2019 Wardrobe Planning

2019 Wardrobe Planning — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

Last year was the first year I put together a wardrobe plan to evaluate my closet and guide my clothing-related purchases. My plan was always in the back of my mind whenever I thought about adding new things to my closet, and I really think it helped me keep the impulse purchases to a minimum. Here’s what my plan consisted of last year:

  • Get rid of itchy/ill-fitting garments / I pared my closet down quite a bit for these reasons, so I count this as a success! I have a few more items that I’m likely getting rid of this year due to fit.

  • Repair/replace closet staples / I didn’t really need to do this, as most of my staples are still holding up well, but it’s definitely something I’m keeping in mind going forward. I did buy a new pair of black skinny jeans.

  • Focus on machine-washable materials / I bought more dry-clean-only items than I would have preferred.

  • Refresh my denim collection / I added five new pairs of jeans last year in three different styles (skinny jeans with a fun curved hem, boyfriend jeans, cropped flare jeans, olive green skinny jeans, and a replacement pair of black skinny jeans).

  • Figure out my dress style / Well…I bought three new dresses, but only one was in a new style (shift). I love the long-sleeve sheath-like dress I bought, but I just don’t wear dresses that much anymore! I'll probably pare down my dress collection more this year.

  • Add work-appropriate garments / I specifically wanted to focus on adding more sleeveless tops and tops for layering, cardigans and/or blazers, longer skirts and dresses, and summer-weight pants. Looking back through my 2018 wardrobe additions, I added a couple of tops that can be layered, but only one nicer sleeveless top for work. It’s so hard for me to find sleeveless tops I love. I also added two sweater blazers—my new favorite style of blazer since they’re more casual—and one new cardigan. I want to like cardigans, but I really only like to wear the longer/more casual versions (I’m sensing a theme here…). I did pick up three midi skirts and a couple of wide-leg pants to mix things up at work.

My wardrobe plan this year looks a lot like it did last year with a few modifications.

Kate Spade satchel, Everlane cashmere sweater, Madewell striped flannel shirt — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

DON’T FEEL THE NEED TO SHOP EVERY SALE

Do you get anxious when a sale email pops into your inbox? I do. If it’s a really good sale, I usually head over to the site to browse if I don’t already have an item in mind to buy just because the sale happens to be really good. This year, I want to avoid those emails and temptations as much as possible. I don’t need to browse every sale that happens to come my way just because it’s a good deal. This is when a lot of impulse purchases end up happening, and I’d like to continue to minimize those. (So far this year, I’ve actually done a pretty good job at avoiding those emails! Woo! Hope I can keep it up.)

SHOP MORE SECONDHAND

If I do want to add something new to my wardrobe, I plan to look more at secondhand websites and platforms like Poshmark to see what’s available. I tend to only search secondhand sites when I’m looking for a specific garment that sold out or that is past season. There are so many hidden gems and items that are like new, new, and even new with tags available on those platforms! I want to try to minimize shopping “new” as much as I can.

CONSIDER TAILORING

I tend to hold onto my garments that maybe don’t fit quite right but that I love otherwise (but then not wear because of the fit), and I want to think more about tailoring those items so I will wear them. (There are a number of items that have fit issues but that I don’t love to wear regardless, and those I will continue to purge as usual.) I also sometimes order new garments that I would love if, for example, the hem or sleeves were slightly shorter…and I’d like to maybe give those a chance with tailoring. Fit is truly so important, and it would be so nice to have a wardrobe tailored just for me!

Wardrobe planning: A few of my favorite garments — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

SEEK OUT MORE SMALL MAKERS/ETHICAL RETAILERS

I’m starting to get into a place with my financial security where I can stand to spend a little more on new pieces every once in a while. I really want to buy more from small makers and/or ethical retailers. I placed an order for a new bag at the end of December from a small maker, and I cannot wait to receive it! It’s literally being handmade. I love being able to support small businesses in this way. I also really want to check out the boutiques we have here in Boise. I don’t like that I don’t know what’s available right in my backyard. There might even be local small makers that I don’t know about.

