Project 333

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April 1st was the official start date of the next quarter for Project 333, and I was totally ready to take it on! I actually did an entire process video of cleaning out my closet and categorizing everything based on the book, Project 333 by Courtney Carver. However, with everything happening right now, the video will have to wait. Instead, I have transferred all I was chatting about into this blog post which might be even better because I am able to catalog my current wardrobe for you, in both list & photo form and better explain my choices (in the video I kept running out of time before my camera stopped recording!)

Why #Project333 ?

Honestly, for the past year or so, I have been on a mission to minimize what I own. I am a "collector" I guess you could say and tend to hold on to things or even acquire things that I won't ever use or find joy in. A lot of items have been passed on to me through friends and family, as either gifts or in an effort for me to utilize in some way.

Some of these items are definitely beneficial and I use them regularly or have repurposed them in some way. However, many of them fall into the camp of "Oh this is so useful. I can't part ways with it because....

  • I might need it in the future
  • I don't know how to dispose of it in a environmentally friendly way
  • I can upcycle it.. one day

And the list goes on and on.

Well, my closet is no exception to this phenomenon. Where I am not gifted many clothes since my wardrobe is 99% handmade, I do feel as if I have pieces that no longer suit my lifestyle or that I simply don't choose to wear for whatever reason (I am missing a key piece to make it an outfit, it irritates my skin, it doesn't fit properly, etc). 

I thought that this project would be the perfect way to cull through my closet and help me make really decisive decisions as I would see first hand what I wore most often and what I tended to leave at the back of my closet.

For me, a smaller, simpler wardrobe seems perfect for my lifestyle of *primarily* working from home + being in the garden every chance I get. Instead of thinking about what I should wear everyday, or resorting to nothing but Pj's or sweats (which tends to make me feel sluggish rather than ready for work), I could put my energy towards being creative, tackling home projects, and feeling good while doing so!

What Are the Next Steps?

I am following along with the book, so my first steps included answering some questions about why I wanted to embark on this project and about my current wardrobe. A few examples include:

What was your first reaction to hearing about Project 333?

I was super excited about the prospect of living with only 33 items for 3 months. It seemed like a cool challenge that would force me to look at my closet in a new way and potentially highlight some stars of my wardrobe that I may have been taking for granted. It also seemed like a cool way to figure out new outfit combos that I might have otherwise overlooked!

What are your biggest fear or concerns about making this three-month commitment?

Weather- hands down. I am afraid that I will pick the worst items for the weather here in Georgia. we are in that weird tricky spot where it's currently very cold, but last week it was in the 80s (Fahrenheit). I am also afraid that there will be some outfits I will only wear once because of an event that I have to attend or the weather and that will have me saying goodbye to a more versatile piece I could have worn for the full 3 months.

Do you tend to wear your clothes out quickly?

Certain clothes, yes. For sure shoes. I am very hard on my shoes. And then I also tend to wear out the clothing I wear the most. My jeans are in constant need of repair for popped stitches as are some of my favorite bodysuits and I am very active when wearing them.

Is shopping your favorite sport?

I wouldn't say shopping for clothes is a favorite pastime for me since I haven't actually purchased new clothing in a reallllyy long time, but I do enjoy shopping for fabric. I actually *tried* to put myself on a fabric ban for the past few years, but it only just started to stick this year. I am a sucker for beautiful prints! I think I am getting better at being more mindful of my purchases, though. I really have to LOVE something to part with my $$.

So those are just a few of the many questions I was asked to answer in the book. Each one led to a new insight, and even the parting with some clothes in my closet instantaneously.

Organizing my Current Wardrobe

The next step in this process was to go through my wardrobe and organize it into three piles:

  1. Toss
  2. Keep
  3. Maybe

Those are pretty typical piles to categorize things into whenever you are culling items from your home, so this came as no surprise.

For my "tossed" items, I set aside anything that no longer fit me, worked with my lifestyle, wasn't my style, or I knew I would never wear/ hadn't worn in a long time. I then made a note to photograph these items and sell them in my shop (which I have successfully done with a handful- I still need to get measurements and list the others!)

