Project 333 Week Two Update

My second week of Project 333 is behind me.  Two weeks down, eleven to go!  In this post, I’ll share how things are going for me with the challenge, the positives and negatives of my experience thus far, and my week two outfits (there are 6 this time).

Only Two Thirds Worn So Far!

Surprisingly, I have only worn 22 of my 33 items thus far.  I thought I would have worn almost everything by this point, but I’ve only included two-thirds of my capsule wardrobe in my April outfits.  The following items have not yet been worn (see this post for photos of my Project 333 wardrobe):

  1. Turquoise blazer
  2. Leopard print cardigan
  3. Black cardigan
  4. Black sequined tank (long)
  5. Striped ¾ sleeve top
  6. White embellished tank
  7. Grey/black print sleeveless blouse
  8. Striped tank
  9. Black embellished tank (short)
  10. Black trousers
  11. Polka-dot skirt

My First Project 333 Swap

I swapped out one item from my original choices.  I decided I didn’t love the leopard print t-shirt, as the material was too thin and flimsy and had to be continually “fussed with” throughout the day.  I had held onto this top because I love the print, but when dealing with a smaller wardrobe, all pieces should be things we love and look forward to wearing.

Project 333 - First Item Swap

The leopard print top is now in my consign/donate pile and has been replaced by a white V-neck tee.  I’ve already included the white tee in a week two outfit and I feel it will serve me well for the remainder of the 3-month term.

The Positives

Beginning on a high note, here are the “plusses” I’ve experienced through Project 333 so far:

  • I have loved every outfit I’ve worn since the Project began.
  • I’ve received a lot of compliments on my outfits this month.   While I often receive positive comments on what I’m wearing, I’ve noticed an increase in such praise since beginning Project 333.
  • I get dressed much faster than I used to!  It’s so much easier to put together an outfit from a 33-garment wardrobe than when dealing with a closet almost ten times that size.
  • I’m being more creative with accessories and when dreaming up future outfit combinations.  I’m wearing my scarves more often and bringing previously neglected jewelry pieces into my outfits.
  • I’m wearing pieces I love instead of donning “wardrobe benchwarmers” out of guilt or obligation.

The Negatives

While I try not to dwell on the negative, there have been some low points in my Project 333 experience:

  • I find myself wishing I had more tops to wear.  I’m actually longing for particular pieces and am sad I have to wait until July to wear them.
  • The weather has been cooler, so I haven’t been able to wear most of the tank tops in my capsule wardrobe and I’ve only worn skirts/dresses three times so far.   You may find this hard to believe, but spring in San Diego isn’t the best in terms of weather, especially in the coastal areas (where I live). We often experience what we call “May Gray” or “June Gloom,” which is basically cool, overcast weather (and sometimes extends into April).   Knowing this made it difficult for me to decide which pieces to include in my Project 333 capsule, but I definitely wanted to add some skirts and dresses to the mix.
  • Anything I buy will have to wait to be worn until July, including the lovely green top I bought last week.

Week Two Outfits

Below are the outfits I wore last week.   My outfits mostly included pants and jeans, as it was too cool on most days to wear skirts and dresses.  While it doesn’t get that cold here, I run cooler than most people.  I’m the type that you see wearing a jacket when everyone else is in tank tops and shorts!  That said, I was happy with all of my outfits and loved revisiting some of my favorite scarves.

Project 333 Week Two Outfits 1 & 2

Project 333 Week Two Outfits 3 & 4

Project 333 Week Two Outfits 5 & 6

An Unexpected Wardrobe Purge

Around the middle of last week, I started to feel the urge to weed out more of the less than stellar garments in my wardrobe.  While I resisted the urge at first and told myself to wait until the end of June, yesterday I opted to pull out my boxes of clothes and go through them.  I ended up designating 24 more items to consign or donate.   As a bonus, my husband and I also identified nine pieces in his wardrobe to pass on.

My standards are definitely increasing as a result of Project 333.  Because I am dressing with less, I’m becoming more comfortable with letting go of items in my wardrobe that are not at least an 8 on a scale of 1-10.  As a result, I’ve pared down my closet quite a bit since I decided to take on the challenge.  At the beginning of the year, I had 272 garments in my closet.  I now have 217, a 20% decrease! Yes, that’s still too many, but I’m happy with the progress I’ve made.

Although Project 333 is challenging for me, I’m happy I decided to take it on.  I can feel myself changing and I look forward to seeing how I feel – and what my closet looks like – at the end of June, not to mention the end of the year.

NOTE:  If you’d like to learn more about how to do the Project 333 challenge, I highly recommend the “Dress with Less” microcourse from Courtney Carver, the creator of Project 333.

26 thoughts on “Project 333 Week Two Update

  1. You look great in all of these outfits and I am happy this is working out for you. I am confused though as to why you are continuing to buy clothing when you have so much already that you haven’t made decisions about?

