Sunday, February 28, 2010

Week 4, Day 1 - Drink Up Bitches!

Week 4, Day 1 Outfit: BR green rouched-neck sweater, BR trouser jeans, black Franco Sarto heels.

Wow, almost at the 1 month mark! I am typing this blog before heading off to meet up with another group of lady friends that I met through Vino100 (a local wine bar/restaurant)...1 is the owner, and the other two are regulars. We've formed a club called "the D.U.B. Club" based off of a martini glass that Mechelle discovered on-line (which is what I'm proudly holding in my hand). Our first unofficial meeting began back in August when we casually got together to celebrate Diana's birthday. What we all innocently thought would just be a lazy lunch on Mechelle's patio ended up becoming an adult woman's sleepover. We joke about the fact that our foursome is the Northwest Ohio version of "The View" (with me obviously playing the role of Lisa Ling - representing the young, minority perspective).
This will be my third day of imbibing liberal amounts of a result, my waistline is starting to protest. Well, actually, my waistline is just fine with it, it's the waists of my jeans that are protesting. So, I'm resorting today to my "fat jeans." Perhaps the fact that my weight fluctuates from month to month is part of the reason I have so many clothes. I have skinny pants and tops, dresses for when I'm in-between, and those jeans that I pull out with a sigh when all my other pants have inexplicably "shrunk." Funny how a week of being vegetarian did not equate to slimming down like the authors of Skinny Bitch had purported. I can't blame them, though, because I was likely filling in the missed calories from dairy and meat with wine and vegan-friendly chocolate. One habit I adopted this past week that I hope to continue doing is avoiding coffee. Now that I've discovered a way to make soy chai lattes at home, I'm hooked, and don't miss the coffee at all (hmm...perhaps these soy chai's are also the reason that Skinny Bitch back-fired on me). I'm also going to try this flexitarian thing, where I avoid "land" meat if at all possible, and instead opt for a vegetarian or seafood option...which reminds me, I need to make some salmon finger sandwiches before heading off to drink up with the "bitches" (which, as I'm sure you've guessed, are not bitches at all). Toodaloo!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Week 3, Day 7 - Mall hath no power over me!

Week 3, Day 7 Outfit: White BR sweater, blue J Crew skinny corduroys, brown Liz Claiborne slouchy suede boots.

I did it. I set foot into the mall to return a pair of pants at the Gap and then left (well, after buying a make-up product at Ulta). The siren voices of coming spring fashions were calling - but I bravely steered clear of their hold, basically by not looking around as I bee-lined for the Gap check-out counter, made my quick transaction (luckily, they didn't need my credit card, which remains suspended in ice on the top shelf of our freezer), and power walked out the door. During my errand running, I also stopped by to pick up a pair of re-furbished BCBG black slingbacks...oddly, a pair that cost about $60 at DSW and took $24 to repair. But, given that these shoes are such an important staple in my closet, it was worth the investment. I'm feeling quite rewarded by the fact that I was able to avoid buying a new pair of shoes. Another great discovery in my 3 full weeks of not shopping - that by taking better care of my belongings and extending their life, I'm also helping the environment. Reuse, reduce, recycle - hooray!
On the vegan-tarianism note, I broke down today and had eggs for breakfast. The fact that I scarfed them down is confirmation that veganism is not for me...that and the sheer delight that I experienced while chewing on the doused pieces of buttery toast that accompanied my vegetable omelet. What do you call vegans that don't eat there such a term?

Week 3, Day 6 - W.I.B. (Woman in Black)

Week 3, Day 6 Outfit: Black BR suit, Pink stripped BR button-down, Joan & David patent leather pumps (which, I add proudly, that I "stole" from DSW for $4!)

Yesterday was quite an action packed day! I was persuaded to attend a 6A yoga class by Jen the night before and therefore began my day with one of the most intense yoga classes I've ever taken. I'm actually sore this morning from the vinyasa flow poses and attempts at doing some crow or crane pose that requires me to carry all of my body weight on my, not happening! After yoga, I then quickly headed home, changed into my Woman in Black secret agent outfit (pictured above), and headed to Columbus for an all day client meeting. The roads were sucky enough to result in a bit white-knuckling...especially on the way home. Given my 2.5 hours of tensed up snow-induced stress, I was more than happy to accept Mike's invitation to go to a wine tasting at a nearby Liquor store. Our original plans were to meet up with Sarah and Dave to celebrate Dave's newly accepted faculty position, but given that it would require each couple to travel a good distance on slushy freeways (and mind you, that a get together amongst the 4 of us would definitely involve a sustantial consumption of alchohol), we decided to re-schedule.

