Project: Why I’m only wearing 19 items of clothing until April

(Originally published February 11, 2018)

February is, objectively, the worst month of the year. All the good parts of winter are over and spring is nowhere in sight. I am so. cold. all. the. time. I’ve eaten pop-tarts for breakfast every day for the last three weeks and I haven’t even considered working out since my ill-fated new year’s resolution to exercise more was immediately squandered by a New Year’s Day hangover. Suffice to say, I am not at my best in February. What I normally do to feel better during this time of hibernation and self-loathing is shop. I put some damage on my Loft card, and for a while, I do feel better. But then the bill comes. And the sweater loses a button. And it’s only March.

At this point in my life, I don’t have the luxury to rack up credit card debt for new clothes anymore. My husband went back to school full time this summer, and so I’m the primary earner of our household. That’s two adults, two pets, and a combined $80 grand in student debt surviving off a very meager salary in a very expensive city. It was absolutely the right decision for our family, but it’s also meant that I’ve had to reexamine my lifestyle choices and cut out excess spending where possible. So, no new sweaters for me until the old sweaters are good and dead.

Enter this project: I took stock of my wardrobe, identified 19 office-appropriate items that I like, and used them to make 30 unique outfits that will get me through every work day until April. I put these into a spreadsheet and assigned a date to each outfit. Since I can assume that the weather will always be cold and awful (and the temperature is pretty consistently frigid in my office), all I have to do is check the spreadsheet when I wake up in the morning and put on that outfit.

Here are my goals for this self-imposed challenge:

  • Actually do it and don’t give up on day three
  • Don’t shop
  • Remember that I actually like my clothes
  • Use the time I would normally spend thinking about shopping to be more creative (read, write, slay a new project at work, etc.).
  • Plan a useful spring capsule wardrobe and don’t feel guilt about purchasing what I’ve identified that I need come April

Here are my clothes:

Tops:

  1. Cream silk blouse
  2. Black silk blouse
  3. White cotton button-down blouse
  4. Black cardigan (which I usually wear on its own as a top)
  5. Stripe silk sleeveless shell
  6. Beige pullover sweater
  7. Black turtleneck

Bottoms:

  1. Black slacks
  2. Black crop pants
  3. Black pencil skirt
  4. Gray skirt

Dresses:

  1. Black silk dress

Outer layers:

  1. Gray blazer
  2. White blazer
  3. Camel cardigan

Shoes:

  1. Black heels
  2. Black flats
  3. Black boots
  4. Flower boots

Important note: I’m not counting clothes I wear outside of work, because it’s mostly loungewear or the same clothes I wear to work with jeans instead of slacks or skirts. I’m also not counting base layers like camis or tights, or accessories like belts or scarves. If you’re interested in following along with this project, follow my daily outfits on instagram at @goblinshark_. I’ll be back next Sunday with a recap on the first week.

-gs

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