Project 333 Week Six Update

It’s time for another Project 333 update, this time for Week Six.  Lots to share this week, including for the first time, seven outfits!  Read on for my wins, challenges, and outfit photos, as well as some powerful epiphanies I experienced this past week.

An Alterations Casualty

I am a huge proponent of the power of alterations, but there are times when tailoring just doesn’t work out.  In last week’s update, I mentioned that I needed to return my grey skirt to the tailor to have the hem fixed.  Well, I got the skirt back and the hem looked better, but the silhouette of the skirt had become unflattering as a result of the shortening and narrowing that was done (in short, it made my butt look huge!).

Due to the wrinkly style of the fabric, it was a tricky alteration to pursue, but I can be pretty stubborn when I want something.  The skirt had been a favorite of mine for years, but my style aesthetic had evolved such that I prefer shorter and narrower fits.  I probably should have just passed the skirt on, but instead I tried to transform it through tailoring.  Now I have to donate it anyway and I wasted a chunk of change on trying to make it work.  This one goes in the failure column…

As a result of the grey skirt casualty, a hole was left in my Project 333 wardrobe, so I decided to swap in a white, gray, and black print skirt.  While it’s not quite as versatile as the grey skirt, I’ll still have at least five outfit possibilities for it within my wardrobe capsule.

Project 333 swap - grey skirt

Yet Another Swap, Hopefully the Last!

After six weeks of the Project 333 challenge, I still hadn’t worn the white embellished tank, so I decided to swap it out.  I’m replacing the white tank with the black embellished tank that I had originally included in my capsule.  The fit of the black tank is better and I believe I’ll wear it more than the white tank, especially now that there is warmer weather in the forecast (fingers crossed that it will continue!).

Project 333 swap - white tank

Hopefully, this will be the last swap of this Project 333 term.  I feel a bit guilty having done so many swaps, but I feel the most important thing is that I’m growing and learning from doing the challenge.  With a wardrobe as large as mine, it was extremely difficult to select 33 garments that I would enjoy wearing over the course of three months.  I made some mistakes, some of which have been remedied through the swaps I’ve made.  More on the other mistakes below…

Wins for Week Six

No matter how difficult my weeks of the challenge are, I will always list at least a few “wins.”  Here goes:

  1. I actually “got dressed” in regular clothes all seven days this week!
  2. When I was running late for a meeting on Friday, I was easily able to put an outfit together and get to my appointment on time.  Having fewer garments to pull from definitely makes the getting dressed process faster.
  3. I felt put together and comfortable in all of my outfits this week and continue to rediscover jewelry and shoes I love but had not been wearing.
  4. Last but not least, I didn’t buy any new clothes, shoes, or accessories!  I was not even tempted to look around after I shopped with a client on Saturday.  I just went home and didn’t even have to “white knuckle” it not to shop!

Challenges from Week Six

Of course, I did encounter a few challenges this past week, as has been the case for all weeks of Project 333 thus far.  Here are issues with which I struggled during Week Six:

  1. I’m feeling bored with my Project 333 wardrobe.  I tried to select highly versatile garments for my capsule, but in doing so, I chose clothes that were quite similar in terms of silhouette.  As I look at my outfits from Week Six, I like them but feel they lack variety. Too many open cardigans!
  2. I’m not sure if I have ANY “10”s in my wardrobe!  I like a lot of my clothes, but I’m not sure how many of them I truly love.  The longer I do Project 333, the more I doubt my love for the items in my closet.
  3. I keep feeling tempted to make even more swaps, but I don’t trust myself to make the right decisions.  I’ve spent too much time looking at my non-capsule garments to see if I might like other pieces more than what I’ve committed to wear during April through June. I managed to limit my swaps to just two (one out of necessity – the skirt – and one because I had yet to wear a capsule garment), but the temptation was there to do more!

