This summer I’m joining in with Courtney Carver’s inspiring Project 333 (or, live for 3 months, with 33 items of clothing).
My wardrobe: from stuffed to zen
In the last 5 years I’ve had two children. After the birth of my second son, nearly three years ago, my wardrobe had reached crisis point.
At its worst, I had an extensive collection of pre-kids going-out clothes, smart work clothes, more casual work clothes, next-size up clothes (for the early months of pregnancy when maternity clothes didn’t work), maternity clothes (my own, and friends’ kind donations), and then post-pregnancy clothes – I put on 3 stone with my first child and nothing in my wardrobe fitted me after I’d had him. Over the next year I lost most of the weight and then got pregnant again. Clothes burst out of my wardrobe in sizes from 8 to 16.
Once I’d had my second son, I knew something had to give (or my wardrobe would). In one fell swoop I donated almost everything that didn’t fit me to charity. Then I donated and returned all the maternity clothes I’d worn. That still left a huge collection of stuff.
And that’s how I’ve lived for the last year.
Reducing an already minimal wardrobe
Having less clothes has been brilliant. For starters, I can see everything in one go. And I don’t have to rake through piles of stuff in drawers to find a cardigan that’s so creased I then decide not to wear it.
But, a few extra things have crept in over the last year. I bought a handful of items, and I also found a box right at the back of the loft a while back that was full of clothes, which I added to my wardrobe to be dealt with later (I hate having stuff boxed up – keeping like with like is my favourite way of storing everything).
So I probably had closer to 200 items all in before starting this.
However, the challenge doesn’t include nightwear, underwear or sportswear, so cutting back to 33 hasn’t been too difficult.
I started with about 60 pieces of clothing hanging in the wardrobe and 15 pairs of shoes.
How I chose my capsule wardrobe
First I removed everything that I hadn’t worn in the last year. That was probably half of it. Then I took away some things that I didn’t really like, but occassionally wore them anyway. Then I finished off by removing several wintery items that I (hopefully!) won’t need before the end of September.
My 333 Wardrobe
This is what I ended up with:
- 6 sleeveless tops
- 8 t-shirts
- 2 long-sleeved t-shirts
- 3 jumpers
- 1 shirt
- 3 pairs jeans
- 1 pair black trousers
- 1 pair boots
- 1 pair sandals
- 3 pairs flats
- 2 bags
- 1 belt
- 1 rain jacket
Are my clothes going to last 3 months??
On Courtney’s rules page, she does state that things should be in a good state of repair and able to last the course.
The thing is, I tend to wear my clothes until they are threadbare – literally. And since I’ve only bought a few things in an already small wardrobe over the last 12 months, you can imagine that most of my clothes have already seen better days.
So, I have chucked away a few things that I was still wearing (decrepit old flip flops, ancient t-shirts, and jeans threatening to rip open across the bum), and decided that if this 3 months results in having to replace a few items, I’m OK with that.
I love the idea of using up and wearing out our things – even our best things. Nothing in life should be saved only for ultra special occasions – every day you live and breath is a special occassion!
(Hmm, I can feel a post about that coming on.)
So, for starters, I clearly don’t have enough bottoms. I only have 4 pairs of trousers that fit me properly (and one of those is questionable). If anything wears out, I will be putting trousers back in 🙂
Secondly, a LOT of my clothes, as I said above, are really worn out already – so I may actually have to go shopping (shock!).
Thirdly, I can already see lots of combinations I wouldn’t normally have chosen, simply because the options are more limited.
Finally I have become painfully aware of just how bad my sense of style is. It’s not just bad, it’s absent. Maybe the next three months will give me a way of finding a bit more dress-sense, especially because I will be keeping a watch out for how other 333-ers are dressing to make it through the challenge.
So there we have it. 33 items, 3 months, and a wonderfully clear wardrobe 🙂