March 18, 2012

3 Steps to a Better Style

I feel like I have been in a fashion rut for the past few months.  When I look at my closet, I don't really get excited about what is in there.  In fact, I don't even really like a lot of the things in there!

As a result, my style choices have been less than exciting in recent months.  Perhaps even more worrisome, when a party, military event, or friendly gathering comes up, I frequently find myself grabbing my purse and heading to the nearest mall to purchase a new outfit.  While new outfits can be fun, and at times necessary, it is not a sustainable behavior to be jetting off to the mall every week or two!  After all, I do have a monthly "Ally's Personal" budget.  I won't disclose the exact amount on the ABC blog, but I can tell you that Ross and T.J. Maxx are my best friends...

So, the questions are:

  • How can I pull myself out of this fashion rut?!
  • How can I use the "3 Steps to a Better Style" challenge to give back, to serve, and to remember that clothes (while fun) are really just necessary shapes and sizes of material to cover the body?
  • How can this challenge help me to reconnect to some of the more important things in life (i.e. giving, serving, and making a difference)?

You must be the change you want to see in the world. - Mahatma Ghandi

(Step #1) - Closet Detox:

For me, the easiest place start was in my own closet.  After several hours of trying on EVERY. ITEM. OF. CLOTHING. from my closet, I identified stacks of clothing that were either:

  • too small;
  • too big;
  • worn out; or
  • I simply never wore. 

I ended up getting rid of much more than I thought I could/would.  Actually trying on every item of clothing really helped me to be honest with myself.  Some of the things that I loved in my closet were just past their due date.  Other items didn't fit correctly, and still others had sat in my closet for months - or years - without being worn a single time!  In all of the above cases, it was time to say good-bye.

In the end, I was happy to clear my closet of the unwanted, unused, and unliked.  Check it out, I was able to free-up over two dozen hangers!  Now, not only does everything in my closet fit, but I actually like all of the pieces in my closet as well.

There is only one problem.  I am missing a few "key pieces" in my wardrobe.  You know the ones, the basics that go with everything that every woman should own?!  Yeah...I am missing quite a few of those...

So I decided to make a list!

The shorts are a must since it is already in the mid-80's here in JAX(!), but the blazer and tunic are "maybe's".  Conveniently, Bo wants to go to the outlets in the next couple of weeks, so my goal is to try and find some of the key pieces at that time.  After that final shopping trip, Step #2 comes into play...

(Step #2) - Charitable Shopping Hiatus:

After shopping at the outlets with Bo, I will not shop for clothing, shoes, jewelry, or accessories for six months.  The one exception to the "no shopping" rule is for underwear, socks, and bras (and even then, only if absolutely necessary).

In addition, during each of the six months I will give the portion of my "Ally's Personal" funds that I used for shopping to a charity.  Specifically, I will be donating to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), an organization who's mission is very dear to my heart due to my own struggle with bulimia and anorexia.

NEDA is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders.  We campaign for prevention, improved access to quality treatment, and increased research funding to better understand and treat eating disorders.  We work with partners and volunteers to develop programs and tools to help everyone who seeks assistance. (source)

In addition to detoxifying my closet (Step #1) and giving to a charity in place of shopping (Step #2), I will also be challenging myself to create style from the confines of my own closet.  Enter Step #3...

(Step #3) - 30 X 30 Remix Challenge:

As I mentioned in this post, I regularly read about half a dozen other food/fashion blogs.  Among those is Kendi Everyday.  Kendi is one classy and fashionable lady, but even she forgets how to style the items in her own closet sometimes.  That's how the 30 X 30 Remix Challenge was born!

  1. Take 30 items in your closet.
  2. Make 30 outfits.
(To read more about the birth of the 30 X 30 Remix you can read the lowdown from Kendi here.)


I, myself, have decided to take the 30 X 30 Remix Challenge TWICE during my six-month charitable shopping hiatus.  I plan to do it once for late spring and once for the summer (probably around May and August).  I hope that taking part in the challenge will help me to reconnect with my own closet, remember to appreciate every item in it, and learn how to make amazingly fashionable outfits from its contents.  Wish me luck!

Question of the Day:

Would you be interested in joining me in either the Closet Detox, Charitable Shopping Hiatus, or the 30 X 30 Remix Challenge?  

If so, please leave a comment below letting me know how you will be participating (i.e. taking part in Steps 1, 2, 3 or a combination thereof).  Just so you know, I plan to do:
  • one post a month updating my experience with the Charitable Shopping Hiatus; and
  • one post a week highlighting my outfits in the 30 X 30 Remix Challenge (when it comes time for that, of course).

I would LOVE to highlight your experience in the ABC blog too!

Just send me a picture, or written testimony, of your experience taking one, two, or three steps to a better style at: 

Ally and Bo


  1. I think I'm going to give it a shot. I'm going to ask Renee if she will join/hep me with the 1st step of detoxing. Sure with you were here to help! Maybe we could do it over the phone

    1. Ask Renee! I think she would be a great help...and I can always be on stand-by over the phone if you need me. I had a great time doing it myself. It felt good to purge all of the unwanted, unused, and unfashionable! Are you also planning to do steps #2 or #3?!