Monday, October 21, 2013

Clothes Revamp - Project 333

I don't usually write about clothes but I reached a major milestone today. Inspired by Janice over at The Vivienne Files, I decided to take on her version of the Project 333. Project 333 is living with 33 clothes for 3 months then doing a switch out. The concept was started by Courtney Carver in 2010 and was/has been embraced by many fashion minimalists.

Today I got a bee in my bonnet and just decided to go for it. I used one of Janice's articles as a jumping off point. Her article is very helpful as it takes the reader step by step through her version of the process. Janice writes extensively about Project 333 and how to adapt according to the season and how to switch things up with accessories. I highly recommend hanging out there if you want some ideas.

The 33 items includes clothes, outerwear, shoes, jewelry, and accessories but I didn't stick to 33 items. Instead, I ended up with 46 items not including outerwear, shoes, jewelry or accessories. I also gave myself unlimited numbers of yoga pants/sweats, camis, and my black, gray, and white layering t-shirts. I was over at JC Penny the other day and found a bunch of layering t-shirts on sale for $2.99 each so I bought all the ones in my size and replaced my old stained ones. And I let myself keep two dress up tops which I hardly use but am ever so grateful to have when I need them.

I may attempt to pare my clothes down some more but we'll see.


Here's what I ended up with:

2 black blazers both with schoolboy elements (one velvet, one heavy knit)
1 pair plain side zip stovepipe pants (which should probably be snugger fitting)
4 pairs of slender leg cords (1 red, 1 navy, 1 black, 1 black ankle length)
3 pairs of skinny jeans (1 black, 1 very dark wash, 1 medium dark wash)
1 pair of dark wash bootcut jeans
1 pair slender cut maroon pants
2 pencil skirts (1 black, 1 with small black/white checks)
1 short navy tencel jean skirt
3 pullover sweaters (1 black cashmere with collar, 2 dark gray)
1 short-sleeve black top with puff sleeves (may replace this with something else)
1 deep v-neck longer black sweater
5 cardigans (1 regular black, 1 v-neck black (which is very warm), 1 regular red, 1 regular navy, 1 looser gray)
3 hoodies (1 black cashmere, 1 sweatshirt black, 1 sweatshirt gray)
2 white button down shirts (1 from Lulu, 1 "work" type shirt)
2 flower pattern button downs (1 red/white, 1 multi red/blue/green/yellow/white)
1 dark denim button down
1 black plaid button down
1 red plaid flannel shirt
1 plain black button down
1 black turtleneck
1 short sleeve, peasant style button top in black with white/tan pattern
1 drape neck dressy knit top in burgundy with leaf pattern
1 olive button top with military elements
1 fuchsia t-shirt
1 cobalt knit top
1 black t-shirt with red/white graphics
1 navy wrap knit top
1 oversize fleece pullover
1 black sheath dress

This is still an amazing revelation for me even with 46 pieces instead of 33. I was able to fit all my clothes on one side of the closet, including pants and jeans, and I cleared out one drawer. I still need to do a bit more laundry but will likely either do a switch out instead of adding to the 45, save for later, or toss. It will be interesting to see if I actually end up wearing everything.


Editing my shoes will be a problem. I don't have a zillion of them but I do have plenty which I'm loathe to part with. Many of my shoes are too small on the left foot so I have to take them to a cobbler to be stretched, such as a few of my Cole & Haan shoes: black with red accent patent leather loafers, neon yellow loafers (don't ask), black leather with patent leather accent flats.

There's also my high-end shoes which I won't part with:
Tods black patent leather driving moccasins so shiny I can practically see myself in them
Gucci black leather driving moccasins
Giuseppe Zanotti silver/gold almost gladiator style sandals
Tods cognac colored lace ups that I found at a Goodwill for $30, barely worn

And my first pair of Gucci's: black leather work-style ankle shoes with lug soles - these shoes are trashed but I want to take them to a cobbler to see if they can be refurbished. I've worn them hiking at Castle Rock State Park, while leaping from tide pool to tide pool at Fitzgerald's near Half Moon Bay, running on 5th Avenue in NYC in the pouring rain, standing in the surf at Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur, and while taking care of penguins when I used to volunteer at the aquarium. They still fit but they squeak and they look like hell.

And there are other shoes I won't part with:
My seven pairs of black boots (3 ankle, 1 cowboy, 1 knee high, 1 with buckles and straps, and a pair of Frye Harness boots)
My three pairs of chucks (black/white, purple, all white)
And my "aquarium" shoes, that is, my second pair of black/white chucks and black/white vans I used to wear while volunteering. I'm keeping them for sentimental reasons. They have bleach stains, pureed fish stains, salt water, fresh water, fish scales, squid ink on them, and who knows what else.

Yep, I have a feeling I won't be getting rid of many of my shoes.

Accessories will be easier but not the jewelry. I'll probably end up keeping everything in my jewel box. I have some good stuff in there. Going through my outerwear should be fun. Maybe I'll do that next.

This has been a really good exercise. I can see myself having to do more laundry but loads will be smaller. I'm hoping that paring down my closet will make my mornings easier.

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