Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Project 333 Week 3

Number of outfits this week:
4 work outfits, 2 casual outfits


Sorry for another quick post, I'm finding I took on a little much this month !

Project 333 is very doable when it's clothing only. I definetly want to do this again, but with shoes included next time. I added my 33rd item this week even though I only have used about 2/3 of my items. I needed another pair of jeans- I only had one pair and they got wet and had to change.

I've finally put away the clothing not in my capsule and feel less tempted to wear them. Again, I've only worn about 2/3 of my items which really shows that 33 pieces (when not counting layering camis or coats) is plenty for me.

Project 333 Week 2

Number of outfits this week:
4 work outfits, 3 casual outfits

Items worn from capsule since start (see capsule here): 18 items

List was lost, need to recompile!

Other items (other than literal underclothing!): 25 items

List was lost, need to recompile!


I have not purchased/ordered anything since September 10th and I can feel the urge to shop waning as I go through Project 333. I have done some looking online, but the frequency is far less than it usually is. I've gone several days at a time without a glance at online retailers, which I have not been able to do in many months. I've done huge steps of progress when it comes to the 'compulsion' I have felt to shop. I also have made progress in the compulsion to purchase- nothing looks very interesting to me! I'm constantly reminded with what I already have that is not getting worn like it should, and that I have too much clothing thanks to P333. It's an interesting experience!

I also have discovered that I likely will not need nearly as many items as I thought I did. It does feel wasteful to know that I have so many clothes and yet don't need them all, though I do like pretty much everything that I have left. I don't want to purge just for purging's sake! 

As for following the rules- I need to be more mindful of what is in my capsule, and for getting my clothes back into my closet where they belong. I was ready to break the rules and wear two other items not in my capsule, when I luckily realized I had a blouse that would work for the event (soccer tournament, outdoors, 80+degrees) but I forgot it because it wasn't hanging where it should have been!

Monday, September 29, 2014

September Budget Part I

$2300/year, can add in gift cards and eBay sales.
No more than 45 items this year and must fit in with my shopping questions.

Spent this month: $244.02 out of pocket, $34.74 in eBay sales, $200 in birthday money
Totals: $2132.61 out of pocket, $446.71 on gifts/gift cards, $354.62 on returns and eBay earnings.
$167.39 left for the year out of pocket.

54 new items entered my closet this year so far total. I can buy or receive up to 0 more items this year. I went over the goal of 45 by 9 items!

I'm adding in two new facets this month: WHY I bought something (not just why I'm keeping it) and what I purchased but returned (these will be listed out in Part II).