I'm reading the book Julie & Julia right now (a whimsical gift from Scott during a drunken buy-a-book-for-someone challenge that Mike and Maggie came up with one night when we were out together). Though I can admit that the chic-lit-ness of my writing has been somewhat inspired by my summer read of Sleeping Naked is Green (a journal of a Canadian writer who decides to take on 1 green challenge every day for one year) and Bridget Jones' Diary, I can't really say that I was influenced by Julie & Julia...until now. She's such an amazing writer and has such a way with words! If only I could one day aspire to write a book with such eloquence and witticism!

Today marks the last day of my vegan-tarian weeklong challenge - a challenge that I tried to take as seriously as possible, but that I did have to cheat on a bit while at an Italian restaurant the other night...there really aren't that many options that don't involve dairy or seafood - so I I caved and co-ordered crab risotto cakes with the girls and partook of half of was YUMMY! I did try to be good when ordering my main entree and resorted to the spaghetti marinara - probably the most boring thing you can order at an Italian restaurant. When mentioning my menu choice to my dinner partners, Jen remarked that I sounded apologetic. I guess if I do decide to take vegetariansim seriously (I have ruled out becoming a vegan, it's just too hard!), I'll have to "grow a pair" and order with conviction! I did adhere to my challenge yesterday, though, when buying lunch yesterday at my client site. The best option for me was a Schmucker's Crustables PB&J that must have had at least 60 different ingredients (75% of which were likely preservatives). How is that any healthier than a turkey sandwich? Hmmm...not sure about the Skinny Bitch thing anymore!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Week 3, Day 5 - Getting Ready

Week 3, Day 5 Outfit: Black hoodie (brand unknown), red faux fur belt, Loft camel colored corduroys.

Because I have back to back meetings today, after my morning run (outside in 24 degree weather, talk about a wake-up call!), I decided to "get ready" for my dinner out with Maggie and Jen rather than waiting and scrambling to do this after my 4pm meeting. As I was running my fingers through the still insane amount of clothes in my closet, I came across the hoodie (pictured above) that was my last purchase since this challenge began. I decided to show both the front and back of this zip up as the buttons on it were what drew me to it and sparked the "I have to have it" thought that led to another swipe of the credit card. I bought this at a really cute boutique in Ann Arbor that offers different items at really reasonable prices. I told the store owner that I'd definitely be back...I hope she stays in business until next February!

As I was "getting ready," I started wondering where this phrase originated. Get ready for what? To rumble? It's kind of funny how by putting these two words together, they signal a pattern of actions that for men usually involve nothing more than changing out of the PJ's and a quick brush of the teeth. For women, however, getting ready involves a much longer list of actions that include cleansing, brushing, curling, applying, coordinating, and glancing (in the mirror, that is). I remember during one ladies night out, one friend of mine who usually has a more casual and relaxed style showed up with a full face of makeup, straightened hair, and a black dress. I remarked on how great she looked and she replied with "I 'got ready'." Interesting!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Week 3, Day 4 - The Belt That Started It All

Week 3, Day 4 Outfit: BR green knit dress, Loft camel belt, brown knee-high 9 West boots.

If you remember, this whole challenge began with me realizing how obsessed I have become with shopping due to spending several hours on the Internet (after a day of shopping, mind you) looking for a pair of camel colored boots to match a belt. Said belt is pictured above with a knit dress (one, I might add which has a neckline much lower than I remember...and with a belt weighing it down, plunged lower and lower all day at work!). So, when I get around to wearing this dress again, must remember to layer over a skin colored cami.
How ironic is it that I'm typing this blog while watching a recording of Project Runway? However, I feel no compulsion to run out and buy something that looks like what was just worn by the tall waifish alien looking models. Strange! I must say that Sarah was right...I really am not having much of an urge to shop...have my shopping taste buds really been quelled? I guess the ultimate test will be when I go to the mall this weekend to return one of the pairs of black tights that I purchased from the Gap. Yes, I am going to return it, not exchange it (or at least I think so right now). Readers, knowing that I'll have to report back to you on the outcome will help me withstand the temptation!
Speaking of temptations, I have really not had the urge to eat any meat since starting my week-long vegan-tarian challenge on Sunday. Have I reformed from my hedonistic ways? Nah, the three bottles of wine I put away with my work gal pals last night would suggest otherwise! However, I have come to discover that tofu ice cream tastes like frozen whipped cream (in a bad way), that vegetarian turkey deli meat + tofu swiss cheese + saurkraut = decent tasting faux-reuben, and that seaweed sesame rice chips are extremely addictive!
Going to an italian restaurant tomorrow with Maggie and Jen...we'll see what vegan options I'll be able to identify...I may find that I'll be one of those annoying "I'll have the ____, but hold everything except for the steamed vegetables. Oh, and I think I need another glass of chardonnay."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Week 3, Day 3 - Corporate-ness

