April Wardrobe Challenge Wrap-Up

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shoes – shoe company ; pants – banana republic ; black tank – gap ; chambray shirt – gap

I can’t believe how fast April went by!  Seriously.  And how do I feel now that April is over and I can once again wear any clothes that my heart desires?  Let’s put it this way, when I got dressed for work this morning, I chose only clothes that had been included in my challenge.  Does this mean I am going to continue on dressing with a minimal wardrobe?  Absolutely!

To be quite honest, I really didn’t struggle with this challenge.  Maybe it’s because I once lived out of a suitcase for a year and am no stranger to having very limited options when it comes to clothes.  This challenge was perhaps easier than the other times in my life that I’ve had to live with a minimal wardrobe (aka when I’m traveling) because I didn’t include lounge wear, workout clothes, etc. in my challenge.  When I’ve gone traveling, I’ve had to include ALL of these things.  I’ve even been faced with the challenge of living out of a backpack for a month when I also had to pack a tent, sleeping back, mattress, hiking boots, and other camping gear.  Everything had to fit into one backpack and I had to make sure it was all light enough that I could carry it.  Needless to say I ended up packing very few clothes and doing a lot of laundry.  Compared to that experience, my April Wardrobe Challenge was a breeze.

What did I learn from this challenge? And what are the benefits of doing a challenge like this?

1.  April in the lower mainland is definitely not as warm as April in the Okanagan and therefore I shouldn’t have bothered including shorts and my romper in this challenge.  These were the only 2 items that I never once wore.

2.  I now have a specific list of items that I need (well, not “need” in the sense like I need oxygen or food or water) for my wardrobe.  For example, I realized during this challenge that I don’t have any dark wash jeans that fit me.  I’m not saying I’m going to go out and specifically look for a pair of dark wash jeans, but from now on I will consider a good fitting pair of dark wash jeans to be an acceptable purchase if I find some I love.

3.  I don’t like boyfriend jeans.  I really like them on other people, I really do.  But they’re just not for me.  I included my pair in my April challenge as a way to force myself to wear them, but I ended up just avoiding wearing them.  They will definitely be joining my pile of “to donate” clothes.

4.  I never once found myself reaching for my boxed up clothing, with the exception of my going-out outfit on my birthday.

5.  I really like stripes, apparently.

In summary, my April Challenge was a success and I would highly encourage anyone who is even remotely considering a capsule wardrobe to do a challenge like this.  What do you think? Would you be up to the challenge?  Leave me a comment below!

-Kristen

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April Update and New Outfits

Hey everyone, I thought I’d write a quick post to update you on my April Wardrobe Challenge.  So far all is going great.  I’m really loving how easy it is to get dressed in the morning, mainly because I don’t have a lot of clothes to choose from.  Also, now that I’ve figured out a few different outfits that look great, I’ve started falling back onto those outfits and wearing them over again.  That’s why I haven’t uploaded many new outfit posts lately, because a lot of the outfits I’ve been wearing have been repeats.  Here are just a few new outfits I’ve put together and worn over the last week:

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boots – call it spring ; skirt and sweater – banana republic

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shoes – converse ; pants and tee – banana republic ; jean jacket – american eagle

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ankle boots – toms ; dress – nordstrom rack ; jean jacket – american eagle

-Kristen

A Weekend Outfit

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sandals – gap ; maxi dress – target ; chambray shirt – gap

Last Saturday, Kurt and I had a date night.  We went out for dinner and a movie.  It was a beautiful day out, and I wanted to wear a dress, but I always get so cold in movie theatres when the air conditioning is going.  So I decided to wear my chambray shirt overtop of my dress.  A perfect April weekend outfit!

-Kristen

Stripes on Stripes on Stripes

April 7

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flats – gap ; pants – american eagle ; top – nordstrom rack ; bracelet – stella & dot

April 8

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flats – naturalizer ; pants – banana republic ; sweater – gap ; sunglasses – powder room ; necklace – hart & stone

April 9

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boots – call it spring ; dress – old navy ; watch – nixon

April 10

IMG_2095IMG_2100boots – call it spring ; pants – garage ; top – h&m ; blazer – banana republic ; watch – nixon

Apparently I really like stripes.  Although I honestly didn’t realize how many striped items I own until I was creating my capsule wardrobe for April.  Not only did I include the striped items pictured here in my capsule, I also have a striped maxi dress and pin striped shorts.  I may have gone a little overboard with the stripes.  And who says that horizontal stripes can’t be flattering?  I got so many compliments when I wore this stripey dress to work on April 9.

What do you think about wearing stripes?  Do you steer clear of them because of the myth that horizontal stripes always look bad?  Or are you like me and just say screw it?

-Kristen

Channeling my Inner Cowgirl

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wedges – toms ; jeans – american eagle ; shirt – gap ; belt – gap ; ring – hart + stone

I wore this outfit on April 6th while Kurt and I went out for froyo and to get groceries.  We were planning on going bowling as well, which is why I opted for jeans over a skirt.  But our bowling plans fell through.

I bought these boyfriend jeans from American Eagle back in September, and have been struggling to figure out a way to style them.  I just feel like whenever I wear them with flats I end up looking short and stumpy.  I think that pairing them with these wedges helps dress them up a bit and makes my legs longer.

The combination of this leather belt and the tucked in shirt gives this outfit somewhat of a western vibe.  I am definitely not a cowgirl, but this outfit makes me feel like one!

