Wardrobe Planning

SS 2015

This spring got off to a very rainy start so I needed some footwear that would keep my feet dry. Hello Rollies! They’re lightweight and so comfortable, although not cheap at €129.

rollies australia, noanoaI also purchased a new soft blue scarf on sale in NoaNoa (it has a little fault in it), simple grey cardigan from VeroModa off Amazon for a steal at €10, simple teal cardigan on sale at S Oliver for €19, light ivory shirt as well as golden yellow sleeveless shirt from Topshop (2nd hand) for €10.

s oliver cardigan teal scotch and soda shirt

Week 16 2014

New Casual Top from Scotch and Soda. May also wear this to an interview under the more structured blazer. Wearing it today with khaki bottoms , boots cardigan and gold earings.

navy scotch and soda laser top

Week 15 2014

Two recent additions, one second hand and one new. This jeanjacket from Zara (secondhand) was 22€. I see no point in buying something which should be “used look” new. I wore it one day out of excitement to have it – but it was a little too cold still :) The blazer below was a splurge. I know if I had the time and dedication and patience to wait and watch in charity shops then eventually an off-white blazer would appear. But, I have some job interviews coming up and I want to be prepared and calm with what im going to wear.

jeanjacketblazer

Week 11 2014

I’m just looking at my post below and it’s amazing how much wear I have got out of the little beret! Here are my three latest acquisitions. The long-awaited casual shoes, a second-hand soft black scarf that I got for free (just paid postage) which is wonderful to combine with different outfits, and some earrings. The orange ones I thought were more coral-coloured and wasn’t expecting there to be a “diamond” on them so I wasn’t thrilled with those. I’ve worn them a few times though. I’ve also bought a simple, casual white shirt (second-hand) and a denim jacket (also second-hand) to add to my spring wardrobe. The veja runners are ecologically produced and made fair-trade in brazil.  The leather is still a little hard on them at the tongues, but the colour is pretty.

veja runners in taupe free black scarf various earrings

Week 8 2014

Two second hand acquisitions for my wardrobe this week! A fun teal beret and a simple black stretchy skirt to extend some of my long tops so that I will actually wear them! Thanks Kleiderkreisel! I know I should be really concentrating on the basics… but oh well!

Teal blue beret 2014-02-21 08.37.55

Week 5 2014

I’m only getting around to posting my acquisitions while at home over Christmas. This week I invested in a new basic nude bra (which I’m sure you don’t want to see) but it is a good staple to add to any woman’s wardrobe. I’m not getting so much wear out of the shirt as I wanted to because I noticed one of the guys that I sit near to has something VERY similar. Drat! Still a few tops/blouses to get but I feel like this was a big dent in my to-dos :)

Topshop Spider Knit Rose-print Sheer Vest New Look Cotton Shirt The Gap Simple Green Top New Look Photo on 2014-02-02 at 15.58

Week 51 2013

Some new arrivals into my wardrobe to display this week. I had two client meetings to go to in one week and purchased this beautiful cos jumper for one to wear with grey slacks and this shirt to wear with dark denim for the other. They are perhaps a bit autumn-winter seasonal but I think quite timeless. Going to have to be very careful to handwash these.

Cos Jumper

Scotch and Soda Shirt

Then I needed a few last-minute christmas party outfit completers – including some cheap-n-cheerful “gold” earrings and an invisible vest to go under my red top. I’m not into VDL. I did want to invest in another staple – a nude support-cami (approx. €50) but I’m very short for cash this month already, so this did the job just fine for €16.  It’s from Mey and the neck is not as low as it looks. I wore the red top with the gold earrings and skirt with my black boots.

Gold Party Earrings Basic Mesh Cami Vest Mey

Week 50 2013

Another staple spontaneously purchased this week: a black pencil skirt. I nearly had a heart attack in the shop (benetton) when I read that it was an Italian size 42. I told myself bluntly that it’s just a number. Later when I got home I saw I was right because an Italian 42 is indeed a UK 10 or a french 38. In any case, the main thing is that the fit is nice and I hope to get a LOT of wear out of it. It is going under the category of “dressy” BUT I think it is simple enough to wear with a blouse or a sweater to a more formal meeting. I will wear it with my new Ted Baker top and some gold earrings (still to be found) to the Christmas party on Thursday.

benetton pencil skirt benetton pencil skirt back

Week 47 2013

Two big investment pieces purchased these last two weeks (sorry my week numbering has become a bit messed up).
The first are these Timberland “Earthkeeper” boots. I have looked on the box for the model number, but it doesn’t give one.

