comfy. They have feminine lace and pretty colors. Right now on sale for 6 pairs for $36. They wash well and they do NOT ride up on me! I probably have 30 pairs in various colors and prints. Yes I went a little crazy at one of the sales! Not sure if you have a Soma store nearby, usually they’re next door to Chicos. I also recently tried their newest bra, Enhancing Shape, http://www.soma.com/store/product/enhancing-shape-full-coverage-bra/570116950?color=&catId=cat10199287&fromSearch=true&scPos=pc1-693.6363486022007-0. I really am enjoying this particular bra, mainly because I like the way the back straps angle in a bit so they stay on my shoulder instead of falling down my arm.

    • Congrats on not buying anything new in January, Kim, and thanks for the underwear and bra recommendations. I think the panties would likely work well for me and it’s a great price. Sadly, there is no Soma store all that close to where I live, so I’d have to order online and pay shipping fees (and maybe return fees). So they probably won’t work for me, but maybe others will benefit from the recommendation. If I ever get to a Soma store (there is one close to any hour away), I will definitely check them out, though.

  8. I brought home two dresses as replacements for my two sweater dresses: one shrunk a ton in the wash and the other had gotten threadbare. Because the store was doing a BOGO on clearance clothing (something I’ve never seen before) I spent $25 on the two. I like both dresses but don’t really love either of them – I did need them in the sense that I had no other cold weather dresses but I don’t know that I’ll keep them around beyond this winter.

    Something that struck me is that you waited to buy a duplicate work out tee until you found that you loved the first one quite a bit. In the past wouldn’t you have bought them at the same time?

    • Good noticing, Sara. Yes, I probably would have bought two or three of the tops in the past. I’m glad I just bought one at first, though, and I wish I would have pulled back a bit overall on what I bought. I need to replace a lot of my workout/lounge wear, but it’s okay if I take some time with it. I can identify with your dress story. I would often buy things that I liked but didn’t love because the price was right. I still do that sometimes but are trying to change. One dress that we love will serve us much better over time than two that we just like. It’s hard to hold out or spend more money, but we’re really better off when we do that.

    • +1 on Soma. Sleepwear (cool nights) is great, also love their panties (hipsters or bikinis – not ‘old lady’ briefs though they have those too, they just don’t ride up) and their vanishing back bras. Not a super fan of the vanishing edge panties, as the elastic grippers on the leg openings give me a rash in warm summer temps. But embraceable, enticing (very sheer and comfy), super soft, and travelers are all great undies from Soma. Love.

      • Thanks for sharing your input on Soma, Pat. I really wish there was one closer to where I live, but I know that others will benefit from the tips that you and Kim shared.

  9. You did great Debbie! I hope you will find those grey boots soon.
    I did not do very well last month. I only spent 138 euro, but there were way too many items. I always go crazy in January because of all the sales. I also love secondhand shopping and got a few nice preloved items as well. Fortunately I already wore most of them.
    I made 3 returns, sold 1 unworn cardigan and spent 7 euros on shipping fees.

    • I forgot, I also got 2 bags of clothes from a dear friend. Not sure if it is all ‘me’, but I have worn one of her sweaters a lot.

    • Those sales can be hard to resist, Jessica. It helped me to have an item limit last year, as I used to focus too much on what I was spending while buying far too much stuff. I still bought too much last year, but I was more mindful of it and bought less. It’s good that you’ve already worn most of your new pieces, though. That’s much better than what I used to do! As for the clothes from your friend, even one good piece makes it worthwhile. Pass on whatever isn’t you so someone else will get a chance to love those items.

  10. What was striking about this month’s accountability post was how you wrote about using your new items in multiple ways–i.e., the long sleeved tees b/c they layer better than the 3/4 tees. You seem to be seeing your wardrobe as one machine with interchangeable parts. That’s great! I also really liked your comment about wanting to love everything you wear. It’s surprising, if you think of it, that we tend to set aside “good” clothes and wear castoffs and worn-outs for daily wear. I just love it that you are being just as picky about what you wear to exercise and lounge as you are about anything else. I suspect that it will make you really happy, even if the initial purchases are not specially exciting on their own.

