30 for 30: Conclusion

Posted on July 22nd, 2011 by Tonia 16 Comments

You guys have probably been wondering what happened to the 30 for 30 Challenge, huh? Sorry about that. I didn’t get through all 30 outfits like I was supposed to. The thing is, it turns out it’s difficult to get dressed up all cute when you have heaps of chores/gardening/dirty farmy work to get done. As soon as spring hit, we were up to our eyeballs in multiple To-Do Lists with really big items on them like “clear area for all the fruit trees to go.”

BUT! I learned a lot from doing this challenge, even though I wasn’t able to see it through to the very end. If you have been struggling with wardrobe-related-woes {boredom with the clothes you have, the urge to shop-shop-shop, etc.} I would definitely recommend trying this challenge!!

The most important thing I learned is that fashion, for me, is mostly about being able to express myself in a creative way. I find pleasure in fabrics, colors, and patterns. But shopping all the time in order to satisfy this creative-fashion-appetite is neither green nor economical. Remixing the clothes I already own is.

When I get the urge to buy new clothes, which happens often, I go up to my closet and lay out a new combination/outfit. This process puts the shopping-demons to bed for a while. It’s challenging to come up with new outfits from the same 30 pieces of clothing, and it’s rewarding when you hit on one that really works. I have several that are favorites now, and I never would have thought of them if I hadn’t done this challenge.

Also, I shop better now. I look for pieces that can be remixed with a bunch of different outfits. I don’t indulge my every urge to shop, but when I do shop I spend more money for high quality items instead of shopping more often but buying a lot of cheap crap.

Lastly, I used to see my closet in terms of seasons. Summer clothes, winter clothes, etc. and I stashed away the clothes that weren’t in season. I still do this with things like heavy sweaters or shorts, but for the most part now I use pieces interchangeably whenever possible and as a result I feel like my wardrobe has grown in size and I’m able to be more creative with my outfits because I have more to work with.

However, the upside of stashing away seasonal clothes is that you feel like you just went shopping when you pull them back out after not seeing them for months. A combination of the two ways is working well for me.

I feel kinda proud of myself for learning to live within my means when it comes to clothes. This was not easy for me, and although I still have shopping urges when I see things I like, I now have a method in place that helps me control myself. Shopping is not very fun when you feel guilty about it. It’s a big relief to be able to feel good about getting new things when it happens.

And speaking of that, these pictures are of a new outfit that I got for summer. It’s perfect for me because it’s comfy, interesting, and a nice balance between laid-back and feminine. The pants go with everything and are so light that I almost feel like I’m not wearing anything at all. Best part, I got everything on major sale.

Bodysuit: Shabd / Pants: JCrew / Watch and sandals: Target / Sunnies: UO


  1. Patricia says:

    Very cute dog! I hope I don’t sound like a weird stalker but I think you are a stunning, healthy looking woman. My daughter was looking at your blog a couple of weeks ago (she’s 12) and loved your hair so much she begged me to take her to the stylist to get it cut in a similar fashion. She had shoulder length, all one length hair- the ladies at the salon couldn’t believe I was letting her cut it all off. She looks amazing and she is so happy with it. (I’m a follower of your FB page and her photo with the new cut is my FB photo if you fancy a gander.) I may give this 30 for 30 a go as I am hopeless with any sort of fashion- maybe it’ll get me out of my t-shirt and jeans rut. :)

  2. Tonia says:

    Patricia, that is so flattering, thanks for sharing. It means A LOT to me that I can set a healthy example for a young woman. I credit MY good examples completely. I was so, so lucky to grow up knowing and admiring many healthy, confident, intelligent and unique women. I can’t wait to check out your daughter’s haircut. This style is so much fun! I’ve had it for months now and haven’t gotten sick of it yet, which is saying a lot…I’m kind of a “grass is greener” person when it comes to my hair!

  3. Tonia says:

    P.S. Nothing wrong with t-shirt and jeans. That’s 90% of what I wear, too. But I get in fashion MOODS. It’s like craving chocolate but not having any in the house.

  4. Maria says:

    Hi Tonia,

    I just wanted to say that I really love your blog!

    Greetings from Amsterdam, The Netherlands :)


  5. Tonia says:

    AAAAAAH! SO COOL! I love Amsterdam!! Been there twice and basically wanted to move right in both times and never leave. :) Thanks for saying hi Maria!

  6. Christine says:

    I really appreciate your honesty and absolutely LOVE your blog. It is incredibly inspirational. After reading your posts about clothing/crafts/tutorials I was inspired to take another knitting lesson. Maybe one day I will be able to knit a lot of my own hats, scarves, mittens, and sweaters!

  7. Tonia says:

    Thank you, Christine! I really appreciate you reading. Good luck with your knitting. It’s such a cozy activity. I wish I were better at it, and I plan on practicing this fall and winter a lot more.

  8. Caitlyn says:

    I like putting away clothes too and then remembering how much I love that winter sweater when it comes out again. The same idea works for kids toys. Since we moved lots of toys have been in storage and we keep slowly bringing out different toy boxes and it is like Christmas morning at our house! You are so beautiful!

  9. Rachel says:

    I completely agree with everything on this post! Especially the idea of shopping less often and buying higher quality items that will last longer instead of just buying lots of cheap items. Buying quality does not mean you have to break the bank but I think you get a lot more for your money when you can wear the same thing season after season.

  10. Keira says:

    I love your blog – the pictures, the green living tips, the dog, the way your positive personality shines through with every post. I can’t remember whose blog directed me here, but I’m so happy that it did. Homesteading isn’t for me, but I respect anyone who can make a go of it and put their hearts into it. It’s valuable to remember that people who live lives vastly different from my own are still people who I can admire and respect and enjoy finding common ground with.

  11. Tonia says:

    Thank you, Keira! I totally agree. I love and cherish friendships with lost of different kinds of people whose lifestyles differ vastly from my own. It would be so boring to dig ourselves into a little hole where everyone around us is just like us. How would we ever grow, change, and challenge what we think we know?

  12. sk says:

    I looove your outfit! Do you have any idea what the pants are called? I was just looking on the jcrew site but didn’t see them. Thanks for a great post!

  13. Tonia says:

    Hey SK, the pants are called the Chambray Beach Pant. They’re in the sale section, if they’re still available.

  14. Tonia says:

    Found them! Here you go, SK: the beach pant.

  15. sk says:

    oooh, thanks!!

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