FOCUS ON MACHINE-WASHABLE MATERIALS

I pulled this directly from my wardrobe plan from last year! I’m still lazy but also still bought a few too many items last year that are too delicate to be machine washed (or that I’m too scared to try to machine wash, haha). It’s so hard to find nice garments that aren’t silk or that don’t require extra care, like wool or cashmere. I also would like to avoid polyester, acrylic, and nylon if I can. I’m loving that one of my favorite retailers, Amour Vert, is releasing more cotton/cotton-blend garments and even released their own signature modal beechwood fabric. I’ll be keeping my eyes on their new releases this year.

REFINE MY SUMMER WORK STYLE

This is similar to the “add work-appropriate garments” goal I had last year. I feel really solid about my fall/winter wardrobe. Even though I get tired of the same sweaters and jeans by this time of year, I’m not struggling to put together outfits that feel like me and that I generally enjoy wearing. I struggle more with my spring/summer wardrobe, and it’s mostly because of the temperature difference between my office and the outdoors. I’m not sure what this will look like just yet, but I’m thinking I’ll want to focus my purchases on the items I wanted to focus on last year: layering tops, third pieces (cardigans? blazers? others?), midi skirts, lightweight pants. I should probably also pinpoint exactly why I don’t feel as comfortable dressing myself in the summer… Maybe summer clothes just bore me in general?

Charlotte Olympia 'Kitty' flats, Madewell 'Regan' ankle boots — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

ITEMS FEATURED

Madewell flannel Sunday shirt / Everlane cashmere sweater / J.Crew sweater blazer / Amour Vert long-sleeved tie-waist dress / Everlane wide leg crop pants / Madewell olive green skinny jeans (no longer available) / Everlane black skinny jeans / Charlotte Olympia ‘Kitty’ flats / Madewell ankle boots / Kate Spade satchel (no longer available)

Songmics bamboo garment rack / Ikea dressing table / Ikea upholstered chair

January Style Sudoku Recap

January Style Sudoku: 16 items, 14+ outfits — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

It's time to recap my style sudoku! Every day from January 13th through January 26th, I wore one of 14 outfits put together with the 16 items in my sudoku above, in which every row, column, and corner is an outfit (plus the diagonals…and a couple of other places if you're feeling ambitious). I love putting together style sudokus because they're an excellent opportunity for me to stretch my closet, try new combinations, and remind me how much I already own (and love!). This style challenge coincided with an unintentional shopping freeze that started on January 1st and is still going strong to this day (mostly because the one thing I ordered got cancelled, haha).

I ended up with a color palette of mostly black and navy with a few accent colors (ivory, olive, grey, and red) and a couple of patterns (plaid shirt, striped tee). I also included lots of textures to keep things interesting. Only one of my four “accessories” was a true accessory: the black beanie. I also added a vest, shirtdress, and cardigan so I could layer.

I stuck with my go-to uniform of top + skinny pants/jeans + boots for this challenge but added the dress to force myself to mix things up! I ended up wearing the dress three times, three different ways, and I preferred the outfit with the dress worn as a duster. I felt most confident in the outfits that didn’t include the dress. This challenge solidified my love of my olive green jeans, red ankle boots, black beanie, and my patent ankle boots!

All in all, this style challenge felt very successful! This is my favorite sudoku to date (my first two were way back in 2016: here’s the fall version and spring version). I’m looking forward to doing this challenge again in April (and then again in the summer and fall)!

Below you’ll find all of my outfits and where they landed on the sudoku, a widget at the end where you can shop the exact or similar items I wore, and a blank sudoku so you can make your own! Head on over to the original posts for more photos and details: outfits 1-5, outfits 6-10, and outfits 11-14. (Or you can directly click on the outfit photo you’re interested in below!)


