Project 333: One-month update

Happy February! January felt about 90 days long, but at last we’re finally through it. I’ve been wearing my 33 pieces and wanted to take stock now that I’m one-third of the way through. With a couple of exceptions I managed to stick to the rules. The idea is to choose 33 pieces for 3 months, or essentially a capsule wardrobe for a season. I deviated from the official rules in a handful of ways: I didn’t count scarves, jewelry, a belt, and outerwear accessories; I swapped out a couple of pieces that I started with but didn’t wear; and I had to exchange one of my skirts.

I managed to wear 27 of the 33 pieces over the course of the month. The things I didn’t wear were mostly for weather-related reasons; it was a cold, rainy, snowy January, and I stuck to turtlenecks, boots, and my heavier sweaters. I got a couple of chances to wear my snuggly wool kimono coat, but for the most part I was in my LL Bean down parka and Heattech. This meant, however, that I had fewer opportunities to switch up shoes and tops, and it got a bit boring. It also turns out that I picked a LOT of black, navy, and grey, which also got boring. My folded poncho was a welcome change, as were my bright olive pants, but for the most part my clothes were as dark and gray as the days. Bleh. The funny thing is that I love wearing no-color colors as a rule, but until I limited myself I didn’t realize that I do mix in actual colors on a regular basis. Lesson learned.

I’ve also spent a fair amount of time this month reading about capsule wardrobes and fashion. I borrowed two books from the library and skimmed/read most of both of them: The Conscious Closet by Elizabeth Cline and The Curated Closet by Anushka Rees. They are both designed to help women make better fashion choices, but Cline emphasizes eco-conscious clothing while Rees has a more traditional approach to finding your personal style. They’re both writing in response to the rise of fast fashion, which I find very interesting as a phenomenon but not entirely applicable to my situation. I don’t do a lot of clothes shopping unless I need or want particular items, and I don’t buy much fast fashion apart from Uniqlo, where I get basics and some pants and tops (I like the Ines de la Fressange collections that drop twice a year, but after buying from them a few times I’ve pretty much exhausted my options).

I do, however, have more clothes than I regularly wear, and I’m not talking special-occasion or extreme-weather items. This is mostly because I don’t get rid of things enough. I don’t have a lot of pieces that I never wear, and my clothes aren’t bursting out of my closets and drawers, but I still have more than I need and I’ve hung on to things even though I haven’t worn them in ages. I’ve done a few big purges over the years, but not as recently as I should have, and I don’t systematically weed things out every year.

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