Project 333 – First Round!

project333Jul14
My 33 items.

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.

In a final massive purge of my wardrobe last year, detailed in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3Part 4 and here, I reduced my wardrobe to 131 items, including accessories, underwear, nightwear and sportswear.

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

wardrobe333

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.

Hmm.

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.

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.)

Expectations

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 🙂

shoerack

Final Clothing Inventory

Clothing (103):

  • 10 bras
  • 23 pairs knickers
  • 5 pairs short socks
  • 5 pairs long socks
  • 1 pair welly socks
  • 2 pyjama sets (top + trousers)
  • 1 waterproof jacket
  • 2 gilets (1 white, 1 blue)
  • 2 zip-up long sleeve tops
  • 1 cowl-neck jumper
  • 2 dressy cardigans (1 black, 1 white)
  • 3 pairs jeans
  • 2 pairs black trousers
  • 1 long winter cardi
  • 2 sparkly scarves
  • 3 winter scarves
  • 4 thermal tops
  • 1 shirt
  • 1 long sleeve top
  • 12 short sleeve tops/t-shirts
  • 10 sleeveless tops
  • 1 pair cut down shorts
  • 1 summer dress
  • 4 winter coats
  • 2 evening dresses
  • 1 tea dress
  • 1 slip

Footware (13):

  • 1 pair wellies
  • 1 pair winter boots
  • 1 pair wedding shoes (from my wedding!)
  • 1 pair walking boots
  • 2 pairs heels (1 black, 1 blue)
  • 3 pairs flats (black, red, brown)
  • 1 pair flat sandals
  • 2 pairs strappy sandals
  • 1 pair flip flops

Bags (4):

  • 2 clutch bags
  • 1 smart handbag
  • 1 changing bag

Accessories (10)

  • 7 belts (1 metallic, 3 black, 3 brown)
  • 1 sun hat
  • 2 pairs sunglasses

Buying Things To Fix Yourself

pretty dress
Dress from Boden

A brief reflection on all the clearing out I have done of my clothing.

My biggest issue with clothing, by miles, is my tendency to buy things for the person I want to be instead of the person I am.

For instance, I buy pretty dresses and skirts because I want to be a feminine, floaty, pretty girl.

But I never wear them because I don’t really like showing my legs.

This is a ridiculous habit that I have indulged in for YEARS.

What should I be doing instead?

I should buy clothing that I feel comfortable in. If that’s just jeans, then I should buy a nice pair of jeans.

AND I should work on my appearance, NOT buy things to supposedly motivate me to work on my appearance.

I think part of me thinks that by having pretty skirts and dresses in the house, I will exercise more in order to wear them.

But the exact opposite is true.

Their presence in the house drags me down because they take up space and remind me of the fact that I don’t feel comfortable wearing them.

Crazy isn’t it?

But it’s good that I have recognised this (at last) for what it is.

So next time I go shopping, whenever that may be, I won’t be buying things for the me that I am not.

I will be buying things for the me that I am.

Dresses and Coats Wardrobe Clear Out

This is the final part of my clothing collection.

I haven’t done before and after pics because the wardrobe also contains some of DHs clothes and a lot of other household bits shoved in the bottom.

I’m focusing on clearing all of my stuff first, as it sets an example before I tackle everyone else 😉

So, out today went:

  • 2 satin skirts (worn once)
  • 5 summer dresses (worn once or not at all)
  • 3 tea dresses (worn once or twice)
  • 1 black shift dress (never worn)
  • 1 black slip
  • 6 hangers (5 plastic, 1 metal)
  • 1 bra that has seams that rub

My full clothing inventory is now up to 131 items and as well as the items listed here also includes:

  • 2 summer dresses
  • 4 winter coats
  • 2 evening dresses
  • 1 tea dress (which i adore, but I’m not quite skinny enough to fit into yet)
  • 1 scarf
  • 1 slip
  • 1 changing bag

Total out

19 items

ONGOING TOTAL OUT

139 items!

Wardrobe Detox – Part 4

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

The final part!

OK, so I know I do actually have a “dresses and coats” wardrobe in the spare room which I haven’t actually even looked at, but this is my working wardrobe and all my clothes that I wear regularly.

I have simplified down to 119 items.

119 items!

And that includes belts, knickers, socks and bras people 😉

Wanna see a pic?

wardrobe after

I figure I have a little “wearing-out” room, as ideally I’d like to pare it down to a nice, even 100 items. I’m going to try not to replace things that get worn out (I have at least one pair of dodgy knickers and a belt that is barely hanging together), so this list should gradually shrink to my goal.

Here’s my inventory.

Clothing

  • 10 bras
  • 23 pairs knickers
  • 5 pairs short socks
  • 5 pairs long socks
  • 1 pair welly socks
  • 2 pyjama sets (top + trousers)
  • 1 waterproof jacket
  • 2 gilets (1 white, 1 blue)
  • 2 zip-up long sleeve tops
  • 1 cowl-neck jumper
  • 2 dressy cardigans (1 black, 1 white)
  • 3 pairs jeans
  • 2 pairs black trousers
  • 1 long winter cardi
  • 1 sparkly scarf
  • 3 winter scarves
  • 4 thermal tops
  • 1 shirt
  • 1 long sleeve top
  • 13 short sleeve tops/t-shirts
  • 8 sleeveless tops

Footware

  • 1 pair wellies
  • 1 pair winter boots
  • 1 pair slippers
  • 1 pair trainers
  • 1 pair wedding shoes (from my wedding!)
  • 1 pair walking boots
  • 2 pairs heels (1 black, 1 blue)
  • 3 pairs flats (black, red, brown)
  • 1 pair flat sandals
  • 3 pairs strappy sandals
  • 2 pairs flip flops

Other

  • 2 clutch bags
  • 1 smart handbag
  • 7 belts (1 metallic, 3 black, 3 brown)
  • 1 sun hat

I do have a lot of shoes. However, I didn’t want to be too ruthless with shoes because I am a UK 3/4 and it’s really hard to find nice shoes that fit my tiny feet.

I have kept most of my shoes with an agreement with myself that I will try to wear them all more often.

And finally:

In my tidy-up I chucked out a tiny bit more:

  • 5 plastic skirt hangers (now all my hangers are wooden)

Which takes my TOTAL ITEMS OUT to:

100 items!

Fab.

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