Thursday, August 15, 2013

The 80/20 Rule

Hi everybody!  I am still alive and kicking, but as I’ve mentioned before, I have started a new job and I have been super busy with new projects. I also did not have as much time to comment so I apologize for that but I still read most of my favorite blogs whenever I get a chance.
My new workplace is very flexible as far as the dress code and while some people can be dressed up, quite a few opt to wear jeans daily.  This is the best possible scenario for me and I feel comfortable to wear what I like the most, this includes both jeans and pencil skirts.  
I have also mentioned that I have dropped a skirt size which created a slight closet dilemma for me. I did say that I will wait a little and I surely could work with what I already have in my closet until at least spring, But of course, I would not be a true owner of the Shopping Habit blog if I did that, would I? There is probably no greater excuse for buying some new clothes than a weight loss so with my new job and renewal of a paycheck I decided to get a few basics in my new sizes. 

All J.Crew: pencil skirt here, t-shirt here, shoes here
  

In general, I have found myself returning to the pretty minimalistic style, something that I have always been very fond of but I have sort of branched out in the last few years which coincided with my preoccupation with a certain retailer.  Overall, I think this has been very good for me, let me discover color, print, pattern mixing, new silhouettes and working with accessories. But in the end,  I am a clean line, basic colors, limited embellishments kind of gal. Now,  I will never be a capsule wearer, 33 items in your closet French-style woman. I can do a capsule when I go on vacation but other than that, I do like to have choices.  I refuse to feel guilty about it, as long as I don’t take loans to finance my purchases or move into a bigger house for more closet space I figure I am OK.  I do try to be sensible but I will never be a purist.
That said, I did learn that I get the more mileage from items that fit my personal style more closely. Those will be very basic and somewhat boring: simple pencil skirts, neutral t-shirts and trousers, white button downs, well fitting jeans, classic coats, simple blazers, basic sweaters etc. Most of those will be solids: black, white/ivory, navy/blue and camel/beige/khaki. I use red/pink as my accent color and I like to add a patterned skirt and some printed tops for variety.  I realized that having about 5 basic bottoms and 5 basic tops gives me 25 outfits because all of them match together.  And they will all go with my favorite purse and 2-3 pairs of shoes. I should be able to throw in 5 fun pieces and be set for a season!   
Of course, it does not work like that. My closet follows the 80/20 rule. 20% of my clothes make 80% of my outfits and the other 80% fills the remaining 20%. This does not sound right. So this year, I am trying to stick to it and buy mostly staples. So far I have been good and the only ‘fun’ items I bought were the Punk Floral blouse and Bodens coral tunic, everything else fits in the basics category. 

My recent celebrate-my-new-size order from J.Crew has been following this rule as well. I have ordered two new cotton pencil skirts, in black and natural, 2 suiting ¾ sleeve t-shirts in black and white,  Andie chinos in khaki, black Kiki ballet flats, black silk camisole and white shorts. I have to admit that after wearing baggy clothes for a while, putting on the correct sizes feels great.  I wish I could stay there with my weight but hey, if not, I will take what I can.  In case I put on some pounds I definitely have enough clothes in my closet to dress it.
The clothes I ordered are such basic items I don’t feel like you want me to really review them but I will just have some comments:
 The pencil skirts are the same like always, they fit me well now that they are a correct size (2) but even if I don’t have much in a way of curves, the waist is still slightly too big. Natural is a great color to work with, the only thing that you cannot wear with is white but I love it with black tops.
The suiting tees are not the same as suiting tank that I reviewed HERE. They have a very nice cut and perfect scoop neck but they are very thin. They are not double layered as the tanks. Therefore, the white one is see-through and showing every lump and bump and I am returning it. I am keeping the black one because it does have a nice shape, not sure if it is worth the price, probably not but I like it enough to keep it.  I have ordered size Small.

The Kiki ballet flats are great! I was skeptical because the classic J.Crew ballet flats were always awfully uncomfortable on me. These have less toe cleavage, leather lining, seem to have more padding and slightly higher heel. They seem very comfortable and they look great. I am considering getting a back-up but I will try to wear them for a while to confirm the comfort factor. I took 8 in Kikis, which is smaller of my shoe sizes. I tend to wear 8.5 in heels and 8 in flats so I would still say they are TTS.
I will review Andie chinos and compare to café capris, plus few other items in my next post. 
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How about you? Does your closet also follow the 80/20 formula or are you much more sensible with your purchases?

Please share, it would be no fun without you!!!

14 comments:

  1. The minimalist look is great on you! I'm trying to inch my wardrobe in that direction as well, and I like how my closet is starting to feel a bit "calmer". Hope your new job is going well!

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    1. Thank you TFT gal! I love my job so far. This look is so much easier to mix and match for sure.

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  2. Hi AJC! Great post! It appears to me that I am wearing fewer and fewer of my things (this is somewhat due to weight gain over last 2 years - could I have taken your 15 pounds?)and leaving my job. I am sure I still follow the 80-20 rule and some of it has to do with colour - I have a lot of colour in my wardrobe, thanks to a certain retailer, but I rarely wear it all. I still love colour, but I am winnowing it down to a very shades that are "me" - royal blue, tea rose pink, colours that will match my core colours of navy, black and beige/ivory/camels. I couldn't do 33 items either - my moods are too changing and I like to play around with it! You look beautiful!

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    1. Thank you Wendy! LOL, about the pounds and job shift.. You know, I used to make the same mistake with color. When I liked something I ordered in basic neutral I would order it in some other hue that would never get as much wear. Then I realized that part of the reason I liked it so much was the neutral color, so I try to do it no more.

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  3. Great post! I'm with you; I can't just have 33 items in my closet. I need variety. I always think: what if I feel like wearing something else that's not in the 33 list? I don't like feeling limited. Your post is very honest and I appreciate it.

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    1. I tried the 333 as an exercise and it was great but seemed forced, I could not justify it in the end.

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  4. ajc you look lovely and very you. Another fan of the Kikis I see. It's nice to have a workplace where you feel "at home" outfit wise from the start. My new one means three days on the road and wearing stockings with skirts. Not such a big deal in Canada where we are in tights most of year anyway. But my summer cotton suiting trousers from JC are definitely getting a work-out this month. Thanks for tip on suiting tees. I like the cut, but they seem to have altered fabric a few times on these.

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    1. Thank you GetFresh! Kikis are great. The only thing I would improve is the better heel grip, they seem to slide a little on me. I wish they would make the sleeved version of the suiting tanks with double layered fabric in the body, especially in white.

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  5. AJC, You do look wonderful in streamlined pieces, and congrats on yournew job. LMK when you are free- we will have that tea!

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    1. Thank you KnitYars, I will shoot you an email. These next two weeks would be perfect to meet in the evening.

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  6. The basics and neutrals in my closet are where I have problems when my weight changes (in any direction but unfortunately in the wrong direction these days). I'm keeping a range of sizes in neutral bottoms at this point, mainly in pants. Everything else is easier when I have bottoms that fit. I need to take care of the black dress issue soon (want the J. Crew Emmaleigh dress in black in a larger size), then I think I'm set. Congratulations on your new job!

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    1. You are right cate, like always. I am definitely not throwing away my bigger sizes, I have the suspicion the pounds will come back now that I am more sedetary. Sigh...

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