Wardrobe Audit – Another Month

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I am a bit slow on reviewing my wardrobe this month but here goes.

2019 is now 10 weeks old and I have worn all of my summer clothes apart from one sleeveless top.  I like it and it is an identical style to two others so there is no good reason for not wearing it.  Anyway, we still have plenty of hot weather ahead so it will definitely get an airing.

There have been some milder days so I have even worn some of my jeans, 3/4 sleeve shirts, boleros and a cardigan.

The following photos show what remains on the backward-facing hangers.

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The sleeveless top is at the extreme right hand end.  The remainder are mostly jackets, long-sleeve and 3/4 sleeve tops and shirts as well as a trenchcoat.  The exception are two dresses – an emerald green lace frock and a black sheath.  These are rarely worn but serve a purpose and deserve their place in my wardrobe.

There are some 3/4 sleeve tops and cardigans folded in the drawers which have not been worn either.

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The lower hanging rail is almost devoid of clothes as I have now worn all six of my skirts, three pairs of cropped trousers and three pairs of jeans.  All that remains are my green jeans, good black dress trousers and two pairs of fitted trousers (black and charcoal) that I only really wear with my knee-high boots so they are definitely winter attire.

The exercise of turning the hangers has been a useful one for me.  I am confident that everything I own will be worn during the course of the year, with the exception of the two special occasion dresses.  I am happy that I generally have enough, but not too many. clothes.

I bought three items in January from the local recycle boutique but nothing since.  I am sewing a couple of new sleeveless shirts so they will probably be added during the next month.

Have you tried turning your hangers backwards in order to see what you actually wear?

A Capsule Wardrobe

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Over the past 10 years I have flirted with various versions of a minimalist wardrobe.  There seem to be as many versions of how to tackle an over-abundance of clothes as there are people on the planet.

After looking into Project 333 some years ago, I decided that the best option for me was to continue to keep a streamlined, mix-n-match selection that I wear most of the year round.  This works for me because I am fortunate to live in a fairly temperate climate.

However, I have recently joined a Facebook group focused on capsule wardrobes.  Someone posted about creating a Spring capsule based on the principle enunciated in The Vivienne Files.

One of the things that bothers me about many of the pieces chosen in limited collections tend to be pale/soft/neutral colours which are definitely not my style.  It would not matter how many pieces I had to choose from, I would still not be able to find anything to wear!  For those who follow the principle of colour analysis, I am a ‘winter’ which means I can wear black and other strong, clear blue-based colours.  When I had this analysis done back in the early 80s it really just confirmed what I already knew and I very rarely deviate from my preferred palette.

Based on this knowledge and the selection in my wardrobe, I chose the following 16 pieces for my capsule for the next 3 months.

The suggested configuration was:

Neutral – 2 bottoms and 2 tops, 1 of which should be a cardigan or jacket.

Naturally, I chose black.

Shorts and jeans.

A cardigan and short sleeve top, both in cashmere/merino.

Choose another neutral with the same configuration of 2 tops and 2 bottoms.

I am not sure that red is a neutral but it is definitely a base colour in my wardrobe.

capri pants and shorts.

A long sleeve knit top and a ‘denim’ jacket.

The next suggested category is 4 more tops which obviously need to mix and match as well as meet the vagaries of the local weather.

The final 4 items are open to personal preference and any categories you feel need an extra.

As the weather warms up I will definitely need these white cropped pants.

15 White cropped pants

A couple of patterned tops to add interest.

And a dress.

16 Multi-colour dress

While I followed the guidelines as suggested, I also know that there are dozens of outfits that can be created with this selection because I regularly do it.  Almost all of these pieces are several years old and are well-established in my wardrobe.

I am not entirely convinced that these will cover a couple of short holidays and special events that fall in the next 3 months but they will definitely account for 95% of my day-to-day outfits.

I will do a follow-up post in the next few days about a couple of accessories and the shoes that I will add to this collection.

My Own Advice

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Today I am swallowing some of my own advice.

