Things I Learned From #memademay

IMG_4399So this actually wasn’t my first rodeo with Me Made May. Two years ago, the first year I ever lived in Chicago, I gave it a stab and made it all the way through. However, my wardrobe and skills weren’t then what they are now and I ended up repeating a lot of pieces and finding a lot of things I didn’t like the fit of or weren’t happy with. Afterwards, I did a big wardrobe purge, letting go of some me-mades I didn’t like but was holding onto just because I’d made them myself.  I also focused on making more high-quality pieces that I could wear to my office job that made me feel polished, tested my skills, fit well, and weren’t just teeshirts.

And I’m happy to say, I accomplished that! I repeated a few items this year, but they were mostly my workhorse black skirt and a few teeshirts, which I’m happy with. I didn’t feel stale or stagnant and I had way more hits than total misses.

Mostly this month, I found myself focusing more than anything else on whether I thought I looked good, the outfit’s appropriateness for my job, and whether I felt like “me” in it.

I mentioned in a previous post that I work in non-profit fundraising at an organization that handles some really sensitive legal cases, and I’m the first person people see when they walk in the door. The dress code is not strict by any means (the employee handbook says, “use good judgement” and that’s about as specific as it gets), but I personally want to make sure every client we see feels comfortable when they see me, and feels that I represent a group they can trust to serve them with professionalism and skill.  So while I’m not wearing suits every day, I’m still trying to figure out what the right balance is for me (it’s a relatively new job that I LOVE). So, is a Breton tunic okay? Funky vintage jeans, even on a casual Friday? How much do flat shoes de-sex an outfit? How short of a skirt is too short?

I also feel that I am zeroing in on my personal style and I feel more like myself than not. However, there are some things that didn’t totally gel or mesh that I need to think about more- the individual pieces themselves I’m all happy with, but I need to think more about how I style them. Something to work on!


I’ve basically determined that I am all set on the work clothes front. I have skirts and blouses, sweaters for the winter and some trousers that I like and have a lot of success mixing and matching. The one area where I felt bleh this month (and in direct contrast two two years ago, may I add!) was my weekend wear! I found myself pairing the same few teeshirts with jeans every day, and I was bored stiff.  I think this means I did too good of a job working on my quality work pieces over the past two years!

So I’ve determined that my new focus is to make some more cooler, fun, versatile pieces for wear on the weekend. If these things can be mixed into my work wardrobe, awesome! But I’m not focusing on work first anymore because that’s no longer a wardrobe hole that I still have. Talk about a constantly flowing wardrobe!

My next few pieces up on the docket are the green maxi, red blouse, and Rosari skirt that I already had planned. I think, however, that I can incorporate two of these three pieces into my weekend wardrobe with ease.





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