Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What's in your closet?

I thought I would share with you what I've selected for my Project 333. You can read about Project 333 here and Janet also blogged about it here. I know Slastena is doing it as well.
If you want to see my OOTD you can scroll down.

Basically, the idea is to select 33 items of clothing and wear it for 3 months. This sounds very limiting, I know, but it is not as hard as it seems. I blogged about it here.

I am not too dogmatic about it and my list does not include jewelry or hats and scarfs. I am also letting myself to add shoes, if needed, but I am trying to first select from the ones I've chosen. Lounge wear is not to be included either. At first, I selected about 88 items, but after 10 days I have been able to narrow it down further. I also plan to swap few items (maybe 5?) around mid February.

So here is my current working closet:

4 double serge wool skirts: black, ochre, green and red rose print:

4 pairs of pants: skinny jeans, chinos, wool in camel and charcoal (not pictured because I was wearing them):

4 button down shirts: black with polka dots, blue Liberty print and 2 (!) white shirts.

6 Tops: navy stripe, black stripe thermal, black/natural colorblock, navy, white and red.
6 sweaters: black v-neck, cobblestone cardi, black cardi, camel v-neck, blue v-neck(not pictured), navy cardi

Two dresses (not pictured separately): one black and one paisley (Terra Paisley).

That's all folks.

Other items visible are my lounge wear.

This adds up to 26 items. Other items are 2 coats, 2 purses, 2 pairs of boots, and 3 pairs of shoes. 35 total. Close enough for me. I am not too strict about the rules. If it gets very cold I will wear my puffer or snow shoes but I did not count them. If I go out I may use different purse. You get the idea. It supposed to be fun and learning experience, not some kind of punishment.

The rest of my clothes are in different closets or boxed. Some of it you can see in the top picture.

So far it has been easy. I did not get bored yet. I was actually surprised that I can still come up with many outfits and be happy with them.

This is today's outfit, still keeping with my Blue Theme:



I am wearing couple of non J.Crew items: the striped top is from Banana Republic and so is my purse. My necklace is from Lucky Jeans and my shoes are Sofft. The rest is J.Crew: Viridian Green pencil skirt, Roadster Boots from couple of years ago, Elements coat and Spring 2012 scarf.

What do you think? Have you ever considered narrowing down your wardrobe? Have you been successful? Did it help with your shopping habits? Do tell.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Back to Basics on Tuesday

Today I am wearing J.Crew cashmere v-neck pullover in heather atlantic and 1035 wool trousers in charcoal glen plaid. My shoes are Valentina pumps in black. This is because I am a rebel.

You see, my mother is The Fashionista in my family. She has a shopping habit too (is it genetic?), and her closets are always overflowing. She owns at least hundred pairs of shoes (4" heels only) in all colors of the rainbow. She likes trendy, quirky and unusual and is not afraid to stand out. If she was living in US now, she would be an Anthro girl, not J.Crew. She eschews simple cashmere v-necks, they are boring.

For the record, I have a great relationship with my mother. When I was growing up most of my friends had mothers that were unconcerned with fashion and sometimes looked quite homely. I was always proud of my mother, but contrary to her, I gravitated toward things that are classic, simple and fuss free. I love pencil skirts, white shirts, simple cardigans and v-neck pullovers, perfect t-shirts, classic pumps and pearls. I do like color and this is where I am more adventurous. I do wear prints in moderation, but I am quite particular about them. Usually I don't venture past stripes. I usually only wear one piece of jewelry and I have trouble with scarfs and belts. I am always taking something off before leaving the house.

So here it is, 'not my mother's OOTD':

BTW, my mother always compliments me on my outfits. She just wouldn't buy any of individual pieces for herself. And I feel the same about her fashion choices. We are similar, after all.

How do you feel about your mother's style? Or maybe it was your sister or BFF that influenced your fashion sense in one way or another?

Liberty on Monday

To make things more interesting (or is it more complicated?), I sometimes challenge myself with weekly themes. For example, I would decide that this week I am going to wear pencil skirts every day. Or I will attempt color-blocking or monochromatic looks. Is this a little OCD? Do you ever do that?

