Yesterday wrapped up my participation in the #33in33 challenge part of Project 333 — in other words, the process of constructing 33 different outfits from my capsule wardrobe for 33 straight days.
The fun part of this challenge was meeting others across the country doing the same — Hi Alicia and Ginny! The less fun part was shooting a photo of myself each day. And even though Project 333 is supposed to help you focus less on your wardrobe, I think I spent more time than ever contemplating my clothes over the past four weeks.
That said, it was a good experiment. And now I can just start living with these clothes for two more months.
Kind of ...
I think the biggest aha I had during this process was that, really, the number of items involved in a capsule wardrobe doesn't matter. Maybe your number, like Courtney Carver, is 33. Maybe your number is 25, or 37. Or 50.
I knew this logically, of course, but at some point last week, when I was thinking about my short-sleeved shirts and how it was getting colder, and how I really missed my grandmother's pearls, and how could I swap some stuff out for some other stuff to make it all work in the "33" (or in my case, 33 X 2) limit, I said, "Why 33?"
Why am I trying to force my process into someone else's box?
The answer was, without some sort of guide, I never would have gotten to this point. So that initial boundary was key. And I would recommend it to anyone who wanted to give it a try.
However, what's really most important to me is the capability to easily see everything in my closet at once. To not have to dig through piles on shelves or in drawers or big plastic bins. To be wearing the clothes I actually like and feel good in, instead of throwing on whatever happens to be clean. To reduce my addiction to shopping for something better. To be less overwhelmed by ironing and laundry, and to generally take a more minimalist approach to my wardrobe.
And I can do that with a different number. A number of my own.
So, as a result of all of this, I am swapping out a few more a-bit-too-summery items for the following two months, and adding in a few more accessories — all pieces that I already own. I'm topping out at 75 pieces total: 35 in my core clothing, and 40 for shoes, jewelry, coats, scarves, hats, snow boots, etc. And while I'll continue to keep a list of items I find myself missing, I'm otherwise letting go of control over the process. I'll make the next two months work from this wardrobe. And spend more time being grateful for all that I do have.
I actually have a feeling that once I've stopped having to pull together new outfits each day, certain items will be worn regularly, and others will fall to the back of the closet, and when January comes, there's a good chance I'll reduce that 75 even more.
Time will tell.