With Week Eleven behind me, I’m now down to my final two weeks of Project 333. In some ways, the time has gone by very quickly, yet it also seems like a long time ago that I was putting together my wardrobe capsule in late March. I’ve experienced a number of wins and challenges in my eleven weeks of Project 333 and have learned a great deal about myself, my wardrobe, my shopping habits, and my personal style. I will write a lot more about this in early July, as the growth and learning is still sinking in!
In today’s post, I share my Week Eleven outfit photos and a few insights, and leave you with some useful links to articles from other bloggers on their Project 333 journeys. I also encapsulate a few of my thoughts on what’s next for me after Project 333 concludes. I’m still formulating my plan at this point, so I’m open to your suggestions!
Ringing Endorsement for Project 333
If you’re considering doing Project 333 yourself, I highly recommend it! While I may not be a lifelong convert to this minimalist way of dressing, I can’t recommend it enough as a growth and learning tool. Even though I’ve modified the rules and made a number of swaps, I’ve still gotten a tremendous amount of value from doing Project 333 in my own imperfect way!
If you need some guidance on starting the challenge, you might want to check out the “Dress with Less” microcourse from Courtney Carver, the creator of Project 333. As June draws to a close and with the next term of Project 333 beginning on July 1st, now is the perfect time to take this self-guided course and prepare your closet (and your mind!) for the challenge.
Week Eleven Outfits
I only have three outfits to share this week. While I was definitely busy with a lot of projects this past week, I only ventured out to appointments and social gatherings on three of the days. Some weeks are just like that for me and that’s okay. It’s nice to be able to mix it up a bit in terms of time at home and being out and about.
Over the past few months, I’ve been replacing my lounge wear and workout clothing with new and higher quality versions. Consequently, I now feel much better in what I wear around the house, on walks with my husband, and during my jaunts to the gym. I can’t believe I neglected this area of my wardrobe for so long! I’ve also started to track how often I wear these casual wardrobe pieces and it’s been an enlightening experience. I’m sure I’ll write a post on that topic before too long…
Here are my three outfits from Week Eleven. Two are shown both with and without the jackets I wore those days. Fortunately, the weather has been warming up, so sometimes a jacket isn’t even required for a wimpy California girl like me!
A Different Shopping Experience
Yesterday my husband and I went shopping. The objective was mostly to buy him some new shorts, as the ones he’s been wearing are on their last legs (pun intended!). My husband is much better at wearing the clothes in his wardrobe than I am (although he still has too many shirts, as I wrote about here). As a result, the clothes he gets rid of are generally worn out after a long and fruitful life in his closet.
Both of us are interested in buying more ethically and sustainably produced clothing, so instead of venturing to Old Navy or The Gap, we went to a local independent shop that carries quality casual clothing from more reputable brands like Patagonia. While my husband was trying on shorts, I perused the women’s clothing selection and decided to try on a few pieces as well.
I tried on a few casual jackets (the type I wear on our nightly walks and to the gym), as well as some skirts and pants. I was pleased to find a skirt that was made of cotton instead of polyester, and I liked the feel of the natural fibers against my skin. Surprisingly, I found several items that I really liked and which fit well. In addition to the skirt mentioned above, I found two jackets and a pair of pants that were at least “8”s on a scale of 1-10. The pants were too short (the story of my life…), but a longer pair is available through the manufacturer.
I Left the Store Empty-Handed!
While my husband purchased two pairs of shorts, I left the store empty-handed. Since the items I liked were of higher-quality, they were also more expensive than the clothes I’m used to buying. I decided it would be a good idea to take some time to consider which pieces I liked most and what would be the best buys for my wardrobe and lifestyle.
I wanted to make sure not to exceed my June budget, but I found it difficult to choose from among the pieces I liked. In the past, I would have bought everything I liked, reasoning that I could either return something later or spend less next month to get back on budget. Then I may or may not have returned anything or cut my spending the following month (you know the story…). However, I’m really trying to shop and buy smarter these days, so I decided to wait. I’ll likely return to the store soon to buy at least of the items I liked.
Learning to Trust Myself
It’s unusual for me to leave a store empty-handed, but I’m happy to be doing this more often. I am working on better understanding what I really like and need, as well as trusting myself to make the right decisions. I still doubt my ability to buy things that will really work well for me, so it’s helpful to take a “power pause” (term borrowed from Jill Chivers of “Shop Your Wardrobe”) to allow myself to consider my options away from the emotional charge of the shopping experience.
Eventually, I hope to be able to make better decisions in the moment so I won’t have to make two trips to a store to either buy something later or return an item purchased in haste. That will save me a lot of time and headaches, but I’m not there yet…
Project 333 Useful Links
I’ve been finding a lot of interesting articles written by other bloggers who are doing – or have done – Project 333. Here’s a few more for your reading enjoyment:
- Inspira: Project 333 – Spring Selection (includes photos of her 33 items as well as a few photos of her outfits)
- Pomo Golightly: Want to Dress with Less? (Beverly shares what she learned from doing Project 333 and tells about her next ambitious wardrobe challenge)
- Untitled Minimalism: Can Professionals Be Wardrobe Minimalists? (insights from Robert Wall, who guest-posted here last week, on how he was doing Project 333 before he even knew what it was!)
What’s Next for Me?
As Project 333 winds down, I’ve started to consider what to do next to challenge myself with my wardrobe. While some people opt to continue Project 333 for multiple terms or even have it become a permanent way of life, I’m not sure that’s what I want to do now. I still have so many items in my wardrobe and I really need to pare things down. Simply trying things on isn’t usually enough for me to make the “keep or purge” decision. I need to actually take my clothes out for a test drive in order to really know if something works for me or not.
I recently read an article (I wish I could remember the source!) about a man who had too many clothes and devised a novel method for solving this problem. He moved all of his clothes to another closet in his house and could only move an item back to the main closet after he had worn it. At the end of a certain time period, whatever hadn’t been worn was donated to charity. I thought it might be fun for me to try this method, especially since most of my clothes were packed up or moved for Project 333 anyway.
July and Beyond…
At this point, I plan to try the method above for at least the month of July – and perhaps longer. I may opt to do another full or abbreviated term of Project 333 during the summer (our summers are really late here and last until at least late October). But first I want to get a better handle on my wardrobe and weed though some of those pesky “benchwarmers” to see if I can excavate more “diamonds in the rough.” If I do opt to do Project 333 again, I’ll likely do less frequent updates and probably won’t post outfit photos (or maybe just monthly favorites like I did for January, February, and March).
As I said, I’m open to your suggestions for what I should do next. What’s most important to me are accomplishing my goals and keeping things interesting for my readers. I’d like to continue to challenge myself and write about my experiences. I even like the idea of weekly or monthly challenges as opposed to longer challenges like Project 333. If you have ideas, please mention them in the comments section or connect with me to share your ideas.