Most Worn Items for September & October

September and October were pretty similar temperature-wise and clothing-wise, so am combining those two months for this round-up.  I’ve been tracking my clothing religiously (it’s actually kind of addicting!) on the StyleBook app, which has made it easy to see what I wear most.  It’s been pretty interesting, with a few surprises here and there.    If you want to see previous months, August is here and July is here.

I’m excited that for these two months, everything that was most worn were some items that were more recent.  Excited because I think my purchases are getting better in terms of how much I love.

Most Worn Overall – Tumi Calais Backpack
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I saw another woman wearing this while boarding a plane and was hooked – it looked so sleek and fashionable for a backpack.  It took me a year before purchasing it because of the price, but I am so glad I did.  The main thing is how practical it is – the heaviest laptops and files feel like nothing when you put this on your back.  There are numerous pockets that keep me organized and I don’t feel self-conscious bringing it to work.  In fact, I wear this nearly everyday to work now which is why it has skyrocketed to the most worn item.

Times Worn in September/October – 29

Times Worn in 2017 – 76

Cost Per Wear $4.27

Most Worn Shoe – PLAY x Converse
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This is one of those items that took me a little to warm up to…when I finally figured it out (and bought the right socks to go with them), these became my go-to shoe.  They are super comfortable (more padded than normal Chucks), fit in with my current obsession with all things white,  and have just a little bit of edge with the little heart guy.  Just love.

Times Worn in September & October – 18

Times Worn in 2017 – 31

Cost Per Wear – $4.03

Most Worn Clothing – Madewell Central Shirt
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I don’t know why it took me so long to buy a collared white shirt.  I think because they always seemed so fussy and formal.  Not this one – the oversize fit and cotton fabric make it easy to dress up or down, and it never feels fussy.  It was perfect in the scorching hot weather we had in September and October, which is why it basically on non-stop repeat.   Make sure to size down – I am normally a small, but wear and XS in this shirt (and it’s still nice and oversized).  I own this shirt in white and stripes, and my second most worn clothing item was the striped one.  See the white on me here, and the stripes on me here.

Times Worn in September & October – 11

Times Worn in 2017 – 12

Cost Per Wear – $6.25

What I’ve Learned: 

  1. Paying full price can be worth it – I bought all of these items at full price, which is something I almost never do.  But the cost per wear on them have become really reasonable, since I wear them so often.
  2. Basics are key – Too often I’ll buy something trendy and then wear it a few times before I don’t feel comfortable wearing it anymore (I’m looking at you, off cold shoulder tops!).  Sticking with basics, in a slightly updated cut or with a little twist, is really the way to go.

Hope this was helpful for your style journey – thanks for reading!

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Black and White for the Museum

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Shirt, Madewell Central Shirt (runs large), also in blush and black here
icon| Shorts, Ann Taylor City | Shoes, Converse | Backpack, Anya Hindmarch (old), but similar here | Sunglasses, Ray Ban
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We finally got tickets to the Broad Museum on Labor Day Weekend…I’ve been dying to go forever!  It was sweltering hot by Los Angeles standards (95+ degrees), so I wanted to be comfortable, but still presentable, since we were having lunch at Otium, the restaurant by the museum.  This breezy white shirt and black shorts combo was perfect – it kept me really cool in the heat, but I didn’t feel sloppy.  Also, I knew I was going to take photos with the amazing artwork, so the black and white color palette was perfect, as it went with all the colorful modern art at the museum.  We hung out at the Disney Concert Hall while we waited for our turn at the Infinity Mirrors, so I snapped some photos there as well.  I love how downtown LA is becoming (or is already) such a hot spot – such a change from when I was growing up.

Number of Wears in 2017: 

Shirt, 1 (new) | Shorts, 3 | Shoes, 13 | Backpack, 27</p

Most Worn Pieces in July

One of the things I have been doing this year is tracking my outfit everyday via the Stylebook App.  It’s really easy, actually kind of fun, and has been an eye opener in terms of what I wear the most often and don’t wear at all.   I thought it would be helpful to review my most worn pieces every month, and see if there are any patterns.

Most Worn Overall:  Marc by Marc Jacobs Mini Biker Backpack
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My most worn item every single month since January has been a bag.  It makes sense because I usually carry the same handbag for the whole season, until the weather changes.  I can’t do that with clothing.   For July, my trusty Marc by Marc Jacobs backpack was the most worn item.  Because it’s black nylon, I don’t have to worry about it at the playground or gym, but because of the gold metal and black color, I can take it out at night for drinks or dinner.

Times Worn in July: 16

Times Worn in 2017:  28

Cost per Wear: $2.18 (estimated based on total wears)

More Worn Shoe:  Birkenstock Gizeh Sandal
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Ahhh…my Birkenstocks.  I got these last year when I cut my foot badly with a wine bottle (don’t ask), and couldn’t wear normal shoes for a few months.  It turns out these are amazingly comfortable.  I even wore them all day to Disneyland, and was so surprised that they felt better than my usual sneakers.  The nice thing is that the white color actually elevates these a little, so I don’t feel too casual when I wear these.

Times Worn in July: 16

Times Worn in 2017: 42

Cost Per Wear: $1.54 (estimated based on total wears)

Most Worn Clothing: (tie)  J Crew Khaki Shorts and Splendid T-Shirt (on sale for $29)

Clothing always gets the least wears, since I usually wear an outfit once every three or four weeks.  I’m trying to change that and pick pieces that can be worn more often, because it seems ridiculous that I have 31 outfits per month.  My husband generally wears the same 5 shirts, 2 jeans and 2 shoes every week – I want to be able to get to that place.

