Saturday, January 15, 2011

Last Post...What I've Learned

I can't believe I've stuck with this - although somewhat irregularly - for a year. I think I sort of met some of my goals...but the real news is that now I have new ones.

When I started, I wanted to stay at $750 a month (which is a shocking $9000 a year) and I did do that, coming under by $1400 for the year. But now my goal is to not spend that much on clothes again. I have a lot of stuff, and If I just get one or two designer pieces per season, I can build an awesome wardrobe over time.

I also wanted to spend my money on better clothes, and kick my addiction to Banana Republic. In that respect I've done pretty well. Barely shopped at Banana at all this year and have added some nice pieces from Kate Spade, DVF, Tracy Reese and Phillip Lim to my wardrobe. However, I do think I mostly relied on cheaper mainstream clothes. I still couldn't bring myself to by an item over $400. It just seemed toooooo expensive. But I was still spending the money, so I should have been stricter about the pieces I added.

Finally, I wanted to discover my own style and on that count I think was a big success. When you have to record what you wear everyday, you tend to mix it up. I also found my self shopping for more color and prints, and hitting up Anthropologie, which I used to consider too quirky for me.

For 2011 I have new goals.

First, I'm saving to buy an apartment, so clothes seem a little less important to me now. My money needs to be going to creating a home for myself.

Second, when I DO buy something, it's going to be something I LOVE, that FITS and that GETS ME COMPLIMENTS. I'm also going to apply that rule to my clothes when I put them away after winter - anything that doesn't fit those criteria is gone.

And the ultimate goals: Get down to one fricken' closet and own a classic Chanel tweed suit. Hey, a girl can dream.

Thanks to all of my readers for going on this journey with me. Have a fantastic 2011!

Closet Tally

So, you may want to flash back to the very beginning to see how I started - I did. I was hoping for some big change....let's see.

The first number is what I had Jan 1010, the second number is what I have Jan 2011.

Dresses: 63 down to -> 61
Skirts: 26 down to ->23
Pullover Sweaters: 20 down to -> 13
Belts: 18 down to -> 11
Leggings: 5 down to -> 4
Coats: 12 down to -> 10
Jackets: 12 down to -> 6
Hoodies: 4 down to -> 3
Tops/Tees: 112 down to -> 85
Cardigans: 20 down to -> 15
Pants: 18 down to -> 11
Cords: 5 down to -> 3
Jeans: 11 up to -> 17
Shorts: 5 down to -> 3
Purses: 26 down to -> 25
Boots/Booties: 12 down to -> 9
Heels: 24 up to -> 25
Flats: 9 down to -> 6
Tennis Shoes: 3 down to -> 2

Looks like I've slimmed down a little in most categories - although the jeans number is confusing because I remember buying one pair of jeans - not six. But that's what's in my closet.

In a few categories - like purses and shoes - I kinda evened out. I got rid of a lot, but it looks like I purchased right back up.

I need to start applying Peter Walsh's clothing principles to my closet asap.

Spending Tally

Well, here I am at the end of the year and it's time to see how much I spent, and what I spent it on. I estimated that I spent $15,000 on clothes in 2009, and my goal was to spend half that this year, or less. Let's see how I did.

January: $693
February: $753
March: $647.09
April: $940
May: $373
June: $202.11
July: $35
August: $1260
September: $391
November: $557
December: $1005


That's under the budget I set for myself ($750/month) and just about half of what I spent last year, but it still feels like waaaaay to much! And now let's see WHAT I spent all that money on....

1 pair of shorts
1 hat
1 swimsuit
1 jumpsuit/1 romper
1 pair of jeans
2 coats
2 bags
3 pairs of pants
4 sweaters
4 skirts
13 pairs of shoes
16 tops
and 19 dresses

WOW - that's pretty much an entire wardrobe. Maybe I can not shop at all in 2011 - because who needs more of this?

November/December donations.

Since it's for two months, I have 10 items here. Again, it's getting harder to get rid of stuff, but since I had Peter Walsh's anti-clutter show on in the background so I was inspired. He says you should only have three types of clothes in your closet:

1) Clothes you LOVE
2) Clothes that fit you now
3) Clothes that garner you compliments.

I think that's brilliant - if I followed those criteria strictly, I'm sure another 3rd of my closest would go out the door. I'm certainly going to apply them in the future.

Top Row, Left to Right:
Limited dress - looks frumpy
Banana Sweater coat - again, frumpy
Fuzzy Sweatshirt jacket - I'm not 12
Black Banana Republic Sweater dress - shapeless
BCBG halter dress - v. old, has snags, etc

Bottom Row, Left to Right:
Tibi Dress - too floaty - looks like a little girls dress on me
Limited dress - only worn once, have plenty that are better
Old navy cord vest - never ever worn this
Flannel shirt - never wear
Ann Taylor sweater - never wear, not flattering on my current belly situation

This represents at least $1000 worth of clothes. Some got a LOT of wear, some none at all. I'm sure I'll miss none of it now that it's gone.

December Purchases I was good in November, but I was bad in December. I think being out Christmas shopping for others tempted me to get stuff for myself. I'm actually a little scared to do this tally.

Gold dress: $59, Urban Outfitters
Blue lace dress: $335, Tracy Reese
Purple dress: $59, Urban Outfitters
Olive Tunic: $35, (on sale) Urban Outfitters
Blue Silk shirtdress: $78, Urban Outfitters
Bird Blouse: $259, Kate Spade
French Tee: $28, Urban Outfitters
Black heels: $82, Nine West
Nude Patent Pumps: $70, Nine West


Total for the Month: $1005

I could kick myself! $250 over budget.

November Purchases

I was really good in November. I only bought things I needed and loved so it was a good month for me. I've gotten a lot of wear out of everything thus far and I know it will still be around at least 2-3 years, if not more.

Hype silk skirt: $140 at Anthropologie
Navy Sweater: $42 at Zara (a great place for tailored basics)
Plaid Coat: $140, also at Zara
Hunter Boots: $135 from Piperlime

I also spent $100 on body basics at Gap Body. I've always loved their intimates, and they have launched a great sport/fitness line that's very Stella McCartney.

Total Spent: $557 - nearly $200 under budget!

One of my fave December outfits.

I got this cute dress for next to nada (just $70) at Urban Outfitters.I paired it with tights and boots and the FABULOUS Michael Kors purse I got for Christmas. (Was $348, but now on sale for $243 if you want one.) I love this look because it feels rather 70's which is totally back in. I for one am glad to say bye bye to the 8-'s trends that have been everywhere for the past few years.