Monday, April 30, 2012

30 For 30 for 12 Challenge - April Recap

Three months down...9 to go! Here's my recap of the 30 For 30 For 12 challenge for April.

[Warning: this is a big post]

Summary of Items with Links to Pictures
Shoes/Boots: 7 pairs
Skirts: 7
Tops: 9
Sweaters/Cardigans: 3
Jackets/Blazers: None

Pants: 1
Dresses: 3
Other: None

General Observations on April's Capsule
  • All the bright colour felt so good! It was doubly appreciated as L and I went through a very rough month of losing our dear kitty, Inigo. "Fake it till you feel it" was definitely in effect.
  • Simple, non-fussy pieces worked the easiest when I really didn't put any effort into my outfits. The good quality fabrics, patterns, and (for the most part) good cuts did a lot of the work for me.
  • As the weather gets warmer, I'm finding I need more weekend-wearable clothes. However, I was glad I'd put a few dressier items in the capsule.
  • One or two vibrant patterns worked well; having two very similar patterns meant one didn't get worn.
  • Comfort in shoes is becoming paramount. I simply can't handle any pair of shoes that kills my feet when I wear them 2-3 times a month. 
What Got Worn the Most/Least
Shoes: Unsurprisingly, the most comfortable shoes got worn the most: the black kitten heels were worn 5 times, as were the yellow Tsubos. Closely on their heels (pun intended) were the Pearl Harts and the lavender Campers. The yellow boots (ouch), purple Friis pumps (fab, but high) were only worn twice each. The red Feet First shoes were also only worn twice, mostly because I came to dislike the look of them - they are actually very comfortable.

Skirts: All of the skirts were worn a minimum of twice each, with the denim maxi skirt, plain grey pencil skirt, and the chartreuse Noa Noa skirt each getting 3 wears.

Pants: I absolutely love that I wore the leather pants three times. Every time I wear them, I love them more. I might need to fit these into an autumn capsule.

Tops: Making up for last month, I loaded April's capsule with 9 tops. However, the two "painty"/"camo" patterned blouses were so similar - I ended up wearing the Jones New York one only once because I just didn't need it in the capsule. The one casual tee - the yellow INC with ruffles at the neckline - was worn 5 times, compared to twice with every other top. 

Sweaters/Cardigans: I wore all of them a minimum of twice each, and got three wears out of the chartreuse yellow cardigan. 

Jackets/Blazers: I didn't miss jackets and blazers this month at all. We're getting firmly into cardigan season so I will likely not have too many jackets over the spring/summer that aren't being worn as outerwear.

Dresses: The three dresses were good as layering pieces for all the tops. I felt like I still had a lot of layering potential for them. I wore the purple one once, and the other two twice each.

Other: No "other" items this month.

What I Would Do Differently Next Month
  • A bit more balanced with tops and bottoms. I kept looking for another skirt or pair of pants to wear with them all.
  • Once again, I duplicated items: I had two grey skirts (one with pattern) and two "painty" blouses. More variety begets more creativity.
  • I wanted more variety in casual wear for the weekends. 
  • Shoes that don't hurt are a must. 
What is Leaving My Closet
  • The yellow boots have had it. They kill my feet. If I miss them, I'll look at the pictures. 
  • The red Mary-Janes have to go. I need another comfortable pair of red shoes, with better style elements. These just weren't right for my style as it is now.
  • The floral Le Chateau poofy skirt. It's just too short and I feel like I've gotten enough wear out of it for the 3+ years I've had it. 
  • The pink satin blouse. The style isn't right for me, nor is silk near my sweaty pits. I adore the colour and the big sleeves, though.
What's on the Fence
  • The grey Plum pencil skirt. Yeah, it's a good basic in a limited capsule, but once I'm done this challenge, is it interesting enough to stay in my closet?
  • The long yellow shirt. A bit too trendy to be a wardrobe staple. I like the colour, but not the style. It also has to be layered due to being a bit see-through. 
  • The denim Ricki's dress. But only if I find a really great denim dress that's as unique as this one first.
These are back in my wardrobe, and may be removed after I've "rested" from them. 

