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Sunday, November 18, 2012

$20 = The First Five Pieces

The planned pieces - a simple black dress, a black jacket,
 a neutral turtleneck, a black  pencil skirt, and a floral  or patterned knee-length skirt.
In preparation for spending the first $20 toward my new wardrobe, I first went through every clothing and accessory item I owned and ruthlessly purged. It literally took ten minutes. I threw everything into 1 of 4 piles:

1. Stylish and fits.
2. Stylish and doesn't fit.
3. Nasty, torn, doesn't fit.
4. Maybe stylish, sort of fits.

Most of what I had went into the dumpster. It sucked to part with a few "wishful thinking" pieces that would fit if only I lost a few pounds, but I haven't lost those few pounds in a year, and it's time to be brutal, so I donated. A few items were questionable. Missing buttons, or needed hemming. By a few, I mean five, not a dozen. I set those aside because I could, since there's almost nothing else in my closet, and because I have the skills and tools to make those things happen. I basically ended up with about a dozen usable items, not counting athletic clothing/shoes and undergarments. I had no jeans, no pants, nothing to go with the few dressier tops that I did have, and only one pair of unscuffed, unmarked shoes - a pair of basic black pumps. I did keep the red tent dress, a 90s throwback that appeals to something unnamed deep inside me, because I am certain I can infuse it with some sense of style.

I started digging around on Pinterest for some common themes on how to pull together a random mix of clothing items. I had a total of $20 to spend on my first trip, and since I'm actively submitting resumes and hoping to interview soon, I really wanted to focus on some more professional pieces.

I played around on Polyvore, too, and finally put together a snapshot of the items I had decided on:

1. A simple black dress
2. A neutral turtleneck
3. A black jacket
4. A black pencil skirt
5. A floral/patterned knee length skirt

Armed with my snapshot, I put on my red tent dress and my Vibram Five Finger Sprints, and set out to one of my favorite thrift stores.

Three hours later, I came home triumphant! I'll have to find a better way to photograph but for now you'll just have to overlook the funky shadows and overall poor lighting.

$3.50 (50% off) zippered, sued-y jacket

$4 skirt 

$6 Old Navy 3/4 sleeve, faux wrap dress

$3 (50% off) H&M floral knee-length skirt

$2.50 (50% off) gray turtleneck with pleated detail
Total spent - $19
Number of pieces - 5
Favorite item- black skirt
Remorse? - nope!

PS - I tried on a couple suits out of curiosity, which I don't think I've ever done. One of my goals in rebuilding my wardrobe is to try something new, which for me means wearing more fitted clothing. Anyway, I didn't buy a suit for  two reasons. It wasn't on my list, and none of them really spoke to me as far as cloth, cut, or color, but boy howdy do I look good in one! That's a post waiting to happen. :)

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