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, second, third and fourth sets too, if you’re curious.
Phew! I made it through the challenge, and not only that, but I actually managed to stick to my self-imposed maximum of 4 jeans-wearings for the month! (I’m actually still in shock a little over that one; even The Boy looked surprised when I broke the news to him today that my challenge was done.) I do have some general thoughts about the month as a whole, but I’ll post those in a couple days, when I’ve had a chance to digest them. In the meantime, here’s what I wore for the final (not quite as blisteringly hot!) week of July…
The prodigal pants return! While this isn’t actually the first time I’ve worn the raincoat (I’ve thrown it on a couple mornings to walk The Smelly), this is the first time that I felt I wore it enough to include it in the pictures. (That noon-hour downpour was something else!)
The belt, as are most of them, is another one of the gifted belts formerly from my mom’s stash. When I saw this, I was completely enamored — it’s a v! In red! With silvery bling on it! I feel like a superhero every time I have it on. With that said, however, I definitely think it works better over one longer shirt than trying to bridge between a top and a bottom like here. The belt kept fighting with the waist of the pants (maybe I should have untucked the shirt?) and it was… not as superhero-like as I might have wished.
At last, a day cool enough to bust out my grey knit wrap top! I actually really love this top, it’s just that maybe it was not such a smart choice for July. Particularly, this July. All in all, a pretty boring ensemble, but one that makes me happy nonetheless.
On a sadder note, I noticed after these photos that my poor Mary Janes are fraying alarmingly around the soles. The plan is to take them to a cobbler, possibly sacrifice a small squirrel, and hope that a simple re-soling can fix the issue. If not, my beloved Mary Janes may well have had it. (Although, who am I kidding? I would totally take a gluegun to them first to try to frankenstein them back to wearability. There is pretty much no length I won’t go to to save a pair of shoes I really love. Ask me sometime about the black Aldo slides which lasted 8 years and which, I’m pretty sure, are the reason Aldo no longer offers lifetime warranties on its shoes.)
Sorry for the overexposure — by the time I checked the pictures, it was way too late to re-shoot ’em. Had to sneak in another day with the dress — I love this dress! The Boy and I are planning a trip for later in the year and I already know that I’ll be packing this gem for the journey. Cool, breezy, feminine, pockets. What isn’t to love about it?!
I didn’t realize until the evening that I’d done pretty much the same thing on Day 16 with the other dress. Apparently I have no use for this shirt except as a cover-up! With that said, I thought it added a nice fake waist; it definitely works better with this full skirt than with the sheath dress.
A casual work-from-home day. I was originally going to do another purple-skirt outfit, but the heat and the desire to run errands outside of work hours led to the more practical skort decision. I do find it a little shameful that I’ve gone through this whole challenge without actually sewing on the missing button for my skort’s pocket. One thing (among many) this challenge has taught me is that while I might hate shorts (it’s true; the only ones I own are board shorts for paddling), I love skorts. I think it has to do with the silhouette — while, I don’t think I’ve ever owned a pair of shorts that flattered my legs, the A-line of the skort is pretty much universally flattering. So! At some point if I ever drag myself out to a mall, that might be a good summer alternative to look for (since, really, just having the one pair for a whole season is a little sad).
A green and gold day. It surprises me that prior to this challenge, I had never thought to pair the Gold Knit Thing with this skirt — they belong together! Aside from that, nothing particularly inspiring about the outfit. On my more casual days, I seem to get lazy with the accessories, although I’ve been thinking that a looser metallic belt — you know, the kind that just sort of hangs on your hips? — might be fun. I can’t decide if I would get more use out of shiny silver or a sort of tarnished antique bronze colour though. Hmm.
A wedding! (If there’s one thing I really like about weddings, it’s that pictures — of the couple, of the guests, of everybody! — are expected. They are (increasingly rare) opportunities for me to actually get The Boy to pose in pictures voluntarily. What I’m going to do when all our friends are married off is beyond me.)
This wedding is the sole reason I included this top in the challenge and honestly? I wish I’d worn it more. If I’d had a more formal presentation at work (ahem, and remembered that my black pants were an option), you can bet I’d have worn that (paired with my oval silver hoop earrings… oh wait, they’re MIA… *sniff*) to do it. I love this top! It’s tight enough that nothing dangles or gets in my way, or feels cumbersome, while still being loose enough to skim nicely and not be inappropriate for work. Its plain-ness also makes it easy to tuck under a blazer/jacket — definitely one of my happier clothing purchases of late. (Well, relatively late. I bought this about 16 months ago.)
While trying to decide on the tops, this one was in contention with another shawl-neck top, the other one being red with some sparkly red bling on it. I actually love both, but decided that since I already had the red v-neck top, and I didn’t really have any saturated purple in my challenge, I should go with this one. To be honest though, given what I paired them with, either one would have been fine!
So… I need to admit that I did think about wearing jeans. This was the last day, after all, and I was dropping The Boy off at the airport — it’ll be just me and the critters for a whole week! — basically, it would have been an understandable choice. Having made it this far without breaking my “4 times” rule, however, I did the next best thing: I wore what is probably my favourite “easy” piece in this challenge.
This Wanko dress is amazing. Despite being polyester, it smells fantastic when line-dried, seems to be resistant to everything (cooking stains and smells, minor garden mishaps), doesn’t restrict movement (gardening, biking, jumping…) and I’m not afraid to throw it in the wash. (I love my mom’s red sundress, but I really don’t want to be laundering it more than necessary.) It’s comfortable, fun and I thought it would be a good way to wrap up what has been a pretty fun challenge! (The blazer was more for experimentation than anything else. I enjoy the way it looks like a dark lab coat with this dress.)
So… with this month now duly documented, what have I learned? That’s going to have to wait for another post, but I will say that I’m glad I tried this. It’s helped me to focus on what’s missing in the non-office parts of my wardrobe*, and start to see my clothing as a unified whole instead of my previous Work vs. Dressy-Casual vs. T-shirt And Jeans mental divisions that I had before.
* Generally, any time I’ve found advice for women on modularizing their wardrobes, or finding “gaps” in their clothing basics, all the clothes are geared either towards work-wear, or at least clothing that is too formal for day-to-day activities in my life. By actually living through a month of mostly casual-wear (after all, it’s summer!), I’ve learned both to expand my ideas around “casual” dress (what? something other than jeans?!) and to see what I would actually enjoy wearing, if I had more of it.
So yes, I’ll have a better summary of what I learned up in a couple days. Until then, happy August, everyone!