31 January 2021

Wardrobe Plans for 2021

Some affiliate links used.

Ok, here goes.......I'm going to jump right in with a few facts from 2020 that have shaped my wardrobe goals for 2021. It would appear that I am the average woman who buys 67 pieces of clothing a year (I actually bought a smidge under at 66). I'd like to halve that number this year. I edited my wardrobe regularly and ended up parting with more than I purchased......letting go of a total of 71 items. This year I'm aiming to only add 33 pieces to my wardrobe. 2 - 3 items per month sounds realistic. There is no budget as such though last year I spent half as much as I did in 2019. I'd prefer to spend less than I did in 2020 but that may prove to be tricky going by what I have already purchased this month. The price per item is likely to be higher because I'm trying to buy less but buy better.

One rule that I'm going to be hard and fast about now that my wardrobe is more manageable is a strict one item in one item out policy. Now that I am down to my favourite things before I even think about bringing in any new items I'm going to ask myself this question "Would I rather wear this over something I've already got in my wardrobe?". For example a while ago I purchased a dress which I already had but in a different print, exactly the same shape though. I held onto it for a couple of weeks but I knew I wouldn't love it or reach for it as much as the original dress and so I returned it. I couldn't justify owning 2 of the same style. Before bringing in something new in I'm really going to have to be prepared to part with something I already own. This should really help to curb those repeat purchases which is a habit that still plagues me. Mind you - I have already sold or donated 27 items since the beginning of 2021.....so you could say am I already in credit? 

The year has started well. I've stuck to my plan and made 3 purchases this month. I had a wish list of pieces, a couple of which were replacements for things I already had but that had seen better days. I spoke about finding an alternative for this old Zara blazer/coat back in October in this video. I've had it for years and it's well beyond it's best. 

In my last blog post I mentioned that my & Other Stories black blazer was one of my favourite purchases of 2020. Because the black blazer has been such a wardrobe winner I decided I'd like to try and track down the camel version. Sadly & Other Stories no longer stock the black or the camel but my first port of call was good old eBay who came up trumps anyway! That happily that fulfilled another goal.......trying to source preloved items first and foremost whenever I can. A #winwin in my book because I'm keeping my clothing circular ♻ and got a bargain. The blazer is immaculate so I'm chuffed to pieces with it!

Worth checking eBay for the blazer here

(p.s on the & Other Stories blazer. They do stock this one which is similar. However having tried it I wouldn't recommend it. It's nowhere near the quality of the version I've purchased which they still stock in khaki and beige. It's worth paying the extra £35 for).

So how else do I propose to reduce my consumption even more this year? It turns out that I have formed some bad habits since becoming a blogger & Instagramer back in 2013. I think I felt the pressure of trying to get ahead of the trends which has often resulted in me making mistakes (I made 5 mistakes in 2020). I am guilty of buying spring & summer items in January that I'm already over before the seasons arrive. The problem is that it is highly likely that something else will piquet my attention in the mean time. How to fix this tendency? I'm cutting out the noise, spending less time on social media and less time scrolling on Pinterest (which is full of annoying sponsored ads these days that really mess with my viewing pleasure!). I've actually been withdrawing from these platforms for a while as one of my goals in general is to reduce my daily dose of screen time. If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed that I've already taken a bit of a step back from the app. Again I'm trying to avoid be bombarded with posts full of *PR products*. I prefer to see how my favourite accounts style their existing wardrobe staples as opposed to being influenced to buy all the latest trends. These new habits have already helped immensely because I find I'm no longer being tempted to buy things I don't really need. Now that I'm more confident in my own style and what suits my lifestyle I am making less impulsive purchases. The plan for 2021 is to buy with intention.

And so onto to replacement purchase no.2. You may remember this much worn and loved H&M Breton. Another item I've had for years.......there is much evidence of it on my Instagram feed. It's served it's purpose well but it was due an upgrade.

