day 19: let it snow (and i quit).

I’m feeling festive today because it’s blizzarding outside. You can’t tell from these photos, but approximately twenty minutes after I came inside to write this post, Mother Nature decided to go all tundra on us Hoosiers. Fine by me, Mother Nature, because I happen to love snow when I have nowhere to go.  Also, I can rhyme. See that, Ms. Nature? Don’t mess.

So, in honor of our first snow, I donned my party top and favorite striped tee and we danced the sweet dance of Christmas.  And with that, I quit.

Yep, you heard me. This is the part where I give you a long explanation as to why I can’t handle the 30/30/30 challenge, how much I miss my array of boots so very much and that yes, I know you should always finish what you start. But instead, I wrote about it on ReadyMade Magazine’s blog, and I don’t want to keep repeating myself. Also, it’s embarrassing. I mean, who can’t handle wearing the same items for thirty days?

This girl. I can’t handle it. The rest of my clothes are taunting me. They want to come out to play and frolic in the fresh, fresh snow. I mean, why should only 30 items get to have all the fun? So with only 11 days of the challenge to go, I’m letting myself be free.

This is my “I’m free!” pose. I’ll miss you all so, so very much. In fact, I might still post a few outfits (now that I have access to the really cute stuff!) in this space weekly or something. It gives me a reason to get out of my sweatpants. Would you like that?

OK, good.

Above is the final outfit for the30/30/30 challenge, which you can read about right here. Farewell!

  • Hee hee! I love that you quit. I loved seeing your outfits and hope you keep posting them (you’ve inspired me to mix it up and use more accessories, I feel cuter now), but I also love that you quit. It’s ok to quit now and then. Quitters are WINNERS. (How about that, eh?)

    Can’t wait to see your other CUTE CLOTHES!

  • Don’t feel bad, I have tried it twice now and each time I have been unable to finish. You did good though, hope to see more outfits from you in the future!

  • Unsubscribed. I followed your superficial blog for a while because a friend suggested it as a “design” blog, and was disappointed because it’s really just about consuming cute girl/house/quirky items, with an occasional artsy picture of something you saw online. but the 30/30/30 challenge was probably the best thing you’ve done. I was hoping you’d talk about the reality of the economy and about doing less with more. Or at least something realistic. But why would you when you have ad revenue out to burn. Hee hee! Have a great time with all of your CUTE CLOTHES

  • Sorry, but I’m with Katie on this one. I’m going to take this blog off my blogroll as well. You really couldn’t make it 30 days with 30 items of clothing? I’m a student studying in a foreign country, and I’ve been living with just about that much for 3 months. No, it’s not easy, but I’m doing it because I have to, and because sometimes there are things more important than clothes.

  • i think its awesome you quit the challenge.
    plus you quit on a fun note.
    like the seqins with the stripes.
    go have fun with all of your other clothes.
    im sure they have missed you!

  • I think the challenge is as much of an exercise as anything! And a part of (I think) it is to teach us to love what we have. To discover how much we love our clothes. Absence makes the heart grow fonder :-) So I say you learned something. You did it as long as it took for you to REALLY learn to want your other clothes :-)

    In reference to the not to friendly comments above. I’ve moved around a lot and know its darn easy to wear only 30 items when that is all you have. Its easy to avoid temptation when there is none. I’m gonna admit that this challenge isn’t that hard for me b/c I don’t have that many other clothes to miss.

    I hope you still post outfits every now and then. I want to see this collection of boots!! I followed you before the 30 for 30… and for the record… I’m sticking around!!
    (sorry so long)

  • Hey Erin! You’ve got some bogus comments here for sure! Clothes are a very personal thing and what you choose to wear – that’s your biz! I still love your blog!!

  • Your life, your blog, your clothes. All of these goals we set for ourselves are actually arbitrary. You post almost everyday and are one of the most web active people I know–if your challenge isn’t giving you inspiration anymore, you’ll find plenty else to take its place.

    To Katie at 10:54–maybe those posts on the economy and doing more with less are something you should be writing? If you wish someone else were doing it, that is a good cue for creativity.

    To Anonymous (the student abroad)–I commend you being able to live with so little! I’ve done the same. Again–maybe you would be the best person to report on this, since you have to out of necessity.

