November 2015 Accountability Update

Just like with last month, I’m getting this accountability update up a little late.  I actually considered combining my November and December updates since I don’t have a whole lot to share this month.  However, I ultimately opted to write this post now and I will do a big year-end wrap-up (like this one I did last year) in a few weeks.

For those who are new to the blog, these monthly reports are where I share what came into and left my closet and how I did with my shopping budget.   Sharing what I bought, what I culled, and how much I spent helps me to stay honest and on track with my wardrobe and shopping.  It also contributes toward my being more deliberate, which is my theme for 2015.


How honest are you with yourself and others about your shopping?

What Left My (Main) Closet

I always start these reports with what left my closet during the previous month.  However, since I let go of quite a few items last month and have not yet done the “KonMari Process” again, I didn’t let go of anything during November.

What I did do, however, is move a few items from my “working closet” over to my wardrobe “staging area” (which I wrote about in this post).  My reason for doing this is that some of my pants and jeans are just too big for me after losing quite a bit of weight in recent months. While I could opt to simply get rid of these pieces, I have decided to save them for a while.  I’m not sure what’s going to happen with my weight in the future and it could be a good idea to keep a few pairs of pants in a size up in case I might need them.  I will re-visit the issue in a few months to see what’s going on and what I want to do.

Below are the pants and jeans that I have moved to the “staging area” of my closet:  two pairs of boot-cut jeans and one pair of trousers that I definitely can’t wear right now.

Staging Area Pants

I moved these trousers and jeans to my closet “staging area” because they are too big.

I may move a few other pairs of pants and jeans to the staging area soon as well, but they could still be “passable” even though they are baggy.   I will have to see how I feel when I try to wear them.   If I feel at all frumpy (the worst word – and feeling…) or sloppy, out they go!   Even if I only have a few pairs of pants that work for me now, that’s okay. I just want to feel good in whatever I am wearing.  We usually don’t need nearly as much as we think we do.

What Came Into My Closet and Why

During November, I added two new pairs of jeans to my closet, both in smaller sizes to accommodate my weight loss. Since I returned one pair of jeans for a refund in October and have moved three pairs of pants to my closet staging area, these new jeans have helped to round out my wardrobe.  I really don’t have that many pairs of pants compared to a lot of women I know.  It’s always a challenge to find pants that fit well and are available in long lengths.

Here are the two pairs of jeans that I added to my closet last month.  They are both considered “boot-cut,” but the ones on the right are more like a straight-leg style on me.   It really doesn’t matter what things are called – or what size they are; it matters how they fit and flatter our bodies. I feel that both of these jeans look nice on me and they are both comfortable as well.

November 2015 - new items

I added these two pairs of jeans to my closet last month. 

What I Wore

Since I’m not going to do another LIWI update (see my last one here) until my year-end wrap up post, I will share what I wore during November in today’s post.  Here’s a quick snapshot of the clothes and shoes I wore last month:

November 2015 Items Worn

These were the clothes and shoes I wore during November 2015. 

In all, I wore 30 items of clothing (one is not shown) and 8 pairs of shoes in November.  That doesn’t include dedicated workout/lounge wear; I often wear “regular” shirts with lounge pants at home.   Eight of the garments and two pairs of shoes shown above were worn multiple times.  My November clothing number is quite a bit lower than it usually is (for comparison, I wore 42 garments during October), but my shoe number was pretty standard.

I didn’t get out as much as usual last month because of illness, so I didn’t wear as many “out and about” clothes.  Because my life continues to shift to being at home more and more, I plan to devote more attention to my at-home wardrobe next year.   It’s good to feel happy and comfortable in what we’re wearing no matter where we are, what we’re doing, and who we’re around. Even if we’re at home in front of a computer and no one sees us, it can still boost our spirits to love what we have on.   We are the most important person we need to impress!