Looking Forward to Wearing Again
  • The lavender Campers. These were incredibly comfortable and I love the colour. Lavender is the new neutral!
  • The yellow Tsubos. Fabulous colour and so easy to wear.
  • The pink brocade pencil skirt. It's a work of art and I always feel good in it.
  • The Smoking Lily long-sleeved tee. It will actually move into my "around the house" casual wear wardrobe. It's soft and lovely to wear.
  • The cognac leather pants. As noted, I just love them. They might be in another capsule this year.
How I'm Feeling About the Year-Long Challenge So Far
What I said last month still stands: I am still enjoying it - it is a lot of fun to put together, plan and anticipate. A month feels just right - and I felt like there were a few more outfits I could have made.

I found myself annoyed by some items that I've obviously been hanging onto for sentimental reasons: the yellow boots and the Le Chateau floral pouffy skirt. They're both such cool items, but they just don't work for me anymore. I considered keeping both, but my closet can't turn into a museum of things I love but don't wear anymore.

I really love having a limited wardrobe - it makes picking outfits so much easier, and I feel like I'm able to revisit some of my favourite combinations without getting stale. I wouldn't want to do this challenge indefinitely or have to live with a wardrobe of limited items all the time, but the planning and long-range anticipation is quite fun.

Now...To refresh your memory, here are all the outfits together. You can click to embiggen them, and click on the dates to go to the original posts.

Apr 2nd
Apr 3rd
Apr 4th
Apr 5th
Apr 7th
Apr 8th
Apr 9th
Apr 10th
Apr 11th
Apr 12th
Apr 13th
Apr 14th
Apr 16th
Apr 17th
Apr 18th
Apr 19th
Apr 20th
Apr 23rd
Apr 24th
Apr 25th
Apr 26th
Apr 27th
Apr 28th 
Apr 28th (part 2)
Apr 30th
You can vote for your favourite outfits here (you can select more than one outfit, it's okay!):
[Edit: sorry, fixed this so that you can do multiple votes - also corrected April 28th (parts 1 and 2)]
What outfits rang your bell? Vote for as many as you want. free polls 
What About the Wild Card Outfit?
I did not one, not two, but THREE Wild Card outfits this month, due to the the Victoria Steam Expo. Check 'em out again here.

At the end of the year (next January), there will be a vote for Best Wild Card.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my capsule and reading the recap! Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for reading if you made it this far!


Apr 30th - Outfit #25 - Sheer and Leather, and a May Preview

I'm actually a little sad to hit the last outfit of the April capsule. I've really enjoyed having lots of bright colour. Not that I wore a lot of colour today!
I reviewed my spiffy spreadsheet last night and noticed that I'd only worn this blouse and this dress once each (here for the blouse and here for the dress). Mustn't let them feel left out, so I threw this together. I've done this combo before here - I like how the soft blue and taupe go together.

I'm wearing a full-length vintage blue slip under this, letting the pretty hem of it peek out, as well as keeping the slit in the front modest.

I last wore the shoes here (2nd outfit). I needed flats today (well, my version!). These lacy tights continue to be amazing. I am going to be upset when they give up.

The black stomacher is new - I found it at Dots for $12.99 plus an extra 30% off.
It's satin, lined and does up with about 10 little hook and eyes. It really held my waist in and helped me keep my posture today, which I needed because - WHOA - was I sore today!

I really should have done more training for the 10K yesterday. However, I managed to snag another silver medal! Woo!

The stuff:
I liked the one little touch of leopard. I am also doing my best to wear the heck out of my Wendy Brandes ring. I wear it nearly every day. 

Don't forget to check out Visible Monday at Patti's Not Dead Yet Style!

Dress (Part Two), blouse (Express, thrifted), stomacher (InWear), belt and earrings (Plum), ring (Wendy Brandes), ring (handmade in Scotland).

I'm now about to spend hours writing my April capsule summary email. Check out the past months' capsules here:

Here's a sneak peek at May's 30 items:
Lots of bright colours, but the predominant shades are blues and greens, with a bit of orange and brown thrown in.

The shoes:
A mix of shopping height and comfortable heels.

Hope you've enjoyed April as much as I have!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Apr 28th - Outfit #24 - Party at Caro's, and a 10K Today

Last night, I had a nap and then L and I hopped the bus to our dear friend Caro's 40th birthday party. Since I already used my Wild Card outfits for the month here, my party outfit came from my April capsule:
I thought this was sufficiently party-worthy.

This is my lovely paisley blouse (last seen here), my classic leather pants (last worn here), and my yellow Tsubos, last seen here.

I like showing off my pipes:
And I'm not even flexing! I'm still doing my pee push-ups regularly, even 2+ years later - that's all I do for my upper body.

