I don’t talk about it much, but I am pursuing Project 333 in an effort to really learn WHAT I wear most, and what I should thus be keeping in my wardrobe, and perhaps investing in when I start shopping for clothing again. (I don’t plan to buy anything for at LEAST 2 or 3 months, at this stage…)
This is the clothing that’s currently in my Project 333. I’ve got two things in here that aren’t making much sense – the short-sleeved COS dress is wonderful, but I’d have to layer it, and for some reason that seems to keep it in the closet rather than on the back.
And the blue jeans? I don’t HAVE blue jeans anymore… They got to be so much too big that they were donated. Things are not pretty when you’re hallucinating about what’s in your closet!
If you’re super-alert, you’ll note that I worked both of my “stars” from Amsterdam into here. I was holding onto a white tank top, as if that was going to be used in cold weather… and I don’t even remember what other silly thing had to make space for that amazing cardigan!
In the best of all possible worlds, we would wear out clothing equal amounts, but none of us lives in that world. So I’ve been using the Project 333 worksheet (check the Project 333 tab, above, below the Vivienne Files dusty toes header) to keep track of how often I wear things.
In reality, this is what October has looked like:
Maybe a 2nd black long-sleeved tee shirt should be in my eventual shopping plan? And for some reason, my black jeans are out and about constantly…
So, even for someone who studies wardrobes with unnatural attention, there are always things to be learned about our own actions. Isn’t life interesting?
And my request – any photographs from which you would like to see a packing post/capsule wardrobe? Nature, food, animals?
Love these 333 posts, they are my favorites, but I sometimes struggle to relate them to my actual life (retired, live in East Coast suburb). Do you mean that every day you literally wore a combination of only those 23 pieces? Like when you're grocery shopping, vacuuming, etc? For example, only one tee shirt (and no short sleeve shirts at all) during October? Or are these more what you wear if you're "going someplace"?
Janice Riggs says
Yes, I literally wore only these 23 garments outside the apartment (except gym clothes, which are a BIG category for me) in the last 30 days. It really hasn't been that warm here – short sleeves cease to be very useful by the 2nd week of October, usually. We grocery shop every day (1 block from chez nous, and also in the basement of my building). But I have to emphasize that I wear gym clothes EVERY DAY, and a lot of housework gets done while wearing them. But I got out every day, and thus these clothes get worn steadily.
These are my FAVORITE posts!! Please keep updating us on what you wear and what you don't wear. I have come to recognize that I wear the same items over and over again.
hostess of the humble bungalow says
What I would love to see besides your packing list is real photos of you wearing these clothes. It might be a bit of a stretch but I think your readers would love it.
Janice Riggs says
I'm working on that! I'm pretty camera shy, but we're going to give it a try…
I agree with HOtHB, especially the skirted leggings. The five year old ballet dancer in me loves them but the 50 something retired woman can't see them working. I to am doing the 333 and anything that I force myself to use gets evaluated and purged or put aside for consideration of alteration. I'm being unusually ruthless this time around with fit, style and quality. Now to tackle my shoes and handbags.
Janice Riggs says
I have great luck with skirted leggings, but I am the first to admit that they might not be everyone's cup of tea. They really suit the part of me that took ballet lessons for 30 years…
Christyn Bloom Johnson says
I'm heading to Rome for 3 weeks in May for a combination of touring cities (Rome, Florence, Venice, Cinque Terre), photographing remote areas (read active and climbing type situations) and romantic relaxing with my lovely husband. It's quite a mix of activities, and I'm struggling with a wardrobe for that time of year in Central/North Italy. Core colors: black/white/gray with splashes of jade/cobalt/purple (mostly what's in my closet anyway….) I've missed the travel wardrobes…
What about a pair of beautiful shoes as inspiration…
I love seeing your 333 set of clothing, as the colors are so similar to mine. Because I have noticed that I have tended to overwear certain items over the years, like a favorite pair of black pants or jeans, or a favorite cardigan or tee shirt, my shopping strategy accomodates the habit. Because the items are always a well-fitting piece that goes well with everything, and fits me exceedingly well, when I have to replace such a piece I will buy at least 2 of them. My body shape requires v-neck tops, and form fitting pants and cardigans (like a fitted jacket). So I know right away if something will be a favorite again. I can also indulge in another color when I duplicate the cardigan and tee's. I'm not sure if this fits in with the 333 concept, but it works for me to keep my active wardrobe minimal, with everything literally "a favorite".
I agree about the black jeans….they work for almost any occasion.
It would be great to see a capsule built around this photo: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/350506783473181170/
I love your posts!!! Thanks for the 333 worksheet — it's just the thing I need to prune out some dead wood in my closet right now…
Janice Riggs says
beautiful – I'm on it!
Who makes the denim dress? So cute. I like that it has a straight hem. Many have shirt-like hemlines and that doesn't work well with my curvy legs.
Janice Riggs says
J. Jill! http://www.jjill.com/jjillonline/product/itempage.aspx?BID=523833709&item=OJ023M&h=M&sk=M&ac=search
I'm sort of the opposite. When I'm stressed and busy but need good casual ensembles I find it easiest to wear blue jeans (sort of skinny but not too much so as I'm not young or slim…)
Summer here and I have three cotton cardigans in navy, turquoise and periwinkle, three or four coordinating tops and a second capsule of hip-length kaftan type tops over blue jeans for when it is hot. (I got the idea from the Tory Burch collection.) If the kaftan tops are silk or fine material I wear a stretch singlet top underneath which seems to be slimming.
