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Thread: Project 333 and streamlining your wardrobe

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    Registered User scribe's Avatar
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    Project 333 and streamlining your wardrobe

    So as not to further hijack the thread in Travel Tips that has wandered into a general discussion of minimalism, I'm starting this one for discussion of clothing-specific issues.

    One of the main topics that came up was Project 333 - a website that aims to help you build a capsule wardrobe. It gets its name from its central concept - you create four seasonal capsule wardrobes that you rotate every 3 months, containing around 33 items (not including underwear, sleepwear or sports/specialist gear).

    33 is an arbitrary number, but it gives you something manageable to shoot for. I started doing it earlier this year, and have found it very liberating to have only a few items to choose from each day instead of my entire wardrobe's contents. It's still very much a work-in-progress, as there are definite gaps in my wardrobe and more non-ideal items than I can afford to replace in one fell swoop, but I'm getting there

    Anyway, it all fits well with the "one-bag travel" ethos that's popular with TB fans, since a capsule wardrobe is key to travelling light whilst still looking good. So, if you have any tips or comments, post 'em here!
    Collections:
    black/aubergine + wasabi (WF, SA + UMP, CP, TT, TSSs, SE, Swift, QK, YSSs & KTPs)
    forest/cork/linen + steel/olive (Imago, Pilot, SCB, COW, QK, OPs)
    olive/plum + steel/UV/wasabi (S19, SE, MCB, TSSs, SSBs, YSSs, LSS, 3DOCs, OPs)
    black/steel + iberian (S25, DLBP, SE, SCB, FJN, TSSs, YSSs, 3DFOC)
    Hoping for: FJN for iPad Mini; more bags in Aubergine; the return of Portable Culture!

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    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    Also, I stumbled across Wardrobe Architect which is oriented around capsule wardrobe development and color palette.
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    Registered User eWalker's Avatar
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    Great idea @scribe! This is going to be very helpful!

    Quote Originally Posted by monkeylady View Post
    Also, I stumbled across Wardrobe Architect which is oriented around capsule wardrobe development and color palette.
    What is Wardrobe Architect?



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    Last edited by eWalker; 05-25-2014 at 07:53 AM.
    Orders are here! Unpacking A45, A30, NF20 & CP10! TB Crew rocks!!

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    I found this. Not sure if it's what @monkeylady meant.
    Wardrobe Architect *|* Coletterie

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    Registered User taminca's Avatar
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    Thanks, @scribe. Very interesting. I am in the process of clearing out my wardrobe and will definitely read up on Project 333. Very glad the concept does not include bags and accessories because I have way more than 33 TB items!
    "Inside everyone is a great shout of joy waiting to be born."
    -- David Whyte

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    This is a topic that near and dear to my heart. I am very fond of voluntary simplicity, and this extends to my wardrobe. It's not strictly minimalist, but I work hard to keep only what is worn, and to make conscious decisions about what I being into my home.


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    Packing and gadget geek, collecting bags to disperse to my family.

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    Registered User Moose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by taminca View Post
    Thanks, @scribe. Very interesting. I am in the process of clearing out my wardrobe and will definitely read up on Project 333. Very glad the concept does not include bags and accessories because I have way more than 33 TB items!
    Regarding bags, I'd be ok if the number were 333.

    My closet rod has come down twice over the years. One would think I'd get the message. Not so much. I will be checking out the 333/capsule thing sooner rather than later.
    List exceeds allowed characters. So I'll just say I'm plum and kiwi loving FOT!

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    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    Maybe my fourteen white shirts vacation in your closet....
    The stockpile keeps growing...I'm in serious trouble.

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    Registered User Aeon's Avatar
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    Into Mind is a great read for anyone trying to pin down their style and curate a minimal wardrobe to your taste. The "Getting Started" tab at the top is where I'd point anyone to first.

    I've never participated in Project 333, but when I decided to cull my wardrobe earlier this year I asked myself if I could only have 33 items of clothes/outerwear, what would they be? The first 25 or so pieces were no brainers, but the last eight were a little tough. I had about 15 items I wanted to "keep" but only had space for half. Instead of trying to whittle down that 15, I focused on what I didn't even think about keeping and why. Did I have similar items? similar colors? did I not like that style? did the garment fit correctly? did I like the material? was it for a special occasion? etc. This process what more beneficial to me reducing my wardrobe by half instead of deciding on each item one by one. It was easier to justify keeping one item than a group on items.

    I did this a few months later with my shoes when I was in a better place (mood?) to part with them. I had 17 pairs of Chuck Taylors plus a few more pair of other sneakers. I gave myself a limit of 10 and lined them all up on the floor in three rows: top row were the ones I couldn't dare part with, middle were the ones I could ultimately part with but still wanted to keep, and the bottom were the ones I could let go of immediately. First go round I only had 4 shoes in the bottom two rows, but I kept my sneakers lined up like that in my living room until I got that top number down to 10. Most of my sneakers were lightly worn, so I gave them to people who I knew would wear and love them more than I did.
    Last edited by Aeon; 05-25-2014 at 06:33 PM.
    so far: small clear OP (steel), small padded OP, small and medium DOP (burnt orange), Side Effect (black/steel), Synapse 19 (burnt orange/steel), Synapse 25 (burnt orange/steel)

    want: Aeronaut 30 (black/steel), more BURNT ORANGE: OPs, keystraps, Side Effect, Ballistic Nylon, 200d Dyneema

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    I have not done Project 333, but I take some of the lessons to heart. I think my interest in streamlining my wardrobe started a couple years ago when the NYT (I believe) ran an article on living with 6 pieces of clothing for a week - tops and bottoms - I believe it even made One Bag One World. I had grown up with stories from my parents of how little clothing they had since clothes were expensive and the idea of it's better to spend money on a few quality basics that fit well than lots of stuff that's 'not quite right.'