What Came In:  14 items
Old Navy Green drop earrings, $ 4.17
These replaced the mint drop earrings. I also have really wanted to add some variety to my jewelry, but may have failed as I did not realize they're the same length as my other drop earrings (I thought they were longer). I've been wanting to add more color options and green is a color that goes with many other colors. I really like the color of these and this style of earring (same style as the mint ones I purged). They're subtle but still are visible in my long hair. 8.5/10
LOFT Outlet Long gold tassel necklace, $9.88
I've been wanting to add a tassel necklace for a while, and finally found one! The tassel style is trendy, but I don't think it will go away quickly. I wanted one to update my style, and in gold with neutral colors because I wear gold the most and wanted it to be very versatile. This necklace is really up my alley (can't see whole necklace, sorry- too long to capture) in that it has a lot of great detailing. 9.5/10
Loft Outlet Long gold necklace with aqua and navy, $12.99
This was mostly an impulse purchase. This necklace is not something I would have purchased a month ago, knowing that I usually add too much blue to my jewelry collection. I've purged a lot recently though, and when I saw this one, I knew it would fit in with my style and that it didn't duplicate anything in my closet. I'm happiest about the fact that it has navy and a bright blue, which will make it more versatile as it can pair with more things. 9/10
Old Navy White pearl long earrings, $4.77
Again, I've been wanting more variety with my jewelry options. I felt that these earrings were 'different' from my regular style but would pair well with my other pieces. I really like that these are quite elegant and are a bit longer than the average earring, so they'll be visible in my hair and they'll be really nice if I wanted to wear my hair up. I'm a big fan of the rhinestones mixed with the pearls and have worn them many times already. 10/10.
Clark's Always Chic Pumps, $140.00 plus $11.20 in tax ($151.20)
I really needed to replace my poor, worn-out  leather Ann Taylor Perfect Pumps in burgundy patent. This year they were only worn 19 times, but I have had them since at least 2008 and have truly gotten my cost-per-wear out of them! They only cost me $29.99 as a lucky fluke (end of season, last pair, on clearance in the retail store). They're all nicked up in the heel and the finish has been scratched and ruined, along with heavy pigment loss/discoloration. I ordered the Clarks in both a 7 and a 7 1/2 because I am not familiar with the brand/fit. This was my 3rd try at replacing these (think of all the time involved in searching for, ordering, waiting for shipping, and returning each time!) and frankly I was getting sick of the whole business, which is why I ordered two sizes with these. I was directed to them when I posted on the YLF forum that I had been searching without success for these, and was immediately directed to these! I got them extremely fast (next day I think?) and was so amazed with them- they fit like a dream in my normal size 7, and are very cushy. Their only downside is that they are painful after several hours of wear, but it's likely the break-in period and due to the pretty tall heel height. 10/10.
WHBM Convertible Purple Pendant / Bib, $19.00
I wanted this necklace as an alternative to my beaded short purple necklace and as an accent to my neutrals. I've been watching it since it came out at $65 and got it at this great price when it went on clearance. I love that I can wear this as a long pendant or as a short bib-style, it's very versatile. 9.5/10!
WHBM Silver Pendant, $16.15
I kept hemming and hawwing about this one. It's got two tiny defects in the chain that only I will see, but it sold out and I knew there was no chance of exchanging it. In the end I decided to accept it as is, because I really love how it looks.  I've worn it a few times already and really enjoyed it. 9.5/10
WHBM Printed Surplice Shirt-tail Hem Top, $55.58
This top came out this month in the same print as the one I pre-ordered last month (see returns on Part II post), and since it was a different fit I ordered it to compare to the fit of the other top. They both arrived on the same day. This top is more blousy than I usually prefer (more than pictured) and I contemplated returning or altering it when trying with my wideleg pants on. But, when I tried it on with my black slim-leg fitted trousers, I was sold. Usually I demand more versatility from my tops because I only know at this point that it only works with my fitted pants, but I really like this one. I also have been wanting more blousy tops to pair with my fitted pants after discovering that I need to balance my silhouette more via my outfit journal. After wearing it a few times I decided I do need it taken in a couple inches at the waist to make it perfect, but I'm willing to do so. 9/10
WHBM White Surplice Top, $41.33
I've been searching for a fitted white top that is not see-through for a very long time. I've ordered and returned probably 10 white tops this year! I originally wanted it to be sleeveless, but upon considering this one I decided that as long as the sleeves were fitted I could still wear it with cardigans, so it was worth trying. I really love the silhouette this one gives me. I can layer it with a tank or cami for work, but on the weekend I'll wear it as shown to be a bit more sexy. This top comes in black and burgundy, and I'll have to be careful not to follow my typical 'if one is good, two is better' mentality because they both are oh-so-tempting.  9/10
WHBM Black Eyelet Jacket, $47.50
When this jacket first came out this spring, I was very tempted to order it. I held off until now (very rare for me!) when the price finally hit a level I was willing to spend on a semi-trendy jacket. The flirty detailed waist and the peplum flare in the back are what attracted me, though I was not thrilled that it was black since I have a plain black blazer already. I actually ordered this in a size 6 AND a size 8 (to be 100% honest about what I order and return), because reviews were so mixed about sizing. My size 6 was great and even had a little room for layering under it. It's so lightweight and is really ideal for my body- it looks amazing. This is a risky buy because I won't be actually wearing it until spring. 9.5/10.
WHBM Tiered Floral Camisole, $56.94
This camisole only recently caught my eye, though it came out in early spring. I'm usually not a fan of strap-y tops because they require an over-layer, which is silly because I might wear a top without a topper a total of a few times a year. This top was making me think about how I could transition my burgundy jacket to spring, and I knew the colors will go well with many of the colors in my closet (especially the berry pink cardigan I got recently). I adore the print (why don't they sell these great prints in sleeveless versions!?!?). The camisole was originally very expensive at $110, and was pricey now on sale at almost $60. When I tried it on I was enamored with it- it looked AMAZING under my burgundy jacket and will work with many of my other jackets and cardigans. I also will be tempted to wear it  as shown on a hot weekend- the back is very low cut and I can imagine it being great for a nice dinner out, provided I wear an appropriate bra. The season is past for this top, so I'm making a risky choice to add it despite not wearing it in the near future. It's already sold out! 9.5/10
Loft Multi-color Necklace, $19.75
I selected this necklace when looking for more variety because the color pallet is so different from my usual. I'm starting to find more muted colors very attractive, and I really like that it has several tones which means it should work with many of the things I own. It's smaller than I imagined but I still love it enough to keep it. 9/10
Loft Teal Blouse, $24.75
Firstly, this blouse caught my eye because it's my favorite color (one that is sorely missing in my top selection after  all the purges). I also liked it because I've been drawn to more 'modern' fitting tops lately. I bought a modern fluid-fit leopard print blouse and truly love it, and want to expand my options a little without going crazy. I've noticed while journaling my outfits this past month that I don't like pairing fitted tops with fitted bottoms, and I have mostly fitted tops and several fitted bottoms. This top is more fitted on me than the model pic, but I love it and it's still modern and fluid. 9.5/10
Loft Blue Drop Earrings, $14.75
These were a risky order, since I ordered the coral pink earrings and added the blue ones despite not being able to see a product picture just in case they were a great color. Well, these were perfect and the pink ones went back! They coordinate (accidentally) perfectly with my outlet necklace purchase, and are a great pop of color. 9/10