    I spent part of January gathering receipts to exchange some items I got for gifts that didn’t fit: a cable crew neck, a puffy vest, two tees. When I get around to doing that later this month, I’ll feel as if I’ve had a spree, for free. My favorite jeans are on sale this month, so I’ll be shopping to replace two pair that are on their way out. I didn’t buy anything new but savored wearing the nifty things that came in December and *did* fit.

    Can’t wait to see what your LIWI post contains. Oh, and about those tees: if you wash them in cold water and hang to dry, they should be OK. I find that 100 percent cotton and/or supima cotton do well when they have a little weight to them; or, a synthetic tech top made for exercise can work well too, as you point out here.

    • Good noticing as usual, Amy. Yes, I’m happy with the way I’m approaching my wardrobe these days. I do feel happy to be wearing better workout and lounge wear and am feeling better about how I look in more situations, which is great. Thanks for the tip on washing the tees. I usually hang my clothes to dry but often wash in warm water. I’ll try cold and see if it might work better. Sounds like you’re doing great with your wardrobe and shopping. Good for you for exchanging the gift items. Far too often, people just keep them and they gather dust in the closet. Have fun on your February “spree”!

  11. This January has been in keeping my purchases under control. I’m finally learning to keep my purchases realistic and returning items that are immediately not the right fit or not fitting my lifestyle. I made one expensive hiccup that I’m paying for. The item is selling on eBay and I’ve had to resist 3 times already since no one is buying it for half the price I paid for 😦 Compared to how I was a year ago, I would of made 6 or 7 expensive hiccups and ended up giving them away. So I’m learning and keeping my impulses under control.

    This January I’ve added 2 coats, one pair of sneakers and one bag (which I rarely buy but I really loved this coach one and needed a smaller purse) I bought other things as well but they’ve all been returned because of the reasons said above. I also purged 15 items and selling 8 so most of the money I spent will be paid back from the sales. (Let’s not talk about the money already spent on the items selling)

    I think that’s it for me this season. I will try really hard to not buy anything until the spring and even then I will only add two to three items for the summer and see if I can make it until 2016!

    • You are doing very well, Wendy. I love that you’re learning so much and being more realistic with what you buy. I think it’s great that you’re working to get your expensive hiccup out of your home and out of your life. I’ve often had to re-list things on eBay multiple times, too. We usually don’t make much of what we spend back, but it does feel good to recoup at least some of the damages. Keep up the good work! It’s been wonderful to see the progress you’ve made.

  12. How good to see you paying attention to the lounge/workout section!

    I am doing LIWI! So far I have done well at putting some things aside after I wore them, and found they were fussy. And also in looking at my “not worn yet” closet sections and taking some things out, admitting that I’m just NOT going to wear them so I may as well purge now. It is already getting easier to let some things go. Not that I’ve actually purged anything yet – my guest closet is overflowing with the second half of 2014’s purges so I really need to bag that all up and take them to Goodwill. Then I can move the 2015 items from my bedroom to the guest closet.

    I bought two new items in January, a loose weave knitted cream t-shirt/top ($20 on sale from Urban Outfitters, and made in Los Angeles so that’s good), and a pair of nude colored flats ($40 from Kohl’s). I was looking for navy pants and grey flats, haha. But the nude flats can actually replace both my current grey flats and a pair of raspberry flats that are looking seriously worn. And I’ve been looking for a new white top for ages, and when I tried on both cream and white versions of this top, I decided that the cream one was a lot more versatile. So I’ve taken the white top off the list. I will keep looking for pants in February, I guess!

