The first month of Project 333 is almost behind me. In some respects, the time seems to have gone by quickly, but my preparation time in late March feels like ages ago. I’ve experienced a number of wins and challenges in the interim and also learned some important things about myself.
This past week was especially difficult, more internally than in terms of my wardrobe. At one point, I even considered giving up the challenge, but I ultimately decided to carry on, both for the personal growth and because I’ve received such positive feedback from my readers. I’m very happy my journey is helping to inspire others, and knowing that brings me strength when I feel discouraged.
A Life in Flux…
Once again, I only have four outfits to share with you. My life is in a period of flux at present and I’m spending more time at home than I had previously. The shifts in my career path and lifestyle in recent years have led to a lot of shopping mistakes and a large portion of my wardrobe has gone unworn (thus the 146 “wardrobe benchwarmers” in 2012).
As I mentioned in my last post, I often bought things for a potential or imagined life instead of the life I was actually leading. Alternatively, I sometimes purchased garments which reflected someone else’s personality and style aesthetic and never ended up feeling comfortable in those clothes.
Why I’m Posting My Outfit Photos
I committed to share my Project 333 journey with all of you and I intend to see that promise through to its completion, but I’m feeling a bit uncomfortable with the exposure, particularly in regards to the photos I post. I opted to post outfit photos to clearly show the experience of a real person navigating the challenge. I realized that by doing so, I open myself up to scrutiny and criticism, but I decided to put aside my fear of others’ opinions in the interest of benefiting my readers.
In addition, at age 46, I realized it’s finally time to get over my fear of what other people think of me. There’s an old saying, “What you think of me is none of my business.” Although I consider this a good quote, I’ve never truly embodied its meaning, but perhaps it’s time to do so.
Wardrobe Consultant Doesn’t Always Mean Fashion Expert
While I have a part-time wardrobe consulting business, I don’t consider myself to be a fashion expert (my educational background is in psychology and life coaching). My work with clients primarily focuses on helping them to become more confident and feel better about the way they look. Style is a tool we use to further this pursuit and I assist my clients in cultivating their desired image and a look that will help them become more successful in whatever they’re up to in life.
I started my business because transforming my style has made a big difference in the way I regard myself and my body and I wanted to help others evolve in the same way. While I did work with two stylists a number of years ago, much of my style transformation has been done on my own, through reading books and watching makeover shows – and through trial and error.
This is Not a Fashion Blog
I do not put myself out there as an ultra-fashionable person and I don’t post my photos as a “look at me” or “you should dress like me” statement. My style continues to evolve and while what I wear works well for my lifestyle and personality, I realize it may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
If anyone is inspired by my outfits and chooses to create similar looks for themselves, that’s wonderful. But this is not a fashion blog. It’s my earnest effort to stop the compulsive shopping habit that has limited my happiness for many years. I share myself, my thoughts, and my process in this blog with the profound hope that through doing so, I can help others with similar struggles.
Week Four in a Nutshell
Sorry for the long diatribe, but the above needed to be said before I moved on. Now on to the nuts and bolts of my fourth week of Project 333… I have now worn 30 of my 33 items (91%), and some of the pieces have been worn two or three times. I’ll share more details in my April Accountability / Project 333 Month One Update later this week, but I’m actually surprised I haven’t worn everything by now.
While I still wish I had more garments to choose from when creating outfits, I don’t actually need more clothes to wear. Wanting and needing are two completely different animals! Since I spend a large portion of my time in loungewear, workout wear, and sleepwear, my current need for “regular” clothing isn’t really that high. After all, in four weeks (28 days), I only wore 18 “real outfits,” which means I only “got dressed” 64% of the time.
Items Not Yet Worn
The following items have not yet been worn during Project 333:
- Turquoise blazer
- White embellished tank
- Striped tank
Fingers crossed that they’ll all be worn this week (two were actually worn today!).
Week Four Outfits
Below are my Week Four outfits. One of my photos includes a “photo bomber” in the form of my cat, Sprite. This isn’t his first appearance on the blog, as he likes to be involved in everything I do! My other cat, Coco (nickname “Coke,” so I have Coke and Sprite!), is a bit more camera-shy, but perhaps she’ll make an appearance down the line.
After wearing the grey skirt the other day, I decided to shorten it a few inches and narrow it slightly (it’s at the tailor as I write this…). Although this skirt has been a favorite of mine for a few years, my skirt preferences have gradually shifted to shorter and narrower silhouettes. I think I’ll like the skirt better after the alterations are made. Alterations are a great way to extend the life of our clothes. A small “tweak” can make a big difference! See this article on my business site for more information on the power of alterations.
Some Final Thoughts from Week Four
I tend to think a lot of choices will help me dress better, but that’s not actually the case. Having fewer choices has us think more about the look/image we want to create and can help us be more creative with the pieces we do have. Having too many items in front of us generates extra “noise” we don’t really need.
I think a problem for many with Project 333 is that we look at our 33 items and they don’t “wow” us. If these are our absolute favorite pieces and they aren’t “10”s, then what? We wonder what would be a “10” for us… The three months of Project 333 give us time to consider these questions and more.
I wonder if I should allow myself to shop at all during Project 333 or hold off on buying anything new until the end. Perhaps I’ll learn things about myself that will better inform my future shopping. Maybe I’ll find myself wishing for a particular wardrobe piece that isn’t among my Project 333 capsule or my boxes of stored clothing. Maybe I’ll be more willing to be patient when shopping and wait for those “10” pieces instead of settling for “8”s or “9”s (which, while quite good, aren’t “10”s). My hope is that once Project 333 is behind me, I’ll better understand what a “10” is for me and stop buying anything that’s not that!
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.