Week 3, Day 3 Outfit: BR blue button down, Trina Turk slacks, Express faux snakeskin skinny silver belt, Giani Bini black loafer pumps

So, it's back to corporate attire for me this morning (a complete 180 from my "crunchy" gear yesterday). I'm happy to say that filing away clothes that I have already worn is very rewarding and is demonstrating to me that I can almost go a month of not wearing the same thing (except for PJ's and such) and still barely make a dent in my closet. I am similarly trying to go through each pair of my jeans at least once before re-wearing them by putting each worn pair at the bottom of the pile. I think I can at least go a month without wearing the same pair.

One funny story I forgot to share on my blog about Friday's "flight attendant" outfit was the fact that I decided to wear thigh high stockings instead of pantyhose (male readers: ask any woman and she'll tell you how much she hates wearing pantyhose). Anyway, these stockings had a ring of latex toward the top so as to better grip to the skin and prevent the sock from sliding down your leg. Well, wouldn't you know that at exactly the moment it was time to get lunch with the client, which involved descending a couple flights of stairs, the grippy latex on my right leg decided to give out and began slipping down. So, imagine me looking a bit like the hunchback of Notre Dame trying to discretely hold the top of my stocking in place on my leg with my right hand, balancing the lunch tray with my left hand, and also trying to keep up with the client and engage her in conversation as we walk back up to the meeting room. I immediately ran to the bathroom and threw those damn things away! And with that lovely image, I leave you for the day! Until tomorrow!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Week 3, Day 2 - Crunchiness

Week 3, Day 2 Outfit: Northface fleece, BR white top (underneath, which counts as the article of clothing that will get relegated to my "WORN" box), Express jeans.

I'm becoming crunchy! Yes, just like the rice chips that I was snacking on on my way home from the health food store, I am beginning to channel my "one with Mother Earth" energies. You might say that this is in some part inspired by reading Skinny Bitch over the weekend, but I'd argue that my challenge to stop buying clothes has served as a gateway to endless possiblities for self-improvement. I have decided to try out a vegetarian (and, if possible, vegan) diet for a week to see whether it is something I can sustain. I have already made a visit to the store to stock up on vegan cheese (we'll see how that goes!), organic vegetables, and fake meat products. For those of you gasping and worrying about whether Lilly will ever be fun again since she has given up shopping, meat, COFFEE (perhaps you'll notice this by way of the more than usual typo's and run-on sentences) and possibly dairy - fret not - as this is just a week-long experiment (except for the shopping part, which I intend to stay on as long as possible). Plus, let's be honest, notice that I did not include alcohol in the list of things I am going without this week. Also, chocolate can be vegan (I have already scarfed down 1/4 of a chocolate, cherry, almond bar that I purchased at the Health Food Store...funny how buying it at a Health Food Store helps with rationalizing the consumption of it!).

Though I'm sure I'll end this week with some changes to my on-going eating habits, I do not intend to become fully vegetarian or vegan - but may toy with the concept of "flexitarianism." Which, I believe, this is a term created for those whose SuperEgos say "do what's right for the environment and for your body" but whose Ids are clearly wearing the pants in the mind of the individual. BTW, Maggie and Jen, if you're reading this, I will not subject you to my temporary lifestyle when we get together for dinner this Thursday...we'll see how well I can stay within the walls of being a vegetarian/vegan wherever we end up.

So, in honor of my crunchy day, I have donned what might be seen as "outdoor-sy." Yay for Detroit it coming down super hard up there is why I'm not instead in the office wearing my work attire.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Week 3, Day 1, Part 2 - You can now comment!