Week Six Outfits

Below are the seven outfits I wore during Week Six of Project 333.  They are all pants/jeans outfits and most of them include cardigans.  The weather either wasn’t warm enough for skirt/dress outfits or my activities called for more casual selections. I tried to wear the grey skirt on Friday, but that’s when I discovered the alterations had gone awry.  Due to time constraints, I quickly pulled on a repeat jeans outfit instead of taking the time to create an alternate skirt ensemble.

For the seventh outfit, I wore a lightweight jacket which is not a part of my Project 333 capsule.  While I did not include outerwear among my 33 items, I generally have not worn these types of garments since the challenge began.  Also, because such items are usually only worn outdoors, they are not core components of my outfits.  It may be “cheating,” but I’m not all that worried about it.  I feel the challenge is working its magic on me even if I’m not doing it perfectly.

Project 333 Week Six - Outfits #1 & #2 Project 333 Week Six - Outfits #3 & #4 Project 333 Week Six - Outfits #5 & #6 Project 333 Week Six - Outfit #7

Some Painful Epiphanies…

This week, I realized a few things that didn’t make me feel very good.  I’ll summarize my epiphanies briefly here but will likely elaborate on what I’ve learned in upcoming posts.

  1. I have several “uniforms” that I wear when getting dressed.  I’ve come across a few formulas that I feel work for me and pretty much all of my outfits are variations on these basic looks.  While this makes it easier to get dressed and has me feeling comfortable with what I wear, my outfits lack variety and excitement.
  2. I buy too many “multiples.”  When I found a type of garment I liked, such as the open cardigans I started wearing a couple of years ago, I continued to buy the same types of pieces over and over again.  Sure, the colors and patterns might have been different, but did I really need five or ten items that were virtually the same otherwise?
  3. I often alter garments that really be should donated or consigned instead.  Approximately 20% of my clothing expenditures for 2012 went toward tailoring.  At least a quarter or a third of these alterations should never have been done.  I often threw “good money after bad” – not good at all!  I really need to better learn how to answer the “alter or donate” question.
  4. I have far too many knits in my wardrobe!  Knits are great, but where are my blouses and other special types of tops?  I think I may need to set a “no more knits” moratorium for a while and aim to gradually add other types of garments to my closet, particularly in the tops category.
  5. My “quantity over quality” focus has led to a wardrobe of okay but not fabulous pieces.  I need to start spending more for each individual garment and strive for quality instead of getting a “good deal.”

I’m sure I could come up with more realizations I’ve made since starting Project 333.  I’ve learned a great deal about myself, my wardrobe, and my buying habits.  Much of what I’ve learned hasn’t been pretty. I spent a lot of time this past week feeling guilty for the bad shopping decisions I’ve made and all of the wasted dollars I’ve spent.  But I know that looking back and feeling bad is only counterproductive.  I need to move forward and use what I’ve learned to forge a brighter and wiser future for myself!

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. 

38 thoughts on “Project 333 Week Six Update

  1. So…what are you going to do with that white tank you swapped out? (I’m not angling for it, I just wondered if you were planning to keep it despite it languishing for six weeks).

    Also, yes, you are a serial open cardigan abuser. I get it, I do, but you should probably declare a moratorium on those. (Although if you decide to get rid of the grey one with the design on the sleeves, I want dibs!)

    And while I agree that ideally you should really like any item you buy, I think shooting for them all to be tens might be setting the bar too high. I mean, I love and appreciate my husband of twenty years and would ‘t trade him for anything, but he is not, never was and is unlikely to ever be a ten, nor for that matter am I. I’m not sure anything I own is a perfect ten, but it’s enough. Maybe the crux of the issue here– how many/high is enough? If all of your wardrobe were tens, would you start then deciding you needed to replace everything with green clothing? Or USA made clothing? If you get a new hobby will you shift your clothes shopping to gear shopping?

    • Renee, Thanks for your comment! Regarding the white tank, I’m going to see if I wear it this summer. Part of why I didn’t wear it was due to it not being warm enough here, but I may just not love it anymore. If I don’t wear it in July, it’s gone! If I decide to get rid of the grey embellished cardigan, I’ll keep you in mind, but it’s still a favorite. I don’t plan to buy any more open cardigans for the foreseeable future!

