Friday, February 1, 2013

30 x 30 | The Recap

I wrapped up my 30 for 30 challenge yesterday and it was such a rewarding experience.  I got the opportunity to meet so many awesome bloggers, I saved money while not shopping for clothes every week and most importantly, I learned how versatile pieces in my closet are.  When I first started my blog I wasn't really sure how often I should post and what about because I felt like I needed to feature new clothes in each post. Gone are those days.

I have every intention of utilizing my own clothes and styling things in more than just the first way I think of.  Thanks to everyone who followed the journey this month and left kind comments, suggestions and encouragement - it was much appreciated :) Here's a look back at January:

Here's my top four:

My most versatile piece was my chambray shirt which was what I expected.  The items that most surprised me with their flexibility were the dresses.  I had a couple more potential outfits planned out for my black lace dress, the fuchsia dress introduced me to the concept of wearing a dress as a blouse and I'd never done anything but belt the pink houndstooth dress.  I'm really excited to play with all of the dresses in my closet now. And the item I struggled with the most? I was really surprised with how disenchanting I found my cream Ralph Lauren sweater, but other than by itself or layered over a button up, I couldn't think of ways to wear it. I'm sure someone out there has an idea so please leave it below so I can fawn over you in a later post.

The outfits that didn't make it into the challenge, but I really loved:

Before this post gets crazy long (too late, it already is) - tips and tricks to a successful 30 x 30 challenge:

  • If possible, take on the challenge with a blogging (or non-blogging) friend.  The peer pressure will help you stay on track and having someone else to bounce ideas off of is always beneficial.
  • ACCESSORIES - I have a borderline obnoxious amount of jewelry and scarves but these are the ways to change up a knit tee or solid dress.  I used my accessories to add color and give new life to items that were worn three or four times in the span of a month.
  • Know that you can wear something two days in a row and no one will notice if you style it differently.  One of my greatest fears is someone noticing my outfit repeating - so much so that even before I started this blog, I would snap a pic of what I wore so I could not wear it for a couple of weeks, sometimes months.  I couldn't quite conquer the fear completely while this challenge was going on, but get ready to see a consecutive week of chambray shirt outfits (kidding - or am I?)
  • Pick a diverse group of items.  Examples: midway I started to feel like I had the blues and then I paid closer attention: seven of my thirty items were a shade of blue. I unknowingly gravitate towards navy and cobalt while shopping, but I started to feel really repetitive and limited because of the amount of blue I had picked out. Go for some neutrals and some bright, vibrant shades. Variety is the spice of life - so when you throw in that chevron top that's totes adorbs, be sure to also throw in some solid pieces that can mix easily.  Mix it up with button ups and knits, dresses and skirts and pants. And throw in some cardigans.
  • Plan. Sam suggested having some outfits already planned out for the mornings when you wake up late, the ones when you can't decide what to wear and for when you just get fed up.  This saved me from looking like a hot mess a few times.  Don't be afraid to take to Pinterest to get ideas for 'yellow pencil skirt,' you'll be pleasantly surprised by the inspiration you find.
  • And lastly, be adventurous - try trends you're nervous about, wear things in new ways, wear color schemes that people consider reserved for certain seasons and have fun!

30 x 30 | Day Thirty

knit | forever xxi, (dress worn as) skirt | old navy

Yesterday was the last day of the 30 x 30 challenge and this was the outfit I wrapped up with.  And it was a slight challenge for me; I know it's fine to break the navy with black rule these days but I still struggle with it.  This dress isn't a dark navy so I felt okay going with the black tights (especially when I saw it was snowing this bare legs for this girl!).  The yellow striped shirt had only been worn twice so I pulled it over and I really liked it - this dress has pockets so I was a little worried about it possibly making me look hippier than usual, but it didn't so A++ to this dress. Or I said yes to the dress, insert various rhymes/puns here.

I'm so excited to wake up in the morning and wear whatever I want from any part of my closet, but this was such a fun challenge and one I definitely want to repeat on the blog.

I won't get all sappy on everyone yet - I'll be back sometime today with the 30 x 30 recap and some last thoughts on the challenge, advice for anyone considering doing one in February/March/whenever, my favorite and least favorite outfits and maybe even some outfits that didn't make it into the challenge?

"See" you soon!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

30 x 30 | Day Twenty Nine

chambray | old navy, chinos | h&m

I never wear this polka dot skinny scarf so I decided try tying it a bow around my neck and then eventually my collar so I could rock polka dots on polka dots for day twenty nine.  I really wasn't sure how it would turn out, but I love this idea.

This was the fifth time I wore my polka dot chambray top during this challenge, making it my most popular blouse.  Here's a quick look at the different ways I styled it:

prior days: 2, 7, 18 & 21
Do you have a favorite?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

30 x 30 | Day Twenty Eight

oxford | brooks brothers, skirt | jcpenney

tights | charlotte russe
I started reading Heather's post yesterday morning and had to put on my love bangle as well - yay for being bracelet twins!
The good: two days from the end of the 30 for 30 challenge (!!!) and my friend/coworker asked if I had picked up all of these items in a recent shopping spree - I guess that means I'm remixing kind of well :)

The bad: even though yesterday's post was all about how much I dislike tights, I couldn't turn these down when I found them for $3.  Slightly different, but for a serial tight killer like me much more price appropriate than the ones I'd been eyeing from Gap.

The ugly: I was so, so proud of myself for trying these on Monday night and taking them off and then putting them back on for this outfit and making it through the day.
...And then I went to take them off and the tiniest of snags happened.  I may have glared at the tights.

Linking up with Shanna today!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

30 x 30 | Day Twenty Seven

oxford | brooks brothers, dress | h&m

Let's talk about tights.  I think they're great in theory: they can be opaque or patterned, they make it possible to wear dresses and not shave your legs (guilty as charged), they keep your legs warm (debatable) and make an outfit look put together.

And here's why I only like tights in theory: This is the only pair of tights I haven't ruined after wearing them one time.  It's heartbreaking.  Without fail, I will snag, run or accidentally poke a nail through a brand new pair of tights and sigh dramatically as I realize that in my hand I'm holding twelve to fifteen dollars that would have been better spent elsewhere.

Eventually, I gave up on spending more for the slim chance they may last and started buying Target tights figuring they were cheaper to replace.  Somehow, these black ones have stood up against my apparently rough nature and I can confirm that they are still unscathed as I write this.

Here's to you, Target tights.

30 x 30 | Day Twenty Six

Confession time: I didn't actually wear this on Sunday.  Sunday was spent cleaning, reflecting, napping and then reality tv-ing.  In my defense, keeping up with the Kardashians and Chips Ahoy is hard work best done in sweats.

I did, however, wear this for part of Day 16 so I don't feel as bad about being a lazy bum.  Also, so sorry but I could not edit out the fact that I was possessed by demons while snapping this pictures.  You win some, you lose some.

gingham shirt & tank | old navy, jeans | target

Tracey from Versatile Style by Tracey nominated me for the Very Inspiring & Versatile Blogger Award - Thanks Tracey, so sweet that you thought of me :)  I don't want to bore everyone (and myself) with another group of facts about myself but please be sure to check out Tracey's blog if you have a minute.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

30 x 30 | Day Twenty Five

blazer | thrifted, shirt | talbots (thrifted), chinos | h&m
I was determined to bring this shirt back so here it is, under a blazer as Ginny suggested (you're the best, thanks a million).  The blazer really looks black in this picture and all I can think about right now is how cool it would be if navy and black pieces could change based on what you were wearing.  Kind of like a mood ring.  And this has been deep thoughts with Nicole!