Two of Twelve

Two of Twelve

Twelve: A Wardrobe Challenge I Greater Than Rubies

This year, I’m purchasing 12 new items to add to my closet. I found that simply not buying took away the temptation to overspend, and it’s much more difficult to be a good steward while allowing myself to shop. (I’m like a squirrel when I’m at the store. Sparkly- shiny- so-many-possibilities!)

My February find was this perfect striped dress on major clearance at the Banana Republic Factory Store. It was $27, and as soon as I slipped it on, I knew. The birds even sang and tied the matching belt around my waist. It was magical.

Greater Than Rubies

I’ve probably tried on 30-some striped dresses since the challenge ended and none fit quite right…until this one. Remember- try on, try on, try on! Everyone has to. Don’t ever feel like it’s you if things aren’t fitting- you just haven’t found the right clothes yet.

Why I added it: I wear my striped sweater all.the.time, so I already know this dress is versatile and can be dressed up or down. It’s also the perfect weight to wear year round.

I chose not to include replacements, gift cards, or birthday gifts as part of this challenge, and my birthday is in February, so a few extra pieces joined my closet.


All of these gifts would have been on my original list (below), but I knew they were coming, so I didn’t add them.

  • Leopard print scarf
  • Black jeans (My old pair had been dyed so many times it wasn’t picking up the dye anymore and had turned a nasty whitish color. No thank you, 80’s vibe.)
  • Wedge lace ups
  • Denim jacket
  • A sequin skirt (This replaces a cocktail dress that was worn out and is more versatile because I can pair it with a variety of tops.)
  • A pair of jean shorts (I like that these fall at my finger tips as-is, but can be rolled down for a different look.)
  • With birthday money, I added a cross body bag with a versatile color palette (that I think I can make double as a clutch), and a clutch that can be dressed up or down. I also realized I have a leopard wallet that can double as a clutch, so I’m set in this department!
  • With the last of my birthday money, I found a great pair of white jeans on sale to replace mine. They got a stain on them that won’t come out, so I’m planning to dye them an olive green color to extend their life. Fingers crossed they turn out!

A peek at my list:

  1. plain or striped jersey knit dress (Check!)
  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 (I’m starting to waver on this one. It doesn’t really rain that much here in Texas, and I can wear my boots or booties and be just fine.)
  5. wedge sandals- black, cognac, or a bright color, because I’ve got a lot of neutral summer shoes
  6. floral scarf
  7. colored cocktail ring
  8. clutch (check!)
  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.)

How are your shopping challenges going?

dress (similarsimilar)
initial necklace (similar)
belt (similar)
mustard cardi (similar)
riding boots (similar)

cross body bag (exact, similar)

About the Author


  • sarah tucker February 26, 2014 at 8:20 AM

    Look at you, all Kendi-esque in the alley. I love it!! And I am behind on the buying 12 things this year…I have yet to find time to buy anything! Shopping date as soon as we move!

    • Caitlin Author February 27, 2014 at 6:50 PM

      You’ve got a lot going on! I’m sure you’ll eventually find some great pieces- and until then, you get even better at using what you’ve got! Win-win. And that sounds great :)

  • Selah February 26, 2014 at 8:34 AM

    Oh man! I missed your birthday! Happy belated birthday!
    That dress is great on you, great length, and super versatile!
    I just did a shopping update over the weekend:

    • Caitlin Author February 27, 2014 at 6:50 PM

      Thanks, Selah! :) Looking forward to reading your shopping update when I get a few seconds to catch up on my blog reading. Hope you’re having a lovely week!

  • Jackie Schelp February 26, 2014 at 8:52 AM

    Love the stripes, you look beautiful. I found my striped dress when I was pregnant…aaaaaand we’re on the hunt again.

    • Caitlin Author February 27, 2014 at 6:51 PM

      Thanks, Jackie! Oo fun! Good luck :)

  • Maricel @ My Closet Catalogue February 26, 2014 at 8:53 AM

    Bon anniversaire belatedly, m’dear! You look fab in that dress. Thank the birds for the belt; they deserve it!

    As for my shopping challenges: I’m still tinkering with one that would suit my personality and lifestyle and budget. I’ve had many minds working on it and now I must put all the ideas together and come up with a master plan. Selah, herself, has been instrumental in this. Perhaps you’d care to put in your two cents’ in once I get a rough draft in place? ;p

    • Caitlin Author February 27, 2014 at 6:51 PM

      Thank you, Maricel! That’s so exciting! Sure- I love all things shopping break/challenge related :D

  • Amy G February 26, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    Great dress! Congrats on finally finding one that works for you!
    Dying the white jeans olive sounds like a good idea. I’m still kind of on the lookout for olive pants, but I hadn’t really thought about looking for light colored pants that fit good to dye.
    I like that clutch! I never really know what to do with clutches, but that one having a built in handle would make that part of carrying a clutch much easier.

