Lessons from Closet Favorites – 2015 Cool Weather Items

Way back in the fall of 2013, I wrote a post about lessons from closet favorites, using my summer wardrobe from that year as an example.  In that post, I shared photos of my favorite items from that season and looked for common threads among them that could inform my future shopping.  Today I’d like to do the same with my cool weather wardrobe (the cool weather season spans from December through June where I live – we don’t really get true winters here).

Closet favorites

Do you know what your closet favorites have in common?

For most people in the northern hemisphere, summer has officially begun even if there are a few days left of spring on the calendar.  This is a good time to take stock of last season’s wardrobe and how it did or didn’t meet our needs.  If you’re reading this from Down Under or similar parts of the world, you may want to take a look instead at your fall (autumn) clothing for the purposes of this exercise, since that season is coming to a close for you.

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First Quarter 2015 Wardrobe Wrap-Up

I know I wrote in my last post that I would be sharing more “lessons from my outfit journal” this week, but I realized that I had more I wanted to say about my wardrobe and my “Love it, Wear It” Challenge (LIWI).   So the outfit photos and journal entries will have to wait until next week instead.

In today’s post, I’m going to reflect back on how my shopping and wardrobe management has progressed so far this year.  One quarter of the year is behind us, so this is a good time to pause and reflect on what is and isn’t working for us.  Having periodic check-ins with ourselves can help increase our self-awareness and enable us to build upon what we’ve learned and avoid making mistakes.

I’m going to share what I’ve purchased this year and what I’ve passed on, as well as how I feel about both of these groups of items.   I’m also going to spend a bit of time looking at my jewelry and accessories and what has yet to be worn in 2015.  It’s my hope that my reflections will help you make similar analyses with your own wardrobes so you can better achieve your wardrobe and shopping goals.

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Worst Purchases of 2014 and “On the Fence” Items

Now it’s time for the bad news in regards to my 2014 shopping, my worst purchases of the year.  I wish I could say that only a few items fall into this category, but that’s not the case. Although my shopping track record has definitely improved over previous years, I clearly still have a lot to learn.  Since learning and growth are really the purposes of this blog – and all of our journeys – I feel there is merit to analyzing both the good and the bad (and we all know that I love some good analysis!).

year 2014 in review

Have you taken the time to review your 2014 purchases?

In today’s post, I share the bad purchases I made this year, as well as those items that remain in uncertain territory.   As with my best purchases post, I include lots of photos and aim to find common ground among the pieces that just weren’t good buys.  As for those unsure items, I will make educated guesses as to whether or not they will become wardrobe workhorses in the future.   It’s kind of a “mixed bag,” but I’ll do my best to predict which pieces will have staying power and which ones will likely be headed out the door in short order.

This post is a long one (perhaps I should have made this a three part series), but it’s the end of the year, so why not sit down with a nice cup of coffee, tea, or hot cocoa (or even a stiff drink) and think about your own purchases as I recount mine.  There is value in looking at what we bought and how our purchases have either served us well or fallen flat.   If you do this type of analysis (which I recommend), try not to beat yourself up too much for your shortcomings.  I will try to keep this review lighthearted as well, as I cannot go back and change the past.  We can only look forward and it’s useful to do so with the lessons from the past firmly in our minds.

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Best Purchases of 2014

The year is drawing to a close and for many of us, it’s a time of reflection.   As I did last year, I will publish a series of 2014 wrap-up posts, most of which will actually go live in early January.   I’m going to start my retrospective on a high note, with my best purchases of the past year.

Good purchases

What were your best purchases of the year?

In today’s post, I’ll share a brief overview of my 2014 purchases, followed by a look at what I see as my best buys in various wardrobe categories.   I’ll close out with a list of my top ten closet acquisitions of the year.   Later this week, I’ll delve into the darker side of things – my worst 2014 purchases, as well as those items for which the proverbial jury is still out.   Since over two-thirds of my purchases were made in the second half of the year and many were for the late to arrive cooler weather, I’m not yet able to appropriately classify everything as either “good” or “bad.”

2014 Purchase Overview

But that’s a subject for my next post – on to today’s topic!   Let’s start with an overview…  I have added 55 items to my closet this year.  Several gifts are included within this number.   Items that were returned for refunds don’t count, but things that were passed on for donation or consignment do.

Because I still made a fair number of returns this year, I’ve had trouble keeping track of my item number.   In fact, as I tried to round up all of the stats for this post, my head started to spin.  So let’s just say that I exceeded my initial item limit of 38 (set forth in this post) by quite a bit and either met or came close to my revised item limit of 53 (written about here).   I had too many exclusions and caveats anyway, so I definitely understand why some of you got confused by the whole thing.  Even I am confused, so let’s just look at the items and not get into semantics of limits for the sake of this discussion.

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Resale Shopping – How’s That Working for Me?

Years ago, I used to love watching “The Dr. Phil Show.”  I had watched him on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and liked the no-nonsense, tough love approach he used with people.   One question he posed frequently to guests who kept doing the same things over and over again was,

How’s that working for you?

That question really cut to the heart of the issue.   We often keep repeating behaviors out of habit or because we’re not sure what else to do, but how many times do we stop to ask ourselves if something is really working for us or not?

Resale Hits and Misses

Resale Shopping

Are those low-priced items in resale stores really “good buys”?

Today’s post represents me doing just that.  For a number of years, I have shopped at resale stores.  I love the “treasure hunt” aspect of it and the possibility of finding something beautiful and unique at an amazingly low price.    Of course, I shopped retail, too.  Let’s face it; I pretty much shopped all the time and few shopping avenues were not on my list.   But in addition to being a general shopaholic, I definitely became a “resale-o-holic.” Continue reading