In my last blog post I talked about not trying to meet prescriptive minimalist goals.  I eschewed the extreme attitude of Bea Johnson at Zero Waste Home as being not for me quite early in my minimalism journey.  There are numerous other extreme ideas such as wearing the same dress every day for a year.  I applaud the people that choose to push the boundaries and carry out these ideas but it is not for me.

However, I have been somewhat seduced by things such as Project 333 and Plastic-Free July.  I have discovered that the life I live does not necessarily meet the lofty ideals of these and similar sites.

I think that part of my ‘problem’ which is not really a problem at all is the fact that I am a well-rounded person (not necessarily in the physical sense).  I dabble in range of strategies to live simply, reduce consumption as well as saving money and resources and have done for quite some time.

It is those ideas and strategies that I try to share with you here on the blog.  The little day to day things that may not look like much but add up over time.

There are many others out there who are doing the same stuff every single day and I want to encourage you to do the same.

There are no numbers that you have to achieve, it is not a race but simply an invitation to live the best life you can.

That is enough talk from me – from tomorrow I will be back to sharing some of the practical things that are part of my routine.

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Refilling the Wardrobe

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Our wardrobes were looking a bit depleted on the weekend.  We had been away for a few days the previous weekend so the regular cycle of washing and ironing had not been done plus we took some different clothes away with us so that added even more to the laundry.

I spent a considerable amount of time ironing on Sunday and this is the result.

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Here is my end of the wardrobe before I put my freshly ironed clothes away.

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And this is the other end where GMan’s clothes live.

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My selection of clothes is not spectacularly small but after a few years of carefully considering what clothes I purchase, I am pretty happy with the selection of clothes that I own.

Apart from showing you how much ironing I did I wanted to use this post to begin a conversation about how best to plan and organise the contents of your wardrobe.

I think there are nearly as many options as there are people on the planet so you have to find what works for you.  Over the past 4 years I have flirted with Project 333, wardrobe capsules, seasonal collections and so on.  All of these attempts have been part of learning what methods suits me and my lifestyle.

If you look closely at the top left-hand corner of the photo of my wardrobe you will see what is a large bag with some clothes in it.  This was my latest attempt in which I would put away the clothes that were not relevant to the current season.  While I have not found myself scrambling for the contents of that bag I have decided that I am not that keen on shoving clothes away in a bag.

It means that I have to hang and probably iron them again before the next time they are worn.  Also, I am not exactly sure what is in the bag which makes it difficult to plan ahead for the next season – what I may consider buying or making.

So, I think I have figured out a plan that is going to work for me.  I am going to do a bit of preparation over the next week or so and be ready to start in earnest on 1st December which is the first official day of summer here in Australia.

Watch this space………..

 

Project 333 – A Capsule?

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Since I first tried the idea of Project 333 back in 2012, I have used “Project 333” as the preface for the title of all my blog posts about my streamlined wardrobe.  I would like a similarly short, snappy preface that is unique to my blog posts so I will give it some thought but in the meantime I will use “Project 333”.

Tonight I want to address a question which vexes me and that is, “What is a capsule wardrobe?”

I read and hear of a capsule wardrobe, winter/spring/summer/autumn capsules as well as formal capsules and gym capsules to name but a few.  Confused yet?  I certainly am. Here is the Wikipedia definition.

My wardrobe has never been bulging at the seams but I have had the same issues that many other women have identified and that is the feeling of looking at a collection of clothes and feeling that you have nothing to wear.  This seems to lead to random purchases which only further compound the problem.  Therefore, I have chosen to carefully select clothes which truly fit my lifestyle and reflect my personality.

I live in a fairly temperate climate so have very little need for heavy coats.  We do not have clearly defined seasons and generally have more warm weather than cool.

It is currently winter and the weather is as cold as it gets with overnight temperatures as low as 5C and some days when the maximum is only around 15C, however, on Sunday the daytime temperature reached 25C.  You can begin to see the folly of packing all warm weather clothes away for a 3 month period.

2015-05-18 01Nevertheless, I did remove some of my true summer clothes from my wardrobe a few months ago and it is easier to see exactly what season-appropriate clothes are available.