    • I have the same problem- you get rid of inferior fitting items, and want to replace them with better, nicer quality items because 90% of what you own IS in the inferior category. Also, when doing these challenges you find that a couple of items would make your wardrobe more versatile. I’ve found a few ‘holes’ this way (neutral, non-black pumps for instance).

      • It’s amazing how much we learn once we take the time to really examine our wardrobes, isn’t it? Doing Project 333 has helped me to be even more mindful about quality. I am really learning that I don’t need so much, so what I do have should be good quality and items I really love. Shopping less and focusing more on what we have is helpful with the wardrobe holes as well. For example, someone suggested a belt for one of my outfits and I realized I only have ONE belt (and it’s not one I like very much). Amazing in a wardrobe as huge as mine!

    • Juhli, Thanks for the compliment on my outfits. As to your question, there’s the short answer and the long answer. The short answer pertains to the “green top” I mentioned in the post. That top is a replacement for a staple item (green layering tee). I put my existing green tee in the donate pile because the fabric is too thin and flimsy. Since I really love green and wear it a lot, I wanted to buy a replacement. I am definitely getting rid of FAR more than I am buying, but not all of the buys I’ve made this year have been practical. There is more at play and I think I will dedicate a future blog post to answering your question in greater detail. Thanks for giving me a topic to write about!

  2. My fave is the second row, black dress with coral jacket and polka dot scarf. Very classy. Great post! Thanks for taking the time to let people see the inner workings of Project 333!

    • Thanks, Sara! That was my favorite outfit from last week, too. I really do enjoy wearing skirts and dresses, so I’m happy when the weather is more suited for that. I’m glad you liked my post and found it helpful.

  3. You seem to be doing really well with your project. There is a lot to be said for a well curated wardrobe, isn’t it? And I like that you did not include your accessories in the count. I think great scarves and shoes can elevate just about any outfit into something special. As an aside, I visited San Diego for the first time a few months ago when our youngest son had some special naval training there. What a lovely city you live in.

    • Welcome, Cornelia, and thanks for your comment. While including shoes and accessories is the best approach for some, I agree with you about their ability to elevate an outfit. I do want to pare down my shoe and accessory wardrobes, so I AM tracking what I’m wearing, but I love the variety and creativity that these items provide.

      Yes, San Diego is a great place. I’m not from here originally but my husband is. We’ve lived here for close to 11 years now and love it. We’re not too fond of the “May Gray” and “June Gloom,” but we really can’t complain too much!

  4. I really like the coral tee outfit (but they are all very nice)! I’m really enjoying following you on this, I like reading the positives and the negatives.

    I also had another large purge of clothing lol. Some of my large collection is due to never really purging in the last few years. I’m feeling great about getting rid of this extra junk, and just narrowing down my wardrobe to a really manageable, small selection of really great things.

    • You are doing so well! I’m glad to have you as a partner on my journey. Thanks for your compliments and I’m glad that my blog is helping you.

  5. All your outfits look nice, but I especially like the orange cardigan on you. It’s shorter than your other cardigans, but makes a really nice silhouette.

    I’m enjoying following along with you and appreciate you listing the Pros & Cons. I think it’s time for me to try Project 333 – you have inspired me!

    • Chris, Thanks for your compliments! Yes, that orange cardigan (more like a combo blazer/cardigan because it’s structured and stretchy) is one of my favorites. It’s definitely a “wardrobe all-star”!

      I hope you decide to do Project 333, as I’m sure you will learn and grow a lot. I already have and it’s only Week 3. I’m glad to have helped to inspire you!

  6. PS – can’t wait to see how you style that turquoise blazer you mentioned. I have a light turquoise blazer that I love and NEVER wear!

    • I usually pair mine with black and white, but like it with grey, too. Hopefully I will wear the blazer this week and have a photo to show you. It’s pretty lightweight, though, and it’s been cool here, but the forecast for later in the week looks promising…

    • Welcome, Paige, fellow San Diegan! I’m with you – I would love to have a sunny and warm June! Fingers crossed…

