(Finally) working on my clothing

OK, not really. I’m kind of dying to make a real clothing plan, a capsule wardrobe like all the cool kids are blogging about these days, but I’m not really there. However, a few weeks ago I did some serious spring cleaning and ditched every item that was worn out, stretched out, stained, didn’t fit, or I absolutely hated. This was on the heels of a weeding session I did in December before I moved, so I feel reasonably stripped down (hee, as it were) even though I still have things that I rarely wear or that can’t be easily mixed and matched. Maybe eventually I’ll dip my toes into true capsule territory, but not quite yet.

However, I’d been on an informal semi-shopping ban since August 2013, the last time I went out and bought a stack of stuff (two cardigans, a dress, a button-down shirt, and a couple of tank tops, all of which I do still wear often today.) I think between August 2013 and earlier this month, I’d bought a tshirt, a single new bra, a pair of jeans (on ebay) — oh, and my debt-free boots — and that was it. And I spent a lot of time on the blog bitching and moaning about how much I wanted new clothes 🙂

I’m not, financially, at the stage where I can fill in all the holes in my closet with ease. But one thing really needed to happen this month (summer sandals, since I wore out my last pair by the end of last summer) and I also was really hoping I could find some dresses I liked to supplement my ragtag summer office wardrobe.

Have any of y’all tried zulily [not an affiliate link]? I rather uncharacteristically clicked on a banner link a couple of months ago because I liked the dress the model was wearing so much. It’s a discount site where they have “events” (either single or multi-designer collections) that last a few days. They then buy exactly what’s been ordered in giant lots from the manufacturers, and mail it out to you. The discounts range from 30-80%.

There is a GIANT red flag here: you can’t return anything. So if you’re the kind of person who tends to have buyer’s remorse, or if you don’t know yourself/your body type really well, I don’t recommend even trying this out. So far, I’ve bought a pair of sandals and three dresses that I was pretty sure were going to be cut well for me, and were flexible enough (two knits and one looser shirtdress) that I figured just choosing a size M would work out ok. All of it’s been a great success; I love the dresses (and have been getting lots of compliments on them) and the sandals are doing exactly what they need to do. And I paid a grand total of $200 for all of it; they are all really high quality items that ought to last for years, so I’m pleased. But I’ve definitely been browsing very, very cautiously, because the last thing I need is to be spending $$ on wardrobe items I don’t absolutely love, and can’t return. So, to sum up: you should definitely check this site out, but be careful!






17 thoughts on “(Finally) working on my clothing

  1. Cindy says:

    I’m really paranoid about buying anything I can’t try on. Even when I can return things, I’m terrible about getting around to it. I also have the issue of having an hourglass figure, with a surprisingly round butt, which means even brands I think should fit, don’t (I’m looking at you, J-Lo!). Sigh!

    But I hear you on the clothing front. It seems like it’s a constant struggle!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Yeah, I mostly really am — it’s one reason I don’t do much thrift shopping. I have an hourglass figure too, and in particular I rarely buy things that button down the front because they’re always straining across my chest, sigh. I liked these dresses because they were more wrap style so I knew they’d be forgiving. But I’m being super careful about what I pick up from there — great deals, yes, but I have ti *know* the stuff will work.

  2. Michelle says:

    Never tried Zulily, I’ve seen the ads too but never tried it. If you can believe it, I have a difficult time with buying clothes online. I’m an hourglass too and things never seem to fit right. I find a lot of clothes are just not designed for women with curves. I end up returning a lot of it and that gets expensive when you have to pay return shipping. Now I stick with a few designers I know whose clothes will fit or I’ll try to go to a store first and try on then buy online.
    You got some great deals! I’ll have to check them out next year if I need any dresses.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      I also have gravitated towards a few designers I know usually work for me! One of the things that was exciting to me about this was that I found a new designer I actually really like (Louie et Lucie) so I can try to keep an eye out in the future because now I know my size.

  3. I’m like Cindy. Clothes for women just fit so differently each time so I’d rather try stuff on. I’m too lazy to even want to return it even if they did have a good policy. I’m SO in need of some new clothes, but I just can’t or won’t make it a priority right now. Not sure why.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Psychology! Who knows! You’ll make it a priority when the time is right for you 🙂 I agree about clothes for women — I either want to try stuff on in store, or have a good return policy so I can send lots of stuff back. These dresses were all flexible knits so I was pretty sure they’d be ok.

