Project 333 – Clearing the Cupboard

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While this post is not strictly about Project 333, it is about decluttering my clothes so I have kept the Project 333 tag for ease of locating the post in the future. Today I decided to empty the entire contents of my wardrobe and dresser.  Here is the empty wardrobe. 2015-05-16 01The first category that I chose to scrutinise was shoes.  Here they all are. 2015-05-16 02Yes, all 21 pairs.  Now, I don’t really know how that compares with what other people have but it does seem like a lot for someone who supposedly tries to keep things to a minimum. I sorted them and these are the ones I have worn in the past week. 2015-05-16 03An additional 3 pairs in the past couple of months. 2015-05-16 04Winter footwear that has been worn in the last 12 months. 2015-05-16 05Three special-purpose ones that have not been worn in the last year but still get to stay.  In fact, while typing this I remembered that the patent heels have been worn in the past year.

2015-05-16 05

This brings the total to 18 pairs which have made the grade and will return to the wardrobe.

Here are the three pairs that are moving out.

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Black heels which I had replaced but not got rid of them.  They have not been worn since the new ones were purchased.

Red flats which are nearly 3 years old.  The heels are worn and they are not overly comfortable.

Pewter sandals which were a mistake as they are really a half-size too small.  Hopefully someone else will get a really good pair of sandals that fit them well.

I did not cull a great number of my shoes as most of them do get worn on a regular basis.  This was a useful exercise as it made me consider each pair and the value of keeping them.  I have also identified the next pairs which will go over time and I will be giving more thought to the shoes I buy in future.

Over the next week I will be sharing some of the other discoveries and decisions I made when I emptied my wardrobe.

Meanwhile, I would love to hear about your shoes – what sort?  how many?

Project 333 – Wardrobe Additions

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Adding to my wardrobe may seem to be contrary to the essence of Project 333 but it is not about denial but having a small collection of clothes that you love and wear.  The more I work with what I have the more clarity I have about the direction I want to take.

Last week I bought a new pair of shoes but they do not really count as they as for walking (exercise).

2015-03-21 01I did consider actually selecting 33 items to participate in Project 333  this autumn (fall) as I am in the southern hemisphere.  However, I am constantly drawn to the idea of a modest selection of clothes which can be worn year-round (with modifications) as we live in a warm temperate climate.  I work in an air-conditioned office during the week and live on a small, semi-rural acreage.

I tend to wear separates – skirts/trousers and shirts to the office and a few years ago I only owned one dress.  I have since realised that it was not really my choice – I love dresses – but dresses that I found suitable and flattering were difficult to find.  I now have 5 dresses plus a dress suitable for wedding/special occasions.  Additionally, I have fabric to make another dress and am seriously contemplating buying this one.

2015-03-21 02It is identical to these two dresses I already have in my wardrobe.

2013-02-11 02 2013-02-11 03Along with a plain black and two black/white dresses these could form the basis of a year-round office wardrobe.  I have a red jacket that can be worn with the two existing dresses and I would make or buy a navy jacket which could go with the new dress as well as the pink/red one.

My other proposed purchase is this bag.

2015-03-21 03I found it on Friday and plan to go back and buy it on Monday.  I have been looking for a bigger bag for some months as I want to be able to put my laptop in it and still have space for a few personal items – purse, sunglasses, phone, car keys.  My plan is to make this the one bag that I take to work so that I am not carrying a laptop case as well as a handbag.  My small black handbag will still be used on all other occasions.

By judiciously choosing the additions to my wardrobe and removing those items that do not make the grade, I am gradually creating a collection of clothes that I love and which work together in a variety of ways.

Unlike the earrings, my clothes are definitely a work in progress and that will continue to be the case.  What was perfect 3 years ago is now worn out, looking a bit jaded, no longer a perfect fit or just not a favourite.  I can see my wardrobe evolving to match my changing style.

Project 333 – A New Beginning

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Some of you may remember this post from 3 years ago when I first dipped into the world of Project 333.

This is the list of what I chose for that first round.

Floral skirt
Black skirt

Grey trousers
Black 3/4 trousers
Jeans
Narrow-leg jeans
Charcoal travel pants

Pink suede jacket
Black cord jacket
Pink quilted vest

Turquoise cardigan
Black cardigan
Grey/cream polo-neck jumper

Turquoise striped shirt
Blue/white pinstriped shirt
Black/white striped shirt
Black/cream patterned shirt

Black/pink striped top
Black/pink squares top
Pink top
Red/white striped top
Black/white striped top
Black/white striped top

Navy rugby top
Navy/striped rugby top

Bronze/pink scarf

Black handbag (not shown)

Black knee-high boots
Black ankle boots
Black shoes
Red lace-up shoes
Sandals

Of the 32 items listed, only 13 remain in my cupboard.  The black handbag has been replaced with another as have the red shoes and the sandals.  I grew weary of some clothes and others wore out.  My style has evolved over time and some of the remaining items may yet be culled.