Hi Everyone:
Just a quick post to let you know that I've now enabled open commenting on my blogs. I didn't realize it until doing a little more research that this is something I can control. Let the comments begin!


Week 3, Day 1 - Driving Clothes

Week 3, Day 1 Outfit: BR skinny jeans, white Ann Taylor sleeveless top, BR Orange cropped sweater, Black Ugg boots. Next to me is my "closet" from the past 7 days.

Moving into week 3! Today is going to be mostly marked by traveling east on the 80 turnpike, so I'm left to my one remaining outfit in my suitcase - skinny jeans and my cropped orange sweater. I wanted to include a picture of my suitcase from this past week as I've made a few references to it these past few blogs. This week will be a combination of work days in the office, working from home (can't wait!), and a client site visit on Friday morning. So, my closet will continue to dwindle - though it's still pretty full.
Sarah D. (great friend and one that I think exercises great shopping restraint) had sent me an email a few days ago commenting on my blog (again, need to figure out how I can allow people to comment!) and mentioned that once you "kick" the habit, it actually becomes easier to restrain yourself. I am definitely noticing this, though I'm not sure if my lowered interest in shopping is due more to the fact that my days have been filled with other activities, or if I have not yet even reached the withdrawal phase. As of yet, the tractor beams of the mall have not been pulling me in...and I figure, as long as I can stay away from the mall, this challenge will be much easier. The true test, however, will be setting foot in my favorite store (I'm sure you can guess what that one is based on the branded descriptions I have been providing as I recap my outfits) and not buying a thing...even something that is so grossly marked down that I feel like I'm practically being paid to wear it! Bottom line, so far, so good. When I hit the month mark in a couple of weeks, I will re-post a status update on Facebook...kind of like a monthaversary. I'll also likely change the url for this site so that "shopaholic" is actually spelled correctly (did any of you notice?).

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Week 2, Day 7 - Sweater = Outwear

Week 2, Day 7 Outfit: Loft Cardigan, Loft short sleeve white button-down, BR Trouser Jeans, and...(the new rage), pink fuzzy thong slippers (though very unfunctional when there is snow on the ground). (Note: in case I look like I just woke up from a nap, it's because I did. I forced Mike to take at least 3 pictures before I felt that one was presentable enough to post as today's picture).
Ahhh, it's so nice to not be in business clothes, but at the same time, less comfortable. Jeans are often tighter and more constricting than the dresses and skirts that I can wear to work. Or, this could be the result of back-to-back days of eating sodium rich foods, paired with the alcohol equivalent of a 1/2 bottle of wine at each sitting, and the sweets craving that has somehow made it's way back into my habitual thinking this week. The grossness (yes, that's a technical term) that I've been feeling these past couple of days has prompted me to buy and read the book Skinny Bitch, which I am about 3/4 of the way through. Though I don't plan on becoming a Vegan, there are definitely good reasons for me to cut down on meat (can we say, "ew" to the descriptions of animal treatment at the factory farms) and refined carbs consumption. I have already been on a more natural food kick since reading In Defense of Food this past summer, but felt like I needed another jolt as my terrible eating habits were quite pronounced this past week - and manifested themselves in the ever-unpopular "muffin top" that I am feeling from jeans that have become too tight.
Speaking of diets, my first reward for being on this no new clothes diet was the purchase of a new camera today. I remarked to Mike that what I wouldn't have thought twice about in the form of a clothing purchase, I was much more cognizant of this morning as I swiped my card at Best Buy. Funny how easy it is to spend a couple hundred dollars on clothes with not even a blink of an eye, but with a visceral reaction to such an expenditure on another purchase which will be enjoyed and used for quite some time, and will not end up in the back of my closet. Strange!
So, with the week's worth of packing almost coming to an end, I have decided to recycle my purple sweater and wear it over the short-sleeved shirt I had packed for the weekend. I'm not sure if I had delusions of spring coming upon us over the course of 5 days, or just figured that my blog followers would forgive me for re-using an article of clothing when constrained to the small dimensions of my suitcase. Please forgive me!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Week 2, Day 6 - Flight Attendant

Week 2, Day 6 Outfit: BR white button down (1 of the 7 that I own!), BR navy blue pin-stripped skirt, Aldo pointy-toed heeled boots.

I would describe today's outfit as my "would you like a beverage?" get-up. White button down blouse, navy pin-stripped skirt...yup, call me a regular Delta Airlines Jane.

