First, let me say this was harder than I thought it would be. I started to get bored with my 30 items about 20 days into the challenge. I desperately wanted something different. This sparked a shopping frenzy. Sal mentioned that challenges like this are a bit like dieting. I certainly proved her right.
Like most of the participants, I tried to anticipate all activities and plan accordingly. I was successful, except for one event: an important work meeting. I had to travel for the meeting and I knew it would be a long day under stressful circumstances. I made the decision to wear tired-and-true wardrobe items as a confidence booster. So I pulled two items from my working closet that were not planned. It was the right decision. Lesson learned: it is always good to have safe and reliable clothes to fall back on when you need them to boost confidence.
The next obstacle I faced was heat and humidity. I included three work slacks and four casual slacks. Two of the casual bottoms (Old Navy Full Length White Jeans and Gap Khakis) were too heavy for the weather and I didn't want to wear them. That left me with only two bottoms for casual.
Elizabeth P suggested I substitute other items in for the khakis and jeans. The problem was that I didn’t have bottoms to substitute in. The most important lesson learned during this challenge was that I do not have a "deep" closet. When the weather turned hot and humid, I was forced to wear a very small subset of my 30 items. Substitutions were not an option because I didn't own the items I needed in the first place.
It was coincidental that we did the challenge during my hot/humid period. I am so glad that we did though. The fact that I have so few deep summer wardrobe items was enlightening. It positively reinforces the fact that I need to shop for these items first and foremost. I have given myself permission to really focus on building my deep summer wardrobe. I have been pining ideas and shopping like crazy. While everyone else is shopping for NAS, I'll be busy shopping late Summer sales. The good thing is I have my NAS budget to spend so I can look for higher end pieces that I wouldn't normally have bought.
I learned the merits of keeping all of my capsule clothes together in a unique space. Lisa P suggested this concept early on. I resisted at first because it “seemed” like a lot of work, but at the start of the second week I pulled everything together. I was actually gripping about it as I was doing it, but it was worth the trouble. To start with there was no clutter in my mind or my closet. The color swatch was clean and clear across the closet. I have always switched out my wardrobes twice a year, but now I see the power of condensing it even more …. even by weeks if that matches your seasons.
Something that intrigued me were the unworn items. I had four items that were not worn one single time. This was huge given that I only had 30 items to work with. Every single day I consciously made the decision to not wear them and instead wear some thing else. There is a lesson here, I just know it. I don’t know what that lesson is though. I have no idea why I did not want to wear those four items. They fit. They were comfortable. I wonder if I wear those four items during different times of my year because I have no desire to donate them at this time.
I also discovered like Joy that a challenge like this has seasonal benefits in terms of identifying wardrobe holes. It is something I want to do at the start of each new season.