I've been looking for a similar one to the H&M one which is quite thick cotton and a boxy shape which is perfect for doing a half tuck. The neckline has become annoying - it's a wide boatneck which constantly reveals my bra straps.......it also requires a bit of faffing to get the neckline to lie flat under jackets. Anyway the search began to find a suitable replacement which resulted in another one of my objectives being met. 2021 will hopefully be the year that I step away from buying so much from the High Street. I plan to explore more local independent businesses and also try to support more sustainable brands. I found a great Breton that ticks all my boxes from a British brand called Olive who are based in Cheltenham. Another #winwin

Olive Clothing Breton

The final purchase was a much considered item. My number one priority for my clothing at the moment is comfort. I've not really gotten on board with the loungewear trend......maybe with the exception of my Adidas joggers. However I have been looking for another trouser option in a bid to prise me out of my jeans. I've been regularly reaching for these M&S black wide leg trousers so when I spotted these Arket elasticated waist grey flannel trousers and again they ticked all of my boxes! I ordered two sizes and decided on the size 38 as I prefer them a little slouchier and longer. The sign of a great purchase is that you love them enough to want to wear them straight away.......these have seen 3 wears in 2 weeks and so I am certain that they will easily fulfil #30pluswears 

Arket trousers

These new additions slot seamlessly into my winter capsule and will also feature in my spring capsule. Having this little project to focus on has been soothing especially as we are still in the throes of the pandemic which makes it hard to plan for anything at the moment. Putting some thought into my wardrobe has been very therapeutic. I enjoy tracking what comes in and goes out, as well as what I'm prepared to spend my money on. By being organised, wanting less and turning my attentions to other pastimes instead of shopping I feel I'm on the right track at last. #stillaworkinprogress though!

If you are thinking about testing out a capsule wardrobe or reducing your consumption then I hope this post has given you a few ideas. If you have already embarked on this journey and have any tips.....please leave me a comment as I would love to hear how you are getting on!

Next time I'll share a few pieces on my radar.....I wonder what will make it onto my wish list?

Back again soon, Michelle x


17 January 2021

My Favourite Purchases of 2020

Some affiliate links used.

Hello! Happy New Year. How are you?

I totally ran out of steam in December and it's taken me a while to summon some motivation......anyone else feeling a bit like that? Anyway I think I mentioned on my last IGTV video on Instagram that I would do a little review of my favourite purchases of 2020. 

The items that immediately spring to mind are the ones that I wore a lot during that sweet window of relaxed restrictions last summer. These are the pieces that really sparked joy for me and they are things that I would definitely repurchase if I (goodness forbid) I lost everything. 

Dress from Etsy (seller no longer available)
Sandals from this Etsy seller

I made a couple of purchases from Etsy over the summer. The dress was the first one. I have to be honest and say that I wouldn't purchase from the same seller again - thankfully their shop seems to have disappeared. I personally had issues which I explained in my IGTV video here. Basically the seller presented as being UK based when in fact the item was being shipped from Asia and although the first few reviews looked glowing when I did a bit more digging and went further into the reviews.....well, I was pretty concerned! I tried to cancel the order and although my request to cancel was confirmed the seller went ahead and sent the item. When it arrived I was thrilled with it so my experience was not all bad. However two ladies contacted me to say that they had issues with sizing and had difficulty obtaining refunds. Etsy is like eBay in that they offer Buyer Protection so I would still buy with confidence from Etsy. It is my hope that the seller was actually removed by Etsy for bad practice. If I buy another dress in this style (another is on my wish list!) I would buy from this seller here. Please do check the reviews for recommendations on sizing.

Now onto the sandals. I can't recommend this Etsy seller highly enough and I will definitely be purchasing the same sandals in the natural brown colour way. These are identical to the Ancient Greek sandals at a fraction of the cost though. I have found them true to size and delivery from Greece was quicker than expected. Give them a follow on Instagram as they do share snapshots of their workshop and how the sandals are produced. They are a very small independent business who I am delighted to be able to support.