The boots I had to forgo wearing yesterday are making a reappearance today as I lead a planning session today with a small bank in the Chicago area. I'll likely change into my Uggs and skinny jeans (my saving grace on the evenings of this week of business travel) afterwards to ensure comfort during my 2 hour car ride from Chicago to Midway with my sweetie. Depending on what time we get into Peoria, we maybe visiting the bro-in-law at work and having a couple night caps.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Week 2, Day 5 - De-"feet"ed

Week 2, Day 5 Outfit: Banana Republic (yes, what else, right?) turquoise short-sleeve button down, Banana Republic black slacks, Ann Taylor Loft purple long cardigan, (this season's favorite) black Calvin Klein black ankle boots.

So today's ensemble was dictated by the sore edges of my feet from wearing pointy-toed heeled boots yesterday while standing for about 3 hours as I was delivering training. Given that my feet needed a change from yesterday's boots, my original plan to wear a skirt was quickly thwarted (as I'd need boots to keep my legs protected against the Chicago wind). I instead decided to wear the outfit above with what has become my season's favorite item (the Calvin Klein ankle boots) ...relatively comfortable and fashionable.

Tomorrow marks the last day of my 5-day back-to-back business casual pageant and I can finally return to normal wear on Saturday and Sunday. I go back to the office on Monday, however, but am no longer living out of my suitcase, so it will be nice to be able to pick from more than just a few staple items that I haphazardly packed.

I sent out an email to a group of girlfriends with the url to this site (as many of you readers know, being those exact people I sent the link to). Thanks for all the support ladies. I apologize for the technical restrictions on you being notified of new posts, post a response yourself, and having to register with this site in order to read these blogs. It's the support and encouragement that I receive from all of you that keeps me going...though I have gone for 1.5 weeks before without buying this will count even more as I start to round 2 or 3 months!

Ugh...I feel like all I've been eating this week is overly buttered, overly salted food...paired with a couple of glasses of wine each day. It tastes good and is delectable, but I pay for it as I try to button my pants or zip up my skirt every morning! I've tried combating this terrible eating with a morning workout each day (I'm awaking at 5ish each morning being on Central time out here) but 30 minutes on the treadmill does nothing against a Doubletree hotel chocolate chip cookie, which I've managed to eat within the time that it has taken me to write this blog. I'm definitely looking forward to getting back into my normal life next week and actually being at home for a few days at a time. I also look forward to dumping the contents of my suitcase into the bin that I have labeled "WORN" outside of my closet and continue to see the hangers becoming freed from my years and years of frivolous clothing purchases!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Week 2, Day 4 - little black dress

Day 4 Outfit: White House/Black Market black belted dress, Ugg boots (but originally pointed toe knee-high Aldo boots).

Okay, Day 4 of back-to-back client engagements and I am getting really tired! Decided to get a little racey today and wear a black dress with boots - given that I wanted to be comfortable and it's cold outside, so I needed to give my panty-hosed legs an extra layer of protection from the low temperatures. I have now replaced the boots with Uggs for my trip out to dinner with colleagues, but keeping the dress on...quite the fashion statement as you can see.

My packed wardrobe is dwindling and I've already put away what I've worn on the other days, so we'll see what's left by Friday!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Week 2, Days 2 & 3 - "Business" as usual

Week 2, Day 2 Outfit: Banana Republic magenta short-sleeve button down, Banana Republic pin-stripped trousers, Ann Taylor Loft skinny black belt, Calvin Klein black ankle boots.
I'm now in day 2 of my 5-day workweek of client meetings and am already pooped! Nonetheless, my quest for exhausting my wardrobe continues (as you can see from the business casual attire in the pictures above). Packing for this trip took quite some strategizing as I go directly from 5 days of business casual to a weekend in Peoria...which is often characterized by spending time at my mother-in-law's nursing home and my brother-in-law's workplace (a (um) night spot, I'll leave it at that). I was still able to squeeze my 7 outfits into a carry-on sized suitcase, though was forced to check it as my Delta flight from DTW to Chicago ran out of overhead space. Probably for the better as I did not have quite the muscle strength to hoist the 40 lb. bag into the overhead bin (especially since I was wearing my Uggs which give me no added height!). Yes, yes, I did have on 2 different outfits yesterday as I hate to travel in business attire - the clothes get all wrinkled and are also require trekking around the airport in heels.

