Goals, Decluttering, Budgets, Style and Self-Development

Clothes are so much more than just the things we throw on our backs. My interest in my clothing and Style took me through layers of Goal Setting, Budget Setting and Tracking, and Self-Development.

My Style story was kick-started in 2010. I was gifted the book What Not to Wear by Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine. This was instructional in getting me to start thinking about my body shape and experimenting with clothing styles.

Also in 2010 a very dull job ‘made’ me an eBay addict. The low prices and brand names blinded me and I bought way too much stuff, which mostly didn’t fit or suit me.

I made the most of said eBay purchases and experimented with getting things tailored and altered. Some of my experiments ended up working but mostly they were beyond lost causes. However, I don’t see this episode as a waste of money or time as I learnt a lot about style, fabrics and how different cuts made me feel.

At the beginning of 2011 I started getting serious about fitness and losing weight.

While I was making my way towards a stable healthy weight, I saved my money and didn’t buy any new clothes. Although at times I felt frumpy and my clothes didn’t sit well (and I gave up on pants all together), what kept me going was that I knew that the reward would be great. I knew that when I was finally ready to invest in a good quality capsule wardrobe that it would last me years and years. This also cemented in my mind that I was going to maintain my new lifestyle and healthy weight.

Keeping Motivated

To keep me motivated and focused on my dream wardrobe, I began reading books from the library to try and understand this ‘style thing’. I was hoping that there would be a ‘code’ out there, or some set of guidelines that I could follow that would help me make sense of the fashion world as well as streamline my shopping habits and in the end positively influence my look.
The library introduced me to two fantastic books I Love Your Style: How to Define and Refine Your Personal Style by Amanda Brooks and Style by Lauren Conrad. These books were like a mother’s skirt and I borrowed them many times to revisit specific pages and ideas.

I also found the sensational blog – Youlookfab.com and devoured its posts.

As my knowledge base expanded, I practiced on my existing wardrobe. All the while my savings continued to grow and before long it was time to do a wardrobe overhaul.

Shopping with a Stylist

Towards the end of 2011 I hired a Stylist. Partly because I wanted to get my foundations right for a wardrobe that would last me years to come and also because I wanted more information about Style and fashion. And because… well, why not?

First, we shopped in my closet. We donated a lot. A lot. We took photographs of outfits that I’d wear until my capsule wardrobe was in place. And I was surprised at how little I actually needed to get by.

A week later we went on a shopping trip and it was fantastic. I didn’t feel my normal apprehension. Instead, I felt supported and kept thinking ‘this was how shopping should be – focused. Stress-free. And successful!’ I felt like a celebrity as I was whisked around the stores, led into the change rooms and directed to try this and that on. Together we decided on what I would buy. Through photographs, pieces were mixed together and amazing outfits were created. These outfits captured who I was and how I wanted to be perceived.

Since then I have worked with a few different Stylists and I save and shop once or twice a year.

I still occasionally suffer from panic attacks regarding purchases – is this item a waste of money? Is the size correct? Will it last more than one season? But they are far less frequent than they used to be.

My Style is always evolving. I see it as a continual opportunity to grow and learn about myself. Plus it’s a whole lot of fun!

A bit of an insight into my psyche and Style story can be tracked through my journals:


This weekend it’s all about clothes, I’m taking everything out of my wardrobe and reorganising it. Making better use of the space. Am also going to a clothes swap, though am selfish and don’t wish to take anything that I may be able to sell. But can take some things that were going to Vinnie’s anyway.
But with money, doesn’t it all even out in the end?
Am so excited to get my wardrobe straightened out.

Am very excited about reorganising my wardrobe tomorrow. Will feel so nice to have it all clearly set out. Am making better use of my shelves. Also have put things aside – into the holding space to see if I miss them in say 4 months? If not try to sell the good stuff and then if not, give away. Have put aside some shoes I knew were never right, a few bags I haven’t used in yonks and other accessories. Am such a stingy though. I don’t think ‘ah my mistake, give it to someone else’ I think ‘must use it because I spent money on it!’ No!! It’s a waste of space. Have decided that if I next buy shoes, I will take a pair out. The in – out cycle.

Had – and am continuing – to have a lot of fun with my wardrobe organisation. So rewarding to have all sorted. Tomorrow: ironing and sorting of tops. Yay!

Wardrobe still feels lovely. Have cleared out a lot, thongs. And plan to clear out winter PJs when winter over. I’m thinking, git to myself = each season 2 new pairs of PJs for season, rotation then bin. Would be very cool!

I’m excited about culling winter PJs etc. Am going to ditch a pair that were given to me as a gift, they are too tight on my belly when I sleep anyway. I love fresh starts.