    The two things that really brought it to a head was discovering Project 333 and the comment about thinking how often you wear a particular item and can you really justify it, as well as the fire in the Bangladesh factory nd the enormous disparity between what something sells for and what workers are paid.

    I also lost a bit of weight, so I went through my closet and started getting rid of things that no longer fit, weren't really flattering, or just weren't me. I also made up a list of what I thought was the ideal wardrobe, what I had already, and what I still needed. I am determined to shop from the last and am paying attention to where things are made - I'd rather pay more for something made in the US or buy from a company that clearly discloses their manufacturing costs and markup.

    It's really fascinating to survey some of things in my closet and see manufacturing move from the US to Hong Kong to China to Vietnam and Nicaragua for a tshirt, for example.

  11. #11
    Registered User scribe's Avatar
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    I started using the Closet+ app this weekend to catalogue my clothes, starting with the winter items that I needed to pack away (in a large suitcase on top of my little wardrobe), and then the summer and autumn ones that were getting into a mess in my drawers because I'd crammed so much winter stuff in with them...

    The app is mostly pretty good, though I'm finding the camera function a bit flaky - the viewfinder periodically goes black (although the camera still works) and I have to return to the home screen to "reset" it. Of course your average cellphone camera can be a bit unreliable on colour fidelity - blues and browns mostly come out OK on mine, but reds turn somewhat pink and muted greens are totally washed out. I can see that having a set of fabric swatches (e.g. from a seasonal colour analysis) is going to help a lot when clothes shopping!

    Also regarding the app, each virtual closet has its own separate categories and tags, so I'm finding it more efficient to have everything in one closet and then tag it by season. On the plus side, this makes it a lot easier to have the same item in multiple seasons.

    Now I just have to add the items that are actually hanging in my wardrobe...
    Collections:
    black/aubergine + wasabi (WF, SA + UMP, CP, TT, TSSs, SE, Swift, QK, YSSs & KTPs)
    forest/cork/linen + steel/olive (Imago, Pilot, SCB, COW, QK, OPs)
    olive/plum + steel/UV/wasabi (S19, SE, MCB, TSSs, SSBs, YSSs, LSS, 3DOCs, OPs)
    black/steel + iberian (S25, DLBP, SE, SCB, FJN, TSSs, YSSs, 3DFOC)
    Hoping for: FJN for iPad Mini; more bags in Aubergine; the return of Portable Culture!

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    Registered User Melissa's Avatar
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    Since my small dresser was bulging and my small walk-in closet (shared with DH) was packed tight I pulled everything out of both to re-organized. I purchased a couple "under bed" storage bins and sorted my clothes into "seasons." Living in California, we really only have a blending of three seasons, not four (hot, pleasant, cool). And all three of these climates can occur in any season.

    So....The challenge for me will be trying to wear 33 pieces for 3 months and not get sick of looking at them! The shoes are going to be gone through today.

    It's also given me another peace if mind....Working in public works, we train and train for disasters. We must always have a disaster kit at home and at work. When a disaster hits (like wild fires) I am not allowed to go home to check on family or pets. Now, if/whenever we have to evacuate, in addition to our disaster kit at the house, we can each grab an unused "season" of clothing from under the bed and know that we will adequate clothing for a while. Hopefully DH will be kind enough to grab one of mine if I am already at work at the time a disaster happens.
    Last edited by Melissa; 05-26-2014 at 06:31 AM.
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    Cork/Iberian Swift, Cork Organizer Wallet, Cardinal/Steel Western Flyer, Cardinal OP, Iberian Yarn Stuff Sacks (all 3 sizes) Black/Iberian Side Effect, Iberian PCSB, Iberian Travel Tray, Nordic Travel Tray, Steel Travel Tray Iberian Travel Stuff Sack Navy/Solar Synapse 25, Black/Iberian Ristretto for iPad

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    Quote Originally Posted by eWalker View Post



    What is Wardrobe Architect?


    Really what is it? i have no idea?
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    Registered User monkeylady's Avatar
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    Wardrobe Archietect, if you google it, is a website devoted to wardrobe construction based on color, use, and capsule wardrobes. There is a large amount of attention paid to color palette, how to develop one, etc. It is oriented to those who sew, but yseful for the rest of us. There are 12 modules (free) that help one think about various aspects of wardrobe. The site is free.
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    So I was thinking about this today... After our recent three-week trip I found I was still wearing pretty much the same items I had taken with me, and in fact had developed some new outfits with the same basic items because I'd been forced to be resourceful while traveling. Then I sat down and wrote out the basics from my packing list, compared them to this list for winter 2014 and... found out I was down to about 18 items I wear regularly, rather than 33, not including accessories, outerwear, gym gear, or underthings. Huh.

    Kind of reassuring, in a way. I don't have an urge to pitch everything else at once, but it does make me more confident about boxing up my "less favorite" clothes. The short list will change soon because we're about to transition into the cooler months, but I feel like I can make some headway on organizing and destashing. A good feeling!

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