Timberland Earthkeepers

I had been searching for a pair of tall dark brown boots with a small heel that could be worn with casual dresses or over jeans. I had hoped to find some with (real) wool lining, but this was not to be and so settled for practical waterproofness and big grips (for the snow). They are quite comfortable for walking in. And I walk A LOT :)

The second investment piece is this “going out” top from Ted Baker.

It was admittedly a bit of a splurge at a whopping €120 but i hope to bring the cost per wear down by being able to wear it to meetings paired with a simple black pencil skirt or wearing it going out with dark jeans. I’m all about the versatility. Oh yes and tucked in!

I also bought this scarf as my tomato red one was nicked in work. Boo! It’s from Benetton and has a small amount of teal in it. I shall be keeping it around my neck where I can see it!

Benetton Scarf

When making my work outfits last weekend, I was really shocked to see how few pieces I have in my wardrobe now (about half a wardrobe-full), a small pile of jeans, a small pile of tshirts and jumpers but was amazed by how much I can do with them. Whenever a client meeting, or a night out with friends spontaneously pops up, I know I have something. It’s a nice feeling.

And here is a picture of an outfit I made during this week. I was very excited to wear it, and I’m very glad I did because I just discovered that this old skirt is my new favourite thing…. REVERSIBLE! Everything should be reversible.

outfit monday

Week 38 2013

This week I DID in fact purchase a little top in a bright puple colour (photo will follow shortly!) and a denim skirt which I have already worn. It was eleven euro including postage and is very comfortable. I can see it becoming a good wardrobe staple. Lots of denim coming into my wardrobe all of a sudden! The denim dress needs a bit of tailoring as it makes my bottom half look rather large. A few stitches down the sides and all will be well. I can see it being really nice with a big slouchy cardigan or a wooly jumper thrown over the top of it.

Week 37 2013

MSP’s challenge this week was to wear a different colour from your usual routine. I have been looking for teal-coloured tops but have had no money to buy one! So this will have to wait another week and this became more of a window-shopping week :) I did however purchase a secondhand denim-look dress from Kleiderkreisel.de for €10 incl.postage.

Secondhand Dress

I have my eye on a denim skirt from the same website, that won’t break the bank. I think the skirt would give me a lot more versatility in my wardrobe and the denim dress could be worn with a jumper or cardigan over it too. I’m all about versatility now! How clever is this reversible skirt from free people? Everything should be reversible :)

I only have one outfit to show this week, which is a skirt I bought from Zara in Barcelona many moons ago. I wore it with a black cardigan and vest, black tights and black boots. Lots of black going on.

Monday 21st Oct

Week 35 2013

At last, a pair of boots! And they can be styled 2 ways (the buckles can be removed). How clever is that?

biker boots italian

Week 34 2013

This week I didn’t buy any new additions to my wardrobe because I was really out of cash and had no time. Instead, I just window shopped and have spotted a nicely cut classic black/grey A-line skirt at Sisely. I only had time for one outfit snap which is dark jeans with a bright orange tunisian-neck lightweight sweater from Esprit. It is a few months old now and I have had lots of wear out of it. (i’m fixing my hair in the picture!) I have the whole day to myself and have just got paid and know what I need : good winter boots that i can pair with skirts and dresses and that i can walk in… sounds like a tall order! Wish me luck!

bright orange tunisian style sweater esprit


Week 33 2013

I have already got a lot of wear out of my earrings from last week (and a compliment from a kebab guy on their first outing! LOL!)

This week, I found a quality, lightweight, simple bag for every day from Kipling (€79.99). I hope that the cost per wear will bring this quite high price down a little over time! It has the option of a cross-body strap, it’s a nice size, has plenty of cubbyholes and even a little keychain attachment. That was a nice surprise:)

kipling black bag

I am searching for a quality dressier bag for meetings/parties, but it is not as urgent as this everyday one.
I am considering these nice fairtrade banana yarn “Tara” ones from Aura Que. I like that it is a mix of stable, waterproof “leather” and lightweight yarn for my poor shoulders.