ROWS

January Style Sudoku: 4 row outfits — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

COLUMNS

January Style Sudoku: 4 column outfits — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

CORNERS

January Style Sudoku: 4 corner outfits — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

DIAGONALS

January Style Sudoku: 2 diagonal outfits — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

SHOP MY STYLE SUDOKU


MAKE YOUR OWN STYLE SUDOKU

Make your own style sudoku — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

January Style Sudoku

January 2019 style sudoku — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

After doing no style challenges in 2018, I started feeling the itch to tackle them again in 2019. I’m currently trying to not buy anything wardrobe-related and would like to keep it going for at least January and hopefully longer, so diving into a style challenge felt like the best way to get the most out of my closet and keep things feeling interesting! I went way back to one of my first style challenges, the style sudoku, which I did twice in 2016 (see the fall version and the spring version), and felt inspired to bring it back this year. I’m planning to do one in each season and really challenge myself while also helping me curb any unnecessary spending.

A style sudoku is exactly what it sounds like if you’re familiar with sudoku the puzzle. Basically, you choose four tops, four bottoms, four pairs of shoes, and four other items (accessories, jewelry, outerwear, etc.) and arrange them in a 4x4 grid so each row, column, and corner makes a complete outfit. (You can also make outfits out of the diagonals and the inner “squares” of the two middle rows if you’re so inclined!) In my past style sudoku challenges, I shared the diagonal outfits, too, even though diagonals aren’t technically included in a real sudoku.

Navy vest, striped tee, flannel shirt — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

Below is my style sudoku and what I’ll be wearing every day for the next couple of weeks as of this past Sunday! I ended up with a color palette of mostly black and navy, which kind of surprised me, but I went with it instead of forcing it to be only black or only navy. For contrast, I added ivory, grey, olive, and red items as well as a striped tee and plaid flannel shirt. I quite like how it came together.

I included a few items that haven’t gotten much wear recently: my grey chunky knit cardigan, blue flannel shirt dress, striped tee, and black Frye boots. My “accessories” are the cardigan, dress, beanie, and vest. The dress was something I really wanted to incorporate and play with so we’ll see how it goes! I’m planning to wear it three different ways.

I’ll be breaking down what I wear into three different blog posts and detail what I did on each day, how the outfit worked for those activities, and the weather. As you can probably tell, we have precipitation in the forecast…I’m really hoping I wear my Hunter boots on the correct days and won’t be stuck wearing one of my other pairs of boots on a wet day! I thought about maybe omitting shoes because winter weather can be so unpredictable, but after staring at the forecast for what felt like forever, I think I can manage with just these boots.

Below the sudoku, you can find the item details. I’ll be sharing a daily photo of my outfit over on Instagram stories (check out my “Style Sudoku” highlight) and then posting them here after a few days have passed. Let’s hope I’m not too sick of these items by the end!

January Style Sudoku: 16 items, 14+ outfits — Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair

FIRST ROW

Grana cropped cashmere sweater / no longer available; similar by Everlane

Everlane authentic stretch high-rise skinny jeans / exact

Madewell ‘Regan’ ankle boots / exact from Nordstrom (limited sizes) or exact style

ModCloth waffle knit cardigan / no longer available; similar by Banana Republic

SECOND ROW

Grana flannel shirt dress / no longer available; similar denim dress by H&M

Marc Fisher ‘Yommi’ chelsea boots / exact from Nordstrom Rack

Madewell high-rise skinny jeans / no longer available; similar by Madewell

LOFT striped tee / no longer available; similar by LOFT

THIRD ROW

J.Crew ‘Pixie’ ponte pants / no longer available; similar by J.Crew (limited sizes) or similar by Old Navy

Madewell flannel ex-boyfriend shirt / no longer available; similar by Old Navy

J.Crew ribbed pom-pom beanie / exact style

Frye ‘Melissa Button’ tall boots / no longer available; similar from Nordstrom

FOURTH ROW

Hunter original gloss chelsea boots / exact from Italist

Uniqlo ultra light down vest / exact or similar from Amazon

Amour Vert ‘Kendra’ cable knit sweater / no longer available; similar from Bloomingdale’s

Madewell high-rise skinny jeans in olive / exact (limited sizes) or similar by Old Navy