  • hi gals!

    katie and anonymous: i can’t thank you enough for expressing how you feel, and for the record, you have an incredibly valid point.

    i think the reason i’m quitting this challenge isn’t quite as much because i can’t handle living with less (bad wording on my part), but because getting dressed used to be fun in the morning and that fun has been slowly dwindling since this challenge.

    perhaps it’s because i don’t like limitations, or maybe its because my heart was never really in it in the first place?

    either way, i really do appreciate your thoughts. and for what it’s worth, i’m still following the ‘no shopping’ portion of the 30 day challenge. that’s a rule i can get behind! :)

  • Ha!!! Cute, love this outfit!! I’m glad you quit, it sounds too stressful!! You go giiiiirl! (and ps i am so jealous of the snow! i am from ohio and these portland winters are just not the same!)

  • i don’t blame you…not sure i could do it…but i should maybe try and i would learn something…cute sequined tee btw. ;)

  • Well, nobody’s perfect, right?
    I like challenges that make you realize something about yourself-and it seems like this was it for you. You like dressing up and expressing yourself through fashion. That’s cool that you know that now.
    If I had to eat the same 30 things for 30 days I would FREAK out! So I think we all have those things in our life where we crave change/variety.
    To each his own….ciao, Erin! Kudos for your honesty.

  • If you’re not feelin it, you’re not feelin it! Better to stop than keep going with something you dread doing everyday. We’ve done the same thing with some of our blog content before that felt like a chore than anything else. I’m glad you’ll still be doing outfit posts here and there and I’m looking forward to them as always! :)

  • Oh Erin, You are so great. I love that you greet over the top negative criticism with a balanced, dignified response. You are top notch.

    And to the negative comments above: I think it is always great to have a dialogue. But being nasty & taking shots below the belt (ie: hee, hee!) just deflates your argument immediately and makes you look like, well a troll. You don’t like what you see here? Move on. Life is too short to come to someone’s space, where they have worked so hard on & be petty and just mean. Not to mention just trivial. Get away from behind your safe computer screen and be the change you want to see if you don’t like what you are hearing/seeing. Blogging is damn hard. So instead of pointing fingers, as The Storialist pointed out, write your own post on doing less with more. Because once you open your mouth with septic dialogue…people tune out, immediately. And you’ve not only lost your point on deaf ears you have alienated yourself with negative energy way more than you probably know.

    I love Erin’s blog and am continually blown away by her genuine and incredible positive enthusiasm. Perhaps Katie you could take a cue from her?

  • Hmmm… do people not realize it’s possible to unsubscribe from a blog without leaving a super nasty comment behind? It’s easy, you just unsubscribe!

    Love the outfit, Erin, and if something makes you unhappy, then it makes sense that you should quit! Plus, as someone living in a hotel temporarily, I can tell you it’s much easier to live with 30 items of clothing when you have no choice. Self-restriction is a lot harder when all your clothes are right there, and it would make me sad too!

    I don’t think your blog is superficial, I think it is really interesting, and I think of it as less about consuming and more about appreciating.

  • I can understand why you quit Erin. I can only imagine how hard it must have been to find yourself limited every morning. It’s not something I could take on personally.

    But just the same, I am a little disappointed, because it was a really interesting assignment on being creative with limited resources. I was really enjoying following the process.

    I take that you learned that you don’t like limitations in dress (obviously this is a very personal issue because it threatens your possibility for self expression) but I was hoping you’d share an even bigger lesson with us on ingenuity regarding personal dressing.

    I won’t stop reading because you quit, but I’ll miss the discovery and inspiration you were fostering.

  • stripes and sequins and denim — does it get better than that? i love this outfit.

    p.s. good for you for letting yourself be free.
    p.p.s. even better for you for handling unwarranted criticism so gracefully.

  • i so appreciate your thoughts, ladies. you’re all so honest and forward and i just love that.

    thank you.

  • I think it’s great that you were honest with yourself and all of us readers that you needed to quit. Some of us need clothing, whether it be expensive or totally cheap, to express ourselves and be a creative outlet and we shouldn’t be ashamed of that! It’s not materialistic, in my opinion (or at least in the way that I love clothes and can tell that you do.) You have other clothing in your closet that you want to wear, it’s not like you don’t have any other clothing and you’re bitching about needing more asap like a crazy woman!