      You and others raised some good points about the “10” concept. I do think I can be too much of a perfectionist, especially about myself. I’m okay with my husband not being a “10,” but I somehow think I need to be. I think it’s okay to always strive to reach high standards, but we need to be more gentle with ourselves, too. I think that “8” or “9” garments (or people, for that matter) are definitely good enough! Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  2. Sorry, I think I’m partially responding to your previous post. I have been thinking about it all a lot, because I definitely used to shop recreationally. Bored? Go to the mall! Now that I have kids I don’t really have time for that (note: I am NOT prescribing children as a cure for a shopping addiction! If anything, they open up whole new categories of things to research, hunt down and purchase!) I get the thrill of the hunt, and I do it myself from time to time, now mostly on eBay, and participating in Project 333 is definitely one step of several that I’ve taken to try to break that habit, but I am also an optimizer, looking for the better purse, the better pair of boots, etc., whoch is why your standard for things being a ten really struck me.

    The funny thing is, most if not all of the people I know did not have unlimited wardrobes in high school or college, maybe because they were still growing and then were starving students. We all got by and managed to express ourselves just fine with limited wardrobes back then-why is it so hard for so many of us to do that now? Did we just get used to having to buy new clothes every September and we just kept on doing it even though we were no longer outgrowing the old stuff?

    • Renee, No apologies necessary. You raised some excellent points and they were well taken. I’d love to “hear” some of the other steps you’ve taken to curb your shopping issues. I will be looking for other challenges to take on after Project 333 is over (not that I won’t ever do Project 333 again but probably not right away, as I want to keep things interesting by having variety – for myself and my readers). I have a few ideas, but I’m open to other suggestions. Sometimes I think it “takes a village” to overcome a compulsive habit, so I love to read the insights of others!

  3. It has been very interesting to read about your Project 333 and the journey you have embarked on. I’m still waiting to start my Project 333 (the beginning of June, gulp!), but I already feel that there might be an epiphany or two along the way there for me, also.

    I don’t think that you should be too hard on yourself about swapping out clothes. After all, isn’t one of the points of Project 333 to create a great, functional wardrobe and to learn more about yourself and your tastes? And like Courtney Carver has stated, this is not a project in suffering. So why tough it out with an item you dislike and that doesn’t fit when it can be swapped for something that looks and feels much better?

    • Anzi, Congrats on your decision to start Project 333 in June. Feel free to comment here or contact me for support. You already have a great attitude about the challenge, though. I love that Courtney says it’s not a project in suffering. I remember that every time I decide to swap. The point of the project is to grow and learn and develop a better relationship to our wardrobes. I’m definitely doing that – and you will, too!

  4. Hi Debbie, I’m enjoying your weekly updates on Project 333 and thank you for being honest with your epiphanies and challenges.

    I’d just like to say that I don’t think any item of clothing would ever be a “10” – yes maybe immediately after you buy it, but then it may change shape slightly in the wash, you might change weight, you might not like the fabric after all. So I guess I would agree with Renee that setting the ideal at 10 is too high. If you insist on everything being a 10, with it having the potential to change so frequently, you’ll end up searching for the next 10, and so on. I don’t think any of my clothing items are 10’s, because I know that I can’t afford tailored trousers, so I wear belts. but in that, I wouldn’t even want tailored trousers because my weight fluctuates and one of my health conditions means that one pair may fit one day and not the next! So I try to go for versatile clothing.

    I also got bored with my 33. Absolutely. But I always remind myself, clothes do not define me, and I don’t need exciting clothes to make me feel interesting. Perhaps that’s something to ponder. once I stopped thinking about my clothes (a few months ago), I’m not bored with the clothes, because I find so much excitement and beauty elsewhere.

