Monday, June 03, 2013

Capsule Wardrobe Project 333: The Uniform gets MORE Uniform

I may have mentioned recently that I had problems with the striped tee shirt that I had included in my spring and summer project 333.  Bottom line - I didn't try it on when I was pulling summer clothes out of storage, and I found that it fit poorly when I finally went to wear it.  I blame weight lifting...

So one swap I've made is to donate the shirt that is now so unflattering, and replace it with a looser striped tee shirt that's designed to layer over things - in my wardrobe that will be tank tops or a simple dress. 

More and more, I find that I'm very happy wearing monochromatic outfits - everything black and grey is starting to suit me well. I particularly found my green tee shirt to be... awkward - mentally.  It's hard to explain, but sometimes you just don't feel like yourself in a garment which, at one time, you loved.  You change, your needs and preferences change.  So I've donated the green tee shirt (which is in smashingly good condition), and replaced it with a simple grey tank top.

So right now, my project 333 looks like this:

As the summer wears on, I can see the four other brightly-colored tee shirts being retired in favor on things more muted and subtle...

How did I wear things this week?






And have I mentioned recently that the single most important clothing you can buy is a good pair of exercise shoes?  I walked over 30 miles last week - that's not going to happen in a pair of platform pumps...

25 comments:

  1. MY FAV POSTS are these 333 posts and how you work it through the week.

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  2. I too am most comfortable in mostly black, with one other color (preferably gray! but often red or maroon). I receive a lot of flak for that in the color-lovin South where I live. Scarves really are a help--though I have a very humble collection compared to you.

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  3. This may be a silly question, but do you wear hose with the dresses and skirt? If so, do you go for nude or tonal?

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  4. I almost never wore prints in the midwest and now that I'm living in Florida an all over hibiscus print practically seems like a 'neutral'. HA

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    1. :) hear ya! In Toronto I could wear navy all summer, no problem. Then I worked on a project for a summer in Spain and that navy looked like a garbage bag! Traded it for clear yellows, white and some non-repeating prints.

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  5. One thing that's changed in my dressing over the years is that I've pared down a lot. Now I like very simple clothing, and a really uncluttered look. I love scarves but I rarely wear them anymore and I now only wear my wedding ring and one very simple gold chain necklace. Like you I've also become less attracted to bright colors, keeping a mostly neutral palette with sometimes a touch of red.

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  6. I understand your move to "neutrals" but also relate to Anonymous who says that in Florida, a hibiscus print seems like a neutral. When I lived in London, my wardrobe looked a lot like the one above, but when I'd travel to Florida, it seemed so... well, somber. On the other hand, when I'd try to wear some of my "Florida garb" in London, I felt really out of place. So Janice, maybe it's time to get out of Chicago for awhile ;-)

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  7. looks awesome.... quick question - where is the new B&W striped tee from? it looks like precisely what I am looking for this summer!!! thank you for everything you do

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    1. Eileen Fisher. Mine is more shades of grey than this one, but I couldn't get a good photograph of the EF one to save my bacon!

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  8. As I posted yesterday, in Dallas, I HAVE to have some color for the summer. I'm quite happy with black and gray (and brown) n the fall and winter. I just can't do it in the summer here except for a black sleeveless dress.

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  9. Love seeing how these pieces come together as outfits! May I ask what that angled sweater is in the top outfit pic?

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    1. Mine is Eileen Fisher - I'm not sure if that's what in the photograph, but mine looks very much like it. She always does sweaters cut on cool angles!

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  10. I've made a big effort to mix my neutrals--black and gray--with bright tops that go with my favorite Hermes scarf, Belles du Mexique, and others I've collected here and there. Even though there are only three women in my office, we usually often showed up in black and white. Embarrassing on a client call! And the colors separate me from the herd, which is good in sales. Your post of 9-22-11 is my favorite. Susan inSLC

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  11. I love every one of these outfits - but not for summer in North Carolina. Like Susan, I need some color in summer. Also, even with an air-conditioned office, they look too warm.

