Style Challenge

The #NoSpendber Challenge: What I’ve Learnt

Boy, the last few weeks were hard.

As I mentioned in my original post on what #NoSpendber is about, one of my favourite things to do on the weekend is go bargain hunting to my usual haunts – Rozelle Markets, Glebe Markets, the local Salvos/Vinnies etc, as well as peruse eBay, Gumtree and Carousell for the next awesome purchase. Mind you, I still surfed the last three options (and bookmarked a few options for committing to later) and I also went to Rozelle Markets with my mother-in-law while she was in town – but in all instances, no purchases were made, and I found that really, really difficult, because I just WANTED TO BUY EVERYTHING.

However, when I was forced to look at what was in my wardrobe for a whole month, I learned some interesting things about myself and my style, which made the experience worthwhile.

1. My style can’t be defined in one style.

So there’s the “SAHM” style where a T-shirt and shorts are all I can muster up some days. There’s the “casual corporate” style which I usually don for work, mixing up some jeans with a dressy shirt or a non-collared shirt with a pair of tailored trousers or a skirt. Aaaand there’s the “fashion tragic” style which loves all the high-end brands (at thrift store prices of course) as well as trying out different trends and occasionally wearing dresses. Does that mean I need three different wardrobes to cater for all three styles? Of course not. I think this is one of the other reasons why my capsule wardrobe experiment didn’t work for me, as I felt the capsule wardrobe meant I would have to subscribe to one particular style but in reality I’m made up of three, maybe even more. The trick is to make key pieces work across all three styles – for example, a flowy blouse with ripped jeans and classic flats is an outfit that ticks all the style boxes.

2. There are a lot of clothes I don’t wear…

… for various reasons. I wasn’t sure of the fit of them, I didn’t like the fit of them – I tried in the #NoSpendber month to make them work but ultimately decided that I don’t wear them much for a reason. These clothes will soon be making their way to other wardrobes soon.

3. I need to wear dresses and skirts more.

I’ve always been a little bit of a tomboy, but it’s nice to wear a dress now and again. At present I have four dresses, two of which are usually worn to fancy/social occasions like weddings; one is more of a transition dress (ie worn in spring or autumn); and the other is my only summer dress. As for skirts, I have one denim skirt, one pleated skirt  (which I’m unsure whether or not I’ll keep), and a white skirt (also unsure of whether or not I’ll keep). Given the last two comments I really only have 1 skirt. That to me does not seem very varied.

4. I have a lot of striped shirts.

I mentioned in my refashion of a striped shirt post that I had several shirts of the same colourway in different sleeve lengths. Had I not done this challenge, I wouldn’t have been aware of this lack of variety (and indeed may have inadvertently added to that collection). I’m down to two navy blue and white striped shirts now.

5. I miss colour and print.

This was a big realisation for me. While doing the capsule wardrobe experiment I focused on making what I had in my wardrobe very neutral, with minimal print, so that the pieces worked together in multiple ways.

However, in the process I left out what made fashion and dressing up fun. I love polka dots, I love embroidery detail, I love touches of red and pink, I love boho prints – these things that I loved I had to set aside in my capsule wardrobe experiment. So while I will still continue to have neutrals in my wardrobe, I want to inject a bit more fun by including some elements of these things that I love, making sure they fit in with my lifestyle and working across the three styles I identified in #1 above.

6. Doing the challenge has made my shopping more specific.

Before I would hit up my usual haunts and just browse and buy whatever caught my eye. Now that I’m aware of what I need in my wardrobe, I can be a bit more targeted in what I’m looking for. So far what I’ve identified are: boho blouse with sleeves; at least one skirt (printed and/or plain); a printed dress; maybe a playsuit.

Was doing the challenge worth it? Yes, even though it was bloody hard. It meant I had to have a hard look at my wardrobe and face up to some truths. It also meant that I knew exactly what to buy if/when I receive gift vouchers for Christmas.

Were there any transgressions? I have to admit to ONE purchase made this month. It was when hubby and I had a date during the day and we spent some time roaming around our favourite little suburb. The sandals I wore gave me terrible blisters and I couldn’t walk to the cinema we had planned to see a movie, so I bought some alternative sandals from Sportsgirl to save my feet.

Would I do it again? Yes, I think I would. Good times to do this sort of challenge are just before seasonal changes so you know what to update in your wardrobe for the next season.

I hope you enjoyed following along with my #NoSpendber challenge. You can check out my outfits on Instagram as well as what I’ll be buying as part of what I learned above.

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