    I want to encourage you to use the shopping hiatus to discover what else there is. It’s a great challenge to do, and well done for sticking to it! How about going on walks around your city, and discovering attractions, or driving out to some countryside and going for a hike? We often take our doorstep for granted, when a visitor would find many awesome things to see! or take up a craft, paint, sew, knit, or go to a class, pottery, dancing, photography. There are so many things besides clothes 🙂

    I don’t want you to read this comment as coming from a person who has it all together. I have had big confidence issues, self-esteem etc, but these challenges help me see a different way 🙂

    • Linda, You raised lots of excellent points! Many people commented on the “10” issue and the points made were well taken. I will really work on being satisfied with “8”s and “9”s. My favorite point you made is that our clothes don’t define us. I know that for others and don’t dismiss people who don’t “dress to the nines,” but I’m hard on myself. I am working on being gentler with myself and on developing other hobbies and interests. I used to have more, but after I got bored with things, I didn’t replace them. I think I just shopped more to pick up the slack. You made some great suggestions and I thank you!

  5. First, congratulations on being able to go shopping with a client and not feeling compelled to shop for yourself! That is a victory. I was going to write about the impossibility of having a wardrobe full of “10s” but I see that has already been covered LOL. However, you might want to explore the need to have anything in your life be a “10” at all times and how that relates to perfectionism. And I am saying this lovingly and from personal experience. I grew up with perfectionists for parents who were very critical of the appearance and behavior of themselves and others including their children. I finally broke free of most of the self judgement and criticism that was learned at their knee when I learned about continuous improvement as a business principle. Perfection is basically unattainable so why not simply focus on small improvements in the most important areas of one’s life which may have nothing to do with appearance? That frees up a lot of mental and emotional energy for other things.In relationship to clothing for me that is currently meaning that I like how I look in an item, it is comfortable to wear, easy to maintain and goes with a bunch of other things. You are brave to face these issues in your life and invite commentary on them.

    • Juhli, Thank you for sharing your insights. It seems you have made great strides in overcoming your perfectionism. I like the continuous improvement concept. I find that when I only compare myself to myself and see if I’m improving, I’m much happier. When I compare myself to others, I get into trouble. I grew up with a perfectionist father (my mother was less so) and never felt that what I did was good enough. He placed a lot of emphasis on appearance. I don’t blame him for all of my issues, but his influence was a contributing factor for sure. I appreciate your comment on my courage. I am even surprising myself in how open I’m being, but it feels good not to hide any longer.

      • Thanks for your reply. I want to clarify that my parents were (are in the case of my Mom) very loving as well. I think their perfectionism came from attention to detail in my Dad’s case (which made him a good navigator and glider pilot) and low confidence in my Mom’s. My Mom is 91 and at home almost all of the time and still criticizes her own appearance but not mine. I feel sad that she never accepted herself as wonderful the way she is.

  6. Hi Debbie! I think you look great in your outfits! And I have no problem with you swapping out a couple of items in your Project 333 wardrobe. Life is not like school where we are working for some arbitrary grade, instead we learn as we go and can fix our mistakes as soon as we recognize them. I’m sorry that the alteration of the gray skirt didn’t work out. Don’t beat yourself up over it, just chalk it up to experience and move on. Once again, I really appreciate your insights. I think uniform dressing is something a lot of us do!

    • Kirsti, I appreciate your compliments and kind words. You’re right that life is not school and we’re not going to be graded. We all need to remember that! I’m okay about the grey skirt debacle, but I hope to learn from it and be more willing to let go of garments instead of always trying to “save” them. Hopefully someone else (with a smaller posterior) will love it!

  7. First of all, I don’t think you should feel the least bit guilty about the number of times you swap out. If the garment isnt’t working, then it needs to leave. (I know this sounds a little harsh, but this whole wardrobe process has been a bit like boot camp!) This culling is all about ultimate impovement– striving towards only 8’s or above in the wardrobe. That being said, I like better the two pieces you swapped out, and think the new pieces coordinate well with each other. The swirling dot motif of the skirt echoes the look of the embellishment on the tank, creating an interesting textural effect overall.

