12 Pieces I A New Shopping Challenge

Twelve: A Wardrobe Challenge I Greater Than Rubies

Last week, an overwhelming amount of people asked how the challenge has shaped my finances and wardrobe today, a year later.

Despite that break with shopping and a completely new perspective, I still struggle with materialism sometimes. Even though I know I don’t need anything, becoming better at remixing my closet has allowed me to see TONS of possibilities with just the addition of one piece. Dangerous.

Because I added great pieces over the last year, my list of potential additions is small, and I want to keep it that way. I just wasn’t sure what that would look like until Sarah and I were discussing the no shopping year she just wrapped up. She mentioned the idea of buying one item per month in 2014. Whether big or small, that one piece would be it.

I love it. It’s simple and intentional. It will help me continue learning how to moderate while buying. {Simply not buying took away the temptation to overspend, and I’ve found it’s more difficult to be a good steward while allowing myself to shop.}

I’m really excited about this new challenge of sorts, and I promise to keep you updated on it.

Here’s the piece I added for January:

Lace Top

Why I added it: I’ve been looking for a full front lace shirt because it’s a different texture/pattern than anything else in my wardrobe. It’s also thin, so I’ll be able to wear it during spring, fall, and winter.

Where I got it: This one is from The Clothes Mentor, which is my favorite store. It’s a consignment shop, so you never know what you’ll find, but I’ve gotten incredible pieces and have never paid over $30 for an item. This top was $8.

A peek at the rest of my list:

  1. plain or striped jersey knit dress
  2. another summer dress {dresses are hard for me to find, but they’re perfect for Texas summers, so I’d like to add a couple to my closet this year.}
  3. black and white polka dot collared button up {I wear my other polka dotted tops and button ups all the time, so I’d like to mix the two.}
  4. rain boots
  5. wedge sandals- black, cognac, or a bright color, because I’ve got a lot of light colored summer shoes
  6. floral scarf
  7. colored cocktail ring
  8. clutch
  9. fur vest {T’s not a big fan of this one, so I may not go for it. I like to dress in things he really likes.}

I’ve decided to allow for replacing worn out or ruined things outside of my new additions, but I don’t even have 12 pieces on my list, so I may count them. {Right now I’m looking to replace my leopard flats.}

Are you limiting your shopping at all this year? I think I can speak for all of us when I say we want to hear about it!

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  • Selah January 20, 2014 at 6:10 PM

    I’m planning an entire post about my wardrobe / shopping plans for 2014. I think it will go up Saturday, so stay tuned. :)
    Maybe a vest with a fur collar would be a nice compromise? Or a vest in a different fun texture, like leather or velvet?

    • Caitlin Author January 22, 2014 at 8:19 AM

      Oo yay! Can’t wait to read it :)

      Mm…those are good ideas! Thanks, Selah.

  • Audrey @ Putting Me Together January 20, 2014 at 8:01 PM

    What kind of floral scarf are you looking for? I’ve got a few options I can send off to others. :)

    • Caitlin Author January 22, 2014 at 8:20 AM

      Audrey, you are so sweet! I haven’t given it a whole lot of thought, honestly. I just think it would be a really good remixing piece with the base I’ve already got.

  • Carrie January 20, 2014 at 8:39 PM

    I really love this idea of one item per month while adding with purpose to your wardrobe. Something for me to think about for the future.

  • Amy G January 21, 2014 at 8:01 AM

    Haha, I think I have that same top in a berry color!
    I don’t have plans to limit my shopping to a specific number or anything right now, but I am going to get serious about writing down everything I buy so I can see exactly what I bought and what I spent and be more intentional about it that way, rather than just buying a little here and a little there and feeling like it’s ok because my bank account balance still looks fine.

    • Caitlin Author January 22, 2014 at 8:21 AM

      That’s a great idea, Amy! I’ve heard from several people that a similar practice not only opened their eyes to what they were spending, but caused them to cut back. So wise!

  • April January 21, 2014 at 8:04 AM

    One item per month is a great idea! This forces you to be very intentional about the piece you choose and not just buy mindlessly because something is on clearance (guilty) and then never wear it. (guilty!!)

    Also, it frees up money to purchase an investment piece that can last a long time as opposed to something cheap that may only last a year.

    • Caitlin Author January 22, 2014 at 8:22 AM

      I hear you, girl! Guilty as well. Even after a year of cutting it all out. Boo. But, we’re making steps toward being wiser and better with our purchases, and that’s important!

  • Carly January 21, 2014 at 8:50 AM

    This is a great challenge! My plan is to limit myself to fewer pieces per month (4-5) to cut my intake of new items in half over last year. This includes accessories – I tend to pick up scarves and jewelry without much thought because they are so inexpensive and I want to be more purposeful about what I select in that area as well. A couple of questions for you – what brands have you found hold up really well for you? I get frustrated when I purchase an item from my wishlist and it doesn’t last! I would love for things to last a couple of years at least, especially classic pieces. I’ve also been hunting for a new purse and trying to pick something classic that will hold up and not cost a ton – do you have a bag you love? Thanks for sharing!

    • Caitlin Author January 22, 2014 at 8:25 AM

      Thanks Carly. That’s an incredible goal. And I hear you on the accessories piece- they seem inconsequential but can add up quickly.

      A couple of brands that I’ve found hold up well: J. Crew (I try to shop the outlet near us so it’s less, but I will splurge when it’s something that’s been on my list because I know it will last.), and Ann Taylor/Loft. These pieces tend to be pricier, but better quality. While some of my pieces from Target hold up well, there are many pieces that don’t. I kind of plan on Target and Old Navy for having my basics that get worn a lot and factor in updating them every year or so.

      As for bags, I’m super cheap when it comes to them. Picky, but cheap. I’ve never paid more than $30 for one, and have found they hold up for at least a couple of years. My current favorites are two I picked up in China while visiting my inlaws this year, so that’s not really a help :/ Sorry!

  • Valerie January 21, 2014 at 11:27 AM

    I am doing this too! I saw Sarah’s recap of no-shopping and her adjusted resolution for this year and am attempting it this year too! http://the-style-files.com/im-cutting-myself-off-my-updated-clothing-resolution/ (I tweaked the rules a little bit to allow any income I make from selling clothes to purchase new ones though!)
    Great list and good luck to you!

    • Caitlin Author January 22, 2014 at 8:26 AM

      That’s great! I think tweaking the “rules” to fit your life is the way to go. If it’s not sustainable, you won’t stick to it. Plus, it’s all about improving from where you’re at, and you’re absolutely doing that! So excited to read more about your year, Valerie!

  • minimalnat February 11, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    This is a amazing challenge! I planning to limit myself to only one piece per month, to make my purchases were even more thoughtful!

    • Caitlin Author February 12, 2014 at 8:23 AM

      Good for you! That’s incredible. :)

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