In terms of accessories, I wore one scarf and two necklaces during November (I don’t track the other jewelry items I wear) and carried two purses.   Here’s a look at those items:

November 2015 purses, necklaces, and scarf

These are the purses I carried and the scarf and necklaces I wore last month. 

November Budget Report

My clothing budget for 2015 is $2500 (down from $3000 last year).   I was originally going to have just an annual budget this year (I maintained monthly budgets during 2013 and 2014), but I decided to switch to quarterly limits after spending too much money during February.

My quarterly budget is $625.   However, since I exceeded my third quarter budget by $295.83, my fourth quarter budget was reduced to just $329.17.  I was actually very close to having spent my entire budget as of the end of October.  Last month, I purchased the two pairs of jeans shown above, as well as some socks that I desperately needed. I spent a total of $157.40 during November on clothing and related expenses. Consequently, I have exceeded my 2015 budget by $73.99 as of November 30.  I still have some items that I could potentially return, so it’s still possible that I may come in under budget before the year is over.

I have not bought anything new in December thus far and really don’t plan to, with the exception of a couple of possible Christmas presents which won’t count toward my budget (I may get a new pair of black booties and a black coat as gifts from my husband).   So my thought is that I will either come in at slightly over budget or within my budget with little to spare.  I will update you on this when I do my year-end wrap up post in a few weeks.

Item Report

As of July, I have been reporting on the number of items that I’ve added to and purged from my wardrobe during 2015.  Here’s a summary for the year as of the end of November:

  • Items Added:  87 (67 garments, 5 pairs of shoes, 1 scarf, 13 pieces of jewelry)
  • Items Returned: 7 (5 garments, 1 pair of shoes, 1 piece of jewelry – note that if I buy and return something within the same month, it isn’t included in my accountability updates)
  • New 2015 Items Purged: 12 (7 tops, 1 cardigan, 1 pair of jeans, 2 skirts, and one bracelet that I lost)
  • New 2015 Purchases Remaining: 68 (includes the 2 new items that I added in November)

NOTE:  The numbers above do not include the total number of items that I have purged this year, which is much greater than twelve.  I will compile that information and share it in a separate post at the end of the year or in early January.  The numbers above only pertain to items that I have acquired during 2015.

Your Thoughts?

So that’s it for my November accountability update.   Now it’s your turn to chime in:

  • How did you do with your shopping and wardrobe during November (and even the first half of December since this update is so late)?
  • 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 for the remainder of 2015!

11 thoughts on “November 2015 Accountability Update

  1. Oh Debbie, it must’ve felt kinda good to write this pretty “uneventful” accountability post. I hope so, anyway! With going through so much intense self-scrutiny, a significant style evolution and health-impacted clothing changes, I think you’ve done a hell of a job basically doing a necessary and targeted overhaul on you wardrobe on that budget. And honestly anyone who wants to criticize you can f*** off and go play elsewhere. 🙂

    Being ill can so warp our perceptions. Between this post and the last post, it is so obvious that you had a banner year despite all the challenges and setbacks. And I bet it’s so much easier for me to see that as an outside observer, than for you who is having to live through everything day after day. So please allow me hold up a mirror so you can see your amazing, badass reflection for once. Ok? Virtual hugs and toasts.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words and validation, Claire (and Emmy for “liking” what Claire said). Yes, it did feel good to write a pretty uneventful accountability post. December’s will be similar, I think, but there is still a bit of time left in the month. I agree that being ill can warp our perceptions, plus I have always been a perfectionist and pretty hard on myself. I know I have made a lot of positive changes this year. Yes, I haven’t accomplished all that I wanted to, but that is often true for many of us. I appreciate the pep talk and the fact that you called me an amazing badass 🙂 Virtual hugs to you, too!

  2. It’s so important to keep oneself accountable. I find these types of posts as therapeutic to read as they are for me to write for myself. You are doing a great job with your shopping and managing your wardrobe.

    • Thank you, Lisa! I’m glad you like these posts. I like reading your accountability posts, too, as well as all of your posts. I agree that even reading other’s posts of this nature can be therapeutic.