Total spent- $478.76, -$200 birthday money and -$ eBay earnings: $244.02

What I ordered but returned: 7 items
See part II for the breakdown!

Purged: 36 items
See part II for the breakdown!

Sold: 2 items
See part II for the breakdown!


I'm trying to really follow through with my new sense of purpose and direction, and being more intentional (see this post here). I followed a one-in, one-out kind of rule with my shopping this month. If I want to continue to shrink my closet I need to know not only what exactly I am adding and why, but what item it's replacing as well.

I stopped shopping 9/10/14 of this month and don't have plans to resume shopping until next year (January). Yes, that means that all 14 items were ordered or purchased within the first 10 days of September! Since I started Project 333, I've felt really committed to seeing this through (this Project 333 round ends November 30th). I'm a little concerned about the end of November, as Black Friday/Cyber Monday for me traditionally are where I spend most of my money and bring home the biggest number of items. It'll be a real test of my willpower to skip it completely! I'll still keep posting a monthly budget post to keep myself accountable. Hopefully the only things I will have to report will be purges and sold items!

On that note, I can't believe I purged 36 items this month. 36 items is a big part of my wardrobe! That was about 24% or almost 1/4 of my wardrobe that I purged within a two-week span. That kind of turnover is ridiculous! All I can say is that I'm ready for a change and I've been more ready than ever to let go of things that are not adding value to my life.

I did bust my item limit this month. All I can say for myself is that while I didn't meet my goal with the item limit, I'm still very close. 3 of the items I purchased this year have actually left my closet (listed in my January-June Shopping Review here). I've also purged a large number of older items this year- many more than what I've brought in. I started counting later in the year and my list is currently at 78, but I know it's more than that. I'll probably still plug away slowly at my purges the rest of the year. There are a couple potential items I have identified, but I need to take the time to try them on and see if I can get good outfits out of them first.

