2013 Clothing Challenge - Recap

Tuesday, December 31, 2013


This was an interesting year. I challenged myself not to buy any clothes this year, but things didn't go entirely as planned. I was doing well at the six month check in, but bought a few items while traveling and during pre-Christmas sales.

Successes:
  • Finished almost all of the clothing alterations on my list and I don't think I'd have gotten to them otherwise. There were items that appeared on this blog like: my diy skinny jeans, adding lace panels to my dolman top, changing the neckline of two shirts, changing a mini-skirt to a pencil skirt, adding a lining to a trench coat, and updating an old blazer. But there were other things that never made it here, like shortening the straps on a dress, or hemming skirts, or adding a lining to my leather jacket.
  • Edited my closet down to mostly things I use all the time and love. I realized I need more sweaters than tops for work. I also have very few occasions to wear the dresses I own, so those really have to be special purchases that last for years.
  • Only took one trip to the fabric store. It's amazing how creative you can get with materials when you're constrained by supplies. My fabric drawer is in under control now. This made me think carefully about what projects I would tackle and I was forced to write an exact supply list. The biggest challenge? I ran out of black thread really early on.
  • Successfully sewed several items of clothing for myself from scratch: a sweatshirt, a chiffon skirt, lace shorts, self-drafted shorts, a yellow dress, a boxy top, a peplum top, a tshirt, and a sequin top.
Failures:
  • I did buy some clothing: one rain jacket, two sweaters, and one tank top.
Thoughts:

While I didn't succeed entirely, this process made me rethink whether or not I needed to buy an item of clothing and eliminated impulse buys. I realized I had more than enough clothes in my closet, though I was lacking in some necessary areas (sweaters for example), which was why it sometimes seemed like I didn't. 

From now on, I'm hoping to only hang on to clothes that make me feel good when I wear them, and that I love. I still don't dress better regularly, but I'm a lot more comfortable. I also plan on sewing clothes whenever I can. It takes longer, but it makes you appreciate your clothing more when you wear it. It's not disposable fashion if you've put time and care into making a garment.

I should have had at least  a couple cheat day this year to buy things I needed like the rain jacket (I live in a rainforest, and I can't believe I didn't have one till now) and sweaters to replace ones with holes.

For 2014, I think I'll keep on being very selective about any clothes that I purchase, and if I do, it better be something I can't make myself.

Happy new year!
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