I must call out the fact that I am so dedicated to providing daily pictures of my ensembles that I actually packed my camera and usb link in my work bag, discovered a new use for an ironing board, and was able to still snap full length pictures of myself while in a Hampton Inn. Photographer-buffs will likely scoff at the inclusion of the mirror...but cut me some slack, at least I'm not doing one of those self-portrait things where all you can see is the top of my head!

My colleague/galpal, Kelly, and I are venturing into the city tonight for a scrumptious meal. Though our session ended early, we resisted the temptation to go head into downtown earlier to I don't know if my will power is quite built up. She asked if make-up was included in my "do not buy" list, and I replied with "hell no!" I have to be able to buy some things right?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Day 7 & 8 - Valentine's Day Weekend

Day 7 Outfit: Stripped Forever 21 short sleeve sweater, Banana Republic black tights, Banana Republic black snakeskin platforms

Day 8 Outfit: Yoga wear!

Yesterday was devoted to running a few errands and enjoying the comforts of home and finally watching Avatar (better than I expected it to be). I finally decided to open up the box of goods that arrived earlier this week from the Gap/Banana Republic and wear what might be some of the last of my new clothes until this challenge is over (or I cave). I did change into a dress for a nice dinner last night at Mike and I's favorite local restaurant (we celebrated V-day yesterday), but I'm not going to count that towards something I can't wear again since it was only worn for a couple of me a cheater if you wish! The dress was also a recent purchase...and, again, hopefully one of the last until next February.

During my weekly Saturday spinning class yesterday, I mentioned to a few other people that I am taking on this challenge, and one fellow spinner (who I think is way tinier than me) asked if I had cast-offs, to send them her way. This prompted a discussion about possibly organizing a clothing exchange party...which would allow me to acquire new clothes without having to buy them, and give me the glorified sense of re-cycling and putting my no longer worn clothes to good use. Definitely a thought and very promising!

Today, Mike and I are going to a Partner Yoga my attire today will be nice a comfy...and not count toward exhausting my closet. So, today is in some ways a freebie!

Well, a week into this challenge and I am not hurting at all. The biggest test will be when I'm in Chicago next month for a weekend...trips to Chicago used to center on a long stroll down Michigan that shopping is no longer a regular pass-time of mine, it'll be interesting to see what I am able to do with my time. I'm hoping I'm going to gain a greater appreciation for culture and things that do not involve a regular slide of the credit card between two electronically charged slots!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Day 6 - Office Attire

Day 6 Outfit: Grey J Crew pant suit, pink short sleeve Banana Republic button down.

I spent all day today at a client site today in a suit. Pretty boring stuff...but only one shirt that I have to file away as untouchable until I exhaust my wardrobe. I'm skipping the picture today as I've already changed into my PJ's and ready to kick back and watch the Winter Olympics opening ceremony. article of clothing I don't own...a figure skating leotard...thank goodness!


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Day 5 - Back to "normal" clothes

Day 5 Outfit: H&M suit jacket, Jones New York black sheath dress, Calvin Klein ankle boots.
Given the crazy snow days and resulting client engagement cancellations, today is the first day that I'm actually having to think about what to wear. Today and tomorrow I'll be in Columbus for client visits and therefore decided to start looking in the far corners of my closet to see if I could find something that I rarely wear. Lo and behold, I found a houndstooth suit jacket that I bought on impulse (like so many of my other purchases) at H&M during a day trip to Cleveland. It's amazing how I can pretty much remember where and when I purchased almost every piece of clothing in my it what you will, a gift or an unhealthy misuse of brain power. Anyway, I decided to pair this jacket with a black Jones New York black sheath dress that I bought a TJ Maxx about 7 years ago. Add black leggings and this season's favorite pair of black ankle boot heels, and I have an outfit that uses two articles of clothing that I have not worn in over a year - YES! (Sidenote: in case any of you are wondering who my amazing photographer is, I'm happy to report that I have mastered the use of a camera timer and the floating stairs near the entrance of our house...and am also learning how to pose movie, if all else fails, at least I'll be ready for the red carpet at the end of this challenge!)

Since this is an overnight trip, I also packed a grey J Crew suit (which I wear quite often), and a couple of short sleeve blouses to wear underneath. I usually pack a few options in case one of them doesn't quite work out (no, I don't try them on before I pack...I like to live dangerously that way).