As for the budget, I very nearly busted it! If it hadn't been for my birthday money that I got (August 17th, and I did not spend any of it last month) I would already be past my budget. While I feel good about my wardrobe, my problem was that I was always looking to see what was new rather than concentrating on what I already had. The constant roll out of new products at my favorite store for the new season can be very seductive. I'm glad my favorite store's new line is all about my worst color- camel. And I'm glad I have the 20 piece wardrobe for next year and Project 333 right now to focus on.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Project 333 Week 1

Number of outfits:
4 work outfits, 3 casual outfits (after work, Friday, weekend)

Items worn from capsule (see capsule here): 10 items

2x- Teal blouse
2x- Black sleeveless v-neck top
1x- Purple/Burgundy print hi-lo blousey top
2x- Leopard print cardigan
1x- Black cardigan
2x- Purple cowl sweater
1x- Blue zippered dress
2x- Dark gray herringbone slim-flare trousers
1x- Gray herringbone striped wide-leg trousers
4x- Skinny Jeans

Other items (other than literal underclothing!): 17 items

6x- Teal lightweight trench (outdoors only)
3x- Purple leopard flats (commute) and 1x- outfit
2x- Black pointed/almond-toe high heels
1x- Red pointy-toe mid-height heels
1x- Burgundy pointy-tow high heels
3x- Tan suede ankle boots
2x- Teal camisole (under clothing only)
1x- Black camisole (under clothing only)
2x- Purple camisole (under clothing only)
1x- Navy/Light blue/Pink  jeweled collar necklace
2x- Rectangle triple-strand necklace
1x- Rhinestone jeweled collar necklace
1x- Heart necklace
3x- Long crystal pendant necklace
6x- Pearl and rhinestone earrings
1x- White and gold drop earrings
1x- Gray pants belt
Wedding Ring (every day, never count)
Colorblocked Purse (every day, never count)


This was my first week with Project 333. I still have 23 items left unworn in the capsule.

I felt pretty good with my selections, but quickly discovered that I needed to do two things: I need to plan my outfits the night before so I don't feel tempted to wear something not in my capsule/feel too limited by my capsule when in a rush, and I need to move the majority of the non-33 items out of my sight to reduce the temptation. I started project 333 with several new items that I'm excited to wear, so boredom has not set in yet.

I've been tempted to wear a couple items that are not in my capsule, primarily a gray pair of straight trousers that split the wears of my fitted slim-flare herringbone trousers and the only non-spring/summer top that is not in my capsule. I didn't add the top because I tend to wear it with a burgundy cardigan that was also not included. The top is a contender for becoming the 33rd item but I'm not certain yet. I also was tempted with my jade faux-leather jacket and my red surplice sweater (my dad's favorite color, which I was tempted to wear when I went to see my parents).

Friday, September 19, 2014

Shopping Review Jan-June

These are the purchases/additions I made from January to June and how they are working out for me so far: Please see my initial review here (items January - April). I'll do a follow up post with the items purchased July-current in early October.

Total: 25 items (January-June)

Wardrobe Workhorses: 9 items
Colorblock Purse- $69.36
This was a true need and is used daily. It was purchased in April and replaced my falling apart bag and looks nice against my clothing. The purse filled a need and is extremely functional, worth the purchase price. I do want to get another purse next year, but higher quality. I'm already at pennies per wear with this.
Geometric Tie-Neck Blouse- $40.85
This blouse is fabulous. That's all I really need to say! I've worn it 12 times so far since March and still expect to wear it often! This was truly worth purchasing.
Reversible Earrings- $21.50
These earrings have already worn their keep at 19 times worn since March. They were well worth purchasing.
Black Pumps- $46.71
These poor pumps will probably get worn into the ground prematurely. So far I've worn them 52 times since January! More than worth what they cost- pennies per wear and still going strong.

Low Pointy Toe Heels, $49.99
I bought these in May and have worn them 19 times already. Great investment and I really like these.
Chain Neck Tunic Top, $83.60
This top is gorgeous, purchased in May. I paid full price, something I NEVER do. I have worn this top 11 times already. It's now too cool for this top but I expect it to get a lot of wear next spring/summer.
Skinny Jeans, $38
I bought these jeans in May and have since practically lived in them. They've been worn 26 times already-I think that alone says enough about these! Favorite jeans, best fit, EVER!
Cobalt Ankle Pants, $55.58
I have worn these 8 times since purchasing them in May. While it's too cool to wear these now, 8 times is a pretty good number and I'm sure they'll get more wear next spring.summer.
Gold Motif Earrings, $19.00
I bought these earrings in May and have worn them 28 times already. LOVE them. Another purchase that's pennies on the dollar cost-per-wear.