I have almost a month to finalise my autumn list as I intend to participate in the next round which will begin on 1st April.  Even though it is officially autumn (fall) we can still have quite warm days so my challenge will be how best to manage a selection of clothing to suit the change of seasons.  Dresses and light jackets or cardigans are a good option for work.

Here are some of the pieces I am considering.

Black dress with white spots2013-02-27 06

2013-02-11 03Dress and jacket2014-10-26 012013-02-11 02

What do you think?

Project 333 – One In, Two Out

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I think we have all heard the mantra of “One In, One Out” in order to keep the clutter under control.  This week I have gone one better.  I made this skirt last week.

003Now I have sent these 2 skirts to the op shop.

2015-02-05 02I bought the navy/white one when we were in the USA in 2012 and it is wearing out.  The lightweight fabric is pulling away from the seams at the sides of the waistband and I noticed that it has actually split along the fold of the hem in a couple of places so definitely time to go.  The red/white skirt is one that I made a while ago.  I attempted to make a pattern from the navy/white skirt.  It was reasonably successful and I have certainly worn it many times but it is far from perfect.  Now that i have a perfect pattern I will be using that for future skirts that I make.  Time for these to go.

Sexism, Sadness and Simplicity

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The catalyst for writing this post came in the form of a post on a friend’s Facebook page where she posted a link to this article.  While the ‘extreme grooming’ that is described in the article is about a television presenter, it can be seen every day in our offices and shops.

Then just to top it off I found another link via Facebook about the ‘social experiment’ conducted by Karl Stefanovic.  He wore the same suit every day for a year – and no-one noticed.  This was his silent protest to highlight the way his female co-hosts were constantly judged and critiqued on what they wore and their hairstyles.

These articles in the media highlight the unreasonable pressures and expectations that society has on women in general and more specifically women who are constantly in the spotlight such as television presenters.  It saddens me to realise how much of this pressure is on women in all walks of life.

There have been small, incremental steps to break down these ‘societal norms’ but we must all be a part of the solution if things are really to change. The Little Brown Dress project by Alexa Martin in 2005 – 2006 chronicled her anti-consumerism stance in which she wore the same dress every day for a year.  Like Karl Stefanovic, no-one really noticed.  Project 333, is loosely based on the same principle – have a small number of clothes that you wear and love and realise that the world mostly does not care what you wear.  Anyway, none of us should be defined by the clothes we wear.

Wardrobe

To return to the first link in this post, make-up and grooming are yet another facet of us feeling the expectation that we have to present ourselves to the world in a certain way.

Make-up module

I have never been a great fan of make-up and tend to keep my make-up to an absolute minimum.  I no longer colour my hair and have a small but much-loved selection of clothes.  My clothes fit my lifestyle and I feel good in them.

What about you?  Do you feel pressured to present a certain face to the world?  Does your workplace have an expectation of how you are groomed?

Project 333 – Black & White

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From time to time I set myself mini challenges to force me to push the boundaries of my streamlined wardrobe.  I decided that this week would be entirely monochromatic – a black and white theme.

The forecast for Monday was hot so I reached for this old faithful which I have owned for 4 years.  There is so much to love about it – 100% cotton with a collar and cut away armholes AND made in Australia.

Black dress with white spotsTuesday was nearly as hot so another 100% cotton dress was a good option.  This is the one I bought a month ago.

2014-10-26 01On Wednesday the temperature was more reasonable so I opted for black 3/4 pants with this blouse from the recycle boutique.  I have worn it several times since I bought it a few weeks ago.  It is destined to become a firm favourite.

2014-10-26 02Today I tried a previously untested combination.  The black 3/4 pants got another airing but this time I teamed them with a black sleeveless fitted top and this blouse worn unbuttoned over it.  The blouse is a very fine fabric and needs an appropriate coloured bra underneath it and as I only had a black bra clean I decided to be a little creative.  While the outfit looked perfectly acceptable, it just did not feel right to me.  I will keep the blouse to be worn as it was designed in future.  I also think that I prefer this particular blouse teamed with my straight black skirt rather than trousers.

BlouseTomorrow it is going to be quite warm so I plan to wear white 3/4 trousers and this shirt.

Shirt2013-02-27 03
I have plenty of other black and white options but I will save them for another time.  Here is a selection.

2013-02-27 01Dress and jacketSleeveless top2013-02-27 02