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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Defining My Style: Analyzing Successes and Failures Part I

As part of my attempt to define my style and be a smarter shopper I want to go through my closet and analyze the items I have. I have looked for the three best successes and three worst failures and written about why they are categorized as such. The photos aren't great and this might not be the most interesting thing to read, sorry. But I think it's something I need to do to avoid buyers remorse and be more confident in the future. In this first part I will be looking at skirts, jackets, and dresses. Here we go.



I bought this skirt at Kohls in California probably about 2006. I love the cut of it. I love how I have been able to make a billion outfits using this one skirt for all seasons.

I bought this skirt in the summer of 2002, right before I had my senior high school photos taken. I wore it for the photos and will still wear it. It's going on 10 years old. How's that for success? I think the cut is pretty timeless, and the subdued floral seems to never go out of style.

I have had this skirt since 2006. I wore it to most every wedding I attended from 2006 to 2010. The lace is so pretty. I like the cut, the length, the color, and the way I feel when wearing it.

I really like the look of this skirt, and waited for it to go on sale before I bought it. But I consider it a failure because I bought it a little too big, lost some weight, and now it looks terrible on me.

This was a thrift store find. I had been reading about thrifting a lot on blogs and thought I would try it out for myself. I bought this at the end of last summer, thinking it would make a great skirt for the school year. I think I wore it once. I just can't style it, and the quality is poor. Not even worth the $3 I paid. As I have said before, I just don't think thrifting is for me.

I bought this skirt in 2006 or so in a store in the mall because a friend (acquaintance really) worked there and talked me into it. She also sold me a top, and shoes too. I do still have the shoes, but rarely wear them. The top got donated several years ago, but for some strange reason I have held on to this skirt that I haven't worn once in the 5 years I have been married.

CONCLUSION: Buy skirts that fit well, can be worn with a variety of tops, and ones that I like, not the salesperson.



I bought this jacket at Old Navy many years ago... at least six or seven. I have worn it every year and don't see an end in sight. It fits well, and can be easily layered. I don't remember the cost, but whatever it was, it was well worth it. Somehow the jacket got bleached or something and has a few strange orange-ish spots, but they look like they are a part of the jacket. A garment that can stain and still look great? Sign me up!

I don't wear this blazer much anymore (mainly because I can't wear denim to work), but it's a success for its longevity in the closet. I have had this jacket since fall 2004. There were a few years in there where I didn't think it was super stylish, but I am glad I held onto it because the denim jacket is back and of course I still love blazers. I am going to have to wear this on the weekends more this spring.

This jacket was around $40 I think. That's usually more than I spend on my clothes, but I still remember walking into the store and the jacket just spoke to me. I have had it since 2010. Ruffles were huge then (still popular today too) but I don't think the ruffles here are so pronounced that they will be outdated too soon. The neutral color allows it to go with so many things.


I remember the day I bought this jacket. I though the pattern was so cool and would make me look... I don't know... tough or cool or something. Even though the jacket was a bit snug, it was a good deal and I brought it home. I think I have worn it about three or four times since the time I bought it (around 2007-2008).

I bought this jacket around the same time as the one above. I was really looking for a black jacket at that time as you can tell. This was from Kohls and was regularly $60 or $80 and was on sale for about $10. It is too big, too lightweight, and not comfortable at all. What a waste.

I bought this camel corduroy blazer from Vanity in about 2004-2005. It was cheap... in many ways. It's poor quality/construction and too lightweight for much warmth. It fits okay... but hasn't ever been stylish in the 7 years it's been in my closet. Ugh.

CONCLUSION: The jackets I bought because they were cheap are the ones I end up not wearing (there are even more in my closet). It's worth it in the long run to put a little more money into jackets I really love. I need to choose those with classic shapes that fit well and flatter me. I need to resist the temptation to add to my jacket collection for no good reason.



This polka dotted LBD is probably one of the greatest successes in my wardrobe. I have had it since 2006 or so. It wasn't terribly expensive (around $20) and the quality was much higher than I was expecting. I have worn this dress countless times. Before I discovered style blogs and remixing, I mostly wore it plain or with a black cardigan in the winter. But in the last few years I have worn it in a myriad of ways. Another reason I love this dress is because the length is perfect. It isn't a long dress, but I don't feel uncomfortable and have to pull it down all the time to maintain my modesty.

This faux wrap dress from Target doesn't look like much on the hanger, but you have seen me wear it many times on the blog. It has a very similar story to the black dress above. Not too expensive, worn many times, easily remixed, and modest.

I have only had this dress for about one year now, but I have worn it a lot and several different ways throughout the year. It's from my favorite local boutique and was actually purchased as a gift for me, though I did pick it out. The main reason I like this dress is because it makes me feel pretty. That's a good shopping rule right there. If something doesn't make you feel pretty, don't buy it.


I bought this dress in 2007 for my wedding dinner. I had never actually attended a wedding dinner before and didn't realize (until much later) that people generally dress much classier for those types of events. And the bride doesn't have to match the wedding colors. I have worn this a few times since (once last spring was the most recent). Looking at it, I wonder if I can do something to make it look more like a skirt and cover up the top part. Or I should just give it away and move on.

This dress just makes me mad. I was so stupid. Everyone in Blog Land was wearing striped skirts and dresses so when I saw this at Target for $6 I grabbed it. The first time I wore it (the photo is somewhere on this blog) I liked the outfit. I wasn't in love with the length so I asked my mom to alter it for me. She did a fine job, I just don't think the fabric was meant for it because now it rolls funny. I haven't worn it in a long time. Dumb.

I only have two dresses that I would consider failures though. I couldn't come up with a third, so that's not too bad.

CONCLUSION: Buy dresses that make me feel pretty!

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