So this week is a 'Blue Week' and everyday I will wear something blue. Blue includes navy in my book, btw. Today, I wanted to wear my double serge wool pencil skirt in Bronzed Ochre from fall 2010. My blue item is Liberty print shirt from Spring 2011. I forgot the name of the print, do you remember? It is one of my favorite shirts. I know many of you don't like the silk/cotton blend that J.Crew does because it is thin and sometimes sheer, but I do like them, for they are easy to tuck in, don't add bulk, are soft and perfect for layering.

Coincidentally, today J.Crew sent us an email about the new Liberty print shirt. It is called 'This week's discovery' and they are talking about this shirt:

Perfect shirt in Liberty Art Fabrics Margaret Annie floral

This happy printy is very pretty but $15O? I have few other Liberty shirts and I bought them all for much less. I think the highest I paid was about $79, but most were between $30 to $60. I will wait for this one to go on sale.

Wait! It was not on my shopping list, darn it! Could it be my extra item? We shall see. There is another advantage in waiting for sale. By the time it gets there, many times I don't want it anymore. But I may order it to try the size before it gets to the dreaded Final Sale.

Did I mention that I am a Serial Returned? Yep, guilty of charge. If I order it, I will surely review it here.

For now, I will stick to my old Liberties. Here is another OOTD shot:

My boots and belt are also J. Crew, I am hopeless. Boots are from 2009 and I wear them a lot. I recently had them re-heeled and they are good as new, yay!

My sweater is J.Crew Cashmere Boyfriend cardigan in navy blue. This cardi is everything I expected from it. And by this I (also) mean that I do expect some pilling. I am sure it will not disappoint me ;)

Yes, I took the pictures in the bathroom, is that weird? It does have the best lighting.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Why Blog?

I decided to start a blog just like I decided to purge my closet. I am an 'spur-of-the-moment' decision maker kind of person. Sure, there is so many fashion blogs, who needs mine? Well, maybe I do.

For some time I was posting reviews on JCA Blog, it should be easier to do them here and I will not need to hog the thread. I do visit J. Crew on weekly basis, so I may as well share some of my finds.

My nearest store gets inventory ahead of other stores and I was trying to describe new items in my posts but it is very hard to do without pictures. I tried using Flicker to load my pictures, but I found it cumbersome to manage.

I will post reviews from the store as well as OOTDs. I will also blog about my Project 333 experience. I tend to ramble on when I comment on other blogs and I will feel more justified to do it here instead.

Taking advice from Gigi I will post when I can and I pledge that I will not apologize for not posting, picture quality, lack of shoes, messy hair or no make-up. I will apologize for too much make-up, if necessary ;)

It is what it is, I will just try my best.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

How it all started

Hi, my name is AJC and I have a shopping habit and overflowing closet. It was getting a little bit out of hand, so I decided to attempt some simplification. I was inspired by Project 333 and on December 31sth, 2010 I narrowed down my clothes to about 88 items. I know, 88 is not quite 33, but 88 was way down from about 555.

Anyway, I did it for about 10 days and I was ready for more stripping down. I have purged it even further and yes, I now have about 33 items in my closet, more or less. I boxed the rest or moved it to my other closets, so they are out of sight. I am not counting shoes, jewelry and accessories, I wasn't into punishing myself, I was just curious how this project will work for me. It turned out to be easier than I thought. For the rest of January I selected only from 33 items in my closet, but since they were all my favorites, I was always happy with my outfits.

I also did not shop much. I received some items than I ordered in December and I bought few things, but nowhere near what I used to buy. Somehow, having a small closet made me protective of that space and I was really scrutinizing any potential 'intruders'.

On the top of that, I made a list of items I wanted to buy this year including prices that I am willing to pay. I folded it and put it in my wallet. I tend to forget what was there, obviously they are not true 'needs' , so whenever I was tempted by something, I would check it against the list.

My biggest fear was that I will be bored with my selection. Am I? Not really. I do miss some of my clothes and I intend to get re-united with them. But the joy of not being held prisoner of never-ending shopping quest is greater.

I am not sure if this will last and I don't want to read too much into it. Definitely I do not want to replace one obsession with another. I feel like I am on a journey and I will see where it will get me. Hope some of you will come along.