With the cotton cardigan/top combo, any footwear goes from converse style joggers to ballet flats. With the kaftan style tops its sandals or ballet flats.
A neutral bag, jewellery and I'm good to go, dressed in an ensemble but not overdressed.
With what you wore, could you possibly show shoes, jewellry and bag selections please? Seeing entire outfits is really helpful.
Thanks so much for the inspiration.
Janice Riggs says
When I start showing photographs, I will also show complete outfits, with accessories! thanks for asking!
after reading about 3/4 of all of your posts in 2 weeks' time (!!) I am 'all in' with the P333. I started mid-September and also find myself wearing certain items constantly while others just hang in the closet until I think to make myself wear them. I am undecided about what to do with those lesser worn garments. So far I've let them stay in the closet thinking that if I get bored or in 'a mood' I will have other choices, but so far, it hasn't happened. I think I need to do an analysis of the garments I am not wearing and try to figure out *why* so I don't make the same mistakes the next time I buy new clothes. What do you do about the items you (almost) never find yourself wearing?
Janice Riggs says
If something hangs around too long in my closet, I sell it – Tradesy, Twice, or something like that. Or I donate it to a resale shop for a charity clinic in my neighborhood. I just can't stand looking at it – the guilt, and the waste, get me down!
Beatriz Fortes says
I have to admit I built my wardrobe around my jewelry. The only defense I offer is that I am a jewelry designer/metalsmith. My lovely pearls don't look their best against black, so I am adding more greys and blues. Silver, on the other hand, looks amazing on black.
Janice, Thanks so much for all the effort you put into your posts. I've been a dedicated reader for months and have learnt so much. I too would love to see photos of you wearing your wonderfully curated wardrobe.
I would also love to have a post on winter packing. I'm travelling to London and Paris for a month in December and am looking for a few ideas. Being Australian, I struggle with the heavy coat thing. Winters in Europe and the US are so different to ours – your's are freezing outside and centrally heated toasty inside. It's easy to look ok with a good quality black down coat and fabulous scarf but harder to co-ordinate whats on underneath when the coat comes off in museums, shops etc. I have a few cashmere turtlenecks and plan to wear them with black skinnies (and I am not skinny at all) and riding boots, but could I do more? Your Chicago knowledge and experience would be very welcome.
Jules David says
Janice do you have a capsule of denim and dark camel with warm accents on your "list:? It was based on the Yellow Tree picture right before your trip. I'd love to see anything!
I would love to see capsule wardrobes built around a single piece of jewelry. More limiting in terms of color inspiration but because jewelry are such emotional objects, perhaps base it more around the 'spirit' of the item. My fella was a love and let me pick out my own engagment/wedding ring. Sentiment aside the ring speaks more to my personal style than anything else I own and I would love to use it as a starting point for a wardrobe.
Janice did a post once (no idea how to find it) on a woman wore the same necklace every day – it is was big, blingy, turquoise and orange. It was possibly the most brilliant post of all time (except for all the other most brilliant posts of all time…). I did not care for the necklace at all (but obviously, this woman loved it). However, it was using all of Janice's ideas – with color. Every time I read a comment about how someone doesn't like Janice's wardrobe because they would be board with all the black and white, I think about the post with the big colorful necklace.
'bored' (color me embarrassed)
That is one of my favorite TVF posts as well. Your point is interesting. People react so strongly to a streamlined wardrobe as 'boring' but also shy away from statement pieces as 'too much'
I would love to see a Robin (the bird) inspired Winter wardrobe.
Ooh, me too. Or any bird painting by Molly Hashimoto — I already have her "California Quail" on my outfit inspiration board for this fall.
For a true Project 333, you really have to pare the clothing items down because belts, jewelry, shoes and even sunglasses count as part of your 33 items. I find I can only afford to include one pair of earrings and one necklace, or I don't have enough clothing to keep it interesting. And the shoes :( Never enough shoes! It's such a great exercise for me because I realize I wear only a tiny amount of my clothes regularly.
Ellen L. Stanclift says
I'd love to see an affordable (I.e., Uniqlo vs. Chanel) capsule around sme if Andrew Wyeth's work…Sea Running or nature photography, such a Glowing Autumn 2000 by Christopher Burkett. I'd also love to see more skirts in the mix, instead of tons of (very cute) pants.
i just noticed that this time around, you didn't choose any skirts (not counting your capri-skirt-thingie) — only dresses. why did you decide that? is it because your EF velvet skirt finally died? I am finding myself actually shifting away from dresses and more toward skirts for the higher versatility….
Janice, First time commenting… I love your blog. My question, which you may have addressed in the past. Is, have you ever had your color season done? Where do you fall? I see a large amount of black in your personal wardrobe, which suggests a winter. Discovering I am a soft autumn has changed my whole approach to clothes and made it so much easier to let go of things that don't work, thus thinning the closet herd. Also, I've discovered that my favorites inevitably match my color fan perfectly, and bring out the best in my complexion.