P333: Week 6 + 7

I had a week away from work and I didn’t put on real clothes, so you’re getting a double dose of things that I’ve been wearing. You will notice palazzo pants. They were everything I imagined they would be in the summer heat – nice and ventilated. Glad that worked out.

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On my favorite designer

Emerson Fry totally gets me. Season after season, I look to the line for great pieces and styling to ogle. Her girl always looks so cool. The clothes have simple but interesting silhouettes, are impeccably tailored, and are all (with the exception of the shoes) made in the U.S.A.

‘Murica.

If I had to spend the rest of my days in head-to-toe EF, I wouldn’t complain. It’s all just too good.

Head to their blog to read interviews with the designer about the fall collection, why she chooses the materials she does, and lots of collages with succulents peppered throughout.

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sensing a theme

Grey coats are having a moment on my Pinboard. I like the idea of something roomy to throw over light shirts instead of a sweatshirt or cardigan. Gives off that “I tried although I didn’t actually try” vibe. The shoes I thought were nice.

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Clockwise from top left:

Emerson Fry Fall 14 Topper Coat (early access sign up here) + cobra embossed Thin Strap Heels
Christophe Lemaire Tweed Coat via The Line (check out the Building a Timeless Wardrobe article)
Étoile Isabel Marant boyfriend coat via The Working Girl
Life with Bird coat via The Chronicles of Her (another post on wardrobe refinement)
ASOS Oversized Wrap Coat via Modern Legacy

 

Project 333 | Capsule Wardrobes and the Frequent Shopper

 

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austerity is the new black; image found on Pinterest

One of the tenets of Project 333 is to work with what you have; that you shouldn’t have to sink money into making your seasonal wardrobe work. While I love the thought of that, I had a feeling it wouldn’t be the case for me when I started.

As an admitted (sometime-y) compulsive spender, I wondered how I would take to Project 333. I didn’t think the execution would be difficult because I was already wearing the same things all the time. I was more interested in how limiting myself to 33 items of clothing for 3 months at a time would impact my spending habits. Since the individual controls the project’s specifics, there is a lot of room between “I only own 33 items” and “here are 33 brand new things I just bought to wear for the next 3 months.” I didn’t think I’d fall into the latter extreme, but I knew I wouldn’t be in the former either.

Now, with almost two months completed in my first season, I’ve noticed a few changes in how I approach shopping for clothes.  Maybe there’s hope after all.

Distance. The structure of Project 333 deters you from immediately enjoying a new item. You can rotate something into a current capsule, but you’d have to lose something else to make room for it. Because of this waiting period between buying something and using it, it’s much harder to justify an impulse buy.

Engagement. I’ve spent a lot of time planning my edit for next season. For a semi-perfectionist who loves making lists, collages, and spreadsheets with calculating columns, this isn’t a bad thing. Time allows me to streamline the edit, make sure things work together in the best way possible, and find ways to spend less money. I’m sure the point of Project 333 is to spend less time doing things like this, but I enjoy it. That said, I can see this part of the process becoming a lot less involved as this project rolls on.

Standards. Before I started P333, the only condition for buying something was its ability to complete at least three outfits. This is not a high bar set for someone who wears jeans and neutrals. Now, the first question I ask myself when browsing is “would I choose this to be 1 of 33 pieces to wear for 3 months?” If the answer is no, the item isn’t versatile enough or appropriate for my lifestyle, and therefore out of the question. This filter also helps with paring down what I already own. I have a lot of creative notions about who I am and where all these clothes fit in, but ultimately, I have a demanding job and a toddler; everything I like just ain’t about that life. There’s a lot more room in my closet as a result.

Mending. I’ve always tried to properly maintain garments, but sometimes it feels good to buy a new thing when an old one has worn down. Since starting the project, I’m more keen on keeping items in rotation for as long as possible. Before, if something needed to be fixed or altered, it would sit on a hanger or in a drawer for months. Fine if you have tons of clothing options at your disposal; not so fine when you’re working within a strict limit. Now, I take anything not immediately wearable to the tailor, cobbler, or denim doctor. A great side effect? Not having to buy a new thing because you fixed the old one at a fraction of the cost. Crazy idea, right?

I’m curious to see how this develops over the long term, what with all my newfound ability to say no to buying things for the sake of buying them. Exciiiiiiiting!