About a year or so ago, I discovered Courtney Carver’s blog, Project 333. She wrote about how we wear 20% of our clothes about 80% of the time. I knew this to be true of the clothes in my closet, even when I was working in a traditional job in an office.
Over the past year or so, I’ve donated more clothes than I care to admit. Clothes that I hadn’t worn in over a decade. Clothes I was given as gifts but had no interest in wearing. Business attire appropriate for an attorney, but not so much for a freelance writer working from home. Clothes that were my pre-pregnancy size 2. I’ve since come to terms with the fact that even if I did return to a size 2, I am not the same shape as I was before I had kids.
I let those clothes go. It was hard, but I did it. (They all have been or will be donated.)
Our whole family has been talking about taking on Project 333 together. I purchased Courtney’s micro-course on how to dress with less and build a capsule wardrobe and have been working my way through it.* Stephen is reading it, too.
When we move to a smaller home, we will have less closet space as well. Which means we need to seriously pare down our clothes. And I’m looking forward to the challenge.
With a renewed focus on simplifying and decluttering everything, including my closet, I think this project makes a ton of sense. The basic gist of it, is that you choose 33 items of clothing to wear for 3 months. The 33 items do not include things like pajamas, socks, underwear, workout clothes and loungewear.
A Capsule Wardrobe
I have never given any thought whatsoever as to what goes in my closet other than whether the item fits and looks cute. I have never considered whether the piece I am buying works with the other items in my closet, where it was made, how it was made or anything else, for that matter.
The more I read, though, the more I like the idea of buying clothes that are made in the USA, Canada or in countries that don’t abuse their workers. Or better yet from resale shops.
Selecting your 33 (or 35 or 40 or whatever other number you decide) forces you to think about each piece. How do you wear it? Can it serve more than one purpose? Does it match other pieces in your wardrobe or is it a stand-alone item?
In researching capsule wardrobes, I found Into-Mind which is a great site for thinking about how to mindfully put outfits together.
I’ve also been following Bea Johnson of Zero Waste Home. Last summer she showed a zillion different ways to wear a long-sleeved men’s button down. This year, she’s doing the same with a long, black skirt.
I haven’t finished selecting my 33 items, but I have chosen one of the workhorses. It’s a Versalette by Seamly.* It’s one piece that can be worn 30 ways. I just got mine in the mail, so haven’t had a chance to play with it yet, but it will take center stage in my capsule wardrobe. It’s made in the USA, from deadstock fabric and the story of how it came to be is fascinating.
My neutral color will be black and I’m excited my Versalette works within that. Of course, the adorable model weighs like two pounds, so every style looks super cute on her. Pretty sure I won’t be wearing all 30 variations (the bubble skirt would make me look like a stuffed sausage plus I’m not in my twenties), but a lot of them should work.
*I am in no way affiliated with any of these companies and am not receiving a referral fee for any of it. I just think they are helpful/great and am sharing it with you.