Last weekend, I did another major closet clean out and organization day. I know it seems strange to people who aren’t “into” capsule wardrobes and minimalism (AKA, everyone I know IRL) that I spend such an inordinate amount of time in my closet, but keeping my clothing well-cared for and organized is one of my favorite things to do.
Some of my picks for Project 333, which includes favorites from Tradlands, Vetta, Everlane, Cait Shea, Nine56 Studio, Liz Alig and more.
I purchased some items over the last few months that didn’t end up working out for me, and also acquired a lot of accessories that I just didn’t need or rarely wore. I thought it would be fun to share my latest clean out process, what I decided to part with, my decision to try Project 333 and just say hello!
The State of the Wardrobe
My closet, as of a couple weeks ago, was unruly and overwhelming. I had a few piles of clothes on the floor – things to resell, things I had no place to store, things I needed to shoot for the blog. My shelves were also pretty packed, to the point where I had to empty the entire shelf to find one item.
How did this happen?!
Well, firstly, I’ve lost a lot of blog working space since our guest room is currently occupied, and I hadn’t put any thought into a new organization system.
I also still had a lot of items that I was hanging on to for emotional reasons, but I was finally feeling ready to part with some of them. My exercises in minimalism have shown me that we really don’t need things in order to hold onto memories. The things I remember the most rarely have material items attached to them.
Also, like I said above – I’ve been buying some things. And those things can quickly overwhelm a minimal space.
I employed the help of my friend Patricia, who is even more ruthless than me when it comes to deciding what clothing items to keep and which to part with.
“I’m not sure about this, but it’s sort of cute…” I said, holding up the sleeveless chambray button down, my voice trailing off.
“Nope,” She said, snatching it from me. “Not your style anymore.”
I told you. Ruthless! But it was just the help I needed. For all that I’ve learned about capsule wardrobes and my personal style, sometimes you need a friend’s perspective for those things you’re not sure about. I see Patricia every day at work (and often outside of work) so she has a pretty good sense of the things I actually wear. Shout out to her for her help!
A non-comprehensive list of things that went to Poshmark or the donation pile:
- A very chic, but now too small, Banana Republic tweed dress,
- A very corporate and structured Banana Republic blazer (I already have an unstructured blazer, and the VETTA blazer dress, and I mean, really – how often do I wear blazers?! Not often enough to own three of them),
- A few slow fashion items that weren’t serving me anymore: a sweater from It Is Well, a shirt from Free Label, a dress from Amour Vert, pants from Where Mountains Meet,
- And some purses from Kate Spade and Michael Kors.
When I look at the items I’ve decided to part with, they pretty much fall into two categories:
- Items from my conventional/fast fashion days that are outdated or no longer my style, OR
- Ethical and slow fashion pieces that I bought more recently than I’d like to admit and with good intentions, but that I also bought by falling into the trap of what is trendy in our little community. Each time I clean out my closet, I become more aware of my personal style versus what I admire on other people but isn’t right for me (rust-colored pants fall into this second category). I think my style leans more toward classic shapes and colors, rather than the trendy, potato-sack chic in desert colors that makes up some of the ethical fashion space. And I had to try some things out in order to learn that.
Getting more in touch with my personal style – find me on Instagram! 🙂
All this brings me to the fact that I’ve decided to give Project 333 a go! Granted, I’m modifying it to make it slightly easier for me, but it’s challenging regardless. Project 333 asks you to dress with 33 items (or less) for three months. Fun!
The official challenge states that you should select 33 items including clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes. I’m not going to do all of that for my first round, so I’m not counting shoes, outerwear and accessories – just my clothing. I mostly wear the same accessories and shoes anyway, but I simply didn’t want to count them this time. I also might wear a lot of bandanas once it gets warm – LOL.
I like how the challenge is framed as “this is not a project in suffering” so I also may swap out items if I find they aren’t serving me once it gets really hot here. I want to stretch my wardrobe skills, but not take the fun out of it or become frustrated (like I’ve been prone to do in some other wardrobe challenges I’ve tried). Since I have a lot of travel and events this summer, I wanted to take that into account and not make myself feel bad for doing a more flexible version of the challenge. I have a feeling it won’t be the only time I do it, so I can see how this goes, and then make it a little harder next time.
Some of my favorite Project 333 outfits so far…
Outfit details: Jumpsuit, Liz Alig; Shoes, Zuzii (old color, similar here); Bag, apprvl; Belt, Madewell; Earrings, Windblown Jewelry.
Outfit details: Top, Tradlands Bamboo Box Top in Emerald (I’m a Tradlands affiliate, so don’t forget you can save 15% off your first order with code KELLIE15!); Denim, Madewell; Bag, Von Holzhausen; Shoes, Zara; Watch, Berg & Betts.
Outfit details: Sweater, H&M Conscious Collection; Pants, Brass Clothing (I’m a Brass affiliate! Check out my Brass favorites and use code WHOLEHEARTED for free shipping); Bag, Von Holzhausen; Shoes, Calvin Klein; Watch, Barrow.
Some Life Updates
It’s been awhile since I posted here, but everything is okay! I’ve been really busy at work and was going through a bit of a life crisis (you know, the whole, “What am I doing with my life” that I feel we all go through once a year or so) and so I have been focused more on my day job than blogging. But I’m back now. I also hit a bit of a creativity road block with it being cold through April, but Project 333 has me feeling re-energized and looking at my closet in a different way.
Have any of you done Project 333?
Great post! So happy to see you’re back. I’ve been feeling a little uninspired by my wardrobe lately, so I’m definitely looking at Project 333 to get my excited about my clothes and style again!
Very inspiring! I’m sure some lucky lady will breathe new life into those donations. You’re Barrow Watch looks so chic, I love how your accessories add a pop to your style… That ribbon is cute as!
Thanks so much Ruth – I love my Barrow watch!
Great post! I completely relate to the potato sack in desert colours problem. I’ve also bought clothes that were beautiful and ethical, but not quite my style. While I love the look on others, I much prefer looking like Elton John with an office job. (Obsessed with the outfits in Rocketman) Good luck with Project 333!
Kristin Negele says
I am having the same realization that my person style doesn’t always line up with what is in style in the ethical / slow fashion space. Thankfully I haven’t made too many purchases that I regret. I always love seeing your instagram and blog posts because your style is very much in line with my style goals!
Thank you so much for the kind words, Kristin! xx