    Haven’t we all had favorite garments we love so much that we don’t really see how they are unflattering? Your grey skirt, over which you have given a lot of thought, is a lovely color, but in photos it has a bit of a boho vibe, with a puckery wrinkled look to the fabric that may feel too casual with some of your other separates. When I saw you in it, I thought your top and bottom were sending two different messages in terms of casualness. I noticed that dichotomy more than the actual fit of the skirt. I think with the flowy nature of the fabric with its intentional uneven texture as it catches light, it was intended to be longer and fuller so as to enhance the movement of the skirt as it is being worn. It would look nice with a slim black top so your eye is drawn to the nuances of the fabric, such as the black tank you just swapped in.

    How many open cardigans are “too many”? I don’t see anything wrong with the concept of adopting that style of cardigan as your preferred silhouette if it suits your body type. I think of this style of cardigan to be as ubiquitous as jeans or tee shirts. There are so many different interpretations of the open cardigan that they don’t have to be a boring look.

    • Deby, You’re right about the skirt being “boho.” I used to dress in more of that vibe, but I have moved on from it. Not that there’s anything wrong with being boho, but it’s not me anymore. I think I sometimes try to hold on to old favorites. I need to be more willing to let go, but Project 333 and doing this blog in general is helping me to learn more about myself. I’m becoming much more aware of what I like, especially now that I know I don’t need such a huge wardrobe! I do still like the open cardigans, but I also want to broaden my horizons more to other types of “toppers.” I won’t rule them out completely and will still wear the ones I have (I have more than what’s in my P333 wardrobe), but I will be more careful about buying multiples moving forward.

      • I have a fondness for open cardigans too. I like the way they look over fitted tees and tanks, as well as tunic tops (so long as the length of the sweater is not awkward next to the tunic). Every one of my open cardigans has a different vibe, either through an interesting stitch detail such as crochet or tiny cables, some have a cascade front instead of hanging straight, one has 3/4 length sleeves, and so on. I like the way open cardigans take the place of the ubiquitous blazer of the past, but in a more relaxed and fun way.

  8. Hi Debbie,
    most of my thoughts have been addressed by other posters, so from one open cardigan lover to another, I would not want to be without them. They are a completer piece that is not as structured as a blazer, and keeps me comfortable in AC. Sometimes, I simply throw it over my shoulder (like little old ladies used to do), but paired with a nice scarf and piece of jewelry or two, I always feel dressed. And yes, I have clothing taylored that should have left my house instead for good. But you never know, don’t you???

    Don’t worry about not having any 10s in your wardrobe. An 8 would be good enough in my book, especially since clothing has such an emotional aspect to it. I thought the reference to the husband not being a 10 upthread was perfect!

    As far as swapping out clothes, I would not give it much thought. Remember that your ultimate goal is to reduce your shopping while maintaining a smaller higher quality wardrobe. So, if this your way to achieve this, more power to you.

    And as a final comment, you look loveley in your outfits and congratulations on not shopping. You are doing well.

    • Cornelia, I share your sentiments on the open cardigans. I like blazers, too, but my casual lifestyle lends itself more to the cardigans. I will continue to love and wear them, but will also try to find some alternate shapes (but not too many – don’t want to give myself another reason to overshop!). Thanks for your compliments and for validating my swaps. I did feel a bit guilty, but I know the ultimate goal is to have a more manageable wardrobe. Project 333 is working for me even if I’m not perfect 🙂

  9. Hi Debbie! I love your first outfit. I read something interesting this week. It said that you can not use shame or logic to fix a shopping problem because it’s an emotional one. That people shop to either add something to their life, such as excitment or to avoid an unpleasant feeling, such as anger or loneliness. This really got my attention. I have addressed the spending aspect and no longer have credit card debt or shop beyond my budget, but I still spend so much TIME looking. I have put a lot of effort into looking at the way I shop and the kind of clothes I buy etc. I am starting to think that it has very little to do with the acual clothes and so much more to do with what’s missing from my life. I hope that you have many more wins this week!