It was a tie in July between my old khaki shorts from JCrew, and my newer grey T-shirt from Splendid.  Both of these are basics that I can throw on.  The khaki shorts are nice because they are fairly casual, but not sloppy.  The T-shirt is amazingly soft, which is why I keep reaching for it whenever it’s clean.

T-Shirt: 

Times Worn in July: 6

Times Worn in 2017: 13

Cost Per Wear: $3.07

Khaki Shorts:

Times Worn in July: 6

Times Worn in 2017: 11

Cost Per Wear: $2.72 (estimated based on total wears)

Key Learnings: 

Overall I’m pretty happy with the most worn items this month.  One of the great things is that most of these items are old (the JCrew shorts are 4 years old!) and relatively inexpensive.

  1. Comfort & practicality is key – I’m busy and need clothing that will fit my on-the-go lifestyle.  The items that I’m going to reach for most have to be versatile and comfortable.  The ones above all can be dressed up or down, and are very low maintenance.  I need to keep this in mind next time I fall in love with a dry-clean only shirt, or a pair of going out heels.
  2. Everyday basics get the most wear and have the lowest cost per wear – The cost per wear on the above items are fantastic (and will still likely go down further).   I guess it’s because they are everyday items, and I wear them frequently.    I bought the Birkenstocks at full price, which made me cringe a little, but on a cost per wear basis, these are some of my cheapest shoes.  Where I need to cut back are on special occasion items, which just sit in my closet.
  3. Summer 10×10 helped increase wears – The T-shirt, shorts and sandals were all part of my Summer 10×10.  I was amazed at the creativity that came out of that challenge — there were at least four outfits I had never worn before, even though most of the items were older.  In finding new ways to wear older items, I increased my number of wears.
  4. Need to up the Polish – As part of my newly defined style, Effortless California Polish, one of my realizations is that I could increase my polish.  It would be great to have a slightly more elevated item make it into the Most Worn list next month.

Summer 10×10 Challenge – Yes, I can live with fewer pieces of clothing

The 10×10 Challenge:

I follow Caroline at Un-Fancy and Lee at Stylebee on a regular basis – both of them have figured out a way to have a tightly edited wardrobe for simplicity, yet maintain their own unique style.  Recently, they hosted a 10×10 challenge – the guidelines are simple:

  1. PICK ANY 10 ITEMS FROM YOUR CURRENT CLOSET
  2. STYLE THOSE ITEMS INTO 10 DIFFERENT LOOKS
  3. USE 10 DAYS TO DO IT
  4. HAVE FUN AND DON’T TAKE IT TOO SERIOUSLY!

I was nervous in joining (could I really only wear 10 items for nearly two weeks?  Would I have to do laundry everyday?), but everyone raves about the experience, so I thought I would join in.

My 10 (well, 11) Items: 

Here were my 10 items.  I misjudged the weather, and ultimately had to add another pair of shorts, but didn’t feel too badly about it (see guideline 4 above).

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  1. J Crew Top (old), Size Small
  2. Splendid T-Shirt (old), Size Small
  3. Ann Taylor Black Marina Pants, Size 4P
  4. Current Elliot Painter Top, Size 1
  5. Kut from the Kloth Catherine Boyfriend Jeansicon, Size 4
  6. J Crew Khaki Shorts (old), Size 4
  7. Tory Burch Dress (old), Size 4
  8. Splendid T-Shirt (old), Size Small
  9. Gucci Princeton Mulesicon, Size 38
  10. Birkenstock Gizehicon, Size 38
  11. BlankNYC White Embroidered Cut-Off Shorts (old), Size 4

Here are all 10 of my outfits (plus a bonus one that I changed into one afternoon) and my key takeaways.

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Key Takeaways: 

  1. “Dressy” tops and shorts go together really well.  I have always separated my “nice” clothes from my casual clothes – shorts always went with a T-shirt.  But two week of hot weather meant that I needed to wear shorts more than I anticipated, and as a result, I had to put new combos together.  And guess what?  I loved them!  I found that pairing nicer tops and shorts elevated the whole look, and made me feel more put together, even if I was just taking Brandon to a swim class or running errands.  It made slightly younger-feeling pieces (cut off white shorts), seem a little more age appropriate for me.
  2. Getting dressed was much easier.  With only a few items to choose from, getting dressed in the morning was a breeze.  I didn’t have to try on 3 different outfits in the morning, and got to spend that extra 15 minutes eating a real breakfast, watching a little TV on the couch with Brandon, or just taking away the sense of being rushed in the morning.
  3. I don’t really need that many items of clothing.  I struggled a little with poor planning for weather and few unexpected meetings I needed to go attend, but overall, I didn’t feel that limited.  While I could’t stick with just ten items for very long (can’t keep doing laundry every few days!), I can easily see that with a few additional items, I could probably keep this going for a longer time.  Maybe I’ll have to try the 30×30 challenge next time!

Overall, this was a great challenge and definitely recommend it to anyone thinking of doing it.  You don’t have to wait for the group to do one, just look through the old #summer10x10 posts (or spring10x10, etc) on Instagram for inspiration.  There is a great group of ladies that are in the community, and I was inspired by their creativity and style.