30 x 30 Wardrobe Challenge: The wrap up

Although it’s been about two weeks since I finished my 30×30 wardrobe challenge, I still haven’t written about how the challenge ended.  That’s because I’ve been rolling the ideas around in my mind, ideas about how the challenge finished and what I learned from it.  I didn’t just want to leave it hanging, even though I don’t feel like this was a terribly successful adventure.

I abandoned the challenge in it’s final week.  The reasons for walking away were pretty simple. At the beginning of the fourth week I got ill and spent several days wearing nothing but pyjamas. And when I was well enough to re-enter the world, nothing in my capsule wardrobe appealed to me.  I was bored with wearing the same things over and over and I wanted something fresh to pull me back into the land of the living. So I broke away and wore a cute pucci print dress that I love and didn’t feel even a smack of guilt.

I do feel like I learned a few lessons from the challenge though.  Firstly, I learned that capsule wardrobes are not my style.  Several times I’ve read articles or watched videos about people who have a capsule wardrobe and make it work brilliantly.  I’ve wondered if I could do the same thing, and I now know that the answer is a definitive “no”.  I mean, if it were a necessity, like if I was travelling and needed just a small amount of clothes for practical purposes, then I could manage.  But for my day-to-day life I enjoy having a bit more flexibility in my clothing choices.  I like the chance to be creative with what I wear and play around in my clothing.  Limiting my wardrobe felt like I was fettered, not liberated.

I know that a lot of people who do this challenge find that having only 30 items to choose from makes getting ready in the morning easier.  I did not find this.  Rather than feeling excited to put together an outfit that I really want to wear, I felt bogged down in my capsule wardrobe, trying in vain to find ways to wear those items that felt fresh.  It actually took me longer to get ready each day because I wasn’t motivated to put on an outfit that felt inspiring and fun.

One good thing that did come from taking up this challenge was that I felt like I was able to define my personal style a little more.  I have always had a pretty eclectic fashion sense, and wear all manner of styles, from polished vintage to bohemian, from punk rock to androgynous, from avant garde weirdness to down-to-earth denim.  When I limited the things I was wearing, I became much more aware of the styles that appealed to me and the clothing I felt most comfortable in.  It really highlighted some of the items in my wardrobe that were once my style, but that I feel like I’ve outgrown.  And that’s not to say that I think I’m too old to wear certain things, only that my personal style has changed and moved away from those particular aesthetics.  I’ve come out on the other side of this challenge with a clearer idea of the kind of things I want to wear, the way I enjoy presenting myself and the kinds of things that feel uncomfortable and costume-y.

I felt a little bit disappointed that I didn’t enjoy the challenge more, but I think it went as well as I expected.  I didn’t truly think that it would turn me into a wardrobe minimalist, inspired to throw away all the excess clothing and wear only those 30 items forever.  But I do feel that the 30×30 challenge was a good task to undertake because it wasn’t easy and I did take away a few important lessons.  I feel clearer moving forward about the kinds of things I want to wear, and more confident in my personal style.  But I also know that I’m probably never going to be the kind of person who can enjoy living out of a capsule wardrobe.

Have you done the 30×30 challenge?  Did you find it easy or a chore?  What did you learn?

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30×30 Wardrobe Challenge: Week 3

As the third week of my wardrobe challenge draws to a close, I have a bundle of feelings and none of them are good.  Mostly I’m feeling bored, frustrated and ready to abandon the challenge.

I’m getting exceptionally tired with wearing the same items over and over.  I’m sick of the sight of my capsule wardrobe and I  am so looking forward to the end of these thirty days so that I can go back to being creative and adventurous with my dressing.  I’m so fed up with having to set up the ironing board every couple of days to make sure that I have enough clothes pressed ready for work.  I’m just over it.

The ironic thing is, there’s nobody holding me accountable except myself.  It’s not like I’m doing this challenge for anyone but me.  There’s no external arbiter telling me that I have to keep on going, and yet I am loath to abandon the challenge before the 30 days are up.  Not because I feel like I’d be letting anyone down, but because I’m so darn stubborn.  I don’t want to give up before the end because it feels like a failure.

This week I had the additional challenge of dressing for a convention.  I attended the Sexpo convention in Melbourne on Saturday and I had a really tough time choosing something to wear.  I wanted to feel comfortable but I also hoped to draw confidence from my outfit choice.  I knew that I’d be meeting lots of like-minded people at the convention and I wanted to look awesome.  I had to break the rules and wear a pair of Converse sneakers, because none of the footwear in my capsule wardrobe was going to cut it for an entire day on my feet. I ended up in jeans and a tee shirt, and in hindsight I wish I’d worn a skirt because I was so freakin’ hot after a full day of walking, shopping and socializing.

 

In a tiny way, having less to choose from did save a bit of time when I was selecting an outfit for Sexpo.  Often when I’m dressing for an event, I have a habit of getting caught up in all the different options, considering what image and mood I want to project.  It’s almost like deciding which version of myself I want to be, as though my outfits are costumes I can slip in and out of.  Without a wardrobe full of potential options, I had to go out stripped of my armour and just wear something relatively plain.  I felt oddly vulnerable stepping out without a carefully chosen outfit, but ultimately the day was amazing and I met so many awesome people.

