Project 333 and SWAP

You know how sometimes the universe is telling you something? Your friend makes a comment, you read something on a forum or a blog, the library has some interesting new titles… and when you look at all of it together, there’s a message for you. (No? OK, just me then.)

Whenever we move, it always takes me close to a year to develop a good understanding of how I need to dress for the new climate/lifestyle/work status. I’m getting close to that point now. I’ve been planning my SWAP, then Mary made a comment on SG about needing a strategy, and then I came across several articles about wardrobe simplification with links to Project 333. Hmmm… yes, hello! Strategy! I totally need this! I read and took notes, and then I went through my wardrobe. Take a look:

I started with a core of eight dressy items – a four piece suit and four fine-gauge sweaters.

Plan - part 1

Then I added jeans, a black leather skirt, and four casual tops.

Plan - part 2

Then came color – lime green and red. Both of these are straight from the Bright Winter palette. Even though I don’t wear red very often, there are days when nothing but red will do. And of course, I love the lime green.

Plan - part 3

Just a few more sweaters. You may have noticed that I don’t have any T-shirts in here. That’s because I consider them undergarments. As in, I wouldn’t wear them without another layer and a scarf (so they don’t show).

Plan - part 4

And it’s done. 22 pieces in all. Manageable.

Plan - part 5

Now I’ll add the coats, scarves, footwear, and accessories. Without scarves and jewelry, my total comes to 30. Once we count the scarves and jewelry, the total will be over 33 items, which is okay because the number is arbitrary anyway. The point is to have a small, cohesive wardrobe. I’m good with extra accessories.

Plan - part 6

I just realized that I forgot to add the gloves and hat – very much a necessity here in the winter. I’ll be wearing them even though they’re not in the picture.

I have all of these pieces already. (Some of the pictures are of the exact item, others are a close approximation.) I am going to wear them from now until the end of February. I think the original Project 333 starts the new season on January 1 but that doesn’t seem long enough so I’ll extend it a bit. And if it works well, then maybe all the way to the end of March to coincide with the start of the next P333 season.

I plan to post my outfits once a week to get a good idea of what I wear the most, which combinations work the best, and where I need to make changes for next time. That way I can modify my SWAP plan to get the best working wardrobe possible. Remember my SWAP board?

SWAP 2014 visual

The suit and coat will be the first five pieces in my SWAP. The suit in my P333 board is a placeholder for the new one. All four pieces will be replaced because 1) I want all four to be from the same fabric, and 2) I’m looking to switch from black to dark charcoal gray.

For coats, I have a very warm winter coat and a very thin trench coat but I need to make one for those in-between temperatures. Then I’ll be able to keep just two coats each season – the new one and the warm one in the winter, and then the new one and the thin trench coat in the spring.

After the suit and the coat are finished, I can focus on adding some lighter sweaters in gray, white, and lime green for the spring. And of course, some things may change as I learn more about my needs and preferences. I’ll keep you posted.

See you soon!

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13 responses to “Project 333 and SWAP

  1. Oooh -this just keeps getting better! And I totally know about that kismet of which you speak. Sometimes, you’re just being nudged in a certain direction.

  2. Love your capsule and am very inspired by your organization. The fact hat you are making most of the key pieces leaves me awestruck! You are amazing!

  3. Thanks so much for this great post. I have been paring down my closet for some time now, but to see it laid out graphically in your blog gives me a ‘plan’ and has inspried me.

  4. It’ll be fun to watch how this comes together. Great beginning and plan.

    I totally understand what you’re saying about getting messages. To me, it’s a bit like listening to your intuition or your inner artist, the more you pay attention, the more you will see the nudging a Kristin put it. And it’s so individual. Other people (say other people who sew) may get the same message you’re getting or a completely different one, sometimes even from the same source. We need to hear in our own “voice”.

  5. I’m going to do Project 333 w.e.f. January 1st. I’ve done the reverse project 333 since August 1st. Have come in under the 33 items each month. Obviously going to be harder to stick to the same 33 for 3 months! Wish me luck.

  6. FINALLY! A great group of clothing that someone will look great in.

    They all look well coordinated, like they will look attractive in as much as they seem comfortable yet not sloppy. You have a wide variety of clothing, great accessories and you look like you will be put together, stylish, classy and just plain FABULOUS. So many people who do this project seem to just want something that is wash and wear as well as “comfortable,” which translates to just plain slovenly. I have seen so many collections where I think, “Well, you CAN wear that together, buy why would you?”

    Your group of clothing can take you to almost any event and you will be able to hold your head high.

    Congratulations! Good luck with the project.

    AinOakPark (who just recently got rid of 1/3 of her total belongings)

  7. How inspiring! The dog and I are listening to Christmas music as I once again go thru the wardrobe. In the past six months I have donated my dresser and all pastel clothing! I relocated to FL two years ago and found the summers are too hot for this Northern girl. So we are relocating to NC. I am originally from MI where my black and grey clothing rocked:) I have also found that the Project 333 concept is very European. Less stuff and higher quality. Off to the closet we go. Somebody is getting a treat for helping mom.

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