30×30 wardrobe challenge: Week 1

I’ve completed the first week of my 30×30 wardrobe challenge and I thought it was about time for an update.  I’ve been posting daily outfit photos on my instagram feed, but I’d like to delve a little deeper here and share some of the struggles and insights into the first week of this minimalist challenge.


I have to be perfectly honest here and admit that I’m not really enjoying this challenge so far.  I expected that once I’d picked my clothes and gotten started, it wouldn’t be nearly as difficult as I thought and I’d just sort of cruise through.  That hasn’t happened at all and I’ve had a few struggles this past week.

First of all, the weather really hasn’t been playing ball this week.  It’s been unusually cold and windy for November and I’ve had to cheat almost every day by adding a jumper or jacket to my outfit for warmth.  When I put together my 30 item wardrobe, I made the mistake of thinking that the temperatures were going to be climbing as we headed towards summer, and so everything I chose is lightweight with short sleeves.  Additionally, most of the shoes I selected are sandals, with few closed-toe options.  In hindsight I really should have included at least one jacket and a pair of boots in my wardrobe.  However, on the day I chose my capsule wardrobe I was very focused on selecting clothes that could be worn multiple ways and didn’t want to “waste” a valuable spot with something I might only wear once.

Additionally, I’ve already been feeling bored with having so few choices.  I know that many people who do the 30×30 challenge find a smaller wardrobe more liberating, and enjoy having fewer items to choose from in the morning.  I’ve found it really limiting so far.  Not so much on work days, as my outfits tend to be fairly similar when I’m heading to the office, but on the weekend I found it tricky because I wasn’t really in the mood for jeans…and yet that’s what was on offer.  I also kicked myself for not adding any sneakers to my capsule wardrobe because on Saturday I was travelling and I really wanted to wear my Converse All-Stars.  It’s been a bummer to know that there are items that I feel like wearing, and yet I’m not “allowed to” because of the rules of this challenge.



I’ve also run into a wee dilemma with new purchases.  Although I’ve been reigning in my spending on new clothing this year, I do allow myself the occasional splurge.  On Sunday I was in Melbourne and swung by Dangerfield and Princess Highway.  They had all their new season stock in and lots of items on sale.  I could quite easily have bought half the store.  But instead I limited myself to one purchase: an emerald green skater-skirt.  I’ve wanted a skirt just like it for ages and it was a perfect fit and 20% off to boot.  I simply couldn’t leave it there and I know it will be something I wear a lot.  However, now I have this stunning new skirt in my wardrobe and I’m not allowed to wear it for another 21 days.   This displeases me.


There have been a few benefits that I’ve discovered in week 1.  Firstly, putting together outfits in the morning has taken less time because I have fewer things to choose from.  Even though I’ve felt like wearing items that weren’t in my capsule wardrobe, I’ve diligently stuck to the rules and it has saved a lot of umming and ahhing in the mornings.


Additionally, I’ve been more efficient with my laundry because I have to make sure that my capsule wardrobe is clean and ironed so that I have enough choices for the week ahead.  30 items isn’t a lot and I’ve needed to keep on top of my laundry pile to ensure I don’t run out of clothes.

So far I’m not loving the 30×30 challenge but I’m going to stick with it and do my best.  If nothing else I’ve learned the importance of including clothing for a range of weather conditions in your capsule wardrobe and my laundry hamper is looking emptier than ever.


Stay tuned for my Week 2 update post and don’t forget to follow along on Instagram for daily outfit photos.


30×30 Wardrobe Challenge

This year I’ve been making a huge effort to downsize my possessions and own less stuff.  I’ve been a lot more mindful with my spending and I’ve sold, donated, gifted and thrown away probably about a third of the items in my home.  I feel very proud of my progress and I’m keen to continue.  But the one area that I struggle to cull is my wardrobe.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made huge strides in curbing my clothing consumption.  I have stopped stressing out about trends or owning the latest new item.  I have stopped buying fast fashion and pumped the brakes on buying things just because they’re cheap.  I’ve thrown away a lot of things that I don’t feel comfortable in or that are worn out.  But I’d like to downsize my wardrobe just a little bit more.

As I’ve been listening to podcasts, watching movies and reading books on minimalism, the idea of a 30 x 30 wardrobe challenge has popped up time and time again.  I’ve shrugged off the idea because I didn’t think I could do it and because the concept brought with it a wave of stress and trepidation.  I love getting dressed in the morning.  Clothing is a way that I express myself and I enjoy putting together new outfits.  It’s one of the reasons I began blogging!  But the more I rolled the idea of doing the challenge in my mind, the more I felt like I wanted to give it a crack.

So, I’m going to begin the 30 x 30 Wardrobe Challenge on Monday 30th October (that’s tomorrow!).  Here are the rules:

  • Choose 30 items from your wardrobe.  You can only wear these items for 30 days.
  • The items include outerwear and shoes.
  • Underwear, hosiery, nightwear and loungewear are not included in the 30 items.
  • Accessories such as jewellery, scarves and hats are not included in the 30 items (some participants do include such items.  I’m excluding them this time to make it a little bit easier for myself.  If I do this challenge again in the future, I might knuckle down on this).
  • If the weather becomes unseasonably cold, I can add a jacket to my outfit for warmth only.