I had a Cycle/Pilates class with a good shopping buddy of mine who asked if shoes and handbags were an exception. For now, I'm going to say I think a hard black line should be drawn so as to not allow room for "interpretation" - interpretation that can turn into weakness when encountering stores overflowing with designer shoes and handbags. I did mention that I could shop with her...though, I think I need to at least wait a month before doing as to build up a little will power.

I wonder if I'm going to start dreaming about shopping...kind of like that guy dreamt of (uh-hem) in 40 days and 40 nights. Time will only tell...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Day 4 - Another day at home

Day 4 Attire: maroon j-crew v-neck tee, plaid Tommy Hilfiger pajama pants - both items of clothing from at least 7 years ago!

So we got pelted yesterday with the dreaded winter storm...but not enough to cancel school for my hubby, Mike (is department chair at Bowling Green State University). As it is another work from home day for me, I am once again in my pajamas (but a different pair from yesterday).

We had our neighbors over for dinner last night (thank you Cathy and Dave for braving the field of snow between our houses) and just when we were expecting them, the doorbell rang. Mike answered it and was handed a box from the delivery person that had the GAP written all over it. Mike's response was "have you already broken your fast, honey?" No, but remember those black tights I talked about in my first post?? Well, they've arrived...and I'm thinking that I should keep them because they were purchased before my challenge began. So there!

Given that we had company over, I did change out of my PJ's and donned a black Gap sweater dress. At the end of the night, took a look in the mirror, found it unflattering (probably because it got stretched in the process of me handwashing and line-drying it) and happily placed it in the "Donate" bin that I have hanging out by my closet. So, feeling kind of good about the fact that as I discover items of clothing that I no longer want, I am in turn recycling and doing something good for others (who knows though, the selfish side of me is thinking: I can take it into a clothing exchange and get cash for it!).

Tomorrow I'll be on my first business trip since my challenge am thinking very strategically about what suit and top to wear...all you readers (okay, 4 of you really) who are dying of anticipation (yeah right, like you have nothing better to do with your time) will just have to wait until tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day 3 - SNOW DAY!

Day 3 Outfit - PAJAMAS! Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

Well, my outfit yesterday was somewhat wasted as my trip to Chicago ended up getting cancelled and I spent all day working from home. So, to make things right, I am lounging in my PJ's today (except for cycle/yoga gear for a morning class)...I'll spare anyone reading this a picture of me in this attire! Tomorrow is also supposed to be fraught with snow, so I'm guessing these next couple days will be uninteresting from a "what should I wear today" perspective.

I posted on Facebook the fact that I am taking on this challenge and was very excited to see the responses I got from people. Some in outright disbelief, others indicating that they are rooting for me, and the rest making funny remarks about regressing back to days as a student (thank you Katie!).

To convince myself that I'm serious about this challenge, I removed my favorite clothing stores' links from my browser's favorites, am sticking my clothing store credit cards in a tupperware container and freezing them in water (see pictures below), and am shredding all coupons that I receive from these stores as they come in the mail. I would take myself off of their mailing lists, but fear that doing so will put me on some kind of shopping blacklist and result in excommunication from shopper's paradise! Visions of me hacking at a block of credit-card filled ice are already popping in my head...but on Day 3, I'm still going strong (notice that I put the cards in a small tupperware container)!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Day 2 - No Withdrawal Yet!

Okay, so I survived Day 1 of my no new clothes for a year challenge. I have already shared my goal with my Sunday cycling class and a group of our closest friends at a Superbowl Party last I guess there's no turning back now! It's interesting how different the responses from the two groups that I shared my challenge with yesterday were. From my fellow cyclers (all female): "Wow, I don't know if I can do that myself." From the Superbowl Party attendees (half of which were male, one being my husband): "Wow, good for you!!" Today, I'll be posting the url to this blog on I'm curious to see what others' reactions might be.

In order to make things a little easier for myself yesterday, I went to Target to buy some storage boxes and stackable hangers (veered as quickly away from the clothing section as possible) and spent a good 2 hours re-organizing my closet. While doing so, I discovered that I own 7 white button down shirts and 8 pairs of black business pants. Oi! So, just 24 hours into this challenge, I have learned my first lesson: Proper display of your clothing in a closet may lead to fewer repeat purchases!

This week will be an interesting first week of this challenge as I will be traveling to Chicago today, at a client site on Tuesday, going into the office on Wednesday, and then at another client site in Columbus on Thursday and Friday. So, in terms of thinking ahead and again trying to wear something different each day, I'll need to be strategic in what I put together so as to keep my options open for the weeks to follow (which will also be laden with client-facing days).

