I hope all those in the U.S. had a great July 4th weekend (and that everyone else had a nice weekend, too). Mine was more low-key than usual, as my sweet kitty Coco had to have five teeth extracted on Friday and I wanted to stay close by to keep an eye on her. She is doing okay now and is on my lap purring as I type this… There must be something about July 4th and tooth issues in my family, as I suffered with an infected tooth and had to have a root canal last year!
My husband and I celebrated our 14th anniversary with a lunch on Coronado Island. Since we got married on an island (Catalina – see a photo and read about my 2013 anniversary here), we make it a ritual to spend every anniversary on an island. Our island jaunts have ranged from the faraway and exotic (the Caribbean, Hawaii) to the nearby and tame (Coronado, Balboa). Here’s a photo of us from this year on Coronado, with downtown San Diego in the background (I was wearing one of my wardrobe pieces that have stood the test of time – the tank, as well as a favorite maxi skirt from last year). It was a beautiful and sunny day and the crowds were definitely out, as evidenced by the other photo below (taken with the new camera my husband gave me as an anniversary present).
About My Accountability Updates
It’s now time for another accountability report, this time for June. For those who are new to the blog, 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. It’s my way of keeping myself honest and on track with my wardrobe and shopping. Sharing what I bought, what I culled, and how much I spent helps me to stay deliberate (my theme for 2015 – I will be posting an update on this soon…) with both my shopping and wardrobe management.
What Left My Closet
I always start these reports with what left my closet during the previous month. This section is fairly sparse this time around, as I let go of quite a few items back in May by means of the “KonMari Method.” Summer weather only just started a few weeks ago where I live, but I suspect I will be culling some more pieces within the next month or so after I see what I do and don’t wear this season. I only purged two jewelry pieces during June, as shown below:
Why I Culled These Items
In addition to posting photos of what left my closet, I also list why I decided to release those pieces. I feel that pinpointing our reasons for purging closet (and jewelry) items can help us notice patterns and avoid future mistakes.
My reasons for letting go of the items above are as follows:
- Brushed silver earrings – I have never really loved these earrings and have other similar styles that I love and wear more often. I’m trying to let go of duplicates whenever possible, especially when I don’t wear them much or at all.
- Brushed silver bracelet – The beads on this bracelet are too large for my small wrists and I don’t find the bracelet comfortable to wear. I also have a few other beaded bracelets that are similar and work better for me. I held on to this bracelet and the matching earrings because they were a gift from my mom a few years ago, but it’s time to let them both go.
What Came Into My Closet
I didn’t do much shopping during June and most of what I bought was driven by need rather than want. One of the items pictured below (the turquoise tee) was actually purchased during May and I neglected to include it in last month’s report. Here’s a look at my new June pieces:
Why I Added These Items to My Wardrobe
Here are my reasons for adding the items pictured above to my closet:
- Boot-cut jeans – I have lost some weight in recent months, such that some of my jeans are really too baggy for me to wear right now. So when I saw that Lucky Brand was having a sale on one of the jeans styles I liked, I snapped these up in a size down from what I had before. I’ve already worn them several times and they are a good addition to my wardrobe.
- Pink print tee – I bought this tee online during a recent Eddie Bauer sale, as I had been so happy with the turquoise print tee I added to my closet during May (also pictured above because I forgot to include it in my May update). As I’ve mentioned previously, I wanted to add a few new casual short-sleeved tops to my closet since I have gotten rid of so many in recent months. Unfortunately, the fit on this tee isn’t as good as that of the turquoise version, although they are supposed to be exactly the same. I still like it, but I don’t think it will end up being as much of an “all-star” as the turquoise tee.
- Purple workout tee – I also purchased this online via the Eddie Bauer sale, as I’ve been happy with the blue version that I bought back in January. I like the color and the fact that the tee is breathable and stays in place fairly well during my workouts. I have had trouble finding good workout tees that wash and wear well, but this style has been good for me so far. I’m open to other suggestions for workout tops if you have them, as this wardrobe area has been a real challenge for me as of late.
- Turquoise print tee – I love the color of this tee and the print is a nice change over the plain or striped tees I usually wear. I have worn this tee several times already and am very happy with it. The color is great for me and I like that the tee is casual but still looks nice.
- Black and turquoise walking shoes – I purchased these shoes out of sheer necessity, as the walking shoes I bought back in January hurt my feet. I acquired those shoes via eBay and they were supposed to be the same style as my previous pair, but my foot pain (I have very fussy feet) seemed to indicate there was a difference somewhere. When I was finding it difficult to walk in the other shoes, I knew I needed to make a change. Although I am still experiencing hip and foot pain (I’m currently going to physical therapy), these new shoes are working much better for me and I’m able to walk at least a portion of what I used to do before pain derailed that favorite activity several months ago. Hopefully, I will be back to my usual walks before too long…
Checking in on Last Month’s Purchases
Beginning earlier this year, I added a new section to my accountability updates in which I check in on the previous month’s purchases. I feel that it’s important to add new closet additions to one’s regular wardrobe rotation as soon as possible, so it’s helpful for me to be accountable to you on that front.