    • Tonya, Thanks for your compliment (I’ve finally started to do a fit of minor “pattern mixing” in some of my outfits) and for sharing your insights. Your words really resonated with me! I definitely think I shop to feel excitement and to avoid unpleasant feelings. But what’s interesting is that blogging is helping me to deal with my feelings and I’m not as tempted to shop (or even to LOOK, which has also been a big issue for me). The fact that it’s helping others, too, is really the icing on the cake!

  10. Debbie,
    Just wanted you to know that I am enjoying reading your blog and I appreciate your open and honest writing. I want you to know that your are not alone in what you wrote about in your last post. I think many women our age (including me) would say the same things about their lives (career, family, friends). I think we have a false picture in our minds from a few people around us and from television and we think our lives should be the same, but in reality it is difficult to foster many deep lasting friendships. It also takes a while to decide on the right career as there are so many avenues these days and job hopping is commonplace. People don’t stay in one career with the same employer like they used to, as there are so many options. My bet is more women would say they feel the same about themselves as you do, not the other way around. We should all be a little easier on ourselves.

    But speaking of clothes, I also wear a lot of knits. It saves me from dry cleaning and ironing. Can’t beat that. I also wear a lot of cardigans as they are a little dressier than a shirt alone, plus the added warmth.

    • Andrea, Welcome and thanks for your comment! I appreciate your insights on how many women feel they aren’t where they should be in their lives. I don’t talk about it with many people (and don’t even have many people to talk to anyway), so I often feel alone in those thoughts. You are probably right, though, that many others share such sentiments. You’re right that we should all be easier on ourselves!

  11. Hi Debbie, I have to admit I have the same problem with purchasing “multiples”. As a personal shopper I would love to hear your thoughts on women’s over 40 clothing options. I feel that there is less available to women over 40 which leads me to buy multiples. If I FINALLY find an item that looks good, age appropriate, and in my color palette I tend to buy two. I feel fashion labels/retail stores have been so inconsistent year to year that finding an item is THE battle. Buying two is a no brainer. In the back of my head I’m always thinking they will not offer this next year. Do you shop with this in mind. I’m 43 and trying to master a uniform of sorts and it doesn’t get easier to find items. I know my style, my colors, and fit, but finding the item can be tough.

    • Marianne, Perhaps that could be a future post topic! It’s unfortunate that retailers don’t cater to women over 40, as we generally have more money to spend than the younger generation. It’s definitely a problem, and I don’t have the answers! I don’t think buying two – or even three at times – of one type of item is a bad thing. It’s when you get into the 5 or more category (like what I’ve often done) that can be troublesome. When buying basics (jeans, t-shirts, camisoles, etc.), multiples can be a good thing. There isn’t an absolute answer to the question… I plan to do a post on uniforms and multiples, so I’ll say more then. You raised some good topics!

    • Debbie, your right 5 of the same item is too much. Thanks for the advice. And by the way your a great writer. I LOVE your analysis. Think about a book 🙂

      • Marianne, Thank you so much! I do plan on writing a book (or even a few) in the not too distant future. But for now, I’m just happy that my words are being read and appreciated by an audience! That means a great deal to me!

  12. I definitely have the multiples issue, but usually with tanks and long sleeved tees, which are at least seasonally versatile. Oh and there’s a few pairs of jeans too! I figure seeing the tops are all skin touching, it’s ‘worth it’ as they are washed after each wear (whereas perhaps I wouldn’t wash a cardigan as often).

    • I think purchasing multiples of things like black and white tees, and jeans makes sense. You don’t need to go overboard, but if you find a brand and style that fits, its more efficient in the long run to have a few identical pieces. Case in point: when I was purging out my wardrobe in April, I decided to get rid of all my jeans but one pair. That was the dumbest thing I could have done. Since I tend to wear jeans on the weekend, and I’m always getting into something dirty, by the time Sunday morning brunch came around, I had no clean jeans to wear, and I was uncomfortable. I am now in the process of adding at least one more pair of jeans to my wardrobe. At the present time I have 3 black and 3 white cotton Lands End tees, and I count the multiples of the same color as a single item. I only do this with the black and white, because they are the ultimate basics, but not other colors.