I also bought a bright cotton scarf from Esprit, in a lovely coraly-tomato/pale-vermillion red hue (€20). Again, pricier than I would like but it is bringing a nice bit of colour up near my face helping me look more fresh and awake! It seems to go with almost everything too.

pale vermillion scarf, esprit

This week was a terrible week for wardrobe and meal planning because of work and because of little organisation for food or washing. I only managed to snap one outfit this week, which I wore on Monday and again on Thursday (with a different scarf and boots).

I love this scarf because i got it on holiday in Egypt. We went quad biking in the desert which was wonderful, and the scarf was needed to tie into a kind of balaclava to keep the sand out of our mouths and hair as we were driving along. The shoes were sitting in a donation bag but I decided to wear them one more time. I have been pretty happy with my outfits this week if I do say so myself.

thursday 12th

Now with the accomplishing the task of finding a suitable everyday bag, it is time to begin the hunt for the missing proper winter boots that I have not had in two years! I’m also in great need of simple, casual walking shoes (I love to walk) and some more tops for work. The challenge for this week was to wear a brooch. I have two broches that I had completely forgotten about and i wore one pinned to a circular grey scarf. There are plenty more ideas for wearing a brooch here.

Week 32 2013

Week 32 of the year is just as good as any to start something new :) I missed out on snapping two outfits this week, I was in a bit of a rush, but here is what I wore the other 3 days.

The style mission for this week was get a new kind of accessory that you don’t normally wear (I was between bracelets and earrings) but I saw a pair of earrings that I liked and bought them, even though I thought €15 was a biiiiiit much for them. I will wear them next week because I thought they were a bit much with my green dress for Friday.

Urban Outfitters earrings

Everyday Style on a Budget
MONDAY
Grey denim tulip wrap skirt from Zara (2009?)
People Tree Jersey Striped Boat-neck top (2013)
black tights and boots
Charity Shop Clothing, Thrifting
TUESDAY 3rd September 2012
Gifted “Dusty Pink” Silk Top (Elegance at St. Vincent’s – charity shop Dublin)
Dark Levis Denim Jeans
Boots

Budget Style, Thrifting
Light Denim Jeans (H&M 2012), Tan-coloured Ballerinas (2013), Grey-brown Leather Jacket (FIretrap2013), Gifted Pink and Brown Polkadot Scarf

And on Friday I wore this dress with a little gold seahorse chain that I bought for my birthday and the tan-coloured ballerinas.

Comptoir des Cottoniers Kimono Dress Jungle Green

My Style Journey

This year I decided to invest in my long-neglected wardrobe. It has quite honestly never received much investment worth mentioning. Occasionally, I splashed out on bizarre things usually to impress other people, e.g. a €200 Reiss dress or a €300 Furla bag. I was always a firm believer, and still am a firm believer that it is not about how you look, but what’s on the inside that count. When it comes to work, it’s about what you produce that should determine how good an employee you are. And anyway, I had other more exciting plans for my savings, such as travel.

I didn’t like to agree that people judge you on how you look, and in the workplace, this means that those who look the part are perceived in a way that they are for example more current in their skill-set, have better taste, are more knowledgeable and this is more or less extreme depending on the work environment. I asked myself, why was everyone else moving on past me, getting promoted and I was bouncing from one short-term contract to the next? I am just as dedicated, just as knowledgeable… can there be something else?

I decided to do something about it. I felt taken advantage of, perhaps because I look young, I dress young but I have a lot of experience and I am simply not selling myself the best I can. It was time for a change. I knew I had a lot of friends that have always helped me and always were trying to encourage me/ give me a kick up the behind. One friend said to me that style is not about having money, that you can dress yourself well secondhand too. I of course threw this back at her, saying that I had no money. I know now that it is all about trying to rejig other expenditures to free up some cash, because your self-image is also worth investing in.

I was so lost and didn’t know where to start to re-find my own style, where I could find peace with myself and my individual values, e.g. (not looking too high street and buying ethical clothing wherever possible).

The Wardrobe Purge

I had been passively listening to the MissusSmartyPants podcast for a while and decided to start with the big wardrobe clean out over about two or three weeks, slowly. I first decluttered old things that had holes, were bally, shrunken, odd socks. The broken things. That was the easiest: for me, this was difficulty level 1.

Then went the things that I had intended to alter on the sewing machine, but realistically wasn’t going to. This was difficulty level 2. I allowed myself to keep 1 item that I may alter.

