That’s a Wrap

36/365 ended over the weekend. You can see my wardrobe above. Frankly, it feels a bit like a non-event. I did get a plastic bin of about ten pieces of clothing out of the garage on Saturday, which was sort of fun. But, I’m guessing that I’ll trim my wardrobe back down. All in all, my clothing has faded into the background over the last year. As I’ve lived my life, I haven’t really worried about what I was going to wear or buy. The only source of stress was when my jeans finally had a catastrophic failure in the bum which no longer preserved my modesty. Because I have so many thrift stores close to my house, I was easily able to replace them. I liked having less clothing. Over the last year, my family has gotten rid of even more of our stuff. We now own about 1/3 of what we owned a few years ago. It feels really great. It feels like we have space. I want my clothing to reflect that. I want for all my clothing to go together like it has over the last year. That won’t entail buying anything new. Rather, it will be paring down the clothing that I’m bringing back from garage storage. I’m closing the year with fewer pieces of clothing than I started out with. Mostly, it worked really well. But, even within my pared down wardrobe, there were pieces that didn’t earn their keep.

– My funky sari skirt wound up being a little too funky. I didn’t wear it as much as I though it would.

– My silk maxi skirt is subject to snags. It’s one of the most expensive pieces of my wardrobe, and I don’t know that it was worth it.

– My white Fair Trade organic cotton blouse. Maybe it’s the fit? Again, I just didn’t wear it very much.

All of my t-shirts saw a lot of use. I wore them all every week. I wore my ribbed turtle neck whenever it was clean during the winter. I wore out my jeans and had to replace them. I wore my black leggings every week- both summer and winter. They’re very versatile. I wore my cardigan sweaters weekly all year. I wore my black travel dress every week. I wore it just sleeveless during the warm months and layered with sweaters and leggings in the winter.

At the end of the day, I wound up with 33 pieces of clothing. Over the course of the year, I ruined a pair of khakis that I didn’t replace. I also got rid of a scarf that I didn’t wear and my sari skirt.

My husband asked what’s next. I’m going to pare down the pieces that came back into the house over the weekend. We’ll see. I’m neck-deep in getting our business going. I have neither the time nor the energy for another endeavor. But, this was actually very easy. While I won’t be writing about it, I will be trimming down my clothing, along with addressing other areas in my house that can be further culled. As I cull the items in our household that don’t serve our family, I’m making room for the possibility of what is to come. Making room for soap making. Making room for a family business. Making room for creativity. Making room for serenity and peace.

It’s been a great year. Thanks so much for following the journey!


Outfit- September 28, 2011

Outfit- September 21, 2011

Outfit- September 7, 2011

More on my funky sari skirt later . . .

My Cute Purple Dress

Since I cleaned out my closet a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been living with my simplified wardrobe in order to see what I learn before I get to September 1.  One of the things that I’ve learned is that I don’t wear this dress very much.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love this dress.  It’s comfortable.  It fits me well.  It’s great in hot weather.  I love that I got it from a thrift store.  But, I still just don’t wear it very much.   At the same time, I’m thinking that I’m going to need more long sleeve t-shirts for the winter.  So, I’m going to put this dress into storage so that I can have another long sleeve t-shirt.    I’m still trying to round out my wardrobe.  I had been planning to buy a black cardigan.  I just ordered a used cardigan from e-bay over the weekend.  I’ll show it to you when it arrives.

What about you?  Where are you in the process?

What would be most helpful for you?  I’m planning to show and tell you about the pieces that made the cut.  But, would you like to see outfits?  I’m reluctant to show you my outfits just because it’s been done so much (how can I improve on the Uniform Project, for Pete’s Sake?!).    But, I’ll sheepishly offer in case that would actually be helpful.

Well, this is embarrassing . . .

