Wartime Wardrobe Challenge: August is for Losers.

{ What is the Wartime Wardrobe Challenge?  Here are all of the Wartime Wardrobe Challenge posts and here is the overview at the start of the Challenge . } 

One might question why I'm bothering to still do the Wartime Wardrobe Challenge given my miserable track record so far.  I know I do.  Let's face it - I am doing this so I can learn something about my consumption and my values.  It's a wall to throw my actions up against and to think about why they fell where they fell.  I just did not expect that they'd fall into the loser category.

I originally thought I would have incredible success with this challenge.  It sounds so easy.  It's not even a "shopping ban".  But yet, here I am.  And I am learning the most cliche things about myself.  Like I tend to buy more when I'm stressed, busy and/or unhappy (aka this month).  And I tend to buy more when I'm less in control of my finances.  Point noted, psyche.  At least I am now buying things I'll like and use.  Most of the time, anyway.

The things I didn't expect were how often I'd want to support smaller companies who were providing newly manufactured goods.  Because I want them to survive with their code of ethics and show the big boys how it's done.  I want them to replace the jerk companies out there.  I want to support the vegan stores I know, the fair-labor vendors I've run into.  And I am trying to balance that with consumerism.  I swear to cats I am.  But it is hard for me to do.

I do wonder if at some point, subconsciously, I threw the baby out with the bathwater.  (That is a real expression.)  Meaning, I wasn't doing well so I just threw in the towel without realizing it.  I wish I didn't have to talk about all these subverted ways of thinking - psyches, subconsciousness and shopping.  But that's where shopping sits. At least for me.  Sometimes it's wanting to support a good business I'd like to see thrive.  Sometimes I just want the thing I'm buying.  Sometimes I'm ornery and I get the "oooh shiny"-ies and have poor impulse control.

Anyway, I will do this thing 'til the end even though I'm not going to break the ribbon at the finish like a frickin' champion.

the new stuff:

Vaute Couture Kristina dress in gray Flight pattern
(made in NYC's Garment District, organic cotton)


shirt dress by Martine's Dream
(Brooklyn vendor, small business, handmade)
photo 4.JPG

skirt by Martine's Dream
[picture not yet taken]
It's long and floral and hippie-ish

Neuaura shoes
(vegan brand, I've mentioned their highlights before)


re-used and thusly not coupon-counted:

- Beacon's -- purple pants

- Beacon's -- gray dress

- Monk's Thrift -- black pants

- Monk's Thrift -- black/gray striped long-sleeve

- Brooklyn yard sale --  blah blah brand jeans

- Brooklyn yard sale --  long-sleeve blouse

- m.a.e. -- one floral dress

- Two Lovers -- 2 formal-appropriate dresses for weddings/events

 There are too many things to commit to photos.  That's telling.  I finally focused on pants at resale and thrift stores because, after working with a trainer for almost a year, I've gained more muscle and therefore no longer fit into my prior jeans and pants.  Seriously.  It's all good but it doesn't make pants fit any better.  The rest was just stuff I found and liked and it was "pre-loved" so I bought it.  I've also been trying to get more work-appropriate length skirts and dresses in my closet so a few of them fit that criteria.

not-counted jewelry:

panther ring
(made in a London basement, sold in NYC)


lace necklace
(White Owl on Etsy - handmade out of manufactured stuff)

photo 2.PNG 

Here's what I charged myself for August 2013 (21 coupons, 3 items purchased):
Shoes (new, fair trade):  5 coupons   $90, @ Mooshoes
Dress (new, US-made, organic cottom):  11 coupons   $160, @ Vaute Couture
Dress (new, US-made):  11 coupons   $60, @ Brooklyn Flea/Martine's Dream
Skirt (new, US-made):  8 coupons $20, @ Brooklyn Flea/Martine's Dream

You can find my previous Wartime Wardrobe Challenge updates here:
January 2013 Update = 0 Coupons, 2 items purchased total ($42 total) 

February 2013 Update = 0 Coupons,  2 items purchased total ($0 total) 

March 2013 Update = 15 Coupons, 3 items purchased total ($246 total)

April 2013 Update = 10 Coupons, 2 items purchased total ($90 total) 

May 2013 Update = 10 Coupons, 3 items purchased total ($100 total)
June & July Update = 21 Coupons, 3 items purchased total ($97 total)
August Update = 35 Coupons, 13 items purchased total ($600)


  91 Coupons Total Spent Out of 66 for 2013! 
$1175 YTD on apparel & shoes or approx $150/month


  1. I love that you are doing this challenge - track record or not!!

    Absolutely adorable pieces :) Love them all and those shoes especially are FABULOUS

    1. Thanks, Londyn! Those shoes are my favorite!

  2. Hey,

    I am doing the challenge as well and I too thought this would be relatively easy but I am finding it is anything but! I am having the same feelings about supporting businesses who have the ethics that I want to support but I have also slipped up on a couple of occasions.

    Great post and it is nice to know that I'm not alone in finding it a true challenge and discovering things about my habits that I didn't realise.

    Love all the pieces you got and I adore that panther ring.


  3. Hi Jesse!!

    Great meeting you in Brooklyn and having lunch together with Jean at Food Swings!

    I read your ABOUT page and I'm loving your blog! You are beautiful inside and out! A compassionate heart is more important than wearing the latest styles! :-)

    Jean did the Wartime Wardrobe Challenge but ran out of coupons halfway through the year. :-(

    Here's the post I did about the Brooklyn Flea Market and meeting you ...


    Enjoy the weekend and keep up the good work!!

    I <3 NY

  4. Hey Jesse, I enjoyed this post....at the very least you are giving others food for thought in terms of their own consumption. And you're making the world a better place by living (mostly) within your ideals. You are!

  5. Well, the panther ring is a masterpiece. That much is clear.

    1. Also, it's hard to find flats that are cute AND dressy, and those look great. I remember you disliked pointy shoes in the past, but they can be more elegant than rounded shapes, especially when we're talking flats.

      My name is Rebekah, and I'll be your enabler tonight.


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