Then I moved on to the things that I didn’t wear: Difficulty level 3. I thought that I “needed this dress/washed out t-shirt still because I might wear it/i don’t have many t-shirts”. MSP’s rule is: if you haven’t worn it in a year, out it goes. I still have one dress because it is a fancy dress that I may wear again.

Slowly over the weeks I have donated 5 or 6 grocery bags full of jeans, tops and dresses. I’m a person who considers myself to have no clothes!! At the start I bought myself a replacement top (just a basic one) to remove the excuse that I didn’t have another t-shirt. Then it got easier for me to get chucking.

Seeing the Wood from the Trees

When all the junk was gone, there wasn’t much left to be honest. Two pairs of jeans, a pair of khakis, a skirt, five cardigans, Three t-shirts, a shirt, a fleece, a raincoat, two skirts, two winter coats, a fancy dress (unworn), two pairs of boots, a pair of golden sandals, a pair of workout runners (unworn). I could see I really liked fun cardigans and didn’t have much for the hotter summer weather that was coming. But this was a start. And I could see what I like!

It was a Sunday night, and I needed to find something to wear in the morning, so I put together a couple of outfits to get me through the first few days. I knew I needed to buy a few other bits to make outfits. This is how I got the ball rolling, and now on Sunday evenings when the dinner is cooking, I do exactly the same. It only takes 5 minutes and I can see if I am heavily wearing one item and why.

I liked that MissusSmartyPants had a structured approach to it, with straightforward guidelines, lists and little missions to do, for example, not to wear black, or not to wear jeans for the week/a no spend week. This was actually fun for me. What I also found fun was measuring myself to see what size I really was. She has some nice tips for skirt length and to find out whether you have a relatively high or low waist.

Things I Have Learned from my Style Journey … so Far

  • Once you have reduced your wardrobe you can see what you like to wear and EXACTLY what you need to buy. For example I had no dresses and just one skirt and that had never occurred to me.
  • You can give focus to your good body parts and disguise the bits you don’t like so much. How cool is that?
  • You don’t need a lot of actual clothes. It surprised me by how much mileage you can get out of what you have through the right shoes and accessories. I also learned that I had no accessories.
  • It’s nice to receive compliments on how you look :)
  • The more you practice making your outfits and adding piece by piece the easier it gets to mentally make planned outfits while you are shopping. This makes your shopping more focused and ultimately hopefully your long-term expenditure less.
  • I have learned that I feel the most free to experiment in charity shops, probably because the clothes don’t cost so much and I like to make outfits as I go along and am happy to practice making outfits there.
  • I wear much less black now!
  • I don’t panic when I suddenly have to go to an important meeting at work, because I know I have something waiting in my wardrobe.
  • I will make mistakes, but it doesn’t bother me. For example, an expensive tank top that didn’t wash very well, or expensive shoes I didn’t wear that much this season.
  • Having a work wardrobe and a weekend wardrobe is a new idea for me. I love the idea of introducing much needed separation from my working and private life. My weekend wardrobe will be more casual and more orientated to travel and outdoors activities.
  • I look at what other people are wearing more to get inspiration of what I like. MSP recommends keeping a “Style File” for your ideas.

What’s next?

  • Purchase 1: A quality handbag. Some people have hundreds of purses that they don’t use. I’m more of a one-handbag kind of gal and have found this item difficult because of this reason exactly. To borrow a German expression, it has to be the “milk-giving, egg-laying sow”. I struggle with thinking that my clothes have to ALL go with each other, but I’ll get there. It also needs to be light because I have back problems.
  • Purchase 2: I need a pair of winter boots.
  • I still have to move all of my clothes into my wardrobe. Currently it is a bit of a junk-storage unit. I will set a date for this after the visitors are gone.
  • Create a Hard-Copy Style File for scribbles and not just a folder on my desktop!

It is empowering to feel that I am doing something for myself and I already notice a big difference in my attitude to my self-image and this page will be dedicated to following my journey in this way, and maybe help someone else out along the way and encourage them to try it too.

So far I am absolutely not saving any money by shopping, because there is a lot of outward investment as you can imagine, but I think in a few seasons I will be happy that I made the effort. I am currently pulling the money away from eating out during the week. This is where I will show the latest additions, finds as well as some outfit experiments :)

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