Well, maybe. I’m writing about my clothes, though, that’s for sure. Terrifying, yet understandable, given my return to the adult world and all. So, what exactly do I wear when I’m not sporting spit-up-covered yoga pants? Read on!
You all may or may not have heard of Project333. As someone who tried (and loved!) 30 for 30 (twice, no less), I figured it was time to raise the stakes. Also: the sheer amount of Stuff in our house was giving me the blues. I maintain that the best place to start purging is somewhere I’ll notice the difference every single day. Can’t get much more daily than the clothes you wear! (And yes, it has helped to carry the change to other parts of the home. It’s a wonderful feeling.) Back to the clothes! As much as I liked the idea of a limited wardrobe for a season, however, I just felt overwhelmed trying to come up with a list of 33 items to carry me through work, casual and crawl-on-the-carpet aspects of my life. I had sheets and sheets of tables, charts, lists; my clothing was piled all over our bedroom. The whole situation was a mess. I needed guidance.
I used Emily’s colour palette formula as a baseline for creating the work-appropriate part of my wardrobe. That formula, btw, is brilliant. Love it! I don’t know if it’s just that I rail against traditional “must have” lists for women’s clothing, or feel that what most fashion folk state can be worn “anywhere” really won’t work for an average walk with my dog, or what, but having someone break down the whole clothing mess into “top+bottom+one other garment” chunks for each colour just made so much more sense to me. A woman with a toddler, however, can not live in office casual clothing alone. To mix in some casual stuff (and because bossy-voiced no-nonsense fashion blogs reassure me; after all, I clearly have no idea what I’m doing…), I went with Hayley’s “No Brainer Wardrobe” series. This I found… a little more like those “14 Items No Woman Should Be Without!” lists, but still helpful. I looked at her Essential and Staples, eliminated anything I knew I would never (ever) wear, and modified some iffy ones to garments more my style (i.e. already in my closet). An example? Her suggestion for a maxi skirt isn’t bad… except that I don’t wear maxi skirts. At least not the long, drapey ones. I already have no discernible waist. Wearing a maxi skirt like the one she suggests just makes me look even more like a plank. I do, however, love full-bodied, full-length circle/half-circle skirts; they’re like the grown-up version of dressing like a princess. So I swapped in one of those instead.
How did I do? Well, I ended up with more than 33 items, and I didn’t even include outerwear, shoes or accessories. I know all the minimalist fashion blogs state that if you choose the right outerwear, you can wear it anywhere, but I politely call bullshit on that. The jacket I reach for to walk my dog in a blizzard, or play with Starfish in the snow will not be the same one I pull on to go to work on a day with client meetings. Nor would I want it to be. Ditto boots. So for all the people who can pack for weather from -40 to +35, cover business, casual and the occasional wedding in 33 items, I applaud you. Given that the goal of this whole ride was to create a more minimalistic, modular wardrobe, however, I’m not going to get hung up on a few extra items. Here are the pseudo-rules I ended up with:
- Shifted timeline to be more in sync with Ontario weather: December-February, March-May, June-August, September-November; assuming I stick with it. Given that started work in mid-November, this also gave me a couple weeks to test-drive the new wardrobe to make sure I didn’t miss anything critical.
- Accessories don’t count. The whole idea behind a modular wardrobe is that it can be jazzed up with well-chosen accessories. Since I don’t really know how to do that (yet?), I’m not about to start limiting my options. I have been getting rid of accessories I know I won’t use or wear, but I still don’t think they should be part of the count.
- Optional modules. The original challenge states that PJs, “house loungewear”, exercise gear, etc. don’t count. I decided to give myself a framework for single-usage clothing: specifically, I am allowed to keep 5 items either to extend my base clothing, or to act as standalone items. Clothing I applied this to? Yoga Teaching, Exercise Gear, Gardening/House Construction, Dressy-Up Evening Wear *, Fun in the Sun ?!?!?!?!, Fan Gear (mostly jerseys).
* Yeah, yeah, I should have this covered in my 33. I do. Nonetheless, there are times I want to wear something other than a LBD on an evening out, and this is my closet. So there.
And that’s pretty much it. My grand total came in at 36 items, and so far it’s going pretty well! Didn’t want to bore anyone with a list (and, uh, didn’t have enough Laundry Coordination to take a picture of all the garments hung up) but if you’re curious, let me know.
As part of my planning (and yes, I did use a table chart to figure out the balance of tops/bottoms/sweaters vs colours), I ended up with a number of garments I thought would work well that I didn’t actually have. Thus was born the “to make” column, and I’m really excited about that! (Go Part One!) Given my lack of time for personal projects, I have no idea when/if I’ll ever get to knock anything off that list, but here’s hoping! Should it happen, I will definitely update.