Project 333, Fall 2018: The closet conundrum

August 17th is National Thrift Shop Day!

Project 333 (sort of). Season: fall and early winter 2018
#project333 (link to Courtney Carver's home page)

Welcome to my eleventh attempt at clothing capsuling coherence. During the past almost-three years of Project 333 I crossed the mid-century mark, downsized to an apartment (with my husband and teenager), became a part-time student,  took a couple of plane trips, and returned to thrift-store volunteering.

I felt like I was planning in circles this time around. I like "dressing up" clothes, but my lifestyle is casual, and often dusty-sweaty (like unloading donated boxes of books). Those realities don't always blend so well in a small wardrobe. I tried making a capsule-within-a-capsule of jeans and t-shirts, but in the end it was easier to list everything together. Some things cross back and forth anyway. I tried a few other approaches, but they were all making me unhappy about what wasn't going to make the cut. Besides that, my half of the shared closet was very messy, and I couldn't figure out why. I don't have forgotten clothes from years ago, or impulse buys with tags still on them. But I pulled everything out just the same, and started re-hanging the definite keepers.

The answer to the second problem turned out to be related to the first. I needed more hangers. Not for the closet, because, it turned out, I had just enough space and just enough hangers to hang up everything that didn't fit in the dresser (see below), minus a few also-rans that are heading back to the thrift store. The real roadblock to my sartorial serenity was a laundry issue.

I do a lot of air-drying over the bathroom shower rod. On hangers, which have to be filched from the closet, which causes shortages and therefore clothes doubled up and hard to see. A-ha moment there: I need to buy some extra hangers just for laundry use, and I also need to not stuff the now-dry tops into the closet where they cause traffic jams.
As for the first problem: I renewed my vows to Kon Mari, and folded all my t-shirts into one drawer, from tanks to pullovers. I  folded heavy winter things into another drawer, along with the jeans I wear the most. 
Second a-ha moment: what did fit into those spaces is now my working wardrobe until whenever. I suddenly did not have to choose between this thing and that thing just because it wasn't in the plan. I could keep my dressy pants, my worn-but-comfortable sweatshirt dress, and all my purple t-shirts. I stopped being unhappy. 


So don't look for numbers this time around. This season is more about using space well.

Expected events: Thanksgiving in October, and a weekend retreat shortly after that.
Expected weather: September can stay hot for awhile, October cools off, and by November we might even see snow.
Favourite shopping source: The Mennonite Central Committee thrift store, and sometimes a consignment store. I also bought a couple of new tops at the mall-outlet store of a locally-originated clothing company. It's not a perfect buy-local solution, but it's partway there.
Wish list: Shoes or boots. I had to discard two pairs of boots that were worn beyond repair, so now I need something for everyday wear besides sneakers.

Starting with Pink

This season's inspiration was a postcard of Pierre Bonnard's painting Bouquet of Flowers. It's not that different from other floral paintings I've used, but, to me anyway, it feels a bit lightened up. 
I wanted to use this grey, pink, and white scarf from the antiques market. (Just because you find something at an antiques market doesn't make it an antique.)
Grey was something I had; but I was a bit short on pink, so the thrift store helped out with a couple of sweaters. This is what I came up with: a pink zippered cardigan, a shirt, a belt, a pashmina-type scarf, a pair of pink quartz earrings (Christmas gift), and a few other bits of jewelry. 
Deeper pink berry and purplish-pink things: a sleeveless top (and a circle scarf the same colour), a pullover, and a tank top. Also some purple jewelry. 

This and That

Wine-coloured cardigan (thrifted)
Navy marled pullover (thrifted)
Grey snakeskin-patterned tunic sweater (thrifted)
Purple patterned scarf (thrifted)
Purple suede skirt (thrifted) 
Purple sweater dress (thrifted) 
Grey suit for warmer weather (thrifted) 

Other things (not everything)

Long-sleeved off-white t-shirt (thrifted) 

Off-white lace top (thrifted)

ADDED: Blue and white pinstriped shirt (thrifted)

ADDED: Purple party top (thrifted)
Blue jeans (NEW, thrifted) 

Leggings, dark grey-brown (NEW, thrifted)

Grey corduroy pants (thrifted)
Purplish-brown (or brownish-purple) short-sleeved top (NEW)
Charcoal brushed-fabric top (NEW)
Taupe ribbon-knit top (NEW, consignment store)
Grey cardigan with cutout sides, toggle closings (NEW, thrifted)
ADDED: grey sweatshirt cardigan (thrifted) (the pink is the lining)
Grey knit-fabric skirt (thrifted)
Navy "silky sweatpants" (NEW, consignment store)

Grey blazer (thrifted)

Floral-patterned denim shirt dress (thrifted), usually worn open as a third layer 

Multi-coloured knitted vest for cooler weather


Grey poncho and circle scarf (consignment store) 
Sage-green jacket (thrifted/D.I.Y.)
Purple faux-suede coat (thrifted)
(Rain and snow jackets for dirty weather)

What can I wear?

Unexpected heat wave: burgundy tank top or another t-shirt, dig out some shorts or summer cropped pants

Unexpected blizzard: corduroy pants, sweater layered over a shirt, snow jacket, dig out the winter boots and gloves

Hanging out at home: wine top, leggings, pinkish-purple circle scarf, pink and purple earrings

Hanging out at home: navy t-shirt or sweatshirt, blue jeans, fuzzy socks

Getting cooler, layering: raspberry pullover over denim shirt dress, skinny jeans

Walking to the library: pink cardigan over a t-shirt and grey jeans, sneakers, blue backpack

Thrift shop day: grey jeans, off-white t-shirt, grey cardigan with cutout sides, running shoes

Thrift shop day: plum top with wine cardigan, blue jeans, running shoes

Thrift shop day: grey pullover, grey cords or jeans, running shoes, maybe a scarf

Thrift shop day: raspberry shirt with grey cardigan, grey pants, running shoes

Old-cars night in September: charcoal top or off-white top, jean shirt worn open, blue jeans, slip-on shoes

Sewing afternoon at church: grey or pink top with wine cardigan, grey pants, slip-on shoes

Evening meeting: Pinstriped shirt, grey cardigan with cutout sides, blue jeans, slip-on shoes, blue satchel

Dinner out: taupe ribbon-knit top over a camisole or tank top, navy pants, grey and pink silk scarf, earrings, slip-on shoes, black pouch purse

Dinner out: purple dress pulled up to tunic length; leggings; purple infinity scarf; grey purse, slip-on shoes

Dinner out: grey print blouse over a tank or other top, grey pants, mixed-metals necklace, silver earrings, black ankle boots

Church, casual, warm weather: Taupe ribbon-knit top over tank top, grey pinstriped jeans, bead necklaces or grey and pink silk scarf, slip-on shoes, purse

Church: raspberry pullover, grey skirt and tights, ankle boots, grey and burgundy scarf or paisley shawl, grey purse

Wanting to look grownup occasion: purple dress, grey blazer, scarf, jewelry, good shoes, grey purse

Serious occasion #2: grey dress, good shoes, silver jewelry.

Last updated September 27, 2018

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