This is my take on the (by now, probably totally out-moded) “30 for 30” challenge, first pioneered by Kendi. The list of my wardrobe contents for this challenge (i.e. July) is posted here. See the first set too, if you’re curious.
I’d unofficially added another rule to the challenge for myself: Thou Shalt Not Wear Thine (Beloved) Jeans More Than Once Per Week — or, jeans no more than 4 times in the whole month. If you don’t know me, let me clarify: it is not unusual for me to spend 3 or 4 days out of every week in jeans. I still panic a little every time I think about it.
In spite of this denim-based rationing, however, I couldn’t help myself on our first day back from the long weekend. It was mentally Monday, damnit, and I had some messy work to get done! I’d spent a whole weekend — up North, no less! — without my jeans. I’d even spent Canada Day wearing something else! …I cracked.
I find this “look” (if I can call it that?) to be very… un-me. Despite the fact that I do work in an office environment, I hate button-up, collared shirts. They just flat-out don’t look good on me, even when they’re the girlier, more fitted type (and I have one of those in my 30 too). I included this because I was thinking that maybe I could find a way to incorporate it that would be less… preppy? Nerdy? Unflattering? I don’t feel I succeeded on this day.
One theory I have is that the crisp, wrinkle-prone cottons these shirts tend to be made of are not really a material I like wearing. I loved putting on this shirt — the cool, clean feeling of crunchy cotton — until about the time I got the buttons done up. Then it felt… stiff. I like fabrics that cling, or that drape, something that will move with me, or at least hang gracefully while I move. This shirt (which is Ralph Lauren, if you were wondering) doesn’t really do that.
Also: apologies about the lack of feet in the shot. After about an hour of precariously trying to hoist my tripod high enough to shoot me full-length (in crappy lighting), I just gave up. I may yet resort to bribing The Boy into helping me in coming weeks!
This day I liked better. For a more formal day, cream dress pants would probably be better than these, but given that this was a pretty casual work week, it turned out well. Unseen accessory: a skinny brown belt from the army of belts my mother gifted me with last month. The bangles I’d bought on a whim at Forever 21, mostly because they were a whopping $3 or something. Lesson learned? I’d forgotten how noisy bangles are!
The top (which I’m pretty sure is rayon, but I can’t remember anymore) is actually one of my favourites, though I don’t seem to wear it much. I made it with help from my amazing Aunt E (who taught me pattern drafting!) while I was in university. I’d taken a sewing course over the summer, and one assignment was a top of our choosing. She walked me through choosing a basic blouse, and recommended the square neckline (which I love), as well as helping me hugely with the sleeves (they’re the only sleeves I’ve ever sewn that I’m proud of!). To top it all off, she gave me the fabric, too! At the time I’d wondered who in their right mind would buy fabric in that pattern, but after I graduated, I fell in love with it. It’s taught me to try to be a little more open-minded when looking at patterned fabric; I don’t know that I’ve learned to “see” printed patterns in garment form yet, but I try to keep this top in mind when I’m looking.
Thursday was fun! Alright, I got a little carried away with my “photoshoot”. Puppies are so much easier than cats to get to pose for a camera though! (Anyone want to guess how many treats I had stashed in my purse for those photos?)
I would have liked to have worn the flats with the dress, but between the dog-walking, a mid-day errand and the farm CSA pickup, mud-resistant shoes were de rigeur. (With such lovely weather it would have been a crime not to walk around, neh?)
The sheath dress is a donation from my Auntie M. It feels like 100% polyester, but I love it anyway because it’s so fun. It’s by Wanko, who is probably my favourite HK designer; I have a number of Wanko suits (also inherited from Auntie M) and I love, love, love the way they’re cut. If I ever find a place in town that sells Wanko clothing, I may actually become someone who shops for their own clothes!
Speaking of which, I’m a little horrified that pretty much everything I wore the next day — everything but the shoes! — I inherited from my mom, my aunts, or friends. And the accessories were presents from my mom. Is that embarrassing? Huh.
My mom has this notion that as girls grow up, they start to appreciate “real” jewellery. She tried this idea out on me on my 16th birthday: a gorgeous ring with my birthstone whose only fault is that it was made of yellow gold. (I can’t handle yellow gold. It makes me look sallow beyond recovery, no matter what colour clothing I’m wearing.) Sadly, I was much more a fan of colour and flair than quality, so it was a bit of a losing battle for my mom.
Years later, still trying to convince me of the value of real vs. costume jewellery, my mom bought me this necklace probably around my 25th birthday. It’s a beautiful compromise: white gold (yes!) and nicely classic, without being formal and “old lady”-like. I’m starting to appreciate it (and the other stuff!) more and more. It just goes to show: your mom is probably right!
As an aside, I’ve long been a fan of the red/black/white combination. It’s actually something I struggle with as I try to modular-fy my wardrobe: while black is a very easy neutral for me to choose — it goes with everything, and I love it! — I keep trying to work navy in too, and sadly those two just don’t play well. One of these days, I’ll figure it out. Maybe.
Okay, you guys have no idea how hard it was to wait 8 days before wearing this dress! As soon as my mom showed it to me, I knew I was going to include it in my 30 — I love it! It’s comfortable and breezy cotton, it’s flattering, it has pockets — this dress is pretty much perfect.
Of course, then I went and posted a picture that barely shows you the dress. Ha. Well, no worries. You can rest assured I’m definitely wearing it again this month! (Also: I forgot to snap a shot with the shawl on, but I wasn’t really wearing it for most of the day, anyway.)
Sun-bleached shot, even at 8pm, with the sun on the other side of the house! Hurray for summer! The green skirt makes its second appearance and I know, I know: I need to stop wearing those shoes. It’s just that it’s summer, and they’re so easy to slip on! (I was actually commenting today that if I could re-pick my 30, I’d have fewer tops and more bottoms+shoes: I’m actually finding planning more casual days at work to be a bit tough!)
The cow earrings I have to comment on. Back in highschool (yes, way back when), I was an earring junkie. I had sparkly earrings, dangly earrings, hoop earrings, cute stud earrings. I had comedy/tragedy drama mask earrings, little globes of the Earth made out of Fimo earrings, heavy-ass paua shell earrings, crazy Italian patterned paper earrings, I even had Star Trek earrings. (No, I’m not kidding.) The cows I bought one day because they were so cute and after university, when The Great Earring Purge took place I didn’t have the heart to oust them. I’m so glad I didn’t, because although I don’t wear them often, every time I do, they make me smile.
So, that was my first work week of playing “dress up” (which I have to admit is actually a lot of fun!). I’m definitely finding it easier to dress for work than for non-work time — probably because I tend to get dirtier? — but I realize this is still the easy part of the challenge. We’ll see if I run out of ideas as the days tick on!