    • How great that you’re doing LIWI, Sarah. Sounds like it’s going well for you thus far. I haven’t purged too much yet, either, but I have a lot of possible candidates for purging. Just because things go into my “working closet,” it doesn’t mean they will stay there all year. Having a holding zone like your guest closet can be a good way to put items on a sort of probation for a time. Such a practice has often worked well for me. Your January purchases sound like they will work well for you. Pants can be very difficult to find and are pretty much always on my list. I hope you will find some good ones this month!

  13. Again, I am in step with you – with work uniform upgrades and undies/workout categories. I bought new black socks (why are silly $10 items always the one neglected?!) last month and a new nude bra with straps that won’t slip while bending over and reaching at work. I will say, I tried on some workout wear and debated it, but ended up leaving it behind. I think I’m waiting for ‘great’ pieces to replace my worn out ‘good’ pieces. Since I found myself wearing only work uniform or workout and lounge ALL of last week, it behooves me to upgrade these categories more than ever.
    I do still need black work pants and have some on order, but am waiting for a certain other pair to go back on sale. I know they will, likely President’s weekend and so I’m being patient. Hopefully they both work out and I can ditch the well worn pair I’ve been using from 15 years ago.
    In the meantime, my new dark skinny jeans have been my pizza job uniform, and coupled with the fleece lined hoodie, have been in constant rotation since I purchased them. Some of my other buys this season have not been out nearly as much. One graphic sweatshirt not yet at all, but I bought it for a certain ‘look’ and not daily wear so I’m okay with that. It will be there when I want to wear my leather pants and/or go see a live concert.
    All in all, I am focusing on needs as much as wants and it’s satisfying to have what you need when you go to reach for it. 🙂

    • I forgot to mention that I bought some socks, too, Mo! I’m now throwing away any socks and underwear that I find annoying. Life is too short for ill-fitting undergarments! You’re so right that it is very satisfying to have good options for the types of clothes we wear all the time. Yes, it’s not as fun to buy them, but it makes a big difference to have them. There’s definitely room in all of our wardrobes for those fun pieces like your graphic sweatshirt, but that used to be all I bought! I’m glad I’m being more realistic with what I buy these days. Best of luck to you with finding your black work pants.

  14. I bought 3 things this month. Two short sleeve tops and a pair of ankle jeans. I spent $116.17. I did send a large bag to consignment earlier in the month so I definitely got rid of more than I brought in! I feel like I’ve been more focused on things other than shopping this year and I hope that it keeps up. I’ve already read 7 books this year!
    I hope that you get a lot of use out of your new things. I know when I’ve bought practical things they aren’t as exciting, but I tend to get much more use out of them than the things I’m drawn to buy over and over.

    • I’m so impressed with your progress, Tonya, not only with your closet but also that you read 7 books so far this year! I think I’ve read 3 and I was feeling pretty good about it. I’m already happy with most of the new things I bought. I definitely get more use out of those less exciting pieces and am glad I’m buying them. I may not be thrilled to buy workout tops or walking shoes, but I sure am happy to have them when I need them. Congrats on focusing on other things besides shopping! I’m doing that, too, and are feeling happier as a result.

  15. Debbie,what a great start to the new year, wonderful that you purged more than you brought in. I like that you have a budget for the year rather than monthly. I purchased only one item in January, a purse. I feel the need to go through and purge the clothing I don’t love. My closet is rather small and too packed. This winter I have been wearing a lot of dark colors and I have become tired of my main color palette ,navy, black & charcoal. I want to find pieces in” happy” colors for spring as well as more white. I just need to have a plan in place before I shop! Keep up the good work! 🙂

    • Thanks for your kind words, Jan, and for the underwear recommendation. I hope that I will do well with the yearly budget. It seems more practical, but I was always nervous to do it before (as was my husband). I wish you the best of luck with finding those happy colors for spring. Yes, having a plan in place before you shop is the best way to go. When I shop with a list and a plan, I usually do FAR better than if I just go to see what I may find. It’s really a night and day difference!