I added a few leather cuffs to be ultra-tough, and of course, with all those yellows, I had to wear my yellow leather jacket:
I never thought a yellow jacket would be that much of a staple, but I wear this a lot.

All ready to catch the bus:
We stayed at the party until midnight and caught one of the last buses home. I had to get my beauty sleep for the 10K this morning!

Blouse (INC), pants (Gap, 2000, thrifted), shoes (Tsubos), black cuff (Guess, thrifted), brown cuff (SkinZnHydez), wrist wrap (Club Monaco), jacket (Danier Leather).

I was up early to get ready:
My usual race gear. I haven't been doing any training this month - it kind of fell by the wayside with the whole Inigo thing, but I knew I could push myself and do the race with a decent time (I'm sure I'll pay for it tomorrow!).

Mom and I at the start of the race:
My no-make-up face
I did the race in 1:15, and I'll find out in the next few days (after they tally the monitors' feedback) where I placed. Another medal would be nice! I have a bronze, two silvers and a gold for the Competitive Walking category.

My mom is the only woman who has done every one of the 23 10K races since they started.
She is pretty freakin' awesome. Way to go, Mom!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Apr 27th and 28th - Outfits #22 and 23 - Floofiness and Shopping

Last night I worked until 6:30 - on a Friday! I was really tired when I got home, so L and I went out for dinner, where I had a couple of strong cocktails. We came home and played Arkham Horror until midnight, so no blog time. 

My last casual Friday of the April capsule:
This is my Smoking Lily long-sleeved tee (last seen here, 2nd outfit) under the denim dress (last worn here). I'm wearing my floofy underskirt with the denim skirt unbuttoned to show it off. It's much easier to walk in that way!

The Smoking Lily obi makes yet another appearance.
As do my lovely Pearl Hart Bellevues, last seen here. They are breaking in nicely now - I walked to and from the restaurant last night, about 8 blocks.

I'm also wearing my new leather wrist wrap from Rad Juli that I picked up at the Steam Expo last weekend, and my Shi Studio bird wrap.

Dress (Ricki's), tee (Smoking Lily), skirt (no brand, consignment), obi (Smoking Lily), shoes (Pearl Hart Bellevues, Fluevog), cuff (Rad Juli), aqua cuff (Shi Studio).

My boss surprised me yesterday with a bouquet of flowers, a gift card and a really sweet card.
I was so touched. It was Administrative Professionals Day the other day, and he remembered. Aw...

Vizzini got up to no good - he really liked chewing on the ferns.
We had to move the vase up high where he couldn't reach it.

Today I went to my WW meeting, then out for lunch with L.
I had to get in one more wear of this awesome skirt (last worn here). I really like this yellow t-shirt (last seen here) as a casual top. It's a keeper.

I could barely keep my eyes open this morning:
The black kitten heels (last seen here) have been great. I've certainly gotten my money's worth out of them, considering they were only $4.00 thrifted last year. I've been trying to do low heels for the last few days, as the big 10K is tomorrow morning.

I added the white leather jacket for the weather. It's still a little chilly out at times.
I had a lot of compliments while I was out shopping.

Jacket (Le Chateau, consignment), t-shirt (INC, consignment), skirt (Bianca Nygard), belt (Gap), shoes (Enzo Angiolini, thrifted). 

Speaking of shopping, I bought this skirt at Club Monaco last week:
The regular price was $139.95. That's crazy - I would never pay that! However, it was marked down to $29.99 and I would certainly pay that. I have cleared out my two old leopard skirts (this one and this one) - I wanted a really good quality one, as a leopard pencil skirt is a wardrobe staple, at least for me!

Today, I found something really cool, these Smoking Lily pants:
They were $28.99 on consignment - no idea what the regular price was, but probably over $100.

They're linen which I hesitated over. and linen, I don't know. But they look awesome on and I fell in love with the print on the inside of the waistband:
It's a horse!

And look what else:
 A motorcycle! As L pointed out, "That's two kinds of horsepower right there."

I also found this lovely deep purple jersey dress:
It's really similar to this blue dress I bought last year (at the same store!). It was also $28.95, and is by Enfocus Studio.

Vizzini was being really cute this morning. I got in close.
 He rarely sits still, so it's hard to get pictures of him.
I love his little white soul patch.

Such a funny kitty.
Hope you are having a good weekend!

I am off to a party for my dear friend Caro's 40th birthday - Happy Birthday, hon!