At the end of September, prior to attending Courtney Carver’s “Tiny Wardrobe Tour,” I decided to put together a hypothetical Project 333 summer capsule. I wrote a blog post about this and concluded that it would be useful to try out that capsule during October, as warm weather where I live usually continues until at least early November and sometimes longer (our cool weather started just a week ago!).
I reasoned that if nothing else, I’d learn some useful things about myself and my wardrobe through doing a short version of Project 333 (even if not the full three months that it’s intended to be). In today’s post, I share my thoughts on that experience, as well as about how I’m revisiting the “Love it, Wear it” Challenge (LIWI) that I did during the full year of 2015.
Have you ever done a capsule wardrobe challenge?
In my last post, I gave an update on the purchases I made in 2014 and shared a lot of statistics regarding the success and failure rate of what I bought. At the end of my update, I asked readers to offer insights on their own purchases from two years ago, along with their advice for others on how to increase buying success percentages. I received some great feedback as usual, but one reader named Jane also asked a very thought-provoking question of her fellow readers:
If you have pared down your wardrobe to a point that you’re happy with, what were your top three tools that helped you to do so?”
Since these types of questions can sometimes get lost in the comments section of my posts, I thought I’d pose Jane’s query to my private Facebook group. I knew the group would have many wonderful tips to offer, as there is a wealth of knowledge there. This post represents a consolidation of the group’s top tips for cultivating a workable wardrobe (also check out this two-part series on the blog from back in 2014: Part One | Part Two).
Almost two years ago, I started keeping an outfit journal as a way of better getting into touch with my personal style and helping it to evolve. Although I had previously taken photos of my outfits for at least a few years, I believed that capturing my feelings about what I was wearing would be even more beneficial. Well, I was right! At this point, I can unequivocally state that my outfit journal has been the most important tool in my style evolution. And since it continues to produce benefits, I have no intention of giving it up anytime soon.
I’ve shared a number of insights from my outfit journal since its inception and have recently created a separate category for these posts, if you’d like to check them out. In today’s post, I’m going to highlight the shifts I feel my style has made in 2016 thus far, as well as my style goals for the rest of the year and beyond. Most of these shifts and goals are a direct result of my outfit journal, as I capture my feelings there about what I wore and what I would change about each look. Over time, these thoughts have led me to make changes and try new things. Also helpful to my journey are the “outfit of the day” (OOTD) threads on Facebook. Seeing what others are wearing and reading their and others’ comments about those outfits (and mine) has helped me to increase my style awareness and make changes to what I’m wearing.
Do you think you could write down everything in your closet without looking? I recently challenged myself to do just that after reading and article titled “Deep End: Clothing Analytics” on the new “Reasonably Presentable” blog. Here are the basic instructions that I followed this past weekend:
- First, write down everything you remember owning, including what color it is.
- Put the letter “A” by everything that you feel awesome in every time you wear it.
- Put a “W” next to the ones you wear all the time (of course, the definition of “all the time” can be very relative…).
- Then go wherever your clothes live and write down everything you forgot to write down.
In today’s post, I share my experience of doing the exercise outlined above, as well as what I learned from taking on that challenge. I highly recommend that you read the entire article and try the exercise for yourself. In addition to the instructions above, the author also shares what sorting through your nail polish collection can tell you about your wardrobe, which could be especially useful for some of you.
As longtime readers of this blog know, I have been maintaining an outfit journal since summer 2014. In this journal, I write down what I wore, where I wore it, my feelings about the outfit, and what I could change in order to improve the look. I also rate all of my outfits on a scale of 1-10, and I’ve noticed that my percentage of “9” and “10” ensembles have steadily increased over the months that I’ve been keeping my journal. It only takes a few moments each day, but the benefits have been well worth the effort.
Keeping an outfit journal has helped me improve my style.
The notes about what I would improve upon in future outfit iterations have proved to be the most beneficial part of the process. Sometimes just switching out one piece can add a point or two to an outfit’s rating and have me feeling much more confident in what I’m wearing. These changes generally happen rather organically, as I tend to remember what went wrong in a look without having to go back and refer to my journal. The simple act of writing down my feelings has led me to make subtle shifts in how I dress that have added up to increased satisfaction over time.