 

I am definitely looking forward to the end of this challenge, but I’m determined to tough it out for another week.  I think with some grit and careful planning, I can get through.

 

 

30×30 wardrobe challenge: week 2

Week 2 of my 30×30 wardrobe challenge has passed sluggishly.  I’m finding that as the days march on, I’m finding this challenge more difficult.  During week 1, I was wearing each item for the first time and each outfit still felt fresh and new.  Now, I’ve gone through pretty much my entire capsule wardrobe once already and I’m now at the point where things are getting their second or third wear. And I’m finding that tedious.

 

My wardrobe is a source of joy for me.  I see my clothes like a huge box of crayons that I can use to create any picture I want to.  I love putting together different outfits that reflect my mood on a particular day.  Fashion is one of the ways that I express myself. And now that I’m limiting myself to a small fraction of my clothing, I kind of feel as though my wings have been clipped.  It’s like going from having a deluxe set of  Crayolas to one of those crappy four-colour crayon boxes you get with cheap colouring books.

 

I’m noticing that I’m really missing certain items of clothing dearly.  There are a couple of pairs of shoes, some special tee shirts and one amazing dress that I’ve been hankering to wear lately.  But because they are not part of the capsule wardrobe that I’ve created, they’ve had to stay locked away out of reach.  Even though I feel a bit down that I can’t wear these clothes, this exercise has really highlighted to me which items in my wardrobe I love the most.  Those clothes that I’ve been longing for are the things that make me feel amazing.  The items that are comfortable and colourful which just bring joy to me when I’m wearing them.

 

On the other hand, I have noticed that there are a couple of things that I haven’t been missing.  I felt inspired to do a mini clear-out during the week when I realised that there were a couple of things that I wasn’t keen to reach for again once the challenge is over.  Putting a bit of distance between myself and the bulk of my clothing gave me a new perspective.  I noticed a couple of items that were pretty worn out and ready to be binned, and a few things that I just don’t enjoy wearing any more.  So it’s been nice to take a step back and edit my wardrobe critically.  The 30×30 challenge has given me a sense of clarity about which items I really want to keep, and which ones I could stand to throw out.

Week 2 has been a mix of good and bad.  While I’m beginning to get bored with my capsule wardrobe, I also feel as though I’m making some great choices about those items in my closet that I’ve been hanging onto for too long.  As an added bonus, I have a feeling that I’ll be a lot more creative with my outfits once I’m finally finished the challenge and I’m able to colour with all my crayons again.

 

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.

 

30×30 challenge day 1. Floral wiggle dress and silver flats. #30×30 #wardrobechallenge #outfit

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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!

New years resolutions 2017

One of my favourite things about starting a fresh new year is setting new years resolutions. I’m a total productivity nerd so any opportunity to self-evaluate and set goals gets my gears turning.  I’d really like 2017 to be a year of self-love and transformation.  And I want to make sure that I make time for the things that I love most.  To that end, here are my resolutions for the next 12 months.

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Journal at least once a week

Regrettably, I’ve neglected my journal badly this past year.  I’ve gone entire months where I haven’t put pen to paper once.  That makes me sad, because not only is journalling really cathartic for me, but it creates a wonderful record of my experiences.  I used to journal every single day, but that’s not really realistic with my current schedule.  I think aiming for a minimum of once a week is much more do-able.

Read all the books in my to-read pile.

I have a huge stack of books waiting to be read on top of my bookshelves.  Some of them were gifts from two Christmasses ago, and I still haven’t gotten to them.  I read a lot, but lately I’ve been getting a lot of books from the library.  This year, I’d really like to zero in on those books I already own, and start making headway on them.  By this time next year, I’d love to have that pile down to nil, or to whittle it down considerably.

Knit a whole garment

I adore knitting and crocheting, and in the last few years my skills have grown in leaps and bounds.  I’ve taken a few chances with patterns I’ve found scary, such as knitting socks and mittens and crocheting placemats.  This year, I’d really like to have a go at knitting a whole jumper or cardigan for myself.  I think I’m ready.

Continue transitioning to a vegan-ish diet

Over the last two months, I’ve been learning about veganism and begun making some significant changes in my diet.  And I’ve felt so much better for it.  I’ve lost a little weight, I’ve had more energy and I feel more creative with my cooking.  I’ve been referring to my diet as “vegan-ish” because I’m finding it practically difficult to be full vegan.  I often dine with my parents and they both eat meat and dairy.  And I live in a small town and most restaurants offer limited vegetarian options, and no vegan options on the menu to speak of.  I don’t want to make a huge fuss, because I’m self conscious. So ultimately what I’m aiming for is to cook vegan food in my own home, and make the best choices I can when I’m out and about.  I’d like to continue to learn more about vegan cooking and work towards creating a diet that works for me.