    • Sarah, Some multiples can be good and you seem to have the right idea. But when one builds an entire wardrobe full of 5 or more of given items, that’s where trouble can ensue.

      • Hmm food for thought! I definitely think if I have colours that I don’t wear, even if the style is one of my basics, it should be ‘eliminated’ from my wardrobe. Sometimes I think ‘one of each colour is enough’ but then the older shabbier one will get use if the other is dirty. But then am I making excuses for excesses?

        Deborah – what a forehead smacking moment, when you realised you needed more than one pair of jeans! They were my university uniform, and to this day, I wear them a bit. Actually my clothing tastes have changed since graduation 4.5 years ago – way more dresses, like I finally feel like I can be a girl after years of being in a boys course (engineering!)

  13. I hope you don’t really feel guilty about all the swaps. I think it’s great that you are using this Project 333 as a learning experience for what you actually wear. That’s what it’s all about!
    I intend to do my Project 333 with swaps.
    Interesting post, as usual…

    • Chris, Thanks so much for your encouragement! I am actually feeling less guilty about the swaps. As Courtney Carver says, this isn’t a project in suffering. I am learning so much and the swaps are contributing to that learning! Once you do Project 333, I’d love to hear how you do with it. I’m glad my journey is helping to inspire others to try Project 333 or other challenges.

  14. I am also guilty of purchasing too many of the same function items. At one point I had almost a dozen bootcut jeans, all in a very similar wash! Now I limit myself to just 2 of the same items when I make a purchase, and the item has to be a core component of my wardrobe (2 of the same jeans is ok, I wear them daily, but 2 of the same say…sequin top is not ok, because I rarely wear that style of top anyway). This has allowed me to have more variety with a smaller wardrobe.

    • I agree that having two of the same type of items for basics is a good rule of thumb (that’s what I was trying to state in my post today but I think some people misunderstood). I’ve erred not only in having far too many similar items, but also too many similar recognizable pieces (like the sequin top you mentioned). I’m still making mistakes but I think I’m finally “getting” it. My wardrobe is still too big and too similar, but I see some light at the end of the tunnel at this point.

  15. I am also a big formula dresser. In winter it is jeans and boots, everyday, for many months. And I don’t mind. I can mix it up with bootcut jeans over boots (weather permitting) and skinny jeans tucked into tall boots. This year I really added some variety, skinny jeans tucked into shorter boots. When it’s not broken, why fix it right? 🙂

    It is very true though, when you wear lower quality garments often, you really do start to notice the lack of quality. It was probably always there, but with a larger wardrobe, one doesn’t see the poor quality as fast (if ever) because the item isn’t around long enough to get worn out. After 4 months of my smaller wardrobe, I’ve had to purge about 20% of my pieces in that time frame, and except for one washing error, it was due to poor quality.

    • I’ve experienced a similar phenomenon as I’ve pared my wardrobe down. It’s sad having to let go of some favorites. I haven’t done it much yet, but it’s happened a few times. Quality is really low these days. Even though I buy the majority of my clothes at Nordstrom, they don’t last long. I’m trying to shop more in their higher-end departments and I hope that will help. I know that more money doesn’t necessarily equal better quality, but I’m hoping the clothes I spend more on will last longer.

      • I’ve found that quality is a moving target. One season a brand has great quality and next time, it’s crap. I’ve started paying closer attention to fabrics, especially since pilling sweaters is a pet peeve of mine, even after using sweater shavers. I am also a big Nordstrom shopper, but I’ve learned to pop in and out of lots of stores, because I never know who has the best quality from one season to the next, shopping takes longer, but hopefully it will be time well spent, because I’ll have to do so less often, since I won’t have to replacement shop as much.

      • This is SO true! I’ve noticed an overall decline in quality in recent years and it’s getting much harder to find garments that will last. Fabric composition is a big key to quality, as is the way something is sewn. I’ve gotten better at noticing the signs. I used to think that if I bought something at Nordstrom, it meant it was good quality, but sadly that is not the case!

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