For those who are new to my blog, I’ve committed to posting monthly accountability summaries in which I share what came into my wardrobe, what left, and how well I adhered to my budget and other shopping-related rules. Knowing I will have to share this information with my readers every month helps to keep me on track. As I’m doing Project 333 during April, May, and June, I’ll also include a summary for that challenge in my accountability updates for those months.
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.
Project 333 Summary
Since many of my readers found me via Project 333 and I know interest for that topic is high, I’ll start with the summary for my first month of the challenge. Here are my numbers in a nutshell (click here for photos of my Project 333 garments):
- Number of Garments Worn: 32
- Garments Worn 4 Times: 1 (black jeans)
- Garments Worn 3 Times: 4 (navy pants, Cabi jeans, burgundy cardigan, grey cardigan)
- Garments Worn Twice: 9
- Garments Worn Once: 18
- Garments Not Worn: 1 (white embellished tank)
Shoes and Accessories Summary
As most of you know, I did not include shoes and accessories within my 33 items, but I did agree to track my wearing of those items. I will continue to track the shoes and accessories I wear during May and June. We’ll see how many new pieces I reach for over the new two months. At the end of June, I will aim to donate or consign part of my shoe and jewelry collection based upon what I love and wear.
Below are the numbers and photos for each category.
Shoes Worn: 11 (one pair worn 4 times, one pair 3 times, four pairs twice, others once)
Earrings Worn: 13 (one pair worn 4 times, 3 pairs worn twice, the rest once)
Watches Worn: 2 (one 11 times, the other 8 times)
Bracelets Worn: 6 (two worn 5 times, one worn 4 times, one worn twice, the rest once)
Necklaces Worn: 4 (all worn once)
Scarves Worn: 5 (all worn once)
Purses Used: Just One! (Brighton Pewter Andie Bag)
I also wore three rings every day, but I do not have a photo of these items (will include next month).
What Left My Closet
Let’s start with the best news… I was able to purge 25 items from my wardrobe in April! Many of these pieces were “wardrobe benchwarmers” which I didn’t love, weren’t being worn, and were just taking up valuable real estate in my closet. Good riddance, I say! About half of the items were placed on consignment and the others were donated to charity. In any event, I hope they will bring the joy to other women that they failed to bring to me.
Here’s a snapshot view of the garments which left my closet during April:
What Came Into My Closet
Here’s where I have a bit of “egg on my face,” so to speak. Six new items entered my closet during April, five garments and one pair of shoes. Yes, I broke the rules a bit this past month… Three of the new garments are replacements for staple items (okay as per my rules), but two were extras.
Since I eliminated so many pieces in April, I won’t be too hard on myself, but I do need to be honest and stay mindful of my goal to cultivate a more minimalist wardrobe. Continuing to buy a lot of new items won’t help me reach that goal!
Here’s what I bought during April and why, followed by a composite photo of the six new pieces:
- Cobalt/blue striped knit blazer (impulse item bought on sale at Nordstrom, but I really like it and look forward to wearing after Project 333!)
- Green scoop-neck t-shirt (staple item, replacement for similar t-shirt recently consigned)
- Metallic t-strap sandals (accessory buy of the month, have already worn twice, will likely be an “all-star” item)
- Black/white striped tank (bought as potential replacement for similar tank in Project 333 capsule, now plan to swap out and donate existing tank)
- Black linen Ralph Lauren skirt (found at resale shop, bought because it fit well and seemed to be of good quality)
- Black knit straight skirt (also found at resale shop, bought as replacement for current skirt that is too thin and flimsy)
Too Many Black Skirts
I have too many black skirts! I keep buying new ones because the ones I have are not all that great. I purged three sub-standard black skirts from my closet this year, but then I brought two new ones in (the proverbial three steps forward, two steps back…). Yes, I feel the new ones represent a vast improvement, but how many black skirts does one woman need? I just counted and I have nine!
Clearly, nine black skirts is at least a few too many. After Project 333 is over and I re-evaluate my full wardrobe, I commit to letting go of at least four more black skirts. While five may still be more than I need, it’s a definite step in the right direction.
April Budget Report
My monthly budget for clothing, shoes, accessories, and alterations is $250. I’m still struggling to stay within that parameter, but I’m doing far better in sticking to my budget than I have in the past ten years. During April, I spent $293.25, which means I exceeded my budget by $43.25.
In addition to purchasing the items outlined above, I’ve been upgrading my loungewear and workout wear over the past two months. I haven’t included those types of items in my overall closet count, but I know I have eliminated more of these pieces this year than I’ve brought in. Since I spend so much of my time in such garments, I decided it was high time I paid more attention to these wardrobe categories when shopping. I feel much better about myself now when at the gym, out on walks in the neighborhood, or sitting in front of my computer.
So far this year, I’ve spent $1,111.69 on clothing and related items. I’ve overspent my budget by $111.69 at this point, so I really need to catch up this month. Let’s see if I can end the month of May at or below $138.31 so I can get back on track. That’s my goal, so I’m putting it out there in black and white!
It’s very time-consuming to do all of the tracking I’m doing, but it’s definitely worth it! Without the numbers staring me in the face, I tend to misjudge what I wear and how often I wear it. Even with Project 333 this past month, I thought I wore the pieces more often, but the numbers don’t lie.
When I originally decided to track what I wear, I thought I would just do it for the year of 2011, but it’s now my third year of tracking and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. As I think about it now, I will continue to track what I wear until I have no more “wardrobe benchwarmers” and everything in my closet is a “wardrobe all-star.”