Project 333: Winter's End 2017

Last updated February 27, 2017 (paring-down post, scroll to end)

"Go without the excess in your closet for three months and see what it’s really all about." ~~ Courtney Carver, BeMoreWithLess

Homepage for BeMoreWithLess/Project 333 #project333
My Fall 2016 Project 333 page
My November 2016 through January 2017 page

Time period:  February, March, and April

Total number of items: 37, more or less; I made changes and lost track of the numbers.


What isn't counted?

Jewelry, belts, and scarves. Pajamas, tights and socks, underwear. A couple of at-home t-shirts.

Why another page so soon?

I had planned this capsule to go from Valentine's Day to late May, but I backed it up by a couple of weeks to keep from overlapping too much with the warm weather. The next list will cover May through August.

Weather: "Spring" around here is a bit of a misnomer. Spring weather in southern Ontario seems to last for about two weeks, parked somewhere between the death rattles of winter in April, and the yard-saling-and-gardening pleasantness by the end of May. So this season's list is going to assume a lot of cold, snow, and damp, winter's end rather than a long balmy spring.

Things going on: Most weekdays  I am at home, or maybe doing errands or having coffee with my husband (we both work from home). My "a notch up" clothes (see photos below) are for times when I actually might be taking my coat off, like at a meeting; or just for days at home when I want to feel un-messy. "Church," "dinner out," and "party clothes" are self-explanatory. Valentine's Day here is pretty low-key--maybe a trip to our favourite Chinese restaurant. Easter in April is a church morning and family time later, and clothes depend on the weather. (If it's really warm, I might pull out a spring dress that's not on the list.) I do have a birthday in there too (not a major one this year).
That's not a halo, I was standing against the light.

A scarf story

I saw this cotton-silk scarf on the Ten Thousand Villages website, and it reminded me of Emily Carr's Scorned as Timber, Beloved of the SkyWhile I'm happy to support TTV when I can, I didn't want to buy an expensive scarf just now. (I checked out the scarf in person, and while it is pretty, the colours are a bit different in real life, so I'm glad I didn't order one. But it was a good place to start thinking.)

But then I realized that most of what I like about that scarf (and the painting) is also in this one, found at a yard sale last spring.
 It's lightweight sheer fabric, it can fold flat, and it's large enough to be worn as a wrap, a shawl, or a shrug.  If you knot the corners, it can even be a kimono wrap.

So that's my start-with-a-scarf inspiration for this season.

Starting with a dress

One of the thrifted things in my closet is a mid-calf length, sleeveless, purple crepe dress. Not your typical summer maxi; this one could have been a bridesmaid's dress. I keep leaving it off my lists, because wandering around in a long dress feels like I'm playing in my mother's closet, or becoming the old woman who wants to wear purple. It doesn't look like it would pull its weight in real life.

But this dress is actually pretty useful, even in cold weather. It layers well under sweaters and tops, and it works with tights and boots. It can be hiked up a bit with a belt. The dark purple blends well with other colours, including plum and grey-blue.

Moral of the story: sometimes playing dressup is worthwhile.

Another dress story

The deep grey Revolve dress/tunic/top from Encircled has been in my last two lists. As I said the first time, it's nice to have something you can wear almost anywhere, anytime, dressed up or down.  The tunic style made me capsule-cheat with a pair of charcoal jeggings that I bought new a year ago (not from Encircled). They had started losing a line of stitching along the waistband, so I de-listed them out of annoyance with the Bad Quality of Things These Days. But I've fixed the loose waistband thingy and plan to keep wearing them.


Where did the "thrifted" notes go?

The majority of my clothes are from the thrift store, or occasionally the consignment store.  I'm only noting the sources for NEW additions.


List of everything

1. Snow jacket / boots / hat / gloves
2. Purple fake-suede longer coat
3. Sage-green outdoor jacket (when it warms up)

4. Small grey-blue shoulder bag
5. Purple tote bag (upcycled from the skirt that used to go with the coat)
6. Charcoal leather handbag
7. Purple purse (thrifted, NEW).

