Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Why I Need Project 333

I did Project 333 from January to April and I blogged about how great it was for me. However, when April 1 rolled around and I was challenged to again go through my clothes and get rid of what I didn't wear, it was still mighty chilly here in Southeastern Pennsylvania. We did not officially turn our heat off until the very end of April, and I could not even fathom looking at my spring clothes, much less getting them out and going through them. 

So I decided I didn't need no stinkin' Project 333, and I would instead wait for warmer weather and get all of my spring/summer clothes out at once. That process happened one weekend either at the very end of April or the very beginning of May, I can't remember which. At that point, we had had a few warmish days and I figured that it would be safe to put away my black and gray sweaters. Also, since it can go from the low 60s to upper 80s here in the span of a day or two, I didn't think that I could POSSIBLY narrow my wardrobe down to 33 spring items when I knew I'd be wearing my tank tops in a month's time. 

Here it is July 23. As in years past, I am thinking, "There aren't enough warm days in a year for me to wear all of the possible outfit combinations I can come up with, so at least some of my clothes will go unworn...again." 

I thought it would be different. I thought I learned my lesson this winter after the first round. I thought I'd give all of my spring/summer clothes the equal love they deserved and wear them all at least once, if not several times. And yet...

Here I am pulling out the same pieces of clothing every morning and switching it up enough to create a different outfit. Hmmm, there's a phrase for this, I just know it. 

Capsule wardrobe. 

Let me diverge for a second here. I, the "undercover minimalist," have continued to buy clothes. Let me say that again. I've continued to buy clothes. Have I learned NOTHING?!?!

So far this spring and summer, I have purchased:

  •  three dresses (I already have four that I like and are flattering on me)
  • a pair of black pants because I didn't lose enough weight to fit into the pair I already owned
  • a pair of red flats because I needed something to go with the RED sweater I also bought (even though I donated a pair of flats in the exact same shade of red last year)
  • above-referenced red sweater
  • a pair of white sandals because I felt I actually needed white shoes even though I haven't owned white sandals/shoes for almost a decade
  • TWO white T-shirts for layering because hey, buy in multiples!
  • five printed T-shirts 
  • a black sweater because apparently I need three
  • an off-white lightweight sweater because one is not good enough
  • a pair of khaki pants because two aren't enough
  • a black button down shirt because BLACK
  • a white eyelet suit-jacket-type jacket because it was $10 and on super sale at the outlets
  • a royal blue skirt
  • an orange skirt
  • a plain black T shirt
  • an aqua T shirt
  • a pair of khaki sandals
  • two summer scarves
  • a dressier white short-sleeved shirt
  • a blue and white v-neck sweater
I think there are a few more things in there, but I can't remember them at the moment. But wait! I have a good reason; lots of them actually! I NEEDED everything I bought. Or at least that's what I tell myself. To be fair, I did fill a few gaps in my closet and replaced a few items (black sweater, white tees), and I have walked away without getting anything a few times. I also purged a large bag of items that I knew were too uncomfortable or just not me to ever wear again. 

Oh, the outfit combinations are ENDLESS. So endless in fact, that I'll live to a ripe old age before I can wear them all. So endless that I get overwhelmed all over again looking at my closets. So endless that I wear the same things over and over and over again. Some of my clothes in the closet are pieces that are now too warm to wear but worked well for all of April and a few days in early May. However, I should probably put them out of sight because I won't wear them again until October at the earliest. But the rest...well, there are things I know darned well I won't wear ever again but I'm caught up in the old "getting rid of them is like throwing money away" mindset, not to mention the "what if I want to wear this one day?" thoughts that haunt me. 

And so I shall attempt to do a thorough closet declutter by the official end of the summer. The reason I say end of summer is because I was far too busy during the months of June and July to take the time to try everything on and make mindful decisions about what can stay and what should go. 

I know I posted about this before, but I really, truly have learned things from my first (and only) round of P333. I have learned that I don't like V neck shirts but prefer rounded necklines when it comes to T-shirts for layering. The opposite holds true for sweaters -- I don't like rounded necks with buttons but prefer sweaters with no buttons at all or V necks with buttons. I have also learned that without a doubt black, gray, and white are the crown jewels of colors. Aside from the red sweater I bought, everything else I bought for work is either black, gray, or white. I can liven things up with scarves or jewelry, but sticking to those basics makes getting dressed each morning infinitely easier.

I have also learned that while quality over quantity is the ideal, sometimes things don't have to be of the very best quality to serve your needs. Of those patterned T-shirts I bought, I got three cute ones from Old Navy. Two of them were specifically for two pairs of casual pants that I have, and the third was because I felt I needed something blue and white for the red, white and blue summer holidays. Old Navy T-shirts are the best fitting ones that I have found. Their "perfect tee" has spandex in it so no shrinkage and it keeps it's shape, and the ones I got for summer are lightweight and not as fitted so they hide my rolls. I wash them in the machine but hang them to dry and they are wrinkle free and ready for the next wear. 

So I've missed the spring round of P333 and the new round that started on July 1. I don't think I can get serious about it again until the next round on Oct. 1. By then I will be sick of my summer clothes anyway and will be ready to downsize. At least I hope I am. 

Next up...purses!    


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