    • Caitlin Author February 27, 2014 at 6:53 PM

      Amy- I did the first round of dye and it’s a little brighter green than I’d hoped. I’ve got a lightener that I’m going to try, so we’ll see how it goes. Just from personal experience, I’d be careful about buying a pair specifically to dye. Be ready to say goodbye to them if they don’t turn out- because they might not! Although I suppose you could always bleach them and dye them navy or black.

      Yes! I need something to hold on to. I’d totally drop a clutch without a handle! :)

  • Carly February 26, 2014 at 5:13 PM

    I love the dress! Dresses are perpetually on my list and I just can’t find exactly what I want. I will just keep looking and eventually find just the right one, I hope. I crossed several items off my wishlist this month including a denim jacket, a black blazer, and a gray cardigan. I still have some Christmas money left and am still looking for a new bag. I also really like your leopard scarf. Do you know where it’s from?

    • Caitlin Author February 27, 2014 at 6:54 PM

      Carly- yes! You will. It takes me for.ever to find dresses, but if I give up and settle I always regret it.

      Oo those are great purchases! Yes- it is from Charming Charlies- do you have one near you? They’re so fantastic.

  • Rachel Nordgren February 26, 2014 at 5:15 PM

    Love it! What a fabulous dress…I’m looking for one like that for myself! I like the idea of being intentional about buying, and keeping a list!

    • Caitlin Author February 27, 2014 at 6:55 PM

      Thanks, Rachel! Yes- it’s something I’ve done since I started shopping again. I don’t always stick to it, but it definitely has kept me from making unwise decisions.

      • Rachel Nordgren March 2, 2014 at 1:36 PM

        It’s the age old quote…”those who fail to plan, plan to fail!”…and no one wants to fail when it comes to their wardrobe!

  • Kelsey Clark February 26, 2014 at 7:56 PM

    I think all of the purchases you made are really smart and have a great ability to remix! I limited the amount of items I am purchasing this year, also. Ultimately, I want to becoming more picky with what I add to my closet and make sure it “fits” my closet well.

    • Caitlin Author February 27, 2014 at 6:56 PM

      That’s so wise! Have you found any great items so far this year?

      • Kelsey Clark March 31, 2014 at 8:58 PM


        I have! Probably my 2 best purchases this year based on cost per wear are black heeled booties (I wore them from early January to last week about 2-3 per week) and an olive army style jacket. Both of these purchases were from Old Navy, where I hadn’t had much luck for over a year. Another excellent addition to my closet were some navy (thick) ponte pants from my mom on my birthday. They are very professional looking, but feel like pjs. Win!


        • Caitlin Author April 1, 2014 at 8:31 AM

          Professional looking but PJ-feeling? Serious win! Those all sound like fantastic purchases, Kelsey. I agree with you- sometimes Old Navy is difficult for me to find anything and other times, they’ve got great pieces. So glad you were able to find some really versatile items!

  • Valerie February 27, 2014 at 7:39 AM

    That dress is gorgeous on you! Love it with the mustard- and totally remixable! I don’t count gift cards in my budget check-in either…the pieces you got are very thoughtful and aren’t trendy- they are classic staples that really show you are honed in on what you need! So impressive!

    • Caitlin Author February 27, 2014 at 6:59 PM

      Thank you, Valerie- you’re so sweet. I’ve come a long way- and this community has definitely played a role in that!!

  • Iris February 27, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    Love the dress! I bought a petite striped knit dress on sale at loft w a gift card from Christmas and I knew it would fit in my wardrobe well. I wore it as my travel outfit on my flight to SC and it was very comfy. Yours looks super comfy! Love the belt, tights, boots, and cardigan w it. Great birthday gifts too!

    • Caitlin Author February 27, 2014 at 7:01 PM

      Loved your look on Instagram this week! I totally plan to wear mine as a travel outfit, too. It’s so comfortable, but looks incredibly pulled together. Hope you’re having a fantastic birthday week, Iris! :)

  • April March 1, 2014 at 3:41 AM

    I love that cross-body bag and have been looking one for just like it- any chance you know where it is from or who makes it?

    • Caitlin Author March 2, 2014 at 9:13 AM

      April, it’s from Kohl’s. I just added the link into the post. It’s on sale right now, too!

Leave a Reply