2012-05-28 01As I have continued to define and refine my style over the past few years, I have found that I tend to purchase multiple items of the same style.  For example:  I have 3 identical pairs of shorts – black, white and khaki as well as a very similar pair of red ones.  When I find a style that fits well and suits me, why not buy multiples?  4 dresses, 2 cardigans, 2 pairs of jeans and 2 skirts are other examples of where I have more than 1 colour of the same style.  I guess it is a matter of ‘when you are on a good thing, stick to it’.

What do understand by the term ‘capsule wardrobe’?  Have you tried to pare down the selection of clothes?  What tips do you have?

Project 333 – New Additions

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I know that the concept of Project 333 is to ‘dress with less’ but one of the clear benefits for me has been to be able to identify gaps in my wardrobe.  It means that I can confidently and consciously purchase new items of clothing knowing that they will fit with my lifestyle and work with the existing pieces in my wardrobe.

Today a parcel arrived with 3 items of knitwear that I had ordered online.  They are all merino/cashmere blend from Woolovers online shopping.  I have not been overly confident of buying online but my sister had previously purchased from the site and had actually found a couple of the pieces were too big for her so passed them on to me.  One was a black v-neck cardigan which I found perfect so I bought an identical one in royal blue.

2015-07-30 01I am trying to incorporate more plain pieces into my collection to increase the versatility.  I bought this cardigan specifically to wear with this dress but it will also be great for wearing with collared shirts and trousers.

2015-07-30 02For years I have dreamed of having a short-sleeved black cashmere top.  I finally have one, albeit, merino/cashmere blend.

002It will be able to be worn in so many ways but I am definitely looking forward to pairing it with this skirt.

2013-02-27 01And this one.

2013-02-27 02My final purchase was this 3/4 sleeve cowl neck pullover.  I love 3/4 sleeves and am looking forward to wearing it with a selection of jeans, trousers and jackets.

003My red scarf will go well with it.

2015-03-23 02I have no affiliation with the site but if you are interested in buying from them (and have not done so before) you can use the code and instructions in this link to secure a 10% discount off your first order.

Project 333 – What Went Back

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As promised, I will share a bit more of my wardrobe clean-up.

This is an overview of the bedroom on Saturday morning before I started.

2015-05-19 01It is not looking the best as I have made it to the end of the full-time working week and now it is time to sort things out.

I mentioned in my earlier post that I removed everything from the wardrobe.  I made the bed and hung up the jackets from the end of the bed before I started so that I had a clear working space.

Although one of the basic ideas behind Project 333 is to actually remove all but 33 items of clothing from your closet I had never actually done that.  I believed that most of my clothes were worn year-round due to our relatively temperate climate.  That is still the case and I have not limited myself to a precise number but as we are approaching our coolest months of the year I removed my summer clothes.

2015-05-18 01Here is the small pile of dresses, sleeveless tops and shorts which I will not wear again until the weather is hot.  This is in addition to those items which I have specifically set aside for our trip to Singapore.

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I took the time to critically examine each garment and try on a few different combinations to discover what worked together and how I felt about it.  A few pieces have been taken by the local recycle boutique on consignment and a couple more gone to the op shop.

This is what I was left with.  I will wear these clothes for the next 3 months with 1 or 2 possible purchases.

2015-05-18 02There are 2 pairs of trousers, a pair of jeans, 2 shirts and a jacket not shown as I was wearing them/they were in the wash.  The pile of summer clothes is bagged and on the top shelf along with a couple of bags and 2 sunhats.

It is now easy for me to see what is ‘missing’ so that I can make considered choices when I go shopping.

One of the things that is obvious from my selection of clothes is that I love prints – florals, stripes, spots, checks – I have them all.  I can now see that this is what has held me back from pursuing a ‘capsule wardrobe’ as many like to describe it.  So many blogs and discussions seem to revolve around plain colours, neutrals and mix’n’match themes.  In general terms, they also lean to what I regard as ‘wishy-washy’ colours – cream, sand, khaki, pale denim which do not inspire me.  I love (and look best in) black and white as neutrals with strong, clear colour accents – red, emerald green, purple and fuschia and my clothes mostly reflect that.

I feel like my wardrobe works for me.