It's supposed to be really cold and snowy in Chicago today. Also, given that I'll be going through security and walking through the airport, I need to wear something warm and comfortable. Hence:

Day 2 Outfit: Turquoise Banana Republic V-neck sweater, black leggings, Zara pleated denim skirt, black Ugg boots.

What I'm packing: For client visit tomorrow: Black Suit, colored button down shirt, sleeveless colorful top (not sure which I'll wear underneath), Cloud Nine West black heels. For day in the office Wednesday: Purple Banana Republic Sheath Dress, Black Ann Taylor Loft shrug, Black Aldo knee-high boots.

No withdrawal yet...although thoughts of losing my Banana Republic Luxe status are already racing through my head!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Shopaholic on a Fast - The Challenge Begins

AWARENESS IS THE FIRST STEP TO RECOVERY: Hello, I'm Lilly...a 33 year old, married, comfortably paid human resources consultant. I have never felt the need to blog, as my life has not seemed interesting enough to warrant a daily update. However, I have come to realize that I have a shopping problem--one that compels me to share publicly (albeit embarrasingly) in order to start on the road to recovery. This problem has become evident to me in the past couple of weeks and began with me making a pledge to my husband that I would try to stay within a $100 monthly clothing budget. Since then, I have already grossly exceeded this amount in new clothes purchases--purchases that I felt I "needed" though I have run out of hangers to hold my new blouse, have a stack of denim that has toppled over as I have slung yet another pair of dark wash skinny jeans on top. In addition to that, upon return from my shopping trip, I began obsessing over a pair of camel colored boots that I resisted the urge to buy earlier that day (so as to stay within my "budget" - which had already increased from $100 to $200) in order to match a camel colored belt that I purchased a couple weeks ago. Signs of my obsession were further confirmed through the purchase of not one, but two pairs of black tights (you know, in case one fits differently from the other...but let's be tights? There's only one way for them to fit - TIGHT!) as I was surfing the net looking for the camel colored boots. Naturally, I felt the usual remorse and guilt for going over my "budget" but clearly not guilty enough to prevent me from buying two more articles of clothing yesterday during a day trip to Ann Arbor...items I rationalized as different enough to take up additional real-estate in my already overcrowded closet (my poor husband's entire wardrobe has been confined to barely one side of our decently sized walk-in)!

So, finally, yesterday, I decided a drastic measure must be taken. Though I am not hurting financially and can afford these occassional (okay, frequent) splurges, I realize that I spend way too much time and money on something that only brings a temporary know, that high that we all get when we wear a new article of clothing, one that we have envisioned everyone gasping about when we walk into a room because the mirror of the stores we bought it in make us look 10 lbs. lighter and 5 inches taller. So, then we wear the new article of clothing, only to realize that it's not as magnificent as we think it will be, and it quickly becomes a member of the other clothes that have been tucked away in the back of the closet and forgotten. This brings me to another important aspect of my challenge. Not only have I decided to *try* to give up buying new clothes for a year, but also to go through every article of clothing that I own and wear it at least once during this yearlong "fast."

THE CHALLENGE: So, here's the challenge as simply put as possible:

1. No new clothing purchases for 1 year - beginning today (I mean, really, you don't expect me to return the stuff I bought just this past weekend, do you?)

2. Aside from the basic items listed below, avoid wearing the same article of clothing twice over the course of this challenge (we'll see how long this will last, as I'm sure I'll run into some challenges with creatively creating new outfits with a dwindling choice of tops)

3. Blog as often as possible (daily if I can) and provide descriptions of my daily "outfits" (this should get really interesting in a couple of months). Because I travel quite a bit for work, a few days may pass before I can do this...and daily pictures may prove to be hard...but I will try! I'll also try to upload photos of these outfits.

4. On days when I work from home, PJ's are perfectly acceptable.

Staple Items:

  • Jeans & Bottoms (pants, skirts)

  • Underwear

  • Socks

  • Workout clothes

  • Work suits

  • Accessories & Jewelry

  • Outerwear

Okay, so on this Superbowl Sunday, let the game begin!

Day 1 Outfit Details: Stripped Banana Republic Jeans, White Banana Republic Puffer Vest, Black Puffed Long Sleeve Tee, Tory Burch Black Flats