  4. Hannah says:

    I’ve had great luck with my younger sister buying clothes from Zulilly and not fitting her right, so she gives them to me. I’m not in the market for clothes right now, but next time I need athletic or maternity clothes, I will probably take another peek.

    I am definitely not a clothing capsule woman because I can make even the most put together outfit look ridiculous- it’s better for me to not try and mix and match. Thankfully, I like dresses a lot which means I have a maximum of three pieces plus shoes to consider, and only one piece and sandals in the summer.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      I never was a dress person — always tshirt and jeans — but in the last five years I’ve come around bigtime. The simplicity is appealing, as you say, but also it turns out that if I get the right cut they look really good on me, and are comfortable in summer when I don’t want to get all sweaty in pants. Laughing at your sister and zulily — good for your finances, bad for hers!

  5. Kirsten says:

    I’ve done a bunch of browsing on Zulilly but couldn’t ever bring myself to buy anything. Not sure why.

    I was really going to comment that I join you in wanting to create a capsule wardrobe. My poor little wardrobe is so piecemeal and mismatched I can’t do much with what I have. I could build on my black pants and skirt and use a shirt or two… But I stare at my closet and my eyes go all cross eyed. I think capsule wardrobes are supposed to be simple but they feel like anything else to me!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      I browse a ton too — the no-return policy really gives me pause. You have to be ready to commit to this thing! I agree with you that it’s hard to see how to do a capsule without starting from scratch. My tops and bottoms don’t seem to mix and match well as is — in fact there are some things I struggle to pair with *anything* meaning I can’t wear them at all (not a good situation.) This is going to be an ongoing area of work for me.

  6. Maria says:

    Omg, don’t get me started on clothes! I really really really want to have a small wardrobe with clothes that are comfortable, cute and practical, but I absolutely hate shopping. Mostly because it’s SO insanely hard for me to find anything I like. I can look for a T-shirt for 5 years, both online and in stores for hours and hours, without any luck. To add insult to injury, I’m just not a fashionista. It really feels like other people can wear the same clothes as me and somehow they end up looking stylish and I don’t. I really don’t get it. I’m so jealous of people who have their wardrobes figured out. But I’ll get there, somehow. 😉 I have been making some progress lately however, and I’m beginning to learn what I actually need. I’m considering learning how to sew, maybe just two simple patterns that I like and can repeat (long sleeved and short sleeved tops). But boy, what a hassle. I’m not crafty. I know, woe is me. But there you go. 🙂

    Anyway, I wish you better luck than me with your wardrobe. 🙂


    1. thesingledollar says:

      Actually we sound a lot alike. I’ve been looking for sandals to replace the absolutely perfect ones I bought my first year out of college for over a decade. I mean, I’ve bought sandals, of course, but those were PERFECT and I want something exactly like them and apparently nobody makes them. I’ve also been looking for years for a replacement for my go-to everyday skirt and just never found one, but I finally bought material and I’m going to try to recreate it (it just wore out completely after 12 years of service, so I took it apart to use for a pattern.) I’m picky, anyway, is what I’m saying, and I agree with you that I’d be happy with an entire wardrobe of variations on my favorite three patterns. Sewing’s inexpensive, too!

  7. I’ve used Zulily for kid clothes, but not for my own. (I need to try things on.) The thing I found frustrating about them is that the shipping took FOREVER.

    Have you checked out Stitch Fix?

    1. thesingledollar says:

      I think I’m too much of a control freak for Stitch Fix — or maybe just too cheap, I dunno. I agree about zulily, the shipping takes forever!

  8. Chonce says:

    I’ve been meaning to create a capsule wardrobe too and after I finish my shopping ban this summer I’ll finally be ready to get started. I’ve heard of Zulily before but I’ve never used it. I love discount sites though almost as much as resale shops so I’ll have to check it out one of these days.

  9. I’ve bought cute kids clothes as gifts on Zulilly, but never grown-up clothes. Like everyone else had said, I need to try things on first. I remember one day a couple of years ago I bought two tops at the same time from the same store. Both fit me perfectly. One was M, one was 3X. No joke. So… yeah.

Comments are closed.