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.
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!).
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:
- I actually “got dressed” in regular clothes all seven days this week!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.