  • Quick note: I just received an email from Ms. Bunny (a fashion historian who commented above) with the following insight. I think this perfectly describes the reasoning I took on the challenge:

    “For some folks, it is an economic factor/lack of resources that forces them to do more with less, for some it is a conscious decision for ethical, environmental, or anti-fashion stances, and others it is because they want to test their creativity and force themselves to experiment. I took it that you took on this challenge for the last reason, which I feel is just as legitimate as any other.”

    Thank you, Ms. Bunny! You’ve nailed it!

  • The 30/30/30 challenge was eye opening for me in that I noted the following:

    1.) I would not do that voluntarily. I toyed with the idea because you’re always a million times inspiring, but… I love my diverse, funky, eclectic collection of thrift store finds, inherited goods and frugally found items far too much.

    2.) I have done that on even less for months at a time when I was a pauper living and studying in Europe. The experience made it definitely worth it, and it was enlightening in that I didn’t need all my clothes, accessories and what not to function. Fairly obvious, but a jolt from the norm no less. Feeling gross wearing an old sweater and slacks in a high end Italian club is an amazing lesson in humility.

    3.) Your quest to stay fashion forward, fun and innovative on a select few items has inspired me to do the same with my own closet. Not only am I mixing and matching a little more fervently, but I’m also getting rid of a lot of items that just don’t work anymore, and could benefit someone else more so. I’ve made two giant trips to the Salvation Army already.

    The critical comments above are valid, but that makes you no less awesome. This is not an economics blog. This is a design blog, and you’re an insanely cheery and personable, fashion forward woman that, like all of us, can’t please ’em all.

    Thanks for the fun, Erin!

  • Erin — Not a quitter in my book. You’re just an early finisher, right?

    You did a great job on remixing all the way through. I love this last one — very, very cute. I might just have to steal it. The idea of it, not literally of course. You live much too far away for me to actually steal it.

    One more thing — rather you finished with 19 or 30 or 45, I bet you look at your closet with new eyes now don’t you? And that is the whole point of the 30 for 30, the appreciate the closet you own. So job well done.

  • I’m infamous for quitting things like this. It isn’t about not being able to follow through or making any real point. It’s about seeing if you can do it, if it works for you and if it doesn’t – WHO CARES?
    (A lesson I’m still trying to learn).

    Just started NaBloPoMO yesterday so I’m totally feeling you on this. 29 to go…

  • Okay…THIS is my fave outfit…it just is. And I don’t blame you one bit for letting go & being free. Freedom of choice, baby! :) ( cutie pie, sorry can ‘t resist calling you that. Hope you don’t mind)

  • Oh, you girls are much wiser than I. Thank you for your continued patience, encouragement and inspiration while I find my groove. What a top notch group you are!

  • Oh, Erin, I think you’re so adorable, and am loving that you went out with a bang and wore sequins in the snow for your last outfit!

    I personally signed on to the 30/30 challenge as a way to stretch myself and realize I can live with less, and so far, it’s staying fun. BUT, I think that it takes courage to acknowledge (publicly on your blog nonetheless!) that something isn’t working and that you’re out. It would have been much easier to trudge through for 10 more days, while growing more and more resentful. So, bravo to you for owning it!!

    And, I personally would still love to see more outfits cause they’re so cute! xoxo

  • I love this look! I would really like to see all of your outfits for next week since you are inspired and have no restrictions! Could you post those? You’ve inspired me to revamp my wardrobe! Great job!

  • I didn’t realize the 30/30/30 thing was supposed to be about living with less (I own way less than 30 articles of clothing!). I thought it was more about being creative with what you have, regardless of the quantity, and figuring out how to use those items in new ways.

    And Erin, you DEFINITELY succeeded in doing that!! Watching your cute (not a dirty word, by the way) outfits change over the past 19 days has been a real trip for me. I wear a variation on the same thing every day, and it’s a total wonder to me how people like you manage to come up with these incredible combinations of stuff day after day after day. I mean…you never repeated an outfit! That’s amazing! And it speaks volumes about your self-image, too.

    P.S. Anyone who thinks design can’t be (or shouldn’t be) superficial at times and on certain levels is crazy. Part of what makes good design so important is its ability to bring joy to our lives by affecting all of our senses and emotions, not just fulfilling a functional need. So there!

  • There are many things I could say in response to the two harsh-ish comments above, but I’ll only say one thing – the implication that Erin is just rolling in “ad revenue” money is hilarious to me. Misinformed much? Does that commenter honestly think that you can afford to go on shopping sprees at Net-a-porter & the such with the money you make from your ads?