Declutter my flat

About two months ago I started a ruthless declutter of my belongings.  I just have so many items that I don’t use and it was overwhelming. I’ve already gone through my wardrobe and gotten through a huge stack of items that no longer fit me, items I don’t wear and things that were worn out.  I’ve gone through one of my bookcases as well, and my makeup.  By the end of the year I want to have done a massive purge, clearing out the items I don’t need and actually removing them from my home.

Buy fewer things

On the flipside of decluttering and throwing away stuff I don’t need, I’d really like to be mindful of what I’m bringing into my home.  I want to try to buy fewer things, and really think carefully about what I’m buying.  I’d like to buy better quality items that will last longer and avoid purchasing items on impulse.

Write more sex-positive posts.

This year, I began writing more posts about one of my favourite topics: sex.  I’ve written a number of sex toy reviews, shown you my haul from Oz Kink Fest and chatted a little bit about BDsM.  And so many of you enjoyed those posts and gave excellent feedback.  This year, I’d like to review loads more toys for you, as well as delve deeper into some specific sexual health topics and do some more BDsM posts.

Build an aftercare kit

I’ve been exploring the world of BDsM a lot more deeply this year, and I’ve been playing with my Dom often.  Aftercare is an essential part of any kind of BDsM play, and one thing I’ve been thinking about making myself is an aftercare kit.  I’d like to pack up all the essentials I need after a scene into a little bag so that they’re all together and ready for use.  That way, when I’m all head-foggy after a scene I don’t have to go searching through the house for what I need to bring myself back down to earth.  And it will be so handy to just pop the kit into my luggage when I travel.

What are your goals for 2017?  Do you have any questions about my resolutions?

A look back at my 2016 goals

On the final day of this year, I thought it might be pertinent to take a look over my shoulder and evaluate my progress.  Before I reveal my resolutions for 2017, I wanted to talk about how I fared with my 2016 resolutions.

When bookworms declutter….. #declutter #books #minimalism

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Get my reading list down to 7 pages.

Oh how I chuckle when I read this resolution.  I have a running list of books I want to read on my computer, and when the year began it was sitting at eight pages long.  I thought that I would easily be able to shave off a page with a year of dedicated reading.  And this would be true, except of course that I forgot to factor in that I regularly add more books to the list.  And so now, despite a valiant effort and lots of books ticked off, the list has now grown to nine pages.  Ah well.

Finish off a few niggling spring cleaning jobs

This one is a bit of a mixed bag.  I had wanted to pick up some prints that I had framed, which I still haven’t done, because a) when I called the shop to check in on them they hadn’t been completed yet and b) I still haven’t heard back about them.

I had also planned to fix a lamp that had been broken for a year.  Really all the lamp needed was a new bulb and a few screws tightened. But after so many months of thinking about this job, I realised that the lamp had been broken for a year and I didn’t miss it one bit.  So instead of fixing the lamp, I threw it away and I haven’t looked back.

The final task was finally taking all the bags of items I had earmarked for donation to the donation bin.  I absolutely killed this one.  One at a time, every lunch break for nearly a month, I would take one bag to the op shop on my way back to work. And eventually the pile of bags shrank to nothing.

Visit a teppanyaki restaurant

No reasons or excuses. I just didn’t do this one.

Make at least three vlogs

I managed to make two vlogs: one about my trip to Oz Kink Fest and my Disney Tag vlog.  I just ran out of time to make any more.  Filming videos takes time, and time is something I didn’t have a lot of this year.  So only two videos got made in the end.

Buy less

I think I did an excellent job of buying fewer unnecessary items in 2016.  I went a bit nuts in the middle of the year, splashing out on new hoodies that I didn’t truly need.  There was also a number of ill-fated Daiso sprees.  But in general, I really cracked down on my discretionary spending and bought fewer impulse items.

Review some products for my blog

I knocked this one out of the ballpark.  I reviewed a whole mess of sex toys this year as well as the Thinx underwear. I absolutely loved doing these reviews, and I got so much fantastic feedback from them that I can’t wait to get into some more in 2017.

 

Try one new recipe a week

I didn’t exactly make one new thing a week, but I think I made roughly 52 new recipes this year.  I tried loads of new vegan recipes and made lots of meals I hadn’t tried before. I think my favourite recipe of the year was the oven-baked risotto.  It was a million times easier than stovetop risotto and infinitely more delicious.

 

Get my eyes tested and possibly get some new glasses.

I had an eye exam in April and it turned out I didn’t need new glasses.  Huzzah!

 

Start planning an overseas trip

Does “occasionally dream about going overseas and drool over friend’s holiday snaps” count as planning?  No?  Ok, in that case, this one is still yet to be accomplished.

Visiting Marilyn Monroe in Bendigo. #birthday #icon #giantpanties

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Celebrate my birthday in style

My thirtieth birthday was fantastic.  I went with my parents to the Marilyn Monroe exhibit in Bendigo and geeked out hard.  I spent a night at The Windsor Hotel with my boyfriend and was absolutely pampered.  I had a Japanese meal with my closest friends.  It was epic and perfect and amazing.

 

Overall, I think I did a pretty darn good job.  Not everything went according to plan, but for the most part I made a decent effort at most of my goals.  I’m proud of how I managed in 2016.

 

How did you do with your resolutions?