December 31, 2012

Challenge Completed: 366 Days Without Shopping / Desafio completado: 366 dias sem comprar

We did it. We (and of course I'm using "we" on the royal sense of the word, because really I mean me, but I don't want to sound braggy) made it to the last day of the year without shopping.  Out of my credit card, not one dollar was spent on clothes or accessories for myself (I did buy a few gifts to friends, though). New pieces did get into my wardrobe, but all coming from gifts (Happy Birthday to me!), pieces I made (Hello new hobby!), or even pieces I traded. And I'm happy to be here today, writing the last post of the year (only fitting since I also wrote the first). It's been quite a journey.

So I feel like it's time to look back at this one year of not shopping, and sharing with you my favorite looks, and at the same time reflect on this challenge.

I really, really, really liked this look I came up with this past January. I have not worn those pieces together again like this, which is a pity, but it's reminiscent of my first try into something similar to what I had seen online and wanted to try making it "mine." It's in essence, a very Anita look. The pleated skirt, the heart sweater, and all the crazy details without being really crazy. And it's cute, so incredibly cute, the thing that ultimately is what I want my style to be. 

I love those photos, and it was the first time we got a guest photographer on Occupy the Wardrobe, my incredibly-talented friends from Awen Photography. The photoshoot was a blast, Grand America Hotel still had their lights up from Christmas, and it's really a fabulous location in Salt Lake City. Wish all my outfit pictures were taken there! The look is also one of my staples: pencil skirt with buttoned-down shirt. And the bag in this picture, was probably the item that saw the most use this year. 

The Black and White week was probably my favorite because, as you probably already noticed, black is the staple color in my wardrobe. I've always felt it was the more rock'n'roll of all colors, therefore the best to wear. This look was fun because I felt like an Italian girl walking through New York City on fashion week. It might have been the leather jacket with pencil skirt, or maybe the location (Salt Lake City's public library), but whatever it was, my photographer and friend Janey is incredible at capturing life. 

But there is a small chance that the look above was my all-time favorite in this incredible year of Occupy the Wardrobe. I put it together to go to the Opera with my friends, and felt like a princess. Everything in it was flawless (okay, except that maybe I with the shoes were in a different color to better match the tights) and delicate, and the end of the day light probably made those my favorite pictures of the year. Kudos to my photographer and boyfriend Michael Boyle who shot most of the pictures this year. 

Another fun look from this year, when the temperatures were raising and I was able to expose a bit more skin. This time of the year was also the hardest to resist shopping. With the new season and all new trends, I was craving really bad colored jeans and asymmetrical skirts, and with that, my resolve to learn how to sew clothes only strengthened. Since January, I was taking classes to learn how to sew, and was doing good progress. Around this time I decided to try to venture myself into making mint colored pants, but it wouldn't be till a couple more months till I actually tried—and succeeded. 

I went crazy for this bow-tie that belongs to Mike, and this was just the first of many forays into his wardrobe for clothes. The mint skirt, was my first attempt at sewing with a pattern, and they turned out pretty good. I wanted to test my skills on something simple before I tackled the pants patterns I had. I love how the colors match in this look, it was another one of my adventures this year into trying to come up with something different out of all the old things in my wardrobe. That chambray shirt was definitely a good purchase from last year, and I wish I had wore this bow-tie other times, but alas, I forgot how to tie it. 

Vica challenged me with yellow not one time this year, but THREE. Yellow is by far my least favorite color (and hers) so God only knows why she decided to challenge me with yellow three times this year. But somehow, I ended up really liking this look, but I think it was not because of the yelloe, but because of the combination of the pencil skirt, the blazer, the t-shirt, and those super gorgeous heels. This post also marks my favorite shoe shot of the year, courtesy of my friend Shalese Cordon. Also, I have amazing legs, and they look even better tanned in the summer.

This outfit was so much fun, I ended up wearing something very similar to it when I traveled to Disneyland. But seriously, how awesome it is to wear something that is SO cute, and at the same time so comfortable, you can go on all the rides and walk all day and end up with awesome pictures of yourself on a place that everyone tends to wear crappy outfits and look ridiculous in photos (been there).

Not my favorite photo of myself, but I could not let you hanging on the story of my skinny mint pants! So here they are, and the look I wore for our vintage-themed week. It's pretty cute, right? There are still a few things that I thing I could have done better with those pants, but maybe next time I try to make some with this fabric I'll know better. Also, since I don't have a lot of notions of how much fabric I need for stuff, I bought so much yardage of this green twill, I still have enough fabric for another pair of pants. Maybe when I wear this one off I can make a new one!

Oh boy, the crazy monochromatic look that I went ALL out with neon orange. I won't lie, I love it. But in the end, I lost my courage and didn't actually wore it all like this outside, in the wild. I changed into black flats, but that was about it. I do think I looked like a walking cone, but I had fun trying something that is so completely out of my comfort zone. I feel like a lot of this year's challenge was about that: getting out of your comfort zone, trying something you wouldn't on different circumstances. And it pays off, even if you won't wear this crazy thing again. 

My birthday this year ended up being pretty awesome. I think all my friends felt sorry for me not shopping for a year, and they worked extra hard finding me some of the best gifts I ever got! The dress I wore for the challenge in the week after my birthday was a gift from my friend Ana. The color and fit is amazing, and a great dress to wear to work or out! Plus, who can resist the amazing backdrop of my college? Westminster is definitely the prettiest campus in Utah, and another reason why I enjoyed taking outfit pictures there once in a while. This one was the first in front of Converse, but the Giovale Library also featured in a few of my shoots!

My Halloween look has to be the best thing I ever sew. I got the pattern for an early 1800s dress, and more fabric yardage I had ever bought in my life to make this gigantic and heavily pleated dress. It turned out beautifully though, and I am SO proud of myself. Every day this year, I got more and more in love with sewing, and I can't believe I would have ever started doing it if it wasn't for Occupy the Wardrobe.  Also, I can't thank enough my friend Jen Jenkins for her support through this project, sewing, and the awesome bonnet she made for my Halloween costume and totally made the look.

And as the year progressed, I felt like I got better and better at taking pictures of myself! Mike was always a great help, but I enjoyed being the one behind (and in front of) the camera, so armed with my tripod and remote control, I've been trying more and more to take my own photos. 

I don't know what the new year holds for us, but I know I don't want to stop Occupy the Wardrobe. It's been an incredible year with so much learning, amazing new blogger friends, adventures, savings, and being creative with what I own. I can't say I'll have a hard time going back to shopping because I won't, but I hope I can stay creative with how I dress and aware of how I spend my money. There are better things to spend it at than clothes. 

I'll see you in 2013!


  1. Hello new friend! Amazing that we both completed the same wardrobe challenge in 2012. Congratulations!! I wish we had known each other earlier too, I'm sure we could have helped encourage one another. Anyway, I'm glad I found you now. Here's to a happy 2013!

    Your newest follower,

  2. Thank you Anita! You did a great job, and it's a pleasure to hang out and stitch with you. Much luck with your projects this year!


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