Last updated January 14, 2017"I love that Project 333 gives me permission to wear my favorite things every day." ~~ Courtney Carver, BeMoreWithLess
Homepage for BeMoreWithLess/Project 333 #project333
My first Project 333 page (Late Winter/Spring 2016)
My Summer 2016 Project 333 page
My Fall 2016 Project 333 page
Winter's End 2017 (February through April)
Time period: Mid-November through
Weather in November: so far it's mild, but in January the snow in the yard will be up to your knees
Total number of items, including accessories: currently at 37
Just to mix things up for winter... I wasn't even going to do a new list for this season, but I recently added a few pieces of clothing, and I wanted to make sure that the best performers got the most lines (so to speak). If you've ever looked at The Vivienne Files website, you'll know it's an amazing resource for thinking about how clothes can work together, and how the inspiration for a person's whole style can come from just about anywhere: a painting, a scarf, the colours of a bird, any beautiful thing that (as the site owner says) speaks to you but isn't lying.
So what are my best-beloved images? The Vivienne Files did several outfits around Emily Carr's Scorned as Timber, Beloved of the Sky, which is a painting I do love; but I also like paintings by the so-iconic-he's-a-cliché Canadian artist Lawren Harris (who was an influence on Emily Carr).
Lawren Harris, North Shore of Lake Superior
I like my jar of pink and grey Lake Huron pebbles.
I like Maurice Sendak's poster for The Magic Flute.
I am also antiquated enough to like Homer Watson's paintings of our own area. (What is it with all the full moons?)
Homer Watson, Ice Break on the Grand River
But here's the thing: you can't sit around without any clothes on, hoping for the right bird to land outside your window. You might not know which painting you like above all others, or then again you might, but you can't find anything in mustard and chartreuse. The Vivienne Files emphasizes neutral, go-with-everything clothes as a foundation for whatever else might happen. It makes sense: if you do find a blouse in chartreuse, or a beautiful but hard-to-match pink, it's nice to know that you have a couple of light or dark skirts or pants that will let the great colour be the star.
So here is my winter list, starting with eight basic grey and navy pieces.
Dark grey dress pants (thrifted) (shown with Revolve dress, styled as a top) LAST-MINUTE SMALL CHANGE: switched these out for a pair of similar-coloured cotton pants (see the Updates notes, below)
Grey pull-on pants (thrifted)
Long-sleeved grey t-shirt (thrifted)
ADDED: deep grey silk-linen oversized shirt (thrifted)
ADDED: grey straight-leg jeans (thrifted)
ADDED: two navy pullover sweaters (thrifted). One is a cotton crewneck, the other is a little bit dressier.
Six tops, in shades of red (raspberry) and purple (plum, wisteria) that work with the greys:
Raspberry cotton-blend pullover (consignment store)
Jersey t-shirt in red plum, with 3/4 length sleeves (thrifted)
Grey and burgundy plaid shirt (consignment store)
Wisteria long-sleeved jersey t-shirt
Raspberry top with sequins and a bit of texture NEW (thrifted)
ADDED: raspberry zippered vest. (NEW, thrifted) It's not down or quilted, it's just a soft brushed polyester, but it's a good colour match for the things I have.
Six green things:
Green and grey mix crewneck pullover (thrifted)
Everglade Green (now called dark teal) Chrysalis Cardi, a multipurpose piece of clothing that can be a skirt, wrap, dress, scarf, and more. I bought it first for its dress style, but I wear it more in other ways. The skirt style was an unofficial but useful bonus.
Long-sleeved medium-green t-shirt (thrifted)
Teal jersey top with embroidered neckline (consignment store); and a (new) long-sleeved jersey t-shirt, which is so close in colour to the other top that I may end up using it as a replacement
ADDED: seafoam-green pullover (thrifted)
Teal open-front jacket, which reminds me of Lawren Harris's evergreen trees
Dark-wash jeans (thrifted)
Khaki cotton pants (thrifted)
Grey-blue long-sleeved t-shirt with pockets (thrifted)
Blue button-up shirt (thrifted)
Grey-blue sweater dress (thrifted, shortened)
If you're still counting, we're now up to 26 pieces of clothing.
Let's add in some outerwear, because this is winter in Canada: Snow jacket, knitted hat, gloves, snow boots, a muffler: we'll count all that as two items, because it's my outdoor uniform for the next four or five months. Photographs of people outdoors in January dressed in cute sweaters are all very well in magazines, but in real life here you just put on your toque and zip up your parka.
I should also add in my purple fake-suede coat (thrifted, handsewn by someone unknown). I had it on my fall list, but barely wore it; lately I've been giving it more use. It's fun wearing something less ordinary for very ordinary errands.
On to stuff that's more fun: at the thrift store, I found a plum, pink, and grey scarf that looks like somebody made it in a weaving class. It looks like my jar of pebbles. (That makes 29 items)
And there are my other scarves to jazz up the grey clothes: the Twilight Twirl scarf pictured earlier; another new striped scarf (also from Ten Thousand Villages); a couple of pink ones; and the indigo-print scarf I found last winter. And a belt. (Let's say we're up to 32)
Shoes: at home in the winter, it's slippers and socks; and outside it's snow boots. But there are certain times you don't want to be clomping around in snow boots, so I have my fall boots, grey wedges, and (NEW) teal heels on standby. (all thrifted; that makes about 35)
Purses: the same charcoal leather handbag and small grey-blue purse I used in the fall. (thrifted; that makes 37)
On the wish list?