Sandals from this Etsy seller

Another piece in my wardrobe that I wouldn't want to be without is this Bershka oversized denim jacket. I'd been searching for 'the one'......I'd kissed a couple of frogs but saw this on a mannequin in store and it was love at first sight. They didn't have my size in stock and so I patiently waited until they restocked online and swiftly snapped it up! It was hardly off my back once I got it. I know it'll be in my wardrobe for years to come. 

Out of stock at Bershka - I suspect they will restock this is spring but here's an alternative

One last item that was a favourite from Spring/Summer 2020 was this Zara linen shirt dress. I'm told that this is a style they do year after year so keep your eyes peeled on the Zara 'new in' section (a bit later in the year obviously!) as they go quick! It's such a classic, the kind of dress you that will take you anywhere and is in your wardrobe for the long haul!

Zara dress - out of season sadly 

I made a lot of good purchases in Spring/Summer 2020. Many basics such as linen boyfriend shirts and good quality sweatshirts. Great foundations for this year and future years! I really drilled down my signature style - mostly due to the fact that we spent so much time at home......I really had the opportunity to settle into my 'style personality' which is a 'natural'. The purchases I am making now suit my lifestyle more than they ever have. 

My most worn Autumn/Winter pieces aren't as exciting I'm afraid. Funnily enough though it's this time of year that a capsule wardrobe really comes into it's own. I do wear the same things on repeat as it's all about being warm and comfortable. My wardrobe is a lot more functional hence I haven't been photographing my outfits and recording what I wear like usually would......there really is nothing to see here. I have been living in roll neck jumpers, jeans, my & Other Stories chunky boots and an old H&M puffer coat......like so!

H&M jumper - similar here
Bag - past season Primark

So it's with some trepidation that I share my favourite purchases because they are all from & Other Stories.......and they are all black! Boring by my own admission. However on the upside they do all have the longevity factor - they are all pretty timeless. First up is my most used bag this year - mind you......how often have we needed to take a bag anywhere?! I bought this last January. It's still in stock,  I think it's a classic piece made of gorgeous buttery soft leather and for me it's the perfect size for everyday essentials. Nice and secure too!

This next item was on my wish list for about a year before I took the plunge. While I may not have got as much wear out of the blazer as I'd hoped it's another timeless piece that I know will be a cornerstone of my capsule wardrobe in future years.

Blazer sold out at & Other Stories - alternative here (Mines a size 38)
Past season jumper from All Saints - alternative here
Past season M.i.H jeans - alternative here

These boots were a bit more of a trend item but I feel they have elevated my outfits - I know I've only really been going to the supermarket so in all likelihood all anyone has probably noticed about my outfits is my outerwear and footwear! At least the boots made me feel 'pulled together'. I think they will have earned their keep by the end of the season but they have been around for a while and I'm sure I will also be reaching for them next year. 

& Other Stories boots (True to size IMO)

I bought this little sweater at the beginning of autumn and reached for it constantly - I knew it was a wardrobe winner right away! The turtle neck makes a nice change to the roll necks I wear consistently when it's cold. This is such a great length with higher waisted straight jeans and the M&S wide leg trousers that I've favoured a lot over the past couple months. Looks fab with a pleated skirt too!

& Other Stories jumper (I bought a small)

And though these are not from & Other Stories I couldn't end without mentioning these! I have waxed lyrical about these before as they have hands down been my saviours throughout lockdown. It's pretty obvious after the year that we've had why they have been my most worn item in 2020........

Adidas track pants (I sized up to a 12 for a slouchier fit)

That concludes my little round-up of my most successful purchases for 2020. Last year was a good lesson - I think it will really shape what I buy in 2021. I do track what I purchase and keep a record of what comes in and out. I sold or donated more items than I purchased and I spent half as much as I did the previous year (2019). There is still work to be done in getting my consumption down but I've already had a January clearout and parted with 23 items so far. 2021 is definitely going to be a year of more intentionally sourced items entering my wardrobe but more about those goals next time!

I will be back to tell you about my wardrobe plans for 2021!

See you soon, Michelle x