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  12. As I walked through a mall in Massachusetts today, I caught a glimpse of myself in a shop window. Frumpy! The pastel print top I wore simply screamed the word and I vowed never to wear it again. I agree that I have begun to feel so much more comfortable in neutrals with the exception of the occasional piece in peach or yellow. The frumpy top and another just like it are going to consignment with nary a guilty thought in my head.

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  13. But, I don't think that color has to necessarily be frumpy. I'm all for neutrals and most of my wardrobe is neutral . I'm wearing a sleeveless black dress to dinner tonight (it's casual), but black and other neutrals like gray just don't work for a hot Texas summer. I have some electric blue, some navy, some khaki and white--and some strawberry. Even some prints--which I never do in the fall and winter. I am beginning to think it is a geographical thing. I can see that our southern wardrobe wouldn't work in Chicago. I had never thought about this until Janice's posts. I do love everything she wore this week, but would not wear all of them in my locale. Most interesting.

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  14. I'm another Midwesterner, and this wardrobe could work for me if I still worked "downtown". I think it is very sophisticated. But, that's not my life any more, and while I have always worn bright colors, I discovered prints in 2013. Still, I enjoy seeing how Janice can make her self-described uniform work for her in ways that are very interesting.

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  15. I would be worried about my mental state if my summer wardrobe was so dark and bland. Sorry to be negative, but there is fun and enjoyment to be had in our apparel, and this capsule just says non-descript uniform to get through the day.

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  16. Anonymous @ 1:17, have you seen what Janice does with scarves and jewelry? And as Susan noted, the quality of the light in Janice's region is very different from the South.

    Janice, if there is one thing I have learned it is that "fun" clothes I buy-especially a bright pattern-I'm really buying for the woman who scoops it from the secondhand store.

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    1. That is a GREAT way of looking at things, Duchesse, and I am going to repeat that in my own mind the next time I am tempted by something 'fun' - that I'm really buying it for a stranger who is going to get a great price!

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  17. The synchronicity of things genuinely astonishes me sometimes... like you - and independently of you - I have been moving towards a smaller wardrobe of dark neutrals.

    Two nights ago, I had a mental argument with myself over two green tops, and a Missoni striped cardigan. When I put them on, I love how they look. But... I know precisely what you mean, about the mental awkwardness. As time progresses, they are not 'me'.

    I made an agreement with myself to keep them until July 1st. If they have not been worn in an outfit that made me feel like a million bucks, they are getting donated/sold!

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  18. thanks for explaining why you're not feeling very comfortable in the bright colors you chose originally. ok ,for me it might have something to do with the type of lifestyle you live. I am a woman who is at home a lot and who plays with my grandchildren etc for me those kinds of clothes would not be what my lifestyle wants nor what I personally would enjoy. It does help to see that you can try things and don't feel horrible if they don't work out in the end thanks again Janice.

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  19. Janice, I love your blog. When I lost 20 kilos a couple of years ago, I had to start from scratch to build a new wardrobe. It gave me the chance to think about my life now (no more corporate suits, rarely need the sparklies for formal evenings in the city, etc). That's when I found your blog, and it helped me immensely--not to give me a set of rules or a list of what you wear so that I can find it for myself, but a way of thinking about clothes and how they fit into my life. They need to fit my life, not vice-versa.

    My new wardrobe is mostly black and grey and RED, my favorite combinations. Fleshed out with some other colors and heavily supplemented by scarves. I have a few pieces of good jewelry that I wear, but to be honest, I mostly wear scarves. (I do blame you for my Hermes addiction, however...) I have no skirts (except for my funeral suit) and no heels (except for my funeral shoes). It feels wonderful to open my closet and be able to see everything I own and to create different combinations every day. Packing for a trip is a breeze.

    This is what works for me. I learned from you that I don't need to have more clothes than I wear on a regular basis. It feels very light and simple. It might not work for someone else, but someone else can take what you've shown us and build what works for them.

    You've been an inspiration to me and to many others as well. Thank you.

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  20. I love reading your blog. Thank you.

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