Benchwarmers (worn less than 8 times) but 'home-runs': 2

Tweed Dress, - $60.80 plus $15 tailoring
This is the best dress I have ever owned! I've worn it only twice since I bought it in May. This dress will work in all four seasons but I prefer wearing dresses with tights so I expect it to get much more wear in the colder months. This dress IMO is worth much more than what I paid. I expect this dress to get worn very frequently now that I can wear tights again, instead of worrying about my super white legs that get ugly bruises often from my clumsiness.
Printed Embellished Cardigan- $46.66
I have worn this cardigan 5 times since I purchased it in May. I really adore this cardigan and forsee me wearing it for many years to come. I think this hasn't gotten a ton of wear yet because I have so many cardigans, and so few appropriate tops to pair it with.

Bench-warmers and never worn items: 6 items
Jade Faux-Leather Jacket- $37.41
This jacket fits perfect- even the sleeves are the right length. The color is great, and it works with my black clothing, something I didn't like with my almost identical burgundy jacket. It's only been worn 4 times (purchased in March). I expect to start wearing it again next January. I think the only 'problem' with this jacket is that I have two of these in this style which splits my wears a bit.
Black Leather Jacket- $357.05
This jacket is super beautiful. I imagined it an investment piece and a real 'foundation piece' for my style. It was purchased in March and has been worn 4 times. I really like this jacket but in reality I should have waited for sale, but I was afraid of missing out. I didn't need a jacket that was this expensive and I hope I learned my lesson. I've worn this jacket only 4 times, but the weather has not been right for it and I do expect it to see more wear.
Colorblock Skirt- $75.34
I bought this skirt in March and have worn it only 4 times. I love the color and bold contrast, but it's a bit snug-fitting to wear bare legged. I expect to want to wear it more often in cold weather- I prefer tights as stated above.
Printed Cardigan- $41.78
I purchased this cardigan in May and have worn this 6 times so far. It's a very pretty cardigan but it might just be too busy for me. Again, I'll try this in the spring and see if it works
Rhinestone Necklace, $9.80
I purchased this necklace in May and have worn it 6 times so far. It's really pretty but has looked 'off' in the last few outfits I have worn it with. I need to try this another couple times before deciding on it.
Coral Print Dress- $66.49, Tailoring $15
I bought this dress in June and have not worn it. Originally I expected to wear it to a wedding, which turned out to be VERY casual and I wore something else instead. I want to get a light denim jacket to wear with this and dress it down. The weather for this dress is over, and I only had about 6 weeks of the right weather so I'm holding on to this dress for next year. I really love how it looks on me.

On The Fence: 5 items
Black Ruffle Blouse- $37.99
This was a basic I really needed. It cost $37.99 and has been worn 12 times since March. The ruffle bothers me because I find it bulky and hard to pair with toppers, and none of the 12 outfits I wore with this top were really a '9' or '10'. I'll try this again next spring, and if it doesn't work out I am purging it.
Geometric Flats- $29.22
These flats are a replacement for the black flats I wore into the ground. I have worn them 12 times since May. Next time I'd rather a more subtle print though, they're harder to pair with other prints. I also need to pay attention to the fabric- this fabric is really porous and gets dirty quickly, so it looks like the print starts out black and white and fades into black and brown!
Striped Knit Top- $59.28
I bought this top in May and have worn it 8 times. It never really flattered me, much as I like the look of it. I'm strongly considering purging it but will likely wait for spring before deciding- it does look good under a jacket or cardigan, just not alone.
Printed Ruffle Cami, $22.80
I've worn this camisole 7 times since May. This camisole has a beautiful print, but again the ruffle in the front makes this top a difficult to layer it or pair with other things. I will not wear this one alone, I don't like how it looks alone and it's a bit too snug which was a mistake when I purchased it.
Mint and Rhinestone Necklace- $9.80
I bought this neat looking necklace in May, but only have worn it 3 times. I'm going to try it another time or two before deciding its fate.

Purged: 3 items (2 didn't 'count')
Aqua Bubble Necklace- Free
This necklace was a gift I accepted from a dear friend in January. It's pretty and a great color for me, and I loved how it looked. The problem- it didn't work with the neckline of anything I own! I purged this item and didn't count it.