I'm looking for a small purse for special occasions. I've also been looking for an off-white blouse or sweater at the thrift store for awhile now, but haven't found one I like. (Found!) I like that lighter purple in the Lawren Harris painting, so that's something I might keep an eye out for, maybe in a top. (Found! Wisteria long-sleeved t-shirt, listed above.)
Update, November 14: Barely started and already some changes.
Have I ever mentioned that I like thrift stores? Our local store lately has been a treasure trove of good stuff. We have been there with unusual frequency for us, three times in the last two weeks; and I keep finding things. Today's treasure was an oversized, deep grey shirt (photo above), that makes me think of kimonos. I also found a pair of grey jeans, and a light blue crinkle-cotton scarf that bled blue dye all over the towel when I gave it a quick handwashing. (It was an old towel, luckily.)
Occasionally I do buy new things from a "real" store, although that seems to be getting rarer. The scarf in the photo is from Ten Thousand Villages. I have a couple of t-shirts coming soon, from a Canadian chain that often has basics in beautiful colours. But that's it for the next while.And yes, I realize that bringing these extra things home is going to change this season's Project 333 into more of a Project 336 or 339. But that's okay.
November 16th: "How Project 333 and The Vivienne Files Unleashed My Inner Shopper." Another side to the story!
November 23rd: Another two thrifted items: a raspberry brushed-polyester zippered vest, and an off-white long-sleeved t-shirt. The vest seems like a fun and warm thing to wear in winter, and the t-shirt is just a basic I didn't have.
November 27th: I didn't mention, two weeks ago, that I had bought another pair of grey pants along with the grey jeans. They were both very cheap, so I bought them both. When i tried them on at home, I liked the jeans better, so the cotton pants seemed like one too many pairs. Today I pulled them out again and I liked them so much that I'm swapping them for the less-comfortable, fancier-fabric dress pants. Most of what I do is really casual anyway, so the plain cotton is a better choice. Good thing something told me to have that second look.
December 5th: How to get around the fact that you don't have all the "right" pieces in your wardrobe
Here is a simple fact of life: not everybody can or should own one of everything, all of the time. This is as true with clothes as with anything else. What do you do when you're short on something? My teenager's usual solution for this is to call up her friend around the corner and see if she can borrow whatever it is. Since I don't have that option, I have to stay creative on my own.
This winter I am short on second layers: cardigan sweaters and things like that, that can be the third piece in an outfit. I do have blazers, but they're too "office" for church, and not comfortable to wear around the house. I realized that, in the "problem" described above, I could go out shopping for cardigans. Or maybe I already had enough other things that were meeting my own real needs. I had enough clothes that would keep me warm, if that was the issue. I had other clothes I could layer. I did find a zippered vest, so I've been wearing that at home, and I also wear pullovers (which should count as second layers), and shirts worn over t-shirts. My Chrysalis Cardi makes a good extra layer too. When I'm cold and I need something in a hurry, I pull out my denim shirt/jacket, which isn't on my list for this winter but probably should be.
My favourite way to fill in the gap, when I want something more dressy, is with scarves. If they're big enough, you can wear them as shawls, or belt them over a dress (below).
When it came down to it, I realized I was doing fine already, for my own set of occasions, without adding anything that buttoned up the front.
Some people live in Texas and do not have winter coats. Some people do not own a dress. Some people do not own yoga pants. Or running shoes. If you only sort-of need something, or need it once in awhile, maybe you can improvise. And if you need to admit that you hate high heels, or jeans, or cardigans, that's okay too. (Doesn't that feel better?)
January 14th update: Click over to the Winter's End 2017 page to see the next list!
Real Outfits, Real Life (ongoing ideas)
Grey oversized shirt worn as jacket, over wisteria t-shirt and grey jeans, with a long, deeper purple scarf
Green/grey pullover, over the green Chrysalis Cardi styled as a longer skirt, with tights and boots
Grey jeans, grey-blue t-shirt with pockets or long-sleeved grey top, sky blue scarf, sparkly earrings
Grey pull-on pants, t-shirt, raspberrry pullover, grey/pink/plum woven scarf
Grey-green pullover, jeans, grey-green striped scarf
Grey tank top, green Chrysalis Cardi worn cardi or cape style, jeans or pull-on pants, grey-green striped circle scarf
Grey jeans, grey t-shirt or tank top, sky-blue scarf belted over top (it's a big scarf)
Grey pull-on pants, grey Revolve dress worn as top, raspberry vest, plus a necklace made of beads in a red/raspberry colour
Grey pull-on pants or jeans, grey/burgundy plaid shirt, raspberry vest (as close as I get to being a hoser)
Grey cotton pants, grey Revolve dress as top, raspberry vest (I know, it sounds almost the same), plus my oldest silk scarf that has a lot of grey and a bit of raspberry in it. I would never have thought.
Grey cotton pants, dark grey silk-linen shirt worn over teal green long-sleeved t-shirt, plus the grey-green striped infinity scarf
Dinner date with my husband: Revolve dress as a tunic over last winter's charcoal jeggings; the same silk scarf, worn loose (it's a long rectangle, not very big), and some nice dangly earrings I got on clearance at Ten Thousand Villages.
Khaki pants, off-white top, deep pink pashmina-type scarf. (It's about the same shade as the zippered vest.)
New Year's Eve: long-sleeved seastorm-green jersey t-shirt, a scarf in about the same colour (thrifted), and a black not-real-velvet midi skirt I found on the dollar rack at the thrift store.