Vacation Shopping (Week 24)

(I started The DH Closet Challenge in November of 2013 therefore I’ll be catching up on my progress to date in a series of posts. This my last catch up post, yay!)

April 20, 2014

Six new items for vacation.

6 new items for vacation.

Reflections for Week 24 (6 months!)

I am halfway through The DH Closet Challenge!  When I started this challenge neither DH nor myself thought I would get through the first month, let alone still be chugging along with the challenge 6 months later!

It is very difficult for me to stop shopping once I unleash the shopping demon.  But an upcoming trip to an island has sparked the need to shop.  DH and I have not taken a beach related vacation for some time, and the resort has dress codes for evening.  I started out trying to shop the ’boutique’ but came up empty handed.  I have plenty of clothes in the “boutique,” but none of the right clothes for this trip.

However, I do not want to add a beach vacation capsule to the “boutique,” or my working closet.  And while I was shopping I had to repeatedly remind myself of my end goal—a small wardrobe of items I wear often and enjoy.  With this in mind, when I shopped for our upcoming trip I created a stipulation that all potential new items (except for shorts) had to meet.

Everything I buy must also work well for my casual job. 

Constant reminders of this criteria was very important to keep me on track while shopping.  Especially when I noticed a LOT of maxi skirts and dresses this season.  I really wanted to add 1 or 2 of these to my wardrobe, but these are too casual for my current job, so these pieces would get little to no wear after a beach vacation.  Because of my pre-set criteria, every time I reached for a maxi skirt or dress I immediately put it back on the rack.

I find Debbie’s analysis over at Recovering Shopaholic very helpful, so I decided to walk through my purchases below.  The trip is 8 days, 7 nights and the dress code for evenings is no shorts or jeans (my 2 staple items for summer!)

I allowed myself 2 days to shop (one outlet day, one mall day) and ended up making purchases at 8 stores (JCrew Outlet, BCBG Outlet, Ann Taylor Outlet, Rockport Outlet, Clarks, Gap, Marshall’s, and Nordstrom).

I ended up purchasing a total of 18 new items (the first 6 are in the photo above).  Fifteen of these are for the vacation, 1 was for gear (jeans for riding) and 2 were shoes for our spring weather.  This is a LOT of new pieces, since my projected size of my spring/summer wardrobe is only 54 items.  Subtracting the handbag and footwear which are not included in my projection numbers (so now I have 13 items), these new additions make up 24% of my spring/summer wardrobe!

By trying to focus not only on the use of the item for my trip, but also the use of the item after my trip, I am hoping that my new pieces will be used in heavy rotation and do not go unworn once the trip passes.

Now onto the items, first up are the 6 items from the photo at the top of this post.

  • 1 knit blazer (Ann Taylor Outlet):  I have lots of blazers in my working closet, but this blazer worked very well with the solid dress and trousers below.
  • 1 trouser (Ann Taylor Outlet):  I am always looking for alternatives to jeans, that are still casual.  Often traditional khaki’s do not fit me properly or the color doesn’t appear to work well for my wardrobe.  This yellow pair is very casual and fit nicely.  They could be fun for summer.  I plan to wear these on the plane too.
  • 2 t-shirts (Ann Taylor Outlet):  Replacing two worn out t-shirts from last season.  I know the boutique has lots of t-shirts in it, so I only purchased t-shirts that were a direct replacement.
  • 2 shorts (JCrew Outlet):  I know from last summer that 2 shorts are plenty for me, but my shorts no longer fit, so I picked up 2 replacements.  So far so good.
Four dresses for vacation.

4 dresses for vacation.

  • 4 dresses (Ann Taylor Outlet, BCBG Outlet):  This is a very large new capsule for me, as rarely wear dresses.  However, I was not enjoying the selection of crop trousers in the stores, and these dresses will take up little room in my luggage, nor will they wrinkle, due to the material.  This especially holds true for the 3 printed one’s, which are made of a polyester/spandex blend.  I also think at least 2 of the dresses (wrap dress and solid dress) will crossover into my business capsule wardrobe nicely when needed.  The other 2 should work well for my casual job and weekends.  Only time will tell if I really wear these after my trip.


Jeans are gear, the tank, sweater and bag are for vacation.

Jeans are gear, the tank, sweater and bag are for vacation.

  • 1 handbag (Gap):  A complete impulse purchase.  But my daily handbag seems too large for a vacation.  I plan to make this bag work double duty.  It can be my clutch for dinners on the trip, and it can hold my kindle, passport, a pen, eyedrops, tissues, hand wipes, wallet, and a snack to keep me busy on the plane.  By keeping this bag inside my carryon bag I will be able to quickly grab one item and get out of the aisle so that others can find their seats on the plane.
  • 1 sweater (Gap):  I have lots of sweaters in the boutique, but they are for winter and seemed to ‘warm’ for summer weather.  Also, this matches well with the yellow trousers and I think it will work well in the summer for a/c setting such as the movies.
  • Tank and jeans:  The tank is a replacement for one in the boutique that was worn out and went into the trash.  The jeans are new for gear (riding).
Sandals for vacation, ballet flats for now.

Sandals for vacation, ballet flats for now.

  • 2 sandals, 2 shoes (Clarks, Rockport Outlet, Nordstrom, Marshall’s):  I only had a pair of black leather flip flops that are at least 3 years old.  Both sandals are neutral colors and should work well with all my new items, especially the dresses for evening.  The closed toe shoes are not for the trip but are to extend the use of the new dresses for work.  In my area it is still too cold to go with exposed toes, so I am hoping these shoes paired with some hose will let the dresses start working now, during spring, and keep on working with a footwear swap for our warm weather trip as well as the office during summer months.

Do you shop before going away on a vacation?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s