1) I learned how to dress smarter.
Really, before starting this blog, I was at war with my closet on a daily basis. I had "set outfits" in my closet (and in my head)- meaning I didn't understand the concept of remixing. At all. I had a pair of pants I knew would go with a shirt, a shirt I knew would match with a pair of pants, and that was it. That was my #1 mistake--that and buying trendy pieces that would either fall apart or go out of style in a blink of an eye.
Now I have a rule when shopping:
Only buy things I can wear 5 different ways. This is where Granola2Glam comes into play- I should be able to wear it casual, dressy, to happy hour, to brunch, and so forth. If in my head I can't imagine 5 ways to wear it, I put it back on the shelf.
2) Implement the 80/20 rule. Always.
80% of my closet should consist of my staples. Through purging all my junk clothes, I've spent the majority of the year stocking my closet with staples. It felt great- almost like a clean slate to build on.
20% of my closet could be allocated to my impulse buys- stupid trendy things that I convinced myself in the moment I could not live without.
Why did I buy this masterpiece?
80% of my closet should consist of sale, clearance, thrifted, or sample sale pieces. This was key in staying within budget. I doubt everyone needs to shop in the sale section, but I need to. And that's reality, so I am firm on this rule.
20% of my closet could be allocated to full price items. Like the time I visited Paris for the 1st time and treated myself to my 1st Louis Vuitton at the Champs Elysees flagship store. To me, it was a once in a lifetime experience and yep that counts. (but really it was way cheaper than buying in the US after the 12% VAT refund). LOL.
Ah, the mothership!
3) Pay cash* for everything.
I was thrilled to pay off all my credit card debt this past year- it was such an exhilarating feeling. I swore from then on, I would not charge anything. So I was shocked when with some self-discipline I was able to save and start a little collection of timeless investments for myself. Yes, that includes my IRA and 401K, but it also includes these guys. Oh, but don't pay full-price, fashion babe. Buy pre-owned.
If I could speak to my 21-year-old-self, I would say cut up those credit cards! If you are reading this and in debt, you may enjoy this motivating article from Feather Factor. Try not to buy fashion items on credit...it's a snowball effect and you will be buried before you know it.
* cash: meaning money in the bank via check card, Paypal or whatever, not virtual money on a credit card.
4) Accessorize. Accessories make the outfit.
I was clueless of the endless possibilities of color-coordinated accessories pre-2011. They do wonders and I swear by it. Best part is accessories can be a low-budget part of your wardrobe. Forever 21, H&M, Etsy, and so forth...go on and splurge on these goodies-- they will go a long way.
5) The blogging community rocks!
I started blogging because I no longer wanted to wear pajamas everyday and needed an outlet to share my efforts in getting dressed everyday. Little did I know what a fun experience I would undergo. From joining The Purse Forum, Bloggers Do It Better, to Everybody Everywear, I find inspiration from the blogging community everyday. It's been a joy and I thank my readers who have stuck it with me this year.
HAPPY 2012 EVERYONE!
What were your lessons learned?