  7. Awesome Debbie!!!! It sounds like this project is really proving itself for you. While I said before I was hesitant abt joining in this round and was going to wait till July- I have a feeling upon reading abt your current journey ,that I will likely start in May ( again as I mentioned I would have done so sooner but Alberta’s weather is clearly not spring yet- not even close as we still have over 5 feet of snow in the back and front yard& just finished 3 days ago with a massive snowfall- it is so annoying when one is sick of winter and the well below zero temps!! I am getting very very tired of wearing boots and wintergear). However thanks to you starting this project, I have been busy the last few days going through my clothing and putting together a spring/summer capsule wardrobe based on various neutral colors like gray,white, black, olive ,etc. I am finding this to be a very good process as I find that I have too many duplicates of things like 3 dark olive sleeveless tops or 4 pairs of black pants,etc-I can only justify buying these duplicates in that I am always worried I won’t be able to find them again when one wears out but I realize now that is bogus- they are standard colors that re-appear every year. So I am boxing up all the extras and keeping only one in the corresponding color capsule. I also did a extremely small purge- abt 5 items that I have never worn and never felt great when I did try them on to wear because of the wrong color or the item just fit weirdly.
    Another good thing was after putting together the color capsules, I started making outfits with accessories and shoes,etc and aimed for 3 looks from each item- then used my ipad camera to record these. This was an excellent exercise (and it might be really good to try for you as well) as now I have a quick reference guide for getting dressed and don’t have to think in the AM and it also showed me where there wear some gaps that can be filled in ( ie: need a navy blue top to round out the blue capsule-this is a great help so I don’t go looking for dark olive or another white one and can be focused on getting just that). As well I tried on everything and now have a small pile to take to the tailor for hemming,etc. so they will be all ready to go for when I start in May.
    So kudos to you for setting me on the path too and keep up the great work

    • Good to hear from you Abgurl! I’m glad you’re seriously considering starting Project 333 in May. I’m glad to have helped to inspire you! It seems like you’re doing a great job with paring down your wardrobe and taking steps to make it work for you. I’ve done the photos you mentioned and I found it very helpful. The photos also help us to see if something really works or not (because the eye can trick us in the moment). I like to try funky color combinations and am often pleasantly surprised when something works out.

      I hope your weather warms up soon. My sister-in-law lives in Canada (Toronto – far from you, I know) and she often sends us snow photos and gloomy weather stories. Canada is so beautiful, though! I lived in snow country twice – in Colorado and Lake Tahoe. I did grow weary of the snow despite the intense beauty of those places. I still like to visit, though.

      Take care and please let me (and my other readers) know how you’re doing once you get on your way with Project 333.

  8. Those scarves are very cute — and WARM… This April gloom is cold! I work at Seaport Village a few days a week and the wind off the water is not pleasant. Then again, I met a tourist from Minnesota today who was thrilled to be wearing short sleeves! It’s all in how much anti-freeze we have in our systems… I used to have anti-freeze, too, when I lived back East and North… but it’s all gone now! LOL! Hoping June Gloom doesn’t happen this year!

    • Better day today, Natasha! I’m not far from you – I’m in Point Loma, so we get the same gloomy weather. I love your “anti-freeze” comment! I think I have almost NO anti-freeze. I used to live in cooler areas (SF Bay Area, Colorado, Lake Tahoe), but after being in San Diego for almost 11 years, I am fresh out of that anti-freeze! Fingers crossed that we’ll avoid the June Gloom!

  9. Debbie,
    I like your outfit choices and I agree that the scarves really dress up the outfits and complete the look. I should wear them more often. I think the darker pants in the bottom pictures look better than the lighter jeans above. Just my opinion, as it is my preference and I find myself mostly wearing dark pants. I like your rotation of shoes that you pick for your outfits. I have never really like flats, but I have started wearing them recently. I like the patterns and textures you really don’t see in heels and loafers. You have inspired me to purge my closet, as it looks alot like your ‘before’ pictures and I find that I only wear a small fraction of what I have. Deciding to keep only items that are 8 out of 10 seems like a good benchmark.

    • Andrea, Thanks for your comment and compliments! I love scarves and will be wearing a lot of them through Project 333. I also prefer darker pants overall. In fact, when a friend came to my house and saw my closet, she said, “It’s so dark!” I’ve been trying to incorporate a lot more color in recent years. I have to wear flat shoes with pants most of the time because I can’t find pants long enough for heels with my “giraffe legs”! People always tell me I’m lucky to be tall and I agree for the most part, but that pants shopping can really be a bummer!

      I’m glad I’ve inspired you to purge your closet. Good luck and let me know how it goes for you!

  10. The challenge is going great so far. And another wardrobe purge too, that is super progress. I didn’t do a wardrobe purge of my limited closet until after month 3, but it is always such a relief to purge items that are no longer working for me. When I keep items that I only feel ‘meh’ about, the guilt overrides the joy of owning the item. I feel bad that I spent ‘good money’ on something that is not being worn. And I want to keep it because ‘I should be wearing it.’ When I finally purge the item, a weight is lifted because I don’t see it and I don’t feel guilty anymore. As I purge more and more of my closet, I find I am feel less guilty about what is in there, because sooner or later, it will be only happy pieces in the closet.

    • I used to force myself to wear the “meh” pieces, but with the size of my wardrobe, they usually were only worn once or twice per year. The rest of the time, they were there taunting me and reminding me of my stupid mistakes. I still have some “meh” stuff, but so much less than before. Project 333 helped me to raise my standards, as I learned that it was okay for me to have less.

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