8. Dressy shoes, grey wedges
9. Boots, short grey suede-type
10. Boots, workboot style

11. Smoke Grey Revolve dress/tunic/top
12. Purple sleeveless maxi dress
13. Grey-blue cotton-knit sweater dress (can be belted to tunic length)

14.Dark grey sweatshirt with a zippered neckline (thrifted, NEW)
15. Off-white t-shirt, long sleeves
16. Red plum jersey t-shirt, 3/4 length sleeves
17. Green t-shirt, long sleeves.
18. Wisteria (light purple) jersey t-shirt, long sleeves  I liked the colour of this, but I was unimpressed with the poor quality of the fabric. Note to self: no more orders from that store unless I can shop there in person and see exactly what I'm getting.
18. Dark blue dolman-sleeved t-shirt (NEW, thrifted). A thrifted find that lost its shape too quickly.
18. Grey-blue t-shirt with pockets, 3/4 length sleeves
19. Lightweight dark denim-type shirt (thrifted, NEW)
20. Light-coloured denim jacket (really a shirt)
21. Grey and burgundy plaid shirt
22. Heavy longer-length blue button-up shirt  Donating this because I wear it the least of all my shirts.
22. Raspberry pullover sweater
23. Mixed green/grey pullover sweater
24. Dark grey wrap-style cardigan sweater (NEW, consignment store). This is quite warm and heavy, in spite of not having buttons or zipper. It came with an attached sash, but I took it off.
25. Lightweight, long-sleeved, grey-blue cardigan sweater.
26. Grey cotton-linen blazer with dark grey trim (NEW, thrifted). Shown with the Revolve dress.
27. Grey pull-on pants (my version of yoga pants)
28. Blue jeans
29. Dark grey jeans
30. Charcoal jeggings
31. Khaki pants

Late additions

32. Short-sleeved knit tunic/dress, soft teal green (NEW, thrifted).
33. Deep pink long-sleeved shirt. (Valentine's Day!) (NEW, consignment store clearance rack)
34. Cotton-blend long-sleeved pullover sweater, in my navy, which is really grey-blue but works better for me than dark navy blue. (NEW, thrifted)
35. Grey pullover dress that I might shorten into a tunic. (NEW, thrifted)

36. Green pullover sweater with an interesting button/wrap front, from the dollar rack (NEW, thrifted)

37. Navy short-sleeved long t-shirt (NEW, thrifted)

Outfit ideas

Really casual

Plaid shirt, jeans or grey pants

Denim shirt over grey-blue t-shirt, khaki pants

Plaid shirt, raspberry pullover, jeans

A notch up

Blue shirt, khaki pants, scarf

Off-white t-shirt, khaki pants, scarf

Dark blue t-shirt, grey pants, scarf
Raspberry pullover, layered over the Revolve dress

Church and things like that

Revolve dress with scarf

Sweater dress, scarf, shoulder bag
Sweater dress, with a scarf belted over it.  This is the London Fog green and grey striped scarf from Ten Thousand Villages.

Dinner out
Revolve dress as tunic, charcoal jeggings, scarf.
Wisteria top and purple scarf layered over purple maxi dress, with grey tights and boots

Party Clothes
Revolve dress with silver scarf (handmade from freebie fabric) and silver braided belt
Purple maxi dress with scarf used as a shrug

More fun with clothes
Plum t-shirt, layered over the purple dress, with vintage painted silk scarf worn necklace style, or just loose
Off-white top, grey sweater, grey pull-on pants, pink scarf
Green sweater dress and scarf

How do you tell if the clothes plan is working?

1. You're not standing in front of the closet thinking that you have nothing to wear.

2. If you lay everything out in one place, or hang it up on a rack and take a picture, it seems to have some rhyme and reason. 
3. You can pull your major clothes into a Vivienne Files 4 x 4 (16-item) basic wardrobe. Or, even if you can't, you still have enough things to keep you decently clothed most of the time. When I tried the 4 x 4 plan with this season's list, I found that there was room for either the pinks and purples (YAY, to quote Vanita Bentley), or the greens; so that's helpful to know if I had to pull a few things together in a hurry. 

4.  You are dressing for yourself and maybe the people who matter most to you, and never mind about the others. You feel like you in your clothes--right age, right size, right time, right priorities. So you don't have to take yourself and what you're wearing too seriously.

End-of-a-year update (February 27th)

About a year ago, I set up my first Project 333 capsule wardrobe. It wasn't particularly cohesive or coherent; just everything I had left in my closet after getting rid of things that didn't fit or I didn't like. Even some of the remaining things got phased out, or worn out, over the next while.  Last winter/spring's list does not look much like this year's. I'm still in learning mode.

Why am I still doing this a year later? Mostly, I think, because it keeps a lid on what I bring in and use. A "thrift haul" for me might be two or three things; but that's two or three things. Two or three, plus two or three, plus two or three, can be a problem.  I'm thinking it's time to step things up...or down...to a new level of "enough." Not for minimalism as an end in itself, but as an experiment in making the most of my own best, and letting the rest of the stuff move on without me.

UPDATE: one large garbage bag of less-necessary, less-lived-in things, ready to go. That's actually a relief.

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