For my maybe pile, I immediately packed those away in a vintage suitcase and placed it in my closet. I will re-evaluate those in 3 months time and see if anything was missed (TBH though, I have already forgotten what I put in that suitcase, so another destash sale might happen!)

Looking at my "Keep" Pile

The last step, and probably the most difficult, was to take a long look at my "keep" items and start narrowing them down to the 33 items I would be wearing from April 1st - June 30th

Before I jump into that, I should note what is included in the 33 items and what is not. Included in the 33 items are:

  • Clothing
  • Accessories (bags, jewelry, etc)
  • Shoes (One pair does count as one item, thank goodness!)

NOT included in this list are:

  • Wedding ring (Or ONE sentimental piece of jewelry that you never take off)
  • Undergarments
  • Sleepwear/ In home lounge wear
  • Active wear

For the last two items under the "Not Included" list, you have to be wearing those items for those specific activities. So no popping out to the grocery store in your PJs or yoga pants, otherwise those count as one of your 33!

Back to my closet...

The first things I removed were weather inappropriate items. This included heavy scarves (I only own one), winter specific coats, and boots.

I then removed any items that were dedicated specifically to yard work (as I include that in my active wear section) as well as things I only ever wear while lounging at home.

It was then time to tackle the rest of my closet. Many of the pieces I had left were great transitional pieces, so narrowing down the choices was a challenge.

I thought back to what kinds of things I was wearing last year and removed items I remembered wearing later into the summer (I will bring them back in the next 3 months and love them even more!). I also removed most of my jewelry as I tend to wear the same few things all the time.

Once I removed all that I could, I started pulling items that I knew were "Must Keeps." These included:

  1. Striped Anya Bodysuit
  2. Dawn Jeans
  3. Bridesmaids Dress (For my best friend's wedding in June)
  4. Wedding Shoes (TBD)
  5. Wedding Accessories (In case she had something specific in mind)
  6. Large Purse (To hold my Laptop)  Belt (I swapped this when things changed due to COVID-19)
  7. Small Purse (when my big bag is overkill)
  8. Red Flats
  9. Lavender Flats
  10. Yellow Sneaker
  11. Hoop Earrings
  12. "Gross" ring (I wear this all the time and it literally has Gross imprinted on the band and refers to an inside joke among friends.)
  13. Farmer's Market Jessica Dress
  14. Blockprinted caftan

That left me with 19 items to choose from! It seemed like a lot, but I quickly realized that it was difficult to narrow my remaining choices down because they could all work within the time frame I had.

After a while of going back and forth, I finally landed on my final 19 pieces, with the intention of swapping some pieces out once June 31st passes and I start my next round of Project 333:

  1. Navy Linen Chandler Trousers
  2. Gold Half Circle Skirt
  3. Blue & White Floral Wrap Skirt
  4. Shibori Dyed Long Tank
  5. Light Blue Vintage Torusers
  6. Black Nathalie Bodysuit
  7. Dark Salmon? Morning Glory Top
  8. Vintage Hat (For the sun & Bad hair days)
  9. Sunflower Neck/Hair Scarf
  10. Muted Rainbow Linen Hair wire (For styling & as an accessory)
  11. Sheer Embroidered Floral Dress
  12. Tank Dress (Need to make)
  13. Cross Back Dress
  14. Grey Floral Jessica Dress
  15. Brown Floral Hughes Dress
  16. Mustard Floral Jenny Overalls
  17. Blue & White Fleur Dress
  18. Sara Parker Hemp Fleur Dress
  19. Navy Robson Trench Coat

And there you have it! My list of 33 items for the next three months! I am a mixed bag of excited & nervous to see how this project goes.

This isn't the full range of items, but a good bit of them!

I will be cataloging my experience daily on IG with images of each outfit I put together over the next 3 months. I will also be doing a few more blog posts along the way, checking in to let you all know how the process is going and answering your questions as well as some more questions the book poses to me.

I'd love to know your thoughts on this project and if you plan to participate as well! If you do, feel free to us the hashtag #UTProject333 so we can all follow along in each others journeys :) Cheers to the next three months!

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