Am thinking about clothes again. Feel like I don’t want to buy anything till I feel more in tuned with who I am and what would suit me best. On Friday a woman at work gave me 3 gorgeous expensive tops and I’m just so excited to see them in my closet. I feel like I’m cheap chic – a mix of low and high fashion. I’m just so stingy though – I feel that I have issue with money. Mmmm…. I really want to do all the things that style books suggest but feel I’m too stingy – or are they making it sound too easy? ‘Do this, do that, and you’ll find your style, your wardrobe will be perfect.” Mmmm… I wish! I also want to ‘find’ some time to go through my wardrobe and try different combination but feel I need a block of time – maybe next weekend.


I like using my clothes, using what I have till it busts. I’d like to buy heaps of lovely new stuff but want my money to do a million things at once. If I’m patient I see that I’ll soon, a year or two, have a promotion and have more expendable money to buy lovely things. Plus for now, what resists against my arguments of ‘just do it now, what are you waiting for?’ is that I’m going to undergo an intensive fitness overhaul to change my body for my life and future, an intensive. I see a Personal Trainer tomorrow, for an initial meeting. So I want to hold off buying clothes before my body takes on a change. Yay! I feel inspired to work out and respect my body – get the legs I desire, that would be very nice.

I feel that I just have too many clothes. I look at my closet and its amount harks down on me. I’m not sure what I want from it though – how many shirts, pants and dress I should have etc. I want to wear all pieces equally but I can’t even recall what pieces I have. I reach for the same ones continuously. I feel I’ll never be satisfied with it. It always appears disorganised and unable to showcase my pieces to me properly. I have so much stuff. I really only need 2 pairs of jeans – why do have 8? I feel I’ll just wear them out, keep going as I am. Buying essentials if have to but relying on hand me downs and the natural procession of things until I feel it’s time to approach shops again and purchase a completely new wardrobe. But how does one even do that? It’d be a very tiring day of shopping!

Think, that once I am at my best self from PTing, that I will hire a wardrobe consultant. I’ve always wanted to ad that would really help with my obsession with cutting things down. Also it’d be a reward for all the hard work of training. And I’d be at my best so could buy some nice pieces that would last. Is this weird? Is it so odd to love the idea of having two pairs of shoes only? Mmm… I haven’t bought an unnecessary piece of clothing for ages. It’s fantastic. August was when I stopped. Yay me! Almost 7 months! Wow. Feels so good. Must employ the one in, one out policy.

My sister and I went through mostly my entire wardrobe – feels great to have cleared it out, though still unsure as to what to wear tomorrow! Wish I’d counted how many items I’ve eliminated. 30 plus items I reckon. Awesome! Then I priced some of them for our stall, will get some altered.

I want to buy really good quality clothes but I flinch at spending such money.

Am filtering more stuff from my wardrobe – little by little. Am going to save now towards a complete overhaul.

Wardrobe thoughts and money have occupied my mind. I’m obsessed with wanting to put together the perfect (for me) capsule wardrobe and to have minimal things and the best quality. I want to sell, get rid of all my stuff now and then put together a really good closet. Where I’ll know what to grab when I have ‘nothing to wear’ moments.
I feel my ideas about what works for me and what I feel most comfortable in is becoming clearer. I like to feel that I know what I feel best in and not like ‘I’m trying out such and such a trend ‘ so now I just want to save and save – maybe get a personal stylist or a wardrobe consultation – do it right and relatively stress free.

Though my plans to sort my wardrobe came to little today. I have a vague idea of what I’d like to do with it but then don’t know how or what (too vague) when go to do it.
Basically, at the moment I’m saving towards a wardrobe overhaul. I’ll keep a couple pieces but basically throw out everything! Can’t wait!

I really want to do a style session. Have done for ages. I’ve decided that although I do want to ‘chuck it all out’ and have a fantastically new wardrobe I could learn from a wardrobe audit of what I have. There are items of clothing that I wish to upgrade – I will make not of them and that I want to upgrade them and then will see what the stylist says.
I also want to simply minimise my collection of clothing – make my choices easier in the morning. I think the wardrobe audit may also help me break away from my brand snobbery. If I can respect this stylist then maybe I can begin to stop seeing my Target labels and see them as just items of clothing that suit me.

Excited! $6,000 for clothes then will be on way for clothes overhaul! Summer shall arrive and then I can chuck out winter stuff (tights, leggings and coats). Next winter will have fabulous new completeness.

Had a whirlwind shopping tour with stylist this evening – bags of new things now sitting untouched in my wardrobe. Only spent $2,081! So now have much left over for other things. It was great to have someone do the shopping for me.

I get excited when I think about the different combination of my clothes that I can wear – I do enjoy the process of getting ready. I wish there were more casual events/days at the moment so I can wear my new tops that I’ve bought today mixed with my new capris that haven’t had a spin yet.

If you need help with reaching your financial or style goals, get in touch 🙂