Project 333

As you guys may recall from my first post of the year, one of my goals for this year is to minimize. Maybe you wondered what that meant? It sounds really general doesn’t it? What is it that I want to minimize anyway? By how much do I want to minimize that thing, whatever it may be? Why is this one of my goals? And how do I intend to go about it?

Well, this post will hopefully begin to answer some of those questions.

In the last few years, I developed a tendency to stumble around the internet and collect blogs. I’ve collected food blogs, craft blogs, fashion blogs, and just kind of purposeless but still awesome blogs (like the one you’re reading right now!). One of the blogs I happened upon, one that I then continued to follow on a pretty much daily basis, was Unfancy. Although Caroline stopped updating her blog several months ago, I still visit it from time-to-time for inspiration, and recommend that you comb through it if what I describe in this post interests you!

Unfancy is an exploration of a yearlong experiment with a capsule wardrobe. As Caroline explains, a capsule wardrobe is just a mini wardrobe filled with awesome pieces that are easy to mix and match. Basically, it’s a condensed version of your closet. Now, though this idea piqued my interest a year ago, it all really seemed really daunting to me at the time. How was I supposed to pick less than 40 pieces from my oversized collection and wear only those pieces for three months?! There was no way! But then something happened. I decided to move. I decided not just to move, but to fit everything I wanted to move with me in my Jeep Compass. That meant I was going to have to do some serious cutting down.

My Ikea furniture, which would have cost more to move than to buy all over again, I donated along with my TV and most of my kitchen stuff. My closet was a whole other story. It was easy to get rid of the bigger things. Most of the stuff wouldn’t have fit in my car anyway. But clothes are easy to fit into tighter places. Still, I knew I had to get rid of some stuff. So with brute force I cut my closet down to about half its size donating some things, giving other stuff to my friends, and making some extra cash by selling the remaining items at resale stores in the area. My closet now fit in three suitcases which, with some other things, fit into my car. It was still way way bigger than Caroline’s 37 piece wardrobe. But it was definitely a start.

Still, when I got home and settled back into something of a routine, I quickly fell into bad habits again. Especially since when my mom and I were bored we would just hit the stores. Though I was much more aware of the negatives of the way I was shopping (haphazardly), I still found myself buying clothes that I didn’t need, or that didn’t fit quite right, or that I knew would fall apart before the year was up. On top of all this shopping, there were still a lot of extra items in my closet, many of which I was holding onto for sentimental reasons or cause I felt guilty getting rid of them.

But then, towards the holiday season of 2015, I happened upon another blog I had found during my collecting days, The Minimalists. I will go more into this blog and how these men inspired me at a later date, but for now, just know that they showed me that minimalism is a lot more than just owning fewer things. Minimalism can be something truly transformative and freeing.

After adding their book, Everything That Remains, to my 56 books in 56 weeks list, I tackled my closet again. This time I donated everything I hadn’t worn in at least a year. I said goodbye to many of the sentimental pieces. The few that were truly too important to give away, I stored along with my summer clothes in a couple of boxes under my bed. I threw out (GASP) clothes that I loved but that had immovable stains or unfixable rips or just didn’t fit right any more. I was left with much fewer clothes, all of which I absolutely love, all of which bring a smile to my face. And, to be honest, I was left with some gaps. Mainly jeans that I continued wearing even though they were ripped, and shoes I continued using even though they were falling apart.

But, having now gone through this process for the second time in six months, I now realized that a capsule closet was not only something that piqued my interest, but also something I could achieve. And so, on my way to achieving my goal to minimize, I decided to create my first capsule closet. I chose to follow the rules of Project 333 (33 pieces for 3 months) rather than Caroline’s slightly more lenient rules (what can I say, I’m still the girl that signed up for a marathon never having run more than five miles, I like a challenge). I did have to buy two pairs of jeans, three pairs of boots, and two shirts to replace some worn out things, but here it is: my capsule wardrobe for January, February, and March.

This wardrobe includes all the clothes I can wear out of the house (excluding undergarments of course). It does not include workout gear (though I’m proud to say I also minimized my workout wardrobe) or loungewear. I am not to wear workout clothes or loungewear unless I am actually working out or lounging at home, otherwise I must incorporate those pieces of clothing into my 33 items. I will also be utilizing scarves which are not pictured, but I will only allow myself to use three of my many many scarves for these three month. My other accessories for this season include my black watch, a silver necklace, and the four earrings that I currently have on. Though I may loosen the reins on my accessories a little bit for the next capsules, I wanted to see what going all out really feels like. Finally, I will be attending a wedding next month. Though the attire for that event is not included in the photos above, I am committed to not buying any new clothes for the wedding. I’ll probably share that outfit sometime next month.

So you might still be wondering why I’m doing this. Here is what I hope to gain from this experience:

  • A better sense and development of my personal style
  • An end to thoughtless shopping out of boredom or other negative emotions
  • A better sense for the quality, fit, and purpose of the clothes that I do buy
  • An easier way to maintain a budget for the year

So yeah. Since this blog, unlike Unfancy, will not solely be focusing on my capsule wardrobe, I will not post new outfits daily, but I will post incredibly artsy mirror-selfies of my favorite outfits on Instagram now and again so feel free to follow me @actionsspeakloudest!

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