    Man oh man. Also – If I decide not to follow a blog anymore for whatever reason I just silently leave. Why on earth would someone feel the need to be cruel? She looks down on you for being superficial and whatnot, but then proceeds to be something I consider much MUCH worse – mean. If you’re anything Erin, you’re kind. And you have much more restraint than I do for not lashing back with a less-politely-worded response.

    And if enjoying design & art & cool things (& blogging about them) is superficial – I’d rather be superficial than not. Seriously. My “real” life is not a constant stream of merriment and beauty, but I like having a blog that is. And there is nothing wrong with that. Gah.

  • when you say yes to one thing you usually have to say no to something else. if the challenge just wasn’t fun anymore, why continue with something you gave yourself to do? i don’t think the goal was some grand socio-economic study, but rather just a bit of creative fun. on to the next thing …

  • i’m glad you quit! you have so many insanely creative things on the go… challenges you’ve given yourself, and been given by others. i often wonder how you do it all… but you clearly don’t do it all! you quit one of the thousands of things you’ve got going! i love it. it means that you’re human. thank god.

  • ha — youre so sweet! yep, i have no problem quitting those that are least inspiring. ;) we had a good run!

  • Hi Erin, I love this outfit!! So perfect for a snowy day :). Getting dressed is supposed to be fun, and to each their own ;). I think I probably wear the same 30 things all the time and while that’s my thing, I am so inspired by all the outfits from the stylebloggers I follow (yourself included, of course!) and am working on diversifying my wardrobe a piece at a time. Can’t wait to see your future outfits ;)

  • oh miss erin, i am so happy that you always stay truth to yourself! you look lovely here, by the way!!! love your peacefull and snowy look!!! :) and you took this with a brave goal on your mind… and 18 days is quite an achievement! hugs, twiggs

  • Not exactly related to the content of this post, but I wanted to tell you how much you inspired me with this challenge! I am a plain-Jane dresser, with a uniform I fall back on over and over this time of year: black turtleneck, jeans, flats. A good outfit, but not that fun!

    Today I channeled my inner-DFM girl and put on a patterned tank, striped cardigan AND floral scarf. WHOA. A little scary (for me!) but I left the house! Thank you for showing me how it can be done :)

  • Hi Erin I do hope that you will continue to post your outfits. I have a personal stake in it. You remind me very much of my youngest daughter. She, like you, likes to mix patterns and vintage items and was tickled to see someone showing that off. We live in an area that is rural and there isn’t a lot of fashion forward dress. We actually live on a very small homestead stocked with rescued animals. Tommy Hilfiger jeans and polo shirts are the limit of socially acceptable fashion here. So my daughter stands out when she wears a vintage dress or what have you, and I’m afraid that because she is unique she often gets teased for not wearing the standard jeans and shirt. We love to thrift and upcycle our clothes, plus we don’t have money for those labels we live on around $12,000 a year for the four of us. I saw the harsh comments above and I must say they are wrong. The looks that you modeled are cute and very achievable even without the designer price tag. Anyway I just wanted to say thanks for sharing. Hope there will be more to come :)

  • Hi Barb:

    Thank you so, so much for sharing this. Gosh, I so, so feel for your daughter. I live in a small town much like the one you described and have had my share of dirty looks anytime I pull out an old fascinator or my grandmother’s boots.

    Kudos to your daughter. Please pass along the message to keep thrifting, experimenting and exploring. Its what makes personal style fun, and I’m so impressed that she’s started to discover that at a young age.

    And on my end, I’ll do my best to snap a photo when I’m out and about. I’d love to encourage your daughter to keep up the great work! ;)

  • Thanks I’ll pass it along. For her it’s all about being very girly. I think it’s how she separates herself from her other 2 siblings the oldest is a boy and my middle girl is a tomboy, so the youngest she’s frilly and dressy. She’s a tough cookie and says she doesn’t care what people think, that she’s her own person. Pretty bold for a 15yr. old. So we’ll be checking back for pics, keep up the good work. :)

  • Yay for you! Don’t listen to that negativity! And please post a picture of the kaleidoscope skirt, I am super curious as to what it looks like!!!

    p.s. Love the sparkles and stripes combo, going to have to file that away for holiday use!!

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