And that’s it.  30 items only for 30 days.  Simple, right?

On the eve of my challenge I’ve gone through my wardrobe and selected the 30 items I will wear for the next month.  It was really quite difficult because I had to take into account workwear as well as weekend gear.  Also, I’ll be attending Sexpo during this time so I will have to find a convention-appropriate outfit in here somewhere.

  1. Black and white star- print blouse

2. Black dress trousers

3. Dark wash jeans

4. Light wash jeans

5. Black and white pleated skirt

6. Yellow vintage wrap skirt

7 Striped button-down blouse

8 Blush button-down blouse

9 White button-down blouse

10 Black and white wiggle dress

11 Vintage black collared dress

12 Pink maxi dress

13 Lace long-sleeved blouse

14 Black floral butterfly-wing blouse

15 Cranberry red blouse

16 Hogwarts Quidditch tee shirt

17 Black drop-waist dress.

18 Vintage mod flats

19 Black flatforms

20 Mint green pumps

21 Black sandals with floral detail

22 Red jelly sandals

23 Tan strappy sandals

24 Silver ballet flats

25 Leopard print loafers

26 Black pencil skirt

27 Denim shorts

28 Empire Records Lucas tee shirt

29 Vintage floral shirt waist dress

30 Pink polka dot dress.

These are the 30 items I’ve chosen.  I tried to pick a good mixture of basic items and more fun pieces.  I also chose a lot of dresses, because I feel like they take a lot of the stress out of having to choose a top and bottoms that match.

I’ll be blogging about my progress and my daily outfits will be up on my Instagram page.  Make sure you’re subscribed to follow along.  Wish me luck!

Fashion Challenge #1: print clashing.

Welcome to a brand-new feature on Nessbow.  Every few weeks, I’m going to set a Fashion Challenge for my readers.  These challenges are designed to push you out of your comfort zone and get you experimenting with new looks.  I’ll post a challenge, and style an outfit of my own.  Then it’s your turn!  Create your own outfit, working within the parameters of the challenge.  C’mon, let’s get started!

I’m ecstatic about this very first Fashion Challenge post!  I was trying my darndest to think of a way to encourage all my readers to try new things and break their wardrobe habits.   Setting regular fashion challenges seemed like a great way to do it.  I realise that leaping outside your comfort zone is somewhat terrifying, but it’s a lot less scary if you’re not alone.  I’ll be right by your side, coaxing you through each challenge, offering ideas and encouraging you to share your finished outfits.  It’s going to be loads of fun!

Today’s challenge is:

Wear two (or more) prints in the one outfit.

Clashing prints is a tricky trend to get the hang of.  Trying to get two prints to cooperate can be a bit overwhelming.  Here’s a couple of hints to help you out:

– Choose prints with similar colours.  For example, pair a blue green and purple pucci print with a blue and white striped pattern.

– Anchor print-clashed outfits with blocks of solid colour.  Try wearing plain coloured shoes or carrying a black handbag.  If you’re wearing a printed shirt with wild tights, put a block-coloured skirt in between.

– Mix and match prints of different sizes: a bold striped tee with a dainty polka-dotted skirt or a bright floral dress with shoes sprinkled with tiny stars.

Here’s my print-clashing ensemble:

I am wearing:

– Red and white polka-dot headband (gift from Ross)

– Bambi pendant from Diva

– Red and white polka dot tee from Free Fusion at Target

– Brown vintage gloves from The Dookie Emporium

– Black and white pinstripe pants (thrifted)

– Black buckle mules from Diana Ferrari

– Cat’s eye glasses from Clearly Contacts.

I decided to pair two more demure prints; pinstripe and polka dots.  I did this to show you that print-clashing needn’t be scary.  You don’t have to use wild or outlandish prints, the ‘safe’ prints we’ve all got floating about in our wardrobes work just as well.  These prints both have shades of white in them, which helps to tie the look together.  I also paired larger polka-dots with more subtle pinstripes, so that the overall effect wasn’t too overwhelming.   I anchored the look with basic black shoes.

It’s been a mighty chilly day, so I wrapped myself in this divine pashmina to keep the shivers at bay.  This was another gift from Ross’s Mum.  She has such excellent taste!

Now it’s your turn.  Put together an outfit that clashes two prints.  And wear it all day.  If you complete this fashion challenge, please leave a comment telling me what you wore.  Even better, if you have a blog of your own, snap a picture of it and leave a link to your post, so we can all check it out.

Have fun, gorgeous!

If you’d like more fashion inspiration, check out my e-book: Nessbow’s Guide to Developing Your Personal Style.  You can buy it for just $5 in my etsy store, or by contacting vkbowen@hotmail.com for a Paypal or credit card invoice.