-Kristen

Five by Five

So far all is going good with my April Wardrobe Challenge.  However, I’ve already learned a few things from limiting myself to so few clothes.  First is that I could have done a better job of selecting my shoes for the challenge.  I’ve already found myself wearing my Hunter boots out a few times, because I knew I would be going somewhere that I would have to chase Penny around and may end up having to chase her through the mud.  So I guess I broke my rules with my shoes already.  Oh well, this whole process is meant to be a learning experience.

I thought I would share with you the first 5 outfits I’ve worn as part of my challenge.

April 1

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shoes – converse ; jeans – american eagle ; sweater – banana republic

I had April 1st off of work, so I spent the day doing errands, and cooking.  This outfit was perfect for shopping and lounging around the house.

April 2

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shoes – ryka ; pants – garage ; tee – banana republic ; plaid – banana republic ; necklace – hart + stone

Working at 7:00 a.m. meant that I needed a super comfortable outfit, especially comfortable shoes.  This outfit was super casual, but comfortable.

April 3

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boots – call it spring ; skirt – banana republic ; tee – gap

Worked all day.  This outfit was work appropriate yet a little more dressy.

April 4

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sandals – gap ; jeans – gap ; tee – garage ; scarf – aldo

Worked for a few hours and took Penny to Kurt’s parents for dinner.  This outfit transitioned nicely from work to walking the dog.

April 5

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boots – toms ; jeans – american eagle ; tee – gap ; sunglasses – powder room

I wore this outfit to the George Ezra concert in Vancouver.  It was sooo hot at the concert, I kind of wish I had worn a skirt or something cooler.  But I was proud of myself for standing hours on end in my ankle boot wedges- the extra couple of inches of height they gave me definitely helped me see over the crowd!

I would love to know what you think of these outfits.  Which one do you like best?  Leave me a comment below!

-Kristen

April Wardrobe Challenge

Lately I’ve been reading a lot about minimalism and the idea of living with less “stuff”. That led me to the idea of building and testing out a capsule wardrobe for myself. I’ve found lots of great blogs such as Un-Fancy and INTO-MIND which have truly inspired me.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the term “capsule wardrobe” the basic idea is to limit the amount of clothes in your closet to some specific number (usually 30-something) and only wear those items for the entire season. During the designated amount of time (usually 3 months) you aren’t allowed to buy any new clothes. I really like the idea of a capsule wardrobe for the following reasons:

  1. It focuses you on buying fewer clothes of good quality rather than lots of cheap clothes. This helps you save money and avoid impulse shopping.
  2. It forces you to build a wardrobe that you actually love. For example, my closet is currently filled of a lot of hand-me downs or random clothes from forever 21 that I don’t actually like, don’t fit me great, and are hard to make into actual outfits. When I spent some time going through my closet this week it really made me realize that I mostly buy clothes because they are on sale, and I never spend the time thinking about how to make an outfit before I purchase pieces. This has left me with a ton of clothes but not a lot that actually goes together.
  3. It forces you to think about what pieces of clothing you actually need. For example, when going through my closet I realized I don’t have any shorter skirts. I have like 3 maxi skirts, but no pencil skirts or anything shorter than ankle length. Now when I go shopping I know that I probably don’t need to buy another maxi skirt, but buying a mini skirt could be justified.
  4. Having fewer pieces to choose from helps save time when getting dressed in the morning. It also saves time spent doing laundry and shopping for new clothes.

As someone who has lived out of a suitcase for a year, and has backpacked through Thailand and Europe, the idea of living with a very limited wardrobe doesn’t seem too foreign to me. When I started writing down what clothes I would include in my capsule wardrobe, I realized that 30-something articles of clothing is actually quite a lot.

However, I did decide to exclude certain things from my capsule wardrobe, such as my designed “dog park clothes”, lounge wear, hiking boots, accessories, and jewelry.

I decided against limiting my wardrobe to a specific number of articles. But rather, I focused on selecting items I really love and can mix and match to create multiple outfits.  I used the idea of proportions to figure out what types of outfits I like, and then listed examples from my wardrobe for how to build each outfit.  For example, a proportion formula could be something as simple as tight pants + loose top, or as detailed as high rise skinny jeans from american eagle + purple polka dot button up long sleeve from gap, tucked in + sandals.  Using these types of formulas, I was able to ensure that each item I chose for my capsule wardrobe could be worn in multiple ways.  In the end, I decided on 13 bottoms/dresses, 15 tops/jackets, and 9 shoes (and anyone who knows me, will understand that cutting down my shoe selection was definitely the hardest part).

I’m going to try out this whole capsule wardrobe thing for the month of April, and by the end of the month I will decide whether it’s something I want to continue on with or not. All of my clothing that I’m not using for my capsule wardrobe has been stored, and at the end of the month I plan on donating any clothes that I don’t find myself wishing I had included in my capsule wardrobe. I’m also not allowed to purchase any new clothes during the month of April. I don’t want to necessarily call these “rules”, because this is really just an experiment I’m trying and nothing is set in stone. Therefore, I’m going to refer to them as “guidelines” instead.

Here are the clothes I decided on.  (Please excuse the poor quality of the pictures, and keep in mind I am by no means a photographer, and that I edited these using paint on my laptop without a mouse).

TOPS:

capsulewardrobe

BOTTOMS/DRESSES:

bottoms

SHOES:

shoes

I’m actually kind of looking forward to putting together different outfits from my capsule wardrobe.  I can feel my creative juices starting to flow.

What do you think about capsule wardrobes?  Have you or would you ever try one?

-Kristen