I took inventory of my closet yesterday, and I had a bit more clothing than I thought.  Teaches me not to be smug- ever.  In my own defense, I’m no longer technically doing Project 333.  And I had gotten all of my wardrobe back out of the garage to get ready for 36/365.  That being said, I wrote just last week that I thought I had somewhere around 40 articles of clothing.  I was just wrong.  Maybe delusional.  61.  Ouch.  61 pieces of clothing.  I won’t put you through the tedium of telling you exactly what was in my closet and where it now all is.  What I can tell you is that all the items that made the cut will be used in my 36/365 wardrobe- at least, I think they will.  All the other items have either been donated or put into storage.  The photos above are of the new “cleaned out” closet.  Makes me say “ahhhhhh” when I look inside.

So, here’s what I have left:

  1. Gray t shirt
  2. Rust t shirt
  3. Black 3/4 sleeve t-shirt
  4. Black cotton cami
  5. Beige tank
  6. Beige ribbed fitted turtle neck
  7. White cotton blouse
  8. Black ribbed sweater
  9. Oatmeal cardigan
  10. Jeans
  11. Black leggings
  12. Khaki capris
  13. Denim skirt
  14. Black maxi skirt
  15. Sari skirt
  16. Red sarong
  17. Black travel dress
  18. Blue long t-shirt dress
  19. Green Mata Traders dress
  20. Black and rust scarf
  21. Gray and Beige scarf
  22. Rust scarf
  23. Black belt
  24. Black evening dress
  25. Black evening shoes
  26. Chacco sandals
  27. Pink rain boots
  28. Silver ring
  29. Silver dangle earrings
  30. Fleece
  31. Goretex jacket

That leaves me with five more articles of clothing to get before September 1.  Here’s what I’m thinking:

  1. Black boots
  2. Black flats
  3. Black cardigan
  4. Black skinny pants
  5. Gray long sleeve t-shirt

What do you think?  I’m pretty sure that it will work for the summer.  I’m already living out of this wardrobe any way.  But, will it work for the winter?  I can make most of my skirts work through the winter by putting leggings on under them.  I’m thinking that I’ll need another long sleeve shirt, which is why I put a long sleeve gray t-shirt on my potential list of clothing to get.  Would I be better off to kiss evening wear good bye for the year?  We don’t go to many “evening wear” kinds of functions.  But, I already know that I have one event in November that I’ll be going to.  I could make my black maxi skirt and a top work for that if need be.

I would love to hear your thoughts.  Any glaring problems?

What’s next?

My closet is taunting me. Below are two shots of the present state of affairs. My husband and I share a small closet. We also have a sort of linen closet in our room. It is not deep- about as deep as a drawer. I have two shelves in that closet. Right now, everything is sort of jammed into these shelves, and I also have some clothes hanging in my closet.

I thought you might be interested in a couple of “before” shots.

What are the tasks ahead right now?

  • I need to clean out my closet.  Again.  Sigh.
  • Over the last year, I’ve gotten rid of all the shoes that hurt my feet.  Well, except for my evening shoes.  So, ok, I’ve gotten rid of almost all the shoes that hurt my feet.  Right now, I have tennis shoes, chaco sandals and my evening shoes.  I want to purchase a comfortable pair of black boots that will take me from October through May- hopefully they’ll be cute, too.  Do you know of black boots that I should consider?
  • Then, I need to start deciding on what items I’m going to keep.  I’ll share the method that I’m going to use in the next few days.

Are any of you willing for me to post your “before” shots?  It might feel like having someone come along when you go shopping for a bathing suit.  (OK- I might need a valium after writing that last sentence.)  But, it might be encouraging for us to see some of the “before” shots so that we’ll know that everyone else doesn’t have it together yet either.  This is a process.  It’s going to take time.  I’m up for it, and I’m actually pretty excited about it.  I’m hoping that we’ll all take a collective deep breath when we have our closets cleaned out, minimized and ready with out 36 items.  There is a ton that’s unknown for me in the next year between homeschooling my kids and starting a business.  But, when I look into my closet each morning, my clothing will be streamlined, minimized and ready for whatever my days might hold.  I can feel the deep breath already.