I encourage you to check in on your previous month’s purchases, too, to evaluate whether or not they are serving your needs. If not, you may still be able to return things and mitigate any potential buying mistakes you’ve made.
As a reminder, I added 3 new items to my closet during May (see this post for details):
- Black straight-leg jeans – I haven’t worn these jeans yet. They needed to be hemmed and then the weather warmed up and I’ve been enjoying wearing skirts and dresses instead of jeans. I’m sure I will wear the jeans soon, though, as they fit well and I’ve wanted to replace my old black jeans for a long time.
- Black sandals – I’m so glad I finally bought these sandals, as I had really wanted them at the end of last summer but held off on the purchase then due to timing. I have worn the sandals twice so far. The first time I wore them, I was out and about and walking quite a bit, but they were very comfortable right off the bat. I think these sandals will be an “all-star” for me this summer.
- Turquoise tank top – I just wore this top for the first time yesterday. It is very similar to my other tank tops that have been summer staples for me for years, and I really like the color. It fits me nicely and coordinates well with a few of my scarves, one of which I paired with it yesterday. I am happy with this tank top and believe it will see a lot of wear this season.
I have also worn most of my April purchases at this point (two items remain unworn, one of which needs a simple alteration that I will have done this week) and have been quite happy with them. My new tie-waist cardigans have worked out great and allow me to stay warm without overwhelming my frame like many of my knit blazers did. I will do an update soon on my purchases from the first half of 2015, where I will share the good, bad, and ugly of my shopping so far this year. Stay tuned…
June Budget Report
My clothing budget for 2015 is $2500 (down from $3000 last year). I was originally going to have just an annual budget (I maintained monthly budgets during 2013 and 2014), but decided to change to quarterly limits after spending too much money during February.
My quarterly budget is $625. Since I bought so many new items during April, I came pretty close to spending my entire quarterly budget in just one month! During June, I spent a total of $39.86 on clothing and shoes, after returns. My total expenditures for the second quarter came in at $686.08, which exceeded my quarterly budget by $61.08.
Unfortunately, I also exceeded my budget for the first quarter of the year (by $64.38), so I have some catching up to do if I want to stay on track. So far this year, I have spent $1380.46 on clothing and related purchases, which is over my budget by $130.46. My plan is to work with a reduced quarterly budget of $494.54 instead of $625 for the third quarter (July through September) to make up for my overages earlier in the year. This may prove challenging with the upcoming Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, my favorite sale of the year, but I also have my birthday coming up in August (number 49 – say it isn’t so!) and birthday money doesn’t count toward my budget.
Speaking of the Nordstrom sale, I approached it from two different extremes in 2013 and 2014. I avoided the sale completely in 2013 and went overboard with my shopping last year. This year, I’m aiming for a happy medium in which I allow myself to buy a few things while still sticking to my shopping priorities list. I will be sure to do some advance planning before I shop the sale so I can avoid the chaos I experienced last year. If I focus on being very deliberate (my theme for the year) about what I buy, I will shop smarter and be less likely to experience regret or the need to make returns. I will report in on how I do either later this month or in early August.
So that’s it for my June accountability update. The last two updates were a lot easier for me to write than my April report. It’s much simpler when I don’t do a lot of shopping. I actually haven’t been feeling inspired or compelled to shop as of late. I have been focused on other things, both positive (like my photography) and not so great (my health and some of the other topics I wrote about here).
I am not going to get cocky and think I have my shopping problem licked, though. I know I am always in danger of relapsing, especially since my recovery is still relatively young. After all, I am over my budget for the year at this point and the Nordstrom sale is right around the corner. I have to remain vigilant and keep aware of my shopping triggers and “aftershocks,” as well as my own recovery tips and the advice I’ve written about in my books. I don’t always practice what I preach, so I need to re-read what I’ve written and take it to heart, especially during challenging times when I may be more likely to lapse into old maladaptive habits and behaviors.
As a reminder, the “what I wore” section that I used to include in my accountability updates is now part of my “Love It, Wear It” Challenge (LIWI) updates, the next of which will be posted later this week. Some other posts that are on the horizon include an update on my theme for the year, a purchase analysis for the first half of 2015, and some thoughts on the “full life project” that was a major driver in my starting “Recovering Shopaholic.” While I have made tremendous progress in downsizing my closet and building a working wardrobe, I still have a long way to go in trading my full closet for a full life. I need to focus more on that pursuit – and write about it – if I ever want to make it a reality.
If you have any suggestions for future topics, you are welcome to share them in the comments section or by contacting me directly. I am always open to ideas and some of my best posts have been inspired by readers’ comments, questions, and suggestions.
Now it’s your turn to chime in.
- How did you do with your shopping and wardrobe during June?
- What successes and/or challenges did you experience?
I invite you to share your wins, setbacks, and any questions you may have for me or others in this community. Some of you have opted to share your accountability updates each month, too, which is great. There is strength in numbers and in declaring our truth on a forum such as this one. 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 July and throughout the remainder of 2015!