  16. Debbie, I’ve been greatly inspired by your posts, your guest posts, and the links you have shared. Inspired enough to make even more changes that have brought joy, and more ease to my closet. I had a love/hate relationship with your post where we counted everything and I discovered that I was not nearly as moderately minimal as I previously thought. But counting was also an excellent exercise because it made me think deeper and I discovered that I still had too many fussy clothes. Why do I want to be more minimal? Because I have a small closet and I want everything to fit with ease, and someday I plan to move into a smaller space and I will have even less room. But also because I’ve discovered that I’m happier with fewer clothes and less choices. So… I took your advice and released all of my fussy tops. What a great feeling to let go of 7 tops that “required” me to wear either a tank top underneath, or a topper. Now all of the tops in my wardrobe are stand-alone pieces, and I can wear a tank or a topper “if I’m in the mood” to layer. I also bought one new black top in January that works for multiple uses, and I was able to release three older “just in case” black tops that are no longer needed.

    • I’m so happy that this blog is inspiring you, Terra, especially since you are farther along in your journey than many of us are. I had a love/hate relationship with my inventory post, too! I was happy with some of my numbers (and the general trend downward), but my overall feeling was, “It’s just too much!” Your comment here is inspiring me to pare down further, too, especially when it comes to those fussy tops. I don’t have many left, but there are a few that are similar to what you mentioned. Congrats on paring down and on replacing three “just in case” tops with one multi-use top. That’s the kind of thing that I need to do!

    • Terra, the ‘stand alone top’ was a phrase I started to use a while back! So many of my tops can only be worn, for example, under a jacket (because its too scruffy), or with something else under (because its too transparent – this just makes things far too complicated. Now my test is ‘would I be happy wearing this by itself?’. if not, I have to think about getting rid of it, ar assigning it to sleepwear.

      • Alice, I agree! I’m so desperately tired of tops that are too transparent, too low cut, too long and oversized, that they require an addition top underneath, or a sweater, or jacket, in order to make the top work. I released every complicated top from my wardrobe, and it’s a freeing feeling. Lesson learned, ‘stand alone tops’ only from here on out for me. And all of my current ‘stand alone tops’ coordinate perfectly with the shirts, jackets and sweaters I own, and work wonderfully for those days when I do want to layer.

      • I love this discussion here, Alice and Terra. I have some of those tops that can’t stand alone myself and your insights are helping me to determine which ones should stay and which should go. I don’t plan to buy any more of these types of tops again, as they either don’t get worn enough or are just not versatile enough.

  17. January had mixed results for me. I purchased 10 items but only set out to purchase two. On the other hand, I did some major purging: 4 sweaters, 6 blouses, 3 pairs of pants, 2 pairs of shorts, 3 pairs of shoes, 3 watches and a tank top. The problem started when I went shopping for a couple of items on my ‘wardrobe priorities’ list with some money I was gifted over the holidays. That went well, I replaced the old leather jacket I just purged (so old it had shoulder pads!) and found the sweater dress I had been seeking for two winters. Unforunately, I was exposed to new spring items and the associated sales and became weak. High on those two successful purchases, I started to backslide. On the up side, the additional items are highly versatile and met the ‘love it’ criteria. Down side, do I really need 4 dresses? My total was $306 for the month, balanced a little bit by the $200 in gift cash. In response, I have ‘unsubscribed’ my email from everyone trying to sell me something (all but one of the above purchases was online). In February I am refining my wardrobe priorities list to exclude low priority items and to include things I would rather spend my money on (like my son’s birthday party).

    • First of all, Misty, congrats on the great purging you did, as well as finding a long desired sweater dress. As for purchasing more than you intended, it sounds like you learned from it and have taken steps to prevent it from happening again. Enjoy your new items and have fun planning your son’s birthday party!

    • Yes, it took me a long time to do it, too, Wendy. I used to wear those sandals quite a bit, but I soured on the color as of late. If they would have been black or metallic, they might still be a closet favorite.

Comments are closed.