Tiny mint earrings (similar, not exact)- Free
These came as a 'free' gift with a jewelry order in May. They were much too small to be visible in my long curly hair and were purged.

Dusky Blue V-Neck Dress- $97
This beautiful dress was purchased in January and only worn twice. I washed it on delicate, dried it on delicate, and ruined the dress completely. The entire dress shrunk a size- except the lining inside it. $97 in the trash!
Coral Bib Necklace- $28.12
This necklace was purchased in May. It's very pretty but I had trouble pairing it with my clothing. I ended up purging it after discovering in my outfit journal how much I disliked pairing it with print- and the only things it 'went' with were printed since I did not like it against white, black, or blue. This was worn 5 times.
Rhinestone Necklace, $9.80
This necklace was a silly duplicate item I bought in May. I never needed it, I just bought it because if I bought 3 things I would get a 'free' item and free shipping- the free item was the one I purged (above). I like rhinestone necklaces and thought that if one was good, then 3 was better! This got 5 wears before purging but was splitting the wears of the other rhinestone necklace listed above. This one was bigger and harder to pair with my wardrobe than the other one.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Project 333 Capsule List

I have (5) Jackets/Blazers, (3) Dresses, (2) Skirts, (8) Tops, (3) Sweaters, (5) Cardigans, (2) Casual Pants, and (4) Work Pants in my capsule. I have (1) open temporary open item.

What is in my Capsule Wardrobe?:
1. Burgundy jacket

2. Black blazer
3. Dark gray blazer
4. Black leather jacket
5. Oxblood leather jacket
6. White & tweed dress
7. Black belted dress
8. Cobalt zippered dress
9. Black ruffle pencil skirt
10. Leopard print a-line skirt
11. Black sleeveless tiered top
12. Leopard print hi-low blouse
13. Teal button placket blouse
14. Burgundy sleeveless blouse
15. White surplice blouse
16. Burgundy print hi-low blouse
17. Cream ruffled blouse
18. Geo-print tie-neck blouse

19. White boat-neck sweater
20. Purple cowl-neck sweater
21. Black surplice sweater

22. Black  slim trousers
23. Gray herringbone flared trousers
24. Gray pinstripe wide-leg trousers
25. Tan slim trousers
26. Denim trousers
27. Skinny jeans

28. White Cardigan
29. Purple Cardigan
30. Leopard Cardigan
31. Teal Cardigan
32. Black Cardigan
33. Temporary open item/wild card

What am I not counting?

Since this is my first round and it's in the fall/early winter for me (which means I layer it up), I decided to only count articles of clothing in an actual outfit.

-Under layers (camisoles, underclothing) do not count. I only have 5 camisoles anyway, and no-one really cares about my underpinnings!
-Outer layers (my 2 winter coats or 1 light trench coat, 2 pairs of winter boots, 1 winter scarf, 1 pair of gloves). These are only worn for the weather.
-Accessories (that would be bracelets, necklaces, earrings, which total 38 items to choose from).
-My daily worn items (wedding ring and my one and only purse).
-Shoes (I have 14 pairs that are not winter boots, but 3 of these are spring/summer only so 11 to choose from).
-Special occasion dresses (I have up to 4 that could work for fall/winter).


It didn't take very long to reach this 'final' list for some reason. I sat down and took maybe an hour total. I have some things that didn't make the cut that I will miss, but all in all I feel like I have a lot to choose from here and a lot of good combinations. There is a lot of pattern and color included- just look at my color palette! I also tried to include a pretty wide variety of silhouettes- I concentrated on being authentic to myself and my style rather than on creating the most mixable/matchable/versatile minimalist wardrobe that ever existed. I crave variety, color, and pattern! I'm glad I have that one open item, so if I feel the need to I can pick one more item from my wardrobe to add to my capsule.

While I may be cheating by not including accessories/shoes and outerwear this run, I will be counting up everything I use and frequency, which I will post each week. (Spoiler alert- I've technically being doing Project 333 since Monday 9/15, since I was careful only to wear items I knew would be in my capsule). I am planning on doing weekly recap posts every Monday.