  3. It seems you have done well since October. I fell down in November. As always, I use sales as an excuse to spend. My splurging was not random or thoughtless though. Nearly all were items on my list of needs, most were replacements for worn out versions. My biggest ticket item, a new coat, had been on my wish list for a couple of years. I purged nearly all of my sweaters but living in a cold climate, I found myself wishing for something warm. But now it is not random spending. Thanks to the advice from reading this blog, I knew the colors, silhouettes and fabrics I wanted. It was all done mail order so I frequently purchased multiple sizes to try and returned the extras. Now it has to be a perfect fit or it gets sent back. I was never that particular before. I have continued to purge, 21 items in November, already a couple of things in December. I will be over budget for the year, but far less than in previous years. So thank you. As of this month I have been reading this blog for a year. While I’m not there yet, I am far from where I was a year ago. I own less than half as much stuff as I did and I love my clothes more.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your accountability here, Misty. I don’t know that you really fell down in November. You may have spent more than you wanted to, but it seems that your shopping is much more deliberate (my word for the year…) now. You are shopping from a list and buying things that you need for your real life. And congrats on how well you are doing with purging,too! I’m so happy that my blog has helped you to get more in touch with what works best for you! How wonderful that you have come so far in a year. Your last sentence is a true testament to your progress.

  4. You have done really well – keeping close to your budget, even though the budget was less than last year. I’ve spent more than I intended this year, but have purchased nothing in November or December so far. The sales will be a challenge, but I’m aiming to keep the purchase to only one or two items…

    • Thank you, Alice. Congrats on not shopping at all in November or in December thus far. Even though you have spent more than you wanted, you are turning it around in the home stretch, which is great. We can’t turn back the clock, but we can learn from what we’ve done. Best wishes with the sales. Those are often a challenge for me, too, but there seem to be sales all the time here now, so they end of the year sales are less tempting for me.

  5. Great turnaround!
    I was also out of yearly budget by mid November. I got cashmere sweaters on Black Friday deals but am putting my xmas gift cash towards them. I’m okay with this little ‘fudge’ on the budget. I likely won’t even take off the tags or wear them until then anyway!
    Then, just this afternoon I ordered a sweaterdress. I should have waited the 3 days until my shopping year officially starts, but oh well. It was on sale and Old Navy sells out fast sometimes. I think the sales from Thanksgiving through Christmas are hard to ignore and I should think about how to figure next year’s budget with them in mind. For now, I am cheating by 3 days.
    As for what’s left the wardrobe – not much lately. I’m in fine tuning mode these days.
    Total purchases (minus the basics like exercise wear and socks and uniforms) for 2015 are 31 before the gift sweaters mentioned above and the sweaterdress. If I should keep that, the total is 34. I purged 3 of the purchases pretty much straight away as mistakes, and have not worn 3 of them yet. One is a Dalmatian print clutch purse and I’ve no occasion yet to use it. The other are an Equipment silk shirt and jeweled cuff Miss me jeans.
    On the note of things not yet worn – I am very mindful of my limited ‘going out’ occasions these days and want my shopping in 2016 to reflect my limited need for new things.

    • I appreciate your sharing your accountability here, Mo. I think you are doing well with your seasonal shopping and I think it makes sense to start the new year in late December when winter starts. Maybe I should do something similar, especially since I always seem to run out of budget and I want to shop in December (I agree that it’s hard to ignore those holiday sales and I have pretty much had to this year since I overspent earlier). Buying the sweaterdress 3 days early is no big deal. You won’t even receive it until you are well into the new shopping year. Buying 31 or 34 items in a year seems reasonable to me. I have bought more than twice that, but would like to cut it down more to your level next year. Your purchases seem very deliberate and in line with your life. It think it’s okay to have a few things that don’t get worn as often. You and I may have very casual lives for the most part, but we like to get dressed up and wear pretty things sometimes and we should be able to do that!

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